- Flay rising crime rate in C-River
BY EDMOND ODOK, ABUJA – Disturbed by the worsening security situation in Cross River State, media practitioners on the platform of Cross River State Journalists Forum (CROSSJOF) have challenged Governor Ben Ayade to take urgent measures at addressing the unhealthy development.
Raising alarm over the heightening rate of crime and criminality, especially in Calabar, the state capital, CROSSJOF warned that political activities ahead of the 2019 general will be gravely endangered if the situation is not brought under control.
In a communique issued at the end of their monthly congress in Abuja, the journalists also expressed fears that an unsafe and unsecured environment will make the State unattractive to potential investors.
Signed by its Chairman and Secretary, Messrs Gabriel Odu and David Odama, the Communique said; “The level of criminality, cult activities across the state especially in Calabar calls for serious concern. We call on Governor Ben Ayade to live by his constitutional mandate of securing the lives and welfare of the people by reining in the criminals, cultists and their sponsors.”
The communique further stated that; “Cross River state is known as the Peoples Paradise but unfortunately it is gradually becoming a den of cultists, robbers and all sorts of criminal elements, and this should not be allowed to persist.
“It is instructive to let the governor know that all his industrial efforts will amount to waste if the issue of security is not properly addressed as investors look for secure environment.”
According to CROSSJOF, the current high level of brigandage in places like Boki, Calabar South, Obanliku, Obudu and other violent-prone areas is unfortunately being fuelled by unscrupulous politicians, even as it charged relevant security agencies to arrest the ugly development to secure the lives and property in the State.
The body also urged parents to caution their wards against cult activities, stressing that needless death and loss of property would be avoided if the youth are resolute in shunning crime and the temptation of political thuggery.
Similarly, the journalists pleaded with Cross Riverians to be more circumspect in voting people into political offices, insisting that elected officials and public officeholders must always give account of their stewardship in line with the 1999 constitution as amended.
The Forum maintained that as the fourth estate of the realm, it would not shy away from the constitutionally recognized role of holding government and public officials accountable to the people.