The Birth of New York in Calabar South —By Comrade Ini-obong Uko


Comr. Ini-obong Uko|23 March 2017 Oh! My Calabar, that ancient city in Nigeria where the Whites came in through, some came to civilize, others came to steal our treasures, our women and our sons to enslave them. Those who came to civilize brought in religion, healthcare facilities and education. The brilliant ones in education where taken by the Whites to educate them. They came back and fought for our liberation because through education they have been exposed to the secret of life and civilization. And in 1960 they won for us Independence. In 1952 there was a need for a cult group in Nigeria as envisioned by a group of 7 undergraduates of the University College, Ibadan "in response to the prevailing predisposition, at the time, of notions of class privilege, elitism of the nation Nigeria especially by the students of the middle class upbringing, scions of business tycoons and colonial aristocracy." The first cult group in Nigeria stood a test of time by standing on the purpose on which it was founded. They later had an internal fight which brought about a break out and formation of other cult groups in Nigeria like the saying goes, "if it is not original it has been adulterated". Various cult groups emerged with the orientation of fighting for supremacy. Hence the etymology of cult clash in Nigeria. In Calabar, the fight for supremacy continued to the extent Calabar also founded its own cult, similar things had happened in Edo and Rivers State. The "CATCH THEM YOUNG" philosophy was predominantly rooted in Calabar that even a child of 9 in the primary school had already had an identity with a brotherhood (#BADGANG) and even some schools also operated as cult groups by adopting the "BE YOUR BROTHER'S KEEPER" in protecting members of their school from being victimized by other schools (The school fight I couldn't shy away from). In my days in secondary school as a senior prefect I was attacked twice by my junior students in Junior Secondary School 3 and Senior Secondary School 1 respectively who where members of cult groups. It takes #GRACE for a real "Calabar South boy or girl" to live in Calabar without being a member of a clandestine organization and again the family has a greater role to play. All thanks to my worthy military father whose discipline, bravery, courage and beliefs kept me going and is still guiding my path even when he is gone to the ancestral world. New York is a beautiful City in United States nicknamed "The City that never sleeps". It is a city where young talented youths have destroyed their lives with drugs and other social vices. It is also a city where talents are developed but used unethically. It is a place somebody feels free to sing "Money Pussy Weed", becomes famous and makes money. Today in Calabar, governors are organizing street parties for naked women and the boys in music industry are doing nothing different from the style of New York music and there's a high level of gang fight or cult clash leading to death and bloodshed in Calabar. Hence, the birth of New York in Calabar. To every problem there's a solution, cultism is an ideology and weapons of war cannot stop it. Rather it would worsen the situation. Security outfits can't fight this with weapons or government by banning cult groups; it is an ideology that has come to stay. Like one of my mentors Dr V. A., the Director General of Nigerian Arise, a Barrister, Lecturer and a Member of Amnesty International, I'm also of the opinion that a total ban on cultism and Street Parties is not the solution to this Nigeria's problem. But a paradigm shift in ideology to something more progressive, contributive to nation building and of benefit to humanity is. It is on this note I call on the state government to step in, call the leadership of the rival gangs in Calabar and sort a way for peace. Churches, schools, NGOs, social clubs and families also have a big role to play in this. Thank You and God Bless Nigeria!!!
#PeaceInNigeria. (Share and join the advocacy for peace with the hashtags #PeaceInCalabar #PeaceinNigeria). Comrade Ini-obong Uko
Writes from Calabar