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Calabar residents berate Gov Ayade over preparations for carnival amid mountains of refuse

Increasing numbers of residents in Calabar, capital of Cross River State, have carpeted the state governor, Prof Ben Ayade, over his prepara...


Increasing numbers of residents in Calabar, capital of Cross River State, have carpeted the state governor, Prof Ben Ayade, over his preparations to stage the annual one-month December carnival.


They have blamed him for alleged poor governance and inability to evacuate refuse which have taken over all parts of the city since early this year.


Phone-in callers over FAD radio on Thursday morning berated the state government for making the once renowned very clean city to be noted as the dirtiest city.


They strongly decried and condemned what they described as the government’s insensitivity towards environmental sanitation of the city and other parts of the state.


“Calabar is now very, very dirty. I am too ashamed. Calabar is smelling. Everywhere you turn you see heaps and heaps of wastes that have not been cleared in the last three months. The wastes are bringing out flies which are perching on roadside foods”, a caller Nyong Effiom cried.


Another, Vivian Edu said, “what pains me is that stakeholders, especially the Efiks who were renowned as a set of hygienic people and their traditional chieftains, are keeping quiet while their ancestral lands and fame are being tainted.”


Throughout the one-hour programme, both the discussants and callers expressed sadness and wondered whether the governor was preparing to invite the world to the planned carnival to come and see the filthiness of the city or to mock his government.


Commissioner for Environment who also oversees the Ministry of Agriculture, Mfon Bassey, said the task of evacuating waste is that of the state wastes management agency.


At the Nigeria Society of Engineers event in Calabar penultimate week, the agency’s general manager, Sunny Uko, said the government was planning to buy waste from residents, especially those in the urban centres.


Uko listed arrays of challenges that do not allow them to function optimally, describing them as huge. One of these was that they had only one truck that broke down regularly.


He said the plan is to buy the waste from residents who often do not pay evacuation fees.


“We have a plan to be buying wastes from residents of the state.


“We will go from house to house to evaluate and buy them,” he said.

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