Officers and men of the Immigration Services in Cross River State Command have intensified 48 hour surveillance to track down illegal immigrants into the state along the border areas.
This was disclosed to our correspondent in an interview with the Comptroller of Immigration, Cross River State, Mr. Godwin Ogbenjuwa.
According to him, “this commitment and dedication has resulted to the arrests and repatriation of over 200 illegal immigrants who entered into the state without proper documentation back to their countries.
He said this year alone, the activities of Immigration services became more vibrant because of the unpleasant situation it has placed on the illegal immigrants who tried to enter into the state without valid papers.
The Immigration Boss said “over 200 illegal immigrants were arrested and repatriated back to their countries as they did not commit any criminal offence capable of prosecuting them.”
Such illegal immigrants, he said, were arrested because they did not come into the country or state with valid documentation.
He said only recently that 49 illegal immigrants were arrested in a single swoop while others were picked up at different locations.
Mr. Ogbenjuwa said that “despite all constraints we are doing our best. I am happy to tell you that last few weeks, I undertook a tour of some border communities in Ikom, Obanliku and Obudu respectively.”
The outcome of the tour, he said, was fruitful as useful discussions were held with local government chairmen, chiefs and opinion leaders in the areas visited.
He disclosed that the local chiefs were very eager and ready to cooperate with us as it concerns “giving out useful information” to assist us track down illegal immigrants.
Mr Ogbenjuwa emphasised the need for officers and men to be more vigilant despite its limited capabilities.
He appealed to other stakeholders to assist in logistic matters as the Federal Government cannot do it alone. Security, he said, is the job of everyone.
He warned illegal immigrants still hiding inside the state to better find their way back as Cross River State is not fit for them to stay as they would soon be fished out, pointing out that “staying illegally is a criminal offence.”
Mr Ogbenjuwa commended the co-operation of communities in border areas, adding that everybody now is very watchful not to compromise with the issue of security.