Chiemeka ADINDU, Calabar
A former chairman of Inter Party Advisory Committee, IPAC in Cross River, Baron Eyo has urged the federal government to declare a state of emergency in the state. He says the curfew has been rubbished by unfolding events in the state.
He believes that the declaration would solve the problem of the endless curfew in the state. According to him, the curfew has affected the economic development and activities in the state.
In the alternative, he wants the state government to relax the curfew since there is no war in the state. He said he has not witnessed such a curfew before since the state was created.
“The curfew is not necessary, it is stupidity. This man should call this thing off because it is overdue, the curfew is on and they are still kidnapping people, curfew is on and they killed police and collect their rifles. So what is it for?
“I don’t understand. There are people who make ends meet at night; they do their little business to send their children to school, they are out of business. And you said you are having curfew? It’s funny.
“There is a law guiding curfew which I am going to look for and I believe if a curfew lasts over 3 months, then there should be a state of emergency. So what is surrounding us, what crime are we facing that we are having curfew up till today? The same security challenge we are having was caused by the governor. He wasn’t motivating the security agencies and everybody went to sleep. That was why we faced what we faced over the years.
“Now that the people are coming to work, have you been seeing all those kidnapping alarms again? It’s no more there, so why are you still keeping curfew. Must we still engage in curfew to get peace?
“For me, no. Cross River State used to be very peaceful. We’ve had governors before Ayade, I’ve never seen any curfew that lasted for one week or two weeks and we had peace in this town we had peace in Cross River. Even warring communities in the Northern or Central Cross River State; when you declare a curfew, it can’t be more than a month or two. We are not fighting for war here, why having a curfew in the state Capital?
“Relaxing the Curfew will not cause more kidnapping. I disagree with that. If you have security agents doing their work at strategic places as it used to be before now, we will have relative peace”, the former IPAC chair recounted to TNN in a telephone conversation.
Following the hijacking of the peaceful protest against police brutality in Cross River State by hoodlums, the state governor, Professor Ben Ayade on Friday, October 23, 2020 imposed a 24-hour curfew in the state.
The curfew was later relaxed after some days, to last from 10pm to 6am.
This week makes it a total of five months since the state has been on the lockdown without the state government making any plans to relax the curfew.
The situation has caused ripples in the state as many residents and activists are no longer happy with the situation. They said the government had introduced a security outfit christened “Operation Akpakwu” which has witnessed a level of success in curbing insecurity in the state.
However, there are still some records of attacks by these miscreants who are attacking the state once in a while. Many have accused the state government for causing the problem in the state. They believe that since the situation has become overwhelming to the state government that the federal government should do something immediately and declare a state of emergency since it seems the state government is hopeless in the matter.