By David Nsa
The Director General of the Greater Calabar Capital City Development Authority, Comrade Kingsley Ikpeme has called on the Nigerian Navy to step up its patrol of the nation’s maritime environment with a view to curb the crime rate especially in Cross River State.
Mr. Ikpeme made the call during a courtesy visit to the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Eastern Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy, Rear Admiral David Adeniran, where he stressed the need for collaboration in the area of maritime security as the state plans to decongest Calabar and build the greater Calabar capital city.
He said: “When kidnapping takes place and they have been apprehended you will see that they will take their victims through the water ways, through Unical, through the maritime environment so there is urgent need for the Nigerian Navy to be on alert.”
Ikpeme added that: “We call on the Nigerian Navy to boost security patrol in our maritime environment. I call for an aggressive patrol within the nation’s maritime environment, especially the greater Calabar geographic region as they have been reports of kidnappers and other criminals using our maritime environment as escape routes.”
However, he commended the Navy for its role in securing the state so far and stressed that security remains a vital part of the agency’s plan which according to him is, “intending to correct the current development and urban sprawling in Calabar, but also seeking to expand infrastructure into new development areas for the benefit of the larger population, to decongest the already congested Calabar metropolis, and also to regulate sanitation, management of transportation and provision of security within the city.”
Also, he commended the completion and commissioning of the Nigerian Navy Reference Hospital 43 years after the foundation stone was laid and expressed optimism that the current FOC will bring his experience to bear in the security of the state having served as the commandant of the Nigerian Defense College among other postings.
Now, the agency was created by Law number 2 of 2016 after it was passed on the floor of the House of Assembly on June 9, 2016 with a vision of providing legal framework for new city development and expansion of city infrastructure outside Calabar and for the development of new cities in Akpabuyo, Akamkpa, Biase, Bakassi, Calabar Municipal, Calabar South and Odukpani local government areas.
And, Mr. Ikpeme who was appointed the pioneer head of the agency has been interacting with several stakeholders including monarchs, the press, the Nigerian Police, the Federal Road Safety Corps and other relevant agencies which expressed commitment to partner with the agency.
The police had promised to design the security architecture of the greater Calabar capital city.
In his remarks, Rear Admiral Adeniran lauded the governor, Senator Ben Ayade for, “establishing this agency (and) not only establishing these agency, he has appointed young people to run the show that means they Government means well for the youth.”
Adeniran also pleaded with the agency and the state government to provide the enabling environment for the military to be able to carry out their duties properly, and pledged the continuous support of the Navy to the agency, the state and the nation.
The FOC later presented a complimentary souvenir to Mr. Ikpeme.
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