By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
A Civil Society Organisation, CSO, One Love Foundation, OLF, weekend, wrote to President Muhammadu Buhari, Save Our Soul, SOS, letter, over rising insecurity in Edo State.
The letter which was signed by Founder and President, OLF, Chief Patrick Eholor, with the subject ‘Insecurity In Edo State: Urgent SOS To Authorities’ expressed fears over the rampaging criminals in the State that has led to several kidnap incidences, arm robbery attacks, cult clashes, rapes, and other vices.
The CSO also stated that the insecurity situation has become a nightmare to Edo people despite the presence of security agencies.
The letter reads in part, “We are concerned about this pathetic situation as Edo people never had peace since this insecurity situation started. Edo has never had experienced this level and trend of unabated insecurity situation ever since she became a State in Nigeria.
“We know you are fully aware of the terrible situation our people in Edo State find themselves. We, therefore, implore you to act promptly to Save Our Soul (SOS).
“Insecurity of lives and neglect of the people to their fate has become a daily nightmare for Edo people as we write to you this letter.
“We deemed it fit to bring to your attention about these ugly trends that have enveloped our State and put us under siege, and as a result, our women are forcefully made widows, our men made widowers, our children made orphans and many now are disables.
“The people of Edo state are in dire despair and anguish following the worsening spate of insecurity which has overwhelmed the people and its security authorities, making the state one of the most unsafe states in the South-South geopolitical zone and the nation at large.
“Among innumerable heinous crimes on the daily menu of Edo people are gruesome murders, bizarre inter-cult bloodbath, the mysterious killing of citizens by gunmen, killings and rape of farmers by Fulani herdsmen, all of who get away with their dastardly acts.
“Kidnappers are on the loose. With numbing regularity, victims suffer harrowing torture and pay huge mind-bending ransom demands before they are let off.
“Many Edo citizens can no longer move freely from their homes, and at home are under apprehension.
“We have experienced serious and incessant armed robbery attacks both in the night and day time, cult groups have taken over most streets in Benin City and environs resulting to clashes that have led to the killing of innocent residents, Fulani militia has taken over our forests, where they kill our farmers, rape our women and girls, and burn their houses unchallenged.
“As we put this letter across to you there is unimaginable terror being unleashed by these criminal elements on daily basis on law-abiding citizens in the State, and families are in pain and panic because of these marauding ‘beasts’, which everybody in the State is a direct and indirect victim of the harrowing menace and malaise they have put the people.”
The letter also expressed worry as it alleged that government does not speak to assure the people of the State as the situation is becoming more intense, “We see no respite in sight as the government does not talk to the people nor listen to cry of the people.
The people of Edo State are undergoing psychological trauma and torment because they are left to their fate.
“We are in fact, dissatisfied with the security service rendered by the Nigerian Police Force, Department of State Security Service, DSS, Nigeria Security and Service Defense Corps, NSCDC, and others in Edo State because these criminal elements have succeeded in caging many people in their houses and not being able to carry out their legitimate businesses despite the presence of these government security agencies.”
However, the CSO vowed to embark on massive protests if there is no improvement in the security situation to draw the attention of the international community to the issue.
“However, we demand this should be done shortly to improve the security of lives and property and sustained in Edo State, and those behind these criminal activities are caught and punished according to law.
“But if there is no improvement in the security situation we will embark on a grand protest to register our grievances peacefully to let the whole world know that anarchy has taken over Edo State”, it added.