The Omo N’ Oba N’ Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare II of Benin has raised the alarm that criminal elements, including bandits and herdsmen, are building camps in forests within his kingdom.

This came as no less than 20 farmers were shot dead on Tuesday when Boko Haram terrorists invaded farmlands at Ngamgam village of Damasak, headquarters of Mobbar Local Government Area of Borno State.

On the heels of these, gunmen yesterday kidnapped 28 travellers along Akure/Ikere-Ekiti highway in Ekiti State.

Criminal camps now in Edo forests— Oba of Benin

The Oba, who disclosed this when he met with Enigie (dukes) in his kingdom in Benin yesterday, urged them to be more vigilant in their communities.

He directed Enigie to nominate credible persons from their villages to be part of the Security Surveillance Team to be set up by Edo State Government.

The Oba said government has resolved to set up the Security Surveillance Team to help identify criminals and their hideouts in the society.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Oba, Desmond Agbama, quoted the Oba as telling the Enigie that investigations had revealed that herdsmen and kidnappers as well as other sets of criminals have established camps in the forests in the various villages in Edo State, adding that there was need for the Enigie and the people to provide information that would help security agencies dislodge such criminal camps in the forest.

The Benin Monarch said those to be nominated by the Enigie would be thoroughly screened to ascertain their integrity and uprightness in carrying out the function and warned the Enigie not to usurp their powers once nominated.

Oba Ewuare II charged those to be nominated to do their work diligently and truthfully and report any criminal or person with questionable character to the Enigie who will in turn forward same to the relevant security agencies for necessary action.

The Oba of Benin said the Palace was pleased with the Enigie for their loyalty and dedication over the years and urged them to keep supporting the Palace in order for peace and progress not to elude the people, assuring that more good things awaited the people in the years ahead.