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Saturday, November 28, 2020

November 28, 2020

ASUU Agrees To Call Off Strike

 

By Adelani Adepegba


The Academic Staff Union of Universities has agreed to call off its eight-month strike which has grounded academic activities in the public universities since March.


The union leadership reached the consensus during a meeting with the government team led by the Minister of Labour and Employment,  Dr Chris Ngige, in Abuja, on Friday.


The government also pledged to pay N40bn as the Earned Allowance and N30bn for the revitalisation of the university system bringing the total payment to N70bn.


The FG further agreed to settle the arrears of salaries of the lecturers before December 31.


This is happening one week after the Federal Government  accepted the demand by the ASUU that they be exempted from the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System pending the approval of their proposed payment system,  the University Transparency and Accountability Solution.


ASUU is expected to report the agreement to its organs and then communicate their decision to the government after which a date for the calling off of the strike would be announced.


A source informed our correspondent that ASUU insisted that the agreement should not be announced until it had been approved by its members.


Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Ngige noted that the parley was fruitful, adding that the government made a proposal to ASUU which it would take back to its members.



He said, “Many issues were discussed at the meeting, including salary shortfall, the payment system and revitalisation of the university system. I am positive that all the issues would be resolved at our next meeting.”


The ASUU President, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, simply noted that everything Ngige said was correct and declined further comment.


Friday, November 27, 2020

November 27, 2020

Bank Manager Sentenced To Prison For Stealing N27m From Ekondo Bank


 



Justice Adie A. Onyebueke of the Cross River State High Court, Akamkpa, has sentenced one Augustine Effiong Bassey  to five years imprisonment for stealing N27 million, belonging to a microfinance bank, where he was a branch manager.


He was prosecuted by the Enugu Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), on a one-count charge of stealing.


The charge read, “That you, Augustine Effiong Bassey (‘m’), sometime between 2010 and 2012 at Uyanga, Cross River State, within the jurisdiction of the High Court of Cross River State, with the intent to defraud, stole the sum of N27,300,000 (Twenty-seven Million, Three Hundred Thousand Naira), being property of Ekondo Microfinance Bank Limited and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 390 of the Criminal Code law, CAP C16 (VOL 3) of the Laws of Cross River State of Nigeria,2004 and punishable under Section 390(9) of the same Law.”


He pleaded “not guilty” to the charge, thus setting the stage for his trial.


With prosecution counsel, Fortune Amina I. Asemebo proving the case beyond reasonable doubt, Justice Onyebueke convicted and sentenced him to prison, with an option of restituting the sum of N15 million to Ekondo Microfinance Bank.


Bassey’s journey to prison began sometime in July 2016 when he was arrested by the EFCC upon intelligence that he used his position as the branch manager of Ekondo Microfinance Bank, Uyanga, Cross Rivers State to convert the sum of N27.3 million (Twenty Seven Million, Three Hundred  Thousand Naira), belonging to bank to his private use.


He did this by personally carting away the sum from the bank's vault and gave to his fronts for execution of non-existent contracts for the bank.

November 27, 2020

EFCC Arraigns Comptroller Of Prisons For Employment


 

Abubakar Mohammed Sani, a serving Deputy Comptroller of Nigerian Correctional Service, NCoS, was today arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, before Justice Hadiza Sabi’u Shagari of the Federal High Court Katsina on a six count charge of conspiracy and obtaining by false pretense.


The defendant allegedly used his position as an officer of the Katsina Command of theNigerian Prisons Service (as it then was) and obtained a total sum of N2,850,000 (Two Million Eight Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira ) from some persons under the guise of helping them secure employment into the Prison Service.


Upon receipt of the complaints against the Officer, the Commission swung into action by inviting him but the defendant was evasive until August 26 , 2020, when he finally reported. After questioning, he was granted administrative bail on self recognizance which he later abused and absconded. Consequently his arraignment was twice adjourned due to his absence in court.


On Wednesday November 11, 2020, operatives of the Commission tracked and arrested him in Abuja after which he was moved to the Kano Office of the Commission.


The charge against the defendant read that you, “ Abubakar Mohammed Sani while being Deputy Comptroller of the Nigerian Prison Service (now Nigerian Correctional Service) on or about 20 December, 2012 in Katsina within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud obtained the sum of N305,000 (Three Hundred and Five Thousand Naira Only) which you caused to be deposited into your UBA account number 2030252055 under the pretense of securing a job for Umar Himma, Surajo Ibrahim and Abubakar Gambo in the Nigerian Prison Service now (Nigerian Correctional Service), which pretense you knew to be false and you thereby committed an offense contrary to section 1(1)(a) and punishable under section 1(3) of the Advance Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006”.


The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge.In view of his plea, the prosecuting counsel, Usman Shehu requested the court for a trial date. But the defense counsel, G.U Jafaru applied to move a motion for bail on behalf of the defendant.The court allowed the motion as the prosecution had already filed a 12-paragraph counter affidavit, opposing the bail application.


However, the court sought to know if the defense counsel had filed a further affidavit in response to the prosecution’s counter affidavit. He said he did but the prosecuting counsel informed the court that he had not been served with the further affidavit.


Consequently, the court ruled that the motion was not ripe for hearing until all correspondence are before the court.


The court remanded the defendant in EFCC custody and adjourned the matter till December 1, 2020 for hearing of the bail application.



Tuesday, November 24, 2020

November 24, 2020

Senate Approves Refund Of N148.14bn To Bayelsa, Cross River, Ondo, Osun, Rivers


 

 

By Sanni Onogu


The Senate on Tuesday approved President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for a refund of N148,141,969,161.24 to Rivers, Bayelsa, Cross River, Osun and Ondo State Governments for projects executed on behalf of the Federal Government.


The approval followed the consideration of a report by the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts, chaired by Senator Clifford Ordia (Edo Central).



Senator Ordia in his presentation stated that most of the Federal highways in the beneficiary states where projects were executed “were at a deplorable state before the intervention of the state governments.”


According to him, “series of visits were carried out by the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing on all Federal Roads completed by the States and ascertained that the quality off work done met the required standard.”


The lawmaker however noted that states like Cross River, Rivers, Bayelsa and Ondo States embarked on the highway projects execution as far back as 2005 to date.


He added that while the State Governments have completed all projects, as well as paid all contractors, the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) on its part certified that due process was followed accordingly.


Meanwhile, the Senate on Tuesday confirmed the nomination of Barr. Benedict Umeano (Anambra – South East); Hon. Ehiozuwa Johnson Agbonayinma (Edo – South South); and CP. Olayinka Babatunde Balogun (rtd) (Ogun – South West) as members of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).


The confirmation of the nominees followed the consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions led by Senator Patrick Ayo Akinyelure (Ondo Central).


In a related development, the upper chamber on Tuesday referred President Buhari’s request seeking the confirmation of nominees to the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission Tribunal to its Committee on Trade and Investment.


The nominees who are expected to appear for screening before the Committee include: Mrs. Sadatu Mama Shafi, Chairman (North Central); George Chukwuma Mbonu, member (South East); Barr. Thomas E. Okosun (South South); Umar Dauda Duhu (North East); Ibrahim El-Yakubu (North West); Mrs. Sola Salako Ajulo (South West); and Kenneth Tersoo Gyado (North Central).

November 24, 2020

Cross River North Senatorial Election And The Need To Elect Dr. Stephen Odey BY RICHARD EKOR

Dr. Stephen Odey

 
As the election to replace the late Sen. Rose Oko in the red chambers if the Nigerian senate draws close, there arises the dire need for the people of Cross River North to look carefully before handing over the mandate of who represents them in the senate. 

Politicians as it is their custom will continue to scheme in other to gain political favour from the electorates. This is the time to be very careful. To elect according to proven track record, administrative prowess and legislative experience. In all of these qualities Dr. Stephen Odey without equivocation stands tall.

In this piece, I will attempt to put together the few strides this astute administrator have been in previous assignments given him. 

Dr. (Barr.) Stephen Odey, is an erudite scholar, diligent administrator, politician, community Leader, philanthropist, and teacher who served meritoriously and deligently begining as a teacher worked hard before  rising to the position of Senior Lecturer in the University of Calabar. 
The seasoned administrator served as an adjunct Lecturer with the National Open University of Nigeria between 2005 and 2009. 
Not relenting Dr. Odey between 2010 and 2012, after meritorious academic voyage was awarded LL.B and B.L degrees by the University of Calabar and the Nigerian Law School, Bwarri-Abuja.
In 2011 Ben Ayade who had won election into the senate, appointed him as a legislative aide. During that period, Dr. Odey performed excellently well, drafting bills, researching and ensuring seamless legislative load on his principal.
Having performed creditably, Dr Stephen Odey resumed as the Executive Chairman, Cross River State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) having been appointed by Sen. Ben Ayade who had won his election as governor of the State.  While in SUBEB as chairman, the renowned technocrat introduced several reforms that raised the educational fortunes of Cross River State far beyond the expectations of many.
Dr. Odey's exceptional leadership qualities endeared him to many Cross Riverians. For example, as Chairman of SUBEB, his insistence on due process and transparency in the dealings of the educational board led to the exposure of several ghost workers ultimately swindling the government of several millions. But the brilliant combination of Dr. Odey's detail to duty saved the state government of a whooping N100million usually lost to some 6000 ghost workers. 
The prudent management of financial resources of the board under the stewardship of Dr. Odey was clearly manifested with the building of several schools fitted  with modern learning facilities, delivery and distribution of special learning aid and equipment through the UBE Special Needs Education Intervention Fund across all LGAs in the state among other  commendable achievements.
Due to his sterling achievements, when there was a need to stabilize the Cross River State Water Board, Gov. Ben Ayade again mandated him in 2017 to steer the wheels of the state owned water board in acting capacity as the Managing Director.

Dr. Stephen Odey has a wealth of experience in the academic, legal and administration to bear the senate seat for the people.
If given the opportunity, Dr Stephen Odey is capable of rewriting the narrative of Cross River North, from the socio-political experience of poverty, marginalization and underdevelopment to proper democratic dividends.

As we prepare for the senatorial election on the 5th of December, 2020, our people must understand clearly that legislative business is far beyond making presentations on the floor of the house or buying motor bikes for faithful party loyalists. But even if that is all what legislative representation is about, yet Dr. Odey is more than able.


DISCLAIMER:

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grassroot Reporters 



Friday, November 20, 2020

November 20, 2020

Senator Ndoma-Egba Loses Wife In An Auto Crash


 

This is not the best of times for former Chairman of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) board, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, as his wife, Mrs. Amaka Ndoma-Egba died on Friday, November 20, in an auto crash along Benin-Akure road.


This is coming less than a month after the former senator's house was looted and vandalized hoodlums during the #EndSARS protest. Within the last ten months, Senator Ndoma-Egba also lost his mother, mother-inlaw and former media aide.


The former Senate Majority Leader confirmed the sad news to GRASSROOT REPORTERS in a telephone conversation.


November 20, 2020

ECOWAS Bank Drags Cross River To Court Over $7m Tinapa Debt



 

 By Wale Odunsi 



ECOWAS Court of Justice has fixed November 30, 2020 to hear suit no. ECW/CCJ/APP/14/19 involving ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) and Cross River State Government.


EBID accused Cross River of failure to adhere to the terms of the loan agreement no. 7/AP/LAFRDF/04/05.


The accord was entered by both parties on May 20, 2005.


The applicant claimed that the respondent secured the loan for the partial financing of the Tinapa Free Trade Zone and Resort.



EBID said Cross River has refused to follow the agreed repayment terms.


The bank is seeking orders declaring the agreement as valid, binding and subsisting, and mandating the respondent to immediately repay the sum of $6,999,679, among others.


EBID relied on Article 9 (6) of the Court’s Supplementary Protocol, Section 10.4 and Article 3 of the loan agreement.


The court also fixed November 30 to adopt the terms of settlement in a suit by representatives of some Nigerian communities.


Tuesday, November 17, 2020

November 17, 2020

FG To Sell Calabar, Omotosho, Geregu Power Plants

 

The Federal Government announced that it will sell the Geregu 2, Omotosho 2, and Calabar power plants for N434 billion in 2021. The FG also disclosed plans to concession major sports stadiums across the country.


This was disclosed by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) in its 2021 Budget Defence in Abuja.


Geregu 2 Power Plant would be sold for N140.7 billion, Omotosho Power Plant N151.4 billion and  Calabar Power Plant N143.4 billion, the BPE said.  The Geregu 2 Power Plant differs from the Geregu Power Plant owned by Billionaire, Femi Otedola.


Senator Theodore Orji, member of the Senate Committee on  Privatization and Commercialization disclosed that Geregu is already majority-owned by private investors.


“We also found that in Geregu Power Plant, the core investor already owned 51% shares and that the transaction emanated from a request by the investor for additional 29% of FGN residual 49% shares,” Orji told the BPE

November 17, 2020

Calabar Roads Rehabilitation: Rain Has Washed Off All Work Done Yesterday - Ayade's Spokesman

 


The Senior Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State, Mr. Christian Ita has blamed the impatience of Cross Riverians which has led to the governor granting approval for the rehabilitation of internal roads in Calabar metropolis and other part of the state, against engineering advice.


Following the onset of dry season, the governor had given approval for the rehabilitation of internal roads in Calabar, and work commenced yesterday.


The state Commissioner for works, Engineer Dan Osim Asu said the governor also mobilised contractors for the completion of the 27 kilometre all important Boki East-West road.


In an apparent reaction to the heavy downpour in Calabar yesterday, Mr. Ita said all the work done yesterday on the roads have become a colossal waste of time and money.


In a press statement yesterday, titled 'Potholes and the need for patience by Cross Riverians', he said:

"Impatience and pressure most often birth disastrous outcomes.


"The state government commenced work on potholes against engineering advice to please the public and here we are with this heavy rain today.


"As it stands, all the work done today on the roads have become a colossal waste of time and money.


"The lesson here is that we must always listen to engineering advice when it comes to issues of this nature. Not everything needs to be political". The statement read.

Monday, November 16, 2020

November 16, 2020

Prof. Damen Emerges National President Of Association Of Medical Laboratory Scientists Of Nigeria

By Obio Monday


 

Prof. James Damen


Prof. James Garba Damen, the current Head of Department, Department of Medical Laboratory Science, University of Jos, has been elected as the 14th National President of Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN).

He scored a total of 238 votes to defeat his closest rival, Dr. Ifeanyi Casmir, who scored 135 votes, at the maiden delegate election of the Association which took place in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, on Monday, 16th November, 2020.

Prof. Damen will succeed Dr. Bassey Enya Bassey after his three-year tenure elapses at the end of this month.


Others who were also elected into various positions included:

Prof Marian N. Unachukwu - Vice President 1

 Dr Musa Muibi - Secretary

CMD Kantiyok - Assistant Secretary

Funke Akinade - Treasurer
 
Tony Asiodu - Financial Secretary

Kabiru Adamu - Auditor
 
Emilia Eliezer- Welfare Officer

Femi Adebo - Vice President 2 (Southwest)

Musa Sarki Adamu - Vice President 2 (Northwest)

Ibrahim Fewudu - Vice President 2 (Northeast)
  
Osarobo Eseiwi - Vice President 2 South South


Soji Billyrose - Publicity Secretary

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

November 04, 2020

Cross River Governor To Present 2021 Budget Estimate Tomorrow


 

Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State will tomorrow, November 5, 2020, present the 2021 Appropriation Bill before the state House of Assembly.


This was made known on Wednesday, November 4, by the Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly, Mr. Hope Obeten, in a press release.

The statement reads: "Pursuant to S.121(1) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, His Excellency, Senator (Prof.) Ben Ayade, the Executive Governor of Cross River State to present the estimates for the financial year 2021 to the Cross River State House of Assembly.

Date: Tomorrow, Thursday 5th November, 2020 


Time: 9:00am 


Venue: The Chambers of Cross River State House of Assembly, Leopard Town Road, Calabar.


All invited guests are expected to be seated by 8:30am before the arrival of His Excellency".

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

November 03, 2020

OpEd: He Never Listened BY CHIEF RAY MORPHY

 




1. I told him to concentrate on citizen-enhancing projects spread across the LGAs, he ignored, he never listened. 


2. I told him to forget his MoUs and concentrate on skill acquisition for our youth. I told him to use the Togolese model and the Indian model where they trained their youth and then export them as skilled-trained labor who will in turn repatriate Dollars and help boost the economy. He never listened.


3. I told him to forget those grandiose impossible projects such as super highway and concentrate on fixing and improving the rural road networks. He ignored, he never listened. 


4. I told him that our school standards were low! I told him to embark on a massive teacher recruitment and education upgrade program. He ignored, he never listened.


5. I told him to appoint experienced hands who would look him in the face and correct him. He didn’t want that, he knew all things. He never listened.


6. I told him to reduce the greed and the playing around. I told him that government was a serious business that requires thinking and thinkers, not just a food-on-the table approach. He ignored he never listened.


7. I told him that he will regret his approach to governance. I told him that the thing will rotten and smell in his hands and he will be cited as the worst governor ever. He ignored the sane free advice, he never listened. 


8. I told him to concentrate on projects such as roads and finish them before embarking on other ones. I told him it was wrong to scrape off existing roads and destroy people’s roadside shops when he had no intention of speedily doing the roads, of course he ignored. He never listened. 


9. I told him that our people needed rural hospitals and rural roads, boreholes and enhanced markets. I told him our people needed to be empowered through cooperatives. I told him to stop his obvious family-based nepotism since the entire state voted for him, the entire state should benefit from government. He ignored, he never listened. 


10. I told him not to abandon the nearly completed roads of the previous Liyel Imoke's administration, he ignored, he never listened!


Now he knows that I was right. And I am still right. What a wise gifted thinker sits down to see, a comic on a tall tree can never see it. 


Now you you know WHY I RESIGNED THAT APPOINTMENT! Today, I stand tall because I am vindicated! But I am saddened by the wasted years!


I am Chief Ray Morphy

Mgba Ntol, Njoram Mfan, Ovar Okan, Nkpume Utonkor! Shaman! 

Former Special Adviser to Gov Ben Ayade on Strategy and National Contact




DISCLAIMER:

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s)s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grassroot Reporters 

November 03, 2020

I Attempted Suicide Twice - Tiwa Savage


Nigerian singer,  Tiwa Savage has revealed that she attempted taking her life two times. 



The songstress revealed in an interview with Ebuka Obi-Uchendu on ‘Bounce Live Radio’ where she disclosed that she nearly took her own life after she was bullied as a black kid in London. She said she moved to London with her mother at age 10 and also stated that her strong Nigerian assent was being mocked by her friends in school.

In her own words: “I was teased so bad. They used to call me ‘African girl’, ‘Foo foo’, ‘Your food smells’ and so on. It was terrible. It was so bad that I literally tried to kill myself two times. I was really depressed.”

November 03, 2020

BREAKING: Looting & Vandalism: WAEC Relocates Its Office From Calabar To Uyo


Following the looting, burning and vandalization of its branch office in Calabar, Cross River State, the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), has announced that it is temporarily relocating from Calabar to its Uyo Zonal Office.


In a press statement on Tuesday, the council assured that it will resume normal operations in Calabar once status quo ante is restored.


The statement signed by Demianus Ojijeogu, Acting Head of Public Affairs reads in part: 

"The West African Examinations Council (WAEC), Nigeria wishes to inform the Cross River State Government, Cross River State Ministry of Education, School Principals, Candidates, other Stakeholders in Cross River State and indeed, the general public, that WAEC Branch Office, Calabar, Cross River State has been temporarily relocated to WAEC Zonal Office, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, till further notice.   


"This development is as a result of the vandalization, looting and burning down of WAEC Branch Office, Calabar by hoodlums on Saturday, October 24, 2020.   The relocation which is an interim measure is to enable the Council to continue to carry out its operations and render services to the Nigerian Child and other stakeholders.  


"We wish to assure all stakeholders and the general public that normal operations will resume in Calabar Branch Office once the status quo ante is restored."






Monday, November 2, 2020

November 02, 2020

We Are Not Owing Verified Pensioners - C/River Govt

Protesting pensioners, on Monday, Nov. 2 blocked the Muritala 
Mohammed Highway, Calabar in protest
over the nonpayment of their pension arrears



The Cross River State government has explained that no verified pensioner in the state or local government service is owed pension.


Speaking with some local government retirees who claimed to be owed months of pension, the state commissioner for local government affairs, Mrs Stella Odey promised that every genuine pensioner will be paid once they undergo screening and are captured in the payroll.


She said the periodic screening exercise became imperative following the discovery of a high number of  ghost pensioners in the payroll.


According to her, no verified pensioner is owed a dime by the state government.


She urged them to cooperate with government by submitting themselves for screening in order to be captured for payment.


Mrs Odey disclosed that staff now manning the pension board were directly drawn from the local governments as demanded by the pensioners "so that they can take adequate care of their files and I have conceded. We have done that.”


The Commissioner stated that governor Ben Ayade holds pensioners dearly to his heart and does not want them to suffer hence the prompt payment of those that have been verified.


"The Governor is so passionate about pensioners, we have not owed their pension for one day. We have not owed any pensioner, as I speak to you.


"If you have not been screened, then there is no way you can be paid. That is why we say come and do screening, so that we can capture you as a pensioner.


"Do you know that government has been paying so many ghost pensioners? That is why we are doing screening", she said 


Sent from my iPhone.

November 02, 2020

WAEC Releases 2020 WASSCE Result






The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has released the results of the 2020 Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE).


WAEC’s head of national office, Patrick Areghan, said a total of 1,549,740 registered for the examination.


Areghan said 1,338, 348 representing 86.99 per cent obtained credit and above in a minimum of any five subjects – with or without English Language and/or Mathematics.


He said 1,003, 668 candidates representing 65.24 per cent obtained credits and above in a minimum of five subjects, including English Language and Mathematics.


To check the results, candidates were asked to visit the waecdirect.org

Saturday, October 31, 2020

October 31, 2020

If I Had My Way, I'll Order Ayade To Step Aside For An Interim Govt, He Doesn't Know What Administration Is - Obong Of Calabar Blasts C'River Governor


 

The Obong of Calabar, His Eminence Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu (V) has blamed the governor of Cross River State, Prof. Ben Ayade, for the massive looting, destruction and vandalism of public and private properties in Calabar and other parts of the state last weekend, suggesting that the governor lacks administrative skills.


The Obong made the statement on Friday when he received former Governor Liyel Imoke and his delegation in his palace.


The monarch blamed the governor for not holding regular security meeting, which he believed was partly responsible for the incident.


He said:

“Why is this happening to us? It is because politicians have failed. And if I had my way, I could have said, this governor, should wait, let’s set up an interim administration then he starts learning on how administrations are actually done,”


“He should be holding security meetings regularly. This thing would not have happened if he had called the security people together after hearing what happened in Lagos and other places; if he had called them together and tell them, look my friends; nothing should happen in my state. The calamity would have been averted.


“The key is that there has to be a change of attitude, every one of you should have access to the governor. Now that we have professor and professor in administrative set up, we expected that we should have the best. The governor should be able to open his door for people to come in, and should work with everybody.”

October 31, 2020

OpEd: Value Re-Orientation: A Panacea to Moral Decadence BY EZINWANNE ONWUKA



Different schools of thought consider values to mean traits, practices, acts, ideals, beliefs, attitudes and principles that an individual, group or society acknowledge to be of merit, worthwhile, dear, acceptable and right. Values, therefore, are basic beliefs and attitudes in a society whether of individuals or groups which are considered worthwhile and serve as a guide to choices and behaviours in one's daily life. Values help to inform one on how he or she can conduct one’s life in a meaningful way. In other words, values are deep seated beliefs that influence people’s actions and behaviours. It is therefore essential that every individual, group and indeed the entire nation must have core values which serve as the driving engines for growth and development.


Our value system therefore is the sum total of our ideas and beliefs. It includes every opinion we hold about life. Each thing we like or dislike, and the importance each one has to us, merges to form our unique value system. Our value system develops through what we are taught and experience, combined with our reactions to them, forming our preferences and our unique perspective on life. Ultimately, every opinion we have in life is based on something in our value system.


Our actions are the first indicators to ourselves and others about the values we hold because the values that we live by are connected to what is most important to us. However, we can sometimes have other desires in our hearts that differ from our actions. To be completely at peace within ourselves, there must be conformity between our deepest values and how we actually live. That is, you must be committed to your deepest values and seek to live according to them. Otherwise, you will experience inner conflict because you have not determined which values are most important to you, and every choice you make will not flow from a firmly held belief about that area of life.


If we are honest with ourselves we’d mostly agree that all is not well with our nation and that the values we once held dear sadly belongs in another era. Where are values like honesty, integrity, good neighbourliness, religious tolerance etc. that once characterized our society? Whatever also happened to being our brother’s keeper? Today, we’ve grown so numb and we’re no longer shocked when people are slaughtered in a senseless terror campaign by some deranged individuals. As a result, we now have internally displaced people in Nigeria, yet we carry on as if all is well.


Once upon a time, Christians and Moslems mingled together celebrating Christmas and Salah, but today bigotry reigns supreme. We perpetuate the worst kinds of ethnic and religious chauvinism you could ever think of. Driven by greed and inordinate lust for the “good life,” we seek the shortest possible route to riches. We revere criminals and treasury looters as our “best of men” bestowing upon them honourary degrees, chieftaincy titles or even “purchase” election forms for them.


As I write, everything continues to go wrong as we forsake the values that ought to matter. Police officers still terrorise ordinary citizens, bankers still pilfer the life-savings of poor and struggling compatriots, hoodlums continue to run amok in communities, minority “lawmakers” ride roughshod over the majority, internet scammers and advanced fee fraudsters are still at their beats. What about armed robbers and kidnappers? They are all having a field day. The concept of equity has all disappeared from our lexicon, so is benevolence and the Rule of Law which permits no perception of justice except for the rich. 


Religious and ethnic sentiments have taken pre-eminence over brotherhood. Gone are the times when Nigerians were their brothers’ keepers, irrespective of tongue or creed; gone are the days when every adult member of society could instantly discipline any erring child to the happiness of the child’s parents. The traditional institutions on their own were faithful custodians of culture and moral values. Our music and folklore then had a good moral hold on the youths. Those were the days when Sallah and Christmas were celebrated together by both Muslims and Christians, be it in Kano, Onitsha or Lagos. This was the Nigeria of yesteryears before our slide into the current perfidy. 


The society has become characterized by high level of distrust and everybody has become a suspect of misplaced value. Immorality and lack of sanctity of life have increased as murder and kidnapping have become a daily occurrence. The malady of corruption has polluted the character and personality of every Nigerian. It is worrisome as well as regrettable that vices have taken the place of virtue in our society.


The crisis of value system in Nigeria suggests that the growth and progress of the society is being retarded in many aspects through outburst of materialistic tendencies. It is beyond doubt that materialism has taken over government, political institutions, invaded traditional and cultural institutions, while the church seems to be more materialistic than the secular society. The malady of value crisis has predicated Nigeria as open society in which anything goes. In Nigeria, we seem to be grabbing the worst and getting very little of the best from the rest of the world.


Value re-orientation is the best way to address the myriad of societal problems confronting the Nigerian society. The message of value re-orientation and social harmony should dominate our polluted psyche. By and large, the strength of a nation does not rest merely in its material or scientific achievements but it lies rather more in the moral qualities of the individuals and in the level of moral consciousness of the entire society. There is no doubt that our future really depends on how successful we are in fighting the orgy of negative values. Values are products of the mind which are manifested in behavioural patterns. The values of citizens on national issues is a two-edged sword capable of enhancing development or crippling it.


We cannot continue to sound like a broken record about our youth being leaders of tomorrow when we have not adequately invested in the all-important value re-orientation meant to inculcate in them good moral values while also purging them of all kinds of primordial sentiments of religious extremism and ethnic jingoism.


However, how ready are we as a family in preparing the child/youth to take over this responsibility of being leaders of tomorrow. Are parents now ready to question the source of the sudden wealth of their children who sometimes engage in armed robbery or Advanced Fee Fraud (419) and suddenly come home to exhibit stupendous wealth to the admiration and celebration of their parents? How prepared are our traditional institutions and religious leaders to stop the rampant and indiscriminate award of chieftaincy titles and religious honors to the people with questionable wealth? These are the issues and until they are tackled decisively, the fight against corruption in the polity, violence, drug abuse and other intolerable social vices will not be won.


Ezinwanne Onwuka writes from Cross River state, Nigeria. She is a Corp Member serving in Cross River state. She writes informative, creative and research-driven contents on topics about life, politics, religion and more. You can reach her on [email protected] and +2348164505628


Friday, October 30, 2020

October 30, 2020

We Need Support To Improve Our Videos - UK Boyz Comedy Skit Group


 

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to exert its toll on communities and countries, with attendant job losses  and increasing poverty, a group of young Cross Riverians had since utilize the opportunity to put smiles on the faces of people on social media and in rural communities, through their comedy skits.


Known as UK Boyz Entertainment Comedy, these youths uses their talents to bring soothing relieve to people in the digital space and those in rural communities.




Comprising six young men, Zlimprinz, Mosky, Charles, Sly G, StedyKiz and a lady, Veronica,  all indigenes of Ukwa Eburutu in Odukpani LGA, the upcoming comedy group has continued to wow its teeming fans with jaw-dropping videos.


In need of sponsorship and support, the group which shoots most of its videos at different locations in Cross River State, told GRASSROOT REPORTERS that it faces serious financial challenges, which had affected the quality of videos produced, and appealed to well-meaning Nigerians to support the group.







October 30, 2020

My House Was Looted To The Ground, Leaving Only The Bare Floor - Sen. Victor Ndoma-Egba

Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba

Former board chairman of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba has reacted to last week's attack and looting of his private residence in Calabar,  saying the hoodlums looted his house to the ground, leaving only the bare floor.


The former senator's house was one of the many private and government properties looted and vandalised by hoodlums in Cross River State.


Recounting the incident, Senator Ndoma-Egba wrote on Facebook, titled 'THE ATTACK ON MY HOME, LET US REFLECT':

"At about 2 am ( local time, as I was abroad)on Saturday 24th. October 2020 I received a text informing me that there were plans by arranged hoodlums to attack my residence in Calabar, that of Senator Gershom Bassey and an hotel owned by Senator John Owan Enor. I promptly forwarded the texts to Senators Bassey and Owan Enor. I also called the security agencies in Calabar to apprise them of the information. Calabar, from my information, was already tense from the previous day,s break-in into warehouses storing COVID 19 palliatives and the subsequent breaching of shops and other businesses. The impending attack on Senators Bassey, Owan Enor and I was already public knowledge as later that morning I got many calls to that effect. Thereafter I kept calling the security agencies by the hour when in spite of their assurances that they will secure my house there was no evidence of any security personnel in my vicinity. I understand, the times were indeed confounding for everybody.


"At about 2 pm the intruders broke into my house and looted it to the ground leaving only the bare floor. All the toilets, baths,pumps and indeed every imaginable fitting were removed as were items of furniture ,clothing ,a huge collection of mainly rare , out of print books, documents and historic photographs. They also removed all the windows, railings , family pictures and burglary proofs. Even my private chapel was not spared. They set the cars ablaze and parts of the building after more than four hours of interrupted operations in my house. It was methodical. Among the intruders were obviously electricians, plumbers, carpenters, motor mechanics, panel beaters and other tradesmen. Mercifully ,no life was lost. I started building the house in 1991 and moved in in January , 2009.


"If the attack is meant to deter me from speaking out on issues of principle or dampen my spirit in way, I have bad news. It will rather spur me further to speak on justice, rectitude and accountability , especially, in the public space. I had committed myself to the service of the public and so shall it be.


"While not prejudging, and without prejudice to the work of the security agencies , I have forgiven the intruders ,and pray fervently for them to find meaning , inner peace ,and fulfillment in their lives. I only plead that they return my late father,s judges robes which they certainly would not be needing for anything and is surely incriminating.


"The destruction of my house was clearly premeditated,wanton and unjustifiable but I understand the anger in the land especially amongst our youths. However , if looting and burning my home will better their lives and bring positive change to our land then it is a sacrifice my family and I gladly make.


"I am worried however that we now have an environment that is breeding armies and possibly generations of understandably frustrated, angry and bitter youths that are often exploited by unscrupulous political jobbers. Given our demographics, our youths can either be a blessing ,if they are educated or skilled, motivated and engaged, or a curse otherwise. We are obviously better as a nation ensuring that they ( our youths) remain our most important and prized resource by fundamentally reforming our society and systems to guarantee them the realization of their innate potentials and that they are engaged. It is in our collective best interest to do so ,and we can do it,and must do it. Every situation reinforces itself and unless ,therefore ,we break the cycle of hopelessness, anger, hunger and frustration among our young ones the situation will only get worse. This will certainly be to the detriment of all. Let us act, and act immediately.


"The recent vandalism ,looting and insecurity in Calabar are unprecedented. Calabar, said to be an acronym for “Come And Live And Be At Rest” , has been historically famous for her allure, peace, security, restfulness, greenery, cleanliness , hospitality and culinary exertions . People from far and wide have retired here after a life of toil and sweat elsewhere , to find quiet and harmony. Our Carnival Calabar and Obudu Mountain Race had become items on the global events calendar attracting multitudes of people from all over the world as did the Obudu Cattle Ranch and creating their own economies. With the needless loss of our innocence to blood and fury through violence and insecurity we are unwittingly losing ,if we have not already lost, our essential Calabar, all we have gained over generations, and across history, and our place in the world. We are moving from the global stage to the dark recesses of a gangland.


"History has always been merciless and unrelenting on her judgement on those who have had the privilege of the public trust. Opportunities have never lasted forever. Even now will pass. We must therefore use now to secure our tomorrow. It is when we assure security for all by providing everyone the basic necessities of life that we guarantee our own security.


"May God grant our leaders the wisdom to find us equity,justice, peace, security and prosperity.

He  advised the youths not to destroy their tomorrow:

"For the rampaging bands, it is time to beat a retreat and reflect on whether your actions are helping you or your case in anyway or not as they are certainly not part of the EndSars# campaign. Tomorrow is yours in-spite of your pain and anguish today. Be wise. Do not destroy it. While your past may not have been the least it should have been the future remains your nevertheless. It is yours to lose or gain. I pray that you claim it and gain it.


"I  humbled by the outpouring of love and solidarity from all and sundry over this incident. I remain ever grateful. I assure you that I have taken it in stride and must move on."

 

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

October 28, 2020

BREAKING: Okonjo-Iweala Emerges New WTO DG


Nigeria's Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has emerged Director General of World Trade Organization (WTO).

She polled 104 votes from 164 member countries to defeat South Korea’s trade minister at the final stage of the race.

She becomes woman and the first African to occupy the office.

More details later





October 28, 2020

WAEC To Release 2020 WASSCE Result Next Week


The West African Examination Council (WAEC) has announced a new date for the release of the 2020 May/June West African Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).


According to the Council, the initial plan to release the result yesterday, October 27 was shelved due to the curfew imposed in different parts of the country. It said the result will eventually be released next week.


WAEC said on its Twitter handle:

"WASSCE SC 2020 Results Release Date: Dear candidates, the Council had planned to release the results today in fulfillment of our Project 45 but due to the curfew imposed last week, it had to be postponed till next week. 

"The exact date will be made known soon."
October 28, 2020

FG Begins Payment Of N30,000 Grant To Artisans


 By Oalekan Adetayo

The Presidency on Tuesday said the payment of N30,000 one-time grant to 330,000 artisans across the country under the Economic Sustainability Plan has commenced.


The Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, disclosed this in a statement titled “Payment of N30,000 grants to 330,000 artisans under ESP begins.”

Akande said the payments were being made to sets of verified beneficiaries of the Artisan Support Scheme, a track under the MSMEs Survival Fund.

The statement read, “In the first stream of payments starting today (Tuesday), beneficiaries are being drawn from the FCT, Lagos, Ondo, Kaduna, Borno, Kano, Bauchi, Anambra, Abia, Rivers, Plateau and Delta States.

“They form the first batch of applications for the scheme submitted between October 1 and October 10.

“The MSMEs Survival Fund scheme is a component of the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan which was developed by an Economic Sustainability Committee established by President Muhammadu Buhari in March 2020. The President asked his deputy, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, to head the committee which produced and is overseeing the implementation of the plan.

“Under the ESP, the Survival Fund is generally designed to among other things, support vulnerable MSMEs in meeting their different obligations and safeguard jobs in the sector.”

Akande added that enumeration for the second stream of states under the scheme has also commenced with enumerators in various states compiling the lists of artisans through their association leaders.

He said all artisans are expected to liaise with their association leaders to document their details.

He added, “The registration of applicants for Stream 2 began on October 19, 2020. States under Stream 2 are: Edo, Ogun, Ekiti, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Enugu, Ebonyi, Adamawa, Taraba, Bayelsa

“In the same vein, enumeration and verification of the documents of applicants under the Survival Fund Payroll Support scheme is still ongoing. Dates for the commencement of payment would be announced in due course.

“The application process for the payroll support scheme, which began on September 21, had ended on October 15, 2020. Accepted applications are categorised by industry sectors, including Education and Hospitality, among other sectors.

“However, there may be an extension for applications for some states that have not met their quota on beneficiaries. The Artisan Support Scheme is to benefit about 9,000 Nigerians per state and FCT.”


October 28, 2020

Calabar Looting & Vandalism: My House Was Not Badly Damaged - Senator Gershom Bassey Reacts

Senator Gershom Bassey

 

The senator representing Cross River South in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator Gershom Bassey has reacted to the looting and vandalization of his house in Calabar by hoodlums.


GRASSROOT REPORTERS had reported that last week, hoodlums went on rampage in Cross River State, looting and vandalizing private and public properties, including that of the senator.


Reacting to the incident, the senator said his house was not badly damaged and that recoveries of the looted properties are being made.


He said: "We are still assessing the extent of damage but today, a number of those things are being recovered. My house was not badly damaged but we are recovering them, we are assessing them.


"We need to strive towards good governance. It is good governance that would deliver these dividends of democracy, so for us in the National Assembly, we must continue to play our role in order to ensure that the executive delivers the dividends of democracy. Dividends such as employment etc. We must create wealth for our people."

October 28, 2020

Calabar Looting And Vandalism: About 200 Psychiatric Patients Missing - Hospital Mgt


More than one hundred and thirty psychiatric patients are said to be missing after the massive looting and vandalization that took place last week at the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Calabar, the Cross River State Capital.


The Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Bassey Edet, disclosed this during an on-the-spot assessment of damages suffered by the hospital.

According to the MD, sixty-one other patients have returned on their own volition, while the whereabout of other patients is still unknown, adding that efforts are being made to look for them and make them to return to treatment.

Dr Edet said many staff of the hospital sustained various degrees of injury during the attack and are being treated.


The hospital was one of the places looted and vandalized by rampaging hoodlums last week, carting away drugs, equipments, including hospital beds.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

October 25, 2020

Don't Pity Anyone Caught Destroying Properties, Mobilize Against These Hoodlums And Looters - Eta Mbora Orders Constituents

Ntufam Eta Mbora

 


The member representing Calabar Municipality/Odukpani Federal Constituency in Nigeria's House of Representatives, Ntufam (Hon.) Eta Mbora has finally broken his silence on the looting and destruction of his private residence in Calabar, the Cross River State Capital.


Hon. Mbora ordered his constituents and Cross Riverians to rise-up and mobilize against the invading hoodlums and looters.


GRASSROOT REPORTERS had reported on how some hoodlums looted and destroyed some private and public properties in Calabar, Odukpani, Bakassi and Akpabuyo LGAs, with no fewer 10 persons feared dead on Friday and Saturday.


In a press release signed by him on Sunday, the lawmaker charged residents not to pity anyone caught destroying properties.


He said, “We have witnessed the most bizarre, tumultuous and heart-rending period of our time in our great city of Calabar as vandals and miscreants with criminal minds seized and hijacked the well-intended #EndSars protests in Cross River State.


“In the last 48 hours, it’s been woeful tales of wanton destruction, vandalization and senseless looting of public and private properties championed by persons suspected to be infiltrators of the protest in the state.



“Without any iota of doubt, the perpetrators of these heinous and vicious acts are neither part of and do not share the dreams and visions of our forebears and stakeholders for a peaceful, serene and progressive communities nor can these evil be traceable to the DNA of our young people over time. Our young people are notable for their peaceful coexistence and hard work and therefore, abhor all forms of social unrest.



“In a most bizarre and coordinated manner, these criminals took turns to visit homes of prominent political leaders and stakeholders as well as premises of public and private businesses to unleash unwarranted attacks on and steal valuable items from them.



“This will for a long time greatly cause a great setback in our political, social and economic lives and will remain the greatest nightmare and bruising psyche of our existence as a people and communities. This is, indeed unacceptable and condemnable in its entirety” he stated.



He urged that: “At this point of our history, this is a great opportunity for our youths and all other critical stakeholders of our ancient city to rise up to this occasion and mobilize, in the present and for the future, our collective resolves and actions to put a stop to the reoccurrence of all forms of social vices in our communities."


“My prayers and heartfelt sympathy are with all those who have in one way or the other been affected and have lost their property in the unwarranted attacks."


October 25, 2020

Chairman Of Samsung Electronics Dies At 78

Lee Kun-hee

 



The Samsung Electronics chairman, Lee Kun-hee, who made the South Korean company a global name, has died at the age of 78.


Under Lee’s leadership Samsung rose to become the world’s largest producer of smartphones and memory chips, with overall turnover equivalent to a fifth of South Korea’s GDP.


Known for a reclusive lifestyle, Lee was left bedridden by a heart attack in 2014. Little was revealed about his condition, leaving him shrouded in mystery even in his final days.


“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Kun-hee Lee, chairman of Samsung Electronics,” said a company statement.


“Chairman Lee passed away on October 25 with his family, including vice-chairman Jay Y Lee, by his side … His legacy will be everlasting.”


Samsung is by far the biggest of the family-controlled conglomerates. These chaebols dominate business in South Korea and drove its transformation from a war-ravaged ruin to the world’s 12th-largest economy. Nowadays they are under scrutiny for murky political ties and stifling competition – with Lee himself twice convicted of criminal offences, in one case bribing a president.


When Lee inherited the chairmanship of the group in 1987 – it had been founded by his father to deal in fish, fruit and noodles – Samsung was already the country’s largest conglomerate, with operations ranging from consumer electronics to construction.



Lee sharpened its focus and took it global: by the time he suffered a heart attack in 2014 it was the world’s biggest maker of smartphones and memory chips. It is also a major global player in semiconductors and LCD displays.


Lee seldom ventured out from the high walls of his private compound in central Seoul to visit the company headquarters, earning him the nickname the “hermit king”.


His son, the Samsung Electronics vice-chairman Lee Jae-yong, has been at the helm of the company since the 2014 heart attack.



The son was jailed for five years in 2017after being found guilty of bribery and other offences linked to former president Park Geun-hye, before being cleared of the most serious charges on appeal and released a year later. That case is being retried.
October 25, 2020

Ayade Orders Police To Search Houses For Looted Items, Charge Them To Take Action

 


The governor of Cross River State has ordered security agents to search houses for looted items.


In a release signed by the Senior Special Adviser to the governor on Media and Publicity, Mr. Christian Ita reads:

"Following the deployment of more soldiers to Calabar to help quell violence, Cross River Governor, Sir Ben Ayade has asked security agencies in the State to take legitimate actions to halt the arson and carnage witnessed in some parts of Calabar.


"The governor also wants the security agents to carry out a house to house search for looted property and arrest everyone involved in the looting of both public and private property in the state.


"The Governor who said he understands the pain of the people averred that there was need to protect the collective commonwealth of the people which is currently under threat by some persons who are desperately trying to discredit the peaceful disposition of Cross Riverians.


"He urged the security agencies to take legitimate actions to ensure that calm returns to the State especially as the Government was already working towards ensuring the demands of those who genuinely participated in the #EndSARS march are met.


"The Governor also called on Cross Riverians to rise up and defend their land from criminal elements bent on destroying the image of the State."


October 25, 2020

10 Feared Dead, Shops, Politicians' Houses, Govt Facilities Looted, Burnt Down In Cross River

 


              Some of the dead victims

No fewer than ten persons were feared dead between Friday, October 23 and Saturday October 24 following the massive looting and destruction of government and private properties in different part of Cross River State.


Phone shops, business premises, government facilities, homes were looted and destroyed, in some cases, completely burnt down.



As of the last count, the following premises were looted and destroyed in Calabar: NLC office (looted and vandalised), INEC office at Marian Road (burnt down), SEMA office along Barracks Road (burnt down), CTRA office (100 Marian) (looted and vandalised), Department of Petroleum Resources (vandalised), Atakpa Police Station (burnt down), NDDC office (looted vandalised), Valuemat Supermarket--(looted and vandalised), State Mnistry of Works warehouse (looted and burnt down), Cross River State Roll Back Malaria Centre (looted and vandalised), Bulavaard joint (looted and vandalised), First Bank, 8 Miles branch (vandalised), WAEC office (looted and burnt down), Federal Psychiatric Hospital (looted and vandalised), Atakpa Police Station (looted and burnt down), Access Bank Mayne Avenue (vandalised), Senator Victor Ndoma Egba's house (looted and vandalised) Senator Gershom Bassey's house, his father's house (looted, vandalised, father's house burnt down), Senator Bassey Ewa Henshaw's house (vandalised), Hon. Eta Mbora's house (looted and vandalised), Filling Station at WAPI Junction allegedly own by Governor Ayade (burnt down), NYSC headquarters (looted and vandalised), NTA, Calabar (looted and vandalised), Nigeria Red Cross office (looted and vandalised), phone shops along Calabar road (looted and vandalised).


          Looted Federal Psychiatric Hospital

Others included: Calabar South health centre (looted and vandalised), Unical Hotel (looted and vandalised), Unical E-library and offices (looted and vandalised), Nigeria Chronicle Newspaper (looted and vandalised), VOI office (looted and vandalised), Calabar International Conference Centre (looted and vandalised), Tinapa (looted and vandalised).



Seven persons were feared dead in Calabar. At Watt Market, one person was confirmed dead while three persons died in a motorcycle accident close to Nigeria Navy Reference Hospital while transporting their looted palliatives from Tinapa Resort.


A medical doctor working with General Hospital, Calabar, told GRASSROOT REPORTERS that three unidentified bodies who died in a stampede in one of the warehouses where the palliatives were looted, were deposited at the hospital's morgue on Saturday.


In Bakassi Local Government Area, a  health centre in Ikang was looted and vandalised by hoodlums. A police station was also looted and burnt down while the Nigeria Customs office was also burnt down. The Bakassi LG headquarters was not spared as the hoodlums, bearing dangerous weapons, invaded and destroyed facilities in the LGA headquarters.


In Akpabuyo Local Government, two persons were killed during exchange of gunfire between the hoodlums and security operatives. Markets and shops were looted by the invaders. Two police stations and the Nigeria Customs Service van were burnt down.


A middle-aged man, simply known as Koko was gun down in Okurikang, Odukpani LGA. According to reports, hoodlums stormed Okurikang market on Saturday evening and started shooting. They allegedly burnt down a police post located at Okurikang Junction and a Eyo Filling Station.


Sources say tension is building up in Okurikang and Ndon Nwong communities, following the death of Koko, an indigene of Ndon Nwong who before his death, traded on petrol (black market) at Okurikang Junction.