Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki has ordered the disbandment of members of the vigilante group in Inikorogha, community, Ovia South-West Local Government Area of the state accused of aiding illegal wood loggers and other criminal elements in the community.
Obaseki gave the order Friday after a fact-finding mission to the community in collaboration with the police, Army, Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), Department of State Services (DSS) and National Park Rangers, among others.
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He said security has been strengthened in the area to ward off illegal loggers and other criminal elements.
“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 boats 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.”
He said with the current law in place, the government will prosecute and convict people who are logging illegally, adding that the punishment now goes beyond impounding the logs.