BY AMOS DUNIA, ABUJA – Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State on Wednesday said the State government has accepted responsibility for the face-off between officers and men of the Nigerian Navy and Police in Calabar which occurred on Tuesday night.
Ayade, who regretted the incident, promised to take full responsibility for all the associated damages on both sides just as he appealed to the officers and men of security agencies operating in the state to see themselves as partners in progress at all times.
Governor Ayade, who stated these while addressing newsmen after an emergency meeting of the State Security Council at Government House, Calabar on Wednesday, said the senior officers of the two security agencies were quite proactive by intervening fast to arrest the ugly situation that resulted into shooting and burning down of a Police station.
The governor said the Security Council is proud to announce that Calabar and indeed, Cross River State is totally calm and peaceful, thus urged the citizenry to go about their businesses as normalcy has returned to the affected area.
He said; “I just met with all the Service Commanders on the incident that happened at about 6:00pm yesterday in a Security Council meeting to re-assure residents, the citizenry and indeed Nigerians that the whole area is calm after the unfortunate incident that arouse from the misunderstanding between the officers, one from the police Force and a Naval officer.
“This has nothing to do with rivalry between the Nigerian Police and the Navy. It was just about two individuals disagreeing at the point and leading to reinforcement from their barracks. Luckily, their senior officers and their commanders quickly intervened and the place is calm.
“The area and entire Calabar is already agog to receive the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo tomorrow.”
Also speaking on the incident, the Commander, Nigerian Navy Victory Command, Navy Commodore Sid Jubril said he is saddened by the incident that happened on Tuesday night, adding however that he was delighted that normalcy has returned.
Jubril further said; “The incident only affected a portion of IBB and not the entire metropolis and we are fully on ground to prevent possible escalation.
“Let me assure you that the culprits will be brought to book, properly investigated and appropriate sanctions meted on them. Adequate protection of lives and property of the citizenry is guaranteed.
Speaking in similar manner, the Cross River State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Inuwa Hafiz said the unfortunate fracas has nothing to do with the relationship between the Police and Navy.
According to him; “It was just a misunderstanding amongst our junior officers that led to the incident which we quickly stepped in to address. We are glad to announce to the populace that Calabar and the entire state is calm and our status as the safest state remains without a doubt.
“All the service commanders in the state are one and active partners in progress, particularly on issues of security and protection of lives and property of the citizenry.
“In life, you cannot rule out such misunderstanding totally but we are more determined and ready to move above board in discharging our constitutional responsibilities.”
The Police Commissioner assured that the matter will be thoroughly investigated and offenders properly sanctioned.