Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State unveiled plans to establish a forest protection force to tackle banditry in state forest reserves, which he noted had been illegally converted in bases of kidnappings and other nefarious activities.
It was exactly as he had promised to make a conscious investment in preserving the health, safety and environment of the people of the state.
Governor Obaseki, who spoke on Friday reporting on a 10 million tree planting program to mark the 30th anniversary of the state’s establishment in the Upper Sokponba Forest Reserve in the area of Orhionmwon local government, said the initiative would help maintain forest and state security by ensuring that bandits can no longer use the forest as a base to foster crime with the support of rangers, security agencies, the Edo State Vigilance Network.
According to him, âAlong with our forest regeneration campaign, we also want to protect our forest and our land. With your support and all other state security agencies, we will re-establish a forest protection force to ensure that bandits cannot use our forest as a base to foster crime.
âAs a government, committed to the safety of the lives and property of its citizens, we are determined to deliver on the feat we have already achieved in terms of security in the state and to ensure that the kidnappings, armed robberies, land grabbing and other criminal activities are kept to a minimum.
“Our security strategy is based on collaboration between national security and the Edo State vigilance network so that community participation is a key driver of our security plan,” he reiterated.
Regarding the essence of the tree planting program, Governor Obaseki said that due to environmental degradation, resulting from adverse weather conditions and threats to livelihoods, his government was working with the private sector. and all communities to regenerate degraded and depleted forest reserves in the state for environmental sustainability.
The governor added that discussions were underway to establish the Bendel Commission, which would help foster mutual cooperation and collaboration on economic, security, cultural and environmental issues between Edo and Delta states.
He recalled the history of the creation of the State of Edo and underlined its economic intervention plan aimed at repositioning the public and public services of the State on the way to greatness, in particular the EDOBEST and Edo program. Jobs.
âWe need to balance environmental sustainability with livelihoods and quickly reclaim our vast forest lands for present and future generation.
âSo we are starting discussions to establish the Bendel Commission. This Commission will promote cooperation and mutual cooperation on economic, security, cultural and environmental issues between the States of Edo and the Delta, âhe said.
Obaseki, who has described the coronavirus pandemic as one of the biggest threats in the country’s history due to the death toll around the world, called on residents of the state to get vaccinated against the Covid-19 vaccine in order to gain head immunity against the deadly virus.
âWe have continued to invest in our young people through various programs run by Edo Skills and Development Agency and Edo Jobs, which have spawned many businesses from the Edo production center to the technology center. Edo and the Edo Creation Center.
âOver the next few decades, Edo State will become a technology hub in Nigeria as we create more partnerships with tons of young people as knowledgeable software developers and technology solution providers.
âWhile some of the challenges that beset us today may be different from those that beset our ancestors, however, concerted and sustained efforts to overcome adversity are assured.
“In the face of difficulty, we remain daring, determined and united because these values ââhave always guaranteed our survival, our advancement and our triumph,” he said.
Earlier in a remark, Edo’s 30-program president, Julie Odigie-Oyegun, described the tree-planting exercise as a sign of a glorious and meaningful future.
She commended Governor Obaseki for prioritizing the welfare of the people and helping to preserve nature.
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