Obaseki Disbands Vigilante Group For Allegedly Aiding Illegal Logging In Edo Community.

Obaseki Disbands Vigilante Group For Allegedly Aiding Illegal Logging In Edo Community.

Mr. Godwin Obaseki, Governor of Edo State, has ordered the immediate disbandment of all members of the vigilante group in the state’s Inikorogha Community, Ovia South-West Local Government Region, accusing them of assisting illegal wood loggers and other criminal elements in the area.

Obaseki issued the directive during a fact-finding tour to the village with a team of security agencies that included the police, Army, Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), Department of State Services (DSS), and National Park Rangers, among others.

The governor who assured on the completion of the Inikorogha Community Road, said security has been strengthened in the area to ward off illegal loggers and other criminal elements.

According to him, “I am here to see how we can move things forward. By next week, bulldozers will resume work on the construction of your road; you need to have access to your community. Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) awarded this road, but they failed to commence the work.”

“The contractor will commence work by next week. We are disbanding all the vigilante groups aiding those engaged in illegal logging and we are recruiting able-bodied young men and women from this community to protect our forest and fight against illegal logging.”

“I have made provisions for marine boots to man our waterways. Those engaged in illegal logging must stop because if you cut down those trees, you won’t be able to stay here.”

“I don’t want to hear of any attack on Okomu National Forest again; if I hear of any, I will go after them and make them face the law,” he noted.

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“Before now, what we had as a law does not have real penalties. It was more like a slap on the hand; the law just provided for your logs to beimpounded,“ Obaseki said, guaranteeing increased security in the area and preparations for an Edo Forestry Law to inflict stronger punishments for illegal loggers.

“With the current law, it goes beyond impounding; we will prosecute and convict people who are logging illegally and who are doing things against the spirit of the forestry law in Edo”, he said.

Previously, Mr. Favour Arigban, the youth Chairman of Inikorogha, said that he was forced away from his community by some criminal elements because he was devoted to combating illegal logging and defending the Okomu National Forest.

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