Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Commissioner for Police frustrates campaign against cultism in Calabar

7 August 2019

The Nigerian Police has been fingered as being principally responsible for the abortion of designated moves to campaign against cultism, violence, crime and drugs in Calabar as inspired and led by youths in Calabar, Cross River capital city NEGROIDHAVEN can say authoritatively. 

Following the June/July upsurge of violent killings of youths in their scores in the state capital city in a suspected gangster rivalry the National Youth Council of Nigeria, NYCN in Calabar South initiated a Campaign against Cultism which targetted dissuading youths in the state against violence, crimes and drugs. 

The Campaign which was billed for Monday 5th August would embody a rally procession of over three thousand (3,000) youths through the streets of Calabar South and then a town hall meeting. 

According to the leadership of the NYCN in Calabar South the Commissioner for Police in Cross River, Austine Agbonlahor cancelled the rally on the premises that the his command cannot guarantee adequate security during the rally procession in the state capital. 

While addressing our correspondent on Sunday 4th August, Effanga Offiong Ita the coordinator of NYCN in Calabar South said that ''Yesterday at about 1PM to 4PM, I was in a closed meeting with him (CP Agbonlahor) and he told me that the campaign should be cancelled, if I were to use his words, he said 'the campaign should be cancelled', that he doesn't have security to cover the rally, he can't assure me of security measures on the street". 

On his part Joe Coco-Bassey who observed that it was an infringement on the right expressed his disappointment with the development. He said that 'I am very bittered on this move by the police to stop us from doing the rally against cultism. Well they have their own point based on what they perceived about the country Nigeria and the 5th August rally called by Sowore and his group. 

'But I strongly believe that Nigeria as it is is a country where we as indigenes of Calabar South LG and we are feeling the impact of cultism. What Calabar South young people are trying to do is to see that they can mobilise young people against the spate of cultism in Calabar South. For me, I wouldn't want to blame the police but I strongly think that, the police as a body should be a able to take us through this rally. It is going to help the state and on the other hand it will help the police in the course of doing their responsibility. I am not happy.'

However, Ita informed that the police commissioner assured him that his command would make provision for security coverage during the town hall meeting. This appeared contradictory to the leadership of NYCN in Calabar South. The town hall is scheduled for today. 

When contacted on phone this morning, CP Agbonlahor told our correspondent that he cannot be repeating himself, that our correspondent should get the information from the NYCN. 

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