Judex Okoro, Calabar
Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River has called on the security agents to carry out a house-to-house search for looted property and arrest everyone involved in the looting of both public and private property in the state.
In a press statement signed by Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to the Governor, Mr Christain Ita, Ayade stated that the dusk-to-dusk curfew is still in force in the state and advised everyone to remain indoors as security agencies will not tolerate any non-compliance.
He said it has become imperative to protect the collective commonwealth of the people which is currently under threat by some persons who are desperately trying to discredit the peaceful disposition of Cross Riverians.
The statement read in part: “Following the deployment of more soldiers to Calabar to help quell violence, I call on security agencies in the state to take legitimate actions to halt the arson and carnage witnessed in some parts of Calabar.
“I equally urge the security agencies to take legitimate actions to ensure that calm returns to the state especially as the government is already working towards ensuring the demands of those who genuinely participated in the #EndSARS march are met.
“I also call on Cross Riverians to rise up and defend their land from criminal elements bent on destroying the image of the State,” he further stated.
Equally calling on the young people to sheathed their swords as their anguish have been heard loud and clear, the member of House of Representative, Rt Hon Eta Mbora, admitted that the last 48 hours has been harrowing in the state and particularly in the capital city of Calabar.
In a statement made available to journalists in Calabar on Sunday, Mbora, representing Municipality/Odukapni federal constituency, and whose property was also burnt by the hoodlums, said Cross River has never witnesses this kind of wanton destruction, vandalisation and senseless looting of public and private property championed by persons suspected to be infiltrators of the protest in the state.
He said:”We have witnessed the most bizarre, tumultuous and heart rendering period of our time in our great city of Calabar as vandals and miscreants with criminal minds seized and hijacked the well-intended #EndSars protests in Cross River State.
“Without any iota of doubt, the perpetrators of these heinous and vicious acts are neither part of and do not share the dreams and visions of our forebears and stakeholders for a peaceful, serene and progressive communities. Besides, these evils are not traceable to the DNA of our young people as they are noted for their peaceful coexistence and hardwork and therefore, abhor all forms of social unrest.
“In a most bizarre and coordinated manner, these criminals took turns to visit homes of prominent political leaders and stakeholders as well as premises of public and private businesses to unleash unwarranted attacks on and steal valuable items from them.
“This will, for a long time, greatly cause a great setback in our political, social and economic lives and will remain the greatest nightmare in our existence as a people and communities. This is, indeed unacceptable and condemnable in its entirety.”
He, however, said this is a great opportunity for the youths and critical stakeholders to collectively rise up to this occasion and mobilise, in the present and for the future to put a stop to the reoccurrence of all forms of social vices in our communities.
The lawmaker maintained that the happenings symbolise larger problems of inadequacy and the pain of citizen disillusionment as well as the despair of a proud people with an uncertain future.
According to the federal lawmaker, this problem is not limited to our state, but a national problem which has been with us for a very long time and regretted that the cries of the oppressed are being heard not by tears, but their targeted action against their perceived oppressors and institutions of oppression.
Expressig optimism for a better Cross River, he called on all stakeholders to seek ingenious ways of meeting the
aspirations of the people so as to bequeath an environment and a polity
that accommodates our wishes and aspirations.