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Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to extend the `Operation Delta Safe’ to Cross River to tackle kidnapping, militancy and cultism in the state.

Ayade made the appeal on Friday in Calabar while briefing newsmen after a meeting with security chiefs on measures to tackle insecurity in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the state had witnessed the incidences of kidnapping, cultism, and militancy in the past three months.

The governor said that following the scraping of `Operation Pulo Shield' and replacing it with the `Operation Delta Safe', criminals in other parts of Niger Delta had relocated to Calabar and environs.

According to him, security reports showed that 47 suspects have been arrested in connection with the heinous crimes in parts of the state.

``We are sending a passionate appeal to President Buhari to help us extend `Operation Delta Safe' to Cross River to help us fight militancy, kidnapping, cultism and other heinous crimes.

``In the last three months, some criminal elements have turned Cross River into a safe haven for kidnapping. We must fight them back; we are ready to flush them out of the state.

``We need urgent assistance from the Presidency, if not, Cross River will continue to be a safe haven for these criminals.

``We have arrested 47 suspects so far, and from investigations, all these suspects are from neighbouring states. Some of them have started confessing; we are on red alert to arrest more.

``Any government official we discover to be in connection with these criminals will be sacked and handed over to security agencies for prosecution’’, he said.

The governor said the government had supported security agencies in the state with 30 operational vehicles to help strengthen their operation within Calabar city.

``As the Governor of the state, I am assuring investors of their safety. Cross River is the most peaceful state in the country.

``With the support of security agencies in the state, we will ensure that residents and tourists go about their legal businesses without fear of kidnapping and intimidation.

``We have discovered all the nine routes of these kidnappers. The stop and search operation will be on the increase to curb this ugly trend of kidnapping in the state.

``Cross River is not a home for criminals. As a state, we must employ new tactics to chase these criminals away.

``I want to assure Cross Riverians, investors, tourists and others that their lives are safe in the state,’’ he assured.

Ayade, however, assured the citizens that his administration would do everything possible to restore peace and stability in the state.

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