By Ikwen Atuaka
The Nigeria Army has deployed over 30 soldiers to Obudu to checkmate the rising level of insecurity in the local government area.
An additional 20 will be deployed subsequently a source in the council told CrossRiverWatch in confidence as the state aims to beef of its security apparatus.
The deployment follows pleas from Cross River Governor, Senator Ben Ayade to the Commander 13 Amphibious Brigade of the Nigeria Army, Brigadier General Bulama Biu and the commander of the Godwin Alli cantonment in Ogoja, Lieutenant Abdul Amino the source said.
The 30 deployed this reporter observed, have mounted check points at locations including Ogoja road along Kakum junction, Ranch road along the meat industry, Federal College of Education gate along Tsar road and Bishiri road while others will patrol around town.
In a related development, the Community Relations Officer to Governor Ayade in Obudu, Emmanuel Akwagiobe in a public notice signed by him and dated March 26, 2017 listed phone numbers to be contacted during emergencies.
The numbers are:
The notice further warned residents to desist from acts of criminality.
Obudu located about 300 kilometers north of Calabar, the Cross River State capital, has seen a wave of kidnappings with the kidnap of the Chief Librarian of the Federal College of Education Obudu, Mr Godwin Angiating in June 2015 following that of Sunday Anagwe, a businesman kidnapped in March 2015.
The abduction of Pastor Walter Ibe, a lecturer in the department of Computer Science in the same institution in May 2016 followed suit and in October 2016, staff of the institution protested following the kidnap of one Mrs. Anyocha, a principal lecturer of Igbo language.
About three days after the protest, the Chairman of the Obudu Urban Development Authority, Canice Atsu kidnapped four days earlier was released.
Jude Akwagiobe Agaba, popularly referred to as ‘FG’, a palm wine seller for decades was abducted in a vehicle which looked like it had gone to the auto shop with damaged body parts with his pregnant wife beaten and kicked in the stomach on February 2, 2017 and was released a week later after an initial ransom demand of NGN5Million was relaxed to NGN1Million.
Five days after FG’s release, a man simply identified as Simon who owns the Simbless pharmaceutical shop, at No. 1 Uquart Street, in Obudu and popularly referred to as ‘Jehovah’ was abducted at about 8:30pm in his house after closure from his shop.
He was released on Saturday, February 25, 2017 with the Police nabbing 5 suspects which includes 3 women and 2 men following the discovery of a trail of blood discovered on their car heading towards Vandeikya.
On the night of March 1, 2017, one George Imanyi, a hotelier, became the eighth victim and the third in quick succession to be kidnapped between February 2, 2017 and March 1, 2017.