General news

Super Eagles lacks ball winners in midfield, says Cross River SWAN Chairman



Albert Andinam, Chairman, Cross River Chapter, Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), on Monday said the Super Eagles needed a ball winner in the midfield to make the team stronger.

Andiman, who spoke against the backdrop of the Super Eagles 1-1 draw with the Selecaos of Brazil on Sunday in Singapore, told the Nigeria News Agency in Calabar that the team played well.

He added that the team still needed someone who could keep control of the ball, and to also provide additional support for the defense and attack to make the team more organised.

The SWAN chairman, who described the friendly match as a high profile encounter, told NAN that Coach Gernot Rohr had also used the match to impart his style on the new boys in the team.

According to him, credit must be given to Rohr for combing all the nooks and cranny of the globe to get talented and previously unknown Nigerian players willing to don the Green, White and Green jersey of Nigeria.

“The midfield is the engine room of any team, it is like the nucleus of a cell, it coordinates the defence and the attack.

“The Super Eagles still need someone who can get hold of the ball, look up and know what to do with it viz-a-viz the position of his attackers and equally absorb counter attacks from the opponents.

“Nigeria paraded a very talented and determined team and what we saw in the match against Brazil proved that our players can rise to the occasion.

“Even though I think our attack was not persistent enough because we were repelled at some point, I am quite impressed with the team and players like Joe Aribo and Victor Osihmen,’’ he said. (NAN)


(Edited by Emmanuel Okara/Peter Ejiofor)


NGO warns against monoculture plantation, illegal logging in C/River



An environmental Non Governmental Organisation, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria, has warned multinational companies to desist from the practice of monoculture in other to save the biodiversity.

Dr Godwin Ojo, Executive Director of the organisation, gave the warning on Monday in Akampka local government area of the state during an event held to mark the 2020 International “no to monoculture” day.

Ojo explained that Sept. 21st was observed globally every year to draw attention to the impacts of monoculture plantations on the environment, conservation and livelihoods concerns of rural communities.

He, who was represented by Dr Matthew Olory, the volunteer coordinator of Community Forest Watch, said that “monoculture tree plantation is bad because of the high level chemical inputs such as herbicides and pesticides which put the world food system at great risk”.

He added that monoculture was also displacing small scale local farmers growing crops such as yam, cassava and plantain.

“The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria and its allies stand in solidarity with social movements, networks and communities to raise our voices of resistance against monoculture expansion that is increasing on a daily basis.

“No matter what, trees of similar species cannot make a forest. Therefore, the rich biodiversity associated with natural forests is lost in the case of monoculture such as oil palm plantations.

“The expansion is also endangering biodiversity such as butterflies and bees.

“Also, the pandrillus monkeys and chimpanzees in Cross River and the slaters guenon and elephants in Okomu forest reserve in Edo have come under severe threat due to palm oil plantations.

“We also raise our voices of resistance against the increasing illegal logging of trees.

“The appropriation of community lands by government to make way for monoculture agro commodities that serves the interest of big agribusiness multinational companies and to the detriment of the impacted communities,” he said.

He urged government at all levels and multinational companies to put “people first” rather than profit.

Speaking, a Director from the state Forestry Commission, Dr Ekpeyong Ita, said the issue of monoculture has been a major threat of biodiversity in the state.

Ita stressed that if monoculture is allowed to go on, it would destroy the biodiversity and make the state lose its virgin forests.

He called for a concerted effort from all individuals and stakeholders in protecting the forests.

The Controller of National Park in Cross River, Mrs Caroline Olory, said that the state has the largest of the remaining rainforest in Nigeria.

Olory, who maintained that forest preservation should be collective, called for the sustainability in the fight against deforestation in the state.

Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Ismail Abdulaziz
Source: NAN
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12 illegal tax collectors arrested in Calabar



The Cross River Anti Tax Enforcement Team, on Monday began its operation in Calabar with the arrest of 12 suspected illegal tax collectors.

Mr Ani Essien, a Special Adviser on Security to the Governor who led the team, said the enforcement became necessary to ensure total compliance with government directive on tax exemption in the state.

It will be recalled that Gov. Ben Ayede-led administration recently issued an order tax exemption for the poor in the state.

“On the order of the governor, we decided to comb the streets of Calabar metropolis to effect arrest of those engaging in illegal sales of tickets, collectionn of tolls and taxes from the poor citizens.

“The governor had exempted a category of citizens from paying tax, but the government is disappointed that some people are still collecting taxes and illegal tolls from low income earners.

“So our department, the Special Services, in collaboration with Anti Tax Agency, went to the street to clean it up of illegal taxation.

“It is going to be a continual exercise, knowing that these illegal operators come out in the morning, afternoon and evening.

“So far, we have arrested about 12 of them and they will be arraigned before a special court for prosecution.

“Already, there is a law against it which makes provision for the prosecution of the suspect. All we need to do is to trigger it and the sitting of the special court will commence soon,” he said.

Also, speaking, Bishop Emmah Isong, the Chairman of the agency, said the enforcement team was set up to arrest those still flaunting governemnt’s order on illegal tolls.

“Those arrested will not escape the arm of the law and are going to be immediately prosecuted at the special court,” he said.

Isong enjoined the people to go about their lawful businesses and report to the agency, anybody found selling tickets, collecting taxes from commercial motorcyclists and taxi drivers or other low income earners.

The enforcement team also included representatives of the Police, other security operatives and the National Union of Road Transport Workers, among others.

Edited By: Celine-Damilola Oyewole/Ejike Obeta
Source: NAN
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NGO, Actionaid train 40 women on skills acquisition in Cross River



The Child Care and Adult Protection Initiative (CCAPI), an NGO, in partnership with Actionaid Nigeria on Monday graduated 40 women after completing a two-month skills acquisition training.

Speaking at the event in Calabar, the Executive Director of CCAPI, Miss Evelyn Oti said the training was part of her organisation’s effort at making women self-reliant and economically independent.

CCAPI is worried about the increasing cases of gender based violence in the society which is traced to over dependence of women on their spouses.

“Our findings have revealed that most violence against women at home were due to poor economic status of the women, hence the need to give them skills to enable them to be self-reliant.

“We are no longer being emotional about the reports of cases of gender based violence because we discovered that most of the times, the matter centres around responsibilities at home, so we decided to act fast, ” she said.

Oti said alongside those who graduated, the organisation had also trained many others in various skills in partnership with Actionaid and USAID.

“Our aim is to use women empowerment as tool to fighting gender based violence in Cross River, ” she said.

She urged those who just graduated from the centre to make full use of the opportunity to liberate themselves from poverty and over-dependence.

Oti assured them that CCAPI would continue to monitor their developments with the view to assisting them in improving their skills.

She said that some of the women represented various women cooperative groups, while others came as interested individuals, adding that the training was at no cost.

“The training is free; it is part of our contribution to steming the tide of gender based violence in the state,” she said.

Oti thanked the state government through the state’s Ministry of Women Affairs for providing the enabling environment for the training and other activities of the organisation.

Also, the Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs Rita Agbo commended the organisation and its partners for their efforts at reducing gender based violence through women empowerment.

“Gone were the days when women were confined to the kitchen, it is time the women have to stand up and be counted.

“I believe strongly that the women gender has to be empowered to compete favourably with the men.

“We have discovered that many gender based violence is as a result of lack of financial capacity by the women to support the men at home.

” Therefore, I want to specially thank CCAPI, Actionaid and other partners for taking this initiative.

“As a ministry, we will always assist the graduates whenever the need arises, ” she said.

Dr Emmanuel Elui, the Trade Advisor, Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Calabar urged the them to take advantage of the training to market themselves both locally and internationally.

He said that the beneficiaries stood the chance of becoming foreign exchange earners if they worked harder in their chosen trades.

“This is an opportunity for you to become exporters of your trade if you are serious,” he said.

Elui later presented export certificates to the different cooperative groups as well as the individual graduate.

One of them, Mrs Ani Essien thanked CCAPI and partners for the training and promised that they would not let them down.

Edited By: Folasade Adeniran/Grace Yussuf
Source: NAN
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General news

Gov. Ayade congratulates Obaseki on re-election  



Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River has congratulated his Edo counterpart, Gov. Godwin Obaseki, on his re-election.


Obaseki, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP)  polled 307, 955 votes to defeat his closest rival, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress (APC)  who scored 223,619 votes.


Ayade described Obaseki’s victory at the polls as well deserved considering his achievements in the past four years.

This is contained in a statement released by Ayade’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Christian Ita, to journalists on Sunday in Calabar.


Ayade’ said, “I extend my warm felicitations to you on your well deserved victory in the just concluded Edo gubernatorial election.

“For those of us who have keenly followed your giant strides in Edo, your victory did not come as a surprise.


“Your re-election, therefore, represents a bold and emphatic testimony to the good works you had done in the past four years.”


He, however, urged  Obaseki to see his victory as a clarion call to do more for Edo people who had reposed their confidence in him in the last four years.


The governor who expressed his delight that Obaseki’s re-election had now brought  the entire South South zone under the PDP family, urged him to be magnanimous in victory.


He also commended President Muhammadu Buhari, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agencies for their neutrality in the election.


“The election has been fought and won and it is refreshing to note that our great party, the PDP, has maintained its total control of our geo-political zone, the South south.


“Having won a hard-fought election, I encourage you to be magnanimous in victory by extending an olive branch to your opponents on the other side,” he added.



Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Peter Dada
Source: NAN
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