…demolishes hotel harbouring suspected kidnappers
By Ike Uchechukwu
Cross River State governor, Prof Ben Ayade has called on landlords, hotel and other hospitality facilities to ensure they know their tenants and also get complete details of their guests to avoid being caught in the web as accomplices in the fight against crime especially Kidnapping in the state.
Also, the Cross River Government security outfit, code-named “Operation Akpakwu” has demolished the “Save side hotel” at 8miles area at the outskirts of the state capital for harbouring suspected kidnappers that have been terrorising the state.
Speaking after the exercise, Mr Henry Okokon, the State Security Adviser, (South)to Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River, told Journalists that most of the kidnap cases recorded in Calabar were planned and coordinated from the hotels and brothels including some residential apartment.
Okokon explained that the Homeland Security bill which was signed into law by Ayade clearly stated that “anybody who aid, abet and harbour a criminal is also guilty of the crime.
He explained that residents of the area were equally living in fear because of the harassment from the suspected kidnappers who took over the hotel for illegal activities.
His words: “The demolition exercise is an ongoing process, it is part of the activities of Operation Akpakwu that was set up to fight criminality in the state, especially kidnapping.
“The governor had warned landlords who are harbouring criminals to desist from doing so. Therefore anybody found to be harbouring, abetting or aiding crime, must definitely be held responsible.
“This hotel is one of the buildings that have been harbouring criminals and the government has decided to bring it down.
“Ths is a warning signal to all, and I think everybody should be aware of this. The general public should be aware that security is everyone’s business.
“I want to state that all legal procedures were taken before this building was demolished. The police have equally done their investigation, that is why we have the Army, Navy and Air Force personnel here on ground,” he said.
He maintained that a thorough investigation was carried out by security operatives about the hotel harbouring suspected kidnappers before it was demolished.
He advised landlords and hotel owners to do a thorough background check of their tenants and guest before giving accommodation out to them to avoid being caught in the web as people who aid and abet crime.