No C/River LG under militants’ control – Ayade, security chiefs
Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has denied claims by pirates terrorising the Bakassi creeks that they are in control of Akpabuyo and Bakassi local government areas of the state.
He however acknowledged that as in other Niger Delta states of Nigeria, there were some militants operating in Bakassi local government area.
He said, “There is no way they (militants) can take control of the two local government areas as claimed in the media. Last Friday, at our state security council meeting, we had appealed to the federal government to kindly extend the Operation Delta Safe to Cross River State because we are part of the Niger Delta region where you have these criminals operating. Federal government should not leave us standing alone in this regard even though we know that ODS is to protect oil pipelines in those states.”
Over the weekend, Ayade and service commanders in the state embarked on Operation Show of Force across Calabar, an exercise he said was to send a clear message to militants, kidnappers, armed robbers and cultists that he and his government were determined to weed them out.
He had said, “We are out here as a show of force to demonstrate that we are in absolute control and we are going to keep Calabar and other parts of the state totally safe. We have done a complete surveillance of all the possible routes, all the water areas through which these criminals escape… I can assure the people of Cross River State that Calabar is indeed peaceful and they should go about their legitimate businesses peacefully.”
The state Commissioner of Police, Jimoh Ozi-Obeh and special adviser on security to Ayade, Jude Ngaji, said security personnel had moved to the two local government areas in question to maintain law and order.