Calabar residents express worry over lifting of curfew


 

Cross River State residents have expressed worry over the lifting of curfew by the state Governor, Prof Ben Ayade recently.

They said the governor was hasty in lifting the ban and that he ought to have allowed the status quo remain.

The residents claim that even when the curfew was from 7pm and later 10pm to 6am, there were still pockets of reports of crime here and there, especially, kidnappings and armed robbery.

They expressed worry that now the curfew has been lifted the state may come under more criminal attacks.

A good number have, however, commended the state government for activating the state security apparatus, ‘Operation Akpaku’ and donations of security vehicles to the police and other agencies.

Speaking about the state security outfit, a community leader in Mbukpa area of Calabar South LGA, Akabom Effiom encouraged the state government not to relax in the area of security.

“The state Operation Akpaku which is a combination of men from other security agencies have been proactive especially when they were newly established early last year.

“They were almost ubiquitous and would respond almost immediately to Save Our Souls calls from residents.

“For now, perhaps they may not be as active as they were. I have seen some lethargy in their spirit. Some of their vehicles have broken down. The governor whose brainchild it was, should rise to their needs and challenges.”

Another Calabar resident, Nelson Akpan, a store owner also spoke on the curfew.

“The security men who enforced the curfew attempted to enforce discipline in the lives of the people, especially those who crawled in the night.

“During the curfew, there was this fear in people that they do not have to stay outside beyond 10pm because if you were caught the soldiers would discipline you, detain you at the spot till next day or arrest you.

“That time too, there was some reduction in nighttime crimes. But now there is the fear that crimes would surge back thereby putting the lives of people at risk.”

Dr Alfred Mboto, permanent secretary and special adviser to Gov Ayade who is also the coordinator of Operation Akpaku, said the outfit is as active as it was when it was newly inaugurated.

He cautioned criminals to know that the eyes of security operatives are everywhere in Calabar and across the state.

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