Thursday, November 10, 2016 11:29 pm
Edo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Haliru Gwandu, has raised the alarm over the rising wave of crime associated with members of Community Development Associations (CDAs).
Specifically, Gwandu alerted that intelligence reports have revealed that some members of CDAs involved in land speculation in the State, have adopted a strategy of converting proceeds of land sale to stockpile arms and build fortress around themselves and sometimes fuel hostility in Communities.
His warning is coming barely two weeks after the Palace of the Oba of Benin, frowned at the activities of Community Development Associations in Benin for alleged land speculation.
Giving the warning during the formal inauguration of Eminent Peoples Forum in Benin City on Thursday, the Police boss who did not name a particular Community but said “it behoves on the members of the community to burst the crime, find out the perpetrators among them.”
He said since he assumed duty in State Police Command, he has mopped up over 101 light arms from the communities in the state.
He therefore, cautioned traditional rulers and community leaders including Divisional Police Officers under his Command to be alive to their responsibilities.
“So, the moment you trace this problems, just report to us immediately. Don’t allow them to grow wing because by the time they grab land and sell to many people, they use the proceeds from the land sale to stockpile arms and before you know it, they take up arms against their opponents under the guise of militancy and hostility.
“A land is sold to more than two or three, four or five persons. They forge the signatures of those who are supposed to sign and they issue and that stands as authentic. The buyer will only be greeted with shock when he comes to inspect the site. You will now realise that maybe he is the third buyer.
“Such crimes started as Civil because those officials you have elected or nominated which constitute authority in the Community are those doing this. It behoves on the members of the Community to burst the Crime, find out the perpetrators among them.
“The problem here is that by the time you elect the CDA chairman and he connives with the traditional ruler, before you know it, they become very strong and factionalise the Community, while you, the good ones are watching the carnage and havoc they are perpetrating in the Community.
“They galvanise support from many members of the Community because of the pecuniary gains. So, sometimes, when we go to effect arrest, we meet stiff resistance because some members of the Community will chase police,” Gwandu said.