Saturday, 27 July 2019

"Avoid a cult affiliated SSA", defense correspondent cautions gov Ayade of C'river state

L-R: George Odok kitted for duty on an official assignment with the Military, Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River State 

Ukorebi Esien 

As insecurity in the state becomes a major concern to many, coupled with the recent call by the Cross River State House of Assembly on the governor to as a matter of urgency appoint a State Security Adviser, SSA,  Mr. George Odok, a senior defense correspondent with News Agency of Nigeria has caution the digital governor of Cross River state on the need to carefully select a State Security Adviser who is devoid of cult related activities or affiliations.

Making the call, Mr. Odok noted that security is paramount in for growth in any society, therefore, noting that the appointment of an SSA associated with a cult group will only help in heightening the level of insecurity in the state as other groups will feel insecure, intimidated which may lead to more cult clashes and bloodshed in the state. 

Odok, also called on the governor to in the time being while shopping for his SAA, fund the permanent Secretary of the security department to aid him combat the on going numerous security bridges in the state. Odok also stressed on the need to supply the department with state of the art security gadgets that will help in tracking crimes.

George Odok's statement as published on his social media account reads in full:

Before the State Security Adviser is appointed in Cross River State

By George Odok

No meaningful government business or development can take place in a state of anarchy. Security therefore is key to the growth and development of  society. Without security, lives and properties can not be guaranteed. Indeed all peaceful human activities revolves round a secured state.

In Cross River State,  for instance we have been faced with very serious security challenges ranging from kidnap, arm robbery, burglary, and cult related crises. During his valedictory Exco session On May 28 2019, Gov. Ben Ayade dissolved his cabinet and relieved other appointees including the State Security Adviser of their appointments to mark the end of his first term administration.

To avoid a vacuum being created in governance and  the state, the Governor directed that all political heads in ministries, departments and agencies should hand over to the permanent secretaries or the most senior director in their respective MDAs.

The office of State Security Adviser was also affected by this directives. Accordingly, the Permanent Secretary in the department of security assumed duties in this busy and exalted office. Obviously it is cumbersome to manage the security architecture of the state considering the crime rate in the state. There is obvious need for a political head to man the office of SSA considering the enormous security challenges facing the state.

Although the House of Assembly has charged Ayade to appoint a State Security Adviser (SSA) to help him manage and network all insecurity challenges to a stand-still, caution must be taken to avert any case of favouritism for a particular group or fraternity.

Investigations and research have shown that most of the kidnappings and armed robbery cases witnessed in Calabar and within the state are carried out by suspected cultists and militants.

With the present cult clashes around Calabar metropolis, the governor must be careful not to appoint any member of a particular cult group as his SSA in view of the present security challenges in the state. This is because, any group member that comes on, the rival group will feel intimidated, will suffer attacks and arrest and humiliation, thereby fuelling more killings in the state.

Security is very important, it must be entrusted in the hands of a dedicated individual who has the zeal to work for the interest of the state. Anyone appointed into this office should renounce  cultism, the individual should see the appointment as a call to service and not as a weapon or tool to harass innocent citizens and fuel crisis to intimidate his 'perceived enemies'.

In the interim, while Ayade is taking steps to appoint his SSA, he should adequately fund the present office headed by a Permanent Secretary to curb all security challenges, pending when he finished an extensive background checks on who becomes the next SSA.

Aside funding the office, he should procure tracking equipment for the office and build a stronger collaboration with security agencies in the state, this will help to track the movements of these criminals and checkmate their escape routes."

It should be recalled that since governor Ben Ayade took over the leadership seat as the CEO of Cross River State in 2015 there have been an increase of insecurity in the state, ranging from communal clashes, to cult wars, kidnapping, thuggery, robbery etc. The rise of all these has become a concern to many Cross Riverians. 

In fact Agbar Jalingo, CEO and Chief Esitor of Cross River Watch has alleged that security hot spots in the state has increased from 30 to 40 between 2015 and 2018 despite the over N7 billion allegedly received by the governor for security concerns.