Former Governor of Cross River State, Senator Liyel Imoke, says he is confident that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will win the state’s governorship election holding in February.
According to Imoke, from inception the state has remained a PDP state and the party will ensure that it remains in power.
The former governor said this on Wednesday, when the current governor, Ben Ayade along with some supporters and members of the party paid him a visit at his country home in Itigidi, Abi Local Government Area of the state.
The Kaduna State Government on Thursday commenced the disbursement of another N1 billion naira intervention fund to support operators of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the state.
The programme, which was executed in partnership with the Bank of Industry (BOI), was to support the accelerated development of the state through job creation, where the BOI and Kaduna state government contributed N500m each under a programme tagged ‘Graduate Support Grant’
Speaking at the flag-off ceremony, Kaduna State Deputy Governor, Nuhu Bajoga, who represented Governor Muhtar Yero, described the intervention as very critical and a major component for economic rejuvenation and prosperity of the state.
He further explained that the main aim of the programme is to empower the citizens, especially the graduates and also reduce the level of crime and poverty in the state.
Meanwhile, a mild drama ensued midway into the programme when hundreds of graduate trainees under the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) stormed the venue with placards, demanding the State Governor, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, to release the N1 billion Graduate Empowerment Loan promised to them over five months ago after their training.
Chanting anti-government songs, the aggrieved Youths blocked the Deputy Governor’s convoy as it made its way out of Hassan Katsina House, where the event was held.
They alleged that they were promised by the government to be empowered with money to set up their own businesses immediately after their training.
The Youths also alleged that they were asked to register with money for them to be entitled to benefit from the N1 billion loan.
However, in a swift reaction, the Kaduna State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Shekarau Uchissa, denied the allegations saying the state government only went into capacity building where 1000 youths were trained in different skills, but were not promised any money.
Cross River State Governor, Liyel Imoke, has debunked rumours that he was working to succeed Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu as the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The Governor described as false, publications in some national dailies and some online reports that he was working closely with some chieftains of the party to become the next National Chairman of PDP.
The Governor, while briefing newsmen at the Margaret Ekpo International Airport on his arrival from Abuja, maintained that having been in the public limelight for 16 years, it is necessary that he takes a bow out of any political office.
He further stated that while out of office, he intends to remain a loyal party member and supporter in rebuilding the party following the defeat PDP faced at the last elections.
There were reports during the week that the National Chairman of the PDP, Adamu Muazu, who before now was addressed as “the game changer”, might have jetted out of the country to evade being forced to convene a meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party, where he may be akin to resign.
There has been a lot of concern by the PDP leadership over the party’s loss in the 2015 general elections, leading the party to the inauguration of a post-election committee, headed by the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu.
The Senate President, David Mark, warned that unless the in-fighting in the PDP is brought to an end, the party may be “heading for final destruction” adding that the emerging factions in the party were absolutely unnecessary.
Seven hundred enterprises in Cross River State have benefited from the disbursement of 2billion naira of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Fund (MSMEDF) , south-south Nigeria.
The disbursement exercise which was carried out in Calabar, the state capital, through Cross River State Micro-finance and Enterprise Development Agency (MEDA), was the Phase one of the scheme which saw beneficiaries access a total of 1.4billion naira of the 2billion naira fund.
Cross River State Governor, Liyel Imoke, said at the ceremony, that he was impressed about the participation of youths and women in the scheme, who according to him are new generation of entrepreneurs.
The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, who was represented by the State Control, Graham Kalio, disclosed that the latest survey in the country indicated that there were about 17.3 million MSMEs in operation, pointing that most of them were facing serious financial access challenges, with the gap put at N9.6 trillion.
According to him, CBN has identified those challenges and new measures of distribution to ensure direct access of funds to beneficiaries and aid them in expanding their businesses.
In continuation of the nationwide campaign by the People’s Democratic Party, Nigeria’s First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan has said that the candidature of President Goodluck Jonathan remains the only genuine one that can foster the speedy development of the country judging by his track records even in the midst of challenges.
According to her, no administration in the history of the country has also impacted on the lives of women both nationally and internationally.
A gesture which according to her deserves accolade.
The President’s wife was speaking at the 6,000 seating capacity ultra-modern Township Stadium at Ikom Local Government Area of Cross River State in a nationwide women rally to solicit votes for her husband ahead of next month’s election.
Party supporters from across the 18 local government of Cross River State, wives of Cross River and Akwa Ibom State governors, Obioma Liyel-Imoke, Ekaette Godswill Akpabio, political appointees, aspirants, as well as the host governor Liyel Imoke gathered at the venue to welcome the First Lady.
Following the commissioning, PDP Party stalwarts took turns to highlight President Jonathan’s achievement during his first tenure in office which sprang through all facet of the economy
Addressing the gathering, the President’s wife enjoined all Nigerian women and eligible voters not to be cajoled by those who claim to be agents of change because when they were in office, they did not implement the change they are now canvassing for.
Residents of Cross River State South South Nigeria are calling on the Independent National Electoral Commission for a re-conduct of the just concluded PDP ward congress elections across the state that was best described as a sham.
The scheduled elections to elect delegates ahead of the primaries for 2015 general elections which was characterised by violence – an explosion at the PDP National Secretariat – is said to be the first of such in the history of Cross River State politics.
The Calabar South PDP Secretariat was also set on fire few minutes after angry youths took to the streets condemning in totality the conduct of the exercise.
Though the extent and cause of the explosion was given, the Cross River State Governor, Liyel Imoke has condemned in totality the incident and called on the state police commissioner to investigate and bring the perpetrators to book.
According to Imoke, his administration, though rounding up, will not allow political desperados have their way in the political process of the state, all in an attempt for political power.
He also appealed to all those behind the incident to shield their swords and allow for a free credible and fair future elections in all categories.
As the state warms up for the primaries to elect aspirants vying for the House of Assembly in a couple of days, residents are scared if security is not heightened, the once peaceful Calabar may record scores of deaths following attempts by desperate politicians for political power.
Governors and leaders of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in the South-south have endorsed President Goodluck Jonathan as the party’s presidential candidate in the 2015 general elections.
The endorsement came at the party’s stakeholder’s meeting called by the national chairman of the PDP, Mr Ahmadu Mua’zu as part of his zonal tour on South-south.
At the meeting, it became clear that, although President Jonathan has not declared his intention of running in the election, his endorsement was enough to motivate him to run in the presidential election.
The leaders of the region in a communique read at the end of the meeting by former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representative, Honourable Chibudom Nwuche, hinged their endorsement of the President on the giant strides recorded by his administration across all sectors.
The meeting was held at the main bowl of the cultural centre in calabar, the Cross River State capital.
Thousands of party faithful, including their leaders gathered in the hall to throw their support for the re-election of the President Jonathan as president for a second term in office come 2015.
It is the first zonal meeting of the South-south for this cause since Mr Mua’zu became the national chairman of the party.
One after the other, representatives of the region as well as other supporters pledged their unalloyed and unwavering support in pursuing his transformation Agenda.
While urging Nigerians to keep identifying with the PDP, Mr Mua’zu asked party members to guard against conducts that would lead to division in the party.
The communique was signed by Governors Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State, Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, Liyel Imoke of Cross River State and Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State.
Those in attendance beside the governors were Mr Tony Anenih, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the PDP, Gombe State Governor, Mr Ibrahim Dakwambo, the South-south in the National Assembly and the state chairmen of the party from the six South-south states amongst others.
Increased budgetary allocation to the Nigerian Navy and other maritime security agencies can ensure effective combat of crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism in the country’s waterways.
The Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, stated this at an interactive session held in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.
Stakeholders gathered for a 2-day conference organized by the Nigerian Navy, as part of activities marking its 58th anniversary, hopeful that remedies to the heightened activities of pirates, who are bent on milking the nation dry through pipeline vandalism, oil theft and other related offenses, are found.
Mr Obanikoro noted that the country’s development was closely linked to a safe waterway.
“In the long term, if Nigeria is to meet the target of our administration and our transformation agenda, which is to be among the top 20 economies, then the role of security, especially in the maritime domain becomes more and more imperative”, he said.
In 2013, losses from crude oil theft were estimated at an average of 55,210 barrels daily, which translates to over 1.6million barrels monthly.
The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Usman Jibrin, said that the decision to hold a conference as part of the 2014 Navy Week celebration was part of the overall strategy to continuously examine and reappraise the procedures within the Navy, in order to ensure that it remains focused.
The theme of the conference was derived from that mission; which is ‘Combating Crude Oil theft In Nigeria’s Maritime Domain’, an element for improved national and individual earnings.
The host governor, Liyel Imoke, also advocated the strengthening of existing laws against crude oil theft, as he emphasized the need for the Nigerian Navy to have the capacity to prosecute those it arrests.
It was also resolved that if all those found culpable of crude oil theft and related offences are made to forfeit personal assets and all bank accounts traceable to them, it would deter others from taking to such crimes.
One hundred ex-militants in Nigeria have graduated from the Calabar Ipad and Phone Assembling Centre.
The training for the militants from the Niger Delta region is a government initiative aimed at transforming their lives, ending agitations and growing Nigeria’s technology sector.
The ICT training centre, which is located in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, is aimed at empowering the youths of the Niger Delta region through various type of skills training development geared towards wealth creation.
At the graduation ceremony of the first batch of 100 trained militants in Calabar, the Supervising Minister for the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Darius Ishaku, said that the number of youths now trained by the Ministry in various fields both locally and internationally was about one thousand.
The Minister later paid a courtesy call on the state governor, Liyel Imoke, at his office.
The ceremony marks the end of an era and the beginning of another in the lives of the youths who have been taught how to assemble smart phones and tablet computers, and also how to solve minor trouble shooting problems on these gadgets by Swift and Just Nigeria Limited within a span of three weeks.
Amazed by the outcome of the training as re-enacted by the militants, the supervising Minister said that the training had taught them how to exploit their inherent potentials as computer experts and would further enable them to be self-employed and to also become employers of labour.
He urged them to translate what they had learnt into wealth creation for themselves to justify the huge investment of the Federal Government on them.
A sample of the assembled gadget was shown to the state governor, Liyel Imoke at his office by Ishaku.
Imoke pointed out that with over 100 million active phone users and over 50 million persons having access to internet; the phone assembling plant was the best move for youths to benefit from the huge demand in the sector.
The idea of the phone assembling plant was initiated as part of the ICT policy of the Ministry Of Niger Delta in collaboration with Nigerian ICT Professionals in Diaspora aimed at empowering youths from the region.
Ahead of the 2015 governorship election in Cross River State, the State Governor, Liyel Imoke, has inaugurated the Northern Senatorial District Caucus of the People’s Democratic Party, to satisfy the constitutional requirement of the party which is to serve the people’s interest.
Speaking shortly after the inauguration at the Ogoja Council Secretariat, Cross River State, the Governor urged the group to build ties with leaders of other senatorial districts rather than use the forum for selecting his successor.
Speaking to the crowd about the 2015 election and the issue of finding a successor, Imoke averred that, he was not aware of who would succeed him as Governor, since the process is the outcome of the ballots.
Imoke, however, opined that for his successor to emerge from the Northern part of the state through a transparent process, acceptable by the electorates, caucus from the Northern Senatorial zone must engage in continuous interactions with the Southern and Central senatorial districts towards the selection.
Chairman of the party, Ntufam John Okon, also solicited for unity of purpose among the people of the North and warned against political acrimony as he handed over the constitution of the party to the Caucus Chairman, Linus Okom.
The premises of the Ogoja Council hall was filled to capacity with party loyalist from the Northern Senatorial district of the state, as well as those from the national level, who gathered to witness another democratic process of what they expect would make history in the state in 2015.
The Cross-River State Governor, Liyel Imoke, has identified loss of territorial boundary without due compensation to victims of Bakassi Local Government Area of the state, as a major challenge facing his state and that should be discussed during the national dialogue.
Ahead of the proposed National Conference, he also said that lack of maintenance of federal roads across the state by the Federal Government was a major challenge facing the state, and it should be addressed at the forum.
He was speaking to a cross-section of Cross-River State citizens drawn from all classes at the Governor’s Lodge in Calabar, the State Capital on the need for them to be fully involved in the exercise and serve as true representatives of the state.
He noted that the many challenges of the state, if addressed, would give residents of the state a sense of belonging and enhance the transformation agenda of his administration before the end of his tenure come 2015.
According to Imoke, the state was in full support of the national dialogue, considering the many challenges threatening the unity of Nigeria as a country.
He expressed belief that, the forum would serve as an avenue to dialogue and discuss on the federation, the unity of Nigeria and its development as intended by its founding fathers.
Contrary to some beliefs that similar exercise had in the past not achieved positive results, Imoke averred that the last one held during the administration of former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, led to the amendment of the Nigerian Constitution.
A group under the auspices of Northern Cross River State coalition is seeking that the next governor of the state should come from their own senatorial zone in 2015.
This position was made known to Governor Liyel Imoke during their visit to the Governor’s Lodge in Calabar, the state capital.
Addressing the delegation, Governor Imoke explained that zoning the governorship position to this part of the state will foster unity, owing to the fact that the North had not been opportune to serve in this capacity before.