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C/River Govt committed to tetanus elimination – DG




Calabar, March 13, 2019 The Cross River Government has expressed commitment to the elimination of tetanus in the state.

Dr Betta Edu, the Director General of the state Primary Healthcare Development Agency, said this on Wednesday in Calabar during a visit to the Commissioner for Education, Mr Goddy Eta.

According to Edu, the visit was to seek support and collaboration by intimating principals and students about the exercise.

She explained that the exercise would take place between March 27 and March 31 in 12 local government areas across the three Senatorial Districts in the state.

She said that Gov. Ben Ayade was committed to ensuring increased quality of life for residents of the state.

“Gov. Ayade of the state places premium on the health of all residents in Cross River because he is a pro-health governor.

“Tetanus is a disease that the Federal and State Governments can eliminate with a committed effort.

“This administration will continue to support maternal neonatal tetanus elimination and elimination of other diseases that has increased neonatal mortality.

“We strive to make tremendous impacts on women and children; we implore the people to take full advantage of this intervention package,” Edu said.

Responding, Eta urged health workers to be diligent in their duties for success of government programmes.

He assured the agency of his support by ensuring that all schools are open for health workers during the period.

“I will give my utmost support to this exercise because a child that is healthy will live a super healthy life and will perform exceedingly well in school,’’ he said.


2 drivers docked for alleged assault, theft of phones



Two men who allegedly assaulted a vehicle owner and stole his mobile phones worth N95,000 have been arraigned before a Life Camp Magistrates’ Court in Abuja on Friday.

The Police charged Desmond Momoh, 39, and Jaiyesimi Oloruntoba, 30, of Asokoro Extension and Dape Village, Abuja, respectively, with five-count charge of joint act, assault, causing hurt, mischief and theft.

The Prosecutor, ASP Peter Ejike of FCT command, told the court that the matter was reported at Life Camp Police Station on May 21, by one Ahmad Tukura of Kado Estate, Abuja.

Ejike alleged that on the said date, at about 12.15 p.m, while the complainant was driving to Life Camp, he was stopped at Setraco police check point by security officers to present his pass document.

He alleged that while the complainant drove off from the police check point, the two defendants drove after him and blocked his vehicle from moving.

The prosecutor further alleged that the defendants dragged the complainant out of his car, beat him up and stole his Techno phone and Samsung galaxy tab both valued at N15,000 and N80,000, respectively.

He said the police at the check point heard the complainant screaming and immediately swung into action, arresting both defendants.

He said that the offence contravened the provisions of Sections 79, 265, 244, 327 and 288 of the Penal Code.

Momoh and Jaiyesimi, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Mr Gadafi Nwegbe, Counsel to the defendants, prayed the court to grant the defendants bail, while citing Section 158 and 165(2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.

The Chief Magistrate, Celestine Odo, admitted the defendants to bail in the sum of N200,000 each, with a surety each in like sum.

Odo ordered that the sureties must be reliable with a fixed address and must reside within the jurisdiction of the court.

He also said both sureties must deposit a recent passport photograph to the court registrar, and their addresses verified by the court officer.

Odo adjourned the matter to June 25 for hearing.

Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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APC NWC endorses Ochala-led APC C/River executive – Official



The National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) says it recognises and endorses the Cross River executive led by Mr John Ochala.

The APC National Publicity Secretary, Mr Lanre Issa-Onilu, said this in a statement on Friday in Abuja.

Issa-Onilu said that the party’s position followed a Court of Appeal judgment delivered on April 23, which recognised the John Ochala-led Cross River Executive as authentic and legitimate.

The party’s spokesman recalled that Ochala, who was the party’s former Deputy Chairman in the state, succeeded the state executive led by the late chairman, Dr Mathew Achigbe, who died in a ghastly car crash in November 2018.

The APC NWC affirms the Cross River Executive led by the late Chairman, Dr Mathew Achigbe, who died in a ghastly car crash in November 2018.

“Achigbe was succeeded by his then Deputy, Sir John Ochala, who has been holding the position in acting capacity.

“The party’s position is affirmed by a Court of Appeal judgment delivered on April 23, which recognises the Sir John Ochala-led Cross River Executive as authentic and legitimate,” he said.

Issa-Onilu said that the party upheld a unanimous judgment delivered by Court of Appeal Justices affirming Ochala-led APC Cross River Executive as the authentic and recognised executive in the state.

They are Justices Emmanuel Akomaye Agim, Adamu Jauro and Peter Olabisi Ige.

“The Appeal of Court also nullified an earlier ruling by an Abuja High Court for lacking territorial jurisdiction to entertain the suit brought by a supposed factional APC executive in the state.

The APC NWC, therefore, warns impostors parading as factional party executives in Cross River to desist or face legal charges for impersonation,” he warned.  

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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World Environment Day: Lions Club donates items to C/River Govt



The Lions Club International, District 404A2 of Calabar, has donated items worth thousands of naira to the   Ministry of Environment in Cross River,  to commemorate the 2020 Environment Day with the theme: ‘Time for Nature’.


The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the items include: pairs of rain boots, hand gloves and rain coats of different sizes for environmental field workers.


Mr Anthony Doherty, who led other members of the club, said  that the donation was part of their commitments toward a clean and green environment.


Doherty said that  the club was concerned about the environment because it was part of its service areas.


“As the world marks the 2020 World Environment Day, we are here to donate these items as a way of supporting the efforts of the state government in environmental protection and sustainability.


The state Commissioner for Environment, Mr Mfon Bassey and his team are doing a good work in returning the city of Calabar to its glorious days.


“The enviroment is one of Lion’s Club service areas; I want to assure you that we will always do our best in ensuring that the environment is protected and kept neat,” he said.


Responding, Mr Effiom Ene-Obong, the Permanent Secretary in the  Ministry of Environment, thanked the club for always identifying with the ministry and supporting them to function optimally.


Effiom, who represented the Commissioner at the event, said Calabar was wearing a new look with various ongoing works to give the city a  better facelift.


He explained that the state government in collaboration with the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project was currently desilting the gutters with a view to averting  flooding and erosion in Calabar metropolis.


According to him, the objective is to ensure that erosion flows freely into the channels whenever it rains.


“Also, the state government through the Ministry of Environment is remodelling major roundabouts and monuments in Calabar metropolis to further preserve and give them a new look.


The Ministry has also embarked on the felling  of old trees and planting new ones across the  major urban areas in the state,” he said.


He urged the  residents of  the state to stop dumping their waste inside the drains, adding that such an act was capable of blocking the drains which may eventually lead to flooding.


He commended Gov. Ben Ayade for placing premium on environmental protection and sustainability in the state.

Edited By: Folasade Adeniran/Peter Dada (NAN)

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Accident claims life of shuttle bus driver in Anambra



The Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Anambra, Mr Andrew Kumapayi, on Friday confirmed the death of a shuttle bus driver at Upper-Iweka in Onitsha.


Kumapayi told the News Agency of Nigeria in Awka that  the  driver of the  bus died as a result of an accident involving his vehicle, a Prado jeep and two other shuttle buses.


The commander said  that  the accident which occurred at about 9 a.m. was caused by brake failure.


“The crash occurred after the brakes of a Prado Jeep with registration number UWN277PE failed and rammed into three shuttle buses with registration numbers: AWK279XJ, ATN57XB and HAL420ZX.


“A total of four male adults were involved in the crash.


“Two sustained some degree of injuries while one of the shuttle bus drivers was confirmed dead by  the doctors at St. John Hospital and Maternity, Onitsha, where they  were rushed to by the FRSC rescue team.


“His  corpse had been deposited at a morgue while the driver of the Jeep had been handed over to the police for further investigation, “he said.


Also, he said that a Mercedes Benz Truck went up in flames on the River Niger Bridge, after developing some electrical faults.


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Truck catches fire on Niger Bridge in Onitsha

Kumapayi said it occurred at about 8a.m. on Friday and the Fire Service  personnel were contacted immediately to put out the fire.


He said that  an FRSC heavy duty tow truck was brought in to tow the vehicle off the bridge after the fire had been  successfully extinguished.


According to him, two male adults were involved, but no injury and no death were  recorded.


Kumapayi said that clearing of obstruction was ongoing  at the scene of the crash to ensure free flow of traffic.


He urged motorists to always ensure that  they checked and service their vehicles regularly, paying particular attention to the brakes and  the electrical systems.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Peter Dada (NAN)


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Lockdown ease: FRSC arrests 4,235 drivers nationwide



The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) on Friday said that a total of 4,235 drivers were arrested for overloading of vehicles during the first phase of the gradual lockdown ease.

The Corps Public Education Officer (CPEO), Mr Bisi Kazeem disclosed this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.

“The corps successfully recorded a number of arrests from May 11 to June 1. A total of 4,235 drivers were arrested for overloading of vehicles.

“Out of this number, 972 drivers were arrested for overloading their vehicles with goods.

While a total of 636 were arrested for overloading their vehicles with both goods and passengers.

Also a total of 2,627 were apprehended for overloading their vehicles with persons alone, bringing to a total of 4,235 in all.

“Meanwhile, in the course of the arrests, a total of 7,594 passengers were discharged to make way for adequate physical distancing in the vehicles, out of the 4,235 vehicles apprehended for conveying 17,614 passengers,” he said.

Kazeem noted that the corps had been able to evaluate performance in the last four weeks following the end of the first phase of the gradual ease of the lockdown.

He said that the corps was also able to identify areas of strength where significant achievements were recorded and areas where gaps existed.

Kazeem said that the corps had strengthened its capacity to address the identified gaps as quickly as possible.

He said that the corps would also sustain the tempo and to some extent, enhance the performance in the areas where it recorded huge success.

He noted that the corps was working in synergy with other security agencies through the instrumentalities of joint task force, mobile court operations and effective patrol operations.

Kazeem, however, said that collaboration was key to the success of the special patrol operations, saying that combination of the above strategies was expected to yield adequate result as expected.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

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Fishing community decries piracy in Rivers



Residents of Oyorokoto, a fishing community in Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers, have decried the high level piracy and insecurity on the region’s waterways.

They are, therefore, calling on the government to immediately deploy security operation for surveillance of the area.

Mr Fidelis Ebirien, Chairman, Oyorokoto High Sea Fishermen told the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Oyorokoto that activities of sea pirates were hindering their fishing business.

Ebirien called on relevant security agencies to increase their surveillance in the area to ensure safety of lives and property.

“Consistent attacks on the fishermen by sea pirates have endangered fishing business, which is our main source of livelihood,’’ he said.

He explained that fishermen were being exposed to pirates’ attacks almost on a regular basis since 2014.

“Almost on a daily basis, we have continued to lose our fishing equipment such as boats and engines to these pirates.

“The state government and relevant security agencies should come to our aid by curbing the menace.’’

Also, the group’s Secretary, Mr Nte Ogwunte said that the challenge of piracy in the area had become a worrisome experience for residents in the ancient fishing community.

According to him, fishing, sea fairing and other related business no longer thrive in the area.

“Oyorokoto, one of the largest fishing coasts in West African, should enjoy adequate security surveillance to protect and guide the country’s economic resources,’’ he said.

Edited By: Kevin Okunzuwa/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Boko Haram: Drivers offer free rides to returning residents of Auno



As residents of Auno town in Konduga Local Government Area of Borno, troop back home following assurance of adequate security by Gov. Babagana Zulum, commercial drivers plying Maiduguri-Damaturu road, are giving them free ride.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that residents of Auno which is few kilometres from Maiduguri, deserted the town in February following an insurgents attack that led to many deaths and destruction of properties.

A driver, Bukar Gwange, said that the gesture was part of the drivers  support to the returnees as they wish to see the once bubbling town bounce back to life.

“Auno is a place we use to get passengers and loads to and fro Maiduguri. When the sad incident happened in February, we were sad as it affected many of our colleagues and passengers.

“Now that the residents are returning home, we feel the best we can do is to give them free ride,”Gwange said.

Another driver, Ali Mohammed, told NAN that they always picked the returnees at Njimtilo area, in the outskirt of Maiduguri.

He said that after dropping the returnees in Auno, the driver used the opportunity to pick passengers who are going back to Maiduguri from Ngamdu and Beneshiek

“That way, we get little money to ease the hardship caused by the lockdown due to the existing ban on inter state travels,” Mohammed said.

Dauda Mustafa, another commercial driver, said the free ride was a blessing in disguise as security personnel along the road also appreciated the gesture and no longer  subject them to tedious screenings and delays.

Meanwhile, Gov. Zulum had already directed that an operational outreach office where he would be working from time-to-time, be set up for him in Auno,  so as to boost the people’s confidence.

The governor has also established zonal office of the state Rapid Response Squad, made up of police, hunters, vigilante and Civilian Joint Task Force in Auno.

According to the Commander of the squad, CSP Abioye Babalola, the team would not only ensure security in Auno and its environs, but also be on constant patrol and respond to distress calls along the busy Maiduguri-Damaru road.

Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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C’River commissioner tasks newly elected LG chairmen on leadership



Following the inauguration of the newly elected chairmen of the 18 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Cross River, the Commissioner for Local Government Affairs, Mrs Stella Odey, on Thursday urged the chairmen to demonstrate grassroots-oriented leadership.

Odey made the call at the maiden meeting with the chairmen in Calabar.

She advised them to take into cognisance the immediate needs of the rural dwellers and initiate innovations that would trigger better means of livelihood for the rural dwellers.

“I urge you as council chairmen to have a harmonious working relationship with the Ministry of Local Government Affairs. With that, I am optimistic that the dividends of democracy would be felt in the 18 LGAs in no time.

“Power comes from God; so, you have to place God first at the centre of all your affairs to be successful,” she said.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Local Government Affairs, Mr James Odok, in a goodwill message, applauded the council chairmen for their victory at the polls despite the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Odok implored the local government council executives to explore creative means of boosting their Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), which would foster development at the grassroots level, especially with the present economic downturn.

Responding on behalf of the other Chairmen, Mr Emmanuel Bassey, Chairman, Akpabuyo LGA, promised that they would strive to have a cordial working relationship with the ministry as well as protect the interests of their people in the discharge of their duties.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that earlier, the newly elected chairmen elected their executives and the Chairman of Akpabuyo LGA, Mr Emmanuel Bassey emerged as the Chairman.

Other members of the executives are, Mr Emmanuel Ishabor, Ogoja LGA as Secretary; and Mr Ofem Ebri of Yakurr LGA as Treasurer.

Edited By: Folasade Adeniran/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

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C’River LG service commission lauds Ayade over training of civil servants



The Cross River State Local Government Service Commission on Thursday lauded Gov. Ben Ayade for creating an enabling environment for the training of civil servants in records and information management in the state.

The Commission’s Chairman, Dr Peter Adigeb, who was represented by the Supervisory Commissioner for Boki Local Government Council made the commendation at the beginning of training of 200 civil servants in Boki.

He said that the civil servants would also be trained in information, security, and preparation of financial records, among others.

Adigeb noted that training and retraining of staff was an inherent mandate of the commission.

“I like to commend the Boki Local Government Council in general and the Department of Education specifically for blazing the trail in manpower development and training.

“In spite of the daunting security challenges facing Boki, which has rendered many residents of the council area internally displaced, you commenced the training,’’ he said.

Also, Mr Emmanuel Otu, Head of Local Government Administration for Boki, urged the commission to invoke extant rules of reward mechanism on deserving staff to serve as incentive to the performing ones and motivation to others.

For her part, the Director of Boki Local Government Health Authority, Mrs Rose Ikobi stressed the need to ensure the observance of all protocols as set by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control to prevent the spread of COVID-19

Ikobi ensured that participants washed their hands and wore masks, used hand sanitiser while maintaining social distance.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that resource persons for the training were drawn from different fields of endeavour including the Local Government Service Commission, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) among others.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Felix Ajide (NAN)


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