The Edo State Government on Sunday said it had concluded the training of the first set of one thousand Public Works Volunteers, known as PUWOV, to tackle criminals in the state.
It also said it was working towards a regional collaboration with other states in the South-South region.
The Special Adviser to Governor Godwin Obaseki on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr Crusoe Osagie, who disclosed this exclusively to The Punch said the training of the volunteers was the state government’s immediate response to the need for community policing.
“In Edo state, our response to community policing is to use the Public Works Volunteer. That is our immediate reaction to the need for community policing,” he said.
He said, “These people are volunteers picked from the 192 wards of the state. In the first instance, we are targeting about 2,500 volunteers. The first set of them have just been trained in Okada in the Ovia North East Local Government. The first set of one thousand has concluded training in Okada, the training just ended last week,” he said.
He said the training of the volunteers were carried out by the police, the army, the DSS and the civil defence corps, adding that it also included some forms of academic and administrative works.
“So that’s our immediate response but on the long run we are planning to collaborate with other states in the region. I’m sure you are aware of the Bendel forum between Edo and Delta states. We are trying to organise ourselves into a powerful social-economic block so that we can pull resources together, both man and materials,” he said.
Meanwhile, the state government has also scheduled a public hearing of stakeholders across the three senatorial districts of the state to find lasting solutions to clashes between farmers and herders in the state.
In a statement, the Permanent Secretary, Cabinet, Mrs Julie Olatunji, on behalf of the Secretary to the State Government, said the stakeholders’ meeting would be held with the state’s Technical Committee on Farmers/Herders Conflict Resolution.
“The public hearing will hold in Edo South Senatorial District on Thursday at the Government House,” the permanent secretary added.