•Calabar is safe – Inuwa, CP
By Ike Uchechukwu
CALABAR- FOLLOWING the relocation of many Igbo businessmen from Calabar and other parts of Cross River State to neighbouring Akwa Ibom and Ebonyi states, the Cross River State Government has introduced a new coding system on commercial vehicles, including tricycles plying the state to curb armed robbery, kidnapping and other crimes.
Governor Ben Ayade
Exercise to tackle insecurity– Ngagi
Mr. Jude Ngaji, a Senior Special Assistant, SSA, Security to Governor Ben Ayade, told NDV that the measure was to create a data bank of all the commercial vehicle operators in the state with a view to curbing insecurity in the metropolis and the state at large.
“The operators have all filled forms giving their full details, so, if a case is reported about a vehicle, all we do is simply check the system and know who the owner of the vehicle is.
“We are being proactive, knowing that these criminal activities happen around us every day and we need to curb them. This is not an indictment on any commercial vehicle operator, but it is something we must do to ensure that most of the common criminal cases are reduced,” he said.
He said the state government would handle the cost implications of registering and giving codes to the commercial vehicles in all the local government areas of the state.
…Govt‘ll bear cost of registration
“I heard that a token was paid by the commercial operators for the registration and codes, but I am going to order all that to be returned to the operators and see that it becomes the full responsibility of the state government,” Ngaji added.
The security adviser, however, called on commercial vehicle operators who use their vehicles to engage in criminal activities to refrain from such as the state would employ necessary methods to curb their activities.
We support measure – Ewa, Tricycles Association chair
Reacting, chairman, Tricycle Owners Association of Nigeria, TOAN, in the state, Joseph Ewa said the measure would help in identifying the evil ones, who pose as ‘Keke riders’ to commit various forms of crimes.
“We have heard numerous complaints of people forgetting their belonging in a keke and they were not brought to the office, so they could be returned to the owners,” he said.
It’ll reduce crime – Okon
Also speaking, chairman, Unified Commercial Drivers in Cross River, Effiong Okon, said though the system was new in Cross River; it had been in existence in other states and even abroad.
Okon noted that the development would surely reduce crime as it is easy to identify the new codes boldly written on the vehicles than identifying the number plates on commercial vehicles.
Crime wave down in C’River – Police Commissioner
Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hafiz Inuwa, told NDV: “There will always be criminally- minded people in the society but as security operatives, we are very proactive in our action, we are not reactive because we want to prevent crime even before it happens.
“You must have observed that the crime wave is on the decline as we speak, we have raided a lot of criminal hideouts in the city and we have charged a lot of people to court for various crimes. We know and believe that once that confidence is regained, a lot of people, even new businesses, will come back to Calabar.
“But I can assure you that Calabar remains one of the safest cities in West Africa, because you can walk the streets till dawn because we have increased patrol and surveillance and we have changed our tactics in a bid to tackle the menace of armed robbery, cultism and kidnapping,” he said.