.Clergy escapes with bullet wounds
CP is storming the scene for assessment – PPRO
Palpable fears have gripped road users plying the Calabar Ikom Highway in Cross River as suspected herdsmen in collaboration with some locals are running riots having extended their dragnet for kidnapping activities to the lone route linking Calabar to the rest of the state and other parts of the the country .
Within a spate of two months, almost twenty travelers including four doctors have been kidnapped around the dreaded axis of the highways but purportedly rescued by security officials after huge ransoms and a warning strike by the state branch of the Nigerian Medical Association
In the latest operation by the gunmen yesterday evening,a former accountant general of the state ( names withheld )under Donald Duke administration and four others were abducted, sending jitters down the spines of road users either assessing or exiting the capital city of Calabar
Findings by Summit Post revealed that the latest victims were abducted by the gunmen arising from a siege on the potholes ravaged axis of the busy highway after sporadic gunshots intended to immobilize targeted vehicles
A renowned cleric in the state, Evangelist Edim Edim Omin had God to appreciate as he luckily escaped with bullet wounds and is now receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital.
Further probes by Summit Post indicates that the kidnapped former account general who was in company of her driver was abducted around 5pm on Tuesday after routine inspection trip from her farm located at Ekpri Iko, Iwuru in Biase,Cross River South.
The attack came barely 24 hours after the State Police Command, apparently acting on a tip off announced it has deployed cracked tactical teams, including the Anti-Cultism and Kidnapping Squad to the notorious axis of the highway to curtail raids now assuming a recurring decimal status.
When newsmen visited the scene Wednesday morning , various security outfits in combat gear were sighted on the road notable, Anti Kidnapping Squad, Operation Akpakwu, Operation Sting , Operation Restore Peace stationed at different points on the road in an apparent show of force intended to restore sanity.
Contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer of the Command, SP Irene Ugbo confirmed the Tuesday’s incident disclosing that the Command is working towards rescuing the four victims unhurt
She reiterated that the Command is working to see that normalcy return to that axis of the spot,
“It is a sad reality for us and as I speak with you, the Commissioner of Police is heading to that axis to access situation of things himself,” she stated.
However,a senior security official who preferred anonymity stated that the new dimension of security threats ravaging the state will linger as long as the state government continue to pay lips service to the security apparatus in the state.
He revealed that daily allowances,monthly imprest,patrol vehicles which are readily available in other states to motivate security personnel in order to guarantee optimum performance are a rarity in Cross River State.
According to him,” before the Western government listed Cross River State as one of Nigeria’s security flash points in their lastest memo warning their citizens in Nigeria,we,acting on intelligence submitted a memo to Governor Ben Ayade for the procurement of a surveillance drone and accessories to enable us to pinpoint and flush out the invading bandits from potential hideouts in the forest.”
“Since we submitted the memo,about four state executive council meetings presided over by Ayade have taken place,the issue was not even listed for consideration nor approval. You can verify from Dr Mboto, the Permanent Secretary in charge of Special Duties if he will be bold enough to speak.We can not otherwise” . he fumed.
The new security threat, coupled with the perennial kidnapping incidents rattling the state capital might scuttle the Calabar Carnival struggling to bounce back after a two years lull.