By: PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
Akwa Ibom State Government’ has refuted claims that hoodlums who destroyed and looted property in Cross River State under the guise of EndSARS protest were brought in from Akwa Ibom.
The Cross River Police Command Public Relations Officer, DSP Irene Ugbo had alleged that the perpetrators of the dastardly acts of looting and arson that occurred in the Cross River State Capital, Calabar, Cross River state capital were transported from Akwa Ibom state.
But the Akwa Ibom State Government’ in a statement signed by its Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Ini Ememobong described the DSP Ugbo statement as untrue and misleading.
Ememobong in the statement said the Akwa Ibom State Government”s refutal to the claim was arrived at at a review of the evidence gathered from security agencies in the state.
The statement, “This State Government’s position was arrived at after a comprehensive review of existing evidence by security agencies in our state. It became clear that the attacks on public and private property in Calabar was not and could not have been carried out by people who were transported from our state for that purpose, as there was no such transportation of hoodlums by water, from our state to Cross River State, as claimed by some fake reports.
“There is a clear difference between an act committed by non-indigenous residents and that committed by people who are visiting for the purpose of commuting crime.
“The statement by the PPRO paints a picture that the hoodlums left Akwa Ibom to Cross River to commit the crime, this is false as both Naval Ships and other security agencies within the jurisdiction can attest that there was no such movement.”
“We are deeply concerned about such a careless statement by a Police Officer, as it has the capacity to create strife between the sister states. Moreover, We are also conscious that the now dreaded and globally condemned Xenophobia has its origin in such negative indiscretions.”
Ememobong further said, “We hereby restate here and for the records that, no hoodlums were loaded and transported in boats from Akwa Ibom to Cross River State as claimed by some reports and that the people who wrecked the senseless carnage in Calabar, did not go from Akwa Ibom State to commit the crime.”