Cross River State Governor, Bassey Otu has announced that he is ready to enforce the State’s extant law on kidnapping, which prescribes death by hanging.
Otu, while swearing in and assigning Ministries to 30 new Commissioners on Wednesday said: “I am particularly concerned about the high incidence of kidnapping and other criminal acts committed to collect ransoms, including actions that prevent people from going about their legitimate businesses.
“We are committed to operating within the ambit of the Cross River State Kidnapping Prohibition Law of 2016. This prescribes, amongst other punishments, death by hanging without any option for kidnappers and 20 years imprisonment for attempts to kidnap or abduct”.
The Governor who was visibly angry at the level of insecurity, promised that his administration is ready to enforce the said law to the letter in order to bring criminal activities to an end.
“Let me state very unequivocally that enough is enough. This must stop- not tomorrow, but today. We have tolerated this nonsense about insecurity enough”, he added.
Otu, who directed law enforcement agents to arrest and prosecute all criminal elements, announced rewards for any useful information that could stem the tide and bring to book the perpetrators of the heinous crime.
“Let’s take responsibility for the security of our dear State because these people are not foreigners but those around us. We are going to put a fee on whistle blowing.
“Anybody you suspect in your neighborhood, please pass on the information, and you will be protected”, Otu stated.
Credible News reports that Cultism, armed robbery, and kidnapping are the major crimes that are perpetrated most frequently in the State.
The Nigerian Medical Association said 14 of their doctors were kidnapped in five years, while currently 64-year-old Prof Ekanem Ephraim, consultant of neurology at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital has been held hostage for over 30 days.
In February 2023, another female Commissioner, Gertrude Njar, spent over 35 days with kidnappers before her release after a hefty ransom was paid.