The Cross River State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, has warned criminals in the state to look elsewhere for their nefarious activities as they will soon be flushed out of their various hideouts.
He disclosed that he has written to President Muhammadu Buhari for help in tackling the rising tide of insecurity in the state, especially its capital, Calabar, and the surrounding communities.
Gov Ayade, who made the announcement while briefing journalists on the security situation in the state, also said his administration has rolled out immediate security measures to provide safety for lives and property of the people in every part of the state.
He blamed the increasing criminal activities in the state to the non-extension of the operations of the new security outfit for the Niger Delta region, ‘Operation Delta Safe’ to the state after the Federal Government scrapped ‘Operation Pulo Shield.’
“We have done a detailed research. It is very obvious and very clear too that the existence of Operation Pulo Shield which was to provide security for the Niger Delta which underwent a lot of restructuring and in more recent times replaced with Operation Delta Safe.
“The Operation Delta Safe, as it were, focused more on the oil pipelines and protection of states that have oil pipelines, so it started in Akwa Ibom and ended in Delta State. Therefore the federal security might that precipitated on those core Niger Delta areas, made Cross River and Calabar a safe haven for these criminals. And that is why in the recent past, we have had these reported incidents.
“Obviously, with the detailed analysis of the service commanders, it became very clear that we needed an emergency SOS report to the President to plead that Operation Delta Safe must be extended to cover Cross River State, otherwise Cross River would be a lone state, standing alone without security cover, while the Niger Delta is covered by Operation Delta Safe.”
“We have identified the homes of the kingpins, we have the coordinates of their armoury, we have a clear picture of their modus operandi and we are working on a massive attack, we are coming after them,” Gov Ayade further stated, identifying nemployement and the infiltration of the state by non-indigenous persons as other contributors to increase in crime wave in the state.
“The second and major challenge is the great issue on unemployment and the challenge of young men and women conniving with people who are not Indigenes of this state to harbour this criminals.
“From our security reports, we have arrested 47 people so far ,and of these, none is a Cross Riverian. And that gives me good news that the culture, the heritage, character, integrity and honour of the people of this state has not changed; but the massive infiltration of the state by non-indigenes,”Ayade said.
However, Ayade said the state has adopted some immediate measures to restore the normally to the states security situation.