EDITORIAL|25 December 2019
Earlier this year in August, His Excellency the Executive Governor of Cross River State, Sen. Prof. Benedict Ayade unveiled the theme of the Carnival Calabar 2019. He tagged it —Humanity.
According to Ayade, human’s inhumanity to fellow humans is the reason for instability. He made reference to the fact that humans are negligent in listening to their conscience. He called for the return to the conscience. His words, ‘Imagine the depth of animalism and how much man has travelled away from his conscience… return to our conscience that made us humans’.
Continuing he said, ‘The carnival is not just about dance and procession; it is about telling a story using dance intended to educate and alter the social orientation of the people. The celestial part to the heavenly king comes with the internal policeman, the conscience that asks a question, is it fair or right? As band leaders, tell the story with drums and gesticulation. The story must be stronger than the pulse of the carnival.
The carnival is only a platform to tell that story that will create the reawakening of the African conscience, which has it nexus plexus to Africanism.’
On Wednesday 18th December this year, the state chairman of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Comr Ben Ukpepi was kidnapped at his Akpabuyo residence. Six days later he regained his freedom through the effort of Operation Skolombo a taskforce of combined security officers from the police, army, navy, civil defence, and the list continues.
The protection of lives and properties in a given body-politic is the sacred responsibility of government. More so, in a state with a long standing reputation for tourism. With the increasing spate of sundry strands of insecurity like communal crises, gangster lethal rivalry, kidnapping and armed robbery etc especially during the fourth quarter of the year and even deep into the third week of December —a few days to the much-talked-about Carnival Calabar undermines the quality of humanity among the ruling political elites in Cross River.
On the 21st of this month, there were reports of an eruption of early morning communal war between the neighbouring communities of Ebom and Usumutong in Abi Local Government Area of the state. Reliable information has it that many lives were lost while several houses were razed down. Through the suspected attack by the people of Ebijakara, an aggrieved community which was sacked by her Ebom neighbours in 2005. There was another incident between the Izzi people of Ebonyi state and the Yala people of Cross River over a small piece of land —lives were again lost.
The question is —with which humanity do security chiefs and the political elites run the state? Where’s our conscience? It’s already contradicting to say that the melting point of Cross River’s tourism —Carnival Calabar, startudded with humanity will have pockets of insecurity.
This editorial is calling on the Commissioner for Police, the State Security Advisers (SSAs), service chiefs, the chair and members of the Cross River State House of Assembly CRSHA security committee, and His Excellency the Executive Governor of Cross River State to wade into the spate of insecurity in the state.
NEGROIDHAVEN understands that security is serious business and the Nigerian Police is underfunded. This editorial is also calling on the federal government —the National Assembly NASS particularly members from Cross River State, and the presidency prioritise security in Cross River.
It should be stressed that one important component to addressing insecurity in the state is justice —let the perpetrators and sponsors of violence of whatever shade be made to face the music.