…..Hotel workers accused security personnel of extortion
BY Jimmy Brian
The Cross River Government security outfit, “Operation Akpakwu”, has demolished a bungalow building at Ekorinim area of Calabar belonging to a suspected kidnapper in the state.
The security outfit, comprising of the Navy, Air Force, Police, Army, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and Special Advisers to the state government on security also demolished a duplex brothel at flour mill junction in Calabar.
Speaking after the exercise on Saturday in Calabar, Mr Henry Okokon, the State Security Adviser, Southern Senatorial District to Gov. Ben Ayade, said the exercise was one of the ways of chasing criminals out of the state.
Okokon explained that the state government places premium on security of lives and properties in the state, hence the need to fight against all forms of criminality in the state.
“This is part of the activities of Operation Akpakwu, a special force set up by Gov. Ayade to fight crime in the state, especially kidnapping.
“This demolition exercise is ongoing. The governor has warned that anyone who is involved in any form of criminality, or any landlord who is found harbouring any criminal should desist from it.
“The bungalow that was demolished belong an individuals who have been caught in the act of kidnapping in th state, while the brothel was demolished for housing under age girls for prostitution and other illegal activities.
“This is a warning signal to everybody. Whosoever is involved in crime of any form should desist from it,” he said.
He explained that they got a court order which mandated them to demolished the buildings in line with the Homeland Security bill which has been signed into law by Gov. Ayade.
He urged business individuals in the state to go about their normal businesses, adding that the state government was doing it’s best to protect them from criminals.
A worker, at the hotel that was demolished, accused security and government officials for extorting monies from them and still going ahead to demolish their building.
“They collected N1million from my boss on the first day they came alongside a policeman. They told us that with the money, they won’t demolish the building, but to our greatest surprise, they came back again and demolished the building.
“Even on the morning of the demolition, they even came and collected N100, 000 from us. Since the day they told us that they were going to demolish our hotel, they have been coming on different occasions to extort monies from us.
“We have reached them to return back our money, else we will publish out their names for the public to see,” the worker said.
After much investigation, it was revealed that some of the security officials were bent on frustrating Gov. Ayade’s effort in fighting criminality in the state.