By Jonathan Ugbal; Government House Correspondent
Cross River governor, Ben Ayade Friday, in Calabar announced steps taken by the state government to curb the rising level of insecurity that has bedevilled the state of recent.
Ayade, arising from a meeting with heads of security agencies in the state, told journalists in a press briefing held at an open field in what sources say was a show to prove that government was in charge of the security situation, assured all that Cross River State remains peaceful and safe as always said about 9 “Ingress and Egress” routes used by criminal elements had being identified with steps taken to ensure the situation is arrested.
Appreciating Cross Riverians for their “Patience and understanding and for the tolerance for all that has happened since my last three weeks of sojourn overseas”, Ayade stressed that, “I come to give you word of hope, I come to tell you that Cross River State is strong and intact and as the chief executive officer and the chief security officer of the state, I want to once more assure all of you that Cross River State is safe”.
Continuing he said that, “It became very clear that we needed an emergency SOS message to the President to extend and plead that Operation Delta Safe must be extended to cover Cross River State, until that is done, Cross River State will be standing alone without security cover while the entire Niger Delta is covered with Operation Delta Safe”.
The governor who had handcuffs attached to his belt holders said prior to the meeting, he had communicated to President Buhari on the need to extend “Operation Delta Safe” to the state and expressed optimism that with the nature of the President, the security measure will be extended to the state.
He lamented a situation which he described as “a massive infiltration of the state” by criminal elements from other states and disclosed that of the 47 people arrested, none was a Cross Riverian, pointing out that the state and its indigenes remain “peaceful”.
On cultism and communal clashes, the governor said that, “We have also realized that cultism has been on the increase, we are therefore as government, going to take deliberate steps to ensure that any person who is in a cult of any form and is in government must be thrown out.
“We have also taken very strong action that the issues of communal clash that have become very replete in our state must stop. Against that background, all warring communities, all communities that are at war, all the traditional rulers, chiefs of those communities, their certificates as traditional rulers is hereby withdrawn.”
The governor further stated that with the security reports at his disposal, the results of the actions taken will be visible to Cross Riverians in a few days.
He further announced an increase in budgetary provision for security with the immediate being the addition of 30 vehicles to security agencies to cover the capital city of Calabar alone as well as the increase in “Fire Power” of ‘Operation Skolombo’ through the creation of Homeland Security service which will provide intelligence support.
Part of the measures taken he said, will include stop and search operations which he pleaded that though “It will come with pain, it will come with its challenges”, it was necessary to ensure the peace and security of the people. He took responsibility for the failings in the security sector, saying that “I am the governor, I take full responsibility, I guarantee our people their safety”.
Following the recent dare devil armed robberies in the capital city of Calabar, Ayade disclosed that, “The three kingpins that I know, we have identified their homes, we have the coordinates of their armory, we have a clear picture of their modus operandi and we are working on a massive attack” and in a manner similar to the offensive strategy of the United States said, “we are coming after them”.
Furthermore, he said the process for the 2016 Calabar festival has begun and reiterated the state’s resolve to arrest insecurity in whatever form.
It will be recalled that CrossRiverWatch has continuously reported the rising level of insecurity and had earlier reported Friday, a meeting between the governor and heads of security agencies in the state barely 48 hours after his return to the state to discuss what according to him has become “Insulting” to the nature of the state and Cross Riverians.
Meanwhile, reports reaching CrossRiverWatch suggests that while the governor was briefing journalists, an armed robbery operations were going on at Edgerly by Main Avenue and another at Southern Fried Chicken eatery along Marian Road in Calabar which forced people to flee and seek refuge as the robbers also attempted to rob Diamond bank before the police arrived.
Since You Are Here, Support Good Journalism
CrossRiverWatch was founded on the ideals of deploying tech tools to report in an ethical manner, news, views and analysis with a narrative that ensures transparency in governance, a good society and an accountable democracy.
Everyone appreciates good journalism but it costs a lot of money. Nonetheless, it cannot be sacrificed on the altar of news commercialisation.
Consider making a modest contribution to support CrossRiverWatch's journalism of credibility and integrity in order to ensure that all have continuous free access to our noble endeavor.