U.S. based Security expert, Felix Asuquo has condemned the rising cases of kidnappings in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.
In a letter made handy to Journalists in Calabar on Monday, Asuquo described the incessant kidnappings in Calabar and environs as a sign of bad governance and called on Governor Ben Ayade to quickly address the abnormally.
Asuquo who identified himself as a Cross Riverian born in the diaspora said he is deeply troubled by the current appalling security situation in the state under Ayades’ administration and cannot in good conscience keep quiet at this time.
The letter read in part, “lt is only expedient that I write you this letter ahead of the yuletide when the people of Cross River for the first time will celebrate Christmas in great fear. Myself, just like every other person from Cross River in the diaspora, I am inundated with sad news on the ground of the incessant kidnappings in the state, unsettling images of potholes and litters of waste in the streets of Calabar with powerful images of hoodlums now overrunning the capital city of our very cherished state kept under your leadership.
“This year has particularly been a very challenging one for the people of Cross River; from having to battle with the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, to being denied palliatives and relief materials and then having to deal with the worst security situation ever in the state.
‘In the last two weeks, not less than 15 people were kidnapped, last week alone about nine persons were abducted”.
According to him, the security situation in Cross River state has gone so bad that, ‘even ordinary peasant street traders, small business owners, and farmers are being kidnapped. As gangs carry guns openly, dangerous dance groups carry machetes and other dangerous weapons going about unfettered. Kidnappers and hoodlums now overrun Calabar, a once peaceful and hospitable state”.
Asuquo alleged that, those arrested for kidnap or cultism were being released “without appropriate trials” thereby frustrating efforts of security operatives.
And in buttressing his thinking on a possible complicity of government in the untoward security lapse in the state, he said, “One of those whose houses were demolished for kidnapping at ward six, I learnt was still elected and sworn in as a Local Government Councillor. And this happened while the suspect was at large.”
Asuquo further stated: ‘’As a security expert, I know without doubt that for terror to take free stroll in the state despite security presence that there is so much disparity between your Government and the security agencies operating within the state.
”As the Governor, you have failed so much so that I hear you hardly hold security meetings with the security chiefs in the state nor do you utilize the monthly security votes to relevant agencies.
“Dear Mr Governor, the disparity between you and security agencies in the state has to be fixed for the state to regain its lost glory and become a Paradise city which the state is always known for. This current negative trend about the state has to stop.
Yuletide is here again, beyond Covid-19 being the reason for suspending the yearly carnival, the degenerating security situation of the state will force family celebrations to be flying at half-mast because of fear of not knowing who will become the next victim of kidnapping”.
Asuquo said, “We need a governor that puts the people of Cross River first before political interest and works for the best interest of the people. A Governor that understands that public safety is the spice to actualizing economic growth, and a better quality of life.”
According to the security expert: ‘In these trying times, the state needs a Governor that is a team player that takes advice from wages-earning aides and not ignorantly runs the state like his personal affairs. A Governor that acknowledges that the concerns of the people of Cross River are valid and deserve to be treated with all amount of respect, dignity and urgency.