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Obaseki’s Message As Edo Marks 30th Anniversary  

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Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, yesterday, assured that the state government would continue to make investment in preserving the health, safety and environment of Edo people, as the state marks its 30th anniversary.   Obaseki said this during the flag-off a tree-planting campaign held at Idu village in Orhionmwon Local Council Forest Reserve. The tree-planting campaign is in line with the government’s reforestation initiative of planting ten million trees in the next ten years.

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“As we celebrate 30 years of the existence of Edo as a state, we must realise that we live in a world that is being ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic. We have lost loved ones, friends and family members. Even as we celebrate our glorious nation and our proud heritage, circumstances demand that we must summon all effort, as a people, to ensure that we protect ourselves against the deadly scourge.   “Considering the nature of this unusual enemy, we must quickly adopt a sustainable approach to effectively deal with this scourge along with the disruptions associated with it. That is why, to defeat the virus, vaccination is a necessity.

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“Those countries and communities with high rates of vaccination are recording fewer hospitalisations and lifting all restrictions. We have to be at the forefront of ensuring that we all get inoculated against COVID-19 so that we can build herd immunity and more lives will not be lost needlessly.”

He continued: “As we protect ourselves from the pandemic, we must also take cognizance of our environment. Environmental sustainability is key to our cultural and economic preservation. The rich forest reserves that our ancestors passed to us have been seriously degraded and depleted, leading to adverse weather conditions that threaten our existence as a people.

“Edo has always been known as the centre of the rainforest belt in Nigeria and West Africa and we have a responsibility to regenerate our forests. It is for this reason that we, collaborating with private stakeholders, have embarked on a reforestation program to have ten million trees planted in Edo State, over the next decade. We must balance environmental sustainability with livelihoods and strategically reclaim our expansive forestlands for present and future generations.

“As we celebrate Edo at 30 today, our emphasis and focus must be on environmental sustainability. In the post-fossil fuel era, we must strive to redevelop our natural resources in forestry and its value chain. That is why I will be planting trees as a significant step in leading our forestry regeneration goal of ten million trees in the next ten years.

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“Along with our forest regeneration drive, we also want to keep our forests and our land safe. With your support and collaboration of security agencies in the state, we will be re-establishing a forestry protection force to ensure that bandits cannot use our forest as basis to foster criminality,” the governor noted.

Reassuring the government’s commitment to the security of lives and property of Edo citizens, Obaseki stated: “We are determined to improve on the feat recorded so far in terms of security in the state and ensure that kidnapping, armed robbery, land grabbing and other criminal activities are reduced to the barest minimum.

“Our security strategy is hinged on collaboration between the national security structure and the Edo State Community Vigilante Security Network so that community participation is a key driver in our security plan.”

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