Hotel harbouring suspected kidnappers demolished in Calabar

A hotel that allegedly served as a hideout for suspected kidnappers has been demolished by the Cross River State Government security outfit ‘Operation Akpakwu’.

The ‘Save side hotel’ located at 8 Miles area in Calabar Municipality was allegedly harbouring suspected kidnappers terrorising the state.

Speaking after the demolition at the weekend, the State Security Adviser, South, to Governor Ben Ayade, Mr Henry Okokon, alleged that most of the kidnap cases carried out in Calabar were planned and coordinated from the hotel.

He said the Homeland Security bill which was signed into law by Governor Ayade clearly stated that “anybody who aids, abets and harbours a criminal is also guilty of the crime.”

He said residents of the area lived in fear as they were harassed by the suspected kidnappers who took over the hotel.

“The demolition exercise is an ongoing process, it is part of the activities of Operation Akpakwu that was set up to fight criminality in the state, especially kidnapping.

“The governor had warned landlords who are harbouring criminals to desist from doing so. Therefore, anybody found to be harbouring, abetting, or aiding crime, must definitely be held responsible.

“This hotel is one of the buildings that have been harbouring criminals and the government has decided to bring it down.

“Ths is a warning signal to all, and I think everybody should be aware of this. The general public should be aware that security is everyone’s business.

“I want to state that all legal procedures were taken before this building was demolished. The police have equally done their investigation, that is why we have the Army, Navy, and Air Force personnel here on the ground,” he said.

According to Okokon, landlords and hotel owners should do a thorough background check of their tenants and guests before giving them accommodation.

Four houses owned by suspected kidnappers and a brothel were also demolished in Calabar recently.

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