AHEAD of the September 19, 2020 Edo State governorship election, Governor Godwin Obaseki, has expressed his administration’s readiness to mop up small arms and light weapons.
The governor said this after presiding over the State Security Council meeting at the Government House, Benin City.
He said the council deliberated on several issues, including the spread of COVID-19, data of crimes in the state and concerns over the build-up of arms.
Obaseki said, “On COVID-19, we looked at how to increase compliance to COVID-19 rules particularly in the light of electioneering that has commenced.”
He explained that the review of COVID-19 data showed that community spread of the virus was at an all-time high of about 80 per cent, as the state continued to record increasing cases.
The governor also said, “With the level of spread as we are approaching electioneering, we decided to take measures by increasing risk communication, letting the people know the risks associated with not complying with COVID-19 rules.
“We looked at the data of crime incidents in the state and noticed increase in kidnapping cases and homicide, resulting from cult activities. We also looked at the security environment and noticed related arms build-up ahead of the September 19 governorship election in the state.”
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Johnson Kokumo, said the police were concerned about the arms build-up, but added that it was putting measures in place to ensure a mop-up before the polls.
He added that some suspects have been arrested in the state with arms and ammunition, noting that they would have their day in court as soon as investigations were concluded.