Calabar Tragedy: Ita-Giwa Leads Procession In Honour Of Victims

Women under the aegis of Mothers of Efik Kingdom have held a candlelight procession for the football fans who were electrocuted at a viewing centre in Calabar last week.

The procession was led by a former Special Adviser to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, Senator Florence Ita-Giwa.

This came a week after up to 30 football fans were electrocuted at a viewing centre in Nyaghassang community in Calabar, while they were watching the Europa League clash between Manchester United and Anderlecht.

The women and many youths, dressed in black, started the candlelight procession from the Access School Junction road in the town to the scene of the tragedy.

Ita-Giwa said the procession was aimed at commemorating their death and drawing attention to the needs of the community.

She said, “For such a profound painful thing to happen to a community like this, is not something that we should be quiet about. We felt that, for innocent people to come and die like that for their passion for football, we should come out and remember the day that it happened.”

Ita-Giwa called on stakeholders and football administrators to make their presence felt in the community.

“The Nigeria Football Federation must come to the aid of these people. I propose that they should come and build a stadium and make this place a football community in future. We will not stop talking on your behalf, that the world must give attention to this community”.

The Secretary of Nyaghassang Clan, Iso Baasey Edem, also participated in the procession.

The group had earlier visited some victims of the incident who were receiving medical attention at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital.

Calabar Carnival: Ita-Giwa Commends Efforts Of Cross River Govt.

ita-giwa1The only female Carnival Band Leader in West Africa, Ita Giwa, popularly referred to as, Mama Bakassi, has commended the Cross River State Government for efforts put into the just concluded Calabar Carnival.

She also stated that the emergence of her band, ‘Seagull’, as winner of the event, came as a result of the group’s hardwork.

“Such a relief, I feel good, I feel happy, I thank God, a lot of efforts, a lot of emotions, a lot of determination, some bit of desperation to it, but we won.”

She then congratulated all other participating bands for their time, talents and display of creativity.

Senator Florence Ita-Giwa gave the commendation at a street party organized by the state government for all the revellers who participated at the just concluded carnival, to unwind and have fun following tedious months of preparation before the Carnival.

“I am paying back to the society that made Ita-Giwa. By being here, I inspire these people a lot.

“I am working and i’m happy that my mind is engaged at this age which I see as a privilege from God and an opportunity given to me to engage my mind positively.”

Describing the process of the event, she said: “I think the interpretation was different, we took more time to look at details and then, we also tried to make it very real. We had what looks like almost a forest with baboons and monkeys in a normal forest environment without human being interference”.

The Band leader was further quoted to have said: “We tried to make it as real as possible and then, the revellers were better behaved, very organized and they understood their parts.

“We got revellers to understand the story from the very stage of putting the scripts together, so when you’re dancing, you know what you’re dancing to”.

Ita-Giwa then called on all Cross-Riverians to join hands and support Governor, Ben Ayade, in achieving all his lofty ideas for the state.

C/River LG Polls: Observer Caught Police, CROISEC, PDP Members Thumb Printing

A public affairs analyst, Agba Jalingo, who monitored the local government elections in Cross River state on Friday said that there was no election in the state as the electoral process was ‘a PDP affair” adding that police officers, PDP officials and members of the Cross River Independent State Electoral Commission (CROISEC) were caught thumb printing on ballot papers.

Controversies have trailed the recently concluded the local government elections in Cross River state and Mr Jalingo further fueled the controversy with statements he made while speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

“Even though it was a one party election, PDP officials, the police including CROISEC officials – we caught them on video, thumb printing”

“They were thumb printing by themselves”.

Mr Jalingo, who said election did not hold in some parts of certain local governments, averred that people were unable to vote, due to violence and yet results were announced.

“There were few places in the mainland where people could not vote” he said.

At the Bakassi refugee camp, “there was uproar in the morning. The camp commander said they got some information that some politicians were going to come hire some people to go and do violence.

Ita Giwa came in the morning and move over a thousand of them to Day Spring Island where some of them actually voted.” Those who could not meet the voyage could not vote.

Mr Jalingo who was an observer at the elections said “it was a one party election”.

There are 18 local governments in cross river state and only the PDP featured candidates in the 18 local government chairmanship positions.

He said that State Independent Electoral Commissioner “is telling a lie”

The commissioner had said that almost all the other political parties pulled out of the race leading to PDP being the only party standing.

Mr. Jalingo faulted this assertion, adding that “if anybody said the parties pulled out, the person is telling a lie”.

According to him, there are 196 political wards in the state and “the PDP had all of them but seven”.

He disclosed that defunct parties such as ACN and PPA also had their logos on the ballot paper.

“APC, the new party that wanted to contest the election was disenfranchised by CROSIEC”. He continued by saying that the electoral body had called a press conference to say that APC does not qualify to contest because “the cross river local government elections electoral acts says that elections must be conducted 90 days before the expiration of the incumbent tenure and APC was registered later than 90 days”.

He also said that APC chieftain, Obono Obla had revealed that the CROSIEC boss had told him (Obla) via a telephone call that the PDP led state government was pressuring him to bar the APC from contesting.

The CROSIEC chairman, Patrick Otu, then told Obla that APC should write a letter demanding for an extension of time.

The letter was written, however, three days later CROISEC called the conference disqualifying APC from the election.

Mr Jalingo said Otuh, who is yet to confirm the allegation, has been unreachable.

Mr Jalingo stated that the said video is on crossriverwatch.com

Ports Authority Donates Relief Items To Displaced Bakassi Indigenes

A delegation of management of the Nigerian Ports Authority led by political leader of the displaced people, Senator Florence Ita-Giwa, visited the displaced people of Bakassi, who have been forced to take shelter in schools, donating relief materials to them.

The group visited the refugee camp at Saint Marks Nursery and Primary school, Akwa Ikot Eyo Edem in Akpabuyo Local Government Area of Cross River State with relief materials worth millions of naira to the victims.

While addressing the gathering, Senator Ita-Giwa called on the federal government to hasten the process of rehabilitating the displaced people to a home they can call their own as part of recommendations submitted by the committee it set up to look into their plights.

She assured the people of her continuous cries to the federal government and the international community in ensuring that, a permanent succor comes their way soon.

The NPA representative and Calabar port manager, Mr Musa Wada, disclosed that the gesture to the displaced people is fulfilling part of the authority’s corporate responsibility to provide succor to needy citizens.

He assured of continuous support from the authority and also beckoned on the federal government to take their plight into serious consideration and proffer a permanent solution.

The refugees have been displaced for five months.

Relief materials donated included food items, toiletries, provisions, bedding’s, among others.