By Jonathan Ugbal
There are more policemen and security personnel in Government House Calabar than in Obudu and Obanliku local government areas combined findings by CrossRiverWatch reveal.
As at Friday, CrossRiverWatch could not confirm the exact figures from Police authorities who were inquisitive over the usefulness of the information in public domain but a rough count showed that there are around 300 security operatives posted to Government House Calabar.
These includes over 200 Police officers, over three dozen operatives of Nigeria’s Secret Police; the DSS, Civil Defense operatives among others.
The Police operatives report to the Station Officer while the secret service operatives have an Administrative Officer and the NSCDC operatives, a similar commander.
Meanwhile, in Obudu following a recent reshuffle of personnel, CrossRiverWatch correspondents in northern Cross River say there are still less than 100 police officers and even less than that in the Obanliku division.
As at April 2, 2017, the Commissioner of Police, CP Hafiz Inuwa had transferred over two dozen Police officers following 8 successful kidnapping cases recorded under the Divisional Police Officer, DSP Eyong Obeten who is currently being investigated for extra judicial killing.
This left the entire Obudu division, where the incumbent Governor, Senator Ben Ayade hails from, with an area of about 600 square kilometers and a population of approximately 175,000 with less than 75 officers to police it.
This is far less than the International Police Science Association which in a report last week said there are about 219 police officers for every 100,000 Nigerians which is far below the average of 300 and below the sub-Saharan Africa region average of 268.
In Obanliku division, there are even fewer Policemen with the Police station up the Ranch resort deserted, while posts such as those in Becheve, Amana, Amunga and some parts of Bishiri and Sankwala are visited once in a while.
And, neighboring Bekwarra local government is said to have even lesser.
When contacted, the current DPO, DSP Eyo Lifu after taking the call, kept saying “Hello, Hello” and dropped the call. He did not take his call after that.
Meanwhile, in Government House, Governor Ayade moves around town with no fewer than 50 policemen at a time, over 70 when travelling and at least a dozen secret service operatives.
The Policemen include men of the Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU), Police Mobile Force (PMF), Explosive Ordinance Disposal or Bomb Squad (EOD), Special Protection Unit (SPU) amongst others.
His wife, Dr. Linda Ayade has fewer security details which total around two dozen.
The Deputy Governor has about 40-50 operatives posted to his official residence, private residence and his convoy with about a dozen secret service operatives in total.
His wife, Omotunde Ivara Esu moves with less than half a dozen security operatives.
When calculated, the Governor’s official residence in Calabar, the Abuja liaison office, the Lagos liaison office and his private residence in Abuja, the Governor has at least 100 security personnel posted to him alone.
Police sources say the almost two dozen Police officers posted to the Governor’s younger brother, Frank Ayade are also listed under the Government House Police station including those attached to the Chief of Staff, Secretary to the State Government and State Security Adviser.
When pieced together, this numbers over 200 security personnel in total.
The Police spokesperson in the state, ASP Irene Ugbo did not take her call when reached for comments.
CrossRiverWatch’s Itiunbe Atunka and Ushang Ewa contributed to this report
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