Fred Itua, Abuja
Senators and members of the House of Representatives from Cross River State have lamented the recent wanton destruction of public and private establishments in Calabar, the state capital.
The Cross River National Assembly caucus in a statement in Abuja insisted that miscreants and hoodlums who were not happy with the peace being enjoyed in the state, hijacked the #EndSARS peaceful protests to unleash mayhem.
They sympathised with their colleagues whose personal property were looted and torched in the process as well as other private individuals who suffered massive loss in the process.
The lawmakers pledged to cooperate with Governor Ben Ayade to work out means of addreasing the genuine demands of the #EndSARS protesters.
Part of their statement read: “The recent degeneration and commandeering of the protest by hoodlums and criminal elements, are regrettable and purported to taint an otherwise well intended purpose.
“The characteristic trademark of Cross River State is as an oasis of peace and the people’s paradise, indigenous to a people known for tolerance and love for one another and as well as others.
“This is our heritage and our priceless gains that have earned us a unique identity, admired by other parts of the country.
“We cannot give it up to the sheer exhilaration of the enemies of our state. we cannot allow those who do not wish us well, to destroy our coveted patrimony.
“We regret the sad incidents of looting, vandalism and wanton destruction of several government, private and individual properties in Calabar that occurred between the night of Friday, 23rd and Sunday, 25th October 2020.
“The undertone of this negative occurrence, sought to criminalize the good people of our state but then, we know the industrious and good-natured people of Cross River State cannot be identified with this unholy trend.
“This is why we are calling on all well-meaning Cross Riverians to stand up henceforth to protect and defend Calabar and Cross River State from hoodlums who are on a rampage, in a hopeless attempt to give us a bad image.
“With broken hearts, we identify and sympathize with the Government of Cross River State over the needless destruction of federal and state-owned properties, as well as private properties during the chaos last weekend.
“We send our solidarity to Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, Senator Bassey Ewa Henshaw Senator Bassey Edet Otu, Senator Hilliard Etta and other elder statesmen and stateswomen, who suffered loss.”
The federal lawmakers also expressed their solidarity with the Calabar market women’s association and its members;
some members of Cross River National Assembly Caucus; other members of the public, business owners and individuals who suffered losses in the unfortunate turn of events.