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Insecurity threatens Calabar Carnival as kidnapping cases rise



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Residents of Calabar have expressed deep concern that rising insecurity in Cross River State may disrupt the famous annual Calabar Carnival scheduled for December 1.

With kidnappings becoming rampant in the capital city, vented their fear that this year’s carnival could be overshadowed.

They urged the government and security agencies to urgently address the crisis.

According to NAN, Calabar has faced almost daily abductions targeting professionals like doctors, lawyers, professors and government officials.

The Nigerian Medical Association called off a 40-day strike over the kidnapping of Professor Ekanem Ephraim, a neurologist held captive for 115 days since July.

NMA chairman, Dr. Felix Archibong, said the state has become uninhabitable for citizens due to kidnappers. He added that the crisis poses dangers for investors and tourists planning to attend the carnival.

“This is the situation in the state, and it is regrettable that our colleague is still in captivity after 115 days.

“We are trying so hard not to make industrial action another alternative to getting the government and security agencies to keep to their promises,” he stated.

A resident, Abel Achor, blamed rising abduction cases on economic hardship and urged the government to enable a thriving business climate that can provide jobs.

“My stand is that if the government cannot provide the needed jobs for the unemployed, they should at least ensure an environment for businesses to thrive,” he said.

The state governor, Bassey Otu, has strongly condemned kidnappings, announcing rewards for information leading to arrests; however, locals say mere condemnations are not enough to end the scourge.

“The technology can detect whereabouts of kidnappers. I had earlier granted the criminals amnesty. Only a handful came out to surrender their guns.

“I am not taking anything for granted. I have decided to go all out for them. If they won’t allow others to live in peace, they, too, won’t.

“They live amongst us. And so, the people must help to volunteer information about them,” the governor said.

The state Commissioner of Police, Gyogon Grimah, says suspects have been arrested, but more action is required to curb insecurity before the carnival in December.


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