One Dead, 16 Others Severely Burnt In Calabar Kerosene Explosion.

One person has died while 16 others are being treated for severe burns  in Calabar the Cross River state capital.

The death and injuries occurred following an explosion linked to kerosene adulteration.

The state’s Commissioner for Health, Dr. Asibong Inyang, who visited the victims at the hospital said the government is investigating the incident to find the root cause of the explosions.

She said the Ministry of Health would also educate residents on the dangers of using adulterated products, and promised to donate medical accessories to the ward in support of their treatment.

Also, while speaking to journalists, the State Commissioner for Petroleum, Itaya Asuquo Nyong, gave the assurance that his ministry would investigate those behind the adulteration and bring the culprits to book.

Other victims admitted to the hospital – (All females and one male)

“We will set up an investigative panel cos we want to get to the root cause of the matter and find out where this product is bought and I intend to involve the services of the operative agencies in this operation, because we intend to ensure that adequate punishment is given. We should never experience such in the state”.

Some of the victims who spoke to Journalists, expressed that they were in deep pains as a result of the burns from the explosion.


Source: Channels TV

UNFPA distributes 22,224 condoms in Calabar

The United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, has distributed 22,224 condoms during its “Wise Up Cross River” campaign at Calabar Christmas village.

Olamide Onifade, Head, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit, UNFPA, stated this via a statement he issued on Sunday in Calabar and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria.

Mr. Onifade said that since December 1 when the activities commenced at the village preparatory to the annual Calabar Carnival, 806 persons had been tested for and counselled on HIV/AIDS.

“Since the commencement of the ‘Wise Up Cross River’ campaign, 22,224 condoms, comprising 21,036 male and 1,188 female condoms have been distributed alongside 3,748 information, education and communication materials.’’

“Also, of the 1,235 people that have so far visited the “Wise Up Cross River” stand in the Christmas village, eight persons (six males and two females) have tested positive to the virus,” he said.

The unit head said those who tested positive had commenced treatment and been linked with relevant bodies, such as People Living with HIV/AIDs and other necessary groups for assistance.

He said that the information, education and communication materials would further enlighten the recipients on the disease.

According to him, the “Wise Up Cross River” campaign is an initiative of the UNFPA and the office of the Wife of the Governor, Cross River and other partners.

“The campaign is targeted at reducing HIV/AIDS prevalence in the state, through the active involvement of the youth and the vulnerable.

“This is in line with the target of ending HIV/AIDS around the world by 2030, using the 90:90:90 strategy, developed by the UNAIDS,” he said.

Ayade donates 160 vehicles to security agencies in Cross River

The Cross River State governor, Prof Ben Ayade, has donated 160 vehicles to security agencies in the state in a bid to sustain its status as the safest state in country.


Speaking during the presentation of the vehicles to service commanders in Calabar, Ayade said the gesture was a demonstration of his administration’s commitment to protect lives and property in the state, promising a trouble-free festival as preparations for Carnival Calabar gather momentum.


Accordingly, he urged all fun seekers to be part of this year’s Carnival as his government has put all measures in place to protect them from mischief makers and ensure they enjoy themselves in the state.


According to him, the quality of vehicles donated was an indication of the level of safety and security that would be provided in the state.


He disclosed that the recently established Homeland Security Service was one way of complementing the efforts of security agencies to secure the state.


The governor said, “We have created an opportunity for everybody to come to Calabar for the carnival and end of 2016 but as you do so take a look at the array of vehicles that are here.


That tells you of the level of security, level of safety that you would enjoy once you come to Calabar.”

2 Traders Kidnapped In Calabar

Two traders have been kidnapped in Calabar, Cross River State capital.
In the last two weeks, three persons were abducted at various locations within the metropolis.
The victims include Lawal, a soldier attached to the 13 Brigade of the Nigerian Army and a trader, Ikechukwu Obumneme. Lawal was allegedly kidnapped along the busy Calabar Road, while Obumneme was abducted at his residence at Anantigha.
On November 7, gunmen kidnapped a director in the Cross River State Ministry of Health, Mrs. Bibiana Elemi-Edu, the President of Catholic Women Organization of St Bernard’s Catholic Church along Target Street in Calabar and demanded N100 million.
Investigations revealed that barely two weeks after Mrs. Bibiana Elemi-Edu was released, gunmen again kidnapped two traders, Chief Anthony Nwakaeze and Mr Olani on Saturday and Sunday respectively.
Nwakaeze, who hails from Ebelebe community in Awka, Anambra State, is the Managing Director of Anafobi filling stations, while Olani deals in plastic wares.
A witness, Udeme, said about five hoodlums in a black Toyota Camry car stormed the station about 7pm on Saturday.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Mrs Irene Ugbo, said they are not aware of such incident as no official report was made to her.


Huawei to make Calabar Nigeria’s first smart city.

The Cross River State government and Huawei Technology of China yesterday signed a contract to make Calabar Nigeria’s first smart city.


The state governor, Senator Ben Ayade, hinted this after the contract was signed saying that the execution of the contract will herald the full digitalization of Calabar and the entire state.


The governor, while commending the Chinese firm for being favourably disposed to doing business with the state, expressed gratitude to the company for offering to sponsor some aspects of the 2016 Carnival Calabar.


An excited Ayade disclosed further that the smart city project will ensure availability of cheap wifi services everywhere in Calabar.

He said, “This will be the first time that data would be provided from the cloud. With this digital cloud, it will offer opportunity to get information with ease and comfort, including boosting research and academic works.


“The project is in partnership with Huawei of China, the equipment manufacturer, with Sino Infrastructure Development Company Limited as the technical partner in Nigeria for the project”.


Explaining further, the governor said, “This partnership will provide cheap access to connectivity; Cross Riverians will know that Huawei is bringing the best technology to us. They are a known name in the world and a pace setter in the industry.


“Cross River deserves only the best which they have to offer. The whole state is going digital as the Cross River super highway will have super-connectivity.

Teenager Kidnapped In Ibadan, Rescued In Calabar

A Teenager kidnapped in Ibadan, Oyo State, has been rescued in Calabar, Cross River State.

Commissioner of Police in Cross River State, Jimoh Ozi-Obeh, made this known yesterday in Calabar while briefing journalists on the activities of the police command in the past one month.

Ozi-Obeh said the 16-year-old kidnap victim was abducted in Ibadan on November 7 and brought to Calabar the following day. He said the minor, a student of St. Barnabas Academy at Daramola Street in Ibadan, was abducted on his way to school.

The police boss explained that the command had got across to the Ibadan Police Command with a view to safely hand over the boy to them so that he can be re-united with his family.

Also, he said one of its personnel, Kingsley Iyeke, killed another policeman, Edet Archibong, during a gun duel between the police and suspected cultists in Calabar. The commissioner said that after the incident, the police swung into action by tracing the cultists to their hideout where some of them were arrested.

He explained that during interrogation, one of the suspected cultists mentioned Mr. Iyeke, a police corporal, as their member “and that he was the one that shot the police inspector during the clash. It would be recalled that we lost one of our inspectors last month during an exchange of fire with some cultists here in Calabar.

“During our trial, we found out that truly he was their member. We have dismissed him and he will face the full wrath of the law,” he said.

Iyeke, 35, from Rivers, was attached to the Marine Police base in Calabar. Responding to questions from journalists, Iyeke denied being a member of any cult group, saying that he was only being set up by the suspected cultists.

In another development, the Lagos State Police Command has arrested three suspected notorious hawkers of marijuana popularly called ‘Indian hemp’.

The plain-clothed undercover policemen attached to Ikeja Division, who disguised as customers, arrested the suspects at Ipodo area of Ikeja.

Following intelligence received by the Ikeja Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Olasoji, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) that the Ikeja area has become a hub for cartels, who deal in illicit drugs, the policemen swooped on the hoodlums, arresting three suspects in the area.

One of the suspects, John Albert told The Guardian that he ventured into the business to raise money for hospital bill. “I don’t hawk Igbo always. I just started the business because I needed to raise money for my operation. We know what we are doing is illegal, that is why we run whenever we hear the sound of a siren.

“In this business, policemen are our enemies. I used to repair big generating sets and it is a job that requires too much strength. I was no longer coping, so I decided to venture into sales of Indian hemp. My friends told me that the business is lucrative.

“I make N6,500 profit after selling a full tray. I use to smoke it before but I stopped recently because I know it is bad for me,” he said.

According to another suspect, Ayo Ojo, “I was arrested by the police because I was with my friend, Albert. I don’t sell Indian hemp, but I smoke it a lot.”

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‘Cultist Policeman’ arrested for killing police inspector.

The Cross River State police command has disclosed that it has arrested a policeman, Corporal Kingsley Iyeke, over the alleged killing of his colleague, Inspector Edet Archibong, during a gun duel between the police and suspected cultists in Calabar.

The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Jimoh Ozi-Obeh, made the announcement in Calabar yesterday when he briefed journalists on the feat recorded so far by the police.

The commissioner said Iyeke was arrested following a tip-off after some secret cult members mentioned him as one of their member.

He said the cult members who mentioned the policeman were arrested in their hideout after they had been traced by the police.

The commissioner said during interrogation, one of the suspected cultists mentioned Iyeke as their member “and that he was the one that shot the police inspector during the clash”.

Continuing, the commissioner said: “Majority of the suspects have been arrested. Our front line interrogation shows that one of our personnel, Corporal Kingsley Iyeke, was one of the cultists.

“After interrogating one of the arrested cultists, he confessed that Iyeke was their member and that he was the one that shot the inspector.

“During our trial, we found out that truly he was their member. We have dismissed him and he will face the full wrath of the law.”

Responding to questions from journalists, Iyeke, 35, from Rivers, attached to the Marine Police base in Calabar, denied being a member of any cult group.

He said he was only a victim of set-up by the cult members who wanted him out of their way at all cost.

The commissioner also disclosed that it rescued a 16-year-old SS3 students of St Banabas Nusery, Primary and Secondary school, Doramola, Ibadan, Oyo State.

He said the student, Kinsley Akom, was kidnapped by unknown gunmen on the November 7 and taken to Calabar by his abductors where he was rescued.

Ozi-Obeh said the boy was kidnapped on his way to school in Ibadan and abandoned by his captors along Bible College Way, State Housing Estate, Calabar.

Ozi-Obeh said the victim boarded a taxi to school and all of a sudden, he became unconscious only to find himself in a container van where he met other children numbering more than fifteen with their legs and hands tied.

The Commissioner said Agom is in stable condition and that his parents have been contacted over his rescue.

He said discreet investigations are ongoing by the Anti- Kidnapping section of the criminal investigations and intelligence department, state headquarters, Calabar to unravel the mystery.

Nigeria to dredge Calabar port to accommodate large vessels.

The Chairman, Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Emmanuel Adesoye, says the Federal Government plans to dredge the Calabar Port to enable large vessels berth and do business.

Mr. Adesoye made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Calabar on Wednesday.

“We have seen most of these facilities. They are excellent facilities. They are opportunities waiting to be tapped.

“We know that these are areas that can really help Nigeria in terms of incomes, especially foreign currencies, if properly developed.

“There are also challenges. For example, the one we see is the draft situation in this area; it’s a little bit shallow; we need to do a lot of dredging.

“We need to make it accessible for big ships that can come here and do business with us.

Mr. Adesoye expressed the hope that the dredging of the Calabar channel would begin as soon as possible.

“One of the greatest incentives is to make sure that the draft line is okay for ships to come in here.

“That is the greatest, because when is there, there are business people that are willing to trade with us.

“We want to trade with the others and we are going to have to do a lot of information sharing so that people will now know that this place is ready for ships to come on board here.

“That is one of the things we are going to do and then security wise, I think we are going to work on the security also to make people believe that this area is safe to transact business.

“If you read my acceptance speech during the inauguration, I think the passage of that bill is one of the cardinal points we mention in that thing.

“That this board will be willing to work with the National Assembly to make the passage of the bill as quickly as possible.

“We are going to work on it definitely.”

The NPA chair stressed the need to go back to the drawing board as quickly as possible to make the Calabar port more viable economically.

Over 50,000 tourists expected during Calabar Carnival

The Cross River Government says on Thursday it expects over 50,000 tourists from across the world to visit the new Calasvegas tourism city during this year’s Calabar Carnival.

Mr George Ekpungu, the Commissioner for New Cities Development, said this while on advocacy visit to traditional rulers and elders of Nsutan community in Calabar South Local Government.

He told the traditional leaders that the government would transform the Twins island located in the area into a city, to boost tourism.

Ekpungu, accompanied by Mr Oliver Orok, the Commissioner for Social Welfare and Sustainable Development, said the city would be completed before the 2016 Calabar carnival.

“My chiefs and traditional rulers, I am here today to solicit your supports and cooperation in view of the state government plan to transform the Twin island into Calasvegas city.

“Every community belongs to the owners; this city cannot come into limelight without your supports.

“Tourism is one of the most essential commodities that Cross River has.

“Governor Ben Ayade is determined to develop the state with a view to attract more investors for business and leisure. I appeal to you to support the development of this city.

“When fully developed, over 50,000 tourists that will be in Calabar for the carnival and will be taken on a boat ride to visit the city.

“This will generate revenue for the state and the host community will also get royalties.

“We are also putting in place adequate security for tourists that will visit the city’’, he said.

Responding, Etubom Macah-Archibong, Clan Head of Nsutan community, expressed happiness over the project.

According to him, the Marina beach was the home of tourism in Calabar, as it is natural and friendly to visitors.

Another traditional ruler, Mr Ekpeyong Effiong-Iyamba, said that the new city would further develop the community and boost economic activities in the area.

Other traditional rulers, who spoke during the visit, also pledged their support for the project.

67-Year-Old Retiree Commits Suicide In Calabar

It was a horrible sight, yesterday, as the body of a 67-year-old retiree, Mr. Okon Edet Iwang, dangled in front of his room at 13B, Ekpo Iso Lane, Ikot Ansa in Calabar Municipality.

A neighbour, who pleaded anonymity, told Vanguard that Mr. Edet, who hailed from Obot Akara, Ukposin Atai in Akwa Ibom State, had been suffering from diabetes for close to three years, but was gradually recovering before the suicide.

His words: “Before going to church yesterday evening (Sunday), I saw him and when I also came back at about 10:30p.m. we greeted. I was shocked when I woke up this morning (yesterday) to see his lifeless body dangling.”

The neighbour said Iwang used the clothesline residents use to dry their clothes to hang himself in front of his room, adding “he was recovering from his sickness because the diabetic sore on his leg was healing very fine.

“We are still in shock that Ette Aniette, as he is popularly known, could muster such courage. He was a very peaceful man,”

The source also hinted that Ette Aniete, who retired from Industrial Trust Fund, ITF, was still receiving his pension and was even re-engaged on a contract basis before he was finally paid off due to his deteriorating health.

According to the source, “he slumped sometime ago and went into coma, which lasted for about three months. He was paid off after he came back from the hospital.

“The sickness affected his eyes because he started developing partial blindness and I think depression also started setting in. We had to call his son, Aniette, to come and stay with him.

“His wife had left him during the peak of his illness and before that he lost one of his children. We believe all these must have contributed to his decision to commit suicide.

“We called the police immediately and they took his corpse away.” Censored photo below..


Gunmen Kidnap Foreign Contractors In Calabar

At least three Australian citizens and one Australian resident, who were contractors for Lafarge cement company have been kidnapped and their driver killed in Calabar, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Thursday.

There was an initial confusion over the number of victims and nationalities of those involved, as police in gave conflicting accounts, Reuters said in a report.

But media reports indicate that three Australians, a New Zealander, a South African and two Nigerians were attacked by the gunmen with one of them shot dead.

The two workers later escaped, police said. They were attacked on the outskirts of the city of Calabar at around 05:30 a.m.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called the incident a “very serious kidnapping” in response to a journalist’s question and urged calm in reporting the incident.

“These are the facts as we know them: three Australians and one Australian resident were among seven people kidnapped in an attack on an Australia contractor’s operations in Nigeria. One person was killed in the attack,” Turnbull told reporters.

Two expatriates managed to flee, said Irene Ugbo, a spokeswoman for Cross River state police, adding that she did not know the nationality of any of the workers feared still held.

Ugbo had earlier said that only two of the kidnapped were Australians, and one was a New Zealander, while another police officer said a South African had been abducted.

The kidnappers had not contacted police, she said.

Kidnappings of foreigners are common in the Delta region, which holds most of the crude oil whose sales make about 70 percent of Nigeria’s national income.

Credit: Guardian

Calabar CBN Gas Explosion: Four Victims Confirmed Dead

At least four victims of last Friday’s gas explosion at the Central Bank of Nigeria’s office in Calabar have been confirmed dead out of 15 taken to the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH).

Doctors said the degree of damage meted on them by the explosion led to their death.

The Chief Medical Director of UCTH, Dr Thomas Agan, confirmed their death when reporters were at the hospital to get get an update on the present state of the victims.

It was a dark Friday for Staff of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Calabar Branch when a gas explosion rocked the financial building, leaving scores in critical condition and others dead.

The casualties were rushed to the UCTH, General hospital as well as the Nigerian Navy Hospital.

Other patients are lying in critical condition at the UCTH and the General Hospital, with lots of internal and facial injuries as a result of inhaling the fumes from the blast. The doctors said they are responding to treatment.

Dr Agan said, the CBN boss and other staff had so far been supportive, as their visits to the hospital had given the victims hope.

“They look forward to getting back on their feet in the shortest possible time,” he said.

He assured reporters that, the hospital would put in their best in ensuring that, the condition of the remaining victims improved.

 Credit: ChannelsTv

CBN Gov Visits Calabar Explosion Victims

Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on Monday visited the Calabar branch of the bank that was rocked by gas explosion on Friday.
The governor, who refused to speak with journalists, also visited the victims of the blast at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital.
Mr. Emefiele inspected the site of the blast before leaving the bank’s premises immediately for Abuja.
Four persons were reported dead in the blast, while several others were injured.
Journalists were not allowed in when the CBN governor visited the victims in the hospital.
Our correspondent also learnt that arrangements had been concluded for those who were in severe conditions to be transferred to other health facilities within or outside country where necessary.
Our correspondent also learnt that skeletal banking operations had resumed at the Calabar branch.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Explosion Rocks CBN Building In Calabar

An explosion has been reported in the Central Bank of Nigeria building, along Calabar Road, Calabar, Cross River state, around 12:30pm on Friday.

The cause of the explosion is unknown.

A source at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar, said that scores of injured persons were seen being brought into the emergency unit of the hospital.

“I could count up to seven people with serious burns,” the source said.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Ireland To Establish Development Centre In Calabar

The Republic of Ireland has indicated its preparedness to partner Nigeria, using Cross River State as the pilot state, to ensure it attains socio-economic and infrastructural development.

Irish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Sean Hoy, disclosed this while on a courtesy call to the Governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade.

The Irish government believes this will help address the problem of youth restiveness in the Niger Delta region.

The Ambassador said that  his team are in Calabar to draw a framework of development that involves the state and Federal Government, in a bid to find the way forward in their respective developmental strives, as well as help curb restiveness in the Niger Delta region.

Mr Hoy who also announced the establishment of a development centre in Calabar as part of the initiative, said he had visited Bayelsa and Rivers States before choosing Calabar as the choice location.

Governor Ayade revealed that it is critical to address the restiveness that has characterised the Niger Delta region, saying no development can take place where crisis and tension exist.

He maintained that the crisis and challenges of Niger Delta are unpardonable and no matter how much one has given to a man, liberty is better than slavery.

Credit: ChannelTv

Man Set Ablaze For Stealing Pot Of Soup

A man has been lynched and set ablaze by a mob, on Sunday morning in Calabar, capital city of Cross River State, for allegedly robbing a woman of a pot of soup.

The incident occurred near Atu Secondary School in the city. The victim and two other suspects were alleged to have been attracted by the aroma as the woman cooked the soup, and had snatched the pot after they attacked her.

The woman, whose name was yet to be ascertained as at the time of this report, thereafter raised an alarm, which prompted neighbours to pursue the fleeing robbers and eventually catch one of them. The irate youths hacked at the suspect with machetes before setting him ablaze.

One of the neighbours, who refused to give his name, said the unlucky man was apprehended because he refused to let go of the pot while he was fleeing; adding that the suspects had robbed several other people in the area recently.

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Flood Displaces 400 In Calabar

An unprecedented flood has wreaked havoc in Calabar metropolis in Cross River State, submerging  no fewer than 100 houses and displacing about 400 persons.

Areas worse hit include, Goldie, CRUTECH staff quarters, Target, White House by William George Street, White House by Calabar Road, Okoro Agbor, Nelson Mandela, and Howell streets.

The ravaging flood, which occurred following a two-day downpour, did not only destroy valuable household items worth several millions of naira, but sacked the residents, thereby rendering them homeless.

Some of the affected areas on Okoro Agobor and Howell streets, and some of the residents  were seen trying to salvage some of their belongings, while  children and the elderly,  trapped in the flood, were being evacuated to nearby homes less affected by the flood.

Some of the affected victims said the experience was not  new  to them because the flooding had occurred in the past.

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Aisha Buhari Donates To Expectant Mothers In Calabar

The President’s wife, Hajia Aisha Buhari, at the weekend donated nutritional supplement, the Frisomum Gold brand, to about 3,000 expectant and nursing mothers in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.

Hajia Buhari said the supplement, which is also an alternative to breast milk, would ensure nourishment for babies.

The President’s wife, who was represented by Mrs Mary Ekpere, said beneficiaries were drawn randomly devoid of any political undertone.

She said: “What we have is for over 3,000 women. We left it open so that those who could make it here would benefit.

“I am impressed and happy that just by the snap of the fingers we were able to gather a good number of expectant mothers and children. The essence of this is to educate mothers about what is healthy for their children. The children are the future. So, they should be nourished and brought up well. This is a little token for the children.”

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Robbers Rape Female Doctors In Calabar

Two female doctors were raped at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) when armed robbers invaded the health care centre, Chairman of Resident Doctors Association at the hospital, Dr Ikechukwu Ukweh said.

Addressing journalists, he said that was one of the reasons they embarked on an indefinite strike. He said the strike was to demand payment of salaries, training entitlements as well as upgrade of facilities.

Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Thomas Agan, who said efforts were being made to resolve the industrial action, said it was one doctor that was raped.

“I got to know about the armed robbery incident recently. You see, this hospital sits on 4.316 hectares
of land, and part of the perimeter fence has collapsed. It is therefore very difficult for our hospital security to effectively police the premises. This makes the hospital very porous and vulnerable. Recently too, two cars belonging to a doctor and a nurse were stolen within the premises of the hospital. Even patients have had to escape through the broken fences. I appeal to all to see security as everyone’s business even as I plead with the federal government to release funds meant for us to defray debts and tackle this challenging security issue”, he said.

Agan said the challenges were not peculiar to UCTH. He assured that the management was working very hard to ensure that the strike is called off within the week.