Cross River State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, has vouched to deplore everything at his disposal to ensure the protection lives and property in the state. Ayade gave the assurance yesterday in Calabar when he undertook the inspection of the deployment of security operatives at strategic places around the Calabar metropolis.
This came barely 48 hours after he joined service commanders on Operation Show of Force, an exercise aimed at demonstrating the combat readiness of the joint military task force code named Operation Skolombo along major streets in the metropolis. He said: “We have responded fully to this challenge and I’m sure that we have seen sufficient signals that we are totally in control and fully in charge. The truth of the matter is that, if we have crisis in other states, visitors will probably still go there because of their oil and gas installations, but if we lose our tranquility, if we lose the name and heritage of Cross River State as a peaceful state, then we are gone. That is why I will give my right hand to protect that name, that integrity and warmth that we are known for.” Reaffirming his willingness to totally eliminate all forms of criminalities in the state, Ayade said: “Let me assure the good people of Cross River that I am the governor who leads from the front and that is why I physically do this every day and we are seeing drastic results. So, gradually we are beginning to see peace return, as we begin to see calm return, then I shall move backward and allow security operatives to take full charge.” The governor described perpetrators of the evil acts as enemies of the state who are bent on destabilising the beauty, peace, tranquility and panache that the people of Cross River and indeed, Calabar is known for He further stressed: “We can’t afford to have this happen. We will go after them, we will pursue them like a chronic plague that they are and we are going to get them out of this state sooner than they expect.” Specifically, he said: “We have strong information as to their hideout; we have strong information as to their location. We do know that these people are not Cross Riverians, they are here to destabilise us and I would not allow that happen. As I said, we have specific instructions and clear directions, we have clear knowledge of the people, we are going after them and we shall go after them and we shall get them.” Offering insights into the enforcement of safety measures on Calabar waterways which have had its own bite of piracy and militancy activities in recent times, the governor explained: “I have just concluded an audit of the water ways; I am convinced and happy with what I have seen in terms of security distributions.”
He lauded efforts of the security operatives for their efforts in containing the situation so far, saying “I am quite excited about the response by the Military and indeed all the para-military forces that have come together to arrest the situation and gradually Calabar is regaining its peace.”
While apologising to those assaulted by the miscreants at some points, Ayade said: “Please bear with us, things will get well soon; I already received strong and clear signals as you can see that normalcy is gradually returning. I am fully on ground and fully in charge, we shall overcome.”
He assured residents and visitors to the state, particularly investors of their safety and urged them to go about their legitimate businesses.
On the current waste situation and the approach adopted to restore the greenery and cleanliness of the metropolis, Ayade explained: “We have increased the number of bins and dumpsters, we have increased the number of evacuation trucks and today, Calabar is clean and green again.”
Continuing he said: “Of course, we can agree that there is really huge increase in the number of human beings in Calabar in relation to waste generation and accordingly, we have expanded our scope to deal with the issues of sanitation.”
Speaking on urban afforestation, headed: “We have equally initiated a new programme which is urban afforestation. Commencing with the Green Police and you can take a royal look at the atmosphere and I’m sure if your camera man can pan round, you can see that Calabar is really clean and green again.”