• Says mangrove forest now den of criminality

BY UBON EKANEM, CALABAR –The rich swamps and mangrove forest of Bakassi Local Government in Cross River State is now a fortress for international kidnapping activities, Forefront can authoritatively report.

Recently two kidnapping kingpins of Cameroonian origin were apprehended and paraded by security agencies in the South South state.

Most dreadfully, their confessions unmasked how the Bakassi mangroves bothering Nigeria and the Republic of Cameroon have suddenly become a safe haven for kidnappers and other illicit activities.

Forefront investigations revealed that most kidnapping victims are held captive within the dangerous swamps while negotiations for ransoms to be paid are ongoing.

Confirming the reign of terror being visited on innocent people within and outside the area, Chairman of Bakassi Local Government Council, Hon. Iyadim Amboni Iyadim said high tech crimes and kidnapping activities have become major challenges militating against socio-economic development in the local government.

Hon Iyadim said the situation is so terrible and therefore demands urgent intervention from both the Federal and Cross River state governments to smoke out these criminal gangs and generally checkmate their dangerous escapades in the area.

Speaking in an interview to celebrate activities marking his first 100 days in office, Hon Iyadim said the ugly development has led to many Council officials and staff members preferring to live in faraway Calabar, the Cross River State capital and commute to work in Bakassi to avoid the prying eyes and viciousness of deadly kidnapping gangs.

According to him, the situation is seriously hampering smooth operations of the Council because personnel now have to leave for home from work before the official closing hours.

He explained that the Council is losing huge man-hours as a sacrifice to ensure the workers find their way home safely and early enough to avoid being intercepted by these marauding agents of ransom payment.

The Chairman therefore called for increased border patrols, especially within the large expanse of mangroves and creeks that currently provide easy escape route for the kidnappers and their victims.

On work done so far in the past 100 days, the Council boss listed completion of the Legislative block housing the Councillors; Renovation and furnishing of the Chairman’s office among his administration’s achievements.

Others include massive renovation of the entire Council Secretariat; its digitalization through setting up of an official website complete with an email address, facebook account and twitter handle, including Youtube channel and WIFI services

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