Eben Enasco Reporting.

Security is nobody’s business but everybody’s business.

Although, it’s right to argue that, the primary responsibility of any elected authority is to secure lives and property of it citizenry as provided in Section 14 sub section 2 of the Nigeria constitution.

And this, brings us to the lingering concerns about efficacious use of Security votes in the Country for which Edo State is one of such states.

Security vote in Nigeria is a monthly allowance that is allocated to the 36 states within the Federal Republic of Nigeria for the sole purpose of funding security services within such states.

The monthly fund runs into billions of naira and vary based on the level of security required by the individual state.

Edo State, according to records available, receives N900M Naira Monthly which is approximately N10.8Billion Naira Annually, which for a lot of interests is enough to build formidable paramilitary in the state.

Security votes, have not been widely accepted by citizens, as most have claimed that, such funds are being abused by the state governments, because, how the funds are disbursed is not accountable to any agency.

The state governments constitutionally, are advice to use their discretion in ways, on how to spend the funds.

This part of the clause, has aggravated unending furies, whilst upsurge of territorial insecurity that had seen innocent citizens kidnapped sometimes killed when they are unable to meet their host’s demands on daily basis.

But let’s not also forget that government only creates enabling environment for businesses to thrive.

Looking at the nation’s Constitution which consists of 320 articles divided into 8 Chapters, the General Provisions including; Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy, Citizenship; Fundamental Rights; The Legislature; The Executive; The Judicature; Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and General.

In all of it, embellished in the 320 articles, there’s also a place for citizens to take responsibility where elected authority failed.

If this is correct, given all perceptions, then, the business of securing lives and property shouldn’t be at the mercy of government alone, but those who have been bequeathed with fortunes, irrespective.

The advancement process in halting security challenges in the society should be seen as a community effort, rather than governments, to encourage those who are willing to dare and secure lives and property voluntarily.

In most civilized climes, Security Structures are funded by individuals, multinational corporations outside government as part of their corporate responsibilities to the society.

Edo State Security Network, ESN, is a formidable paramilitary groups, who, irrespective of non visibly supports received in it short span, have recorded milestones of achievements in combating, criminal activities in the state.

The now recorded peace, witnessed lately around the metropolis and during the festive periods, are testimonies on how Edo Security Network, in collaboration with conventional security outfits in the state, have measured up in terms of securing lives and property.

Ascribing credits to ESN is not to completely say, there are no flash areas where Security Challenges have leapfrog their advancement.

But, if we consider where we were before and after the advent of Endsars, and how criminals embarked on daylight robbery and kidnappings in Benin Metropolis and other out sketch, you will be convinced that the Local Vigilante has done more to warrant supports across board.

In a recent meeting with Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, held at the State Command, in Benin City, and Championed by the Commandant, Aniekan Udoeyup, called for collaborations between members of the state paramilitary groups in stopping the onslaught of criminals.

His voice, however, forced out other critical reactions that bothers on training and retraining, funding and recognition claims by the paramilitary groups who complained of no support and only resorting to self helps to combat the kidnapping monsters in the state.

According to Dr Emmanuel Oboh, the state Coordinator, Edo State Security Network, ESN, they have arrested more than 50 confirmed kidnappers who at various incidents’ scenes shot bullets at his men.

The Coordinator said, some of his men have sustained various degrees of bullet wounds while some have died during their operations.

Oboh, while lamenting superior training background for members of the state Security Network, he claimed that, if the local Vigilante have been provided operational training requisite like other paramilitary had been equipped with, they would have achieved more.

His claims are a strong pointer to non-existence of insurance scheme, poor remunerations and allowances, Logistics and other related needs for the security volunteers in the state to function optimally.

Flowing from his appeal for support, Edo State Government, recently said, it will engage ex service officers to train local vigilante which the state Security Network falls within.

Sometimes in August 2021 Edo State Government unveiled plans to recruit and train over 10,000 local security personnel in the state to complement efforts of the federal security agents in tackling insecurity.

Governor Godwin Obaseki who disclosed the moves, during an inspection of the Police Training Facility at Ogida Police Barracks in Benin City, maintained that, his administration was collaborating with the Nigerian Police Operatives to build a world-class facility that would help in the training of officials of the state’s Vigilante Security Network, the state’s Constabulary, members of the Public Work Volunteer PUWOV and other outfits, to maintain law and order.

The plethora of initiatives and promises may become obsolete, if the moves are not backed with relevant upgraded combatant equipment.

The elected government of any nation has the responsibility to ensure the management of the security sector which is in line with democratic best practices and the provision of security as a public good.

Governments also bear the political responsibility for the activities of the security sector.

The question is, with the government creating such enabling environment for security paraphernalia, what has been the role and support from the so called “Big Men” in the society?

In Nigeria, security architecture should be seen quickly evolving.

Because, each state is endowed with diverse resources, and with trade and investment opportunities which has the potential to yield inclusive social and economic development for millions of people.

If local Security Networks in the state must perform optimally, there has to be an honest multi tasking collaborations between the government, multinational entities, Financially endowed individuals, Security agencies, Small Business Owners, Traditional institutions, Religious leaders, and concerned community heads in the state.

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