By Ushang Ewa
Cross River Governor, Senator Ben Ayade has directed the immediate relocation of the state’s anti-crime unit ‘Operation Skolombo’ base of the Emergency Response Center (ERC) to Calabar South local government area to combat the rising insecurity in the area.
Ayade made this known Saturday, in Anantigha, Calabar South while addressing the unit which comprises of men drawn from the Nigerian Army, Navy, Airforce, Police and Civil Defence (NSCDC) where he said the action was taken in good faith after analyzing statistics which made Calabar South “a key area of focus.”
“As you are all aware, statistics has shown clearly that indeed Calabar South is a key area of our focus, hence you are supposed to be were the hottest spot is, so that you can respond swiftly,” Ayade, decked in a camouflage shirt and staff said, promising the assessment of street lights in the area and the release of more vehicles to the outfit to aid its combat of crime in the state.
“Calabar South has a lot of entrants into the waterways, it is a difficult terrain to deal with, we are also bringing in some boats from the Nigerian Navy to station at all points from where you can have access to the waterways,” he said, adding that; “the criminality in Calabar South could only be controlled when there is full force in the area. We are going to reinforce Cross River State, reinforce Calabar and Calabar South in particular to ensure that we make it impossible for any criminal to access it.”
He charged the unit to be committed to their duty and deal decisively with elements or activities deemd a security threat as; “Anything that interferes with the peace and security of the state is interfering with its entire existence” and explained his choice of clothing.
“I choose to come in this regalia so that all the bad boys will know that even the governor is combat ready. I am not impersonating a military officer; I am the Chief Security Officer of the state. It is therefore my responsibility to show fellowship and support with you.”
The commander, 13 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Brig. Gen. Bulama Biu who was on ground to introduce the unit to Governor Ayade said that; “It is high time the headquarters of Operation Skolombo be relocated here so that we can be more efficient trying to fight the security challenges as it affects this area.”
The unit until now was based at the ERC located opposite the Governor’s office premises on Leopard road in Calabar Municipal local government area and was previously referred to as the Quick Intervention Squad (QIS).
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