POLITICS: Re: Your Excellency, Gov. Liyel Imoke, Calabar is Under Siege!

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By Efio-Ita Nyok
18 January 2015
Recently, about a week or so ago, I published an article here, in the which, I drew the attention of my readers to an ugly trend in the very heart of the state capital, Calabar. I talked about, Scolombo, a set of juvenile delinquents who had decided to challenge the peace and tranquility Cross River, especially Calabar is reputed for.
In this issue, I intend to make a rejoinder on the same subject, but this time around, addressing a more recent dimension surrounding this social malaise.
Residents in Cross River especially those in Calabar the state capital have resorted to take laws into their hands as they have began to lynch members of the dreaded sect under review. It is this phenomenon that is informing my reaction.
On Friday 16 January 2015, members of Scolombo, numbering 15 raided Abua street and adjoining streets like Edgerly, MacGregor, Bennett, and Edibe Edibe.
The story has it that one of them carried a Plasma TV screen as they paraded their route, obviously this electronic appliance must have a booty of loot. However, when one of the onlookers recognised one of them behind and called on him, there was a ruse as it is said that the angry sect member brought out a gun to shoot at the dude who called his name. He must have wanted to punish him for identifying him in public!
This, unknown to the sect member, was a bait, as youths of these areas where said to immediately respond by bringing out weapons which they used on the juvenile. Unknown to the public, these teens have resorted to diabolical means which make them immune to the effects of gun bullets, pressure from hard objects, etc. As the angry youths beat this unfortunate teen to pulp, the physical effect of that beating meant nothing to the sect member as he was heard to chant: ‘You never chi chomtin’ in mockery. He was then tied to Keke Napep, a popular tricycle for transportation in the state capital, and rode off, it made no meaning to him! This was when the frustrated crowd then decided, after having beaten him with wood to no effect. In the final analysis, he was burnt to death, after much effort to the contrary!
While I do not legitimise the rancour, theft, maiming, embarrassments, fear, etc these delinquents have introduced into Nigeria’s ancient and most serene city, I still find it quite very difficult to sanction the act of private citizens taking the lives of fellow citizens. My argument is that, no matter the perceived crime, these deliquents are only suspects, they have not been pronounced guilty be any court of law in the state.
The implications of our acts are these:
1. We violate the right to live of these unfortunate lots.
2. It does not speak of us as civilised individuals who have appropriate means of addressing crime in society.
3. It suggest that our government is not sensitive/responsible.
With regards to the first, there is no provision of the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria that legitimises murder, instead we all have the ‘right to live’. It is only the state which should legally take live irrespective of the quality of provocation, except in rare cases of self defence. Should this trend be left unchecked, then there is the tendency for it to be abused, with profound consequences.
Secondly, there are institutions that are designated by law to deal with perpetrators of crimes. Accordingly, where private citizens are seen to be indulging in duties not sanctioned by the law, it speaks of disorder and anarchy. It suggest that there is no rule of law and proper organisation in such a society. Why would an individual resort to take the live of another human when there are institutions to address such? Why would not such a society apprehend such crime perpetrators and hand then over to security operatives? It suggest to me among others that, in this, we allow our emotions to prevail over our reasoning faculties; and it does not speak well of us.
Finally, it tells of a government that is irresponsible/insensitive. I cannot still understand why a sets of teenagers would hold an entire society to ransom, spell bound and for months on end and the government cannot respond adequately to match the degree of disruption. Can some body tell me please!? For God sake, this is a state capital!
Can the government of Cross River State, at its three tier, explain to citizens and residents of the state capital the reason for the passive demeanor on the recent security challenge? Why is Governor Liyel Imoke not reacting against Scolombo?
At first, I drew our attention to these delinquents; now, I am telling us of the trend of a disappointed society taking laws into their hands, I don’t know what will follow and when, and to what degree.
The essence of government is becoming elusive. It seems to me that the fourth republic in the era of President Goodluck Jonathan has the challenge of managing security. It has spilled over to the state governments. Maybe, this explain why the state government cannot deal with it. It may be a systemic failure.
Be that as it may, I am charging security institutions to rise to the challenge of addressing this ugly phenomena, both the terror called Scolombo and the act of lynching them by private citizens. I specifically refer to the Department of State Security (DSS), Nigerian Police Force (NPF), and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC)

1 COMMENT

  1. I really appriciate your write up here. Come to think of this, dont you think that the security agencies are part of this Scolumbo cult? Even in the state Government, most of the executive leaders, Chairman of LGAs, even in the university from the vice chancellors to members of his executives are all cultis. Tell me how this country will be beter. If you are not a member of a cult, you can neva occupy a sensitive office this days. Is only God thatwill help us all. cheers