…I was moved by God to protest in that manner
…Says he is not a thief ,never wanted to commit suicide
By Ike Uchechukwu
The Cross River state Police Command ,Anti Kidnapping and Cultism Squad,AKCS( Dragon Squad) in the early hours of Thursday rescued a 24 year old man who climbed the 60 feet Flood Light at the U J Esuene Stadium ,Calabar to protest it’s dilapidated state.
Vanguard gathered that ,one Effiom Paul had at about 6 :00 am on Thursday climbed to the top of the flood lights to protest dilapidated basic facilities at the UJ Esuene sports stadium.
The incident led to gridlock along the Muritala Mohammed Highway by stadium causing commuters to use other route to avoid being held up in traffic.
However ,Commander of Dragon squad, SP Abdulhameed Awodi and his men were able to restore calm at the scene when his men climbed up and brought the lone protester down safely.
Speaking exclusively with Vanguard ,the Police Public Relations Officer, SP Irene Ugbo said the incident was unfortunate while commending the Commander of Dragon Squad who rescued the protester for their timely intervention.
Ugbo said : “We got reports about a man who had climbed the stadium flood light in the early hours ,so the tactical team ( Dragon squad ) Commander, Awodi dispatched his his men to rescue the young man .
“Initial the public thought it was a suicide attempt but upon interrogating the lad ,we discovered he was climbed the Flood lights to protest as well as draw the attention of the Cross River state to the dilapidated state of the UJ Esuene Stadium.
“He said he is a sports lover and wasn’t happy about the way a lot of the facility within and around the stadium had been abandoned to rot away ,but we will further profile him to know if there is a hidden intention because we won’t tolerate any kind of agitation that may lead to a second #ENDSAR protest ,” she said .
The 24 year old 400 level student of University of Calabar , Kingsley Effiom Paul said he was moved by the spirit of God to climb the flood light as protest adding that he was not a thief neither did he attempt suicide.
His words :” I was moved by the spirit of God to climb the flood lights in the stadium to draw attention to the dilapidated basic facilities in the place. I am not a thief ,I didn’t even climb the place with any tool whatsoever .
“I didn’t also attempt suicide ,I’m a student of philosophy in the University of Calabar ,400 level ,I have no reason to want to kill myself , so my intention was simply to create awareness and draw government attention to look into the plight of the stadium .
” I’m aware that there were some renovations of the swimming pool and basket ball court ,but a lot of other athletes are suffering because the track and the pitch has really gone bad ,
“I just wanted government to do something about it and I believe my mode of protest will give the place the much needed attention ,” he said .