It is black Saturday in Calabar metropolis as hoodlums took over the streets looting shopping malls, burning down houses, government offices and institutions.
Saturday Sun gathered that as early as 6:00am armed youths numbering hundreds started moving round in Keke unleashing mayhem on private and public properties.
The hoodlums action came in defiance of the 24 hours curfew imposed by the state governor Professor which was scheduled to commence from 6pm yesterday.
So far the hoodlums have vandalised INEC Office along Marian Road in the heart of the city, the office of the Cross River State Transport Regulatory Agency (CRTRA) and banks along Mayne Avenue and 8-Miles Calabar making away with cash and other valuables.
Determined to wreak more havoc on the city, the hoodlums have also burnt Senator Gershom Bassey’s houses located at Mayne Avenue by White and the one at Asari Iso after looting it and vandalised Sen Victor Ndoma Egba house within the same Asari Iso axis.
Federal institutions including Ministry of agriculture, Cross River Basin Authourity, WAEC and Federal Psychiatric Hospital have all been looted and some set ablaze.
Other institutions also attacked by the hoodlums include department of Petroleum Resources, NDDC office,
ministry of Works warehouse burnt down, Cross River State Roll back Malaria centre and Bulavaard joint.
Checks by Saturday Sun showed that military personnel have taken over major streets trying to maintain law and order.
Some of them were sited at Marian Road, Highway and some government institutions within the metropolis.
Some residents have expressed shock over the incident and wondered why all the security agencies in the state turned a blind eye and allowed that level of looting and arson take place.
A resident, Inyang Aauquo, said: “This has gone beyond the #EndSARS protest. The looting of people’s private properties and destruction of their businesses must stop forthwith.
“This is the time for Governor Ben Ayade to show capacity and crackdown on these hoodlums. Calabar has neverwitnessed this kind of insecurity and lawlessness. They have dececrated the land and they must not go unpunished.
“It is time for our leaders to close ranks and rescue Cross River. We have gone into abyss.”
Also condemning the attack on Calabar metropolise in strong terms, the Cross River State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) said the burning down of the Cross River State Newspaper Corporation and staff cars by suspected hoodlums are unacceptable.
NUJ in a statement signed by Comrades Victor Udu and Oka Ibor as Chairman and Secretary respectively, said:” It is sad and unfortunate that the #EndSARS protest has been hijacked by miscreants and hoodlums.
“We call on those responsible youths with the original vision to retreat to give way for the security operatives to fish out these criminals and misguided youths destroying property and stealing.
“We therefore, call on the State Governor to immediately constitute a fact finding Committee to ascertain the extent of damage on the Newspaper Corporation and private cars with a view to ensuring that it’s production is not hampered and compensate the affected staff accordingly.
“The law enforcement operatives in the State are also urged to commence a discreet investigation of the matter to arrest and prosecute the pepetrators.”