BY,:, VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
Community Leaders within Calabar metropolis have rose up to condemn the barbaric attack on Senator Gershom Bassey’s private residence and his family house by hoodlums under the guise of the #Endsars movement.
The hoodumd took the advantage to loot, vandalize and raze down the family house of Late Chief Gershom Henry Bassey (Snr.).
The condemnation on the attack came on the heels of the aftermath of the Friday/Saturday #EndSars protest which saw the vandalisation, looting and burning of government and private property in the state capital,.
However, they pleaded with the perpetrators and their allies to return the looted properties and called on residents not to allow strange fellows to instigate them to violence.
Among those who spoke on behalf of other community leaders during the meeting were Chief Edem Bassey of Ikot Nsisuk; Chief Ekpeyong Efiok Youth leader of Ikot Uduack; Chief Alex Effiom, Village Head of Akai Effa; Chief Asibong Ekeng Ita of Ediba; Chief Ansa Ekpo Akabom of Ikot Eyo; Chief Samuel Ekanem of West Side Ediba; and Chief John Okon Effiong of Orok Street.
In his reaction, the village head of Akai Efa, Chief Alex Effiom, said the attack and assault on their son who is one of the strong pillars of Efik Kingdom and Cross River state, and the only one standing, “is uncalled for, unprovoked and can not be justified under any guise”.
According to him, “I have send a town crier to inform perpetrators to return all the items and i must ensure all items looted are returned.”.
Speaking, the youth leader, Ikot Uduack, Chief Ekpeyong Effiok called on Distinguished Senator Gershom Bassey to forgive the perpetrators of the attack and described “it as reprehensible and sacrilegious to his personality, a High Chief in Efik land known as Obong Ekpe. He also urged all Efik sons and daughters to condemn the attack as those executing the arson are not true children of the land.”.
Leaning his voice on the attack ,the Chief of Ikot Eyo, Chief Ansa Ekpo Akabom, said Ikot Eyo and environs will do everything possible including house to house search to recover all looted properties of the Senator and identify those who were involved in the despicable act.
Cndemning the attack, the Ediba Youth leader, Chief Asibong Ekeng Ita, expressed shock over the looting, vandalization and setting ablaze of the family house of Late Chief Gershom Henry Bassey (Snr.).
He said it was late for him and others to mobilize the community to repel the attack since it took the community unaware, and the violence was against the good image of the Senator and the traditional norm of the people. He urged the youth to respect leaders and that the only way to be prosperous is to embrace dialogue, peace and unity.
The Chief of Ikot Nsisuk, Chief Edem Bassey lend his voice to plead with the Senator to forgive all the perpetrators whilst ensuring those involved must return all the properties.
He condemned the attack and urged all right thinking residents of the state to do same, adding that the aggressive assault was an affront to the image of Cross River State that is synonymous to peaceful people, adding that Sen. Gershom Bassey is greatly loved by his people and they have great respect for the Senator.
He emphasized the fact that the insane act was carried out by strangers and not members of the community. He further stated that it is unthinkable for the community to loot Sen. Gershom Bassey who has been good and a great pillar to the community.
Other community leaders who added their voices stated that the reprehensible act was carried out by those who are threatened by Sen. Gershom Bassey’s personality and those who felt he will be demoralised and cowed out of leadership. They noted that their plans have failed because Sen. Gershom Bassey is stronger, equal to the task and now twice as tall.