The Obong of Calabar, Edidem Ekpo Otu, Saturday looked at the governor of Cross River state, Prof. Ben Ayade in the eyes and has asked him to step aside from governance.
The eminent traditional ruler blamed Governor Ayade for the vandalism, looting and destruction of public and private property in the state last week and said the governor needs to step aside to enable an interim administration come up so that he can learn governance.
The Obong spoke when Liyel Imoke, a former governor of the state, paid homage to him.
“He (Ayade) has not been holding security meeting regularly. This thing would not have happened if he had called the security people together after hearing what happened in Lagos and other places; If he had called them together and tell them, look my friends; nothing should happen in my state,” he said.
“The Governor should be able to open his door for people to come in, and should work with everybody. We have to face it; we don’t need to play around with it; we cannot continue this way. You tell him that there is a need for total reconciliation; a total rehabilitation of whatever he has been doing.
“Everybody matters in this state. He should be able to talk to people. He wouldn’t call you and even when you call him, he doesn’t answer the call. Nobody talks to him.”
Speaking earlier, Imoke told the Obong that he thought it wise to seek the help and cooperation of the traditional institution in finding a way out of the problem.
He said he was directly affected by the crisis which trailed the #EndSARS protests between October 23 and October 24.
The former governor’s wife, Obioma, lost items in her shop, which was vandalised by suspected hoodlums.
“We came to get some advice from you before we even set out to look for solutions, to ensure that never happens again in Cross River State,” he told the monarch.
“We need your guidance as we go about looking for solutions to the challenge of young people who are unemployed and have grievances; young people who think they don’t have the opportunities others have had.
“We do not understand the extent of the carnage. We are all victims of this incident. If you were not hit directly, you were hit indirectly. For me, I was hit directly. So were very many public officials. They were also hit directly.”
Vast properties of private and public ownership were vandalized, wasted or looted.