By Patrick Obia

Former Deputy Governorship candidate in the 2019 Cross River State Gubernatorial election under Social Democratic Party (SDP), Engr. Wofai Ewa, has joined host of others to condemn the October 23 and 24 arson in the State, pledges support in the rebuilding process.

Wofai in a statement made available to our newsroom, said though he supported the #EndSARS protest against Police brutality because he was once a victim but was surprised at the outcome which was highjacked by miscreants.

He therefore sue for all hands to be on deck and call for an end to the witch hunting of the peaceful protesters.

Statement reads in part: “I commiserate with the families of those who lost their lives in the aftermath of the #EndSARS protests but repeatedly condemn the vandalisation of public and private property and infrastructure. It is public knowledge that I supported the peaceful #EndSARS protests, particularly against Police unprofessionalism and brutality; which I had, twice, personally suffered as an undergraduate student; and generally, against ALL failed institutions and policies of Government.

“However, what was to become a huge historical milestone for our country, still did become so, albeit with even more worrying indicators that we may truly be on the cusp of something unprecedented. Vandalisation and looting of public and private property, some items of which may be unsellable and unusable, are simply a clear expression of HUNGER and ANGER, but also POTENTIALS that must not be overlooked. Systemic hunger and anger, only revealed the potential of young Nigerians (patriots or hoodlums) to either be the best at cooperating and organising themselves towards a greater goal … or over-powering security architecture and causing mayhem. While the former foretells of a better, greater and far more organised future for Nigeria, the latter can only be imagined.

“In Cross River State, with the alleged destruction of over 52 public and private properties valued at over N5b, there is a case for the #CleanUp and #Rebuilding of Cross River State, the first capital of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which, despite being amongst the least revenue earners, was the second worst hit State in terms of property and infrastructure vandalisation. Despite mixed reactions and public statements, some of which have been quite clearly political, there still seems to be a lack of the collective or integrative will and set of actions to get things right, in real time and in good time. Apart from a few organisations like the #RebuildCalabar Coalition, not many, private or public, have made meaningful practical moves towards #REBUILDING CROSS RIVER STATE. Enough of the politics.

“We realise that without focused actions, it will all be mere rhetoric and a contest of egos and grammatical prowess. We will not be a part of that. We are looking to partnering with well-meaning persons and organisations towards the #Rebuild process, and hereby make the following commitments:

“Service to State – If and whenever the Cross River State Government begins the process towards rebuilding vandalised public infrastructure, we will be happy and open to offering full-scale, full-Lifecycle Project Management Services, pro bono.

“Service to Youths – We have decided on expanding a previously private Elite Mentoring Programme, into a public finishing school; the Calabar Finishing School. The aim is to breach that seemingly-thick gap between graduates and professional job owners/entrepreneurs. There has never been a time when Human Capital Development was so much a desperate need and a key rebuilding requirement, such as NOW. Further communication on Government-related pro bono services will be made directly to relevant contacts in the various MDAs, possibly through the Nigerian Society of Engineers where discussions have already begun, while details of the Calabar Finishing School will be made public, in the coming weeks. We appeal to the Government, CSOs and all parties to remain focused on the long term demands of the #EndSARS protests, while looking forward to necessary partnerships that will help rebuild our infrastructure and the consciousness of our youths. May God bless us all.”

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