OBAJI AKPET, Calabar
Cross River State Government has sent a save- our- soul call to President Muhammadu Buhari to come to the aide of the state following recent incessant kidnapping and armed robbery in the state, the Governor Ben Ayade has said.
The Governor, who was fully kitted in the Nigerian Police Force uniform, in an address at Peace Garden on Friday in Calabar told newsmen that after thorough research and meeting with security operatives he was now aware that activities of criminal gangs in the state were mostly carried out by external forces only harboured by unemployed criminal elements in the state.
He said of all the 47 arrests made in connection to the recent spate of crimes carried out in the state all alleged perpetrators were non-Cross Riverians.
He attributed the increase in criminal activities in the state to the full withdrawal of Operation Delta Safe from the state after the state’s oil wells were seized and the state declared non-litoral state.
Ayade said, he had through an emergency SOS transmitted to President Buhari requested as a matter of urgency that Operation Delta Safe be restored to cover Cross River again.
In another SOS, Ayade lamented that militants have taken over control of Bakassi Peninsula, even after the state lost its land and oil wells without due compensation.
He urged the Buhari administration to have a rethink over the issue and restore back the state’s oil wells as doing so will help cushion the financial difficulties the state is faced with.
On the issue of increasing cult activities in the state, the governor said the state government would carry out proactive steps to end the menace while intimating of plans to embark on thorough search of the state’s cabinet and to remove any executive member found wanting or having connection with any cult gang.
In the wake of recurring communal clashes in the state, Ayade immediately declared the withdrawal of certificates of recognition of chiefs in affected communities.
Announcing plans to restore the state’s peaceful glory, Ayade said security details were being well analysed and that nine points of entry and exit in the state and security agencies would commence full stop and check and frisking to uncover criminal gangs.
He said the state has been further sectorised into small security units for better policing.
He said the state has concluded arrangements to purchase 30 security vehicles and expand security networks in the state, even as he reiterated the state’s plans to establish a Homeland Security Service.
Ayade, who also described the current security challenges in the state as very insulting to the state’s peaceful heritage urged residents to always be on the red alert to report any appearances of security breach in their environment.
He further reassured international communities and visitors of the state that with steps the state plans to take its safe glory shall return, even as he announced that plans for 2016 carnival have commenced in earnest. Cross River has the backing of international communities in its fight against insecurity, Ayade added.