ENDSARS: CROSS RIVER LEGISLATORS CONDEMN LOOTING, VANDALISM IN CALABAR.
By Itam Offor
Cross River Legislators on tuesday undertook an on-the-spot assessment of public and private properties vandalised by hoodlums following the hijack of the EndSARS protests in Calabar.
The Legislators, led by the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Eteng Jonah Williams observed with dismay the wanton destruction of infrastructure across the Calabar metropolis and bemoaned the level of destruction unleashed upon the State Capital.
The Lawmakers who spoke to journalists during separate interviews condemned the acts of violence which according to them will require a lot of money to replace and stressed that the perpetrators must face the full weight of the law.
The Speaker, Rt Hon Eteng Jonah Williams expressed pain at the wanton manner that public and private properties were vandalized. He said, though the EndSARS protest was genuine, it was rather unfortunate that hoodlums hijacked it and used the opportunity to wreck havoc on the State.
He said, “what I have seen is unbelievable this is wickedness, this not about EndSARS ,this is our heritage totally destroyed. Records of over fifty years destroyed just like that, its wickedness.”
Williams called on all Cross Riverians to assist in fishing out the perpetrators, “every Cross Riverian should stand up to condemn this and also fish out the perpetrators wherever they are. This is not about Governor Ayade, this is about Cross River. People have trampled upon our collective heritage, what I have seen, the labour of our heroes past just destroyed like that Tinapa, CICC, Ministry of works, NTA, private residence amongst others. This is wickedness, am short of words”
Williams hinted that a panel of enquiry will be set up to investigate the looting and vandalism and those found culpable will be brought to book.
Also speaking, the Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Joseph Bassey, condemned the acts of violence. He said ; “there is something wrong somewhere. The CICC, Tinapa even hospitals destroyed. Cross Riverian have always been reasonable people, the most peaceful State in Nigeria, that is why we sell tourism. This action is totally unacceptable, Intruders must have done this to us, we are all casualties of this, the things destroyed belong to all of us.”
The Leader of the House, Rt. Hon Peter Odey, while condemning the looting called on Cross Riverians to stand up and defend the state against such acts of violence. Odey, who expressed disappointment over the looting added; I can’t believe my eyes , it’s not about PDP or APC ,I feel really angry. He also called for an investigation into the looting.
Some of the vandalized/looted places visited include; The ministry of works complex , Tinapa Lakeside Hotel and ware Houses , the Calabar International Convention Centre, Cross River Basin Development Authority, Nigerian Television Authority and the premises of Nigerian Chronicle which also houses the State Emergency Management Agency.
Other places visited by the legislators include; The residence of Senator Victor Ndoma Egba, Senator Gershiom Bassey and Value Mart owned by the wife of the immediate past Governor of the state Mrs Obioma Liyel Imoke