November 30, 2021

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Addressing Insecurity In Cross River

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Chiemeka Adindu

Unarguably, insecurity is one of the major challenges the country has been battling with for a long time. It has remained one of the hot topics of the day as almost all the states of the federation are greatly affected, especially since the hijacking of the #ENDSARS protest across most cities in the country.

Social vices such as kidnapping, incessant communal war, armed robbery, jungle justice amongst others, are serious challenges the country must fight head on.

Since the fourth quarter of 2020, Calabar, the Cross River State Capital has witnessed spate of kidnappings which has made many public affairs analysts conclude that the city is gradually drifting into kidnapping capital of Nigeria.

Before now, Calabar was seen as the Canaan city and is known with the acronym, “Come And Live And Be At Rest,” but the recent records of kidnapping has rubbished all of that.

 

Even in the midst of the curfew imposed as a result of the recent vandalism and looting of most private and public property in the state, there were still records of kidnappings in the city. This has raised the dust concerning the safety of residents of the state.

Many times, various stakeholders in the state, including the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, traders in the state, lecturers, journalists have embarked on strikes, calling on the state government to address the issue. In fact, Calabar traders maintained that Calabar had become a safe haven for kidnappers which made them to shut down major markets in the city.

There are fears that many businessmen and investors may relocate from the state if the situation is not being addressed properly. This may also affect the longest and largest street party in Africa known as Calabar Carnival which hosts over 30 different countries across continents of the world.

It is therefore pertinent for the state government to, as a matter of urgency look for more proactive and sustainable ways to address the issue to ensure that the state does not lose its original status as the nation’s paradise.

The state governor who is the chief security officer of the state should engage security chiefs to create a concrete synergy on how to manage the situation otherwise, economic activities in the state may crumble as people now live in fear and agony.[frontpage_news widget=”2912″ name=”Also Read”]

Again, the government should introduce stiffer punitive measures for the perpetrators. The judiciary should not delay so much in persecuting the perpetrators, maybe this could be achieved when there is a substantive chief judge.

Most importantly, security is everyone’s business. Therefore, every resident of the state should take the issue seriously and be willing to report every suspicious move to security outlets to act promptly.

If this is not done, just as the prominent Lutheran German pastor, Martin Niemoller said, “first they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.” This is what might happen to those who have refused to act.

 

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