Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River on Thursday launched a special operation to flush out criminals from the state, especially kidnappers.
Code-named “Operation Akpakwu”, the outfit draws personnel from the Army, Navy, Air Force and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps.
To enhance the operations, Mr Ayade handed over 100 patrol vehicles fitted with cutting edge communication gadgets, 10 power bikes and drones to the agency.
The governor, who was flanked by all the service commanders in the state at the event, vowed to return the state, particularly Calabar, to the paradise it once was.
He said that although statistics indicate that the state remains one of the safest in the country, recent incidents of criminality, especially kidnappings were alarming.
The governor, therefore, asked every criminal in the state to relocate immediately as the state will no longer be a haven for them.
According to Mr Ayade, the state will henceforth be too hot for kidnappers and other criminals, adding those caught would face the full wrath of the law.
“Cross River 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.
”This arises from the difficulty orchestrated by #EndSARS as well as COVID-19 which brought general poverty and hardship on the entire world.
“The instruction is very clear from Abuja, you must deal decisively with any form of criminality, banditry, cultism and kidnapping of any form.
“Let this therefore be a strong message to every resident in Cross River, today is the end of that criminality,” he said.
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 Cross River Commissioner of Police, Abdulkadir Jimoh, commended Mr Ayade for his proactive steps in crime-fighting.
He pledged the commitment of security agencies in the state to keep Cross River safe and free from criminals.