A hotel in Cross River State, alleged to have been harbouring suspected kidnappers, has been demolished by the state government.
The hotel, identified as Save Side Hotel, is located at 8th Miles, Calabar.
It was pulled down by a Cross River State Government security outfit called Operation Akpakwu.
Henry Okokon, a security adviser to Governor Ben Ayade, said on Saturday “most recorded kidnap cases in Calabar were planned and coordinated from the hotel”.
Mr Okokon did not provide any evidence to back his claim against the hotel or its owners.
He, however, said, “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 ground.”
PREMIUM TIMES could not immediately reach the owners of Save Side Hotel for their comment, as they did not respond to calls and a text message on Saturday afternoon.
According to Mr Okokon, residents were now living in fear because of harassment from suspected kidnappers.
“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,” the governor’s aide said.
“This 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,” he added.
Cross River, like most other states in Nigeria, has witnessed an increase in crimes like robbery, kidnapping, cultism and cult-related killings.
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