By Jonathan Ugbal, Government House Correspondent
The governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade, Saturday alongside heads of security agencies in the state embarked on “Operation Show Of Force” in Calabar in a bid to intimidate criminal elements who of recent, have held the state to ransom.
This is even as the Police Commissioner, Jimoh Ozi-Obeh denied the involvement of police officers in the several robberies and crimes perpetrated by criminal elements with the State Security Adviser, Jude Ngaji saying the necessary logistics and strategies are been provided and perfected respectively.
“We are out here as a show of force to demonstrate that we are in absolute control and we are going to keep Calabar totally safe” Ayade told journalists at the end of the exercise, adding that, “we have done a complete surveillance of all the possible routes, all the water areas through which these criminals escape.”
The governor disclosed that the display which saw around 100 patrol and assault styled vehicles patrol all the, highways, avenues, highbrow and major streets in Calabar which caused traffic to grind to a halt, was part of their agreement from the security meeting held Friday which he briefed press men on some of the resolutions.
This came barely 24 hours after reading what sounded like a riot act to criminal elements in Cross River State, warning them to take their activities elsewhere as the state was going after them.
Furthermore, Ayade said by Monday, a list of the kingpins known to the state will be published and a ransom of 10 Million Naira will be placed on their heads.
The governor also said there will be an increase in spending for security which will be provided for by a cut in overhead expenditure.
Meanwhile, the SSA in a morning program on Hit FM on Saturday told listeners that strategies are being perfected as the Capital will be divided into catchment areas with a minimum of one patrol van with a unique number which when unavailable, he should be contacted immediately.
Expressing the state willingness to partner with incentives, those who will share information on security issues, Jude said, “I will give you my number, just send a text to me and give me information. I am even ready to pay if you give me information. Just do a text to me, tell me (if) you have an idea of where these bad boys are and we will go after them”.
In a related development, the Police Commissioner, Jimoh Ozi-Obeh denied the claims by some callers in a breakfast program on Hit 95.9 FM, Calabar that policemen were aiding and abetting criminal elements to perpetrate nefarious and heinous acts in the state.
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