Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, on Thursday, launched a special operation to flush out criminals and kidnappers from the state.
Code-named Operation Akpakwu, the outfit draws personnel from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Civil Defence.
To enhance operations, the governor handed over 100 patrol vehicles, ten power bikes and drones to the outfit.
Speaking at the event, Ayade vowed to return the state, particularly Calabar, to the ‘paradise’ it once was.
The governor said, “Cross River State statistically remains the safest state in Nigeria, however as a state, we are used to the culture of zero kidnapping, zero cultism and zero robbery.
“In recent past, there has been an increase in the number of crime within the Niger Delta and the country as a whole arising from the difficulty orchestrated by #EndSARS as well as Covid-19 which brought general poverty and general hardship upon the entire world.
“The instruction is very clear from Abuja, you must deal decisively with any form of criminality,you must deal decisively with any form of banditry, cultism, and kidnapping of any form.
“Let this, therefore, be a strong message to every Cross Riverian and non-indigenes alike,that as far as you are resident in Cross River State, today is the end of that criminality.”
The governor blamed the spate of kidnappings and robberies in the state on outsiders, citing the police records of those arrested so far in the state over crimes.
He stated that going forward every landlord in the state must account for every tenant as part of the regulations which he has signed into law under the Homeland Security.
Speaking on behalf of the service commanders in the state, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Abdulkadir Jimoh, commended Ayade for the move and pledged the commitment of security agencies in the state to keeping Cross River safe and free from criminals,