Judex Okoro, Calabar
Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River has imposed a twenty-four curfew in the state following the looto of COVID-19 and SEMA warehouses in Calabar.
The statement signed by Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to governor, Mr Christian Ita, said it became imperative to restore law and order within the state.
It read in part: “Following the hijacking of the peaceful protest against police brutality in the state by hoodlums, the state governor, Sir Ben Ayade has imposed a 24hr curfew in the state starting from 6pm on Friday, October 23, 2020.
“Residents of the state are advised to observe the curfew as security agents have been mandated to arrest anybody who flouts it.”
The COVID-19 palliative warehouse is located within the premises of the Cross River State Property Investment Limited (CROSPIL) and behind the Construction and Fabrication Academy of West Africa while the State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, is located at Barracks road.
Items worth hundreds of millions of naira carted away include noodles, rice, beans, water, garlic, Maggie, grounding oil and salt
Earlier in the day, hundreds of youths took to the streets to register their angst against the killing of their colleagues in Lekki.
The protest by the youths is coming despite the call by the President for an end to the end SARS protest across the country.
The scores of youths chanted #ENDSARS continuously and waved the Nigerian flag as they moved unhindered across Marian road and highway.
Howerver, trouble started when some of the protesting youths insisted that they should go the warehouse and check of there are still some palliatives.
While the leaders tried to calm them down that they dont need do bè violent, a few stubborn one headed straight to the warehouse and broke into the palce and discovered that a large quantity of the food stuff.
And without waiting times, the protesters called others and their friends and relatives to come and carry food stuff.
A witness and a resident of State Housing Estate, Eyo Eyo Edet, said they were shocked to see youths running into the warehouse premises as if fight had broken out, but within a split of seconds he saw them varting away various food items just as more were troooing into the place.
Edet, 36, said discovering that he quickly mobilised some of his neighbours and they moved in and carried their share of the national cake, wondering why keep large quantity of food when people are hungry.
As the time of sending this report, thousands of youths were seen ruuning through IBB Way, Eto Ita to where SEMA warehouse at Barracks road searching for food.
At SEMA warehouse, the angry and hungry youths equally broke into the palce about 6:30 pm and carted away thousands of bags of food items meant for disaster victims.
It was learnt that the SEMA warehouse has been set on fire bu the mob.
It was also gathered that about 12noon, dozens of masked youths stormed the secretariat of the Calabar South Local Government at Anantigha and carted away pieces of furniture, computers, office equipment and other valuables worth millions of Naira.
A Supervisor in the council, who pleaded anonymity, said: “These were not protesters because they wore masks.They were thieves. They carried everything away.”