Unless the Cross River State government does something and pretty soon, there are visible chances that Calabar may lose her trademark peaceful nature to a swelling band of street kids calitown.com can authoritatively reveal.
The kids who have taken up residence in upscale areas like Atekong Drive, Ibom Layout, Parliamentary Extension, State Housing Estate and adjoining places, have recently resorted to robbery and drug vending to eke a living, off the streets.
Calitown.com can also reveal that the kids have gangs and territories that they run. One kid told us in Pidgin English that “we no dey go dat Ibom Layout or Cultural Centre side, na Atekong we dey stop”. Indeed at a section of Atekong junction, the kids can be seen in groups, either cooking, eating, sleeping or just lazying about. At night, they deal drugs and engage in other nefarious activities too.
Again, when calitown.com spoke with government officials whose task it normally is to handle these kids, in the words of one official; “most of these children were taken off the streets by government and kept in several government operated facilities but some of them ran away because they are not used to staying under authority. It is even painful for us that a greater percentage of these kids come from neighbouring Akwa Ibom but are indeed a nuisance here”. It is a submission calitown.com authenticates in the course of our investigation.
At the Cultural Centre, Calabar, those who use the foyer for receptions of any nature, quickly agree that the kids ‘operating’ there can become vicious trying to assert themselves. But then, as the number of these kids swells, there are fears that if government does not get them off the streets, they will become emboldened and commit heinous crimes. One source says, “imagine that most of them have the capacity to take human life, letting them stay and create enclaves will mean that we are ready to live with the atrocities they are capable of, please government should do something”, he concluded.
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