By Joseph Kingston, Calabar
The chairman of Akpabuyo local government area in Cross River state, Hon. Emmanuel Offiong Bassey, has charged traditional leaders in the area to take active part in the onerous duty of securing their villages and clans, saying the development became difficult to achieve where lives and property were considered unsafe.
Addressing traditional heads in the council headquarters in Ikot Nakanda, Bassey lamented the alarming rate of insecurity and noted that his administration would not fold its arms and watch hoodlums embark on destruction and killing spree.
Recall that young men, suspected to be cultists, few days ago, took laws into their hands and destroyed property worth millions of naira in the area.
The chairman, who condemned such activity, disclosed that vigilante groups would be formed in all the villages, explaining, “As part of measures to curb insecurity, the council will kick-start the formation of vigilante group in all the villages in Akpabuyo. The council expects all traditional leaders in their respective domain to key into this move to redeem Akpabuyo from criminalities.”
The chairman further warned that there would be no hiding place for kidnappers and criminals, saying the vigilante group would swing into action immediately after their inauguration.
He said, “Those indulging in criminalities should turn over a new leaf. They should repent and denounce their membership of any unlawful group or be prepared to face the full wrath of the law.”
The council boss also inaugurated an advisory committee on security made up of the police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the Department of State Service (DSS), and appointed the special adviser on peace and security in Akpabuyo, Mr. Francis Edet, to head the advisory committee.
According to him, the council was also planning to launch what he christened ‘WAKA – War Against Kidnapping, submitting that WAKA would hound down kidnapping syndicates in the area.
In his remarks, the village head of Esuk Ekpo Eyo, Chief Ekpenyong Ekpo Asuquo said traditional leaders in all the villages would work hand in hand with the council and the vigilante groups to ensure insecurity is stamped out, but appealed to the council “to do the needful whenever the need arises.”
The village head of Akwa Esuk Eyamba, Etubom Kingsley Obo Offiong, lauded Bassey for the gesture and promised the support and cooperation of traditional leaders.