Cross River State
Permit me to address you at this time in which the security of our dear state stands threatened and at the brink of total collapse. I write to you as a security expert, who despite practicing in the US is still in touch with his beloved State of origin, the State you currently run as Governor. I hope you accept my letter with the tone of great solidarity.
As a Cross Riverian born in the diaspora, I am deeply troubled by the current appalling security situation in the State under your administration and cannot in good conscience keep quiet at this time. It is only expedient that I write you this letter ahead of the yuletide when the people of Cross River for the first time will celebrate Christmas in great fear.
Myself, just like every other person from Cross River in the diaspora, I am inundated with sad news on the ground of the incessant kidnappings in the state, unsettling images of potholes and litters of waste in the streets of Calabar with powerful images of hoodlums now overrunning the capital city of our very cherished state kept under your leadership.
This year has particularly been a very challenging one for the people of Cross River; from having to battle with the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, to being denied palliatives and relief materials and then having to deal with the worst security situation ever in the State.
In the last two weeks, not less than 15 people were kidnapped, last week alone about nine persons were abducted. Dear Governor, kidnapping, I learnt, has fast become a lucrative business in the state as those who bring agony to families’ prowl the streets of Calabar freely at your very watch. For the avoidance of doubt, I have attached a list of victims who have suffered kidnap under your administration.
The security situation in the state has gone so bad that even ordinary peasant street traders, small business owners, and farmers are being kidnapped. As gangs carry guns openly, dangerous dance groups carry machetes and other dangerous weapons going about unfettered. Kidnappers and hoodlums now overrun Calabar, a once peaceful and hospitable State.
Constantly, under the watch of your administration, those arrested for kidnap or cultism are released without appropriate trials thereby frustrating efforts of security operatives. One of those whose houses were demolished for kidnapping at ward 10, I learnt was still elected and sworn in as a Local Government Councilors.
Your Excellency, this administration has continued to take a convenient ride under the open display of confraternities.
Calabar, once a haven is now paradise lost right under the watch of your administration.
Your excellency, as a security expert, I know without a doubt that for terror to take a free stroll in the state despite security presence that there is so much disparity between your Government and the security agencies operating within the state. As the Governor, you have failed so much so that I hear you hardly hold security meetings with the security chiefs in the state nor do you utilize the 650 million Naira given to you monthly as security votes to relevant agencies.
Dear Mr. Ayade, the disparity between you and security agencies in the state has to be fixed for the State to regain its lost glory and become a Paradise city which the state is always known for. This current negative trend about the state has to stop.
Yuletide is here again, beyond COVID-19 being the reason for suspending the yearly carnival, the degenerating security situation of the state will force family celebrations to be flying at a half-mast because of fear of not knowing who will become the next victim of kidnapping.
Dear Governor Ayade, it is your duty to restore to its former glory. Cross Riverian’s need a capital city that we can all return to, and a State with quality amenities of life where we can live and be their best peacefully. A state where law and order are maintained and guaranteed and the government works for the people. We need a governor that puts the people of Cross River first before political interest and works for the best interest of the people.
A Governor that understands that public safety is the spice to actualizing economic growth, and a better quality of life. A Governor that will govern the people beyond media lies. A Governor who in the truest transparency best utilizes the budget of the state beyond ‘putting food on the table’ policy which only has gone to impoverish high spirited young minds which in my opinion is the highest form of disrespect to the good people of the State.
In these trying times, the state needs a Governor that is a team player that takes advice from wages-earning aides and not ignorantly runs the state like his personal affairs. A Governor that acknowledges that the concerns of the people of Cross River are valid and deserve to be treated with all amount of respect, dignity and urgency. A Governor that prides himself in the sustainable growth of the state beyond lofty thoughts that will end up and further add to a state that has been already mortgaged by your predecessors. Access to quality education, and healthcare for Cross Riverian’s should be of urgent importance. The era of deriving joy from signing bogus unrealistic MOU’s with clear personal interest mostly at heart should from now cease.
Your excellency, if something as basic as the security of lives cannot be guaranteed then this amounts to systematically denying the people of Cross River State the basic right to live freely. It is without a doubt that the people of Cross River can now realize that their security expectations cannot be met with you, Governor Ayade in the helms of power.
It is with the deepest concern that I take a cue with the people of the state currently living and conducting their businesses in fear; people who are terrorized and whose security are greatly undermined under your watch; I join them to urge you to immediately rise to perform your duties in a maximum capacity or record history by honorably accepting your incompetence and resign your position as Governor of the state with immediate effect.
It is with my deepest worry that I convey this letter to you.
Felix Asuquo is a Sheriff Investigator and Law Enforcement Expert in the Essex County Sheriff’s Department. He writes from New Jersey, United States of America.
NB: Opinions expressed in this article are strictly attributable to the author, Felix Asuquo and do not represent the opinion of CrossRiverWatch or any other organization the author works for/with.
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