Member representing Bakassi State constituency in the Cross River state House of Assembly (CRSHA), Dr Ekpo Ekpo Bassey, has lamented last month’s destruction and looting of public and private properties mainly in Calabar South, Calabar Municipality, Bakassi and Akpabuyo local government areas by men believed to have hijacked the EndSARS protest.
In a press release made available to our reporter, Sunday, the lawmaker, who appealed to youths to reject being used to destroy their own inheritances, commiserated with Governor Ben Ayade for the wanton looting and destruction of public structures. He also sympathized with Sen Bassey Ewa Henshaw, Sen Gershom Bassey, Sen Victor Ndoma Egba and others who were victims of the carnage.
The release read in part: “After more than a week of deep shock and despair, following the unholy and unwarranted lootings, vandalization and widespread devastating destruction of public and private property in Bakassi LGA and other parts of the State, I wish to condemn such affronts of carnage and mayhem by hoodlums, touts and miscreants and pray that such unfortunate incidence never repeat itself.
“In Bakassi alone, with very few government structures, Council Secretariat, Ekondo bank, Police Station, Custom office, Schools, Health Centres, even the recently completed housing estate built by the Ayade’s administration, my liaison office and other private facilities were looted, vandalized or razed down.
“I see the actions of these criminals as not ordinary. A local government that has been suffering from unjust ceding and unfair treatment by the Federal Authorities is heartlessly ravaged by same people seeking help and succour? I find it still difficult to comprehend the rationale for their actions.
“What is more disturbing is the fact that security Agencies merely watched these happened most times without any resistance, even when some of them were being attacked. I pray this does not happen again.
“Moving forward, I urge our youths not to allow themselves to be used by enemies of the State to destroy their own. Calabar and CRS is not the only State where youths are hungry and angry and therefore does not deserve such carnage and widespread destruction on the existing few government and private property and establishments in the State, even when such institutions are offering beneficial social services to the public eg, WAEC, Hospitals, Schools, Banks etc.”
Dr Bassey appealed to federal government institutions affected by the carnage not to consider relocating to other states, saying they should “see the actions of the youth as a challenge that must be overcome,” and that “relocation to other States should not be an option.”
On the efforts at addressing perceived remote causes of the mayhem, the Lawmaker believed that the State government was taking proper steps in attending to the welfare of the citizenry with the 2021 budget presented to the House of Assembly last week.
He said “I think the Governor’s Budget for CRS 2021, christened budget of Blush and Bliss should be commended because it’s a shift from Industrialization to humanitarian and social welfare services -youth employment, development and empowerment. Job creation and expansion of government will address the immediate issue of hunger and reduce anger and insecurity.
“I therefore thank the Governor for reacting to the mood of the moment. I believe when youths are employed and empowered, incessant kidnappings, armed robbery, criminalities and insecurities will reduce. I sincerely pray that the experiences of 2020 never come to us again. Let us focus on reconciliation, rebuilding and restoration of our beloved State.”