By Ita Abasi
Calabar, Cross River State – Operations at the Cross River State Ministry of Education headquarters in Calabar have yet to resume normalcy following a brazen armed robbery attack that left the ministry’s Director of Finance, Dennis Usibe, critically injured. The incident occurred yesterday afternoon when armed assailants stormed the ministry premises, located at Michael Ani Secretariat, and opened fire on Usibe as he was exiting his car after returning from a bank transaction.
The attack sent shockwaves through the ministry, with staff scrambling for safety. The robbers, who were clad in military attire, managed to escape with a “Ghana must go” bag reportedly containing millions of naira stolen from the ministry.
Upon arriving at the scene today, Summit Post News observed that most offices remained locked, and the car park was deserted, with only a handful of police officers guarding the premises.
The Cross River State Police Command has confirmed the robbery and assured the public that a tactical team is actively pursuing the suspects. Police Public Relations Officer, SP Irene Ugbo, provided an update on the situation, stating that Usibe is currently recovering after undergoing a successful operation to remove the bullets from his thigh.
The robbery has further heightened the anxiety of Calabar residents, who have been grappling with a surge in kidnappings this year. According to reports, over 30 residents have been abducted since the beginning of 2023, with ransom payments reaching millions of naira.
The fate of Professor Ekanem Ephraim, a renowned neurologist at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, UCTH, remains uncertain. Abducted from her home on July 13, her whereabouts are still unknown despite repeated assurances from the state government and police.
In a separate development, the abductors of Professor Egaga, Head of the Servicom unit at the University of Calabar, have reduced their ransom demand from N50 million to N15 million.
The authorities need to take urgent action to address the escalating security challenges in Calabar.