Cross River Gov., Ayade to deploy ‘special espionage’ against illegal wood loggers



Cross River Governor, Professor Ben Ayade says his administration will henceforth use special espionage against illegal wood loggers in the state, adding that his administration was tired of setting up conventional task forces and committees to tackle the menace.

Prof Ben Ayade, Cross River State Governor

The governor issued the threat in Calabar while formally reacting to the high rate of deforestation going on in the state’s pristine forests.

In Ayade’s words: “We are tired of the complete cycle of conspiracy and so to buck the trend, an unknown task force which is a complete espionage on the criminality that is going on in our forests will be set up”, the governor said.

Professor Ayade vowed that his government was all out to fight illegal wood loggers in the state whose nefarious activities, he lamented, have led to progressive depletion of Cross River forest reserve.

Communities which are forest bearing, the Cross River state governor regretted,  have been massively dislocated and their land mass completely eroded thus creating huge environmental challenges with a cumulative long term consequence.

The governor also threatened to use any political appointee and security agents who aid and abet illegal loggers as scapegoats.

“From today, anybody caught with illegal wood, your vehicle, the driver, the occupants of that vehicle, the destination of the stolen wood, the government official who is colluding, or the security operatives who are colluding or the forest guards who are colluding, will be picked up and dealt decisively with.

“We will ensure that we involve the entire global community to sit and watch and monitor your prosecution to ensure that justice is done.

“We are ready to use as scapegoats, one or two people who are holding top government offices or people who feel they are connected to the Governor or those who feel they are politicians and then create an impression that by the appointments they have they can now collude with illegal wood loggers.

“My administration has no interest in any person who thinks that by their status, they can deplete the forest and put the futures of generations unborn into such catastrophic and cataclysmic danger”, the governor threatened.