Fri. Dec 4th, 2020

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Calabar Is Finished, Victims Of Carnage Lament

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Chiemeka ADINDU, Calabar

Weeks after the carnage in Calabar, Cross River State, victims and residents of the city are still counting their losses, even as they seek help from the government and public spirited organisations.

Some of those who spoke to TNN on the damage done to private and public property in the state said it could take hundreds of billions of naira to fix all the property destroyed by the hoodlums during the #EndSARS protest that was hijacked by hoodlums.

Acting Chief Judge of the state, Justice Eyo Effiom Ita said “a whole lot has been lost. Almost all the air conditionings have been lost.

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“We cannot even quantify the damage yet because we do not know whether case files and exhibits have been lost because those are the ones we cannot replace. Every other thing can be replaced but case files cannot. It is bad and enormous loss to a court; it’s just like losing your history because the courts are the repositories of our history, so when you lose your history, you are lost”.

He said vandalism was not the real intentions of the #EndSARS protesters, noting that it was hijacked. He expressed the hope that lessons must have been learnt from the incidence, adding that the incident showed that all was not well.

“It is a pity that it has happened but I hope we learn the lessons it is showing us because it didn’t happen for nothing and I hope we don’t allow it to go for nothing.

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“The people are annoyed; there is something they are annoyed about. How can somebody go to school, after ten years he can’t get work? So there’s something wrong; it is for us to look and connect those things otherwise I don’t know how it will end. Because it was assumed that Nigerian youths are lazy, they cannot do anything. They’ve shown us now, they’ve shown us more. So it is for us to learn”, Ita said.

Managing Director of Tinapa, Ojong Ayiba Ayiba said the situation was overwhelming. “From what you can see, this is not any attempt to loot. It’s an invasion and that’s where we are at the moment. Hundreds of billions have been lost. We are standing before the warehouse but unfortunately the government does not have anything here. Everything carted away here are all owned by investors.”

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One of the victims of the warehouses raided at Tinapa , who gave his name simply asElvis said: “As a matter of fact, all our consignments, like me I had over six containers which include building materials, food and beverages, were carted away here and the warehouse was turned down, burnt to ashes. And as we are here, all these things are no more to be found”.

Also, chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC Cross River State chapter, Ben Ukpepi described the attack on NLC secretariat as an act of wickedness. He disclosed that it may take over N200 million to restore the secretariat to its formal state. “The level of destruction is beyond human imagination. It is an act of wickedness. Literally everything has been carted away and the ones that can be taken have been destroyed even up to toilet seats.

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“Initially, their protest was good, but their protest has failed. Well, the destruction cannot deter our actions as a labour movement; we will continue our actions and our meetings under the tree to ensure that the welfare of the workers are maintained,” Ukpepi said.

Meanwhile, many of the suspected miscreants have been arrested and many of the looted items recovered. State Commissioner of Police, Abdulkadir Jimoh disclosed this to TNN in a phone interview. He said that over 90 suspects have been arrested so far and that the command was still working tirelessly to get many others arrested.

The CP said “we have recovered so much. And we want to do verification after which we will announce to the public the figures and the items recovered. For now, the state is very calm. The people are going about their lawful businesses. So far so good, the area is calm. We are still recovering, I gave an ultimatum of 24 hours which has elapsed and people have been dropping looted items by the road side.

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“So far, we have arrested over 90 suspects who are directly involved. Some were arrested during the house to house search. The moment we get intelligence we act on it. You should also understand that there is community vigilance in line with community policing templates who give us credible intelligence. My appeal is that everybody should try to talk to their children to stay away from crime, vandalism, arson, let them bring them in the way of the Lord and to be law abiding so that Cross River will be a peaceful state among the community of states.

“The whole thing started with #EndSARS until the hoodlums hijacked it but because of our proactiveness, if you compare the level of damage here with that of other states you’ll notice that we didn’t record up to the damages the hoodlums did in other states”.

During the Calabar carnage, the following were either looted, burnt or both.

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Cross River State Property Investment Limited, CROSPIL office, Bishop Moynagh Avenue, State Housing Estate – Looted on Friday, October 23. Atakpa Police Station, Watt Market – burnt down on Saturday, October 24. Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC office, Murtala Mohammed Highway – vandalised on Saturday, October 24. Calabar Discount Mall (harbouring Valuemat Supermarket and other stores), Ndidem Usang Iso Road, Marian – looted and vandalised on Friday, October 23. Independence National Electoral Commission, INEC office, Marian Road, burnt down on Friday, October 23. Commercial Transport Regulatory Agency, CTRA office (100 Marian), Marian Road – vandalised on Saturday, October 24. Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR – vandalised on Saturday, October 24.

Ministry of Works warehouse, Ekorinim II – looted and burnt down on Friday, October 23. Cross River State Roll back Malaria centre, Barracks Road -looted and vandalised on Saturday, October 24. Bulavaard joint owned by APC chieftain, Ntufam Hillard Ettah, Etta Agbor – looted and vandalised on Saturday, October 24. First Bank, 8 Miles – vandalised on Friday, October 23. West African Examination Council, WAEC office, Murtala Mohammed Highway – burnt down on Saturday, October 24. Federal Psychiatric hospital, Calabar Road – looted and vandalised on Saturday, October 24. Access Bank, Mayne Avenue -vandalised on Saturday, October 24. Senator Victor Ndoma Egba’s House, Asari Eso – looted and burnt down on Saturday, October 24. Senator Gershom Bassey’s House, Asari Eso – looted and vandalised on Saturday, October 24. Cross River Garment Factory, Goodluck Jonathan bypass – looted on Saturday, October 24. Ayade Fuelling Station, Murtala Mohammed Highway – looted and set ablaze on Saturday, October 24.

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Senator Gershom Bassey’s House, Mayne Avenue by White House – looted and burnt down on Saturday, October 24. National Identity Management Commission, NIMC office, Murtala Mohammed Highway – set on fire on Saturday, October 24. National Television Authority, NTA, Murtala Mohammed Highway – vandalised on Saturday, October 24. University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, UCTH, Etta Agbor – looted on Saturday, October 24. University of Calabar, UNICAL Publishing Center, Etta Agbor – looted and vandalised on Saturday, October 24. UNICAL Microfinance Bank, Etta Agbor – looted and vandalised on Saturday, October 24. UNICAL Main Library – vandalised on Saturday, October 24.

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Cross River Agric Development Project, IBB way opposite Margaret Ekpo International Airport – looted on Friday, October 23. Infectious Disease Hospital, IDH Hospital, Chamley area – looted and vandalised on Saturday, October 24. Empowerment warehouse, Henshaw Town – looted and vandalised on Saturday, October 24. Calabar Mall (harbouring SPAR Supermarket and other stores), Cultural Centre – vandalised on Saturday, October 24. Cold Stone Store and Domino’s Pizza, Ndidem Usang Iso Road, Marian – looted and vandalised on Friday, October 23. Shops in Watt Market, Watt – looted, vandalised and some set on fire on Saturday, October 24. Most Banks and Shops/Transport Companies, Ettah Agbor – vandalised on Saturday, October 24.

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Lafarge (former UNICEM) Trucks loaded with cement along Atimbo Road – hijacked on Saturday, October 24. Ibedmore Phone Shops, Calabar Road – set on fire on Saturday, October 24. Carnival Calabar Treasury House (speakers, lighting, stage, carpets, mics, amplifiers, etc) – looted on Saturday, October 24. Mbukpa Police Station, Mbukpa – burnt down on Saturday, October 24. Calabar Municipality and Calabar South Area Councils – looted and vandalised on Friday, October 23. First Bank, Highway by Ekorinim – vandalised on Saturday, October 24. H20 Calabar, Mary Slessor by UNICAL Main Gate – looted and vandalised on Saturday, October 24. Peace Mass Transport, PMT Park, Etta Agbor – looted and vandalised on Saturday, October 24. Spark Shop Calabar – looted and vandalised on Saturday, October 24. Eco Bank, Mary Slessor Avenue – vandalised on Saturday, October 24.

UDEC Phone Shop, opposite UNICAL, Etta Agbor – looted and vandalised on Saturday, October 24. Pensioners Office, Asita Ita Street – vandalised on Saturday, October 24. Accountant General Office – vandalised on Saturday, October 24. All Progressives Congress, APC office, Marian Road – vandalised on Saturday, October 24. Nigerian Chronicle Newspapers’ office, Barracks Road – burnt down on Friday, October 23. World Health Organisation, WHO and Cross River State Health Insurance Scheme (AyadeCare) offices, Barracks Road – looted and vandalised on Saturday, October 24. Government Secondary School, Henshaw Town – vandalised on Saturday, October 24.

Cross River State Water Board Limited (CRSWBL) Residences, Ndidem Usang Isong Road, Marian – looted and vandalised – on Saturday, October 24. Hon. Eta Mbora’s apartments and properties on IBB and Mekenge were looted and destroyed. Federal Inland Revenue Service,FRIS, everything looted. Agricultural Development Programme, looted. Residence of Senator Bassey Ewa Henshaw – Everything carted away. Office of Auditor General – Looted and vandalized. Akpabuyo Local Government Secretariat – Looted and vandalized. NLC Secretariat, NYSC Secretariat – Looted and vandalized. Federal Mortgage Bank, Bedwell – looted and vandalized, etc.

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