BY: Nick Nwaneri, Calabar
The National Assembly Caucus Chairman, Cross River state, Senator Gershom Bassey has promised to establish a “Cross River State Security Trust Fund” in 2023 if he becomes the next governor of the state to address the issue of insecurity and other related crimes.
Recently, the Calabar-Oron water ways is not safe as activities of kidnappers are taking its toll on boat operators and commuters. Some women traders were kidnapped and their goods stolen while just a month ago a boat full of passengers was hijacked and the passengers kidnapped into the swampy forest along the Calabar River.
Thus reacting to this and other issues of insecurity in the state, Bassey while giving a glimpse of his blue print for the state in a statement to some newsmen in Calabar yesterday, said the “State Security Trust Fund will adequately equip our security agencies and amplify their efforts, promote adequate investment in the security infrastructure, technology, equipment and training. Also provide an effective sharing formula of security votes”.
Bassey who represents Cross River South Senatorial in the Senate said “it is going to be zero tolerance policy on crime in the state and a significant crackdown on all the criminal activities that threaten the peace and security of the people, their property and effective governance.
He stated that another way to go will be to “collaborate with the Federal Government and advocate for the proper demarcation of boundaries where community clashes persist and create active integration of grassroots involvement into the security architecture of the state.
“” We all know there have been serious security issues in our state over the past seven years therefore peace and security is crucial for our state moving forward. Security begins with the grassroots. We must involve and fund all aspects of the grassroots including traditional rulers and Institutions and whatever it takes to ensure there is a safe secure and peaceful environment in the entire state”.
In an earlier interview Senator Bassey said when he was chairman of the Strategic Policy Advisory Committee for Liyel Imoke, security in this state was okay and given his Donald Duke, “the way they handled security in this state was a very simple template, and it worked. Was there kidnapping under Donald and Liyel? The thing worked. But you have a governor that has come in, and taken a simple template and complicated it”.
He declined to comment further on the compromised template saying, “I am not going to tell you because it is security issue, but they (the Ayade government) have taken a very simple template, and complicated it. And here we have problems today. Using my house as an example, I am a victim. I was a victim of EndsSARS. Why would EndSARS even happen in Calabar? If you were following the security template, that would not have happened.