Former Governor of Lagos State and National Leader of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, yesterday challenged the people of Edo State to rise up and confront the reactionary forces who were threatening their freedom and democratic rights.
“No amount of intimidation of any kind will be allowed to reverse the rapid and radical modernisation of the state which our Comrade Governor has embarked upon,” he said.
Tinubu, who spoke during the inauguration of the state’s N10 billion Security Appeal Fund in Benin City, told Governor Adams Oshiomhole not to worry because the people of the state were behind him and with their support he would overcome the forces of destruction and death.
His words: “I have a message for those who want to distract you from the urgent task at hand and turn Edo State into a theatre of war; you have failed!”
According to him, there are verifiable testimonies that within a short period of time Edo State had witnessed progressive and rapid development, employment generation, saying the state was fast emerging as one of the best run states in the country.
“You are a great reflector of good governance and we in the Action Congress of Nigeria are proud to celebrate you as our ambassador,” Tinubu said, adding that the ACN has chosen progress, freedom, and justice for the people above destruction and political brigandage.
While commending Oshiomhole for inaugurating the Fund, he said the deteriorating situation across the country needed to be confronted and prevented.
The ACN leader observed that though security was a constitutional responsibility of the federal government, the government at the centre has not been able to fund security adequately; noting that out of a budget of N4.74 trillion, only N921 billion representing 19.4 per cent of the budget was allocated to security.
In his remarks, Oshiomhole said his administration had provided about 150 vehicles as well as communication gadgets for police in the state, and called on politicians in the state not to politicise the issue of security, as according to him, “even politicians require a secured environment to play politics”.
He served notice to criminals in the state to find alternative place for their nefarious business as the state would no longer serve as a haven for them, saying that over 500 kidnappers have been arrested by security agents in the state.
Equally, Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), Mr. Parry Osayande, who was chairman of the occasion, called on the people of the state to resolve to be partakers in securing their own destinies by donating to the Fund.
Earlier, Chairman of the State Appeal Fund Committee, Justice Samson Uwaifo (rtd) said it was obvious that the security of the state has become another grave concern and challenges, adding:
“There is crying need to urgently enhance the security and restore the confidence of individuals and the business community.”