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On the 19 of October 2020, there was the forceful opening of the two major prisons now Correctional centres in Edo state.
The two centres are located along Benin-Sapele road and Oko, along Airport road in Benin City.
The jailbreak was as a result of the fall out from the hijacked Endsars protest in this part of the country.
Over 2,000 hardened criminals were let loose and made to co-habit with the people. Many of such escapees have been reported to have scattered all over Nigeria.
Findings by this writer revealed that Edo state will not only bear the brunt of this escapees but the entire country.
Recent reports reveal a heavy increase in Criminal activities in Edo state and most parts of Nigeria which have now put the police and other security agents on the hot seat.
But the over 2,000 Criminals that were forcefully released from the Correctional centres have earlier been arrested by the police and other security agents and processed through the courts where they finally ended up in prison.
200 of the escapees were already condemned persons waiting for the attendants to call them out for the last prayer on earth.
They were sentenced to death for various capital offences like murder, Armed Robbery, kidnapping etc.
More of the escapees are those sentenced to life imprisonment while others are already serving their jail terms with some of them on awaiting trial.
Four prison escapees in Benin City had snatched a RAV4 Toyota Jeep from a woman at Asoro Hill on Ekewan road in Benin city, Edo State, Nigeria.
The woman was abducted by the alleged armed robbers while they collected her ATM Card and forced her to give them the PIN which was used to withdraw the sum of One Hundred And Fifty Thousand Naira from the ATM.
The abducted woman was thereafter dropped off at the Benin- Agbor road Bypass at Ikpoba Hill in Benin city while the hoodlums drove the Jeep to Abuja. The eagle eye policemen in Abuja later arrested them and recovered the car.
Also, some prison escapees who were trying to access neighbouring country through Lagos were arrested by men of the Lagos State Police command. They have all been repatriated to Edo state for further investigation and prosecution.
It was also revealed that some prison escapees caught by security agents in Edo said, they decided to carry out armed robbery attacks to raise money to travel to Ghana. One of them took his fellow prison escapees to rob his brother in Benin City where they snatched his Lexus 300 car and sold it to a man in Igueben in Edo State.
he alleged armed robbers and his buyer were arrested. A prison escapee went to a house in Ukhumwun around the Ugbowo end of Benin city on the same day he escaped from prison and killed the man that stood as a prosecution witness in court during his trial.
The escape of the over 2,000 hardened criminals from the prisons in Edo state should be viewed as a National disaster that must be given national attention. This is because the havoc that is now committed by the escapees are been experienced nationwide.
Point of Sales shops (POS) happens to be one of their easiest targets to raise quick money. This is because they believed that money is readily available in POS shops and secondly, operators of POS shops are mainly females that can easily be harassed to abandon the money.
Some of the operators of the cash shops who put up minimal resistance were killed. A recent case is the 22-year-old POS operator that was killed along Godwin Abbey Way, Off Sapele road in Benin.
Within a space of two weeks, armed robbers raided the young girl. The first operation, they collected her business money to the tune of Two Hundred Thousand Naira. But when they came again, the girl put up a small resistance and she was shot dead on the spot.
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki has been having sleepless nights over the various attacks in the last few weeks.
The unrelenting Governor has made a series of frantic efforts to curtail the activities of criminals.
His visit to the police headquarters in Benin City and his interaction with the military authorities which led to the setting up of a joint security task force has now helped in curtailing criminal elements in Edo State.
The Governor’s decision to rebuild destroyed police stations, provide more patrol Vans and settle the hospital bills of policemen who were wounded during the Hijacked Endsars violence protest are great morale boosters for the policemen.
Today, patrol teams of the joint security task force can be spotted in most parts of Benin city and other parts of Edo state.
Local government administrators in Edo state should be advised to clear the various roadsides bushes linking all the Express roads in their jurisdiction.
The move will help motorists travelling on those routes to see both sides of the road in case of criminal elements who usually come out in a guerrilla-style to strike on the road. They kidnap, rob, rape and even murder. All these must stop.
All flashpoints on the highway connecting Edo state must be adequately secured with frequent security patrols joined with STOP AND SEARCH.
Members of the vigilante groups should be empowered and encouraged to play a complementary role in securing their localities.
The increasing rate of criminal activities in Edo state is now gradually going down. But this will take some more time to finally curtail. Therefore, the people of Edo State should take it as a responsibility to render useful information to the police and other security agencies as any credible information will help in taking one criminal off the street.
Remember that the criminal elements are in the minority while genuine citizens are in majority. So, the minority must not be allowed to take the day. Therefore, if YOU SEE SOMETHING-SAY SOMETHING.