Some traders and business moguls in Calabar, Cross River state capital have started relocating their shops, offices and families to Akwa Ibom state due to state of insecurity.
According to Daily Sun investigations, Cross River, especially Calabar, is facing the worst form of security challenges including outright harassment by street urchins, robbery, gangsterism, cultism and kidnapping.
In the last seven months, about 20 persons have been kidnapped in Calabar metropolis and millions of naira paid as ransom and in some cases victims lost their lives in the process.
Legit.ng gathered that most of the people abducted include Igbo traders, contractors, medical doctors, transporters, electrical merchants and hotel operators just as shops, warehouses and private residences are robbed at daytime and in the odd hours of the night.
Some group of Igbo traders, ‘Onye Agala Nwaneya’ led by Chief Uzowulu AKachi, have been moving down their shops to Uyo as government can no longer protect their lives and property in Cross River.
The group is scared of the incessant kidnapping of their members by the hoodlums, who end up extorting huge money from the victims as ransom and in the process ruining their business and life time savings.
Chief Uzowulu AKachi, the leader of Onye Agala Nwaneya, in an interview with The Sun said Igbo traders and businessmen have passed through hell in the hands of armed bandits and kidnappers as millions of naira have been wasted paying ransom to different kidnap gangs that operate in the state.
He said: “A week hardly pass without one Igbo man being kidnapped in Cross River state. We are now leaving in a state of fear and uncertainty. Our shops are raided at will; our private residents are invaded at night and valuables as well as cash carted away. We end up losing our life investments and savings.
“So, we had to come up with an alternative and that’s by relocating either to our various states or nearby friendly Akwa Ibom state. I can tell you that it has been very rewarding as at least 30 per cent of our members have moved to Uyo."
He said by end of this year, the majority would have relocated with their families to Uyo which is now their new haven.
Ifeanyi Uwakwe, one of the officers of the phone dealers association, expressing himself said there is hardly any big mobile phones shops that have not been robbed in Calabar for up two times.
He called on the state government to beef up security around business axis an d protect shops to restore confidence among investors, who are gradually finding new solace in Uyo in Akwa Ibom.
Expressing dismay at the incessant kidnap and robbery attack on Ndi Igbo in the state, the President of Igbo Community Calabar, ICC, Prof Emeka Okwueze, said: “It is very unfortunate that we are the victims all the time even when we go about doing our businesses and contributing to the economic growth of the state.
“I do know that the state government has invested in security through Homeland Security outfit and others. May it is not enough so there is urgent need to beef up considering the fact that the primary responsibility of every government is to protect lives and property.”
Legit.ng previously reported that Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River said on Sunday, June 24, that everything has been put in place for President Muhammadu Buhari’s second visit to the state in three years.
Ayade, who made the disclosure while speaking with newsmen in Calabar, said arrangements had been concluded for Mr President’s visit.
The governor said: “We are perfectly in order. This is home coming for Mr President and as far as I am concerned, Cross River is ready to receive him on Tuesday, June 26. We are going to give him a perfect reception."
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