Normalcy is gradually being restored to Calabar following the intervention of the state government in the face-off between the Nigerian Police and the Navy, late Tuesday evening and into the night.
Addressing newsmen, shortly after an emergrncy security council meeting at Government House, Calabar, today, state governor, Ben Ayade urged the citizens to go about their businesses as normalcy has returned to the affected area. “I just met with all the service commanders on the incident that happened 6.pm yesterday in a security council meeting to reassure residents, the citizenry and indeed Nigerians that the whole area is calm after the unfortunate incident that arouse from the misunderstanding between the officers, one from the Police Force and a Naval officer.”
Continuing, Ayade maintained that “the senior officers were quite proactive by intervening fast to arrest the situation yesterday and today we are proud to announce to you that Calabar and indeed, Cross River State is totally calm and peaceful. It is already agog to receive the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo tomorrow.”
Ayade further cleared the air that “this has nothing to do with rivalry between the Nigerian Police and the Navy. It was just about two individuals disagreeing at the point and leading to reinforcement from their barracks. Luckily, their senior officers and their commanders quickly intervened and the place is calm.” He however regretted the incident, promising to take full responsibility for the associated damages on both sides while urging officers and men operating in the state to see themselves as partners in progress at all times.
On his part, the Commander, Nigerian Navy Victory command, Sid Jubril, a Commodore, said: “We are saddened by the incident that happened yesterday. I am, however, very delighted to tell you that normalcy has returned … The incident only affected a portion of IBB and not the entire metropolis and we are fully on ground to prevent possible escalation. Let me assure you that the culprits will be brought to book, properly investigated and appropriate sanctions meted on them.” He promised adequate protection of lives and property of the citizenry.
State Commissioner of Police. Hafiz Inuwa who also confirmed the incident stated that, “… to align with what the governor has said, yesterday’s fracas has nothing to do with the relationship between the Police and Navy. It was just a misunderstanding amongst our junior officers that led to the incident which we quickly stepped in to address. We are glad to announce to the populace that Calabar and the entire state is calm and our status as the safest state remains without a doubt. All the service commanders in the state are one and active partners in progress, particularly on issues of security and protection of lives and property of the citizenry.”
While allaying fears of possible escalation, Hafiz explained that “In life, you cannot rule out such misunderstanding from time to time but we are more determined and ready to move above board in discharging our constitutional responsibilities.” He assured that the matter will be thoroughly investigated and the offenders legitimately sanctioned. The Police it appears suffered the most with personnel, vehicles and the Akim Police Station on IBB Way, affected.
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