By; VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
Determined to rid the state of all forms of crime and criminality, Cross River State Governor, Senator Ben Ayade, on Wednesday reiterated his administration’s commitment to leave no stone unturned in other to retain its status as the most peaceful in the country.
Ayade gave the commitment shortly after the weekly Security Council meeting with all security and service commanders as well as the commissioner of Police at the Exco Chambers on Wednesday.
Briefing journalists on the outcome of the meeting, pointed out that “part of the measures the council adopted was to get the state capital, particularly Calabar South local government area, sufficiently lit”.
The governor also disclosed that the state security outfit, Homeland Security, will be overhauled and more energy injected with complementary logistics and financial support as well as more personnel drawn from the armed forces and other security operatives in the state to enhance their operation.
Decrying the impact of the ongoing crisis in Southern Cameroon on the state, the governor narrated: “Let me bring to the knowledge of Cross Riverians and indeed Nigerians that 80 percent of security issues we are dealing with is a as result of the war just by our borders.
“The Southern Cameroon gorilla warfare is basically the Amazonians trying to secede from Cameroon. And as a result, there is an influx of persons into the country through over 27 illegal routes, who smuggle in goods of different kinds, sell them and use the money to acquire arms, recruit our young men and women and use them as machineries to fight back home.
“As a matter of fact, this is an international issue, completely outside the scope of the governor of a state and should be handled by the Presidency. It is against this background that we are addressing a letter to Mr. President officially soliciting his support to address these security challenges in the state occasioned by the illegal immigrants of Southern Cameroon to the state,” Ayade disclosed.
Continuing the governor said: “I will not hesitate to cry out that Cross River State has been left hanging and crying in this crisis. Aside from the humanitarian effort in addressing the issues in food security in the refugee camps and the communal skirmishes, the state has not received any special incentives knowing that a war at your backyard is a war in your house.”
Ayade further stressed: “Let me say again and again here that the war in Cameroon has direct negative impact on Cross River State and until we receive the needed federal attention, we will remain vulnerable to the daunting security challenges.
“Let me once again appeal to Mr. President and the National Security Adviser to as a matter of urgency intervene in the security issues in Cross River by ensuring that all military platforms are adequately upgraded and the police fully funded to tackle the rising cases of crimes in the state.”
Disclosing further decisions taken at the security meeting the governor stated: “Cross River and indeed Calabar is too beautiful, our people are too peaceful for what is battling us now. It is only from this security meeting that we realize that the only way we can address this issue is to address the illegal routes through which weapons, illegal goods and the rest enter into Calabar. Today, Calabar has become an illegal trading route by the immigrants who use same to acquire weapons as I mentioned earlier.”
On the inter states crisis, Ayade stated that, Cross River is at war with over four states bordering it, stressing that “these are issues that relate to land disputes long before my own father was born. So, as the governor, while struggling to deal with the internal issues, I am now confronted with international issues beyond the magnitude that the state can carry.
“So, again I use this opportunity to call on Mr. President to please intervene, not for me as state governor, but to support the service commanders and the Nigerian Police for them to effectively and efficiently carryout out their statutory duties of protecting the country”.