Less than 24 hours after the Cross River State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade, joined security agencies in a show of force in Calabar, there is a noticable presence of security personnel in all major streets in the state capital.
Along Marian Road alone, about eight detachment of security personnel drawn from all the forces, where seen at strategic locations keeping watch.
The governor had Saturday defied the rain to team up with service commanders to carry out the Operation Show of Force, signalling the determination of his administration to go after criminal elements in the state.
Briefing journalists shortly after the exercise, Ayade explained that the exercise was a deliberate measure to let the miscreants know that his team was in absolute control of the entire situation.
He 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 totally safe,” adding that “we have done a complete surveillance of all the possible routes, all the water areas through which these criminals escape.”
Continuing, he said: “We know who they are, the security and intelligence report has shown clearly the people who are behind all these activities and I can assure the people of Cross River State that Calabar is indeed peaceful and they should go about their legitimate businesses peacefully.”
The governor who affirmed that all specific locations have been marked, even as access to water fronts will be cut off, hinted that “we are also embarking on a door to door search, and cordoning off of Calabar to ensure that nobody exits without a thorough search.”
Ayade further added: “I am sure that with the number of combat vehicles, with the armoury they (criminals) saw on display today, including military officers, combined team, Operation Skolombo, all on duty, tells you that Cross River State is an action state and we can’t afford the agony of having any tension any more.”
On measures to sustain the exercise, the governor explained: “As a fallout of our security meeting yesterday (Friday) and today, we will make adequate budgetary provision, reduce some of our spendings while transferring some of the overheads to guarantee sufficient ammunition as well as other security and logistics support.”
Commenting, the state Commissioner of Police, Jimoh Ozi-Obeh, promised that his men would continue to protect the lives and property of the citizenry.
“Those who have legal businesses should go about them peacefully, but those who have illegal businesses should run away, “the police commissioner warned.
The state Security Adviser, Mr. Jude Ngaji, expressed government’s readiness to tackle the menace, pointing out that “in a couple of days, the security challenge being experienced in the state will be a thing of the past.”