The Edo State Government has warned that traditional rulers and village heads in the state would be held responsible for any kidnapping act in their various domains.
The state-acting governor, Philip Shaibu said this in Benin after a security meeting with traditional rulers, heads of local government councils, vigilantes, and hunters among others.
He also warned herdsmen and other groups occupying the state’s forest in the guise of camping to vacate such areas with immediate effect.
He mandated councils’ heads in the state to use security apparatus including police, army, vigilante groups, and hunters among others to forcefully remove any groups or individuals that failed to vacate the place within the next ten days.
He warned traditional rulers and village heads who have collected money from herdsmen and allowed any form of camping or grazing in the state’s forest to refund such money and ask them to leave with immediate effect.
“After ten days, traditional rulers and village heads would be held responsible for any act of kidnapping or terrorism in their domains,” he said.
He charged local governments to recruit hunters and vigilante groups who understand the terrain in their areas to assist the security in removing any group that fails to leave.
“All the councils should place such volunteers for the task on monthly stipends and also provide the necessary logistics and equipment for the task,” he said.
He assured that the government is determined to reduce and possibly stamp out the waves of kidnappings and killings in the state.