Fear has gripped residents of Calabar, the Cross River State capital as armed policemen yesterday barricaded all the roads leading to the Governor’s Office in the metropolis.
Among the places barricaded by the armed security operatives included the road from Murtala Mohammed’s Highway to the Accountant-General’s Office in Calabar; Leopard Road by National Population Census (NPC) office and Leopard Road to the defunct Mercantile Bank, which is close to the state police headquarters on Diamond Hill, Calabar.
A Calabar resident who sells roasted plantain, Mr Anthony Edom, said the presence of armed policemen along Leopard Road was scary, particularly to passers-by, stressing that the halt in vehicular movement had affected business activities in the area.
Reacting to the development, the permanent secretary, special services, Governor’s Office, Dr Alfred Mboto, urged the residents of the state not to panic as the armed security operatives were out to ensure security in the state.
“We are stepping up surveillance against all forms of criminality and to prevent breakdown of law and order. Residents of the state shouldn’t be afraid. The presence of security operatives is for the good of the people and should go about their normal duties,” he said.
When asked to explain when armed policemen would be taken off the street of Calabar, Mboto said, “We don’t want what happened in the past where several property worth millions of naira were destroyed to happen again.
“Until we are satisfied that we have been able to pursue those suspected to have infiltrated the state before we will ask the police to step down surveillance,” Mboto said