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Protest erupts in Calabar community over police signposts on ancestral lands



The people of Kasuk II Qua Clan in Calabar Municipality on Monday protested the strange erection of police signpost on their ancestral lands in Calabar.

The protest, which took place across major streets in the area, saw the people calling on the IGP to investigate the signpost and those responsible for the erection.

They noted that the signposts, which had no reference number and police logo, were mounted on different locations along the Goodluck Jonathan bypass in the Kasuk II Qua Clan.

The community expressed worry about the sudden emergence of the signposts while the land matter was still under litigation.

A youth leader in the community, who addressed newsmen during the protest, Edet Ayito, said they saw the posts some days ago and were surprised because of the inscription it carried.

He questioned the credibility of the signboard and called for comprehensive investigation by the Inspector General of Police.

According to him, “Some days ago, we saw strange signposts with very disturbing information allegedly mounted by police order.

“it is strange because the land in question is our community land and there are litigations that are yet to be resolved.

“What is more disturbing is the fact that we have so many judgments in our favour in the case while the aspects that were yet to be determined, had remained in higher courts waiting to be concluded.

“We are surprised in the sense that we don’t know where those responsible for the erection got their order, if at all it is from the police.

“We don’t even know if it is Nigerian Police, military police or naval police; we have not seen any police logo or colour on this board neither is there any reference number to that effect.

“The only thing we saw was an appeal suit number CA/ C/ 158/ 2019 which completely had nothing to do with the portion of lands where the various signposts with an order of police were mounted.

“We don’t know what this stands for because if there are cases in court between parties, the police can never be the judge, everyone must wait till Judgment is given by the court and not by the police.

“We call on government to come and intervene in this matter before it goes out of hand or lead to communal crisis.”

On his part, the community Clan Head, Ntoe Ededem Okon Ayito, described the various signposts in his domain as an “anomaly”.

He said the action was not only fraudulent but criminal and called on the police authority to investigate the matter.

He noted that if the police were not responsible for the erection, those responsible were trying to bring the image of the security agency into disrepute.

“It’s a shocking incident because we saw a signpost being mounted that police have instructed my tenants to pull out of where they are living.

“I have carefully looked at those signposts and there is no police logo there, this is why the community is protesting so that the inspector general of police will be aware of what people are using his name to do as police.

“Police cannot grant ownership of lands and it is only the court that can give that order and it will be executed by the police.

“Those tenants there have their approvals from the Cross River State Government and have been there for 20 years or more.

“How can somebody put a signboard there and claim it is the police that is doing so.

“The suit number there is a case pending before the Supreme Court and a decision has not been taken on it.

“We are a peace-loving people and a law abiding community; we don’t want war, we don’t want any crisis; hence we are appealing to the IGP to urgently look into the matter before it degenerates into something else,” he appealed.

Meanwhile, the state Police Command has dissociated itself from the matter.

The spokesperson of the command, SP Irene Ugbo, said, “we are not the court that can give such a decision or Judgment, we are not aware of such, we don’t get involved in land matters.

“The act could be perpetrated by civilians but, I can assure that the Police is not and cannot be involved in such.”

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