Akwa Ibom Govt Rejects Police Anti-terrorism Unit

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Okon Bassey in Uyo

Akwa Ibom State Government has rejected the plan by the state Police Command to set up anti-terrorism unit, saying such outfit is part of the ground work and ploy of the All Progressives Congress (APC), to illegally intimidate, harass and arrest government functionaries and the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.

The state Commissioner for Information, Mr. Charles Udoh, alleged in a statement yesterday that in view of all indices that precede the creation of such sensitive anti-crime unit, creating an anti-terrorism unit in the state at this time is suspect.

The commissioner wondered what an anti-terrorism unit of the police would be used for in one of the most peaceful states in Nigeria.

He further alleged that as the 2019 general elections approach and political tempo assumes a crescendo pitch, a functional anti-terrorism unit in the state, will certainly arrest and detain whosoever it wills, on trumped up charges of acts of terrorism.

The state government also raised the alarm that a former Chief Security Officer to former Governor Godswill Akpabio, has been redeployed to the state, with tactical instructions on how to successfully execute the unholy agenda of the APC leadership in the state.

“While acknowledging that the Force retains the right to create units as it deems necessary, Akwa Ibom State government frowns at attempts by the Police hierarchy to portray Akwa Ibom State as a terrorist enclave in Nigeria, by its planned establishment of an Anti-Terrorism Unit. It is the consensus of Nigerians that such sensitive section as the Anti-Terrorism Unit be activated and logistically mobilised to effectively function in parts of Nigeria where insurgency is rife, especially in the North-Eastern region, where lives of innocent Nigerians are lost on a daily basis.

“The activities of members of the Anti-Terrorism Unit will undoubtedly cause unwarranted tension among the peace-loving citizens and residents of Akwa Ibom State. This is absolutely unnecessary at this point in time especially if you take into account, the comments of the General Officer Commanding 6 Division of the Nigerian Army; who during a visit to the state publicly described Akwa Ibom State as the most peaceful in the Niger Delta region. It is also on record that not too long ago, the Emir of Kano led a team of investors seeking investment opportunities to the state. “

The business interest of the revered Traditional Ruler in our state further underscores the importance of the peace, safety and security the current administration has engendered. Indeed, this has been a catalyst for the fast-paced development the state has witnessed since the inception of the Udom Emmanuel’s administration.”

The state Government urged the state Police Command to put on hold, the plans to set up an Anti-Terrorism Unit in the state, adding that the present administration will continue its collaboration with all security agencies in the state, including the Nigeria Police, to ensure the safety of lives and property at all times.