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

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

March 23, 2021

Many Missing, Properties Worth Millions Destroyed As Cross River/Akwa Ibom Communities Renew Communal War


By Patrick Odey, Uyo

Several people were said to be missing on Tuesday morning and houses set ablaze in a renewed boundary hostilities between the people of Ikot Offing in Odukpani Local Government Area of Cross River State and Oku Iboku, in Itu Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.

The two communities have been at each other’s jocular over control of a piece of land for the past 30 years, leading to loss of lives and property at both ends.

“Earlier today, the assailants came loaded in two 75 horsepower speedboats, they engaged in a 25-minute gun battle with the military at the checkpoint.

“The calibre of weapons used by these assailants forced the people to flee for their dear lives, although the military officers were also equipped with machine guns,” a source told The PUNCH.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Odiko Macdon, who confirmed the attack, said the Commissioner of Police, Andrew Amiengheme, has mandated the Divisional Police Officer in Itu Division, Celestine Ude, to carry out an assessment of the situation and report back to him.

Macdon, who confirmed that some houses were torched, said until the DPO gives first-hand information, the command would not be able to say what actually transpired.

He said, “We have received a preliminary report about the renewed crisis, no lives reported lost. We are still awaiting a more discreet situational report because the CP, has ordered the DPO of Itu LGA division to proceed and give him first hand information about the crisis.

“For now, the situation there is under control, there is no cause for alarm. It’s only when the DPO comes back that we can get comprehensive report. I hear that some houses were ransacked and some shops were burnt, but we are yet to get more information about what really transpired”.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

March 17, 2021

Hijab Controversy: Muslims & Christians' Clash Turns Bloody In Kwara


Violence broke out between Muslims and Christians in Ilorin on Wednesday after the Kwara state government reopened some schools it had shut down over controversy on hijab.

The state government had ordered the reopening of 10 schools it closed on February 19 over a dispute on the usage of the hijab headgear usually worn by Muslim female students in the state.

The government had set up a committee to find a solution to the discord. It had also announced that the schools should resume with Muslim female students allowed to use hijab.

But the violence, however, ensued after Christian officials of the Baptist School situated in the Surulere area of the capital city were said to have disallowed girls in hijab from gaining access into the school.

It is understood that this caused a stir among Muslim parents, leading to arguments and a clash where both Christian and Muslim adherents hurled objects at one another.

It was also gathered that the security operatives close to the area immediately called for back up after which the crowd was dispersed with tear gas.

Speaking on the incident, Ajayi Okasannmi Jeffrey, the spokesperson of the state police command, charged citizens to remain calm while the state government works towards fully resolving the controversy.

“You’re aware there’s been a disagreement about the female Muslim students and the wearing of the Hijab. The government directed that the school should be reopened today,” the PPRO said.

“The Muslims are insisting on entering the school with Hijab; the Christians are saying they’re not going to enter.

“Our primary duty is to ensure that there is peace and that’s exactly what we are doing. We’ve responded by ensuring that there is no breakdown of law and order.

“The commissioner o police have deployed so many police operatives there. So we’re managing it. We advised the citizens to maintain peace and abide by the decision of the government until the matter is fully resolved.”

Monday, March 15, 2021

March 15, 2021

Road Accident Claims 6 Lives Along Calabar - Itu Road, Many Seriously Injured

Report reaching GRASSROOT REPORTERS say no fewer than seven persons have died from a ghastly motor accident involving a fuel tanker and two tricyles popularly called Keke Napep, along Calabar - Itu road in Itu LGA of Akwa Ibom State.

The accident happened along the failed portion of the road at Ntak Inyang area which is currently under repair by the Akwa Ibom State Government after it was cut off by a landslide.

Eyewitnesses said that the tricycles were conveying school children and some passengers before the unfortunate circumstance occurred.

Reports said that the driver and the passengers including school children died after the tank ran over the tricycle, with scores seriously injured.

When contacted, the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) in the state said the agency was gathering facts about the accident.

The Sector Commander in Akwa Ibom State, Oga Ochi, told newsmen that FRSC officers have been dispatched to the scene after receiving information about the crash.

The FRSC sector commander further said that the accident occurred because the truck was at an excessive speed when it rammed into the tricycles,  adding that investigation into the incident was still ongoing.

March 15, 2021

Ukorebi Esien Elected Cross River State Coordinator Of P4P

Ukorebi Esien

The Publisher of an online newspaper, The Daily News Ng and  erstwhile Research and Documentation Officer of an NGO, Partners for Peace in the Niger Delta (P4P) in Cross River, Mr. Ukorebi Esien was on Friday, March 12, 2021, elected the Coordinator of the P4P Network in the state. 

The election which took place at the state secretariat of the P4P Network, Peace House, Calabar, saw to the emergence of 6 others including Atim Edet as Welfare Officer, Shaabam Abdullahi as

Research & Documentation, Gabriel Ekpenyong as Treasurer, Michael Essien as Financial Secretary, Wisdom Jonah as Assistant Secretary, and Arit Ukpong as Secretary of State.

Esien who beat Cletus Bassey to emerge the Coordinator-elect scored a total of 14 votes to defeat his opponent, Mr. Bassey who scored 6 votes.

Meanwhile, a by-election will subsequently be conducted for the offices of Deputy Coordinator and Public Relations Officer, as candidates in those categories failed to meet the criteria, hence, were disqualified.


Wednesday, March 10, 2021

March 10, 2021

Covid-19: Vaccination To Begin In Cross River As State Receives 58,840 Doses Of Vaccine


Cross River State on Wednesday, March 10, 2021, received 58,840 doses of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines.

The consignment was received by the State Commissioner for Health, Dr Betta Edu, in company of the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Eteng Williams.

Other dignitaries who accompanied the commissioner included the Director General of Cross River State Primary Health Care Development Agency (CRSPHCDA), Dr Janet Ekpeyong, Dr David Ushie, Bar Takon, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, WHO officials UNICEF Officials and NPHCDA officials as well as Directors from the ministry.

The arrival of the vaccines, the state is set to begin the vaccination of its residents against the pandemic.

March 10, 2021

I Challenge N'Assembly Members To Show What They've Done For The People, Politicians Don't Have Conscience - Ayade

Governor Ben Ayade


The Cross River State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade says politicians do not have conscience when it comes to fulfilling their mandate to the people who elected them, reports DailyTrust.

Ayade, who has been having a running battle with some federal lawmakers from the state over the control of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) structure in the state, said this at the flag-off of enrolment into the states’ Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF).

He tackled politicians for taking advantage of the people who they run to for votes during elections.

“After donations of Keke, they pay millions to national television to advertise instead of spending the money for the people.

“Let the politician show us what they have done for the people, stop abusing the poverty of the people, when the election comes you look for something to entice the people. When these people have accident, they don’t have health insurance. Politicians have no conscience. I challenge national assembly members to show the report card of what they have done.

“They never come to Calabar until during elections; the citizens are waiting for you to tell us what they have done,” the governor said.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

March 09, 2021

EFCC Arrests 25 Suspected Internet Fraudsters in Lagos


The Lagos Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arrested 25 suspects for their alleged involvement in computer-related fraud.

The suspects are: Ibrahim Olaiwon Olatunji, Kelechi Daniel David, Olutayo Oluwapelumi, Abiola Baruwa Gideon, Adesuyi Toheeb Adeyika, Wano Abdullahi Ahmed, Imoukhuede Idowu Peter, Ige Emmanuel Oluwatobi,  Durodola Peter Tolulope, Makanjuola Olamide Elijah, Emmanuel Edward Enyiema, Oguniran Samuel Boluwatife, Onikosi Olasukunmi Idris and Abdulateef Adegoke Oriyomi.

Others are: Ogbere Sunday Ojulari, Abdulwaliu Aderuju Adeyemi, Emmanuel Ibuchi Ezeh, John Ayokunmi Bagbale, Moses Tarh, Emmanuel Ovie Okpe, Murtala Mohammed Oyinlola, Ayomide Hassan Semiu, Adebayo Michael Adetola, Covenant Chizaram Eze and Emmanuel Chidi Okwor.

They were arrested during an operation by operatives of the EFCC in the early hours of today, March 9, 2021 at a Hotel on Governor Road, Ikotun, Lagos, following a credible intelligence on their alleged criminal activities.

The suspects will be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.

March 09, 2021

Ayade Flags Off Health Insurance Scheme In Cross River, Promises Affordable Universal Healthcare

Cross River state governor, Professor Ben Ayade Ayade Tuesday reiterated his administration's commitment to ensuring that all Cross Riverians enjoy quality and affordable healthcare.

He therefore, charged the Cross River state Health Insurance Agency, CRSHIA, "to cater to the vulnerables particularly in terms of their healthcare because you must be people centred.”

The governor spoke at the U.J Esune stadium, Calabar, venue of the  formal flag off of enrollment into the Cross River state Healthcare Insurance Scheme, christened, "Ayadecare".

He urged the citizenry and corporate organisations to key into the scheme, saying the goal of his administration was to take healthcare to all parts of the state, including the hard to reach areas where drones would be used to distribute drugs.

"As a government, I am conscious of the fact that we have 196 wards. I have a challenge of providing 196 vehicles that will be responsible for the management, movement of men and materials across each ward to ensure that anybody who is sick will have access to the primary health care centre. 

"I therefore call on all public spirited individuals and corporate organisations to please come to the aid of Cross River, to use Cross River as a model where even the poor, those who have zero income have insurance", Ayade said

The Cross River state governor stressed that with enrollment into the health Insurance scheme with just N1000, the people of the state can now acces quality health care.

"This  insurance programmes are geared towards those who have no income. So for you to be zero income earner and still have medical attention that can attract the cost of 5 million or 10 million or above, shows the commitment, the will, and the might of kindness of our administration.

"I call on every single resident in Cross River to enrol into the scheme. Go to our primary health care agency or to our main ministry and register,“ he said.

Director-General of CRSHIA, Sir Godwin Iyala in his remarks commended the governor for his foresight and health friendly policies describing the commencement of the  enrollment as "yet another historic milestone in His Excellency's quest for good health for our people.”

Iyala assured that  CRSHIA's would be embarking on an aggressive enrollment drive to see that all Cross Riverians are captured in the scheme.

Earlier in his speech the Executive Secretary/CEO of the National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS,  Professor Muhammed Nasir Sambo commended the Cross River state government for keying into the NHIS scheme saying the state could now benefit from the grant available to states that have commenced the enrollment.

"We are pleased to report that the scheme has commenced implementation of this statutory assignment with the disbursement of #6.5billion naira to 15 states and the FCT, which fulfilled the requirements for inclusion. I am happy to note that Cross River State, having successfully met the conditions, is today flagging off the commencement of enrollment, which opens a window of succour and new possibilities for the people of this great state", the NHIS boss said.

Governor Ayade has earlier commissioned a new office for the Cross River Health Insurance Scheme located in State Housing, Calabar


Monday, March 8, 2021

March 08, 2021

NDLEA Arrests Suspected Drug Trafficker With 3 Parcels Of Cocaine At MMIA

Operatives of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has arrested Hassan Bishi Taiwo with three parcels of cocaine concealed in a false bottom created in his suitcase.

NDLEA operatives also intercepted narcotics billed for US, China, UAE; recovers cocaine, heroin in monarch’s palace.

This was contained in statement by Femi Babafemi, Director, Media & Advocacy, NDLEA Headquarters, Abuja, on Monday.

The statement, preliminary investigations revealed that Hassan who was intercepted at the E-Arrival hall of the MMIA at the weekend upon arrival on board Ethiopian airlines at 1:30pm Friday, has been plying the illicit trade through the middle east routes for sometime.

According to the Commander, MMIA Command of the Agency, Ahmadu Garba, “the suspect came in to Nigeria through Addis-Ababa but he actually travelled to Addis-Ababa from Abuja. Upon a thorough search, we discovered another ticket on him while our findings also show that he has been plying his criminal trade through some Middle East countries.”

In a related development, operatives of the Anambra state Command of the Agency have recovered 58.5 grammes of cocaine and 13.9 grammes of heroine concealed in the palace of a prominent traditional ruler in the state.

“Investigations are on-going to unravel how the illicit drugs were hidden in the palace and the palace security guards are helping in tracing the dealer behind the consignment”, Muhammadu Misbahu Idris, the Anambra state Commander of the NDLEA stated.

In the same vein, narcotic officers attached to a courier company in Lagos have intercepted 500grammes of unaccompanied cocaine going to the United Arab Emirates and concealed inside the walls of packed cartons containing clothes. The operatives also intercepted in another courier firm one kilogramme of cannabis concealed in cream bottles going to UAE while 500grammes of ketamine hidden in artefacts and going to the US was also recovered from the same company in Lagos. Equally, another 480grammes of unaccompanied methamphetamine going to China was recovered from the same courier company.


Sunday, March 7, 2021

March 07, 2021

It's Unfair For C'River To Get N2b Monthly, Return Our 76 Oil Wells - Ayade Cries Out To NASS


The Governor of Cross River State, Prof. Ben Ayade has requested that the Senate should include the vexing issue of the 76 oil Wells taken from Cross River State to Akwa Ibom State by returning same to the state. 

Ayade who stated this when the Chairman of the Senate Joint Committee on PIB, Host Communities  visitation Group A for Cross River and Akwa Ibom States, Senator Sabo Muhammed Nakudu, his Vice Chairman, Senator Philip T. Aduda and 19 other members of the committee paid him a courtesy call in Calabar recently.

The Governor  lamented that a situation where between N13 billion to N14 Billion is given to sister states monthly with just a paltry sum of N2 Billion to Cross River State is unfair and painful to the government and people of Cross River State. 

Ayade said that oil spillage impacted negatively on the people of Cross River State, especially our people who depend on fishing as a means of earning a living."

He further stated that the nation can only remain one , when there is equity, fairness and justice which is what him as the Governor of the state, seek the Senate and the federal Government to address to ameliorate the pains of the state over the years which has reduced Cross River to the state of  abject poverty.

Also, Ayade explained that the PIB bill started when he was a Senator, representing the northern senatorial district of Cross River State, asserting that the bill is a delicate and controversial subject matter which the contents and details remain a subject for further analytical dissection for caution, to ensure that the bill can address the unique concern of the people of  Cross  River State where oil spillage find their way into the state using the Calabar river as a corridor for discharging oil spillage which becomes disastrous to us, and our people who are dependent on fishing for a source of livelihood who becomes victims of the oil spillage.

The Governor also advised that when making a new law and taxes, the price regulation given to the oil industry should be commensurate to what the state consumes, saying that it is unfair for Cross River to suffer loss from oil wells which is supposed to undergo review after ten years but yet the review has not been done and the federal Government  is doing nothing about that review.

 Ayade equally mentioned Biase and Odukpani local Government areas in the southern senatorial district which have an inland deposit of hydro carbon raw materials as well as deposits of gas at Ogoja Local Government Area in the Northern senatorial district of the state. 

He appealed for speedy passage of the PIB bill reflecting all the concerns raised above for the benefits of Cross Riverians and  urged the national Assembly to draw the attention of the executive to the pains of Cross River state, and for the state to be given a fair opportunity and immediate response to her pains to reverse the financial consequence that Cross River suffers from the ceding of Bakassi and loss of our oil Wells. 

 Governor Ayade frowned at the paltry N2 Billion allocation Cross River State with a population of 4.2 million people and 23 thousand square kilometres of land with a wage bill of civil servants that is far higher than the state allocation, outside the thirty thousand naira monthly payment to over eighteen thousand youths of Cross River state as response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 Ayade maintained that Governance is meant to focus on the vulnerable people and Cross River state as a vulnerably affected state should be factored into the stabilization account, while also appeaing for a fair treatment to the state and need for the  Federal government to grant the state the discretionary right of approval and opportunity to exploit the hydrocarbon resources in the state  as this will effect the payment of royalty to the host communities and reduce the level of abject poverty In the state.

The Governor concluded by saying that every consultations done during the PIB bill should be  consider and captured including  the humanistic aspect that is most critical beyond the business consideration.

March 07, 2021

Ayade: PIB Must Address Delisting Of Cross River As Oil Producing State


As the Joint Committee on Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) tours the country for stakeholders' inputs, Cross River State governor, Sir Ben Ayade, has tasked the National Assembly to handle related issues to the bill with circumspection to avoid contentions that are likely to trail its ultimate passage into law.

Addressing the committee members led by its Chairman, Senator Sabo Muhammed Nakuda, during a courtesy call at the Governor's Lodge, Calabar, Ayade said owing to its delicate and controversial nature, "the details of the PIB remains a subject for further analytical dissection."

Governor Ayade added that "inspite of the haste with which we want to drive the PIB, we must exercise ecclesiastical caution to ensure that the PIB bill does not throw up other developments that will bring about other contentions and continuous struggle."

Specifically, Ayade flayed the focus of the bill which he noted, centered more on oil bearing communities, with scant regard to communities that suffer direct impact of exploration activities. 

"While we make haste, we must show caution as the people of Cross River State have a very strong feeling that the PIB bill must address their unique concern," the governor charged, decrying that "the PIB bill focuses so much on producing communities without emphasizing on the adversely impacted communities.

"We are the most impacted, because all the oils within the "Akpami" fields find their way into Cross River State.

“Right here where you sit, directly behind my house here, is the Calabar River, which empties into the Atlantic Ocean directly into the Akpami wells. One of those wells is just 36 kilometers from here. When there is a spill, where does it go to? It comes here."

Ayade who lamented the plight of some of his coastal subjects whose main occupation is fishing, said "our people depend on fishing, our state has been completely dislocated from the oil producing states."

On the state’s non oil producing status, Ayade queried : "I do not understand how on earth Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom States, as well as Cameroon will have oil and only Cross River will be non-oil producing state.

As a professor of science, and one who had worked in the oil industry before coming into politics, there is no science, no spiritualism, no magic that can explain this except politics." 

According to the governor, "the PIB must address that. You cannot even in law and even biblically, take from a brother who has so much to give to a brother who has little. But to take from a brother who has nothing to give to a brother who has more, is a political issue that the National Assembly and indeed the PIB must cure. 

"A good example is how Cross River State gets less than two billion naira allocation in a month while a sister state will be dealing with twelve, thirteen billion. Such an unequal distribution of wealth exacts pains and anguish. It is unnatural and that is the essence the National Assembly.

"For an egalitarian distribution of resources, this nation can only become one when there is fairness, equity and justice. That's all we seek and that's all we crave as a state.”

Reeling out more of the litany of woes wrought on the state,  occasioned by a series of  injustices by the federal government, Ayade wept: "As a state we feel pained. I have been in the same downstream Committee. I asked what is the petroleum consumption of Cross River State? It is near nothing because they have kept us in abject poverty. We have been reduced to want in body, spirit and in soul."

Seeking remedy from the Joint Committee of the National Assembly on PIB,  Governor Ayade entreated: "This is a great opportunity for us as a people to say if you are making a new law, please whatever is the revenue, whatever are the taxes ensure that the price regulation you give to the oil industry should also be commiserate to what the state consumes. If I don't consume as much diesel and you are giving a waiver or discount, let that discount, it's applicability to Cross River be relative to the consumption.

"It's unfair for Cross River to suffer losses in oil wells, a loss which was meant to be temporary, because the political solution that engineered that was intended to last for ten years and subject to review. That review had not been done."  

Ayade disclosed that in spite of the delisting of Cross River from the oil bearing states, the state still boasts of huge hydrocarbon deposits, "so as PIB comes before me and I know that in Biase and Odukpani Local Government Areas of Cross River State, we have huge inland deposits of crude. 

"I have done this analysis and have sent the report since 2016 to the President and asked for a discretionary right for the exploration and exploitation of our hydrocarbon deposits. I have not received a correspondent to date."

Other finds, according to the governor, "is a huge deposit of gas in Ogoja axis sharing boundary with Ebonyi. This, I have also reported with a geo locations and issued as a report.

"How does PIB address this? So why not review the marginal fields allocation process to fast track the process of extracting the hydro carbon reserves, to take advantage of it and diversify the economy before it becomes old fashion.  

"So I agree with the need for us to show some speed in passing the PIB,  but I feel that the people of Cross River State have treated unfairly. Where is the moral conscience of this country, a state with a population of 4.2 million people gets a little over a billion naira while another state with about the same demography gets 14 to 16 billion naira monthly?"

March 07, 2021

Supreme Court Judge Dies

Honorable Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria is dead.

Ahuraka Isah, Spokesperson of the Supreme Court, confirmed the incident to newsmen on Sunday.

According to Isah, the Justice who had been ill for some time died on Sunday morning.

He said Ngwuta’s illness took a turn for the worse on Thursday and was subsequently taken to the intensive care unit.

The Supreme Court Spokesperson, however, said Ngwuta tested negative for COVID-19.

“He has been ill for a while. He was supposed to preside over a matter on Thursday but the illness became severe,” he said.

“He was moved to the intensive care unit on Friday. They even conducted COVID-19 test on him but he tested negative.

"We were already preparing for his valedictory service slated for March 30.”

Ngwuta is the third most senior judge on the bench of the apex court, behind Justices Tanko Muhammad CJN and Bode Rhodes-Vivour (who is due for retirement on March 22, 2021).

March 07, 2021

Federal Lawmaker, Eta Mbora Empowers Constituents With 2 Grass Cutting Machines

Rt. Hon Eta Mbora

A member of the House of Representatives representing Calabar Municipality/Odukpani Federal Constituency, Rt. Hon. Eta Mbora has presented two grass cutting machine to members of his constituents as an empowerment.

GRASSROOT REPORTERS gathered that the presentation took place on Saturday, March 6, at his residence in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.

The lawmaker has been criticised for giving out such an empowerment and for poor performance. A constituent from Odukpani LGA who spoke with GRASSROOT REPORTERS on condition of anonymity said:
"It's a big shame that such empowerment could be given by the lawmaker. These people get billions for constituency projects but nothing to show for it."

Hon. Edim was elected under the platform of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) in 2003 to serve as a member of the Cross River State House of Assembly. 

After a four-year term at the House, he was elected Chairman of the Calabar Municipal Council. He held the position from 2007 to 2013. 

In 2015, he was elected into the Federal House of Representatives to represent Calabar Munincipal/Odukpani Constituency and was re-elected in 2019. 

Thursday, March 4, 2021

March 04, 2021

Ayade Bags Award Of Excellence For industrializing C'River

The Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, NIPR, Thursday extolled Cross River state governor, Professor Ben Ayade's sterling achievements in the area of aggressive industrialisation of the state despite paucity of fund.

Members of the Institute are in Calabar for a 3-day workshop with the theme "Lobbying and Social Change in Nigeria"

Speaking at the Transcorp Hotel, Calabar, venue of the workshop, while conferring the governor with Distinguished Leadership Industrialisation Award, national president of the Institute, Mallam Mukhtar Zubairu Sirajo said: "This award is in recognition of your Industrialisation feats. It takes a combination of education, intellect, dedication, foresight, visionary  leadership and commitment to achieve what you have achieved so far in the area of Industrialisation.

"Under your watch, Cross River has joined the global Industrialisation map and this is despite paucity of funds.”

Responding, the Cross River state governor thanked the NIPR for finding him worthy of an award, saying it came to him as a surprise and pledged his administration's continued accelerated socio- economic development of the state.

On the theme of the workshop, Ayade called on the NIPR to drive a process for a structural overhaul of lobbying as catalyst for social change in Nigeria, saying unless this was done, "from the Nigerian context, lobbying will continue to be equated with bribery and corruption.”

The governor also made a case for the inclusion of lobbying as a distinct course of study in institutions of higher learning in Nigeria.

Earlier, the Minister for Information, Alhaji Lai Muhammed represented by the General Manager NTA, Calabar, Samuel Olalude, described lobbying as a veritable tool for packaging communications and advocacy for social issues.

According to the Minister, through lobbying, Public relations experts can play an important role in ensuring that messages are communicated accurately.


Wednesday, March 3, 2021

March 03, 2021

Nigerian Army Declares 101 Soldiers Wanted For Running Away From Boko Haram

At least three majors, three captains and six lieutenants were among those declared wanted for fleeing the insurgents last month in Borno.

The Nigerian Army has ordered the immediate arrest of officers accused of deserting their posts during the Boko Haram attacks on New Marte and Dikwa towns of Maidiguri. 

Military documents obtained by Peoples Gazette carried a list of 101 names, ranks and bank details of errant soldiers. 

Theatre Command Headquarters of “Operation Lafiya Dole” in Maiduguri requested that the Army Headquarters freeze the listed accounts and apprehend the alleged deserters if found. 

“You are requested to declare the named officers and soldiers deserters WEF 19 Feb 21,” the document said. 

A spokesman for the Nigerian Army did not immediately return a request seeking comments about the development. 

At least seven Nigerian soldiers were confirmed killed in an ambush by the terrorists last month. 

The soldiers of 153 Task Force Battalion were ambushed in Marte Local Government Council, as the troops were overwhelmed and could not match the ammunition carried by the terrorists. 

After Marte was captured by Boko Haram, Chief of Army Staff Ibrahim Attahiru gave troops of the ‘Operation Lafiya Dole’ 48 hours to clear insurgents off Marte LGA and surrounding communities under the insurgents control.

Source: Peoples Gazette

March 03, 2021

Covid-19 Kills 4 Persons In Cross River


Cross River State recorded four COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday, data from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) shows.


It was the highest death toll out of the eight recorded in Nigeria.

Cross River with 344 cases, now has 17 deaths from the virus, while the national death toll is now 1923.

According to the NCDC, FCT Abuja recorded three deaths on Tuesday, increasing its overall toll to 149, the third highest after Lagos, 410 and Edo, 170.

Ogun recorded one death, to add up to the eight reported on Monday.

Ogun now has 47 deaths overall.

Confirmed cases, meanwhile have virtually plateaued, with just 479 cases reported.

Since 24 February, when the country 655 cases, daily cases have plunged.


Tuesday’s record marked a difference from the low cases recorded from February 27, when 341 cases were reported nationally.

On 28 February, 240 cases were reported and on 1 March, 360 cases.

As at Tuesday, confirmed cases till date since last year were 156,496, while active cases were 19,437.

Discharged cases also hit 135,136, including the 647 cleared on Tuesday.

Here is a breakdown of the 479 cases reported on Tuesday, from 21 states and FCT Abuja:













Cross River-10









Akwa Ibom-1

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

March 02, 2021

Ayade @53: SSA On Calapharm, Esuong Uwase Felicitates With Governor

The Senior Special Assistant to the Cross River State Governor on Calabar Pharmaceutical Company (Calapharm), Esuong Uwase has joined millions of well-wishers all over the world to felicitate with the Governor of Cross River State, Prof. Ben Ayade, on the occasion of his 53rd birthday anniversary.

Mr. Uwase described Governor Ayade as a visionary and humane leader, whose industrialization drive is gradually changing the negative narrative of the state.

Thanking God for bringing such a man to lead the state, Mr. Uwase prayed God to continually bless the governor and guide him as he pilots the affairs of Cross River State.

Monday, March 1, 2021

March 01, 2021

Ex-governor, Donald Duke Commissions Flyover In Rivers State


Former governor of Cross River State, Mr. Donald Duke on Monday, March 1, commissioned Okoro-Nu-Odo Flyover in Rivers State, constructed by Governor Nyesom Wike's admission.

Speaking, the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike called on the All Progressives Congress (APC) and other political parties to emulate the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the delivery of democratic dividends to the citizens.

Governor Wike said the PDP has done well in the State by fulfilling the promises it made to people of the State and they now know the difference.

The Rivers State Governor challenged the APC to come out bold to tell Rivers people what they will do differently or had done already to convince the people to believe in them.

Governor Wike pointed out that like every other project, the Okoro-Nu-Odo Flyover is among the best projects his administration has delivered because Rivers people deserve the best always.

"I want to thank everybody for your support. Our party is not a party of excuses. When we say something, we do it. Let other parties emulate us. They should not be promising Nigerians and be giving excuses.

"We have promised and we have fulfilled. When they (APC) make promise they should fulfil. PDP has done all its campaigns in this state. Let the other parties come to tell us what they will do differently or had done while in office. Time is already gone for them."

Speaking further, Governor Wike said sceptics thought the three flyover projects he started in 2019 will not be completed within record time of 16 months. But with Rebisi and Okoro-Nu-Odo flyovers completed and commissioned, he said his administration has further demonstrated commitment to enhance infrastructure in the State.

The governor warned community leaders who encourage street traders around the area to desist from the act because trading activities will not be tolerated around the Okoro-Nu-Odo Flyover.

"To the paramount rulers of Rumuokoro Community and Rumuodumaya Community, tell your youths and CDCs, who are always collecting money here, I will not tolerate anybody who will covert this flyover as trading place.

"We cannot spend this money here and you turn this place into a market. I will not accept that. We have built market and motor park for you. Go and use them for your business activities.

"I have told the GOC of the 6 Division and the Garrison commander to tell all their men to stop what they're doing on this road. They collect money and allow people to sell on the road. We won't tolerate it again.

"Leave our road; this is not market, nobody should trade here. Allow the people to enjoy the road."

Governor Wike described former Governor of Cross River, Donald Duke, as role model who inspired him to perform in office.

"I invited you because I know when you were governor, you performed very well. I will not bring anybody who did not perform in office to come and commission my projects.

"You're our role model. We monitored you while you were in office and to see how you took Cross River from nothing to somewhere.

"Today, people talk of Cross River and carnival, who's the originator? You're the one who did everything to put Cross River on the world map. People should not forget history. Today, you are here to see the little thing we are doing, having emulated what you did."

Inaugurating the Okoro-Nu-Odo Flyover Bridge, former Governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke said Governor Wike is a trail blazer who has demonstrated leadership and spent state resources prudently for the good of Rivers people.

Duke urged the benefiting communities of the project to cherish and protect the project as their own contribution to ensuring that the resource used to build the bridge does not amount to waste.

"I want to congratulate you the people for being steadfast with your son. You gave him support and he has delivered. Leadership is not about winning election. Leadership is about taking people to a destination.

You may not always agree with Governor Wike at the onset. Later on you'll understand the wisdom of his stance. But you are never in doubt where he stands on any issues and that's leadership.

"Today, we are celebrating many things he has done; the development of a community, the prosperity that will be brought into the community, leaving the community better than he met it and of course, we are saying thank you that we have a leader which is very rare to find in our country, that is people who say what they mean and mean what they say."

Providing the description of the project, the Rivers State Commissioner of Works, Elloka Tasie-Amadi said the Okoro-Nu-Odo Flyover is one of three flyover projects sited strategically to ease travel time for commuters in the state.

"The Okoro-Nu-Odo flyover measures 642.75 m from ramp to ramp, 360m of that being the suspended section. The transition area from the 4 lane East-West Road to the 8 lanes of the bridge project measures 236m. 8 lanes because we have 4 lanes on the bridge and 4 lanes on the ground for both service lanes on either side of the bridge, both of which measure 1,760m long and 8.3m wide.

"You are seated in one of the transition zones. This flyover which is a wonderful sight to behold at night is lit with 68 streetlight poles 26 of those are single arm while 42 are double arm giving you 110 nos of 250w luminares, not forgetting the 2 bulkhead luminares under the bridge. All of these are powered by a dedicated substation complete with a transformer and back up generator."

The Commissioner said the Flyover will contribute towards ease of travel along the East-West road, and traffic decongestion around the area.

Former president of the Nigerian Bar Association, Onueze .C. J Okocha (SAN) lauded Governor Wike for his developmental stride and warned the people of the area against converting the flyover to a trading post.

Sunday, February 28, 2021

February 28, 2021

UNICAL Lecturer Shot After Attempt To Kidnap Him Failed

Dr. Lawal


An attempt to kidnap a lecturer in the Department of Pharmacology, University of Calabar, Dr. Babatunde Abisoye Lawal on Friday, February 27, 2021 has failed.

Multiple sources in the university told GRASSROOT REPORTERS that the lecturer fiercely resisted the armed kidnappers who traced him to his residence at the university's staff quarters.                      

Angered that their attempt whisk away the pharmacology lecturer met brick wall, the kidnappers shot and wounded the lecturer in the thigh, hand and leg.

GRASSROOT REPORTERS gathered that Dr Lawal has been rushed to an undisclosed medical facility where he is responding to medical treatment.              

Confirming the incident to GRASSROOT REPORTERS in an exclusive chat, the university's Public Relation Officer (PRO), Mr. Effiong Eyo said:

"I have issued a statement to the university community already. It was an attempted kidnap but it failed".

Saturday, February 27, 2021

February 27, 2021

C'River North: I'm The Authentic Senator, Supreme Court Ruling Doesn't Affect My Position - Senator Odey

Senator Odey


The senator representing Cross River North senatorial district, Senator Stephen Adi Odey has said that the supreme court ‘preliminary objections’ ruling does not affect his position as the senator representing the senatorial district.

Odey who disclosed this in an exclusive interview with LEADERSHIP after the court judgement in Abuja, on Friday, said that supreme court did not declare Jarigbe winner of the primaries, insisting that he remains authentic senator representing Cross River North.

He urged his supporters to go about their normal business as the development of the senatorial district is assured with him as the senator.

Odey said that Agom Jarigbe who is presently the member of the House of Representatives in Nigeria’s 8th and 9th National Assembly representing Ogoja/Yala constituency did not win the primary election on September 5, 2020, which disqualified him to participate in the election as a candidate.

He noted that the Federal High Court in Calabar delivered its judgements in both cases on December 3, 2020 affirming him as the authentic PDP candidate, while the court struck out Jarigbe’s case for want of jurisdiction.

Senator Stephen Odey had challenged the judgement of the Court of Appeal, which declared Jarigbe as the valid candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by the Abuja division of the Court of Appeal at the apex court. The apex court delivered its judgement.