The governor of Cross River State, Prof. Ben Ayade has condemned the kidnap of nine motorists by gunmen suspected to be herdsmen.
GRASSROOT REPORTERS had reported that the heavily armed attackers opened fire on vehicles between Okomita and Uyanga axis of the Calabar – Ikom highway, abducting about nine passengers and injuring many.
Although the Cross River State Police command said the attack was carried out by armed robbers, some of the victims of the attack who escaped told GRASSROOT REPORTERS that their attackers were herdsmen.
GRASSROOT REPORTERS also reported that eight of the kidnap victims have been rescued by the Police while efforts are on to arrest the perpetrators.
In a statement he personally signed on Wednesday, Governor Ayade said the state government has requested for the deployment of Tucano aircraft to Uyanga forest to smoke out the bandits.
Ayade’s statement read in full:
“I condemn in the strongest terms, the attack and kidnapping of some motorists and commuters along the Akamkpa-Ugep axis of the Calabar-Ikom Highway yesterday, Tuesday, November 15, 2022.
“While we appreciate the commendable success so far recorded in the rescue operation which is ongoing, such acts of criminality cannot will not be allowed to take root in our state, as we are determined to ensure that the incident is the last on our soil.
“Our heart goes out to the victims and their families of this heinous crime which has violated tne innocence of Our state.
“I appeal for calm, support and cooporation of our people as security men comb through every nook and cranny of the Uyanga forest.
“We are a peace-loving people and as such will not allow criminality of any hue, to find a fertile ground anywhere in our state.
“We have made a request to the Federal Government to draft more troops to the Uyanga forest as well as the deployment of a Tucano aircraft.
“Additionally, we have activated the Homeland Security outfit and have engaged locai hunters to assist in a private para-miltary capacity.
“The state will also purchase more gunooats and patrol vehicles to protect our waterways and our highways just as we activated the automatic security system on the entrance into Calabar.
“We once again appeal for calm as we take the battie to the bandits.”