Ifere Paul
 Ifere Paul
There had been serious cult activities in the past two weeks. The clashes have left so many people dead. In the last count, over 28 people lost their lives in Calabar. 

The facts are the same with the cult clashes that took place in Obudu LGA where more than 11 people lost their lives.

Recently, there had been increased in communal clashes that has left lives and properties destroyed. More than 12 people have died between the Nko-Mkpani communal clash. This is apart from the secret kidnapping of indigenes of these villages. 

Many other communal clashes are reported daily by either CrossRiverWatch,  calitown, and or mycrossrivereye. 

Apart from these, there had also been incessant robbery around Calabar and its environs. Arm gangs clashes with the security forces is a normal occurrence lately.

Scolombo boys and lacasera girls roams the streets and accosting and sometimes man-handling their victims, snatching phones and handbags, pick pocketing unsuspecting residents and visitors, and sometimes raping their vulnerable female victims.

Calabar and indeed the whole Cross River State was a State to reckoned with in terms of peace, tranquility and serene environment, it was also green with a hospitality parameters known no where else in Nigeria.

Sadly, government approach to issues of concern has been misplaced, and has occassioned a state of confusion in our once peaceful State. 

The worst is that now, kidnappers have invaded Calabar. Which is one of the most painful experience Cross River State will suffer from in the coming months if not years. Business is going to nose-dive, and investors are going to be scared coming to Cross River State. Especially that the kidnappers took away white people operating in Unicem in Cross River State.

The Chinese Bureau of Foreign Affairs has added Cross River State to the list of kidnapping States, and has provided warnings for Chinese citizens in Cross River State to be conscious, cautious, and careful. By this, my wife has cancelled traveling arrangement to Nigeria this August. It is this anger from that that has forced me to write this advisory article. Because, my wife's parents are already making a fuse about it in China.

I sincerely think the governor has lost control of the security apparatus in the State, and needs help that he is not willing to ask for. 

It is on this basis I felt it is necessary, even though I'm not a security expert to offer these suggestion. 

1. Governor Ben Ayade should as a matter of urgency convene a security meeting with all stakeholders in the State. That is, the AG, the commissioner of police, the chief security adviser, the paramount rulers, the LGA Chairpersons, the vice chancellors and provost of all tertiary institutions in the State and their directors/chief security officers. The aim should be
a. To brainstorm on the security challenges as experienced in their immediate communities and institutions. 
b. To make a possible roadmap towards lasting peace. By taken cognizance of all the listed problems in (a) above.
c. Stakeholders should be mandated to name individuals or groups responsible for the break down of law and order in their immediate environment.
d. Traditional rulers should be made to mandate their lesser traditional heads in various units to report to the State commissioner of police, elements that consistently disturbs peace in their environments.
e. Traditional vigilante policing should be encouraged by traditional councils to augment government security apparatus especially, where there are no police stations.

2. Mobile Police Post should be stationed permanently at various entrances of our institutions of higher learning. This experiment has been very successful during Donald Dukes tenure as governor. 

3. The State Security Service (SSS) can collaborate with all the institutions for intelligence gathering on related cult activities. During Professor Ivara Esu as the VC of Unical, there was sporadic cult clashes, and this method was then introduced.

4. SSS men sometimes attends classes with students to enable them assess possible miscreants. 

5. The school should also build a network of students informants for the Director of Security in their institutions. 

6. The New Commissioner of Police should start "Operation Sleep". Arrest, Question, Release or Detention of streets suspects. Even at day light, suspected movements or funny and unclear behaviour should be arrested and questioned.

7. Mobile Police Trucks full with policemen with fully kitted anti riot gears should be stationed at security hotspots like Watt Market Roundabout, Mobil By Highway, Municipality by Marian Market, Lagos Street by Unical Smallest Gate, Marian by Tata Fish, Effiette Roundabout, and a host of other hotspots.

8. It is very important that the Edundung Unicem highway be under police surveillance 24/7. At least there should be 5 police check points on that road. Arm Policemen should be stationed at both points of the bridge.

9. There should be a network of police activities at the Jonathan Bypass too. Police patrols should be deployed there.

Administratively, Governor Ben Ayade should as a matter of priority do the following:

a. Replace his Chief Security Adviser with one who has a background in security relations, and or a retired police or military officer with experience in security information gathering. The present security adviser is a novice. Besides, he is a cultist, belonging to the Viking's Confraternity of Nigeria. 

b. Fish out all cultists that are holding appointments in Cross River State, and ask them to denounce or be sacked. There are known cultists in Ayade government. It is not something we should be proud about. Even the co-governor is a big cultist. Commissioner of Youths and Sports Mr Asu is a cultist, the Commissioner of Education is the founder of Ugep Deciders, a known and deadly political cult group in Ugep. The SA to the governor on Media, Eval Asikong is a known cultist who was at one time hired by John Gaul to assassinate Blessing Njong. Miss Njong is now a known critic of Ben Ayade.

c. Streamline government apparatus to match current economic trends in the nation. In a bogus and bloated government such as what we have in CRS, it is difficult to know who is trading sensitive government information. Conflict of interest and clashes of responsibility between one department and ministries has became a common sight. If commissioner of youths and sports will plan an attack on Orok Duke using cultists, then, the governor should be careful with the people he is working with.

d. Therefore, for the governor to be able to take back the State, he has to sack fellow exco members who belongs to different cult groups. Either they denounce it publicly, or they are replaced or sacked.

On communal clashes, the governor should know that every farming season, there is a higher risk of communal clashes as a result of land disputes because of unclear boundary demarcations around the State. Therefore, the governor should be ready between the months of November and March for such clashes. The governor has the followings to do during this time:

a. Permanent Solutions should include tasking the Ministry of Land and Survey and Boundary Commission to redesign all disputed lands and borders. 

b. Cease all disputed lands and use same for government agricultural development scheme for micro agribusiness for both communities that are fighting over the border lands.

c. Establish CRS agricultural extension services outreach post on such disputed lands. The agricultural extension service outreach post can also utilize the lands for other purposes while engaging both communities to work together on such ventures.

d. Start up the Green Police in earnest, and post them to Border Commission to work with agricultural extension outpost and help in restoring peace in green areas that are hotspots of communal clashes.

e. Respond promptly to communal clashes by deploying arm mobile policemen or military men to quell conflict.

f. Traditional rulers, paramount ruler, family heads, etc should be contacted and information shared on how to permanently end communal clashes. 

g. Most Local Governments in Cross River State has land ownership among the paternal families. Therefore, paternal heads who control the family lands should be contacted for lasting solutions and peaceful co-existence. Where the land ownership system is matrimonial, the matrimonial heads should be brought into security and peace discussions processes.

What My Investigation Revealed:

1) There's a cult war between the Vikings and KKs serving in Ayade government. Over 25 people were killed in Calabar. According to my findings, it was as a result of the killing of a Keke Napep rider by a junior version (Maffs/Maffites) of KK cultists. This led to a revenge mission by Vikings, and the rest was an explosion of what we saw in Calabar. Now, people were arrested by the new commissioner of police. Meanwhile, the Chief Security Adviser has gone out to release all Vikings cultists arrested. The Chief of Staff in the other hand has also released all of the KK boys arrested. It is believed too that Martin Orim, who is also the Chief of Staff to the governor is also a KK.

2) Most of the security challenges in Cross River State including communal clashes were invincibly controlled by government officials who used it to get security votes. 

3) The Secretary of Scolombo Operation is another guy who is a friend and distant relation of the Chief Security Adviser to the governor. The guy himself is also a Viking. All members of the operation scolombo are all members of Vikings Confraternity. 

4) It is interesting to find out that a lot of people in Calabar knew that there was going to be the kidnapping of white people in Calabar. Surprising is the fact that Jude Ngaji was not aware of this plans until it occurred. It is more worrisome that the white people were released and Jude said that there was no ransome paid. So, who are the kidnappers?

5) Speaking with security experts in the State, I was told the security situation in Calabar and indeed the whole State, will be worse if appointees are known members of security sects and cults. 

My Recommendations: 
1. Scolombo Operations should be done with a civilian approach and managed or controlled by the Department of Social Welfare. Militarization of scolombo operation which in itself was meant to pick armless children off the streets is a bad approach to child welfare laws. Scolombo Operations should be limited to scolombo streets children, rather than militia operation aimed at fighting against rival cult groups.

2. Terminate the appointment of all known cultists.

3. The government to reduce the number of appointees. That way, only those who have proven their integrity are left to take decision on behalf of government.

4. All killings in the past 3 months should be properly investigated and a panel or Committee set up to look for lasting peace. All fighting and disagreements between appointees of the government should be investigated. The incident that took place in Transcorp Hotel, where the commissioner of youths and sports slapped a colleague should be investigated and action taken against defaulters. Martin Orim, who calmed the situation from. further escalation should be made to tell the truth without fear or favour.

5. The kidnapping incident that took place in Calabar should be a matter of priority to the executive governor. Because, if culprits are not brought to book, then, Calabar and indeed CRS in general will be the new market place for kidnappers.

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