Cross River Govt Inspects Evacuation Of Drainages

Workers work on some drainage in Calabar, the Cross River State ahead of a heavy downpour to prevent flooding in the state.

 

In order to control the menace of erosion, the Cross-River State Government has inspected the evacuation of drainages.

The management of Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWCAP) embarked on an intensive inspection of drainage sites undergoing evacuation in Calabar the state capital as the rainy season begins.

NEWMAP Coordinator in the state, Fidelis Anukwa led the team alongside the Commissioner for International Dr Inyang Asibong.

Anukwa said the project which is sponsored by World Bank is part of preventive measures to forestall the creation of gullies during the season of heavy downpour and also to maintain a healthy environment for residents in the state.

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“The drains were constructed but they are silted. So once they are silted, they will not serve the purpose, that is why we want to return them to where they were so that they can serve the purpose for which they were constructed.

“The heavy rains will soon start. The essence of this is to remove flooding, to ensure that the drains are open and free. If you do not do this now, the whole city will be flooded.

“The environment is life. If you don’t have a healthy environment, you don’t have a healthy life. My advice to the members of the public is to ensure that their immediate environment is healthy,” he said.

Speaking further, Anukwa called on Calabar residents and people of the state to regularly clear their environment, noting that cleanliness is close to godliness.

COVID-19: Cross River Dismisses Bauchi Governor’s Claim, Insists State Is Virus-Free

The Commissioner for Health, Betta Edu, debunks claim by the Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed on the COVID-19 cases in the state.

 

The Cross River State Government has debunked claims from the Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed on the COVID-19 situation in the state.

Speaking to Channels Television on Friday, the Commissioner for Health Dr. Betta Edu, insisted that Cross River State is free from the coronavirus disease.

Edu noted that contrary to Governor Mohammed’s claim that 15 of the 69 confirmed cases in Bauchi were returnees from Cross River, it is impossible for the people to travel out of the state following the closure of its borders.

“I will only be wondering what 15 people will pack themselves from Calabar and travel to Bauchi for, a convention or what exactly will they be going to Bauchi for?

“However, we want to say that we understand the pressure on him. Of course, we understand what he is going through. It is not easy to have the highest number of confirmed cases in the whole northeast of Nigeria.

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“It is not easy to be able to cope with a population that is probably not following preventive measures that have been laid out just as he (Governor Mohammed) said in his interview.

“We understand the pressure; we understand where he is coming from. We want to say that Cross River at this point will stand by him,” she said.

The Commissioner explained that Governor Ben Ayade’s administration will not want to join issues with anyone, stressing that Cross River is determined to supplying free face masks to Bauchi to curbing the virus.

Edu’s reaction comes two days after the Bauchi Governor cast aspersions on Cross River state’s COVID-19-free status.

Governor Mohammed said 15 COVID-19 cases in Bauchi were people travelling from Calabar.

Fifteen COVID-19 Cases In Bauchi Came From Infection-Free Calabar – Gov. Mohammed

Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed addressed the press on June 10, 2020
Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed addressed the press on June 10, 2020


Bauchi state Governor, Bala Mohammed, has cast aspersions on Cross River state’s COVID-19-free status.

In a press briefing on Wednesday, Mr. Mohammed said 15 COVID-19 cases in Bauchi were people travelling from Calabar, Cross River’s capital city.

He also threatened to lock down Bauchi city if the number of infections continues to rise.

READ ALSO: Bauchi Records 69 New COVID-19 Cases

According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Cross River state is the only region in the country without any confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus.

“I don’t want to join issues with anybody,” Mohammed said. “But I want to tell Nigerians that they are going to be accountable to God.

“There is no need pretending that this thing is not there. We as leaders, we must come out and face the challenges.

“We in Bauchi, we are not pretending.”

Bauchi reported a daily record high of 69 COVID-19 cases on Tuesday.

The Governor blamed the rising cases of infections on people’s lax attitude towards health guidelines such as handwashing, use of sanitisers and face masks.

“Some of our places of worship, especially the mosques, they are the epicentre of infections, and nobody is doing anything,” he said.

“I am pleading with the people of Bauchi, if this thing continues to happen – we are bordered by seven states, some of them are worse – in order to secure the common people of Bauchi, I might have to lock up Bauchi.”

Cross River Youths Protest Alleged Killing Of Colleague

 

Cross River youths have protested the alleged killing of their colleague, Archibong Effiong-Archibong in Bakassi Local Government Area of the state.

The youths who stormed Calabar, the state capital on Friday accused a personnel of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

Speaking to Channels Television, an eye witness said the incident happened at Ekprikang community in Bakassi while some people were trying to struggle over a gallon of fuel.

According to him, the NSCDC officials demanded money from the youths in other to allow them to operate their fuel business in the area but the youths refused.

“The NSCDC personnel demanded money from us to allow us operate on our fuel business and we said we don’t have.

“When we said we don’t have money to give them, they now opened fire on us and in the process, one of our colleague who is also an electrician was shot dead,” he said.

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One of the protesters and a Youth Leader of Bakassi, Mr Eyo Asuquo-Etim, said they want the state and Federal Government to take care of the family of the deceased who left behind four children.

Reacting to the allegation, the State Commandant of NSCDC, Mr Danjuma Elisha, said the youths were trying to smuggle fuel to Cameroon through the Bakassi border post when the incident happened.

Elisha noted that he had to dispatch a team of NSCDC personnel to stop them in order not enter Cameroon and in the process be infected with COVID-19.

“We had a tip off that they the youths were taking fuel to Cameroon and we had to move in to stop them.

“We parked the gallons of fuel into our vehicle and the youths were resisting because they said we have come to distract their source of income.

“In the process, they starting calling out their boys in their numbers to come out. I’m not sure if the person that was reported dead was shot by our men because all the personnel that were there said they never shot a single bullet,” he said.

The NSCDC boss also accused the youths of burning down the operational vehicle of the corps as well as the office command in Bakassi.

He however noted that investigation has commenced into the incident, stressing that the riffles and ammunition of his men were intact upon check.

COVID-19: Cameroonian Refugees In Cross River Receive Relief Items

A UNHCR official inspects a scene.
A UNHCR official inspects a scene.

 

Cameroonian refugees seeking asylum in Cross River State on Tuesday received relief items aimed at cushioning the harsh economic effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The items, which were said to worth millions of naira, were distributed by the United Nations High Commissioner For Refugees (UNHCR) in collaboration with the National Commissioner for Refugees, Migrants, And Internally displaced persons.

The refugee settlement located at Adagom and Ukende/Akpakpanga in Ogoja Local Government Area of Cross River State serves as a home for thousands of refugees.

According to the UNHCR, Cross River State plays host to over 70 thousand refugees and the agency intends to strengthen COVID-19 awareness within the camp.

The refugees were also presented with cleaning agents and other products to encourage proper hygiene and prevent COVID-19 spread in the camp.

Ayade Weeps Over Tax Burden On Low-Income Earners, Grants Tax Exemption

 

Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, burst into tears on Thursday as he decried the tax burden on low-income earners in the state.

“This is not Ben Ayade, this is not my nature,” the Governor said. “I am not wired for this insensitivity to a weaker person. I never knew that five years into office as Governor, I will still find someone living in a thatched house in Cross River.”

The Governor went on to inaugurate an anti-tax agency designed to abolish payment of taxes by low-income earners.

The move is part of the state’s COVID-19 palliative measures.

Ayade added that the tax exemption is aimed at encouraging small and medium scale businesses, peasant farmers, commercial transport operators, food vendors, hotels with less than 50 rooms, and all those struggling to earn a living in order to expand and create a livelihood for their families.

Speaking at the Government House in Calabar on Thursday, Ayade frowned at the activities of illegal tax consultants who extort money from the poor and vulnerable, a practice he says discourages the establishment and expansion of infant industries.

Governor Ayade said he is not interested in generating income from all sources as he further charged the members of the newly inaugurated Agency, who are all religious leaders, to take their assignment seriously by vindicating the poor and Vulnerable from paying tax.

The Chairman of the Agency, Bishop Emma Isong assured the public that the Agency will spread its tentacles across the 18 Local Governments of the state with all levels of fairness and equity in order to commercialize the state and encourage businesses.

Churches, Mosques To Resume Activities In Cross River, Says Ayade

Easter: Ayade Calls For Peace, Prayers For Leaders
A file photo of Cross River State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade.

 

 

The Cross River State government has lifted the ban on public worship earlier imposed as part of the measures against coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state.

Governor Ben Ayade gave the directive on Wednesday in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Christian Ita.

According to him, the directive will take effect from Sunday, May 24, but the use of face masks remains compulsory for all worshippers.

The governor ordered that worships in Churches and Mosques should be permitted but limited to their sitting capacities.

He also asked the authorities in various places of worship to provide buckets for worshippers to wash their hands or sanitisers in the absence of water.

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Governor Ayade thanked the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), the Christians of various denominations, as well as the Muslim community in Cross River for their support and cooperation during the period of the ban.

He noted that the understanding and cooperation of religious leaders contributed immensely in keeping the state free of COVID-19 so far.

According to the governor, the decision to lift the ban on public worship follows the consideration of the ‘spiritual economy’ and in response to appeals by religious leaders in the state.

Cross River Govt Approves $2m For Procurement Of Items From China

 

The Cross River State executive council has approved the sum of two million dollars, for the direct procurement and airlifting of items from china for the production of personal protection equipment by the garment factory.

The executive council meeting was presided over by the Governor, Professor Ben Ayade at the exco chambers Governor’s s office in Calabar.

Briefing newsmen at the end of the meeting the commissioner for information and orientation, Comrade Asu Okang, said after deliberations on memo presented, the council considered the move critical for the continuous protection of the citizens against the ravaging coronavirus.

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The approval is for the procurement of materials for the production of face mask for distribution to children free of charge to pupils and students in both primary and secondary schools of the state when schools finally reopen.

The garment factory has also promised to make available nose masks for representatives of media houses across the country free of charge.

COVID-19: Lagos, Kano Order Face Masks From Cross River

Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade speaks inspecting the production of masks at the state’s Garment Factory in Calabar.

 

Cross River State Government has received purchasing orders from the governments of Lagos and Kano States to supply nose masks.

Governor Ben Ayade disclosed this on Monday while inspecting the production of masks at the state’s Garment Factory in Calabar.

Lagos requested for one million pieces while Kano demanded another 100,000 pieces to help contain the spread of the coronavirus.

The governor noted that the garment factory is well-positioned to supply cloth mask of global standard to all states in the country even as he seeks nationwide patronage.

Ayade who further stated that the use of facemask will help in curbing the spread of the COVID-19, also maintained that his different choices of cloth mask is not just for fashion and aesthetics but to raise awareness on the use of nose mask even among the elites.

The Governor also made a pledge donation of 50,000 masks to all neighbouring states comprising of Akwa Ibom, Benue, Ebonyi as well as supporting Lagos with 100,000 pieces and Kano with 50,000 pieces as a reward for their purchase and patronage.

He, however, asked the Federal Government to support the state in order to export masks to other African countries as a measure to check COVID-19 spread.

Cross River Seeks FG Support To Fight COVID-19

 

The Cross River State Government has asked the Federal Government for support to curtail the spread of coronavirus disease in the state.

Speaking at a press briefing in Calabar, the state Capital, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Betta Edu said that the state is in a critical position at this point in time.

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Dr. Edu stressed on the fact that the state is in desperate need of a testing center so as to ensure maximum utilization of increased testing capacity.

 

COVID-19: Cross River Govt Distributes Food To The Vulnerable

Ayade Hopeful Nigeria Will Overcome Challenges
File photo

 

 The Cross River State Govt has purchased food items to be distributed to the vulnerable in the state, following Governor Ben Ayade’s executive order on COVID-19.

The food items ranging from yam, garri, tomatoes, potatoes, oil, etc are to be distributed in the coming days to indigent families across the 18 Local Government Areas using a register that contains details of those that fall into the category.

Also donated to the food bank is a truckload of food items by groups and organizations to stock the food bank with food for onward distribution in the coming days.

Speaking to Channels Television, First Lady of the state, Dr. Linda Ayade, said the gesture is to help the people maintain a good livelihood considering the total lockdown in the state.

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“To keep a total lockdown just like I said we have to bring some palliative measures to help the people to still maintain a good livelihood because you know they are several determinants of health.

“It’s not just a disease, hunger is one of those so we want to beat all of those determinants as much as possible,” she said.

While noting that the Commissioner for Humanity and Social Welfare, Blessing Egbara, is in charge of the foodstuffs, Ayade said the state government will ensure that the items reach residents of the state that are in extreme need of food.

Ayade also stressed the importance of wearing a nose mask, saying that since one doesn’t know the status of the next neighbour, the people should always protect themselves from COVID-19 by wearing masks.

“If you have to leave your house, you have to wear your mask because you don’t know who you are coming in contact with. You don’t know the status of that person; the person doesn’t know your status.

“You are wearing a mask and am wearing one at least we feel a bit save that no matter what we are not going to catch anything from each other,” she added.

Cross River Senator, Rose Oko Dies At 63

A file photo of the lawmaker representing Cross River North Senatorial District, Senator Rose Oko. Photo: [email protected]__oko

 

 

The lawmaker representing Cross River North Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator Rose Oko, is dead.

Late Senator Oko died on Monday night at a medical facility in the United Kingdom, at the age of 63.

Until her death, the lawmaker was the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade and Investment.

She was also a former member of the House of Representatives.