Chiemeka ADINDU, Calabar
Cross River State Police Command has said insecurity has come to stay in the state because of the number of maritime routes into the state. The command also attributed the recent kidnappings to the #EndSARS protest which led to withdrawal of policemen from the roads.
State commissioner of police, Abdulkadir Jimoh told TNN that if the policemen returns to the road immediately that it means they have not learnt their lessons. He however said they were working assiduously to ensure that the state becomes the safest place to stay. He disclosed that the state governor, Prof. Ben Ayade has donated some vehicles to security agencies to fortify the security outlets in the state.
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The CP who stated that there is no country or state with zero crime record however asserted that Cross River had the lowest crime record in the entire country when compared with other states. He said media reports had made it look as though the state was the worst in the country in terms of crime incidence. He appealed to the media to understand that the police were a product of the society, calling on them to always be factual in their reportage.
His words: “Generally speaking, go to police headquarters, Abuja. Go and look at crime incident report, you will see that Cross River is the lowest in Nigeria. If you compare the rate of kidnapping in Akwa Ibom, in Rivers, in Delta and other places in the south-south you will see that Cross River is the least. So there is no state or country in the world that has zero crime or kidnapping. So all we do is try to reduce it, which we have done.
“But the media are trying to raise the issue beyond what it is. Cross River is working and today the governor has given some security agencies vehicles to complement our efforts. You should understand that this is a maritime society with about 250 routes that lead to the sea, so if they just pick anybody, before you know, he is in the sea and most of the criminals are coming from outside Cross River State. But notwithstanding, we are doing our best to see that Cross River is safe for everybody to stay, it is not as bad as being portrayed.”
Responding to reports that the absence of policemen on the roads had contributed to the high rate of kidnapping in the state, he said, “one of the reasons why you people went on demonstration is that policemen were disturbing you on the road, that you don’t want policemen on the roads, so that’s what led to the #EndSARS; that you don’t want police on the road. If we bring them back on the road, it means that we have not learnt anything and no press has sympathized with the police for what we’ve lost both in material and human.
“We’ve lost our men, we lost our formations, we lost our arms and everything, we’ve not seen a media house that is dedicated to the course of the police. So you people should also try to see that police have rights, that police are human beings. The police also are products of the society. Write good things about the police so that their morale will be boosted and they will come back and work.
“Recently, I went round on advocacy visits. I was in Ugep, I was in Akamkpa, I have to appeal with them to forget the past and come back to work, which they have yielded. We’ve made series of arrests, we’ve recovered a lot of looted items and they are being parade and showcased. As at today, over 84 looters have been charged to Court.”
Calabar has recorded many kidnap cases in the past few weeks. In the mean time, many businesses have also been forced to temporarily close down as a result of the activities of kidnappers.