BY: VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
The #EndSars Protests has left Calabar South Local government council with loss of property worth over N500 million following the vandalisation and looting in Cross River State.
Also it has been alleged that the vandalisation and looting according to sources close to the council headquarters may not be unconnected to two serving Commissioners in the governor Ben Ayade’s government
Eyewitness report said “on Saturday 24th of October at about 7pm, the hoodlums numbering over 300 and some in keke Napep carrying 20liters of fuel made their way to the council with war songs suggesting that they were mobilised by the serving Commissioners to loot the council and set it ablaze to give the impression that the sitting Chairman, Mrs Esther Bassey was not popular,’.
“They wore steel helmets and illuminating vest and broke into the chairman’s office and carted away from newly installed furniture, air-conditions and other valuable items, our sources added ‘.
‘Our sources further said the irate youths armed with guns, matchets and other dangerous weapons moved over to the Legislative Chambers and the administrative block where they looted tables, air-conditions , fridges, safes, chairs and other personal items of staff chatting “clear from our way, we are out to kill and dump the corpse for Esther Bassey…we will burn down the council but for pity just loot and go”
They further said the alleged wo Commissioners later at about 7pm same day drove to the vandalised council headquarters and sued for peace but urged them to keep up the pressure against the bad government of Calabar South.
Speaking on this ugly development, a top notcher of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in Calabar South, Asuquo Etim, said “the attack on the council is not ordinary but was masterminded by some influential people in government of the state. In all the vandalisation, looting and burning of government and private properties only Calabar South headquarters out of the 18 councils in the state was affected”.
“There is more to it and I believe it may not be unconnected with the fall out of the tussle that led to the emergence of the sitting Chairman and other officers and the power play on who controls affairs of the council. For me the Calabar South Council Chairman Hon Esther Bassey has performed credictably well in terms of governance and this crisis is unnecessary but just sheer selfishness and ego”.
He advised all to sheath their sword for the interest of peace and the state government should caution the vandals and their sponsors to focus on the collective development of the state rather than running from pillar to post”
When contacted, the Calabar South Council Chairman, Mrs Bassey confirmed the attack on the council saying “so much was destroyed and put together properties worth over N500 million were looted and vandalised.”.
In answer to a question, she said “I am not aware of any foul play but i condemn the wanton destruction and looting. Whatever the anger, peace is the way forward for development”.