NUJ decries pervasive abductions, others in Cross River
The Cross River council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has raised the alarm over the spate of kidnapping and other criminal activities in the state. In the past few days, no fewer than four persons had been kidnapped and later released after payments of ransoms.
For instance in the week before, Dr. David Ugwu, a lecturer at the University of Calabar, was seized from his residence, just as Mr. Maurice Archibong, an account staff with the Nigerian Chronicle, was also picked up by gunmen and Chief Desmond Oko, an Igbo business man, got abducted as another, trader, popularly known as Champion, was whisked from Garden Street.
Last week a serving police sergeant, alleged to be behind many kidnappings in Calabar, was arrested alongside five other gang members by soldiers of Operations Skolombo, an incident that was confirmed by the state Police Public Relations Officer, Irene Ugbo.
Disturbed by the situation the, NUJ in a communiqué signed after its monthly congress on Wednesday night by the state chairman, Victor Udu, and secretary, Ukar Ibor, expressed deep concern at the pervasive abductions and other criminal activities in Calabar metropolis.
Accordingly, the congress called on the state government “to step up efforts to ensure the protection of lives and property of citizens as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution (as amended).”
“The congress also called on the security agencies in the state “to live up to their expectation as well as conduct a self-cleansing of their personnel to weed out those who compromise the security architecture of the state for selfish gains,” the journalists added.NUJ further expressed dismay at the continued scarcity of potable water in the capital and the inability of the state water board to mitigate the problem, alleging that some staff were sabotaging the efforts of government to achieve regular water supply to the citizenry.
The union stated that Calabar would not attain the desired environmental cleanliness without regular potable water for people.On roads, the body deplored “the increasing number of potholes in the city roads and called on the state Ministry of Works and other agencies of government saddled with the responsibility of fixing the roads to swing into action to reduce the plight faced by the people.”
However, the congress commended Governor Ben Ayade for appointing two of its members, David Ishie and Emmanuel Obi, as Senior Special Assistants (SSAs) on Media and Publicity, appealling for more slots in the future.