By Ushang Ewa
Following a directive by the State Security Adviser to Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River, Jude Ngaji to security officials to impound vehicles bearing Government license plates after 6:00 PM, findings by CrossRiverWatch reveal that over two dozen appointees and elected officials have been harassed.
Government license plates bear green letter coding and are issued by the Federal Road Safety Commission as stipulated in the Nigerian constitution with each state or parastatal having a special coding.
The directive CrossRiverWatch learnt came on the heels of an alleged abduction in December perpetrated by some elements who used a vehicle with a government licensed plate that was allowed easy access through the several checkpoints mounted by security officials, especially the ‘Operation Skolombo’.
The ‘Operation Skolombo’ is the code name for the former Quick Intervention Service of the state’s emergency response center comprising of Army, Air Force, Navy, Civil Defence and Police officers and are answerable to directives of the Governor through his security adviser.
The directive has left over two dozen appointees who feel aggrieved by the fact that a fellow appointee was meting out such treatment to them and queried why he will ask all those seeking to drive after 6:00 PM to “Obtain a pass which only him (Ngaji) can issue.”
“I don’t know what this means, I just cannot understand it, I was to join other female appointees to meet with the Wife of our dear Governor and despite my vehicle being branded these guys stopped me” said a commissioner to one of our correspondents.
“I felt scandalized as this is supposed to be my official vehicle and Jude has traveled out for weeks now and so I cannot go out after 6? How can my driver get a pass when he is not around? It is sad and His Excellency has to do something about this” the commissioner added.
Another appointee in the health sector queried why vehicles marked health were also stopped when Doctors in the employ of the state Government are on call for 24 hours.
Further findings revealed that most appointees resort to calling Mr. Ngaji to rescue them while unlucky ones have often resorted to begging. It is unclear if any vehicle has actually been impounded.
Also, findings revealed that a few who earlier resorted to shouting matches at first were made to kneel and beg senior security officials before allowed to go.
Mr. Ngaji lines were busy at 5:45, 5:46, 5:49, 6:30 and 6:31 PM Wednesday when dialed by our reporter in effort to get comments from him on the directive.
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