The House of Representatives has mandated the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, to establish a military formation in Oron Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, to tackle incidences of kidnapping and killings in the area, fueled by the porosity of national borders
The development followed a motion moved by the member representing Oron/Mbo/Okobo/Udung Uko/Urueoffong Oruko Federal Constituency, Hon Martins Esin, on the need to beef up security in the Oron Local Government Area and its environs.
The PUNCH reported that this was according to a statement by the press directorate of the lawmaker in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on Friday.
The lawmaker who is the Chairman House Committee on Youth Development said that the porosity of the national border has exposed border communities in Akwa Ibom State to incessant attacks by criminals and sea pirates leading to killings and kidnapping of citizens
He added that the lack of adequate armed security agencies and inadequate equipment and morale among law enforcement agents in Oron and its environs was responsible for the perpetuation of kidnappings, sea piracy, armed robbery, and wanton killings of innocent citizens, among other heinous crimes which have caused economic hardship in the area.
Esin said, “Oron and other parts of the constituency are bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, which provides a gateway to the Republic of Cameroon, but the porosity of the national border has paved the way for hardened criminals operating from the high sea to carry out unabated violence in the town and its neighbouring areas.
“The minimal presence of Nigerian armed security agencies and the lack of adequate equipment and morale among law enforcement agents in Oron and its environs was responsible for the perpetuation of kidnappings, sea piracy, armed robbery, and wanton killings of innocent citizens, among other heinous crimes which have caused economic hardship in the area”.
The lawmaker cited the abduction of a High Court judge in Akwa Ibom State, Joy Unwana, whose driver was later murdered, along Uyo-Okobo Road after the court sitting on December 18, 2023, to buttress his point.
The motion which received the support of all members present at plenary, urged the Inspector General of Police and the National Security Adviser to expedite the presence of security personnel by increasing surveillance and manpower in Oron/Mbo/Okobo/Udung Uko/Urueoffong Oruko Federal Constituency.
Presided over by Speaker Tajudeen Abbas, the House further mandated its committees on army and police affairs to monitor compliance.
On Thursday, the army apprehended a suspected female kidnapper while attempting to collect ransom for an abducted victim. in Taraba
The suspect, Janet Igohia was said to be arrested after picking up N 1.5m.
The troops had received information on January 25, 2024, from sources on the activities of extremist groups and insurgents around Chanchanji and Sai communities on their plans to move to a drop zone where relatives of abducted victims were directed to drop ransom money.