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Nascent Forum Set to Upscale Akoko-Edo Developmental Trajectory

A recently formed socio-cultural/pressure group, the Akoko-Edo Forum (AEF) has revealed its plan to change the developmental trajectory of Akoko-Edo Local Government Area in Edo State for the better.

This was made known in a communique issued at the end of its inaugural meeting held on September 4, 2021 via Zoom which was signed on behalf of the Forum’s Select Committee by Ms Mary Opii and Ms. Edith Aiyede. The Select Committee to act, in the meantime, as the body’s secretariat for the administration and external contacts with critical stakeholders.

The virtual meeting brought together Akoko Edo sons and daughters in Nigeria and the diaspora and had notable indigenes in the private and public sectors, including industry captains, professionals, academics, retired military officers and civil servants, political office holders, etc. participating in the meeting.

The meeting condemned the high level of insecurity, kidnapping, and infiltration of the LGA by herders and the recent shooting of Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Igarra Police Command.

At the end, participants agreed that they need to address the security and underlying issues confronting the local government area and work or partner with other groups, businesses, NGOs, agencies, and other stakeholders interested in developing the LGA.

As part of plans to check insecurity in the local government, it proposed a number of actions to be taken.

It saddled AEF Security Committee with the responsibility of developing a sustainable security plan for the LGA and to liaise with Akoko Edo Vigilantes in helping to curb the activities of kidnappers while also calling on the Edo State Government to urgently add Akoko Edo Vigilantes into the Edo Vigilante Security Network.

The Forum also promised to key into Edo State’s recent announcement to employ 10,000 people as vigilantes and equip same and called on Edo State Government to enact the Anti-open grazing law as agreed by the Southern Governors.

It said it plans to work with neighboring states and LGAs to address the security challenges and called on Royal Fathers in the community to ensure herdsmen do not use their domains as settlement. It also called for the profiling of youths in the LGA to address the increasing acts of criminality in the area.

The group called for setting up a process for the establishment of Akoko Edo Trust Fund or Akoko Security Trust Fund to address the insecurity and under development in the LGA as well as the constitution of a finance and fundraising committee to develop and implement a fundraising strategy for the Forum for sustainable funding of projects and operations.

It called on all elected and appointed political office holders representing Akoko-Edo Local Government Area to join the Forum and engage all elected representatives on the representation of the LGA.

As part of the strategy to engage with political figures from the local government, the group said its Select Committee was perfecting arrangements and modalities to hold a quarterly or half-yearly virtual townhall with all elected representatives from Akoko Edo.

The group adopted a “Working Document” as the foundation for the formulation of Akoko Edo Development blueprint to be used in charting AEF development of all sectors of the LGA.

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