Saturday, 31 October 2020

Calabar Vandalization: Prof. Nyong rolls out 3 key strategies to avert future occurrences

Prof. Eyo Etim Nyong 

Ukorebi Esien | 1st November 2020

As the #EndSARS protest took a new dimension with hoodlums hijacking the process leading to the vandalization of several public and private properties in Calabar, Cross River State's capital city, a front line Gubernatorial aspirant in the just concluded general elections, Prof. Eyo Etim Nyong has called on the governor of Cross River State, Sen. Prof. Ben Ayade to address the issue of poverty in the State by making basic amenities accessible to all Cross Riverians especially the poorest of the poor. Stating that the "Food on the Table" policy of the his administration is not sustainable as most Cross Riverians who really need help can't access the table. He suggested that rather the Governor should consider putting' food on the floor', such that the tall, short, disabled, bedridden etc can have direct access. 

Speaking in Calabar with our correspondent, the erudite scholar and community leader, while identifying with the pains of those affected in the vandalization, listed three focal areas the governor should concentrate on in his remaining few years in office if he must leave indelible marks behind. 

According to the Professor of Petroleum Geology, Civic Education with emphasis on Ethics, Values and True Citizenship should be emphasized and made compulsory in both primary and secondary schools in the state. Stating that introducing this in the school curriculum will help mould better citizens for the state, as no good minded citizens would demolish and burn down a factory set up to employ mostly the youths. Good citizens vested in ethics will not destroy health care, educational, government administrative and other facilities. 

He said when this is done it will go a long way in raising a generation of young persons who will grow up to take ownership of public properties instead vandalizing them. Nyong lamented a situation where young persons will allow themselves to be used by stranger elements to destroy factories, buildings and establishments that are useful for their day to day wellbeing, such as hospitals, WAEC office, and some of the factories in the Ayade's Industrial Park. 

Speaking further, Nyong noted that security is another major area the governor needs to tackle, especially marine security. Stating that the state water ways are not secured enough as criminal elements make good use of the marine ways to perpetrate their heinous activities. 

His words: "The major security challenge we have in the Calabar area is Maritime. 
We don't have good coastal maritime security. There should be emphasis on that, because these people sneak in from outside and go back."

"A lot of things stolen from here are taken by boats even the kidnappings that we are experiencing is mostly the Riverian communities that are used to perpetrate all these. We need a formidable coastal marine security. It can be in partnership between the the state government and existing Federal Government structures. 
Apart from the coastal marine security, the overall security apparatus in the state seems to be ineffective. The government needs to do the needful, in terms of getting involved in enabling the various security agencies to perform their legitimate functions. 

Finally the grassroot politician who had been very instrumental in the formation of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Cross River State advised the state governor to take job creation and productive youth engagement seriously. He re-emphasized that the governor's" Food on the table policy is obsolete and not sustainable as it only benefits few of his political loyalists while the poor masses remain in abject poverty. 

"Job creation is another area the governor should consider deeply, it's not everybody who must have access to the table, but the food on the floor, on the bare ground, for the ordinary man is critical, such that the ordinary man who doesn't have a table in his house can also have access to food."

"Now the way to do that is to bring government initiatives down to the grassroot. Empowerment initiatives should be brought down to the grassroots. Let the ordinary person also benefit from it. Its not just about empowering your political faithfuls but the entire citizens of our dear State. 

"But the majority of the population is down there suffering hunger, there must be strategies to take care of them. The Federal Government have a lot of initiatives that they have come up which the state should create a platform to make sure that our people benefit from those opportunities. While the governor brings programmes and policies down to the grassroots, there's need for stakeholders engagement at all levels through consultations and town hall meetings."

Nyong said "The focus should be on the poor, poorest and the basic needs of the people in terms of skills acquisition, Healthcare, Education, Water supply, electricity etc, 

"We should stop spending on the bogus projects referred to as superhighway, spaghetti flyover, deep seaport etc. as none of them is coming to pass. The remaining two years in government,  focus should be on the basic needs of the masses." He concluded.