Ita-Giwa Asks Nigerians To Remember IDPs Amid Festivities

Senator Florence Ita-Giwa has called on Nigerians to remember displaced person in camps across the nation amidst the Christmas and end of year festivities.

She specifically asked Nigerians to reflect on the pains and agony faced by the displaced people of Bakassi who according to her, are presently marking their fifth Christmas celebration as refugees packed up in classrooms.

Senator Ita-Giwa made the call when she visited the IDPs with bags of rice and a cow as part of efforts to alleviate their suffering and help them enjoy the yuletide.

She also used the opportunity to remind the Federal Government of the plights of the refugees who according to her, have been begging to be permanently resettled at Day Spring Island.

“There is this need for me to remind Nigerians that, as all of us are killing our cows and our turkeys and chicken at home and eating and celebrating in the comfort of our aired condition homes that there are people here sleeping on the floor of classrooms, there are children here without clothes and these are children that should be given a future.

“My appeal now in the name of God is that, can Nigeria come back and look at the plights of these people, am hearing about how billions of naira and dollars paid to the IDP camps in North and all that, this is Nigeria as well.

“Some of them should come here so that, we can assist this governor,” she stated.

Ita-Giwa also visited alongside two children whom she had picked among the other displaced ones to train personally and now according to her, they are doing well.

“These children, Williams and Henry, five years ago they were like them and these children are now making me proud. These children have no body, they were running around in this camp and the reason why I took them out was that, they didn’t have father and mother, so I had to take them. Their parents were killed in their presence and today they are doing well.

“I brought them here so that they know where they are coming from, they are all Bakassi children so that they don’t just end life in the comfort of their homes,” she stated.

Calabar Tragedy: Kanu To Organize All-Star Football Match For Victims

Nwankwo Kanu

Nigeria and Arsenal football legend Nwankwo Kanu, has indicated interest in organizing an All-Star Football Match to raise money for victims of the unfortunate Calabar viewing centre incident, that claimed lives last week Thursday in Nyaghassang Community and also develop the community.

The former Presidential Adviser and Bakassi leader, Senator Florence Ita-Giwa said, Yobo and other football stars have also indicated interest on coming to the state to work together and achieve a set goal for the community.

Ita-Giwa disclosed this to reporters in Calabar, the Cross River state capital after leading a candle light procession and prayer session on Thursday night, to commemorate one week of the incident, said the soccer stars would be working with other colleagues to organize the match.

Over a thousand members of the Nyaghassang Community wearing black T-shirts inscribed with “Rest In Peace Dear Football Enthusiasts” gathered to pay their last respect to the deceased.

Ita-Giwa, who led the procession exercise with other women on behalf of Concerned Mothers of the Efik Kingdom, had earlier promised to build a standard football-viewing centre for the community.

Ita-Giwa said, “I had reached out to someone like Kanu Nwankwo, who is so sympathetic. In fact, he is talking about an All-Stars Football Match to raise money to come and develop this community, and he is serious about it. Kanu has promised.

“I have spoken to Joseph Yobo, and he is ready to also collaborate with Kanu so that they can bring their colleagues.

“Such a profound incident to happen to a community like this is not something we should be quiet and just let pass.

“In civilized communities, when people die for such a cause, you come out to remember that day. You come out to commiserate with the people. You come out to create activities that would commemorate that day that this thing happened.

“We thought that for innocent people to come and die like that for something they were passionate about, which is football, we should come out and remember that day that it happened and we are overwhelmed by the turnout today.

“We have to start showing love to each other. We have to show compassion for each other.”

Calabar Tragedy: Efik Mothers Plan Viewing Centre To Honour Victims

Calabar Tragedy: Akwa Ibom Gov. Sympathises With Cross RiverA group of women under the aegis of Mothers of Efik Kingdom have promised to rebuild the viewing centre in Calabar where disaster struck on Thursday.

Many football fans were electrocuted when a high-tension wire fell on the viewing centre while they watching the Europa League clash between Manchester United and Anderlecht.

The tragedy led to tributes from all over the world with Premier League giants Manchester United sending condolences to families of the victims.

On Saturday, the group led by Senator Florence Ita-Giwa visited the viewing centre in Nyasang Community to commiserate with the families of the deceased.

The women who laid a wreath at the viewing centre in memory of those that died, demanded a piece of land from the community for the construction of a new viewing centre.

Ita-Giwa told members of the community that the intention of the mothers was to build a modern viewing centre in memory of those that dies.

She said pictures of the football fans who lost their lives in the incident would be placed on the walls of the centre.

“As mothers, we are going to do our best to alleviate the suffering of people that lost loved ones,” she said.

Ita-Giwa called on football icons to support the project as a legacy for lovers of the game in the State.

The group promised to visit the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital where some of the Victims are currently undergoing treatment.

The Secretary of Nyasang Clan, Iso Bassey Edem, described the visit and attention the community was getting as a welcome development.

Cross River Govt Introduces Food Festival At Calabar Carnival

Cross River Govt Introduces Food Festival At Calabar Carnival
Florence Ita-Giwa

The Cross River State Government has revealed that it would feature an African Food Festival at the 2016 Calabar Carnival.

The government also revealed that it is partnering a former Presidential Advicer, Florence Ita- Giwa, on the maiden edition of the new concept, expected to run between December 21 and 23 2016.

Speaking in Calabar the state capital, Ita-Giwa said, “the event, which will showcase the best cuisines from several regions in Africa, will feature the first African Culinary Boot Camp for knowledge transfer and skill acquisition among participants.

Explaining further, she said, “the project aims to showcase the abundance of indigenous delicacies as a formidable tool for ordinary tourism, as well as empower participants with the needed knowledge and funding for business start-ups.

“It will create awareness and interest in the ordinary potential in Cross River state to achieve measurable socio-economic benefits.

“It will also excite target audience by offering entertainment using a core attribute of the Calabar people, who are known and celebrated for the excellent cuisines. It is sponsored by Dangote Foods,” she added.

The state Governor, Ben Ayade, also explained that another major objective of the new concept is to “create awareness and interest in the culinary prowess of the state and the African continent.

Florence Ita-Giwa Talks About Ageing Gracefully

Ita-GiwaTalking about ageing gracefully, one personality that fits into that description is Senator Florence Ita-Giwa.

The politician, popularly known as Mama Bakassi needs no introduction. Her boisterous personality at social gatherings continues to make enduring statements.

Ita-Giwa stands shoulder-high as a true definition of a cosmopolitan African woman. She bravely sojourned into politics many years back when many women would not even dream about it.

She rose through the ranks and eventually represented her people at the Federal House of Representatives and also at the Senate.

While she grew as a politician, she never abandoned her maternal responsibilities.

She is a proud mother and grandmother who extends her motherly role beyond her immediate family. This feat bagged her the informal title – Mama Bakassi, a testament of her selfless service to the Bakassi people.

The elegant lady was married to the renowned late journalist and founding Editor of Newswatch Magazine, Dele Giwa.

Metrofile got up-close and personal with the style icon who is celebrating her 70th birthday.

Saraki, Ekweremadu’s Emergence Is A Plus For Buhari – Ita-Giwa

Ita-Giwa Senator Florence Ita-Giwa believes the emergence of Senator Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu as the President and Deputy in the Nigerian Senate is a plus for President Buhari’s government.

The former PDP lawmaker was the guest of Politics Today on Channels Television where she analysed the recent controversy in the National Assembly, especially the ruling APC’s disapproval of Saraki as the party’s candidate for the position.

Providing an explanation for her stance, she said that the decision of the President not to interfere in the affairs of the National Assembly is a plus for the President as it is a fulfilment of his promise to the nation.

She further explained, “The emergence of Saraki and Ekweremadu from PDP and from the Ibo part of the country would help both of them work together with him.

“The APC victory is good but its not a comfortable victory (because) a whole part of the country did not vote APC and if I were in his shoes I will try to make friends with that part of the country because there will be another election and if you’re running the country you need the country to be together.

“You make sure that those from South-East are well integrated into your government. There’s no other way to unite the country,” she said, adding that Nigerians would “now see that its an all inclusive government.”

Ita-Giwa advised the President to seize the opportunity to establish strong cordiality with the legislature.

Experience and Intellect

Senator Ita-Giwa also sees no reason why Saraki’s party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) should have tried to impose their will on the Senate.

She expects the APC to “respect the wish” of the Senate as the House is made up of mature politicians who would not easily accept decisions being made for them.

“Do you know what it takes to get to the Senate? That 109?

“You would have grown, successful, you’re knowledgable, you’re not a kid. So it will not be easy for somebody to sit outside and decide for you who you want to be your leader.”

She noted also that the decision of the senators to elect Saraki must have been informed by his qualification.

“Saraki has the experience, he has the intellect, the knowledge, the pedigree. His father was a wonderful senate leader. APC should be proud to have such a man become their Senate President.”

She said further, “The danger we have in this country is picking who ‘the leaders’ want. You should pick what is good for the country, not what the party wants because at this time we are talking about Nigeria, your interest should be Nigeria and those in that chamber represent the interest of Nigeria.”

APC’s Grouse

Nigeria’s ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had expressed displeasure with the outcome of the National Assembly leadership election, calling it ‘Treachery’.

Contrary to the party’s choice of candidates in a mock election, Mr Bukola Saraki emerged the Senate President while Mr Yakubu Dogara clinched the position of the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Although both persons are members of the APC, the party had chosen Senator Ahmed Lawan for the Senate President’s position and Honourable  Femi Gbajabiamila as its candidate for the position of the Speaker.

Asides both men losing out, the major twist was the emergence of Senator Ike Ekweremadu from the minority Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the Deputy Senate President.

Senators from the All Progressives Congress (APC) threatened to take all necessary political and legal means to challenge the emergence of Senator Bukola Saraki as Senate President.

The Senators, under the platform of the ‘Unity Forum’, said that the process, which saw Senator Saraki emerge along with an opposition Senator as Deputy, was unconstitutional and could not confer legitimacy to the Senate President.

The ruling party, APC, also said the outcome of the elections of the two chambers was “totally unacceptable” referring to it as “the highest level of indiscipline and treachery“.

The party, however, later said that it had decided to live with the reality of Saraki being the Senate President, saying the party would come out from its challenges stronger.

Ita-Giwa Urges Women To Get PVC For Social Relevance

ita giwaA one time presidential aide and delegate at the just concluded National Conference, Senator Florence Ita-Giwa, has called on women yet to get their PVCs to do so before the deadline date, to afford them the power to exercise their franchise.

Speaking to journalists in Calabar, the Cross River State Capital, Senator Ita-Giwa maintained that, the PVC remains the only tool women can use to remain relevant in the affairs of the country.

She also commended President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration for bringing relevance and international recognition to Nigerian women; a feat, she said had never been achieved.

She sued for more support for the President and also urged women to turn out en-masse to welcome the president and his campaign team in Calabar on Friday.

C/River Unveils 2013 Calabar Festival Theme

The Cross River State government has unveiled the theme for the 2013 Calabar Festival at the main bowl of the Cultural Centre Complex, Calabar.

The annual carnival is regarded as the second biggest brand in Africa after Nollywood with over 50 million spectators globally.

To this end, the government said “plans are underway to making this year’s event the best ever experienced since its twelve years of existence in the state”.

The state governor, Liyel Imoke gave the assurance at the unveiling, which was themed “Ain’t No Stopping Us”.

The Calabar Carnival has grown to be a brand identified internationally, copied locally and even exported to other states and countries following its rich content.

Unveiling the theme which is expected to be interpreted by five participating bands, The Seagull, Master Blasta, Freedom Band, Passion4 and Bayside, Imoke spurred the bands members to reflect on the states culture, history , creativity and above all measures geared towards promoting the tourism industry in their quest for the interpretation of the theme.

Chairman of the Carnival Commission, Gab Onah as well as the only female band leader senator, Florence Ita-Giwa assured of new innovations at this year’s event, not forgetting its economic benefits to the state.

As the world await this epoch making event adjudged the biggest street party in Africa and scheduled for the 26th and 27th of December Annually, it is expected that this year’s live audience will outgrow last years.

Awards were also given to bands who emerged victorious at last year’s carnival.


Attack By Cameroonian Gendarmes Displace 1000 Bakassi Indigenes

Agony, distress, misery and sorrow;  words that describe the plight of residents of Bakassi, as they have been once again displaced from their ancestral home following confrontation between them and Cameroonian gendarmes that left about eleven residents dead.

About a thousand returnees, recently displaced in the ceded territory say the confrontation with the Cameroonian security operatives has led to the destruction of their property and loss of some of their own people.

This report focuses on the plight of Bakassi residents, who are asking to be rescued from constant harassment.

Third term was initiated by National Assembly not me – Obasanjo

Former president Olusegun Obasanjo has denied the allegation that he ever solicited for a third term as the president of Nigeria, saying it was the national assembly that included it amongst the other clauses of the constitution, that was to be amended.

While commenting on the challenges of deepening democratic institutions in Africa; the former president for the first time, in an exclusive interview with Channels Television stated firmly that “I never toyed with the idea of a third term.”

The former president insisted that he has always denied the allegations and talks around the third term issue which he allegedly sought at the end of his two-term tenure of eight years in 2007.

He claimed the bill for the third term was initiated by members of the national assembly along with the constitution amendment.

“Third term was one out of over a hundred clauses that they (the National Assembly) included in that amendment and they initiated it.”

“It was not an executive bill, so you are absolutely wrong” he affirmed to Channels reporter, adding that “if I want a third term that bill would have come from me.”

“My liaison officer to the national assembly, Florence Ita-Giwa told the whole world that there was no day I ever called her and say go and work for third term” he added.

He also took a swipe at his Vice-president, Atiku Abubakar, saying “even Atiku who said some people told him there was a third term agenda, hasn’t mentioned the names of the people that told him such.”

“Even Ibrahim Mantu, who was the chairman of the constitution amendment committee, will never tell you I told him I want a third term.”

The former president who now owns a church in Abeokuta further explained that he knew what he would have done to achieve the third term, if he wanted it.

“I am not a fool, if I want a third term, I know how to go about it and there is nothing I want that God hasn’t given me. If I had wanted a third term, I would have gone about it, the way I should have gone about it and I would have gotten it.”

The retired general spoke with our correspondent Olugbenga Ashiru in an interview session in his hilltop home in Abeokuta South-west Nigeria.

For more on the interview watch our programme, Network Africa on Friday 2.30pm, with a repeat broadcast on Saturday 6.30pm on Channels TV.

You can also log on for the live streaming on or on your mobile phones

I did not vote for Imoke – Senator Ita-Giwa

The political leader of the Bakassi people of Cross River state and the Chairman of the Bakassi resettlement committee, Senator Florence Ita-Giwa said on Tuesday that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) worked very hard and deserved to win the last weekend governorship election of Cross River state.

“The victory of PDP is not questionable,” she said.

In this interview with the Sunrise Daily team, she bares her mind on the issues surrounding the ceding of her ancestral home – Bakassi peninsula – to Cameroun by the Nigerian government.

Cross River Governorship Election:Bakassi dissenfranchised!

The Cross River State Governorship Election has come and gone as Governor Liyel Imoke of the Peoples’ Democratic Party was declared winner of the election by the Returning Officer;Professor James Epoke scoring 455,554 votes and the Resident Electoral Commissioner of the State;Mr.Mike Igini commented on the whole process.

However,it was not all sweet as the indigenes of the Bakassi complained bitterly about their exclusion as they were dissenfranchised which led to a protest but the State Chairman of the PDP; Mr. Ntufan Okpo Okon debunked the claims.

The protest which was led by the former Presidential Adviser on NASS Affairs; Mrs. Forence Ita-Giwa to the Marina Beach in Cross River State where she stated that she does not know why the Bakassi people were dissenfranchised.

Florence Ita-Giwa was on the programme as our presenter;Charles Erukaa had a phone-in interview with her.