Cross River State governor Senator Ben Ayade has ordered security agencies in the state to search houses to recover looted items and take legitimate action to halt violence.
Between Friday and Saturday last week, hoodlums and looters broke into over 35 government and private properties, looted several items and set some buildings ablaze.
On Friday members of the public numbering over 15, 000 had broken into the Cross River State government uncompleted Fabrication Academy and carted away thousands of COVID-19 palliative meant for people of the state.
Similarly the large crowd of persons trooped to the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) along Barracks road, the Ministry of Works warehouses at Ekrinim 2, broke the warehouses and also made away with relief materials. Calabar South Local Government headquarters at Anantigha was also vandalized and looted.
Men, Women, some security personnel, young boys and girls were seen carting away hundreds of bags of rice, Indomie, salt, sugar, zinc and other items. Some people were heard shouting, “This is wickedness, it is our food let us pack it. Why did the government not give us since?”
The governor had on Friday announced a 24 hour curfew in the state yet properties were looted and burnt down on Saturday and they include, INEC Municipal Zonal office at Marian Road, Walmart at Marian, Federal Psychiatric Hospital along Calabar road, Senator Gershom Bassey’s family home along White house burnt and his private house at Axari Iso (vandalised and looted), Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba’s house at Asari Iso vandalized, looted and burnt, Garment Factory at Goodluck Jonathan by-pass, Ayade’s filling station under construction, First Bank at Eight miles, Nigeria Ports Authourity at Harbour (vandalized and looted), Tinapa (vandlised and looted).
The State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) in Cross River Newspaper Corporation (Chronicle) premises along Barracks road was looted and burnt on Friday night with some cars at the premises.
Others are Fabrication Academy (vandalised and looted) where COVID-19 palliative were hoarded since April, Larfage (Unicef) trucks with cement at Atimbo (vandalised and looted), NLC office-vandalised, CTRA office (100 Marian traffic regulatory office)–vandalised, Department of Petroleum Resources—vandalised, Atakpa Police Station—burnt down, NDDC office–vandalised, Ministry of Works warehouse—burnt down, Cross River State Roll back Malaria centre—vandalised, Boulevard joint—vandalised, Access bank by Mayne Avenue vandalized, Lawrence Henshaw Memorial hospital (IDH) at Edgerly vandalized and looted, Akpabuyo Police station burnt and others.
Ayade in a statement yesterday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Christian Ita, said, “following the deployment of more soldiers to Calabar to help quell violence, Cross River Governor, Sir Ben Ayade has asked security agencies in the State to take legitimate actions to halt the arson and carnage witnessed in some parts of Calabar.
“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 said he understands the pains of the people and 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 match are met”.
The Governor called on Cross Riverians to rise up and defend their land from criminal elements bent on destroying the image of the State.
The governor said the dusk to dusk curfew was still in place but this time around it is and “consequent upon this, everyone is advised to remain indoors as security agencies will not tolerate any non compliance”.