Judex Okoro, Calabar
As security operatives commence an intensive search for stolen public and private property within Calabar metropolis, suspected hoodlums have resorted to dumping looted items into waste bins and by the roadside.
Hoodlums had on Friday and Saturday last week wreaked havoc in the capital city of Calabar in the wake of the nationwide #EndSARS protests against police brutality, looting and destroying COVID-19 relief and State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) warehouses, some government institutions, homes of politicians, and private business premises.
This led to the imposition of dusk-to-dusk curfew and subsequent take over of major streets and roads by stern-looking military officers just as they have cordoned off streets linking Calabar South with Calabar Municipality.
Afraid of a heavy military presence and possible arrest if identified, some youths have discreetly moved the looted items out of their homes and dumped them in nearby streets.
Checks by Daily Sun showed that youths at Mbukpa, Edibedibe, in Calabar South and Eta Agbor, Ikot Effa and Asari Iso in Calabar Municipality, have taken the lead by dropping the items either on the road or into waste bins.
At Mbukpa market, items looted from Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH) were said to have been dumped beside the waste bins there, while at Edibedibe some electronics and chairs are said to be dumped on the roadside.
At Ikot Effa, along Parliamentary axis, some youths have hurriedly dropped the stolen items including TV sets, generating sets, some beddings and mattresses at the roadside.
At Asari Iso, the community took the lead by employing a town crier who spoke in the Efik language, calling on all those who participated in looting the home of Senator Gershom Bassey and other State and private property to immediately return them.
The town crier, who moved round as early as 5:00 am today, said: ‘All those who looted the properties of Senator Gershom Bassey should drop it on the road, this is the order of the community.’
An eyewitness, who simply gave her name as Imaobong, said: ‘
‘At Ikot Effa and Asari Iso, the youths in the areas have started panicking as soldiers have been patrolling the area. They are also afraid of community wrath, so they have to drop them on the roads.
‘Some of them have gone into hiding for fear of arrest just as some of them have dropped stolen items on roadsides so that security people can pick it up.’
At Anantigha and Mbukpa, a resident at Jebbs Street in Calabar South, Akparawa Akpan, said soldiers have been combing some flashpoints, looking for the hoodlums.
‘We commend Governor Ben Ayade for taking these drastic measures to restore sanity in the State. These hoodlums were almost taking over our ancient city of Calabar and have destroyed our common heritage.
‘But we are happy that the military are everywhere and they should be allowed to take charge, especially in Calabar South, which is the base of miscreants,’ he said.
Meanwhile, the Senior Special Assistant on Non-Indigens Affairs( Igbo) to Governor Ayade, Ugoji Nwabueze, Esq, has advised Igbo businessmen in Cross River to be careful not to buy or aid the transportation of the looted/stolen items as the looters may be desperately looking for buyers.
Condemning the level of destruction and looting, Nwabueze said: ‘l call on Igbo resident in all parts of the State to resist the temptation of buying any item from an unknown source, even at a cheaper rate.’