Cross River indigenes demand judicial panel on Calabar mayhem
The people of Cross River South Senatorial District has implored the Federal Government and the National Assembly to urgently institute a judicial panel of inquiry into the havoc Calabar witnessed between October 23 and 24, 2020 during the #EndSARS protests.
The decision followed a meeting with Senator Gershom Bassey in the aftermath of the alleged destruction, looting and burning of houses in five of the seven council areas in the district.
The affected council areas are, Calabar Municipal, Calabar South, Odukpani, Akpabuyo and Bakassi, while Akamkpa and Biase council were spared.
People of the district said the attack was premeditated.
One of the leaders, Prof. Offiong Ani Offiong said: “We want a judicial inquiry into the wanton destruction and adequate compensation paid to victims, because what has happened can be likened to a natural disaster considering the destruction from Calabar to Bakassi.
Offiong, who said he had seen the kind of destruction after the carnage in Biafra, appealed to the youths not to be angry anymore, “as we have all heard you loud and clear and we have heard you well.”
Bassey in an interview with journalists after the solidarity rally, said: “The destruction goes beyond any protest or anything like that. Almost 100 buildings across the state had been hit within five hours or a little more.
“It was a planned invasion of Calabar and if you can have an invasion of that magnitude in Calabar, a territory of Nigeria, there must be a problem and it must be investigated.
“We must get to the root of it. We must know what really happened that day and we must get to know those behind it. It was serious and I think the destruction in Calabar doubled that of Lagos State.”
Bassey whose father’s house in Calabar South was set ablaze and his residence at Asari Iso damaged said: “Calabar is the worst victim of the recent insecurity challenge in the country. It is important that the Federal Government supports the state government in getting to the bottom of the mayhem so that it would not occur, ever again.
“I am calling for an investigation, whether judicial panel of inquiry or whatever kind. The state and Federal Government should decide. But this matter goes beyond the state government. The state must collaborate with the federal to get to the root of this issue.”