By Peter Inyali
Former Cross River State Security Adviser, Dr Young Eta on Monday survived a suspected assassination attempt in his Diamond Hill home in Calabar.
Eta who served as a State Security Adviser between 1999-2003 under former governor Donald Duke is a retired operative of Department of State Security Services (DSS).
Narrating his ordeal to newsmen in Calabar, he said that the unfortunate incident happened in the wee hours of Monday when two masked men dressed in black T-shirts and jeans, armed with AK47s stormed his house at around 2:45 am.
According to him, “There were two men masked and dressed in black attempting to open my door. When I heard the sound of the door, I went to check only to see them telling me they were police. They were masked and dressed in black T-shirts and jeans and had AK47s.
“I struggled with them and locked the door. I live alone with my wife because our children are all grown up and left home. Then I got into the bedroom with my wife and into the toilet from where I escaped. As a security man I had getaway places in my house.
Eta who said the men gained access into the house and traced him to the toilet where they cut his wife, said that the incident lasted for over an hour.
In his words, “They gained entrance to the house through the window, and they broke the door of the bedroom and toilet. They used an iron bar to remove the protector of the window. My wife was trapped between the toilet and the bedroom. They held her and were asking were her husband was. She said I had left and they were asking if it was not the man they were struggling with at the door. They ransacked the whole house. Eventually, they left around 3.30am. They spent over one hour.
“Before they left, they smashed my CCTV equipment and left. After an hour I came out from my hiding place, after which I went to see the damage. They entered the compound by scaling the wall and tied up my security guard both hands and legs.”
The ex-security adviser appealed to government to urgently organize a security summit where all stakeholders will discuss the worsening security situation in the state.
He said that “This incident is another such incident that we have recorded in the once serene and peaceful city of Calabar. On daily basis we hear cases of kidnappings, robberies, assassinations and so on. And it is as if it is on the increase. We are working on the theory that mine may not have been a kidnap case because if it were they would have gone with my wife. They did not carry anything from the house. They did not collect money. If it were robbery, they would have asked for money. If it were kidnapping they would have gone with my wife. But they were only interested in seeing me. The only damage they did was to my CCTV.
“I thank God that I was able to escape and I wish every other victim would have similar luck. The government should rise up to the occasion and do a thorough rethink of the security profile of Cross River State because as we speak investments are leaving Cross River in droves as a result of insecurity. Just a couple of weeks ago when I was in Abuja, I met a group that intended to bring some maritime investment into Calabar, but decided to relocate to another West African country because of the issue of security.
“I think what needs to be done is for stakeholders in the security industry to be have a conference and discuss the way out. We need a very comprehensive, professional, dedicated and financially sound approach to the resolution of this very serious situation in the state. Security is money and intelligence. I don’t think the government is doing enough particularly as we get close to 2018, which is the political season”.
“It is a very sad commentary, because I remember when I was SSA under Donald Duke, Cross River was adjudged the fastest growing economy outside oil and gas in this country largely due to its serene and peaceful nature. That is why Miss World was hosted here. At that time investors used to come to the state in their numbers because the state was a place to be. The state is now a typical caricature of its former self and it is extremely regrettable”.
He assured that “it is not too late if the government can reorder its priorities and pay optimal premium to issue of security. If they could do it to someone like me who is a guru in security, then the rest of the public is left at the mercy of the hoodlums. If I had not woken up when i heard their attempts at the door, by now it may have been a different story because they would have caught me helpless.”
Eta who is an elder brother to the South South National Vice Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC Ntufam Hilliard Eta said that he could not trace the incident to anybody because he is not a politician or into any bad business that should warrant such attempt on his life.
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