By: Okosun Dennis
Doused with avalanche of attacks from Fulani herdsmen, bandits, kidnappers and other violent organised criminal gangs led to the formation of Atanakpa Vigilante Group by the Esan Solidarity Forum (ESN) to tackle their effrontery.
As a result, the local security initiative was inaugurated recently with the commissioning of some equipment and other logistical needs to help in the interdiction, patrol and gather intelligence reports that would assist the Nigerian Police to deal with their nuisance value.
Recently, some illustrious sons and daughters of Esanland came together to donate about N34 million to assist in securing Esanland with the Local Security Network.
The ceremony which took place at Ewoyi Police Station, Uromi had the Chairman, Board of Trustees (BOT) Esan Solidarity Forum (ESF), Air Vice Marshal Anthony Okpere (retd) championing the course, Mr. Joel Aidamebor, Edo State Security Network, Esan Central Senatorial District and other invited security gurus and friends of the community.
In its Goodwill and congratulatory message, the Esan Youths Organization(EYO) solidarized with Esan Solidarity Forum, and the entire Esan People for the successful take-off of “Atanakpa” vigilante group.
The National President of EYO, Comrade Kingsley Ohens said that “it’s in the spirit of excitement and hope that we congratulate the Esan Solidarity Forum and the entire Esan people of Nigeria for this historic feat – the official take-off of this specialized security outfit code-named the Esan Atanakpa saddled with the responsibilities to protect Esan land from kidnappers and other violent crimes.
“We are most grateful to the initiators and executors of this innovation. It goes to show that we are finally getting it right this time. Desperate situation requires desperate and strategic solution.
He called on vigilante group to take their duties seriously and be dedicated adding that through alertness and being proactive, they would be able to truncate and frustrate every design orchestrated by the criminals.
“Like the famous “Atanakpa,” take the war to the camps of the invaders and destroy them so that we can live and farm in peace. God Almighty, our ancestors and the entire Esan people are fully behind you”, Ohens reiterated.
It would be recalled that recently, there have been sundry attacks on Esan sons and daughters, visitors and business oriented individuals in Esanland.
While some were attacked on the road after a carefully laid out ambush, others were attacked in the farms. In extreme cases, some women were raped while others were either killed or had their body lacerated with cutlasses and gun shot wounds.
Recently, Ewossa, Igueben, Ugbegun, Opoji, Ubiaja, Uromi, Irrua, Usugbenu, Ekpoma, Iruekpen and Urohi axis have recorded several attacks from bandits and Kidnappers who waylaid market women, farmers and visitors on the way and dispossess them of their belongings while others kidnapped in the circumstance.
It is hoped that with the birth of “Atanakpa” Vigilante Group reputed for its agility, alertness and proactivity, will be able to outsmart the criminals and bring them to their kneels.