The media have been awash with screaming headlines of killings, destructions and arson on border communities in Cross River State which have ruined the socio- economic life of people in these areas.
From Ukelle in northern Cross River to Abi, Obubra in the central, down to Biase in the south, we are inundated with news of bloody attacks on the people sharing boundaries with Cross River, Ebonyi and Abia states.
Recently, the governor of Cross River, Prof Ben Ayade, obviously touched by the full-fledged war going on in Ukelle,Osokpong in Obubra, Otumah in Biase and many other border communities, enjoined the Nigerian Airforce , under the leadership of Air Vice Marshal Sadique Abubakar, to carry out helicopter flights to check and ascertain the security situation in these areas, to mitigate the killings and arson .
That call was as patriotic as it was timely. The need for the Nigerian Airforce to domesticate at least one aircraft in Cross River state to give the needed protective cover on crisis prone communities remains critical to a sustained push towards securing life and property in war torn boundary communities of the state. This will not only douse the fragile security challenge in the area, but give confidence to the people living in these troubled spots.
Cross River State as an international gateway in Central Africa bounded by Cameroon and blessed with two airports in the state, the task of domesticating a combat ready aircraft would be easy and useful as it would exactly identify potential threats to peace in the area.
Indeed, the 305 Special Mobility Group of the Nigerian Airforce domiciled in Calabar with a wing in Lagos can play very crucial role in ensuring enhanced and sustained drive towards aerial surveillance in this war torn communities.
Beyond the cry for help from the governor, necessary intelligence gathering in the area of geographical mapping and footpaths needed should be giving as support for its smooth operation.
It is our belief that the National Assembly should also see this as an issue of urgent public importance. In this wise, we urge legislators from the state to stimulate an action capable of eliciting empathy from colleagues. In unison, the cry may ring louder to the service chief in charge of aerial combat.
In the same vein, the National Boundary Commission, NBC, should muster the political will to check the bloodbath.The orgy of clashes in border communities should not only be a source of great concern but one that needs urgent attention. Therefore, the call for an aerial surveillance is not only apt but timely in view of the spiralling effect on the socio-economic lives of people under this dangerous trend of destruction in border communities. All relevant agencies of the government should take this as another important assignment. Afterall, the government exists for the purpose of protecting the citizens.