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Saturday, April 3, 2021

April 03, 2021

Afenifere Spokesman, Yinka Odumakin Is Dead

Late Yinka 

 



Yinka Odumakin, the spokesman for Yoruba socio-political organisation Afenifere, is dead.

A source disclosed to the Gazette that Mr Odumakin had spent his last two weeks on a ventilator over COVID-19 complications. He was 55.

His younger brother Ademola Odumakin said he took ill a month ago after contracting the deadly virus and was unable to attend their mother’s burial.

Mr Odumakin was notable for his role in the National Democratic Coalition, which opposed the brutal regime of General Sani Abacha after June 12, 1993, elections were annulled.

Mr Odumakin, who was married to another activist Joe Okei-Odumakin, was known for his criticism of the Buhari-led administration. As the spokesman for the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders’ Forum (SMBLF), Mr Odumakin challenged corruption, political favouritism and nepotism under Mr Buhari’s government.

He also warned the government against attempts to crack down on Sunday Igboho and other southern activists against herdsmen violence.






April 03, 2021

Zamfara Governor Set To Dump PDP


 



Barring last minute change, the governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle, has concluded arrangements to defect from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.

According to DAILY NIGERIAN, arrangements have been concluded for the formal defection of the governor, who will be introduced to President Muhammadu Buhari by the chairman of the ruling party’s convention committee, Mai Mala Buni.

The deal, according to sources, may be sealed on Tuesday when the federal government delegation visits Zamfara to sympathize with the governor over the recent market fire incident in the state.

Sources said the governor has been in talks with at least two governors of the APC for several months.

Aside from the serving governors, a former governor of Zamfara State, Ahmed Sani Yerima, is among the top politicians courting Mr Matawalle into APC in order to whittle down the influence of former Governor Abdulaziz Yari in the party.

Mr Yari, a former political godson of Mr Yarima, has taken over the control of the party in the state, deciding who gets what in the APC political equation.

In a February interview, Mr Yarima first broke the news of Mr Matawalle’s planned defection, saying “I think we have gone very far” in the arrangements.

But sources told said that Mr Yari had vowed not to remain in the APC as soon as the party transfers control of the structure to the governor. “Abdulaziz Yari vowed to leave the APC the day Matawalle defects to the party,” said a source.

The reasons for Mr Matawalle’s defection are not far-fetched as the governor himself once lamented that the PDP did not show solidarity to its governors.

In November last year, the governor lamented about the manner with which the PDP governors showed lack of solidarity for him when he needed them most.

“I am having a very bad experience of recent from some of my PDP Governor colleagues which I still find very puzzling. For instance, the South-South Governors accusing me in the media are PDP Governors and they are the same people who brewed controversy over the so-called Zamfara Gold, premised on deliberate misinformation and outright lies.

“Surprisingly, it is the APC Federal Government which has all the correct records on the gold mining issue that came out to defend me in this saga. As PDP colleagues, I expected the Governors to contact me first and find out my own side of the story before unleashing their venom in the media.

“As the brouhaha lasted, I commend the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari for being supportive of our efforts to organize the economic sector in the state to avoid using the mineral deposits to promote insecurity in our dear state,” the governor said.

Inside sources told DAILY NIGERIAN that the governor’s defection was not for personal interest but the general interest of the people of Zamfara State.

“Matawalle is a person who can sacrifice his life to get peace in Zamfara. So if he can sacrifice his life to this cause, then he can sacrifice his political interest for people to live in peace.

“Zamfara State will have a good synergy with federal government and get more support towards fight against banditry if the governor is in APC. Although President Muhammadu Buhari respects and gives Governor Matawalle audience anytime he requested, a lot can be easily achieved, just as support and cooperation of the Presidency can be easily secured through the Progressive Governors’ Forum.

“Let me give you another example, Governor Matawalle last year ordered security vehicles to donate to security forces fighting insurgency in Zamfara State, but the Customs rejected to give duty waivers to Zamfara State. But at almost the same time, Lagos being an APC state, gets waiver for the importation of commercial vehicles.

“Look at the recent fire incident in Zamfara market. None of the PDP governors came to sympathize with us, but APC ministers have come. The federal government delegation is also on its way next week,” said a source close to the governor.

With Mr Matawalle’s imminent defection, Zamfara APC crisis may yet be over as other political actors like Senator Kabiru Marafa, Dauda Lawan, among others may remain in the party to fight for supremacy.

Friday, April 2, 2021

April 02, 2021

Boko Haram Claims Responsibility For Shooting Down NAF Aircraft


 

A faction of Boko Haram led by Abubakar Shekau on Friday released a video showing how its fighters shot down an alpha jet declared missing by the Nigerian Air Force on Wednesday.


The NAF475 jet went off the radar with two crew members on board on Wednesday, with NAF authorities claiming in a statement on Friday that the plane may have crashed at Abba-Jille in Konduga local government area of Borno State.


The pilots onboard the aircraft are – Flt. Lt. John Abolarinwa and Flt. Lt. Ebiakpo Chapele.



However, the seven minutes and 30 seconds-long video showed the NAF flying low over a battlefield arena with multiple Boko Haram fighters engaging in fierce and uncoordinated firefights.


The jihadists were firing what looked like a heavy machine gun towards the jet.


Shortly thereafter a fireball explosion emerged with the jet heading rapidly towards the ground.


A masked Boko Haram fighter armed with a machine gun was seen standing on the aircraft debris shortly after the incident.








April 02, 2021

Chioma Deletes All Davido's Pictures From Her Instagram Page


 


By Ekaete Bassey


Chef, model and estranged girlfriend/fiancĂ©e of Davido, Chioma Avril Rowland, popularly known as Chef Chi or Chioma, has finally removed all the pictures of her baby’s daddy from her Instagram page.

Davido is rumoured to have ditched Chioma and was spotted kissing Mya Yafai in viral pictures last week.


Mama Ifeanyi decided to take a big step by ridding her Instagram wall of all of Davido’s pictures.

However, she graciously left one, which is the picture displaying the DMW boss with their son, Ifeanyi.

The picture was used as the cover photo for the singer’s album “A better time.”




Thursday, April 1, 2021

April 01, 2021

Ayade Has Not Lifted 10pm-6am Curfew, Disregard Rumour - C'River Govt


By Obio Monday

The Cross River State Government has denied lifting the curfew it imposed last year as a result of the violent #EndSARS protest that rocked the state.


Cross River State witnessed unprecedented looting, vandalization and burning of public and private properties. This prompted Governor Ben Ayade to declare a dusk to dawn curfew which was later relaxed to 6am to 10pm.

There have been calls on social media for the over 6 months old curfew to be lifted.

Reacting to a fake press statement circulating online, the Special Adviser to the governor on Media and Publicity, Mr. Christian Ita, called on members of the public to discountenance the report as it did not emanate from him.


The statement reads: "My attention has been drawn to a press statement purported issued by me announcing the lifting of curfew by His Excellency, the State Governor, Sir Ben Ayade.


"I wish to state categorically that the said statement was not issued by me. It is another handiwork of mischief makers who have gone to the extend of cloning government letterhead in their bid to sow confusion.

"I therefore urge members of the public to please, disregard the statement as the 10pm-6am is still much in force". The statement added.




 

April 01, 2021

Pay Magistrates Their 19 Months Salary Arrears Within 60 Days - Court Orders Ayade









By Anietie Akpan (Guardian)


The Calabar, Cross River State Division of the National Industrial Court (NIC) has ordered Governor Benedict Ayade to pay magistrates 19 months salary arrears within 60 days.





About 30 magistrates, who had not been paid their two years salaries have been protesting against their unpaid salary arrears, arbitrary removal of their names from the payroll, and others, which led to their sack.



However during the crisis, 13 of the 30 affected magistrates resolved to sue the state government and four others to the Industrial Court of Arbitration in Calabar, and on March 29, 2021, they secured judgment in a suit marked: NICN/CA/46/2019.

The claimants, who are serving magistrates in the Cross River State Judiciary, filed the suit on December 5, 2019, to challenge the whimsical and unceremonious removal of their names from the government payroll.

They were later restored into the payroll in October 2020, but without corresponding payment of accrued arrears.



But in his judgment, Justice M. N. Esowe, granted almost all the reliefs sought by the claimants, including payment of their salary arrears from December 2016 to May 2017 and September 2019 to September 2020, amounting to 19 months.

The court further deprecated Governor Ayade’s removal of the names of civil servants and the claimants from the payroll, saying their employment with statutory flavour was not based on the governor’s wishful thinking.

The court also condemned the defendants for making unauthorised deductions from the claimants’ salaries under the guise of purchasing laptops to improve their efficiency.



The court ordered the defendants to refund all deductions earlier made and a perpetual injunction restraining the defendants, their servants, or privies from making further deductions from the claimants’ salaries under the guise of purchasing computers or other deductions without the consent or authorisation of the claimants.

The court, however, declined to award general and exemplary damages as sought by the claimants and 20 per cent post-judgment interest but instead ordered the defendants to comply with the judgment within 60 days.

Co-counsel to the claimants, James Ibor, congratulated his clients and stated that the judgment was a well-deserved victory.



Tuesday, March 30, 2021

March 30, 2021

Ondo: 30 Cows Die Mysteriously


 


 By Abdul Babajide


No fewer than 30 cows have mysteriously died in Akungba-Akoko, Akoko South West Local Government Area of Ondo State.



Though the cause of the death of the cows is still unknown, residents of the community have become apprehensive following the discovery of the dead cows.


It was gathered that the incident happened on Monday night at the Ibaka area of the community where the state-owned Adekunle Ajasin University is located.


A similar incident had occurred in the state in 2019 where 36 cows were killed by lightning in Ijare community, Ifedore Local Government Area of the state.


Also, eight cows were killed by lightning in Ikare-Akoko, headquarters of Akoko North East Local Government.



According to an eyewitness in Akungba, Asiwaju Ojumo, the cows were seen falling without any clue as to what was killing them.


Meanwhile, residents of the community have been advised against buying or eating meat from unknown sources for the tie being.




March 30, 2021

Easter: FG Declare Friday, Monday Public Holidays

Aregbesola

 

To mark this year's Easter Celebration, the Federal Government has declared Friday, 2nd and Monday the 5th of April 2021 as public holidays.


Rauf Aregbesola, Minister of Interior, announced this on Tuesday, March 30 in a statement signed by the Director (Press & Public Relations) of the Ministry of Interior, Mohammed Manga.

Aregbesola urged Christians to emulate the attributes of forbearance, forgiveness, kindness, humility, love, peace and patience, which were demonstrated by Jesus Christ.


The Minister also assured that no stone will be left unturned in the war against kidnapping, armed banditry and other crimes.


“Security is everybody’s business, I, therefore, encourage all Nigerians and foreigners resident in Nigeria, to display a high level of patriotism at this critical time in the history of our country, to support the efforts of all security agencies in ensuring peace and security of lives and property of the citizenry,” he said


Monday, March 29, 2021

March 29, 2021

NDLEA Intercepts Man With N2bn Worth Of Drugs At Lagos Airport


 


By Wale Odunsi 


The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has intercepted illicit drugs worth over N2 billion at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) Ikeja, Lagos.


The agency arrested three suspected traffickers in connection with the crime, the spokesman, Femi Babafemi said.


He quoted the Commander, NDLEA MMIA command, Ahmadu Garba as saying that one of the suspects, was arrested on Sunday, March 28.


The Nigerian was apprehended during the outward clearance of passengers on Air Maroc.


A 7.1 kg of Methamphetamine, carefully concealed in food spices and packed in a Swiss polo suitcase, was found in his possession of the suspect.


NDLEA put the street value of the drug bound for Spain at N2 billion.


The statement noted that the closure of borders, occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, was responsible for the surge in the price of drugs.


“For instance, the price of meth in Australia had increased from $200 to $600 per gramme due to supply cut, hence the desperation by the traffickers and barons alike,’’ Garba said.


The Command also intercepted a suspect at Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCO) export shed of the airport with 800 grammes of Cannabis Sativa.


Operatives also seized 19.950 kg of green leaves suspected to be khat, concealed in foodstuff bound for Dubai, UAE.


In a follow-up operation, a suspect was also arrested in connection with the seized cannabis.





March 29, 2021

Referee Apologises To Ronaldo And Portugal For Disallowed Goal Against Serbia


 



Dutch referee, Danny Makkelie, has apologised for denying Cristiano Ronaldo the winning goal in Portugal’s 2-2 draw with Serbia in a World Cup qualifier on Saturday.


Serbia defender, Stefan Mitrovic, tried in vain to clear Ronaldo’s effort in stoppage time, but the ball crossed the line.

With no VAR or goal-line technology, Makkelie waved play on much to the anger of Ronaldo and his teammates.

“As per FIFA’s policies, all I can say is that I apologised to the national coach, Mr. Fernando Santos, and to the Portuguese team for what happened.


“As a referee team, we always work hard to make good decisions. When we are in the news in this manner, it doesn’t make us happy at all,” Makkelie told A Bola.


The 38-year-okd has been an international referee since 2008 and took charge of the 2020 Europa League final between Sevilla and Inter Milan.





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March 29, 2021

Kidnappers Of Cross River NLC Chair Demand N150M

Comrade Ben Ukpebi

 

The kidnappers of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Chairman in Cross River State, Comrade Ben Ukpepi have reportedly contacted the family demanding N150m ransom.


According to DailyPost, a source, who preferred anonymity, said that the kidnappers contacted the family on Wednesday making their position known.

Sadly, the Vice Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Lawrence Achuta, when contacted via phone on Sunday, said the kidnappers had not contacted the Union.


“There is no contact yet, we are still waiting for them, to my knowledge, they have not contacted the NLC”, he said.

Also, the former Chairman of Trade Union Congress (TUC) now Secretary of TUC, Comrade Clarkson Otu lamented the non-release of the victim saying, “The emergence of kidnapping is a very worrisome and unfortunate development.


“It does appear that while the security agencies may be gaining some level of success in the city, the suburb like Akpabuyo is ignored Akpabuyo is now a haven for kidnappers, it means the operation Akpakwu has not covered Akpabuyo and kidnappers are there now.

“We thought we were out of it but fear is returning. Kidnapping is a security problem, we intended to go on strike but we have allowed wise counsel to prevail because to push the government under pressure may jeopardise the rescue of our man.

“It will not help, it will create an impression that because the labour leader is abducted, the workers went on strike or down tools, it’s risky and could make the kidnappers say that this is a high profile man and demand more ransom.”




March 29, 2021

280 Cultists Renounce Cultism In Cross River

The ex-cultists


Not fewer than 280 cultists at the weekend in Boki Local Government Area of Cross River State, renounced cultism and embraced peace.


The event, which took place at the Primary School in Bunyia, had a huge turnout of Boki sons and daughters in attendance where over 280 cultists dropped their arms and embraced peace.


In the same vein, the Chairman of Boki Local Government Area, Pastor John Ewa, has launched the "NEW BOKI PROJECT" with a view for cultists in the area to drop their arms and embrace peace.

Some of those present were the DPO of Okundi Police Division, the Commander of Army Battalion Afi, the Head of Civil Defence Corps, the Head of Immigration in Boki, representative of the Police Commissioner, as well as members of the Boki Peace and Reconciliation Committee, including Barr A.B Tase, Mr Joe Tate (both former Chairmen of Boki) as well as Barr. Christie Okoi.


Speaking at the occasion, the Chairman, Hon Pastor Ewa, lamented that Boki had been involved in series of civil unrest, hence the need to promote peaceful co-existence among the youths for the radical development of the area.


He maintained that it was only peace that can guarantee the needed development that Boki yearns for.


According to him, since the communual and cult related clashes began, Boki has lost over 50 youths, a situation he said was worrisome.

 

He explained that as a result of the quest to find a lasting solution for peace to return to Boki, he had decided to to embark on what he tagged "THE NEW BOKI PROJECT" so as to create other viable alternatives for the youths in Boki to explore their potentials. 


Pastor Ewa admonished the youths to shun cultism, saying that there was no gain in being a cultist.


He advised the youths of Boki to channel their energies toward avenues that would improve their productive life.


He disclosed that arrangements were on ground to use a facility that would enable the youths who are being rehabilitated to undergo some training and even acquire skills in order to be properly reintegrated to the society.


 The Heads of various Security Agencies who spoke at the event, advised the youths to shun cultism and embrace peace so that Boki can achieve the needed development.


Members of the Boki Peace and Reconciliation Committee also spoke on the need for Boki youths to give peace a chance so that the needed developments would be attracted to Boki land. 


Some members of the youth groups who spoke on behalf of others, promised to turn a new leaf and support the administration of Pastor John Ewa’s efforts towards bringing lasting peace and developments to Boki nation.


Highlights of the event was a pledge by the youths who promised to leave cultism and embrace peace and also support "THE NEW BOKI PROJECT".


 

Sunday, March 28, 2021

March 28, 2021

Alleged Kidnapper Arrested In Calabar

 

The suspect


By Obio Monday

A 24-year-old alleged kidnapper has been arrested by troops from the 13 Brigade of  the Nigerian Army, Calabar, Cross River State.

The troops attached to Operation Akpakwu, a security outfit set up by Governor Ben Ayade, arrested Kingsley Offiong, an indigene of Ibiono LGA of Akwa Ibom State for allegedly kidnapping an 18-year-old Mr. James Ade and demanding ransom from the victim's family.

Parading the suspect before newsmen on Friday, March 27, 2021, before newsmen at headquarters of 13 Brigade Nigerian army, in Calabar, the Commander, 13 Brigade, Brig. Gen.Abdullahi Mohammed said the suspect was arrested at Umo Orok by Afokang, close to the headquarters of the Nigeria Correctional Service in Calabar South.

Major Stanley Ikpeme who spoke on behalf of the Commander, 13 Brigade, stated that the suspect lured his victim via the social media from Ikom Local Government Area of the state to Umoh Orok street by Afokang in Calabar.

Major Ikpeme further said that the suspect and his accomplices, one Emmy Nice and one Aboki who are now at large robbed their victim and called the victim's family to pay a ransom for his release.

Handing over the suspect to the police, Major Ikpeme said:

“In view of the above, I am directed to hand over the the suspect to you for further investigation and possible prosecution.



” You are please requested to furnish this Headquarters with outcome of your investigation to enable us update our crime record”













Saturday, March 27, 2021

March 27, 2021

Woman Paraded Alongside 4 Others For Murder Of Stepson In Akwa Ibom


 

The police in Akwa Ibom State have arrested a woman, Christiana Wilson from Eket local government area, who allegedly conspired with four others to murder her 19-year-old stepson identified as Edidiong Wilson.

The suspects were paraded before newsmen at the Police Headquarters, Ikot Akpan Abia, Uyo, on Friday, March 26. 

The Commissioner of Police, Andrew Amiengheme, who paraded the suspects said the principal suspect, Christiana confessed to the crime.

According to Christiana, her stepson failed to return the sum of one hundred thousand naira (N100,000) she gave him to keep for her so she contacted her son-in-law, Saviour Peter who came with other suspects to abduct him. They took him to a bush where they beat him to death and buried the body.

"Investigation revealed that the Principal suspect, one Christiana Ime Wilson ‘f’ on 24/12/2020, conspired with four (4) others, and abducted her step-son, one Edidiong Ime Wilson ‘m’, aged 19yrs to a nearby bush at Ikot Usekong, Eket L.G.A where the victim was beaten to death," the CP stated.

"The suspects buried the deceased in the said bush and later went back to exhume the decomposed body, cut-off the head and buried it separately on 30/12/2020 at about 7:00pm on the grounds that the ghost was disturbing them. They thereafter fled to Ondo State.

"In her confessional statement, the principal suspect, Christiana Ime ‘f’ stated that sometime in the month of September, 2020, she gave the deceased the sum of one hundred thousand naira (N100, 000.00), being part of the proceeds she go after she sold her late husband’s vehicle, to keep for her.

"When she demanded for the money from the deceased, he told her that he saved the money in a micro-finance bank in Eket, and never returned same, this prompted her to contact her son in-law, one Saviour Kufre Peter ‘m’ who came with other suspects to abduct the victim. All the suspects have confessed to the crime, and will be charged to court."




March 27, 2021

Singer, Harrysong Marries Girlfriend


 

By Obio Monday


Nigerian music star, Harrysong today, March 27, 2021 got married to the woman after his heart, Alexer Perez Gopa in Warri, Delta State, south south Nigeria.



The singer shared a video on his Instagram page as he ties the knot with his lover.


The music crooner had announced sometime ago that he'd be getting married to his girlfriend, Miss Gopa, on Saturday, March 27.


In the video, he was spotted in a pair of white suit with fellow singer, Skiibii, who is the best man of the day, heard hyping the husband-to-be as they prepared to head to church.


March 27, 2021

8 Members Of RCCG Kidnapped In Kaduna


 


By Ibrahim Hassan Wuyo

A number of RCCG members on their way to Kafanchan in Kaduna State were kidnapped on Friday.


Responding to inquires, Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Kaduna State, Rev (Dr) John Joseph Hayab, confirmed the abduction, adding that eight Christians were taken.


Although the authorities are yet to make a statement, one Eje Kenny Faraday posted on his Facebook wall that “all the passengers in this bus are just kidnapped along Kachia Road KM 63 from Kaduna” (sic).


The Head, Media and Public Relations of the RCCG, Pastor Olaitan Olubiyi, confirmed the incidence to journalists.

Contacted on the abduction, Chairman of CAN in Kaduna State, Rev (Dr) John Joseph Hayab, confirmed the abduction, saying the RCCG members were taken away near Doka along the Kachia-Kafanchan Highway on Friday evening.

He said he got the information earlier when an unknown number called him on Friday, adding that he was made to understand that more than eight worshippers were abducted by the gunmen.




March 27, 2021

Prof. Ogban Rigged The Election For PDP, Not Me - Akpabio Reacts To Judgement

From L-R: Prof. Peter Ogban, Senator Godswill Akpabio

 


By Obio Monday


Minster of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio, has denied claims that the jailed University of Calabar lecturer, Professor Peter Ogban, rigged the 2019 Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial election in his favour.


The former Senator said, rather, the elections was manipulated in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).


Recall that a High Court in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State, on Thursday, sentenced Prof. Ogban to three years imprisonment for altering and announcing false election results in favour of Akpabio and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2019.


Prof. Ogban, a professor of soil science, who was the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Returning Officer for the election, was found guilty on Thursday by the trial court. He however vowed to appeal the judgment.


In a statement signed by his media aide, Aniete Ekong, the former governor of Akwa Ibom State maintained that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, twisted the judgment by claiming that Ogban rigged the poll in his favour.


“In their desperation in a continuing campaign of calumny against Senator Akpabio, the INEC in Akwa Ibom State twisted the context of the judgment and maliciously claimed that the election was rigged in favour of Senator Akpabio.


“Nothing could be further from the truth. The facts of the case put a lie to this assertion.



“Contrarily, Senator Akpabio was a victim of the fraudulent manipulation of the election of Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District held on February 23 2019.


“Professor Ogban was the Returning Officer who in a bizarre twist to manipulate the election and rig Senator Akpabio out, hijacked the electoral results of Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District from Ikot Ekpene, the Senatorial District headquarters to Uyo where it was announced after cancellations of lawfully collated votes and against the dictates of the Electoral Act.


“The question is: who was the beneficiary of the electoral fraud and manipulation in Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District?



“Certainly, not Senator Akpabio, which was why he challenged the outcome of the election up to the Court of Appeal which upheld his appeal and ordered a rerun election with very strong condemnation of the activities of the Returning Officer and INEC. How then could the same man whose actions Senator Akpabio was dissatisfied with and challenged in Court be said to have rigged the election for Senator Akpabio?


He added that:

“For the avoidance of doubt Prof Ogban never announced Senator Akpabio as the winner of any election.”


The Minister stressed that Ogban “cancelled lawful votes” and announced his opponent as the “winner of the manipulated election.”




Friday, March 26, 2021

March 26, 2021

Lagos-Calabar Railway Project To Commence Before 2021 Ends - Amaechi


 

Nigeria's Minister of Transportation Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi has hinted that work on the proposed Lagos-Calabar railway will commence before the end of the year, 2021.


Mr. Amaechi made this on Friday in Calabar while delivering the 34th Convocation Lecture of the University of Calabar with the topic: “The National Question and the Challenges of Nationhood in Nigeria”.

The minister said that the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration was committed to massive infrastructural development across the country.


“In a few weeks from now, we are going to sign the loan agreement for the commencement of that project and before the end of the year, contractors will move to site.


“The President Buhari administration has embarked on railway construction and rehabilitation from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri, from Ibadan to Kano and from Abuja to Kauran Namoda among others.

“We are also renewing the Lord Lugard railway line that has been out of effective service for decades,” he said.

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”.






Thursday, March 18, 2021

March 18, 2021

Cross Riverians, The Future and The Historical Move


 


As the Population Council and Civilian Panel of Citizens' Solution Network make the pro-citizens' move to sign an historical Pact on the Political and Citizens' Future of Cross River state with both the New and Purpose-Driven Leadership of Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) in the State –a body overseeing the political discourse and processes within the State across the 18 Local Government Areas/196 Wards, and the dedicated and visionary Executive of Online Media Practitioners Association of Nigeria (OMPAN) –an institution committed to shaping national debate and media conversation across the country;

several media houses, political leaders, traditional, women, religious, academic, NGOs and youth leaders, etc, from across the divides, and a greater section of the 4.2 million Cross Riverians across the length and breadth of the State have been adorned with this pan-Cross Riverian objective that seeks to engage citizens across the State, end voters' apathy, oversee the political process and ensure that the right leaders emerge with a level playing field for all aspirants, while shaping and leading media discourse to enforce its mandate and build a Cross River state where only true and sound leaders emerge for the socio-economic transformation of the State.



Hence, the general public has been enjoined to be hopeful with the prospective and potential of the much anticipated historical Pact Signing on The Political and Citizens' Future of Cross River State by the aforementioned leaderships of the three giant and uncompromising multi-demographic institutions.



Signed



Joint Executive Boards

To: *Cross River Joint Alliance On Political and Citizens' Future. (CROJAP-CF)*


For:


Citizens' Solution Network.


Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC)_ CRS.



Online Media Practitioners Association of Nigeria (OMPAN)


PS: As a citizen in the State you are encouraged to share  and join to build a better Cross River.



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.
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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.
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“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.”




March 17, 2021

Biden To Russian President, Putin: You'll Face Consequences Soon For Interfering In US Election



President Joe Biden said Russian President Vladimir Putin will face consequences for directing efforts to swing the 2020 U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump, and that they would come soon.

"He will pay a price," Biden told ABC News in an interview that aired on Wednesday. Asked what the consequences would come, he said, "You'll see shortly."

His comments come after a U.S. intelligence report on Tuesday bolstered longstanding allegations that Putin was behind Moscow's election interference, an accusation Russia called baseless.

At the same time, Biden noted that "there's places where it's in our mutual interest to work together" such as renewing the START nuclear agreement, adding that the two leaders have a known history.

"I know him relatively well," Biden said, adding that "the most important thing dealing with foreign leaders in my experience ... is just know the other guy."

Of Putin, Biden said he does not think the Russian leader has a soul. Asked if he thought Putin was a killer, he told ABC: "I do."










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.

 

Saturday, March 13, 2021

March 13, 2021

C'River PDP Chairmanship Tussle: Appeal Court Upholds Disqualification Of Ikem, Upturn High Court Judgement

Barr. Venatius Ikem



By Edem  Edem (Daily Post)

The Court of Appeal sitting in Calabar, Cross River State, on Friday, upturned a Port Harcourt High Court judgement on the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Cross River State chapter chairmanship tussle.

The Presiding Judge of the Court of Appeal Calabar, Justice M S Owoade, who delivered the judgement in suit CA/C/386/2020, between Venatius Ikem and others versus PDP and Alphonsus Eba, held that the PDP rules and guidelines on election of its officials override whatever interferes with the election process.“Section 147 of the PDP Constitution has explicitly spelt out the qualification for anyone to contest for any position in the party and any one seeking office should abide by the terms contained in the Constitution,” Justice Owoade held.

He said the Appeal Court finds the appeal by the Cross River PDP competent as the lower court which earlier delivered judgement failed to take into cognisance salient issues raised by the appellant during initial hearing of the matter before delivering its judgement.

He held that a political party has vested authority to insist on imposing the rules contained in its constitution without restrictions and such rules are sacrosanct.

The judgement brings to an end the contention over the disqualification of Mr Venatius Ikem former National Publicity Secretary of the Party for not meeting the terms to participate in the chairmanship election and clearance of Barrister Alphonsus Eba as the sole candidate for the electionReacting to the judgement, Mr Alphonsus Eba, the appellant said the litigation which has held the conduct of State Congress of the PDP has ended and called on all party members to come together so that a State Congress can be conducted for the party to forge ahead.

“With today’s judgement, I have been confirmed as the sole chairmanship candidate of the party and my hands are wide open to receive everyone including those who have opposed and even abused me in the past.”He said many members would have been won into the party in the last one year but for the litigation which has held the state congress from holding

With the judgement, reprieve may have come the way of Governor Ben Ayade as the pronouncement of the court in relying on the recent Supreme Court judgment of Aguma V APC clearly stated that the respondent has no locus to challenge the internal affairs of the party.