Increasing insecurity has made the Edo State Government to rejuvenate its forestry laws, last updated 50 years ago, Gov. Godwin Obaseki has said.
“Our forestry laws that have not been updated in more than 50 years now have been updated. And part of the provisions of the law is that we will now re-energise the institution of forest guards,’’ he said.
Obaseki was addressing a special Security Council meeting with stakeholders in Edo South senatorial district, on Monday, August 1, 2022, in Benin City, the state capital.
“We are currently in discussion with the Federal Ministry of Environment and some other stakeholders to begin the recruitment of the first set of forest police.
“They will support the activities of all the other security agencies.
“We have completed documentation and audit of all our forests in Edo, particularly in Edo South.
“We have done a flyover of all our forests and as we speak, we have set up a new forestry commission,’’ he said.
“We shall enforce local government laws on market places which stipulate that it is only the local government that is entitled to register markets and shut illegal markets.
“Any place where trading is currently taking place and such place has not been registered will be shut immediately as part of new security measures,’’ the governor said.
Gov. Obaseki had held similar meetings with stakeholders in Edo North and Edo Central senatorial districts earlier to review security strategies and tackle insecurity.
He said the government in partnership with relevant stakeholders was strengthening the security architecture and adopting various measures to sustain security in the state.
Some of the measures according to him are bush combing, registration of motorbikes and marketplaces, signing of the anti-grazing laws, and residents’ registration, among others.
“The responsibility of any government in any society is to guarantee the security and safety of the people.
“That is why for us in Edo, given what is going on in the country today, we have decided that security is now our number one priority,’’ Obaseki stressed.
By Kevin Okunzuwa