The city of Calabar, the Cross Rivers state capital, is experiencing an upsurge in the number of lunatics who now occupy major public places in the city.
A trip round the city by our correspondent shows an unusual high number of lunatics and destitute, who now occupy major public places like bus stops, rest places, major roads, round about among others.
These lunatics, who are fast turning the beautiful city into an eyesore, can be found occupying places like Secretariat bus stop, Stadium bus stop, Unical bus-stop, among others.
This development has led most commuters, who will ordinarily use these facilities to abandon them to the lunatics who now pose as threat to them, making them find alternative places to wait for vehicles, while the lunatics have turned the places to their homes and cooking places thereby polluting the environment.
Besides taking over the place, these lunatics from time to time attack innocent people, dispossessing them of their valuables, including hand bags, wrist watches or phones.
A lady, who claims to have fallen victim to the lunatics and who gave her name as Miss Nkoyo Etim Edet, told our correspondent that she lost her personal belongings, including her hand bags to these persons when she was attacked along Marian road.
“I was going to my office at the Municipal Council when a lunatic attacked me, I ran and my hand bag fell off and immediately he took it, he stopped chasing me and the people, who tried to recover the bag from him met with stiff resistant as he became violent throwing dangerous weapon around. By the time he dropped the bag, he had ransacked it and taken away most of the content.”
Miss Edet is not alone with such experience; Mr. Udobong Asukwo also narrated his ordeal in the hands of the lunatics. Asukwo said he was waiting at a bus stop, but that because the weather was not friendly, so he decided to take refuge at the bus stop, not knowing that where he was standing had become residence for lunatic. So, he was attacked and wounded by the lunatics.
“I was just waiting for vehicle backing a bus stop and not knowning that a lunatic was behind me. Suddenly, I had a blow behind and by the time I turned, it was from a lunatic. The only thing I did was to run away to avoid further blows. It is sad that we have such people among us and the state government is not doing anything to salvage it,” he lamented.
At the psychiatric hospital visited by our Correspondent, the Chief Medical Director was not available, but an official of the hospital lamented the influx of lunatic on the streets. He said most of the lunatics came in from other states to Cross River State because the state has a psychiatric hospital.
Incidentally and at the time of filling this report, more lunatics were seen at major streets such as Calabar Road, Marian, MCC, Efio-Ette junction among others, as well as at refuse dump sites.
It would be recalled that during previous administrations, these people were taken away from public places to out skirts of Calabar where they were taken care of and after some time repatriated to their home state.