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Showing posts with label News. Show all posts
Showing posts with label News. Show all posts

Monday, January 25, 2021

January 25, 2021

Wike’s Presidential Campaign Posters Surface In Abuja


Presidential campaign posters bearing the name and pictures of the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, have surfaced in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

Wike, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, is serving his second and final term of four years as the governor of the South-South state.

Our correspondent sighted the posters that are in two different types in Abuja on Monday morning.

They were posted in strategic locations on the popular Herbert Macaulay Way in the Central Business District of the FCT.

Some were seen pasted on the fence of a building that served as the Buhari/Osinbajo Presidential Campaign Office in 2015 and 2019.

Some others were seen posted close to the headquarters of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and also opposite the Nigeria Defence College popularly called War College.

According to the inscriptions on the posters titled “Rescue Nigeria 2023,” they were produced by the National President of Rescue Nigeria Movement, Jingiri Bala Mato.

The posters which bear the logo of PDP read, “Rescue Nigeria from insecurity, poverty, bandit killing. Support Chief Barr Nyesom Wike for President, Federal Republic of Nigeria 2023.”

Our correspondent noticed that the governor’s first name, Nyesom, was wrongly spelt as “Nyemsom” in the two different posters.

One of the posters bears the picture of the governor in the traditional South-South wear with a bowler hat to match, while he was dressed in a Northern outfit with a cap to match in the second poster.

There has been speculation that Wike may be considering a joint presidential ticket with his Sokoto State counterpart, Aminu Tambuwal, for the 2023 election.

Tambuwal, who is also serving his second and final term as the governor of the Northern state on the platform of the PDP was one of those invited by Wike to inaugurate some projects in his state recently.

He contested for the PDP’s presidential ticket for the 2019 general election and lost to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.

Tambuwal enjoyed Wike’s support for that primary election held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital.

Wike had also last week pledged a donation of N500m to victims of the market fire in Sokoto State.

The pledge attracted criticism to the governor from opposition political parties and others.

January 25, 2021

EU-ECOWAS Begins Destruction Of 260 Arms, 5510 Weapons In Calabar

The European Union, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the Leadership Initiative for Transformation and Empowerment (LITE Africa) have begun the destruction of 260 arms and 5510 weapons in Calabar.

The arms and weapons were surrendered by ex Bakassi strike force militants and members of cult groups in the state.

Speaking on Monday in Calabar, Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River, said that the destruction of the arms and weapons would further give residents of the state the desire to work closely with the state government and security agencies.

Ayade, who said there were over 33 illegal routes in the state, lamented that suspected armed smugglers were proliferating the state with arms through the routes.

He commended security agencies in the state for working tirelessly to secure the state in collaboration with the Operation Akpakwu security outfit established by the state government to fight criminality.

“I want to appeal to the Federal Government to capture the ex Bakassi militants under the Federal Government Amnesty programme. These youths who have surrendered their arms deserve empowerment and better rehabilitation to keep them off the creeks,” he said.

Ayade, who carried out the symbolic destruction of the arms, urged those who were yet to surrender their arms to do and embrace peace for the growth of the state.

Mr Joel Bisina of LITE Africa, who spoke on behalf of EU-ECOWAS, said that one cannot underestimate the dangers of illicit proliferation of small arms and light weapons and the negative impact they have on peace and stability in various communities.

Bisina said that small arms and light weapons had continued to have devastating effects on the socio-economic situation in Nigeria and the West African subregion.

“In Nigeria, the commercial transaction in small arms and light weapons has been on the increase since the end of the Nigerian Civil War. The trend has continued despite the illegality of the trade.

“The wide availability, stockpile, and illicit flow of such weapons tend to escalate conflicts; undermine peace agreement, intensify violence and impact on crime, impede economic and social development, increase poverty and hinder democracy and good governance.

“In a bid to promote peace, reduce armed conflict and small arms proliferation in the region, LITE Africa and the Presidential Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons, with support from the EU/ECOWAS are working to strengthen the efforts at preventing further proliferation and trafficking of illicit arms in Nigeria,” he said.

Mr Dickson Orji, a representative from the Presidential Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons, said that the committee was set up in 2013 with a mandate to be the focal point in the efforts by Nigeria to stem the tide of the proliferation of illicit arms.

Orji said that the Nigerian component of the EU-ECOWAS small arms under the current pilot phase focuses on the seven states of Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Cross River, and Akwa Ibom.

Mr Austin Ibok, Special Adviser to Ayade on Amnesty and Rehabilitation, said that 150 ex-militants who have surrendered their weapons would undergo skills acquisition training under the EU-ECOWAS sponsorship.

Ibok said that the move was aimed at reducing youth restiveness through civic engagements and reducing the crime rate in the state to the barest minimum.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that heads of the Police, Navy, Air Force, Army, and Security Advisers in the state were present at the event.


Sunday, January 24, 2021

January 24, 2021

Buhari's Administration Is Very Disappointing - Former INEC Boss, Jega



Attahiru Jega, former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has described the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari as “very disappointing.”

In an interview with Daily Trust, Jega said the current administration has performed below the expectations of “so many Nigerians”.

Jega served as Nigeria’s electoral umpire from 2010 to 2015, following his appointment by former President Goodluck Jonathan.

He remains the only INEC chairman that has presided over two general elections in Nigeria — in 2011 and 2015, when Jonathan lost to Buhari, making him the first incumbent president to lose re-election.

Jega, who was once a vice-chancellor of Bayero University, Kano, said although Buhari enjoys goodwill from many Nigerians, citizens are worried “about the direction the country is taking.”

“He (Buhari) has disappointed so many people. He still has time to correct things if he has the capacity to do that. Frankly, his government has been very disappointing,” he was quoted to have said.

“Governance has been very poor at the federal level and many of the states, that is why we are seeing challenges everywhere; whether it is insurgency, banditry, armed robbery or other things.”

Jega’s comments re-echoed the concerns of prominent Nigerians including former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Wole Soyinka, Nobel laureate, who have been critical of this government.

January 24, 2021

Dangote Sues His American Mistress For Posting Videos Exposing His Buttocks On Social Media


Africa's richest man, Aliko Dangote has filed a lawsuit to claim damages for his battered reputation after one of his American mistresses posted videos on social media that included the billionaires exposed buttocks earlier this month.

Mr. Dangote filed the charges in an American court in Miami, Florida.

He sought compensation for $30,000 in the civil lawsuit, which he appeared to have filed under a pseudonym John Doe. The name also has an alias that says ‘DA’, which appeared presumably as initials for Aliko Dangote.

The charges were filed against a woman who was identified as Autumn Spikes. She was on social media to expose the lawsuit and threaten Mr. Dangote that he had taken the wrong turn by making the case public, indicating that the billionaire risked having additional embarrassing information about him published on the Internet as part of the suit.

Already, the woman claimed Mr. Dangote had offered to pay her for her silence, an arrangement she rejected before the billionaire filed the suit.

She said the pair had been in a relationship for nine years without a non-disclosure agreement to gag her from publicly commenting on the affair.

A spokesman for Mr. Dangote did not immediately return a request seeking comments about the case on Sunday evening.

Using a handle, Allarounda1 on Instagram, the woman posted a video of herself and Mr. Dangote on a couch inside what appeared to be a luxury yacht on January 1. It was unclear in which country the yacht was sailing when the mistress shot the video, but it showed Mr. Dangote drap himself in an orange blanket while fiddling with his mobile phone amidst clearly exposed buttocks.

She also posted pictures of Mr. Dangote alighting from a luxury plane in a private hanger, describing herself repeatedly as a ‘ForbesListSugarBabe’ in apparent reference to her lover’s status amongst an elite list of world’s billionaires.

The raunchy images were later deleted by the woman, claiming she had been flooded with requests from bloggers to comment further on her affairs with Mr. Dangote. She also rejected claims that she took her affairs with Mr. Dangote to social media to chase undue fame.

In follow up updates, she said she was trying to clean Mr. Dangote’s name from the mess earlier created by Bea Lewis, who described herself as a restaurant operator in the United States.

Mr. Dangote’s lifestyle has been largely kept from the public until now. Little was known about him beyond his marriage and divorce in the past. Mr. Dangote’s media aides have yet to comment on the scandalous affairs that seemed to be pointing at the billionaire’s steep appetite for glowing American women.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

January 23, 2021

IGP Orders Arrest Of Sunday Igboho Over Eviction Notice To Herdsmen

Mohammed Adamu, inspector-general of police (IGP), has ordered the arrest of Sunday Adeyemo, youth leader better known as Sunday Igboho, over the quit notice he issued to herdsmen.

BBC Hausa quoted Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, as confirming the arrest order during its programme on Friday.

Shehu reportedly said the IGP informed him of his directive to Ngozi Onadeko, the Oyo commissioner of police, to arrest Igboho and transfer him to Abuja.

Frank Mba, police spokesman, did not immediately respond to TheCable’s inquiry on the order of the IGP.

Igboho had asked herdsmen in Igangan in Ibarapa north local government area of Oyo to leave within seven days following reports of the killing of some Oyo citizens.

He had blamed herders and Fulanis, including Saliu Kadri, the Seriki Fulani, of being behind the rising insecurity in the area.

The quit notice generated tension in parts of the state, prompting Seyi Makinde, the governor, to ask the IGP to arrest those fomenting trouble under the guise of protecting the interest of Yoruba people.

“For people stoking ethnic tension, they are criminals and once you get them, they should be arrested and treated like common criminals,” the governor had told the police commissioner.
January 23, 2021

CNN's Larry King Dies At 87


Larry King, the longtime CNN host who became an icon through his interviews with countless newsmakers and his sartorial sensibilities, has died. He was 87.

His son, Chance, confirmed King's death Saturday morning.

King hosted "Larry King Live" on CNN for over 25 years, interviewing presidential candidates, celebrities, athletes, movie stars and everyday people. He retired in 2010 after taping more than 6,000 episodes of the show.

A statement was posted on his verified Facebook announcing his passing.

"With profound sadness, Ora Media announces the death of our co-founder, host and friend Larry King, who passed away this morning at age 87 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles," the statement said. "For 63 years and across the platforms of radio, television and digital media, Larry's many thousands of interviews, awards, and global acclaim stand as a testament to his unique and lasting talent as a broadcaster."

The statement did not give the cause of death.

King had been hospitalized with Covid-19 in early January at Cedars-Sinai, a source close to the family said at the time.

"We mourn the passing of our colleague Larry King," CNN President Jeff Zucker said in a statement.

"The scrappy young man from Brooklyn had a history-making career spanning radio and television. His curiosity about the world propelled his award-winning career in broadcasting, but it was his generosity of spirit that drew the world to him. We are so proud of the 25 years he spent with CNN, where his newsmaker interviews truly put the network on the international stage. From our CNN family to Larry's, we send our thoughts and prayers, and a promise to carry on his curiosity for the world in our work."

King battled a number of health problems, suffering several heart attacks. In 1987, he underwent quintuple bypass surgery, inspiring him to establish the Larry King Cardiac Foundation to provide assistance to those without insurance.

More recently, King revealed in 2017 that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer and successfully underwent surgery to treat it. He also underwent a procedure in 2019 to address angina.

Larry King Fast Facts

King also suffered personal loss last year when two of his adult children died within weeks of each other: Andy King, 65, suffered a heart attack and daughter Chaia King, 52, died after being diagnosed with lung cancer. King is survived by three sons.

In an era filled with star newsmen, King was a giant -- among the most prominent questioners on television and a host to presidents, movie stars and world class athletes.

With an affable, easygoing demeanor that distinguished him from more intense TV interviewers, King perfected a casual approach to the Q&A format, always leaning forward and listening intently to his guests, rarely interrupting.

"I've never learned anything," King was fond of saying, "while I was talking."

For 25 years, he hosted "Larry King Live" on CNN, a span that was highlighted by more than 30,000 interviews, including every sitting president from Gerald Ford to Barack Obama, and thousands of phone calls from viewers.

The show made King one of the faces of the network, and one of the most famous television journalists in the country. His column in USA Today, which ran for nearly 20 years until 2001, showcased King's distinct style in print, inviting readers down a trail of non-sequiturs that served as a window into his mind.

"The most underutilized player in the NFL this year was Washington's Desmond Howard...Despite what you think of Lawrence Walsh, we will always have the need for a special prosecutor because a government cannot investigate itself," King wrote in a 1992 column.

Those musings, combined with his unmistakable appearance -- oversized glasses, ever-present suspenders -- made King ripe for caricature. In the 1990s, he was portrayed on "Saturday Night Live" by Norm MacDonald, who channeled the USA Today column with a spot-on impersonation.

Jokes aside, King's influence is evident today in the generation of podcasters who have mimicked -- whether deliberate or not -- his conversational approach to interviews.

"A good interview — you know more than you do before you start. You should come away with maybe some of your opinions changed," King told the Los Angeles Times in 2018. "You should certainly come away entertained — an interviewer is also an entertainer."

Born Lawrence Harvey Zeiger on November 19, 1933, in Brooklyn, New York, King was raised by two Jewish immigrants. His mother, Jennie (Gitlitz) Zeiger, was from Lithuania, while his father, Edward Zeiger, hailed from Ukraine. Edward died of a heart attack when King was 10, a memory King said he mostly "blocked out."

Left to raise King and his younger brother Marty alone, Jennie Zeiger was forced to go on welfare to support her children. The death had a profound effect on King, and his mother.

"Prior to his death, I'd been a good student but afterwards, I just stopped being interested," King told The Guardian in a 2015 interview. "It was a real blow to me. But eventually I channeled that anger because I wanted to make him and my mother proud."

King said his father had enormous influence on him, instilling in his son a sense of humor and a love of sports. And no sport drew more of King's affection than baseball.

He grew up a fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers, and continued to support the team after its move to Los Angeles. He was a fixture at the team's home games in Dodger Stadium, often spotted in the high-priced seats behind home plate. In 2004, King wrote a book aptly titled, "Why I Love Baseball."

King's career in media began in earnest in 1957, when he took a job as a disc jockey at WAHR-AM in Miami. It was then when he made the decision to drop his surname.

"You can't use Larry Zeiger," he recalled his boss at the station saying. "It's too ethnic. People won't be able to spell it or remember it. You need a better name."

"There was no time to think about whether this was good or bad or what my mother would say. I was going on the air in five minutes," King wrote in his 2009 autobiography.

"The Miami Herald was spread out on his desk. Face-up was a full-page ad for King's Wholesale Liquors. The general manager looked down and said, 'King! How about Larry King?'"

It was around this time that King entered what would become a string of failed marriages. His union with Frada Miller was annulled, and the dates of his second marriage with Annette Kaye are publicly unavailable.

From 1961-63, King was married to Alene Akins, whom he married again from 1967-71; before they re-married, King tied the knot with Mickey Sutphin in 1964 before they divorced in 1966.

He had two more divorces -- with Sharon Lepore, with whom he was married from 1976-82, and Julie Alexander, with whom he was married from 1989-92 -- before marrying his seventh wife, Shawn Southwick in 1997 at UCLA Medical Center, as he was about to undergo cardiac surgery. King filed for divorce from Southwick in 2019, citing irreconcilable differences.

Source: CNN

Friday, January 22, 2021

January 22, 2021

11 Yahoo Boys With Exotic Cars Arrested


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibadan zonal office, on Friday, January 22, 2021 arrested eleven suspected fraudsters.

They were apprehended by operatives of the Commission who, acting on intelligence, swooped on their hideouts in Osogbo, the Osun State capital.

The Commission recovered twelve cars which include three Toyota Highlander SUVs, one Mercedes Benz GLK 350 SUV, One Acura SUV, two Honda Crosstour, two Toyota Venza and three other Toyota brands.

Also recovered are phones, laptops and other devices.

The suspects, who variously claimed to be students, artisans, farmers and businessmen, are currently undergoing interrogation to ascertain their level of involvement in the alleged crime.

They will be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.

January 22, 2021

Man Sentenced To Jail For Using Money Sent To His Account In Error


A 45-year-old driver, Adetunji Tunde Oluwasegun, has been sentenced to two years imprisonment for fraudulently converting to personal use a sum N2million that was erroneously transferred into his account.

The Ilorin Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had on Monday, January 18, 2021 arraigned Oluwasegun on one-count charge bordering on stealing before Justice Sikiru Oyinloye of the Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin.

The offence contravenes Section 286 and punishable under Section 287 of the Penal Code.

The charge reads: "That you, Adetunji Tunde Oluwasegun, sometime between the month of July,  2020 and 21st of August, 2020 at Ilorin, Kwara State, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court dishonestly took the sum of N2,000,000.00 (Two Million Naira), property of Sherifat Omolara Sanni, which she erroneously transferred to your bank account 0008383333 domiciled with Guaranty Trust Bank plc, without her consent and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 286 of the Penal Code and punishable under Section 287 of the same Penal Code"

The defendant pleaded ‘guilty’ to the charge when it was read to him.

Justice Oyinloye found Oluwasegun guilty of the offence and sentenced him to two years imprisonment with a fine of N200,000 (Two Hundred Thousand Naira).  

The judge also ordered the convict to restitute his victim the sum of N2million before he finished serving his jail term.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

January 21, 2021

President Buhari Removes Akin Ricketts As NPA Board Chairman, Appoints Him As Member

Akin Ricketts


President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, replaced Chief Akin Ricketts as the Chairman of the Non-Executive Board of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA).

Chief Ricketts was replaced by Mr. Emmanuel Olajide Adesoye as Chairman of the Board. Mr. Ricketts, from Cross River State, South South Nigeria, was appointed as ordinary member of the Board by the President.

The President also approved the re-appointment of Hadiza Bala Usman as Managing Director of NPA for an additional five-year tenure.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina announced this in a statement.

Adesoye was the Chairman of the Board since 2015 until last year when he was replaced by Akinwunmi Ricketts.

Others appointed into the Board are Ekenyem Nwafor-Orizu, South-East zone, Ghazali Mohammed Mijinyawa, North-East zone, Mustapha Amin Dutse North-West zone, and Abdulwahab Adesina, North-Central zone.

January 21, 2021

Odukpani-born Ex-Super Eagles Goalkeeper And Assistant Coach, Joe Erico Is Dead


Nigerian football was again thrown into mourning on Thursday after news broke of the death of former Nigeria senior team goalkeeper and one-time assistant coach of the Super Eagles, Joe Erico.

Family sources said the flamboyant trainer of trainers and respected nurturer of talents complained of body pain and was treated for malaria, only to be found dead in his bed at dawn on Thursday.

Born Joseph Bassey Eric in the Odukpani local government area in what is today known as Cross River State, Erico belonged to the cast of the very best goalkeepers in the history of Nigeria’s senior team, and served at the same period as the revered Emmanuel Okala and Eyo Essien.

He made his debut for then Green Eagles in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against Zambia in Lagos in July 1973 (which Nigeria won 3-2), and then kept goal in all of Nigeria’s six matches at the 1976 Africa Cup of Nations in Ethiopia, where the Eagles finished third – the first time Nigeria would win a medal at the AFCON. Erico was also in goal in all of Nigeria’s pre-tournament friendlies against Kenya, Zambia and Tanzania just before the team flew to Ethiopia.

“It is another sad day for Nigerian Football. Erico was among the very best of Nigeria’s international goalkeepers and also served the country with fervour and diligence as Assistant Coach of the Super Eagles between 2001 and 2002. He will be sorely missed. We pray that Almighty God grant him eternal rest and also grant his family and loved ones the fortitude to bear the big loss,” NFF General Secretary, Dr Mohammed Sanusi, said in Abuja.

Nicknamed ‘Jogo Bonito’(Beautiful Game) for his preference for fluency and expression in the rhythm of play of his teams as a coach, Erico was part of the triumvirate (alongside late Amodu Shaibu and late Stephen Keshi) who were shooed in to do a rescue job for Nigeria as the ship to the 2002 FIFA World Cup finals tottered badly under Dutchman Johannes Bonfrere. With three matches left in the campaign and a must-win mandate for all, the trio got the job done and qualified Nigeria for Korea/Japan.

They also led the team to a bronze-medal finish at the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Mali early 2002.

With his death on Thursday morning, it means all members of that historic triumvirate have now passed on.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

January 20, 2021

FG Approves N1.4 Billion For Upgrade Of Calabar Free Trade Zone

The Federal Executive Council, today approved the sum of N1.4 billion for the upgrading of electricity facilities at the Calabar Free Trade Zone Area in Cross River State.

 Minister of Industry Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, disclosed this on Wednesday while briefing journalists on the outcome of the meeting.

He said:
“One of our parastatals, the Nigeria Exports Processing Zones Authority, we brought a memo for the award of contract for the upgrade of the electricity component in the Calabar Free Trade Zone Area,” he said.

“The contracts were initially awarded in 2018 to upgrade the electrical facility in the Area but it was not completed so we brought a memo today and council approved the sum of N1,000,484,000 for the completion of electrical upgrading at the Calabar Free Trade Zone Area.”

January 20, 2021

FG To Pay 24.3m Nigerians N5,000 For Six Months


The Federal Government on Tuesday said about 24.3 million poor Nigerians would get N5,000 each for a period of six months.
Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq, disclosed this at the inauguration of the Federal Government’s emergency intervention database for the urban poor.

A statement issued in Abuja by her aide, Nneka Anibeze, said the intervention would serve as cushion for those further impoverished by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The statement read in part, “According to records, about 24.3 million poor and vulnerable individuals were identified at the end of 2020 and registered into the National Social Register.

“Each beneficiary will receive N5,000 for a period of six months.”

Farouq said the intervention database was needed to develop the capacity for rapid response to any emergency including natural or man-made disasters.

The minister said the Rapid Response Register was designed to rapidly identify, register and provide succour to people who were not previously captured in the social register.

Speaking on the RRR, the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, said the register deployed a wholly technology-based approach, adding that it was primed to achieve an end-to-end digital foot-print in cash transfers for the urban poor.

This, he said, would also help the government to achieve its financial inclusion policy under the Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access programme.

He said, “The groundbreaking success of the RRR now emboldens us to achieve our aspiration of a social security programme for a minimum of 20 million Nigerians in the next two years. This will be the largest of its kind on the continent.”

Osinbajo also hinted that the Federal Government would seek funding for the intervention programmes as the country deserved a social security scheme that would not only alleviate poverty but also create wealth for millions of those waiting for the opportunity

Monday, January 4, 2021

January 04, 2021

C'River Govt To Install CCTV Cameras To Monitor Civil Servants, To Introduce Dress Code

Mrs. Geraldine Ekanem

As part of its new policy reform direction, Cross River State Government is set to introduce a new dress code and Close Circuit Televisions Cameras (CCTV) to monitor civil servants' compliance to work and assigned duties in the state as part of effort to reduce truancy, lateness to work and indecent dressing.

The state Acting Head of Service, Mrs. Geraldine Akpet- Ekanem dropped the hint  on Monday, during tour of Ministries, Departments and Agencies(MDAs) to assess the level of compliance of workers on their first day in office after the long Christmas and New Year holiday.

Geraldine who was visibly angry at the dressing of some staffers as well as low turnout  of workers in some of  the offices visited said, henceforth dress code will be introduced to all civil servants in Cross River State while cctv cameras  will be used to monitor their movements in and out of their respective offices.

The new Head of Service who was performing her first official assignment after her appointment, said technology will be introduced to checkmate the excesses of any civil servant who go against service rules.

She said rewards and sanctions system will be reintroduced as part of the new reform policy to spur workers in giving in their best, stressing that the state workforce should be more alive to their responsibilities in order to ensure quick service delivery to the people of Cross River State. 

"I am disappointed in what I saw today, that is why we need to introduce some of this new policies and it is doable. 

"In all the offices i have visited, only Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Ministry of Justice impressed me, others within the New Secretariat did not, I met a handful of workers today.

"The Christmas and New year break was long enough for all sundry activities, so workers  have no excuse not to resume on their duty post today being the first day in the office". She explained.

Some of the workers who spoke with our correspondent attributed the low turnout to the long holiday, even as those at the work place expresssd their readiness to put in their best for the new year work challenge ahead.

Governor Ben Ayade had penultimate week approved the appointment of Mrs. Geraldine Akpet-Ekanem as the new  Head of the Cross River State Civil Service.

The appointment  was contained in a press release signed by the Secretary to the State Government Barr. Tina Banku Agbor in Calabar.The release stated that the appointment is with effect from 1st January 2021.

Mrs. Ekanem hails from Ikom Local Government Area. She studied law at the University of Nigeria(UNN), Enugu Campus and graduated in 1984.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

December 30, 2020

Why My Administration Is Shifting From Big Big Dreams - Ayade

Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has given reasons why his administration is shifting from big projects to projects that would put food on the table of the masses.

The governor said on Wednesday, December 30, during the signing of the 2021 budget of 'Blush and Bliss' into law, that the drastic reduction in the budget from what it used to be in previous years was because his administration has decided to move away from "big dreams" to ensuring that there is food on the table for the masses.

Shortly after he took over office in 2015, the governor announced his intention to construct a Super Highway, which according to him, would be the first to have wireless internet services and solar-powered street light at the cost of about N700 billion. He also announced other major projects to include: Bakassi Deep Sea Port (N776 billion), Spaghetti Flyover (N18 billion) and Obudu International Airport (About N20 billion).

Financial experts however faulted the governor for embarking on such projects when the state lacks the finances to handle them. 

Adducing reasons for his action, Governor Ayade, during the budget presentation today, said: "For the budget of 2021, the budget of "Blush and Bliss" the gross component is in the dramatic reduction of the budget size from over N1.01 trillion to 218 billion. One will ask what will then happen to that missing gap?

"We had explained this in the budget presentation that we are shifting from all the big big dreams to the basic, primordial things of survival and ensuring that there is food on the table.”

Continuing, the Cross River state number one citizen said: “We had planned in 2020 that by 2021, we are going to move away from food on the table to food on the table and hands on the plough but with Covid-19 and Endsars protest, we realized that we have to sustain the food on the table further.”

December 30, 2020

Governor Ayade Signs 2021 Budget Of 'Blush And Bliss' Into Law

Cross River state governor, Sir Ben Ayade Wednesday signed the state's 2021 budget into law.

Christened, budget of Blush and Bliss, the 2021 budget has a total sum of N281.9billion, a sharp reduction from the previous budget sizes of over 1.01trillion.

Speaking at the signing ceremony which held at the State Executive chambers of the Governor's office, Calabar, Ayade disclosed that the budget has made provisions for the establishment of a state polytechnic.

It also has provisions for social welfare schemes like grants and other financial benefits to help cushion the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the people.

He disclosed that the size of the budget was smaller when compared with previous budgets that were in the region of over one trillion naira.

The governor attributed this to the fact that his administration has decided to reduce the financial commitments of the state in key projects such as the Bakassi Deep Seaport and the 275km superhighway to just five percent.

These projects, according to him, are now to be built on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model.

"For the budget of 2021, the bugdet of "Blush and Bliss" the gross component is in the dramatic reduction of the budget size from over N1.01 trillion to 218 billion. One will ask what will then happen to that missing gap?

"We had explained this in the budget presentation that we are shifting from all the big big dreams to the basic, primordial things of survival and ensuring that there is food on the table.”

Continuing, the Cross River state number one citizen said: “We had planned in 2020 that by 2021, we are going to move away from food on the table to food on the table and hands on the plough but with Covid-19 and Endsars protest, we realized that we have to sustain the food on the table further.”

The governor maintained that the 2021 budget was streamlined in order to meet the intended focus, hence it provided only for 5 percent cost for such capital projects as the 275 kilometre Superhighway, the Bakassi Deep Sea port, Calas Vegas Island among others saying the state's privatization council in partnership with KPMG as their consultants will work to select the best Investors available who are able and willing to invest in the capital projects.

Ayade however, expressed optimism that with the plethora of industries he has so far established taking off fully in 2021, the economy of the state will get a huge boost.

He commended members of the state House of Assembly for sacrificing their comfort and personal pleasure  during the Christmas holidays to ensure that the 2021 budget was ready for signing.

Earlier, the Speaker, Hon. Eteng Jones Williams explained that the House made some adjustments in the appropriation bill the governor submitted to it in October to accommodate new realities that were captured in the bill such as the establishment of the Cross River state Polytechnic which bill the governor recently signed into law.

Monday, December 28, 2020

December 28, 2020

Former C'River Assemby Member's Son, 5 Others In Police Net For Armed Robbery, Govt Vehicle Used For Operation

A son of a former member of the Cross River State House of Assembly was among a 6-member robbery gang nabbed by Operation Akpakwu (a special security outfit set up by Governor Ben Ayade) on Sunday night in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.

A reliable source from Operation Akpakwu told George Odok, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent in Cross River, that the gang attacked a policeman Sunday night at gun point and luck ran out of them when Operation Akpakwu got the information and immediately chased after them.

"The robbers were chased from State Housing by Chief Obot Street, Calabar Municipality while they were shooting sporadically. During the process of chasing after them by the Operation Akpakwu team, the driver of the armed robbery vehicle lost control and ran into a deep gutter.

"Three of the armed robbers were arrested, the other three escaped, one of them had bullet wounds. The son to a former House of Assembly member was the person who drove the car the robbers used for the operation," the source said.

Interestingly, the car used for the operation is a Cross River State Government registered number plate.

The identity of the ex-lawmaker's son was yet to be ascertained as of the time of filing this report.

Friday, December 25, 2020

December 25, 2020

Engr. Ben Akak Celebrates Christmas With The Less Privileged, Doles Out Gifts


In his continuous bid to give hope to the hopeless, the needy and vulnerable groups in the society, a frontline philanthropist in Cross River State and Chairman, Ben Akak Foundation (BAF), Engr. Ben Akak, today, December 25 celebrated Christmas with the aged, persons leaving with disabilities (PLWD) and the homeless at Pope John Paul II  Good Samaritan Home for the Poor, Aged and Needy located in Calabar, the Cross River State capital. 

Engr. Akak, whose philanthropic gestures has received commendation from far and wide, said the less privileged are critical stakeholders to the growth of humanity, and that they are often neglected, stressing their importance and contribution to the society. 

His words: "Many people do not understand the importance of celebrating with you but we take you very important. We know that you are very critical to the growth of humanity.

"From the depth of my heart, we love you and we will continue to be supportive of you.

"Anytime there is celebration and the world is celebrating, know that we'll celebrate with you. We came with some things for you to go and celebrate Christmas and a little thing for you to buy chicken". He said.

Responding, the Chairman of PLWD in Calabar South, Mr. Ekpenyong Essien said Engr. Akak's magnanimity towards the less privileged in the society cannot be swept under the carpet. He expressed gratitude to God for bringing Engr. Ben Akak to show them love and give them a sense of belonging.

"It is very rare in this part of the community to find someone who loves and cares about the needy and the less privileged. We have politicians representing us at the National and State Assembly but they don't do half of what your organization is doing for the less privileged in the society. We appreciate you Sir, we are grateful and we say may the Almighty continue to bless and safeguard you". Mr. Essien said.

Also speaking, the Coordinator of PLWD in Cross River State, Comr. Offiong  Okon   said the group has enjoyed so much goodwill from BAF. He said today's visit by BAF was the second during festive period, which shows the love Engr. Akak has for the less privileged and the vulnerable in the society. 

He appreciated Engr. Akak and his foundation for the numerous gestures and prayed God to bless him for the bags of rice and cash gift he presented to the group.

December 25, 2020

Akwa Ibom Overtakes Cross River To Emerge Cleanest State In Nigeria

Akwa Ibom State has overtaken Cross River State to emerge the cleanest state in the Nigeria, according to the index ratings by Clean Up Nigeria (CUN) of the Cleanest State in Nigeria.

Cross River State under the administration of Mr. Donald Duke and Senator Liyel Imoke was adjudged as Nigeria's cleanest state. Cross River's rating dropped drastically in recent years, largely due to the little attention given to environmental sanitation by the present administration.

The group said Abuja emerged as the cleanest city in the cities category.

In a statement, its National Coordinator, Ene Baba-Owo, stated that Ebonyi State came a second, scoring 44 per cent to Akwa Ibom’s 80 per cent.

Lagos, Bauchi, Cross River, Rivers, Plateau, Niger and Ekiti states were placed third to 10th while Kogi was the lowest ranked state in the study.

Baba-Owo said the results were the outcome of a 15-member national technical study group on the state of the Nigerian Environment Report 2020 with focus on the cleanliness index ratings of states and cities/towns conducted by CUN with support from global project partners from Canada, United States, Germany, France and Australia.

He said the study was scored on five performance indicators via physical verification 20 per cent and the deployment of GEO-Eye-1 satellite that has the highest resolution imagery system in the world which collected images with a ground resolution of 0.41 meters (16 inch) in panchromatic and multi-spectral from the orbit every quarter year round and gives accurate reliable data that is applied to the five performance indicators as highlighted as follows: (1) streets/road cleanliness 30 per cent (2) vegetation/drain control 20 per cent (3) waste management service 30 per cent (4) public opinion poll+ social media 10per cent (5) knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) of hygiene and sanitation of the people 10per cent, totaling 100 per cent.

The study ran from last December to this November, with quarterly evaluation.

While Abuja scored 68 per cent to come first, Uyo followed it with 63 per cent.

Ikeja, the Lagos State capital, placed third with 44per cent while Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, came last in the category.

The study observed a significant drop in the level of waste management in the country, especially in the areas of equipment most of which have been grounded and unserviceable.

But the most disturbing of the study’s observations is that Nigeria still remained the number one country in the world in the practice of open defecation.

It says that “the practice of open defecation in all the 36 states of the Federation and FCT has not reduced”.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

December 24, 2020

Gov Ayade Appoints Geraldine Ekanem C'River New Head of Service

Mrs. Geraldine Ekanem

The governor of Cross River State, Sen. Prof.  Ben Ayade has approved the appointment of Mrs. Geraldine Akpet Ekanem as Head of the State Civil Service.

This was contained in a press release signed by the Secretary to the State  Government Barr. Tina Banku Agbor in calabar today..

The release stated that the appointment is with effect from 1st January 2021..

Mrs. Ekanem hails from Ikom Local Government Area. She studied law at the University of Nigeria(UNN), Enugu Campus and graduated in 1984.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

December 23, 2020

Trafficking: Immigration Rescues 3-week-old Baby In Calabar

Suspect and the-child



The suspect denies the allegations.

The Marine Patrol team of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) in Cross River has rescued a three-week-old baby suspected to be a victim of child trafficking at the high sea.

The Cross River Comptroller of NIS, Okey Ezugwu, who briefed the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the incident in Calabar, said that the suspected child trafficker, Maureen Awokara, was arrested on December 19 at the high sea.

Mr Ezugwu said that the suspect was arrested by the marine officers on patrol following her inability to give a comprehensive explanation of the true owner of the baby.

“A few days ago, our officers at the marine patrol at the international waterways intercepted one Maureen Awokara, who claimed to be a native of Imo state with a three-week-old child.

“During the arrest, she came up with all stories that were not adding up. Initially, she said the child belongs to her sister, yet we have carried out a preliminary investigation and all the lines she gave us to reach the sister, (name withheld), is not connecting.

“At this point, we are going to hand her over to NAPTIP for further investigations. The preliminary investigation gives us every reason to believe that the little child is been trafficked.

“The suspect claims she is (was) going to Cameroon, Gabon and wherever. We are suspecting a cartel deal, because over time, we have had a lot of surveillance and serious checks at our border basis and the airport, making it impossible for any of them to use these routes.

“We are looking at a situation where they have now devised a means of using the waterways, using small boats to take away these little children along,” he said.

He said an effort by the command to get in contact with other family members to ascertain if the family members were in agreement for her to take the baby away had been unsuccessful because the suspect was not willing to give them useful information on the matter.

Mr Ezugwu told NAN that the NIS marine patrol team will continue to police the waterways with a view to ensure that all forms of child trafficking and other act of criminality are suppressed.


Responding, Ms Awokara, 40, told NAN that the baby belongs to her younger sister who could not afford to take care of her after delivery on December 2.

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She told NAN that the younger sister decided to give her the child because she has been married for 18 years without a child.

“She gave me the baby in Imo state; since they brought me here, I have been trying to get in contact with her but her number isn’t connecting.

“The only time her number went through, I only heard a man’s voice, which was not her own,” she said.

When NAN sought to know if the father of the child agreed for her to take the baby away, she said that the father of the child ”denied the pregnancy even before delivery”.

“My younger sister is between 18-20 years. This is not her first time of giving birth; but, we don’t know where the first child is as we speak,” she said. (NAN)