The Cross River State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade has launched a special operation, code-named operation Akpakwu, to flush out criminals from the state, especially kidnappers.
Speaking at the event, Governor Ayade said though statistics indicate that the state remains one of the safest in the country, he decried recent incidents of criminality, especially kidnappings in the state.
Handing over 100 patrol vehicles fitted with cutting edge communication gadgets, power bikes, and drones to service commanders in the state, Ayade vowed to return the state, particularly Calabar, to the paradise it once was.
Upon distributing the vehicles to security agencies, the governor asked every criminal in the state to relocate immediately as the state will no longer be a haven for their kind.
“Cross River State statistically remains the safest state in Nigeria, however as a state, we are used to the culture of zero kidnappings, zero cultism, and zero robberies.
“In recent past, there has been an increase in the number of crimes within the Niger Delta and the country as a whole arising from the difficulty orchestrated by Endsars as well as Covid19 which brought a general poverty and general hardship upon the entire world,” the governor said.
According to him, “the instruction is very clear from Abuja, you must deal decisively with any form of criminality, you must deal decisively with any form of banditry, cultism, the kidnapping of any form.
“Let this, therefore, be a strong message to every Cross Riverian and nonindigenes alike, that as far as you are resident in Cross River State, today is the end of that criminality.
“Today is the end of armed robbery, banditry must end today. We have received very clear instructions from the federal government and I have supported and I stand strong with all my military men and the police that they must comply with the obligations, the instructions and orders of the Inspector General of Police and the commander in chief of the Nigerian armed forces that Cross River State must be made safe.”
The governor blamed the spate of kidnappings and robberies in the state on outsiders, citing the police records of those arrested so far in the state over crimes.
He stated that going forward every landlord in the state must account for every tenant as part of the regulations which he has signed into the law, under Homeland security.
The governor also declared that under this operation “Akpakwu” government will henceforth demolish any property belonging to, or being occupied by kidnappers and robbers.
He decried the noninclusion of the Bakassi Strike Force in the Amnesty programme of the Federal Government after voluntarily surrendering their arms at the behest of the state and federal government.
“We want to ask the federal government to explain to us why the Bakassi Strike Force has not been given proper restitution, rehabilitation, and reintegration as they have done in other states.
“I plead in the name of God that the Bakassi strike force should be admitted into amnesty so that they can have their due and be properly trained so they can become citizens that will bring value to society,” he lamented