BY: VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
Cross River state governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, has warned those fanning the embers of war that foreign powers are waiting in the wings to prey on the country should it slide into civil strife.
The warning came on the heels of the recent arson and looting across the country in the wake of the #EndSars protests
According to him, “there has been a persistent committment by some people to fragment the country. He was, however, of the view that Nigeria was better off as a united country”.
“Those who preach fire, those who ask that this country must divide, that this country must burn should know that revolutions everywhere, particularly in Africa only leaves everybody in pain and anger. In every country this has happened, once it degenerates, even those who called for the revolution will not live to see that aftermath.
“For Nigeria in particular, our country is a target for the advanced world to take advantage of our solid mineral deposits.
“So for the young people who through social media rise with narcissism and righteous anger against government that is not the path to follow”, he said
Ayade spoke at the Executive Chambers of the governor’s office, Calabar weekend while playing host to religious leaders in the state who came to rub minds with him over the recent large scale looting and destruction of public and private properties and businesses in Calabar.
The governor implored them to use their pulpits to appeal to the conscience of the arsonists and looters ” because by Sunday everyone of these people will come before you.It is your duty to speak to their conscience because the house of God is the only reliable source to start the cleansing”
He lamented the wanton destruction and looting that occurred in Calabar, saying it was too systematic to be a spontaneous action.
The Cross River state governor alluded to the fact that the state was marked for destruction by elements outside it, citing the Piles and pylon factory at Akamkpa where some of the hoodlums who razed it to ground were arrested and non of them are Cross Riverians.
He also disclosed that 80 percent of those arrested so far in connection with the looting, vandalization and destruction of private and public properties in Calabar are not Cross River indigenes.
“I have never seen a Cross Riverian who will take petrol and pour on a factory, on Tinapa, on CICC and set them ablaze .Some of the attacks were too systematic to be a simple mob action; how they targeted the most essential infrastructures of a state for destruction is too systematic”, he rued.
Earlier in his remark, the Catholic Archbishop of the metropolitan See of Calabar, His Grace, the Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Ekuwem expressed deep regret over the carnage saying the city of Calabar which was known for its serenity and beauty has now been desecrated by hoodlums.
He thanked governor Ayade for handling the situation with wisdom.