Governor Ben Ayade Locks SSG, Government House Staff Out For Lateness.

Cross River State Governor, Senator Ben Ayade on Wednesday locked the Secretary to the State Government, Barr. Tina Agbor and other staff in governors office out of the government house over lateness to work.

The Governor who was said to have arrived office at about 7Am was angry when he noticed that only his spokesman, Christian Ita was in the office.

Infuriated by the situation, Ayade ordered security agents to lock all entrances to the government house warning that nobody should be allowed in.

It would be recalled that in June 2015, Ayade locked out staff that came after 8AM which is the official resumption time for civil servants.

The Deputy Governor, Professor Ivara Esu who arrived at about 8AM was however allowed in without hesitation.

Although the gates were eventually opened at 9AM for some senior staff and top government officials, at the time of filing this report, some Civil servants, security aides and other appointees were still kept out by stern looking security operatives in the Governor’s convoy.

A staff in the Governor’s office who spoke in confidence slammed the over what he described as “overzealousness” by the governor.

The worker said that “According to civil and public service laws, work resumes officially by 8Am. We don’t understand why the governor decided to come to office earlier than usual today and locked all of us out.

“Personally, I was not late. I arrived herefew minutes before 8Am. That is even before the deputy governor came. Seriously, I think Ayade is just being unnecessarily overzealous with his ‘show-body’. The position has entered his head too much that he does things at times without thinking of what others feel”.

Asked whether there was any circular that workers should resume work before time on Wednesday, he said that “There was no information to that effect. May be the governor derives pleasure in embarrassing people. He should know that most people have been here and are familiar with how things works”.

SUBEB Asks EFCC To Hunt Non-teaching Staff Defrauding Cross-River Government

The Cross River State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to go after all non-teaching staff who do not carry out their duties, but yet receive salaries monthly.

The SUBEB Chairman, Dr. Stephen Odey, said the call was made in a bid to fight corruption to a standstill in the education sector.

He made the remark during the personnel verification, biometrics/image capturing and promotion interview of teaching and non-teaching staff in Boki Local Government Education Authority (LGEA) in Cross River State.

Dr. Odey condemned the high number of non-teaching staff in Boki LGEA, stressing that those who claimed to be teachers due to political settlement have contributed greatly to the near collapse of basic education in the state.

He described the development as unacceptable in the present dispensation, and appealed to the EFCC to help sanitise the sector for the benefit of future generations.

“The number of non-teaching staff here is ridiculous. This is as a result of political settlement and politics should not be played with basic education.

“The basic education sector is important for the future of our children; it is not a joke.

“You see a school of 80 pupils with six teachers and 11 non-teaching staff, or the other school with 14 non-teaching staff doing absolutely nothing.

“People are just sitting at home and collecting money from the government which is stealing.

“Why should the EFCC not come after people like them who are constantly defrauding the government?” he questioned.


Source: Channels TV

Cross River Frustrated with FG over 260km Super Highway

Blaming the federal government for allegedly frustrating its effort to commence the construction of the proposed 260-kilometre super highway, the Cross River State Government has informed the federal government that it would go ahead with the project, if by middle of March the state fails to get the necessary approvals for construction to commence.

According to the state government, the construction of the super highway, which is one of the two signature projects promised by Governor Ben Ayade, has suffered undue sabotage because of the uncooperative attitude of some federal government agencies, which are suspected to be conniving with perceived enemies of the state, and detractors of the administration in the state to frustrate the road project.

The state government lamented that after addressing all the contentious issues concerning the environmental impact assessment (EIA), for the project, the federal agencies have continued to raise fresh hurdles that have stalled effective take-off of the project.

Addressing journalists on the issue yesterday, the state Commissioner for Information, Mrs. Rosemary Archibong, said: “Efforts have been put in place to ensure that these projects meet the approval of the federal government and all other international stakeholders, but somehow we have had these projects stalled over time for different reason and the state government has not rested on its oars.”

The commissioner said the state government has bent over backwards to meet the demands just to make sure that these highly laudable employment generating projects get approval for construction from the federal government.

The commissioner who led three other commissioners to the press conference held at the Government House disclose that the revocation of 10-kilometre buffer on either way of the Superhighway which was meant to be used for development has been reversed because the governor listened to the cries of the communities that 10kilometre buffer should not be part of the Superhighway.

“The federal government must grant approval not later than the middle of March. We want to continue with our work. In a short time, the rainy season would soon set in and Cross River State is a place of torrential downpour and we cannot wait for the rainy season and all the lofty projects that will benefits Cross River and Nigeria would suffer. We are appealing that by the middle of March we would want to see our approvals granted,” Archibong added.

Speaking in the same vein the state Commissioner for Lands, Professor John Ofem Inyang, who indicted some non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and individuals of attempting to sabotage the project, said some of the NGOs have decided to join our opponents to politicise the superhighway project

“We want to once again tell our opponents to look for something else to criticise this government and not the superhighway. We have sacrificed the 10-kilometre span on either side of the road, limiting to just 70 metres. And I think from today, they have nothing to say against the Superhighway other than to cooperate with us. So we are going to be aggressive after the second week of March, if we don’t get our EIA. We have met all the requirements as far as EIA approval is concerned. So as a people we would come together, we would be formidable and we would fight for the cause that we believe in, in as much as we have met all the requirements. If the goalpost is shifted again, we would take a different action because we know our rights,’’ the lands commissioner said.

The state Commissioner for Water Resource, Mr. Gabe Odu Orji, said: “We have done everything to get these approvals and cannot continue to wait again because we have the constitutional right to invoke and proceed with this projects. First you notice that the Yankari Game Reserve which is today in Gombe State was formerly a National Park. But, it was not in the interest of the state government to continue as a national park, so they reverted it to a game reserve.”

Giving indication that the Cross River State Government could adopt the Yankari model, Orji said as it concerns the Cross River National Park, the constitution which is the supreme law of the land empowers the state government to concurrently legislate of the environment.

“That we have been playing the good boy so far for the federal government does not mean we do not know our right. Why the agencies concerned with these approvals are still rigmarole is what we don’t know,” Orji said.

Commissioner for Climate Change, Alice Ekwu, who queried the introduction of fresh scope after the EIA has been done, said: “In this instance, the superhighway is not even passing through the national park as our detractors would rather have it stated. It is outside the national park and indeed it is within the degraded area.”

The state Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Asuquo Ekpenyong Jnr., who spoke in the same vein as his colleagues said the Super Highway would be constructed through Public Private Partnership (PPP), and that Chinese investors were already on standby to undertake the project.


Source: ThisDay

FG accuses Cross River of misappropriating N19b bailout fund

The Federal Government has accused the Cross River State government of misappropriating N19billion, which was given to it as bailout fund to pay salaries and pension.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Prosecutions, Okoi Obono-Obla, told The Guardian on Tuesday that “the president had bailed the state out twice but the funds were not judiciously used?”

He explained that the Federal Government gave N7.8billion to the state in July 2016 and another N11.5billion in December to settle all outstanding indebtedness.

Also, the National Vice Chairman (South-South) of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Ntufam Hilliard Eta, urged the governor to explain how the bailout fund and the Paris Club debt were spent, since they were loans.

He appealed to the governor to invest in infrastructure that would benefit the masses, adding that the state’s position during the public hearing organised by the Senate, showed lack of accountability.

The state Chairman of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), John Ushie, had, last week, threatened to go on strike to compel the governor to pay them their entitlements.

But, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor and Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Christian Ita denied that the fund was misappropriated.He said: “What Obono-Obla is doing is personal pursuit of a narrow interest. The delay at the local councils level had to do with technical hitches in the process of bio-verification.

“We are aware that while some people have not earned their salaries for up to six months, others had been paid up to March 2016. So it is not a question of lack of money but that of trying to address the technical challenges.

“Government had raised an inter-ministerial panel, mandating commissioners to go to local councils to supervise the exercise. As soon as it is completed, everybody would be paid,” he said.

Umahi seeks FG’s help over Ebonyi, Cross River communal clash.

David Umahi, governor of Ebonyi state, has appealed to the federal government to intervene in the communal clashes between Azuofia Idda in Izzi local government area of the state and Ohene in Cross River.


Umahi made the appeal when he received Adamu Abubakar, general commanding officer (GOC) of 82 division Enugu, in Abakaliki on Saturday.


The governor said the lingering boundary crisis between the two communities required action and commitment of the two states and federal government in ending it.


“The problem between Cross River and Ebonyi is quite known  and unfortunately, the problem of boundary in our country is quite funny. Nobody is really taking any definite action,” he said.


“I believe strongly believe  that we need political will; we need commitment to solve the problem. I will plead that since the Cross River command is also under you (Abubakar), let’s have an  interaction between the two commanders as  quickly  as possible. The same thing with the police. I will speak  with the IG (inspector-general of police) about it.


“I believe strongly that by Tuesday, I will visit there with security chiefs from Ebonyi and look at the lack of government presence and see what and what we can put in place to show government presence in that area. Let’s see what and what we can do for a  police post to be there immediately. I believe strongly that Cross River should do the same thing.”


Umahi also commended Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, the GOC and the state’s security chiefs for their timely intervention which brought the situation under control.


On Sunday, one person was reportedly killed in Ikwo local government area of Ebonyi during an invasion by locals from Adadama community in Cross River.


Source: The Cable

Education Sector: Cross River Lawmakers Urge For Capacity Building.

The Cross River House of Assembly has urged owners of schools in the state to invest in teachers for proper knowledge and growth in the education sector.

Chairman, Special Committee on Private Schools, Mr Hilary Bisong, gave the advice on in Calabar, the Cross River State Capital when he led his colleagues on an over-sight function to some private schools in the metropolis, calling for the cooperation of proprietors of private schools in the state to enhance the quality training.

Addressing newsmen after the inspection, the representative of Boki II state constituency in the House noted that, some private schools that employed unspecialised teachers in most fields were charging outrageous school fees even in the face of recession.

“We are not fully satisfied with the quality of teachers in private schools, especially in the area of specialization. But on the whole, most of the teachers have acquired basic tertiary education.

“This exercise is very important because we need to carry out an urgent legislative intervention, into the quality and standard of private schools in the state.

“This over-sight function will also help us to condemn the ownership structures of the schools and any other areas that will require government’s intervention to support the standard’’

Responding, the Managing Director of Access High School, Mrs Folasade Umoden, noted that the exercise would help to correct the imbalance in private schools.

She urged lawmakers to initiate bills that would enhance the smooth operation of private schools in the state.

“The government alone cannot effectively run the educational sector. We also need the government’s support in the areas of donation of books, laboratory equipment and others because we are also complementing government’s effort’’.

The committee is expected to also visit private schools in the northern and central parts of the state, and would summit its report at the end of the exercise to the House for further actions.

Some of the Schools visited were, Access High School, Aunty Sama Nursery and Primary School, Lourdes Academy, St. Anne’s High School among others.

“Despite Governor Ayade’s claim, we still pay taxes, levies”, Cross River residents cry out.

Residents of Calabar have expressed mixed reactions to the pronouncement by Governor Ben Ayade to exempt low income earners in Cross River from payment of taxes and levies.

Some of the residents spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria in separate interviews in Calabar.

Joseph Ewa, the Chairman of Tricycle Owners/Drivers Association of Nigeria, Cross River chapter, said that his members were still paying various levies to different government agents.

“We have been waiting for the implementation of this directive but nothing is happening till now. They are still harassing us daily as usual.

“Everything remains the same. We are waiting for the governor to come back from his journey and then we will ask him to explain to us who benefits from this law.”

According to him, the governor’s directive concerns tricycle drivers, taxi drivers and even bean cake (akara) seller.

“I heard the governor mention “keke’’ tricycle driver during his speech, so we have to find out in due course what is happening,” he said.

A taxi driver, Udeme Simon, said that rather than exemption, they were now paying more.

“Look at my receipts, where we used to pay N200 before, it is now N450; so we only heard that pronouncement but it has not impacted on us in any way,” he said.

A civil servant, Catherine Henshaw, said that she could not confirm if deductions were made on her salary because she was yet to be paid for January.

“I heard that too, but I am yet to receive my January salary to know if anything has changed,” she said.

However, an official of the State Internal Revenue Service (IRS) said on condition of anonymity that the directive was yet to be implemented as it had to pass through some processes.

“As I speak with you, we have not started implementing the directive. And again, the exemption does not affect every low income earners on the street.

“It is only meant for those that are recognisable like the state civil servants. The idea is that, the governor will pay for them,” he said.

The governor had in his maiden media briefing said he had forwarded a bill to exempt all low income earners in the state from payment of all forms of taxes and levies to the State House of Assembly.

He reiterated the pronouncement, while signing this year’s budget two weeks ago in Calabar.


Source: NAN

Cross River Set To Float Cally Air And Shipping Lines

Cross River State Government has completed plans to float its own airline as well as a shipping line, as part of efforts to increase revenue and lower dependence on federal allocation.

Addressing reporters in Calabar, Governor Ben Ayade said the state was taking full advantage of its huge tourism potentials and vast maritime resources by going into both airline and maritime services.

Huge Maritime Resources

The governor noted that while Cally Air was expected to transport tourists from all over Nigeria to the beautiful tourist sites dotted across the state, particularly the famous Obudu Ranch Resort, the shipping line would concentrate primarily on cargo services, especially along the shoreline of the Gulf of Guinea.

Ayade maintained that “Cross River State is only taking full advantage of its huge maritime resources by focusing on maritime trading particularly, cabotage services by providing merchant vessels that will ply the Gulf of Guinea and provide services to countries along this shoreline.

“In our 2017 budget, there is a provision for a merchant vessel that will provide maritime businesses with Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Cameroun and the entire stretch of the shoreline.

“There is another provision for Wharf landing and other support services. So, we are also going to have a fabrication yard and other allied maritime services as we refocus on broadening the maritime sector in the state”.

Justifying government’s decision to venture into maritime services, Professor Ayade reasoned that with the maritime trade and connectivity along the region, his administration was confident that the return on the investment would definitely be huge and contribute immensely to the budget of infinite transposition.

“Our vessels are already berthing in Calabar as part of investment in 2017 because we are establishing business outlays in some West and Central African countries dealing mostly on petroleum products and because Cross River State is looking at an aggregate of driving an industrialised, business-like module for governance, soon, you will see us go into full time trading.

“That is why in our budget, we have budgeted about 14 billion Naira to expand investment in this direction to the Gambia,” the Governor explained.

Professor Ayade further told reporters that the state had the capacity to handle the huge investments, knowing full well that, it is a very delicate combination of public-private service administration structure running it from a private business perspective.

Cross River is announcing its plan two days after Imo State government said it had taken delivery of the first aircraft, to kick start, as the first state owned commercial airline, Imo Air.

During the official launch of the new airline at the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo airport in Owerri, the Imo state capital, the Governor Rochas Okorocha said the investment by the state government would boost economic activities in the state.

He added that it would increase the state Internally Generated Revenue and also generate employment opportunities for teaming unemployed youths in the state.

BREAKING: 4 feared dead as Akwa Ibom, Cross River communities clash

Four persons were feared dead and scores of persons injured in the renewed boundary crisis between Oku Iboku community in Akwa Ibom and Ikot Offiong in Cross River.

Bassey Essien Bassey, a former Vice Chairman of Itu Local Government Area, confirmed the incident to the News Agency of Nigeria in Itu on Tuesday.

Mr. Bassey said that several persons sustained injuries while over 20 houses were burnt, including a filling station in the age-long communal conflict.

He said that two security operatives were among those who lost their lives, forcing the military to deploy dozens of soldiers to the scene.

Mr. Bassey said that motorists and commuters along the Calabar-Itu highway were delayed for more than four hours until the arrival of security operatives to clear the road.

Ene Essien, a Community Leader in Oku Iboku, said that the latest incident occurred after series of attempts by the people to re-occupy the fishing area failed as they were forced out by the people of Oku Iboku.

“The Ikot Offiong people are fishermen who migrated into our area from Akpabuyo in Cross River State to settle.

“After settling for so many years, they developed the instinct of seizing our land and even expanding more into Itu.”

The community leader added that their “uncomplimentary” relationship with the host community forced them to push them away from the fishing community.

“When they left our community, they settled at Odukpani, but the people also pushed them out of their place in Akpabuyo, because of their warring attitude,” he said.

Mr. Essien said the intractable conflict had lingered for years, leading to intermittent attacks by the invaders from Ikot Offiong.

According to him, the communal crisis started around the fishing area, but later escalated to the Calabar-Itu road when the people of Ikot Offiong returned in reprisal, leading to the death of four persons.

NAN gathered that the invaders returned with armed hoodlums in 11 buses and several flying boats.

It was gathered that they were later repelled by a combined team of soldiers, anti-riot police officers and officials of the State Anti-Robbery and Kidnapping Squad, SARS.

Narrating their ordeal also, two aides to Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom, Essien Ndueso and Joseph Okon, said that they were trapped in the incident while returning from Calabar on official assignment.

They said that the entire area was “on fire” and thanked God they were able to come out unhurt.

Confirming the incident, the state Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Cordelia Nwawe, said that several persons were injured, adding that she was yet to be briefed on those who died in the incident.

“It is not the business of the Police to count dead bodies, our business is to secure lives and property,” Ms. Nwawe said.

She added that normalcy had returned to the area as a detachment of Police Mobile Force 26 and 57, had been drafted to maintain peace.


Source: NAN

Cross River Government Exempts Low Income Earners From Paying Taxes

The Cross River State Government has with immediate effect abolished all forms of taxation levied on low income earners with less than 50,000 naira monthly income.

The directive, according to Governor Ben Ayade was necessitated by the current economic realities in the country and its impacts on ordinary citizens.


Ayade made the disclosure shortly after signing the 2017 appropriation bill of N707 billion christened, “Budget of Transposition” into law at the State Executive Council Chambers, Calabar.



Citizens, especially low income earners and petty traders in the state have recently frowned at the incessant collection of taxes from them, which is biting hard following the recession.


This led to Governor Ben Ayade’s decision to put an end to pressurizing the low income earners in the state for taxes.


The Governor in an emotional speech on the issue reasoned that God has given those in authority the window to raise the hopes of the electorate and by that, his administration would rather tax his intellect to prosperity rather than taxing the low income earners.

Cross River loses N130 million to ghost farmers – Official

Cross River Government lost over N130 million revenue in 2016 due to allocation of cocoa farms to ghost farmers, Oscar Ofuka, Special Adviser to Governor Ben Ayade on Cocoa Development, has said.

Mr. Ofuka made the disclosure on Monday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Calabar.

He said the governor had consequently directed a total review of allocations done by the Cocoa Allocation Committee to ensure that genuine farmers were given allocation.

“The governor has directed me to review the allocations with a view to ensuring that the right farmers are given Cocoa farmlands.

“But, the implication of this shoddy exercise is that the state has lost over N130 million from the projected revenue from cocoa allocation in 2016.

“The projected revenue was N200 million, supposed to be generated from payments for allocation fees by farmers.

“But, only N68 million was realised. This is a huge set back to the government’s revenue drive.

“Also, the state lost a whole farming year, and we are about losing another year due to this discrepancies,” Mr. Ofuka said.

The governor’s aide said that his office had mapped out strategy to begin verification of farmers to ascertain genuine allottees in the state’s three cocoa estates.

“We will first undertake physical verification exercise where farmers will be made to stand in front of their farms to receive their cocoa seedlings.

“And later, we will carry out biometric capture of the farmers,” Mr. Ofuka said.

He lauded the governor’s quick intervention on the matter, assuring the farmers that the state government’s target of 500,000 metric tons of cocoa annually would be feasible.

Mr. Ofuka advised politicians, who were not professional farmers, to allow real cocoa farmers to do their work for the overall benefit of the state.

“We are trying to make cocoa our alternative revenue generating base in view of the dwindling federal allocation,” he said.

N-Power: Group Accuses Cross River Government of Fraud, Wants Coordinator Sacked

An All Progressive Congress (APC) Group in Cross River state have petitioned the state government and the coordinator of the Federal Government N-Power scheme in the state Ambassador Nkoyo Toyo over alleged fraud.
The group, under the aegis of Coalition of APC supports Group in the state addressed the petition to the national coordinator of the program and the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osibanjo.
In the petition titled “Massive Fraud in the Verification of Shortlisted Candidates for  N-Power Scheme in Cross River” and signed by the group chairman Comrade Iso Bassey, the Secretary Barr. Joseph Odok and the women leader, Miram Obi, they demand the immediate sack of the state coordinator, Ambassador Toyo.
According to the petition which was made available to newsmen in Calabar, the group frowned at the lack of awareness on the venue and process of the verification exercise even as they questioned the right of the state government to create a new website for the exercise.
“We want to draw the attention of the Vice President and the National Coordinator of the N-Power scheme to the illegality and massive fraud going on in the verification exercise of the shortlisted candidates in Cross River State.
“We are aware that the federal government concluded the screening exercise of candidates before shortlisting the successful names. The instruction from the Vice President was very clear and simple; that every state should verify to ascertain that the shortlisted candidates are resident in the various states they applied for after which they deploy.
“But to our greatest bewilderment, the state government and state coordinator Ambassador Nkoyo Toyo have connived to create new website, to conduct new screening for people. Some people who’s name were published by the federal government were no longer invited for verification”, the petition reads in part.
The group further maintained that “While we acknowledge the fact that the social welfare scheme is meant for all Nigerians not just APC members, we want the federal government to sack the Cross River state coordinator to appoint a new person either from APC, PDP or a technocrat that beliefs in the progressive ideologies of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to manage the exercise”.
While alleging that Ambassador Toyo only want to mess up the good initiative to create bad impression about President Buhari to favour her party, the PDP, the group noted that “It is very unfortunate that the federal government entrusted such sensitive responsibility to a PDP chieftain who has consistently gone on social media and different online media platforms to abuse President Buhari for initiating this scheme and other programs.
“This is somebody who has stated it very clearly that she doesn’t have faith in the leadership of the APC led federal government. She is using the APC federal government project now to create bad impression about President Buhari because so many people have already been told that they don’t have their records after they have seen their names. New people who never participated in the initial screening by federal government have done documentation to be paid this month”.
The group also called on the leadership of party in the state to regularly interface with the federal government to avoid such ” embarrassing ” situation in subsequent programs.
“We will not remain slaves to PDP in Cross River state. APC cannot be in government with PDP in power because our ideologies are different therefore, the federal government should consult and interface regularly with the leadership of the party in the state to be properly guided to avoid further embarrassment”.

Mixed reaction as speculations of Ben Ayade defecting to APC rises.

The Supreme Court on Friday affirmed Prof. Ben Ayade  of the Peoples Democratic Party as the governor of Cross River state.

Joe Agi, also of the PDP, had asked the court to sack Ayade over false declaration of age but the apex court justices held that Agi could not prove the allegation against the governor.

However, remember that Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has met with bigwigs of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) recently.

The meeting, which started during the thanksgiving ceremony organised by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Uguru Usani, in Calabar, was believed to have focused on the governor’s political future.

A former senate leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, a former minister of defence and presidential aspirant, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, governors Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, who graced the occasion, were said to have convinced Ayade to leave the PDP for the APC.

Later, Ayade drove with them and other top military brass that also graced the event in large numbers to an undisclosed location where Okorocha and other APC leaders were said to have got his firm commitment.

Speculations have been rife over Ayade’s secret ambition to cross over to the APC, having hobnobbed with key national leaders of the party few months after he was sworn in.

He has also been showering encomiums on President Muhammadu Buhari whom he had criticised before his victory in the last presidential election.

But in a swift reaction, Ayade’s media aide dismissed the insinuation that the governor was planning to move from the PDP.

Christian Ita, chief press secretary to Ayade, said the governor was just playing the role of a good host to the array of political, military and business leaders that thronged Calabar to honour a prominent son of the state.

“It is not true that the discussion our governor had with the APC leaders had anything to do with leaving the PDP for the APC,” said Ita.

Okorocha, who had visited the state and met Ayade previously over same issue, had commended the governor for having the blessing of God with the appointment of his “sons” into key national positions.

Remarking, Usani commended those who honoured his invitation and described them as his close friends. He stated that hatred for one another was the key reason for underdevelopment of Cross River State.

BREAKING: Cross River gov, Ayade, wins at Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Friday affirmed Prof. Ben Ayade  of the Peoples Democratic Party as the governor of Cross River state.


Joe Agi, also of the PDP, had asked the court to sack Ayade over false declaration of age but the apex court justices held that Agi could not prove the allegation against the governor.

Details Later…

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.”

Cross River Homeland Security Service to recruit over 3,000 youths.

Cross River State’s Homeland Security Service is expected to recruit more than 3,000 youth, the government said.


The state government has in collaboration with the Nigeria Police Force, NPF, commenced the recruitment process.

In a statement issued on Monday in Calabar by the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Ben Ayade on Media, Christian Ita, an applicant must be at least 6ft tall and must be a holder of a university degree or a Higher National Diploma, HND.


Governor Ayade recently signed into law, a bill passed by the State House of Assembly, to establish Cross River State Homeland Security.


The key function of the Cross River State Homeland Security is information gathering, to enable a more effective policing of the state by the Nigerian Police Force.


The organisation shall be a non-arm bearing force.


The state government has purchased hundreds of Kia Sedan cars fitted with state-of-the art communication gadgets in preparation for the official inauguration of the service.

Ten Killed In Cross River Communal Conflict.

Ten youths were reportedly killed in renewed hostilities between Usumutong and Ediba communities both in Abi local government area of Cross River State at the weekend.

It was gathered both communities have been in conflict for years over ownership of a piece of land, often leading to loss of lives and property.

A resident of the area said yesterday, “On Friday, there was a burial at Usumutong. The Ediba people used the opportunity of the other people engaging in a burial to attack. The Ediba people knew that the Usumutong people because of the burial were unprepared for any attack.

“They are still quarrelling over a piece of land. They are saying that the last time there was a conflict, the Usumutong people inflicted so much casualties on them, so they were looking for an opportunity to strike back and did so on Friday. It was a revenge attack.

“The people of Usumutong who suffered the attack are planning a counterattack from what I am hearing because it is like tomorrow (Monday) is the market day of the Ediba people.

“It is actually is actually a sad situation because the two communities are brothers and sister. There is no difference between them and they are just killing themselves like that. It is just animalistic. In this age of civilisation, people are still doing such.”

State Security Adviser, Mr Jude Ngaji, security agents have been drafted to the area and normalcy restored for the meantime. He said they will keep their eyes open to ensure another outbreak of violence does not occur.

“The governor is very livid with this development because great efforts have been made to bring peace to the area. We had gotten respected leaders of both communities and plans were still on to ensure both communities co-exist peacefully. Then all of a sudden this happens.

“There will no longer be any Mr Nice Guy in dealing with this problem. The big stick still will be employed this time to check the problem. The present administration will ensure that though the problem has been age long, it will end once and for all. We will ensure that every perpetrator of this crisis will be brought to book,” he said.

Federal Government Declares Ayade’s Green Police Illegal.

The Federal Government has declared the “Green Police” inaugurated by the Cross River State Government as an illegal and criminal outfit that violates the provisions of the 1999 constitution.


But the state government has disagreed with the declaration made by the police, saying the outfit was backed by a law enacted by the State’s House of Assembly with the aim to protect the environment and create jobs for the people.

On Wednesday, the Nigerian Police Force declared that the inauguration of the Green Police by the administration of Governor Ben Ayade was an attempt to establish an illegal police organisation, an act that is forbidden by the Nigerian constitution.


Addressing journalists in his office, the state commissioner of police, Mr. Jimoh Obi-Ozeh, said the command would stop the Green Police from operating in the state because the Nigerian constitution recognises only one police force.


Quoting a relevant section of the constitution to buttress the stance of the police, he said, “According to Section 214 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, with amendment 2011, there shall be a Police Force for Nigeria, which shall be known as the Nigeria Police Force, and subject to the provisions of this section, no other police force shall be established.”

Ghost Workers: Cross River Commences Biometric Registration of Teachers

The Cross River State Government, on Wednesday said preparations were on top gear to commence the biometric registration of primary school teachers in the state.

This was disclosed by the Chairman of Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) in the state, Dr. Steven Odey, shortly after inspecting some primary schools in Calabar.

Odey told newsmen that the exercise aims at checkmating the ghost workers’ syndrome in the pay roll and ensure prompt payment of teachers’ salaries.

He said the exercise became imperative following a directive from the state’s governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, to the board.

The Chairman noted that the exercise was also meant to keep the state in line with international best practices in the educational sector, expressing optimism that it will help to boost her standard of education.

“There has been a lot of outcry about the non-payment of teachers’ salaries and to get out of this quagmire, the governor directed that SUBEB takes over such payment”

“Our focus is to ensure that we make the system function effectively”, he said.

Odey reiterated the government’s commitment to the recruitment of additional one thousand teachers in state, soonest.


Joe Agi Paid Justice Ademola 160 Million Naira Bribe – FG

The Federal Government has fingered Barrister Joe Agi (SAN) as one of the beneficiaries of the alleged Justice Adeniyi Ademola cash-for-justice case claiming he bribed the embattled Justice to the tune of at least 160 million Naira.

This information was contained in a court document with 15 charges prepared by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation against Justice Ademola and his wife Mrs. Olabowale Ademola, who is the current Head of Service in Lagos State named as an accomplice.

The defendants according to the charges are accused of receiving bribes from Messrs Joe Odey Agi and associates between 2013 to 2016 up to the tune of 160 million Naira in Charges number 1,2,3,4 and 12.

1) N30 Million from Messrs Joe Odey Agi Associates.
2) N40 million from Messrs Joe Odey Agi Associates.
3) N30 Million from Messrs Joe Agi Associates.
4) N30 Million  from Messrs Joe Agi Associates.
12) N30 Million from Messrs Joe Odey Agi Associates.

The charges prepared by Hajara Yusuf on behalf of the Attorney General were filed at the high Court of the Federal Capital Territory.

However, efforts to reach Barrister Agi fro comments proved futile as his phone was switched off as at press time.

Justice Ademola, a federal high court judge was arrested on October 8, 2016 alongside several other members of the bench in an operation by Nigeria’s secret police in what it says is a move to cleanse the judiciary.

Agi is currently in court with Cross River Governor, Senator Ben Ayade in a pre election case of perjury and alleged falsification of age which the Supreme Court has set aside December 9, 2016 for a ruling on the matter

Unknown gunmen kidnap soldier in Cross River.

Unknown gunmen on Thursday kidnapped a soldier, Musa Lawal, attached to the 13th Brigade of the Nigerian Army while stepping out of a bank along Calabar Road, Cross River State.


It was gathered that Lawal was bundled into a vehicle and whisked away.


An eyewitness, Emma Abang, said the incident happened at about 10a.m in the presence of security officials in the bank


He said, “The army officer was kidnapped in front of one of the popular banks along Calabar Road after he had finished his transactions.


“It was not clear whether they kidnapped him because of the transaction he went to carry out; but they just whisked him into their vehicle and zoomed off. They took him to an unknown destination.”


However, the Army Public Relations Officer in charge of 13 Brigade, Calabar, Capt. Kayode Owolabi, said he was not aware of the incident.

Cross River Governor Appoints 1,106 New Advisers

The Governor of Cross River State, Prof. Ben Ayade, on Tuesday appointed 1,106 persons into various positions.

The positions were in the categories of special advisers, special assistants, personal assistants as well as the chairmen and members of boards, commissions, departments and agencies.

The governor had, in a parley with journalists in August, reiterated his decision to appoint over 1,000 political appointees for poverty alleviation in the state.

So far, there are 28 commissioners in addition to 65 special advisers and over 100 special assistants, personal assistants and community relations officers.

A breakdown of the latest appointment shows that 799 were appointed into various boards, commissions and agencies, while the remaining 307 appointees were categorised into special advisers (six), senior special advisers (30), special assistants (75) and Personal Assistants (25).

Others are personal assistants to paramount rulers (16), representatives of each local government in the state food bank unit (90), liaison officers for the 18 local government area and three senatorial districts (21), special assistants on religious affairs (18) and permanent secretaries (26).

In a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Christian Ita, the governor said the appointments would take effect from November 1, 2016.

But reacting to the development, a former Special Adviser to Ayade on Strategy and National Contact, Mr. Ray Ugba-Morphy, said the appointments were unnecessary.

Ugba-Morphy, who resigned from Ayade’s cabinet, said, “He is a governor who understands all the appointments that he is making. But considering the lean purse of the state, it is not necessary because those already appointed have not been properly settled.

“The wages of political appointees are fixed by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission as stipulated by the law, but he (Ayade) has not met those requirements.

“It is right if the appointments are meant to settle political scores, but economically, it is not viable. He should create opportunity for people to have skills to earn a living.”

Ayade’s Appointees and supporters abandon Him: Gives fresh condition for support.

On Sunday the 9th of October 2016 political appointees and supporters of Ayade were called to Chief Eugene Ake’s Calabar residence to shore up the dwindling support for Ayade in cross river state and his Obudu home town.

In the said meeting the political appointees and supporters of Ayade dwelt on the failures of the governor and called for a withdrawal of support for Ayade unless the governor retraces his steps and takes actions to improve their welfare. Instead of building support for the governor, a delegation was sent to the governor to raise some issues as a condition for their continued support for the governor.

The issues raised include: payments of outstanding debt for past and present political appointees, poor governance, absence of governance in the state. Wastage occasioned by the governor’s frequent travels and signing of MoUs targeted at buying time and hypnotising people with unrealistic promises, interference in the functions of appointees by co-govenor Frank Ayade and other relatives and in-laws of the governor, no impress, no votes, no equipment for the appointees to do their job, revitalization of local government and payments of debt owed council chairmen and councillors.

The appointees warned that the governor must change or they will join those attacking him to bring down the obviously insensitive government of Mr. Ben Ayade.

There is an adage that once a ship wants to sink, even the rat jumps out. Now that the governor is sinking, the appointees ought to be all out defending the governor if all was well with them or if they are fully in support of the governor.

Recently there seems to be a silence of appointees and less defence of the governor even in social media. Rather than increase support for the governor, the appointees have rather taken to  being informants for Ayade’s critics. It is confirmatory of the dying support for the governor.  In fact two of the governor’s appointees called me out yesterday to give me a drink and supply me with facts to publish in public.

Regrettable, Cross river is losing all it’s tourism potentials under the watch of Mr Ben Ayade. The obudu mountain race is a dead dream, Tinapa is moribund,  obudu cattle ranch is growing weeds with cable cars no longer functioning. Our educational system is comatose with the governor owing WAEC large sums of money.

The international conference centre is at the stage it was after commissioning. The Shanghai farms is folding, the Ugep institute of management technology can no longer pay it’s staff with lectures resigning their jobs. The garment factory is yet to be commissioned, after much talk about employment and the lifting of more than 20 years ban on employment, those recruited in garment factory and green police have been deceived with their employment revoked.

The much hyped monorail is yet to kick start. Recently the national sport festival that was zoned for hosting in Cross River State has been withdrawn to Abuja by the minister of sports.

Amidst all these more monies are diverted for the building of a 100 unit housing scheme in the governor’s Obudu home town. Mobile courts are in the increase to extort monies from poor citizenry to feed the governor’s greed and primitive spirit of wealth acquisition.

Enough is enough! We must all rise to condemn the open robbery of the state by Ayade’s administration

God called me to govern Cross River — Governor Ayade

Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River has said that he was called by God to govern Cross River to provide needed dividends of democracy to the people.

Ayade made the statement on Friday while addressing thousands of supporters who came to receive him at Margaret Ekpo International Airport in Calabar on arrival from Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the supporters besieged the airport in solidarity with Ayade ahead of the Dec. 9 Supreme Court judgement in a case of alleged falsification of his age.

The case was instituted by Mr Joe Agi, Senior Advocate of Nigeria.

Agi, who contested the 2015 PDP governorship primary with Ayade, had challenged the eligibility of the governor to contest the primary.

Ayade told his supporters at the airport that since power comes from God, he was called by God to govern the state at this particular time.

He said: “I was preparing to run election for the senate when God called me and said I should come and be governor. I am a servant of God and I urge you all to put me in prayers.

“God shall not forsake us at this point; His miracle will prevail at the appointed time. When the righteous people are ruling, God will take control.

“God has the final say in this case. You can have the capacity to manipulate man, but you cannot manipulate God.

“I came into this office as governor under the inspiration of God.

“Today, we are before the court of man to decide the faith and destiny of Cross River people. God shall take control and establish himself.

“Truly, in the name of God, I am totally innocent. If I come before the court of man, I come with supplication for clemency from God.’’

The governor said that his administration had not failed in paying salaries of civil servants in the state and urged the people to continue to support his administration.

“I dedicate today to God that if I truly came to serve the people, He will surely see us through. If the worst happens, then it is God’s will.

“We have no capacity to appeal at this level. We are now appealing to God that knows our hearts in this case in question.’’

Mr George Ekpungu, the state Commissioner for New Cities Development, told NAN in an interview at the airport that the people of the state would resist any attempt to remove Ayade from his seat.

Ekpungu said that the people of the state voted massively for him, hence they entrusted him with their mandate.

Etisalat, Cross River sign MoU on malaria reduction

Nigeria’s most innovative telecommunication company, Etisalat, and the Cross River State Government in partnership with Mediatrix Development Foundation have pledged to forge a close working relationship in the fight against the scourge of malaria in the State.

The partners made this commitment on Thursday at the official flag-off of the Etisalat Fight Malaria Initiative and signing of a Memorandum of Understanding that will see them coordinate efforts and resources to eradicate the menacing spread of malaria in the State.

Speaking about the partnership, Ikenna Ikeme, director, Regulatory & Corporate Social Responsibility, Etisalat Nigeria, said the telecommunication company identifies a healthy populace as a precursor to achieving economic growth, hence the alignment of its business growth strategy with societal goals such as health.

“A nation can only be economically buoyant if it has a vibrant and strong work force, and a healthy population; hence our identification of health as one of our key platforms for Corporate Social Responsibility.

As we play our part in the creation of a healthier nation, we enjoin all stakeholders to embrace technology and innovation in the fight against malaria.” he said.

Also speaking at the event, Dr. (Mrs) Linda Ayade, wife of the Cross River State Governor and founder of the partner NGO, Mediatrix Development Foundation, expressed delight in the capacity of the partnership to help fill the existing gap in the fight against malaria by providing the much needed support to the State structures in the health sector.

“I believe this is the beginning of a rejuvenated fight to end malaria for good in Cross River State. We are delighted that our efforts to check the effects of malaria in communities is yielding results and has attracted Etisalat to partner with us to strengthen existing state structures in the health sector,” she said.

The Etisalat Fight Malaria Initiative would facilitate the setting up of 40 Malaria Clubs in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions across the state with a mandate to reach approximately 25,000 people in the rural and urban areas, create a Malaria Hub of 2,650 peer educators and 3,150 Malaria Champions within two years.

Ayade To Buratai: We Need Heavy Military Presence In Cross River

Governor Ben Ayade of  Cross River State on Wednesday demanded heavy presence of the military in Calabar, in order to sustain peace in the state.

He made the appeal when the Chief of army of  staff COAS, Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai paid him a courtesy visit in Calabar.

Represented by his deputy, Prof Ivara Esu, Ayade applauded the COAS’s sterling leadership qualities, describing him as a delight in Nigeria’s Armed Forces.

” In Cross River State, we need heavy presence of the military because we want peace to be able to do our job”, he said.


S’Court Begins Hearing on C’River Guber Polls Tussle On Tuesday

The Supreme Court sitting in Abuja will on Tuesday commence hearing in the governorship legal tussle between an aspirant, Mr. Joe Agi (SAN) and the Governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade, of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and INEC.

A notice of hearing issued by the Supreme Court Head, Litigation Department, Mr. Ibrahim Gold in Calabar states; “take notice that the above Appeal (SC256/2016) will be listed for hearing before the Supreme Court of Nigeria sitting at 9.00am on Tuesday 27th day of September, 2016”.

Agi had in a pre-election matter dragged Senator Ayade and others to the Federal High Court claiming among other things that Ayade was parading different and conflicting age declarations and by the Constitution of the party, he was not qualified to fly its flag as the governorship candidate and as such he (Agi) who came second in the primaries should be declared as the legible candidate of the party.

Agi lost the matter at the High Court in a judgment by Justice Abdul Kafarati on July 31, 2015 in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/25/2015 who dismissed the case on grounds that the matter was not proved beyond reasonable doubt. The three Court of Appeal Judges led by Justice Tinuade Akomolefe in a later judgment upheld this judgment.

Agi had argued that “the decision of the lower courts upholding the preliminary objections of the first (PDP) and third (Ayade) respondents only dealt with one ground of the Appellant’s case without considering the ground of the Appellant’s case bordering on presentation of conflicting age (s) declaration by the third Respondent to the first Respondent contrary to Article 14 (b) and 15 (2) of the Electoral Guidelines for the Primary Elections 2014 of the People’s Democratic Party (Exhibit JA5) and the Electoral Act”.

Unpaid Salaries: Cross River State Teachers Shun Resumption

Primary school teachers in Cross River State on Wednesday shunned resumption over unpaid four months salaries owed them by the government.

Punch NG report that Pupils in the primary and secondary schools across the state were supposed to resume for the 2016/2017 session on Wednesday, after the long summer holidays.

But while teachers in the secondary schools resumed for duties, their colleagues in primary schools shunned work, due to the inability of the state government to pay their four months salaries before the holiday elapsed.

Our correspondent, who visited few primary schools in Calabar South and Calabar Municipal local government areas observed that pupils were turned back home.

“This strike was necessitated by the fact that the government cannot expect us to work for free when we have responsibilities to take care of. All of these mean that the primary school system in the state will suffer and this should ordinarily not be the case,” a teacher in one of the primary schools, who claimed anonymity said.

The Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, Mr. Eyo-Nsa Itam, confirmed that all primary school teachers across the state were asked to stay off duty to press for the payment.

When contacted, the state Commissioner for Education, Mr. Goddy Etta, said the teachers would resume on Monday as efforts were ongoing to pay the salaries.

Cross River to Float an Airline in November- Ayade

Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River state, has stated that his administration will float an airline in November. Ayade said this while playing host to a consortium of Indian investors in Calabar on Monday. Governor Ben Ayade He said the airline, which is to be called `Cally Air’, will be managed by Dana Group under a public private partnership (PPP) arrangement. The governor said it would fly Calabar, Obudu, Lagos and Abuja routes. “We have our own state’s aircraft currently in Aero Contractors’ fleet in Lagos.

“The management of Dana Airline has agreed to do a detailed technical study of the aircraft before it commences commercial flight operations.” Ayade said the state was in a haste to get the airline started while Dana Airline would serve as its technical partner. Jackies Hartmani, managing director of Dana Group, applauded the joint partnership between his group and the state government. Hartmani said: “My company is very impressed with what Ayade is doing to transform the state in terms of investment and we are committed to ensuring the success of the partnership.”

Gov. Ayade To Legalize Hawking In Cross River

The Cross River State governor, Prof Ben Ayade, has sent a Hawkers’ Right Bill to the State House of Assembly in a bid to legalize hawking in the state.

Ayade, in an interaction with reporters in his office in Calabar said it is insensitive for a government to ban hawking without any alternative.

According to him, such amounted to the infringement of the right of the hawker.

His words, “I have just sent the Hawkers’ Right Bill to the House of Assembly, to provide a right for hawking. You cannot tell a man not to sell his goods because he does not have money to rent a store. And you tell the man not to steal? Just provide a regulatory framework; there should be reflective outfits, there should be a minimum age of 18 to hawk, you will have a time frame when you come out so that you don’t constitute nuisance. But to prohibit hawking is to tell a man I don’t want to give you food, and I don’t want you to steal. It is unfair. They have right to seek and determine how they chose to live within the ambits of the law.

“Cross River would the first state that would officially recognize hawking. The core mandate of a leader should be the social security of his people. If a man choses to hawk, if you are government that is sensitive and understands the real principle and objective of the law, then you will know that the hawker has a right. Governance is about how you protect the weakest in the society and that is why even with the way things are, Cross River is still doing tax exemption for the poor.”

The governor also said the expansion of his new government by engaging about 800 appointees was deliberate to ensure many people were empowered financially.

He announced that he was going to announce 300 more appointees next week.

Ayade said he would rather spend four years paying salaries to reduce hunger and quit as governor than spend money on projects and politicians.

The governor also said the Presidential System adopted from America was not the best in running the country.

3,000 Displaced As Busi Communities Clash In Cross River

OVER three thousand persons in Busi 4, one of the communities at the base of the famous Obudu Ranch Resort in Obanliku Local Government Area of Cross River State, have been displaced following a communal conflict, weekend. Sources in the area confirmed that five of the Busi communities, Busi 1, Busi 2, Busi 3, Busi 5 and Busi 6, allegedly joined forces to attack Busi 4, following a dispute over a parcel of farmland.

A visit by Vanguard to the conflict area, located over four hundred kilometres away from Calabar, showed that several houses in Busi 4 were set ablaze, farmlands and water sources destroyed, while the villagers have escaped to the divisional police headquarters and the council headquarters at Sankwala, for refuge. A community leader in Busi 4, Mr. Emmanuel Okobere, said: “Neighbouring communities of Busi 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 invaded us in a protracted dispute over a parcel of land, which has spanned several years. “We got court judgement in our favour five times, which they refused to accept.”

A youth leader in the community, Mr. Francis Obi, said the invaders attacked their community on Friday evening, taking them unawares. He said: “We were preparing to go to bed when all of a sudden, we started hearing gunshots, which caused panic in the community as our people started running and those who could not run fast enough were killed and our houses set ablaze.” Mr. John Inaku, Director General of Cross River State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, attributed the crisis to lack of patience and understanding among communities and condemned the act as barbaric and unnecessary. “These villages are always in a hurry to engage in the use of violence to settle land disputes, even when government is taking measures to settle the situation amicably,” he added

Source –

Ten MASSOB Members Arrested In Cross River

Two weeks after the commemoration of Biafra Anniversary Day by members of the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, ten members of the group were on Monday arrested in Cross River State.

Okon Archibong, the spokesman of MASSOB in the state said that the State Coordinator of the group, Samuel Okah along with nine others whose names he gave as Shedrack Chinelo, Chief Joseph Ekperebi, Michael Adah, James Ekeme, Adah Johnson were arrested in Ikom and Ogoja on Monday night and detained at the Ikom police station.

“We have not had any other activity outside the May 30th commemoration of Biafra Anniversary Day but last night Police from Ikom Division went to the home our State Coordinator, Samuel Okah and nine other persons and arrested them”.

Mr Archibong said the police did not give any specific reason why the members were arrested and that they were taken to the Ikom Police station and detained there without giving any reason for their arrest”

He said during the May 30th anniversary, the Cross River members of MASSOB only had a peaceful march in accordance to the directives of Ralph Uwazurike who ordered for none violence during the anniversary.

“I have gone to see them at the Ikom police station this morning and they are in the cell and I asked what offence they committed because during our anniversary march, we did not engage in any confrontation with anybody or group, not even with the police”.

Mr John Eluu, the Police Public Relations Officer for Cross River State Police Command says he was not to be briefed on the matter. “Call me later let me call the DPO Ikom to find out what is going on there”, he said.

Credit: Vanguard


Herdsmen In Cross River Appeal For Grazing Land

The Hausa-Fulani community in Cross River State has appealed to Governor Ben Ayade to allocate a portion of land to herdsmen in the state in order to enable them graze their cattle.

Mr Sani Baba-Gombe, Leader of the association in the state, made the appeal on Wednesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Calabar.

According to Baba-Gombe, the land if allocated will put an end to the crisis between herdsmen and farmers in the state.

He said that the land would help the herdsmen to stop encroaching into people’s farmlands in search of food for their animals.

He said that one of the main challenges facing herdsmen in the state was a grazing land, hence the need for the state government to come to their aid.

Baba-Gombe said, “We use to instruct our people to always ask for permission before entering into any land to graze.

“If I were to be a farmer, I won’t be pleased if any cattle come along to destroy my crops.

“If a grazing land is provided, the animals would not stray into farms and this would further prevent any future crisis between herdsmen and farmers in the state.

“All we are appealing for is a grazing land that is different from the farmlands; this would help us to stop encroaching into people’s farmlands in search of food for our cattle.

“We have also sensitised our people to always have a good understanding with their host communities.”

He further said that herdsmen in the state were tired of moving their cattle from one place to the other in search of food for them, hence the appeal for a reserved land for them.

Credit: Punch

Cross River: Gov. Ayade Suspends Commercial Drivers’ Levies

Cross River State governor, Prof Ben Ayade, Wednesday suspended all levies paid by commercial drivers in the state.
The governor gave the order when members of the Unified Commercial Drivers Association in the state protested alleged the impounding of their vehicles, multiple taxation and a levy hike in his office in Calabar Wednesday.
Ayade who sent the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Tina Agbor, to speak on his behalf said, “All your cars will be released. All the levies would be suspended, until the governor gets the papers and looks at them properly. When that is done, we would tell you what to pay.”
Chairman of the Association, Pastor Thomas Effiong Okon, who led the protesters, said, “We have always been supportive of the government. We have registered without complain. We gave government the support. We are not outsiders but part and parcel of the system. But it is an abnormality for people to sit on us because of their political appointments.

“On Monday we woke up and we saw our tickets had risen to N500 daily from N400. The N400 was even too high for us and we were even negotiating how to sort it out and the next thing it was just increased like that. As a peace loving person I met the State Security Adviser (SSA) on Monday, the issue was the same and they impounded our vehicles.


“We were with the SSA, Commissioner for Transport, the Department of Public Transportation (DOPT), and the Area Commander and sat down to sort out the issue because we don’t want to embarrass ourselves because this state is our state. They promised us yesterday that something was going to be done and it would go back to normal, but we discovered this was a falsehood.
“That is why we are here today to see the governor to tell us because we are over taxed. There is multiple taxation, multiple enforcement, so many government agencies are collecting money from taxes on daily basis.”



Credit : Today

Britain To Support Cross River On Arts

British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Paul Arkwright, on Sunday said his home government would partner Cross River University of Technology (CRUTECH) to develop creative art.


Arkwright, who stated this in Calabar after a facility visit to CRUTECH’s Craft Department, said thast the high embassy would get some British universities experienced in arts and crafts to partner the university.


He said, “I met two persons that are in CRUTECH that have won scholarship and have studied in the UK; so, that is already happening, when you talk about scholarship, they have benefited from that. But, we are ready to look at other partnerships which we can bring in British universities who got experience in the arts, who can partner CRUTECH and see what they can offer.

We have such range of opportunities here which we can explore. We will do our best; there are beautiful talents in CRUTECH. Let’s see what we can do to develop those talents.”


The high commissioner said that he was pleased with the willingness of its partners in the state in developing youths in entrepreneurship in partnership with the British Council.


“It is quite early but what we have seen is the willingness of our partners here. They include the governor, the private sector and the university through the British Council and a number of young artists and entrepreneurs. This is a very promising beginning,” he said.


He promised to return after a year to access those that had received training on event management and other entrepreneurship skills and see how they carried on with their own companies.

He said that the British High Commission would also look at the option of bringing investments from Britain to the state.


“Again, this is my first visit here so this is something that we need to consider. We are looking at British companies that might want to come and invest. I mentioned a couple to the governor. We have agreed that we will explore those opportunities.

Again there are also British companies that are already active here. We like more British companies to come here.

On infrastructure, we have relevant expertise and we want to apply those expertise in people here so they can partner the governor,’’ Arkwright said.




11 Houses Burnt, 15 Injured In Cross River Communal Conflict

At least 15 persons have reportedly sustained bullet wounds, while 11 residential buildings were burnt following an alleged invasion of Oyoba village in Wanikade by the people of a neighbouring community, Ihetazi in Wanihem, Ukele North in Yala local government area of Cross River State.

The invasion, which resulted from a boundary dispute, caused the displacement of over 130 persons including women and children.

A visit to the area revealed destruction of foodstuff including yams, rice, garri, economic trees and household property such as sewing machines, electronics, as well as motorcycles and bicycles.

Also destroyed were sources of water such as streams and wells, which were poisoned with chemicals, debris and rocks.

According to him, those who dared to challenge them were shot and wounded while the elderly, children and women were chased away from the village.

He said fifteen persons that sustained bullet wounds were being treated in various hospitals and clinics.

Chief Okoko described the attack as senseless and barbaric, stating that the invaders have lived for ages as brothers and have inter-married.

He said their action was capable of destroying the cordiality between the two communities.

A youth leader, Mr. Mathias Egede described the invasion as an act of war and that the security agents should bring the culprits to book.

He stated that the destruction of homes, yam barns and seed silos in an agrarian community depicted an intention to annihilate the community.

Chief Christopher Okoko of Oyoba, whose property was also destroyed by the invaders narrated that their attackers came on Saturday, January 23 at about three o’clock in the afternoon, when most of the villagers were in the community market about a kilometre away and carried out the wanton destruction.

Credit: Nation

China To Invest $10 Billion In Cross River

The Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, says arrangements have been concluded for Henan Province of China to commence construction of $10 Billion project in the state.

He gave the hint about the project agreement while addressing reporters at the Margaret Ekpo International Airport, Calabar on Thursday.

Governor Ayade said that the state would witness the arrival of 100 investors from Henan, who would set up various companies and industries in Cross River.

He also stated that the Henan Provincial Government would build a new China City in the state.

According to him, other team of investors would focus on various key projects, including huge agricultural investments, renewable energy, the garment factory, hydro power projects and the seaport.

Ayade further revealed that a logistic hub for the whole of Africa that would focus on the manufacturing sector would be established in the state.

Credit: ChannelsTV

Cross River Commissioner Nominees To Write Aptitude Test

All nominees for appointment as commissioners in Cross River State are expected to write mandatory integrity and aptitude tests before they can be appointed into office. According to a statement signed by the special assistant on media to Governor Ben Ayade, Mr. Christian Ita and released yesterday September 21st, the nominees would have to undergo integrity and aptitude tests before their names would be forwarded to the state House of Assembly for confirmation.

“His Excellency, Professor Ben Ayade wants all nominees for appointments as commissioners to undergo integrity test. Additionally, the nominees would write an aptitude test,” the statement said.

It added that the governor believes that the prospective appointees must be subjected to ethical measurement to ascertain whether or not they can function with utmost integrity. A selection committee to oversee the process has been constituted which is to be headed by renowned Abuja-based lawyer, Mr. Paul Erokoro.

State Introduces Aptitude Tests For Commissioners

Incoming commissioners and heads of some agencies in Cross River State will have to undergo an aptitude and integrity test, government announced on Monday.

In a statement, the Special Assistant to Governor Ben Ayade on Media, Christian Ita, said that candidates will have to pass the tests before their names can be submitted to the House of Assembly for confirmation.

“Every would-be appointee in the state must be subjected to ethical measurement to ascertain whether or not they can function in the new order, where accountability and transparency are the watchwords,” he stated.

Read More: dailytimes

Ayade To Exempt Low Income Earners From Paying Tax

Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has moved to exempt low income earners and those at the minimum wage range from paying taxes.

Mr Ayade said he was going to sponsor an executive bill to the state House of Assembly to this effect; adding that the move was necessitated by the desire to address the plight of low income earners.

“A bill to exempt low income earners and those in the minimum wage level from paying tax will be sent to the state assembly today (Wednesday),” he said.

“We are doing this to ameliorate their plight because they have other financial obligations to attend to, and their income is very meagre. When you task a market woman who sells onions and tomatoes to pay tax, you are definitely taking away her profit and reducing the standard of her meager business.”

Read More: dailytimes