The governor of Cross River State, Senator Ben Ayade has declared total war on kidnappers and armed robbers in the state, as not less than six houses belonging to them have been demolished within 10 days.
Few days ago, five houses said to belong to kidnappers and other criminals in the state were demolished at Eight Miles on the outskirts of Calabar, and on Friday, the security outfit code named “Operation Akpakwu” demolished the Save Side Hotel also at Eight Miles for harbouring suspected kidnappers that have been terrorising the state.
Consequently, Ayade has called on landlords, hotel and other hospitality facilities to ensure they know their tenants and also get complete details of their guests to avoid being caught in the web.
After the demolition, the state’s Security Adviser to the Governor, Mr. Henry Okokon, said the Homeland Security Bill, which was signed into law by Governor Ayade, clearly states that “anybody who aid, abet and harbour a criminal is also guilty of the crime… Most kidnap cases recorded in Calabar were planned and coordinated from hotels and brothels, including some residential apartments.”
Residents of the area, he said, were living in constant fear because of harassment from suspected kidnappers, who took over the hotel for illegal activities.
He said: “The demolition exercise is an ongoing process. It is part of the activities of Operation Akpakwu that was set up to fight criminality in the state, especially kidnapping.
“The governor has warned landlords who are harbouring criminals to desist from doing so. Therefore, anybody found to be harbouring, abetting or aiding crime must definitely be held responsible. This hotel is one of the buildings that have been harbouring criminals and the government has decided to bring it down…”
Okokon explained that before any demolition is carried out, security operatives always carry out thorough investigation.
Recall that 10 kidnappers, armed robbery and rape suspects were last week paraded by the state Police Command.