15 Governors, Ambassadors To Grace Carnival Calabar

15 Governors, Ambassadors To Grace Carnival CalabarGovernor of Cross River State, Prof Ben Ayade, has disclosed that no fewer than 15 governors, ambassadors and other top government functionaries are expected to participate in the December 28 event at the Carnival Calabar 2016.

Ayade disclosed this to newsmen at the Margaret Ekpo International Airport, Calabar shortly on arrival from the maiden edition of Imo carnival held in Owerri, the Imo State capital, were he and over 250 carnival troupe from Cross River State participated.

The Governor described the synergy as a welcome development as it will promote healthy competition, confirming that “a lot of governors have indicated that they will be here for our carnival this year.”

Offering further insight on his participation in the maiden Imo carnival, Ayade explained that, “Rochas thought it was wise for me to participate in the Imo Carnival to add value to the event as well as offer them the opportunity to learn from the masters themselves”, adding that with this kind of synergy and collaboration, “you will see the carnival taking a different level”.

Ayade who was not unmindful of the fact that Imo Carnival is starting stronger and may likely become a brand to reckon with said: “I have no fear in my mind that with the way Governor Rochas Okorocha is going, he is definitely going to give Carnival Calabar a big fight in the next one or two years.

“Like I promised Nigerians and indeed tourists all over the world, this year’s Carnival will be something to remember because of its rich content and it is taking a different dimension.

“As we speak, I just received a message from an international agency which will be revealed”.

Ayade further said: “With all these taking place, Cross River will soon become a final signature not just for Carnival but for tourism in sub-Saharan Africa which is why we taught it wise to build a special tourism city known as Calas Vegas to be sited in Calabar twin island to complement these efforts to attract more visitors”.

Unveiled Moremi Statue Dedicated To Economic Liberation Of African Youths

moremi-statue-of-libertyMoremi Statue of Liberty, the first of its kind in Nigeria, has been unveiled and dedicated to the economic liberation of African youths, by the Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty Adeyeye Ogunwusi.

At the unveiling in Ile-Ife, the Ooni also admonished governments across the continent of Africa to adequately and meaningfully engage the youths in nation building.

The historic event witnessed by over 5,000 youths from all over Nigeria took place at the new world class heritage site that is 100% indigenously constructed by youths. It is located right inside a compound where the heroine of liberty lived thousands of years ago.

Nigeria Has Manpower

Ooni Ogunwusi did not only extol the virtues of Moremi Ajasoro, but also described the youths as the greatest accessories for the development of any nation who must be given first priority by the various African governments.

He also lamented the redundancy of the youths caused by the over patronage of the foreign goods and services.

“These Nigerian and African youths are naturally endowed and with the level of their education or training undergone, they are the materials needed to develop this country and the continent of Africa.

“It surprises me that governments across Africa still encourage capital flights by always giving the jobs to the foreigners at the expense of our youths several of whom are more qualified and competent to do the jobs.

“I am proud to say that this project is the first of its kind to be 100% indigenously constructed, all of them numbering about 200 are youths and all the materials used were sourced locally traceable to all the 774 local government areas in Nigeria.

“I want to stress that Nigeria has manpower that can create, construct, and build standard and original goods. I, therefore, appeal to the governments in Africa to empower them and give them the chance to display their capacities,” Ooni Ogunwusi said.

Extolling the virtues of the greatest African heroine of liberty, the African foremost monarch described her as the mother of liberty in the world saying that the Ife queen played a pivotal role in the liberation of mankind with the legacy of what a man can do, a woman can do better.

“She has successfully established the legacy of what a man can do, a woman can do better. Her influence cuts across the world, especially in America where her spirit of liberty was greatly considered while building their statue of liberty. Our own Moremi Ajasoro indeed brought the spirit of freedom to life,” Ooni Ogunwusi maintained.moremi-statue-of-liberty-in-ile-ife

The Ooni’s Director of Media, Comrade Moses Olafare, told reporters that Moremi Ajasoro was truly worthy of the celebration and urged the women all over the world to emulate her.

He also recognised the likes of Queen Aminat of Zaria, Fumilayo Randsome-Kuti, Margaret Ekpo and Mariam Makeba as the Moremi of the recent times.

“What we are doing today is like giving honour to whom is due because mama Moremi Ajasoro is worthy to be so celebrated having lived her life for the freedom of mankind by sacrificing her only child to the goddess of Esinmirin river in order to liberate the people of Oodua land from the then incessant invasions of faceless terrorists.

“I just hope that our women of today will emulate her just like Funmilayo Randsome-Kuti, Mariam Makeba, Queen Aminat, Margaret Ekpo did in their lifetime too,” Comrade Olafare said.

A British born Jamaican, Delighter Whitfield, who was at the event said the statue nearly brought tears to her eyes, realising that the statue of American liberty was a black woman before it was remoulded to represent a white woman. She described her experience at the event as unforgettable.

“This is so awesome, whaoooh! This king has made the Africans proud, Ooni has made me proud so proud. Am now very proud to be who I am. This really gives me a spirit of originality,” Whitfield screamed.

Professor Wole Soyinka’s daughter, Mrs Moremi Onijala, who also graced the occasion, said she believed in the life of Moremi for what she represented, saying that her father, Professor Soyinka, had named her Moremi with the hope that she would grow to lead in path of freedom the way Moremi Ajasoro did.
“Apart from the emotional feeling that went through me because of the name I share with this greatest heroine of world’s liberty, seeing people revere what Moremi symbolises has really brought me home, as she is not just a heroine to the people of Yoruba land but also to the entire mankind.” Moremi Soyinka declared.

The 42 feet Moremi Statue of Liberty in Ile-Ife is the tallest statue in Nigeria and 3rd tallest in Africa envisioned by Ooni Ogunwusi and 100% indigenously constructed by a team of almost 200 Nigerian youths led by the sculptor who is the head of the Ooni’s Palace Art Gallery, Victor Badejo and the palace Engineer, Simeon Adeyinka who served as the site Engineer.

The African tallest statue is the 161feet African Renaissance Monument in Dakar, Senegal built by a North Korean company Mansudae Overseas Projects Limited while the 66feet Great Sphinx of Gisa in Egypt is the 2nd tallest statue in Africa.

Imoke Denies Plan To Be PDP National Chairman

Cross River State Governor, Liyel Imoke

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).

PDP National Chairman, Adamu Mu’azu

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.


N5000 note: Jonathan commended; ANPP, CPC condemns decision

Following the announcement by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on the introduction of a N5000 note into the system, prominent women in the country have commended President Goodluck Jonathan for approving the picture of the three prominent women to be on the note.

The pictures of late Margaret Ekpo, late Gambo Sawaba and Funmilayo Kuti, three prominent Nigerian female activists are to be used on the new note, which is to be in circulation from 2013.

The Special Adviser to the president on National Assembly Matters, Joy Emordi, speaking in Abuja, said remembering these women would remind Nigerians, especially the elites, that they will be remembered for their roles in times of national challenges either as heroes or as villains.

Mrs Emordi said the representation of the National Assembly that is to be on the new currency shows that President Jonathan appreciates the efforts of the parliament in deepening the country’s democracy and development.

The CBN governor, Sanusi Lamido on Thursday announced that the bank is going to introduce N5, 000 notes into the system.

He said that the plan is aimed at enhancing the quality of banknotes, incorporate a more effective feature for the visually impaired as well as reduce cost of production, distribution and disposal of banknotes.

New N5000 will increase our suffering – ANPP

Meanwhile, the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) has condemned the move by the Federal government to introduce a higher denomination into the system.

In a press statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Emma Eneukwu tha ANPP said it “has received with interest the announcement by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) of its plans to add a higher currency denomination of N5, 000 to the country’s list of notes by early next year.

“The apex bank also informed the nation of its plans to redesign the N50, N100, N200, N500 and N1, 000 notes to improve their security features while the N5, N10 and N20 polymer notes are to be converted to coins. Our great party believes this is another clear path to inflation and resultant suffering on the part of the hapless citizens of this great nation.

“It is an established fact that the Nigerian populace is averse to the use of coins, and therefore the decision by the Federal Government to convert some lower denomination notes to coins smells of a premeditated agenda to further mop up cash from the nation space and whip the Nigerian people in the process, just as it had done through the increase in the pump price of fuel and hike in electricity tariff. In fact, one does not need an economics professor to know that this move will eventually cripple the value of the naira; countries like Japan, Germany and Singapore do not have strong currencies because they printed higher denominations.

“Moreover, going cashless has nothing to do with printing N5, 000, but everything to do with introducing valid strategies for redirecting the nation’s commercial transactions into the virtual space. Right now, what the CBN and the Federal Government should be engaged in is establishing a clear and comprehensive electronic fraud management framework, as well as delineating of responsibility among key stakeholders, and advocating enabling laws that will inspire confidence in the country’s e-payment network, both locally and internationally; not to saddle the helpless masses with more burdens,” the statement reads.

The party advised the Federal Government to “call the CBN to order, and mandate them to streamline the resources that would be wasted in this ill-timed and unreasonable exercise into more people-friendly fiscal projects with the aim of reviving the fast-waning confidence of the masses in the government.

“We believe that this lame project, instead of curing the economic problems of the nation, will only succeed in deepening the already egregious chasm between the haves and the have-nots of this well-endowed country.”

New note will increase corruption – CPC

Reacting to the announcement of the planned introduction of the N5000 banknote, the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) said that the new note will aid corruption in the country.

In a press statement signed by the CPC’s National Publicity Secretary, Rotimi Fashakin,  the party said “the era of ‘Ghana-must-go bags’ dwindled with the introduction of the N500 and N1000 notes in the past. It became easier to carry millions of Naira in moderately-sized brief cases and, inexorably, increasing the incidences of high-profile bribery scandals in the polity.

“Recently, we witnessed the allegations and counter-allegations of solicitation for and receipt of bribe money levied against certain highly influential politicians in the Country. It is axiomatic to infer that those transactions were opaque to the Banking system because of the facilitating ambience of high currency notes. We insist that the introduction of N5000 currency note shall further exacerbate the corruptive tendencies in the Nigerian polity.”

The party said that while it agrees with the CBN’s argument that printing of notes is more expensive than minting coins, “it is difficult to believe that the solution lies in converting the N5, N10 and N20 notes to coins. First, the cultural values of the Nigerian people do not favor use of coins. The question is: how did we fare with the previous conversion of 50k, N1 and N2 Naira notes to coins? In fact, those currencies tacitly went out of circulation as a result of disuse.

“Second, with an economy very susceptible to fragile macroeconomic distortions, the tendency is often for the price of goods and services to be at par with the currency notes in circulation. What will invariably happen is the spiraling inflation that may cause further macroeconomic distortions and unwittingly, bringing about political upheavals.

“Third, the existence of the foregoing scenarios may exacerbate the already polarized Nigerian polity of have’s and have-not’s, with the systematic break-down of the middle class.

“The CBN governor was reported to have said that various segments of the Nigerian state shall be encouraged to create avenues for the usage of coins. As plausible as this may sound, the question is: what efforts have been made in the past to mobilize these segments of the State on the usage of coins and what has been the success rate?

“Furthermore, with the huge mobilization against the pasting of Naira notes on persons at get-together ceremonies, have we succeeded in stamping out this vice? Is it possible to extirpate deep seated cultural practices with hurriedly implemented policies as against allowing structured evolvement vis-à-vis modern realities,” the statement reads.

The party advised that there is need to consider different shades of opinion before making the final draft. In so doing, the matters of State shall not suffer insufficient perspicacity.



CBN to introduce N5, 000 note; to redesign N5, N10, N20 as coins

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Thursday announced that it is going to introduce N5,000 note into the system.

The faces of three prominent Nigerian female activists are to be used on the new note. They are those of late politician and social mobiliser, Margaret Ekpo (1914 – 2006); late politician and activist Hajia Gambo Sawaba (1933 – 2001) and late politician and women’s right activist Funmilayo Kuti (1900 -1978).

Addressing journalists in Abuja, the governor of the CBN, Sanusi Lamido said that the plan is aimed at enhancing the quality of banknotes, incorporate a more effective feature for the visually impaired as well as reduce cost of production, distribution and disposal of banknotes.

“On the 28 of November 2011, the CBN board considered and approved the new currency structure. It subsequently sought, and on 19 December 2011 obtained, the approval of his excellency the president Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GCFR),” Mr Sanusi said.

“Under new structure the existing denomination of N50, N100, N200, N500 and N1000 will be redesigned with added new security features.

“It is our pleasure to tell you that a new high currency denomination will also be introduced. It is the N5000 note.

“In the same vain, the lower bank notes of N5, N10 and N20 will also be coined.

“Consequently, the naira currency structure will now be 12. These are six coins and six bank notes denominations.”

The CBN helmsman said that efforts are on top gear to ensure that the redesigned N50 and new N5000 notes are launched early next year.