EDITORIAL: Need To Arrest Marian Market Fracas

Feb 2, 2024 - 12:01
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EDITORIAL: Need To Arrest Marian Market Fracas

EDITORIAL 

Need To Arrest The Marian Market Fracas

For several months running, opposing factions from the ruling All Progressives
Congress (APC) in Calabar Municipality have been at loggerheads over the control of
juicy revenue points which invariably, constitute the bulk sources of internal revenue
for the Calabar Municipal Government.


The feud has unveiled political jobbers with an entitlement mentality and an emerging
aristocratic group poised to change narratives with a view of enthroning
accountability, transparency, and strict compliance with due process.


From in-depth findings, the agitations by the political jobbers for the control of the
revenue points are fueled by the standard cliche within the political circles that having
"delivered" their polling units through hooks and crooks, they automatically exercise
the inalienable right of first refusal to appropriate revenue yielding apparatus of
government for personal aggrandisement, and without recourse to due process or
extant laws.


Shockingly, the feud has witnessed flagrant apathy to conflicting court orders, and
defied police interventions, thereby escalating into intermittent bloody clashes at the
Marian Market, situated within the heart of Calabar Municipality, the Capital City of
Cross River.

The Marian market imbroglio has once again brought to the fore the mentality of the
average youth controlling the political process producing political leaders at their tiers
of government in our society.


Interestingly, while the group fighting to perpetuate itself in charge of the Marian
Market tolls, no kobo has ever been remitted to the coffers of the Calabar Municipal
Council in over four years while they held sway.


Rather, multiple taxation, double allocations attendant litigation and poor sanitary
conditions took center stage while the market was disconnected from public power
supply due to mounting unpaid bills despite contributions from traders to that effect.
Since the party in power appears hapless and unable to check the excesses of its
members engaging in this brazen shenanigans, stakeholders across party lines need to
intervene in resolving the persistent crisis. The continuous face-off has the potential to
lead to the disruption of legitimate business activities at the market square, at the
same time exposing traders, council staff, and the public to imminent danger if left
unchecked.


The state government must evolve a viable option for eradicating noticeable leakages
in the internal revenue generation system for public funds, especially at the local
government level to ensure monies get to the council treasury to boost the index for
increased statutory allocation.


One sure remedy is by outlawing the revenue agency system which has bequeathed a
culture of entitlement mentality to easy government funds amongst lazy individuals
parading as party stalwarts who have bluntly refused to engage in any legit enterprise
apart from council revenue collection business.


The APC in the state needs to purge itself of complicity in the feud and invoke
internal mechanisms to call these charlatans to order. Moreover, the state government
owes a duty to the Calabar Municipal Council by freeing the revenue-generating
avenues from the vice grip of chieftains of the ruling party, who have seemingly
depended on the public funds for daily survival in the face of multiple viable
alternatives, this paper, calls on Governor Bassey Otu, the chief security officer of the
state, to exercise his executive fiat by way of drastic intervention as well as apply
stringent measures not only to diffuse the escalating tension generated by the bloody
clashes, but to prevent a looming deadly crisis. A stitch in time, they say, saves nine.