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By Richard Inoyo,

Country Director,

Citizen’s’ Solution Network.





It is public knowledge that calls were made for the Government of Cross River to prioritize security greatly, intervene technologically, and support victims of kidnapping and those who have suffered needlessly from insecurity in the form of compensation due to the staggering insecurity and the absence of tangible security investment to end insecurity in the State.



Some persons have been quick to call me and ask why have I not written in recent times about the situation of kidnapping and car theft in the State. Few of them told me in confidence that rumours were making the rounds that I had been approached and given the offer to suspend chronicling the terrible insecurity situation in the State especially as nothing was heard from me when 3 Students were kidnapped in the State Capital in one of the hostels where they live in Calabar just last week.



Someone in one of the Media houses said they were instructed not to report any form of crime in the State on air. If you ask me, I will tell you that as a rule, when people ask that you shouldn’t talk about any ongoing crime, it is only a clear indication that they are not ready to do anything about it or they just want victims to perish unheard.



Let me use this article to clarify, I believe all Nigerians living in Cross River State should be protected by the government, and that when citizens become victims of commercial kidnapping and different crimes, the victims of such insecurity should be compensated by the government from the proposed Victim of Crimes Support Fund (VoC-SF), being advocated by Citizens’ Solution Network and other well-meaning civil organisations


Even with such a call for compensatory provision, the entire civic society block should never override nor undermine the need to put public officials, especially the Chief Security Officer of the State under pressure via advocacy and call for accountability to do more to tackle the most dominant crimes of kidnapping, violent intrusion, and car theft currently leaving everyone in fear across the State.



Every sane citizen would naturally agree that such a call for accountability and transparency on growing insecurity becomes overwhelmingly necessary when you consider the fact that over N70Billion Naira have been taken by the Cross River State Government from local banks and foreign financial institutions in just 6months according to data published by Debt Management Office (DMO) with just road patching, painting of sculptures, few renovations, bi-monthly refuse evacuation and small-scale earthworks to show for it; this is outside the monthly federal allocations entering the State along with expanded internally generated revenues from illegal timber trade ( that is threatening the biodiversity of the State and sustainable cocoa plantation in the long run) and from a growing list of revenue points in the midst of growing insecurity as we are all witnesses of the total and cynical absence in public CCTV investment and the much needed surveillance and technology integration that is clearly needed to fight against insecurity which some of us have been advocating for.



My failure to have written about the kidnapping incident last week that has left three residents in the State in the den of kidnappers since last week up till now has no connection whatsoever with the empty rumour being sponsored allegedly by people in government that I was given the offer to suspend _Citizens’ Observatory_ watch on these crime graphs.



Let me clarify, neither I nor any documented victim of car theft kidnapping, or criminal murder got any support from the State Governor or Government.



For those who have been curious, let me state here categorically that it was only through the sacrificial support of those, some of whom are exceptionally accomplished citizens, who believe in the sincerity of the works that Citizens’ Solution Network does, that we were able to surmount the challenges that the insecurity we suffered caused our civic works and the setbacks we endured.



The question therefore is, how are other victims who didn’t have the goodwill I had to bounce back as insecurity rages on? It has been difficult for the majority_ some of whom had to pay to get their loved ones freed from kidnappers while those whose cars were stolen had to resort to trekking and those whose relatives got killed in violent crime had to bury their dead without the State Government doing nothing for them. And the latest on the requested docket is the directive that no Media house in the State should report crime and somehow some folks think this is the best policy to tackle the monster, after all, they ain’t victims, at least for now.



Let it be established, we condemn all violent crimes and we shall continue to ask the Chief Security Officer of the State to tackle these crimes, knowing that he, the Governor is paid to do that, he collects money (security votes) on our behalf monthly that he will do that, and the least we expect is that he performs his constitutional service and treat victims of those crimes with a real measure of humanity and compassion beyond the current reality that leaves children and adults in danger and unsure of what would be of their lives if they get kidnapped or suffer from any form of violent crimes in the hands of criminals operating defiantly in the State.



This is our pledge and we shall continue to call for an end to insecurity with public demand that 21st Century Technological Investment in human capital and infrastructural sufficiency against insecurity in the State from the standpoint of job creation, youth employment, business support system, social welfare, technology-based policing and sustainable community engagement.

Amawu Cletus Albert Amawu

I'm a Journalist, Host/Producer of The Verdict, your voice of conscience on FAD FM 93.1, Calabar, Public Affairs Commentator, Social Change Agent.

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