BY ARCHIBONG EYO, CALABAR – The Cross River State Deputy Governor, Professor Ivara Esu has demanded an investigation and appropriate punishment for perpetrators of the recent clash between the Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Police force that led to loss of lives and property worth millions of Naira in Calabar.
Accordingly, he said a thorough investigation should be conducted to fish out those behind the unfortunate disturbance of public peace in the state capital and ensure such shameful act does not repeat itself.
Addressing the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ette Ibas, who paid a courtesy visit to Government House, Calabar, Professor Esu expressed shock at the incident involving the two sister Security Agencies and the crass destruction of public property.
He said the State Government is ready to collaborate with the relevant authorities to unravel the immediate and remote causes of this highly disappointing incident, stressing that anyone involved in causing and escalating the ill-fated crisis must be appropriately disciplined as a deterrent to those that may want to embark on such hideous misdemeanor in future.
The Deputy Governor however commended the Service Commanders of the Nigerian Navy and Police Force in the State for their quick intervention and efforts at resolving the crisis and putting the situation under control.
Describing the ugly incident as a sad display of overzealousness by a few low ranking officers of the two security forces, Prof Esu urged members of the public to shun the temptation of painting it as open rivalry between the Navy and Police in the state.
In his remarks, the Chief of Naval Staff, represented by the Chief of Training and Operations, Naval Headquarters, Abuja, Rear Admiral Adeniyi Osinowo told Prof Esu that his visit was to condole with the government and people of the State over the unfortunate incident which resulted in the loss of lives and property.
He said the incident, which has created a yawning gap in the relationship between both security agencies, will be well investigated; assuring that a committee is on the way to probe the immediate and remote cause of the clash as well as recommend appropriate punishment for its perpetrators.
Vice Admiral Ibas pledged that the Nigerian Navy would consciously work towards preventing a recurrence of such dreadful episode so that Calabar and Cross River State in general can continuously enjoy the legendary ambience of peace and hospitality the State is noted for.
Also speaking at the occasion, the State Commissioner of Police, Hafiz Inuwa expressed delight with the Chief of Naval Staff’s visit to ascertain the level of destruction and also find lasting solutions to guard against a repetition of such disaster.
He assured the State Government of the Force readiness to cooperate with the Navy in reaching common grounds so that such ugly incidents would be a thing of the past.
The state Police boss however advocated continuous education and enlightenment for the rank and file of all security forces towards creating a cordial and mutually-beneficial relationship that ensures peaceful co-existence and understanding in the overall interest of the Nation.
Among those that met with the Deputy Governor were the Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Naval Command (FOC), J. O. Oluwale; Commander NNS Victory, Commodore S.I.D. Jubril; and the Deputy Commissioner of Police Operations, Mr. A. A. Madaki.