The Speaker of Cross River State House of Assembly, Hon Eteng Williams, has alleged that some traditional rulers in the State are members of cult groups.
Speaking at a one-day security summit in Calabar on Thursday, the Speaker alleged “Our Chiefs are now part of cultism, they are cultists and how do you expect a village head who is a cultist to arrest or report a cultist,” he asked.
The Speaker said, “Let us be sincere to ourselves, how do you expect us not to have security challenges when we don’t have democratically elected structures.
“Compare our security challenges today and before, then, there was no serious security issue. Unless we have democratically elected institution in our local government councils, we will continue to have security challenges.
“We don’t have meeting on security at our local government areas any longer, our traditional rulers no longer hold security meetings, and they don’t discuss any security issues again.”
The Speaker noted that if the state has democratically elected institution in place in local government areas, they will take responsibility of our security at that level of governance and it will extend to state and federal.
“In local government councils, there is security committee, they have security votes, the council meet regularly, in fact every Monday but that is no longer happening, so why will we not have security issues or break down of law and order.
“In local government area, we have standing committee, call peace committee, whenever there is farming season; this committee will interfaced with other villages, move round sensitising the people on peace, we don’t have such again” he lamented.
He said that the State security architecture is near collapse, “The security is failing in the State, there is no week we don’t have report of matter of urgent public importance brought in by members about security in their constituencies.
“We have passed several security laws, we have done our part, we provided the anti kidnapping bills since 2015, that bill have been gazetted, there is provision that says the state Chief Judge should designate a Special Court for kidnapping, that has not been done, Cross River State has become a fertile ground for kidnapping, we don’t have the political will and capacity to fight cultism” he said.
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