National Assembly begins investigation of Cross River mayhem
The National Assembly has commenced an investigation of October 23, 2020, and October 24, 2020 mayhem in Calabar and its environs during which lives and property were destroyed following the #EndSARS protests.
In a statement issued by a representative of Cross River South Senatorial District, Gershom Bassey, he said the Senate ordered the investigation following his motion on the subject matter.
The motion was co-sponsored by senators Clifford Odia (Edo Central), Stella Adaeze Oduah (Anambra North), Betty Apiafi (Rivers West), Akon Eyakenyi (Akwa Ibom), Kabiru Barkiya (Katsina State), and six others.
Bassey said the Senate mandated the Committee on National Security and Intelligence, Defence, Police Affairs, Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters to investigate the invasion of Calabar on October 24, 2020.
He told the senate that on October 23, 2020, a large crowd masquerading as #EndSARS protesters invaded and looted the Cross River State COVID-19 Palliatives Warehouse on Bishop Moinagh Street, Calabar.
“As a result of the mayhem, the Cross River State Government imposed a 24-hour curfew on Calabar from 6:00 p.m. on October 23 to avert further breakdown of law and order,” he said.
He expressed concern that in spite of the curfew, vandals invaded over 120 property in Calabar and vandalised, looted, burnt some property belonging to individuals, the state and Federal governments, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), West African Examination Council (WAEC) and Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), among others.
Bassey said he was convinced that the mayhem was a premeditated and selective invasion of the sovereignty of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and was targeted at prime Federal, state infrastructure, and lawmakers.
He, however, commended the intervention of the 13 Amphibious Brigade, Eastern Naval Command, NNS Victory, 207 Special Mobility Air Force Unit, and Zone 6 Police Command in Calabar that prevented the mayhem from further spreading.
“Given the scenario, Cross River State, being a predominantly civil service state, may not be able to overcome the effects of the invasion since the destroyed infrastructure was built from lean state resources over the years.
“Hence the Senate condemned the mayhem in Calabar and its environs and urged the Federal Government to assist in the reconstruction, rehabilitation, and renovation of property and infrastructure that were destroyed,” he added.