The Ekiti State Government has appealed to the military authorities to restore the highway checkpoints recently dismantled in the state.
The Deputy Governor, Bisi Egbeyemi, made the appeal while on a familiarisation visit to officials and members of the Correspondents’ Chapel of the state chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, (NUJ) in Ado Ekiti.
Mr Egbeyemi said the checkpoints are necessary with the upsurge of crimes, such as kidnapping and robbery on the highways.
He said the government was concerned that the military withdrew its men from checkpoints on flashpoint routes, such as Ado Ekiti-Itawure Road, Ikere Ekiti- Ise Road as well as Ifaki Ekiti- Emure Road, among others, for reasons yet unknown to the government.
“We urge the military to please return their men to those security checkpoints that have now been closed down and their men withdrawn,” Mr Egbeyemi said.
“The military are the only ones that the robbers and other criminals fear most. Their withdrawal is capable of exposing our people to danger. Already some concerned residents are beginning to develop apprehension about the development and it is our duty to reassure them that there is no cause for alarm
“We know the importance of the soldiers and we are ready as a state to do anything that will make them comfortable. It is our belief that there is no amount spent in securing lives and property that is too much. This government do value lives and will do anything to protect the lives of our people
“We want the good people of Ekiti state to know that the present administration will not joke with anything that can threaten their peace and that of their legitimate businesses. That is why we are ready to do anything that can guarantee their welfare and well-being”, he said.
The chairman of the chapel, a Deputy Editor and State Correspondent of the Nigerian Tribune, Sam Nwaoko, assured the deputy governor that his members, representing various media houses in the state would continue to discharge their duties of news reportage in line with the tenets and ethics of the profession, devoid of biases, sectionalism or sensationalism.
He, however, asked the government to also sustain its current friendly posture with journalists in the state by creating the environment that would make them carry out their duties unhindered.
Mr Egbeyemi used the opportunity of the interaction to also debunk rumours that the Fayemi administration was planning to sack workers in the coming year, especially teachers.
On the contrary, he said, the government planned to strengthen the public service and provide incentives, including regular payment of salaries that could better the lives of all category of workers.
Mr Egbeyemi also hinted of government’s plan to reinforce the public service through fresh recruitment of qualified persons but without attaching any political or religious consideration for anyone, as done in the past.
“Ekiti is a worker-dependent economy. We know once we pay salaries of workers as regularly as possible, its effect will be felt by all other sectors, especially those who directly or indirectly rely on civil servants’ patronage in their businesses for survival”, he said.
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