Chiemeka ADINDU, Calabar
Calabar, the Cross River State capital and one of Nigeria’s ancient cities otherwise known as the nation’s paradise has suffered shipwreck as the ongoing nationwide End SARS protest seems to have been hijacked by hoodlums.
The protest in the state had begun in a peaceful manner but, continually increasing numbers were attracted to the shores of Calabar, actuated by motives widely different from those of the real protesters. And the darkness of the darkest night could not prevent the hoodlums from unleashing their mayhem in the state.
Atrocities too terrible to bear the light of day have been witnessed in these past few days.
The invaders began the havoc on Friday afternoon by vandalizing most of the warehouses where COVID-19 palliatives were packed before proceeding to the homes and businesses of private individuals.
So far, TNN reports that the following places have been attacked and vandalized by the hoodlums in Calabar: Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC State Secretariat, CTRA office (100 Marian), Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, NDDC office, Valuemat Supermarket, Cross River State Roll back Malaria centre, First Bank located at 8 miles.
Others are; NTA Channel 9 Calabar, Access Bank at Mayne Avenue, Federal Psychiatric hospital, Bulavaard joint, Senator Victor Ndoma Egba’s house, Senator Gershom Bassey’s house, All Kiddies at Marian, Enume Supermarket at Marian, UniCal e-library, UniCal hotel, Garment factory, Red Cross Office at garden street, NYSC Secretariat, Calabar, etc. An eye-witness disclosed that the hooligans nearly scrapped the paints on the walls of Governor Ayade sister’s house located at the premises of Cross River State Water Board Limited.
TNN also reports that the following premises were not just vandalized but burnt down: Cross River State Emergency Management Agency along barracks road, INEC office at Marian, Atakpa Police Station, Ministry of Works warehouse, WAEC office, amongst others.
Attempt to vacate some chemical products at the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC former state command located at Abitu by New airport road failed as there was a quick intervention of NSCDC armed squad who arrived at the scene.
Meanwhile, the state governor, Prof. Ben Ayade has charged security agents to search houses for looted items and take legitimate action to halt violence. This was contained in a press statement signed by the Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to the Governor, Christian Ita.
The governor also wants the security agents to carry out a house to house search for looted property and arrest everyone involved in the looting of both public and private property in the state.
Ayade who said he understands the pain of the people averred that there was need to protect the collective commonwealth of the people which is currently under threat by some persons who are desperately trying to discredit the peaceful disposition of Cross Riverians.
He urged the security agencies to take legitimate actions to ensure that calm returns to the State especially as the Government was already working towards ensuring the demands of those who genuinely participated in the #EndSARS march are met.
On his part, former governor of the state, Donald Duke has appealed for calm and called for action. He appealed to the youths to sheath their sword and await for the government to swing into action to address the needs of the people.