The Cross River State Anti-deforestation Taskforce Team (ATF) said it arrested over 11 trucks of woods on illegal logging in the state within the year 2020.

The announcement was made in a release signed by the Director of Operations of the Taskforce, Hon. Asegem Emmanuel, as part of the achievement recorded for the year 2020.

The release stated that the achievement were recorded by the cooperation of all senatorial district heads and members who worked tirelessly with the DG Operations to record the success.

“On May 21, the team arrested two trailer trucks loaded with woods along Mbok-Ijiraga Abakiliki highway and the woods were parked at Government Technical College, Ijiraga, where we are currently using as our wood farm after we had discussed with the Governor Ben Ayade on the need to create a wood farm where all woods and trucks could be parked.

“On October 3rd, we also arrested another four trucks of 911 loaded with woods along Yahe-Abakiliki highwy and parked at our wood farm.

“On October 3rd, Gov. Ben Ayade issued a directive to the DG Operations to move all the trucks down to Calabar, which we complied to immediately and moved 5 of the 6 trucks as one of them failed to start.

“While going to Calabar with the seized trucks, we were attacked by some group of youths in Obubra LGA where they made away with four of our trucks.

“However, the timely intervention of soldiers led to the recovery of one of the trucks out of the four. We quickly moved the two trucks to Calabar and parked them directly opposite the Governor’s office, which is our usual park for all seized woods and trucks for safety”.

The ATF team also arrested two trucks loaded with wood on November 10 2020 along Ijiraga-Abakiliki highway (one trailer and one 911) and the truck were parked at the ATF farm in Ijiraga community.

“On November 13, we discovered wood somewhere in North Ukelle and we quickly mobilised the security men and hired a truck to evacuate all the wood to our farm in Ijigara; all the logs of wood evacuated are about 3 loads of timber.

“We are appealing to Gov. Ayade to give us security and operational pick-up to enable us carry out our normal operations that will give us good result in 2021”.

The ATF team also warned Mr Daniel Ushie to go back to Cross River North and operate as Secretary of the North which his appointment letter carries and not to cross boundaries.

They also called on Mr Clement Omang, who was appointed as Member, Anti-deforestation Agency to stop parading himself as a member of the Anti-deforestation Taskforce team.

They also appointed Mr Wills Ekpenyong as the new Acting Secretary incharge of the Central and Southern Senatorial Districts of the state respectively.

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