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The Street kids of Calabar in months past is a situation that has given the People of the State great concern.
On Friday 10th July, 2015, the State Governor Senator Prof. Ben Ayade Inaugurated a task force body tagged “Operation Skolombo”, with the sole responsibility of bringing peace to the once peace loving tourism destination.
When i heard about the task force body, my heart was at rest looking at the caliber of persons that were charged with the responsibility of bringing peace to the State.
The task force body has been instituted and it is now time for business. The People of the State expect to see a State with maximum security. From Calabar down to the hills of Obanlikwu the People of the State are crying for help.
The task force body, “Operation Skolombo” must as a matter of urgency look into the cases of street children on our streets and neighbourhood. The body must device a means of removing the children off the streets.
It is the responsibility of the body to find out the causes of street kids, and how they can be rehabilitated. Less they forget, some of the causes of street children are family break down; is the one of the major causes of why we have street kids today. Poverty, sexual abuse, family conflict, children being denied their rights to go to school, trafficking etc.
The task force body should create a means of not just taking the kids off the streets but rehabilitating them. The children should be empowered with skills, vocational education, counseling, therapeutic support, medical care and many more.
The task force body should create a means of interviewing the street kids, find out their sponsors and those who buy stolen items from them. Once the sponsors or those who buy stolen items from them are identified , it is a step further in reducing the street kids menance of harrasing, pilfering, snatching of belongings, stabbing, kidnapping and many more.
In the last two months, the inland water ways in the State has been very porous, the task force body, should speedily attend to the high level kidnappings, shooting and robberies on our waters. It can be recalled that in the last 3 months the Calabar river has been proliferated by bandits who attack ships, travellers, marketers and members of the public. Marine Police, should be deployed on our waters to immediately attend to the problem of porosity of our inland water ways.
The task force body, should not center only on Calabar. It can be recalled that there has been a high level of robbery cases in the northern and central senatorial districts. The most recent and dreaded is the Zenith Bank robbery in Obudu. The people of the area are living in fear and are afraid to go about their normal businesses for the fear of the unknown. The body, should look into the insecurity problem that has rocked our State in recent time.
Lest the task force body; “Operation Skolombo” forget, they were appointed because of their experience, expertise, integrity, exposure and track records in handling security issues.
The People of the State are counting and hoping on them that they would work out a strategy towards reducing the insecurity situation in the State.
Prince Thomas Abi Jr.
Is a Public Affairs Analyst/Social Commentator