The Parliament Diary

By: Atibile Williams

Following prevailing kidnapping in Cross River state, the House of Assembly in her plenary session of 18 July, 2023 declared a state of emergency in the security architecture with a view to taming ugly trend of insecurity in the state.
In a motion sponsored by RT. Hon. Dr. Davies Etta, deputy leader cum member representing Abi state constituency, he argued that latest kidnap of over 30 years medical expert, Prof. Ekanem Ephraim in her consulting office at the University of Calabar Teaching hospital is not only barbaric and inhumane but has crippled the medical sector following a solidarity strike by the Nigerian Medical Association, Cross River state chapter demanding immediate and unconditional release of her member from kidnappers den.

RT. Hon. Etta expressed that tragic developments of this magnitude impact negatively on life expectancy and hard earned image of Cross River state, reputed for hospitality, cleanliness, secured atmosphere and tourism. He prayed the state government to as a matter of public safety activate measures that will lead to release of Prof. Ekanem Ephraim and others still in captivity. The fiery trained medical doctor added that perpetrators of kidnapping be made to face full wrath of the law while calling on striking doctors to down-tool for the sake of patients gasping for breath at various medical wards and homes in Cross River state.

In his remark, RT. Hon. Elvert Ayambem, Speaker of the 10th Assembly condemned in strong terms such dastardly act capable of destroying fabrics of shared humanity. The political philosopher stressed that criminal elements be crushed and flushed out of the state following expiration of amnesty hitherto granted them by His. Excellency, Prince Bassey Edet Otu, with a mandate to turn anew or relocate from the people’s paradise state. He assured the Executive organ of absolute legislative supports.

Other parliamentarians who passionately contributed to the motion in emotional ladened voices lamented the high cost of medical services in the state occasioned by insecurity. They opined that to forestall future occurrence, stiffer punishment including death sentence be stipulated to anti-kidnapping laws, ensuring adequate security of state waterways and improved welfare packages for live savers to automatically discourage brain drain occasioned by migration in search of greener pasture as currently the case.

In another development, the House of Assembly has taken preventive measures to avert the looming cataclysm that awaits state from recent projections by the Nigerian Metrological Agency, an entity saddled with the responsibility of issuing weather forecast which named Cross River amongst flood prone zones.
Hon. Cyril James Omini, Chairman House Committee on Budget and Appropriation representing Yakurr 1 constituency moved a motion for total overhaul of drainage systems in Calabar metropolis.

He lamented that though these drainages functioned effectively in previous epoch but now overran by criminal elements scavenging away metals for illicit gains.
He called for measures that will checkmate indiscriminate deposition of refuse as well as intensified enlightenment campaigns on gains of clean and conducive environment for habitation that the state is known for.

Hon. Cyril also called for reviewing existing laws to curb menace of environmental pollution. On trucks conveying debris to dumpsites, he sued for proper netting or tapolined to avoid littering streets with dirt including compulsory monthly environmental sanitation in the state.

The session was adjourned to 19 July, 2023 by RT. Hon. Dr. Davies Etta and seconded by Hon. Okon Owuna, representing Akamkpa 2 state constituency.

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