Residents of Calabar, the Cross River state capital, have commended the efforts of Operation Akpakwu in tackling the incidence of kidnapping and criminality in the city.

They also lauded Governor Ben Ayade for setting up the crime busting outfit, noting that, “that singular move has restored calm in the state.”

Operation Akpakwu, a security outfit manned by personnel drawn from the army, airforce, navy, civil defence and police was recently launched by Governor Ayade with the mandate to rid the state, especially Calabar, of kidnappers and other criminals.

Speaking in Calabar, state chairman of Unified Commercial Taxi and Bus Drivers Association, Pastor Thomas Effiong Okon, showered praises on Ayade and heads of security agencies in the state for securing lives and property of the people

“I am a Calabar South resident and that was the hub of almost all the crisis but for the past days, we have had relative peace as there has been no incidence of kidnapping or hijack of some sorts. So operation Akpakwu has done a lot. You know security is a thing that needs constant improvement but so far they have done a lot. For me, they have met atleast 80% of our security expectations in the state,” Pastor Okon said.

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Also Speaking, another resident, Comrade Ekpenyong Akiba was full of praises for Ayade for “bringing Operation Akpakwu to secure lives and property in calabar.

“The efforts of Operation Akpakwu have been fantastic and they have done marvelously well, we have seen the improvement in security in the state and the spate of kidnapping has reduced to the barest minimum. We can now sleep with our eyes closed.

“I thank our governor for bringing Operation Akpakwu to secure lives and property in Calabar. Thank you, Ayade, you have done well,” he said.

Continuing, Ekpenyong stated that “about three to four months ago, I can tell you that cultists and kidnappers were having a swell time, day and night on my street, but as I speak to you, they have all been arrested. So I really appreciate the efforts of his Excellency and the operation Akpakwu team for keeping Calabar safe.”

Meanwhile, the state Security Adviser South, Mr Leo Nyambe has called on Cross Riverians to support Operation Akpakwu by giving out vital and timely information to security agencies.

According to him, “all we ask for is the cooperation of the public by giving us timely information. If you see something, say something and Akpakwu will be at your door post . We have all our phone numbers on Social media and on radio as well, so just put a call across to any of those numbers if you see a suspicious movement around your area and Operation Akpakwu will come to your rescue.”

While commending Governor Ayade for granting the team all the logistics and technological support needed to carry out the task of riding Calabar of hoodlums and undesirable elements, Nyambe assured residents of a peaceful 2021 as “we are poised to return Calabar to the serenity and tranquility it was known for.”