Cross River State government has accused men of the Nigeria Police Force of sabotaging its efforts at preventing the spread of the coronavirus disease into Akwa Ibom State.
In a statement, an aide to the governor on publicity, Peter Iyali, said Police officers, mounting the State boundaries, were allegedly collecting N500 each from hundreds of individuals wishing to cross into the state.
He said the action of the bad eggs in the police force was disgraceful and a betrayal, adding that the sabotage was more rampant at the Calabar-Itu road boundary.
Iyali said the state government was not leaving any stone unturned but solicited for the supports and understanding of everyone particularly the police.
“We need everybody to, at least, be responsible at this time. Police should do their work, after the pandemic, they can return to their normal ways.
“This thing is no joke. If the Police don’t want to help the state, government should withraw them from all the state borders and empower willing youths to help government enforce the lockdown order.
“Now that five cases out of the 17 tested in Akwa Ibom came out positive, Cross River will be in serious problem because of the irresponsibility and insatiable appetite of some officers for bribes.
“This thing is now in our neighbouring states; Akwa Ibom and Benue.
Cross River is now at a high risk.” Reacting on behalf of the commissioner of police in the state, Mr Uche Anozia, the assistant commissioner in charge of operations in the state, Mr Cletus, said the allegation was not true as it is not only the police officers who make up the security task forces.
“We doubt much because every security personnel, especially the police personnel are well tutored about how to function during these times. People like to give police a bad name in order to hang them.
“Remember that President [Muhammadu Buhari] has exempted petroleum products, animals and certain critical economic goods not to be blocked. So, at these entry ports people misconstrue when our men allow these items to pass through,” he said.