Tuesday, 1 December 2020

World Aids Day: A HIV-Free Society is possible - DG Primary Healthcare


As the world marks this year's International Aids Day, Dr. Janet David Ekpenyong, Director General of The Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency has said that a HIV free Society is possible if all hands are put on deck as well as supports for victims are offered. 

Dr. Janet made this known, while addressing newsmen, immediately after a 10 kilometers walk by Cross River State Government to mark the 2020 world AIDS day, in Calabar. She urged pregnant women to always visit primary health care Facilities for antenatal care services in order to know their status and prevent mother to child  transmission.

Flagging off the exercise in Calabar, the Cross River State Deputy Governor Professor Ivara Esu said the state Government is committed towards actualizing a drastic reduction in new infectious rate through the Development and adoption of policies which grant full access to Improved living and halt to new transmission.

Prof. Esu who commended the state Governor, Professor Ben Ayade and other stakeholders in the health sector for the low prevalence rate in the state ,encouraged the team to build on the gains of recent successes and work towards improving on their indices through awareness creation and improved client's services.

Prof. Esu said the state is poised towards ensuring that in less than no time there would be zero percent transmission of HIV/AIDs in Cross River State as the state has decentralized it's response program through the setting up of Local Government and Community based response platform to meet the needs of Cross Riverians.

Speaking earlier, the state Commissioner for health, Dr Betta Edu encouraged everyone to get themselves tested as she noted that, the state in collaboration with partners have introduced an oral test kit  to minimize piercing which is another method of HIV/AIDs transmission. 

On her part, the Director General of the Cross River State Agency for the control of AIDS, Dr Ansa Echeri admonished people to regularly present themselves for testing as she noted that HIV is not a death sentence but early detection can improve chances of a healthy lifestyle and building of resistance against other common diseases.

HIV/AIDs can be transmitted from persons to persons through unprotected sexual intercourse, sharing of sharp objects like needles, razors, injections among others with blood transfusion being listed among the possible ways of infection. 

The event was witnessed by the speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Eteng Jones as well as the chairman of the house committee on health, Honourable Dr Ekpo Bassey with partners and other stakeholders in attendance.

Saturday, 28 November 2020

A'Ibom commissioner, Prince  Ikim Bags Excellence Leadership Award In Abuja

The Award of excellence in leadership has been conferred on the Chairman, Akwa Ibom state environmental protection and waste management Agency (AKSEPWMA) Obong. Prince Ikim for his outstanding performance in leadership.

The award which was presented to the waste management boss at a two day summit held at the Nigerian Army Resources Centre, Asokoro Abuja by the Nigerian Productivity Centre in collaboration with Leadership And Professional Ethics Consult with the theme ' Thriving at 60; Economic Productivity under uncertain times- Cutting through complexities and delivering value'. 

Obong Ikim in his acceptance speech, thanked the organisers of the summit for putting together such an epoch event, saying the summit was impactful, and considering the uncertain  times across the globe and indeed Nigeria, it is only appropriate for leaders to seek more knowledge to be able to cut through complexities and deliver value. 

 He further added that the event  is timely as it only through knowledge- based economy that the economy of the State can be boosted and jobs created for our teeming youths. 

 Ikim who has been on the spotlight with the emergence of Akwa-Ibom State as the cleanest State in Nigeria, thanked God for the opportunity to serve and stated that there is wealth in waste management and hence we need to invest in it.

Also in attendance at the event were;   The Permanent Secretary, Office of the Head of Civil  Service, Mrs Ekaete Ekanem, Permanent Secretary Labour and Productivity Dr Mrs Valarie Obot, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport, Otuekong Nse Edem, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Education, Mrs Helen Ante, Abuja Laison Officer, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health
Insecurity: Traditional Rulers go spiritual to end kidnappings, etc in C'River


Traditional Rulers in Cross River State have taken bold steps to put an end to the disturbing increased rate of insecurity in the state. 

This was contained in a press release issued by the Cross River State Traditional Rulers Council, Friday in Calabar. According to the release, the royal fathers have taken it upon themselves to sanitize the state and rid it of every form of insecurity.

The act which will cut across the 18 Local Government Area of the state, will see the Royal Fathers invoking native and traditional sanctions to serve as deterrent against perpetrators of kidnapping, arm robbery, and other criminal vices in the state.

The statement reads in part:

"This effort shall take the council to all the 18 Local Government Councils of the State. "Cross Riverians, visitors and the General Public are advised to go about their normal daily businesses without fear. "We don't have any other state but Cross River State, so we must work together to enthrone and sustain an enduring peace in our state.  

Recall that TDN had reported the increased cases of kidnapping in Cross River State with two latest occurrences taking place Friday night where the owner of Chi Divine super mart was kidnapped at IBB way by Eta Agbo also in a related incidence, gunmen dressed in military uniform raided Etonko street holding residents hostage while robbing and dispossessing people of there belongings.

Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Burna Boy Gets 2021 Grammy Nomination With “Twice As Tall” Album

Nigeria's Superstar singer gets 2021 Grammy Nomination for the second time in a row. 

Burna Boy's latest hit album "Twice as Tall" has been nominated for the 2021 Grammy Awards under the World Music Album category. 

The singer who has recorded this feat for the second time in a row has been nominated along other renown entertainers like Antibalas, Bebel Gilberto, Anoushka Shankar and Tianariwen.

He slammed his first nomination last year with his "African Giant" album butlost the award to Angelique Kidjo

With this nomination for the 2021 Grammy awards, he has another shot at bringing home the much-coveted award.

Twice As Tall is a 15-track album which was released on August 14th is a follow up to his critically acclaimed 2019 album "African Giant".

Burna Boy says the album is "a journey through a bunch of emotions and energies at different points in time. It has now morphed into something bigger than me. It serves as a bridge for mankind to show that we're all different but still very much the same."

Burna travels through socio-conscious terrains throughout the project, harping on failed Afro-political agenda, underdevelopment, poverty, Western imperialism, among other Afro-tailored societal woes.

He acknowledged that the project is an extension of his Pan-African agenda on the Grammy-nominated African Giant album.

The 63rd Annual Grammy Awards is slated to hold on January 31, 2021 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. It will recognize the best recordings, compositions, and artists of the eligibility year, running from September 1, 2019, to August 31, 2020
C'River North by-election: Groups boycott peace pact, accuse INEC of compromise

Ukorebi Esien | 24th November 2020

According to information reaching our news room, members of Conference of Nigeria Political Parties, CNPP and Inter-Party Advisory Council, IPAC has boycotted the ongoing Peace accord meeting in Ogoja. 

The peace meeting which is a routine by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC before an election, was called by INEC to give all candidates in the December 5th Cross River Northern Senatorial District bye Elections the opportunity to sign a Peace Pact agreeing to ensure there will be no violence before, during and after the election. 

But members of key organs such as the Inter-Party Advisory Council and Conference of Nigeria Political Parties who usually play vital roles during such events and in  elections have decided to back out of the entire process stating that the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, in Cross River State have been compromised. 

The two groups are accusing the State REC of accepting favours from one of the candidates in order to rig the election to favour the said candidate. 

Details coming soon... 

Friday, 20 November 2020

Buhari's aide donates 100 ICU beds to C'River state Govt

Despite the set back occasioned by the hijacked EndSARS protest, the Health sector has continued to receive support from FG and Development partners as part of a build back process. One of such timely support was the donation of 100 Hospital beds, 100 bedside lockers. 100 mattress and 100 pillows to support Cross River State Health facilitates. Especially those affected during the recent unrest. This support came from the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (OSSAP-SDGs) through the Ministry of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 

The Commissioner for Ministry of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), C.R.S. Hon Oliver Orok while presenting the items stated that Health and well being is on the front burner of SDGs as SDG Goal 3. He assured the Health commissioner of the support from his ministry to build a more Resilient health sector in the state. He further noted that Governor Ben Ayade has asked the SDG ministry to extend their projects and support the building/ renovation and equipping of some Primary health facilities and even sections of some General Hospital as a way of ensuring Cross Riverians even  at grass root get the required services.

Dr. Betta Edu taking delivery of the items

The Honorable Commissioner for Health Dr Betta Edu, who was obviously excited by the timely support thanked the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals for the donation through MSDG in calabar. She commended the effort of the state Governor Sen. Ben Ayade, His wife and the Commissioner for SDGs. " I think when partners and FG sees the commitment of Government to Health Care, the get convinced to support you more. This donations will boost our preparedness for the official implementation of the State Health Insurance Scheme. We are working on upgrading all our Health facilities in the state to offer quality Health Care. This is that perfect Icing on the Cake."

The beds have been distributed to various Health facilities in the state based on their needs!

Photo Gallery:

More tragedy befalls Former Senate Leader, as wife dies in Motor accident

Former Senate leader Victor Ndoma-Egba is said to have lost his wife to a ghastly motor accident along the Benin – Akure Expressway.

According to reports, she was going for a function in Akure when the accident occurred in the early hours of Friday 20th November 2020.

Recall that the former senate Leader had earlier this year lost his mother-in-law, mother and his former media aide. And just last month, he had his house his house was almost vandalized during the #EndSARS protest in Calabar with several items including out of print laws books and ropes handed over to him by his late father carted away. 

Ndoma-Egba and wife signing their marriage register recently in the Vatican 

Also recall that only recently Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba had the head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis I re-solemnize his marriage.

He had four years ago taken his wife, Amaka Ndoma-Egba and his family to the Vatican for the Easter season and had his marriage blessed by the Papacy. 

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

2023 Polls: Okpe leaders insist on governorship

·      Move against traditional ruler

·      Declare Action Unconstitutional

·      Urge FG to transform Sapele Technical College to a Federal University or Polytechnic

·      Appeal to Okowa to complete the Delta State Polytechnic, Elume

·      Suspend Prof. Emurobome Idolor and Prof. Kenneth Eni from  Okpe Union


Prominent Okpe leaders on Saturday descended on the Orodje of Okpe Kingdom, Orhue 1, accusing him of plotting to destroy the union of the ancient kingdom.


They also called on politicians and other stakeholders to zone the 2023 governorship of Delta State to the Okpe Nation.


''The Okpe Nation has played a continuous uniting role and stability of the state. There are notable Okpe personalities in the government and politics of Delta State that are qualified and loved by the people of the different ethnic nationalities of the state''


At a press conference in Lagos, the leaderssaid there were no doubts as to whether the Okpe Kingdom would produce the next governor of Delta State.


In a communiqué read to newsmen by the President General of Okpe Union Headquarters, Mr. Patrick Akpotor in Okpe House, Obalende, Lagos State after the Okpe Uunion National Conference, the leadersrejected the purported dissolution of the National Executive Council of the Okpe Union and imposition of a Nine-member Interim National Executive Council for two years.


''It is unconstitutional, illegal, and void'' the leaders said.


They unanimously passed a vote of confidence on the current National Executive Council of the Okpe Union led by Mr. Patrick Akpotor and extended the tenure of the current leadership for five months to enable it conduct a credible free and fair election in compliance with the Okpe Union constitution and the wishes of the majority of Okpe people.



''The Okpe Union 2020 National conference considered the state of the Okpe Union and recent developments regarding the purported dissolution of the elected national leadership of the Union including imposition of an interim committee of the Okpe Union. The conference noted that the Okpe Union, being a registered organization under the Lands Perpetual Succession Ordinance of 1924 and thus under the Corporate Affairs Commission, is an autonomous organization with its constitution and under Nigerian federal laws that govern incorporated non-governmental organizations.


The leaders explained that there was no cause to panic as the Executive Committee would tackle the challenges facing the union.


Particularly, the leadersnominated and adopted 15 Okpe personalities to be recommended to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration as members of the Board of Trustees.


The leaders applauded the peaceful nature of all Okpe people.


''Remain law abiding and support the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Delta State government of Senator Ifeanyi Okowa''


The leaders appealed to the Federal Government to reward the Okpe people, being one of the highest oil and gas producing ethnic nationalities in the Niger-Delta.


''Consider the reopening of the Sapele Sea Port which lies in the best fresh water harbor in the country''


They also asked the Federal Government to transform the Sapele Technical College, one of the oldest in Nigeria to a Federal University or Polytechnic to create capacity in the teeming youths of the area and generate employability.


The leaders called on the Delta State government to complete the Delta State Polytechnic, Elume, Sapele which construction commenced during the administration of Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan.


''That Prof. Emurobome Idolor and Prof. Kenneth Eni who are the only Okpe Union members amongst the imposed Interim National Executive Council are hereby suspended indefinitely from the Okpe Union''


The Conference also nominated and adopted a five-man Electoral Committee to organize elections into the National Executive Council of the Okpe Union within five months from 14th November, 2020.

Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Ayade in fresh trouble as group issues stern warning over insecurity in C'River

Since 2015, insecurity has been a thing of concern to Cross Riverians as there's hardly a month without at least one recorded case of kidnapping and other forms of insecurity. 

Recently there have been reported cases of kidnap with over 6 persons kidnapped within one week, with one Mr. Ani Oku Ita and Mrs. Eno Patrick Okon beign the latest victim of the ugly menace. 

Arising from the above, a group with special interest in the development and growth of Cross River State, known as Cross River Southern Senatorial District Assembly (CRSSDA), has called on the state governor, Sen. Prof. Ben Ayade to as a matter of urgency beef up security in the state to protect the lives and properties of Cross Riverians. 

The group which said the last couple of years have seen Cross Riverians suffer from the effects of bad governance, insecurity and a downturn in the economy (poverty), expressed surprise at the quietness and calm deposition of some critical stakeholders in the face of  all these, stating that they have refused to keep quiet and "let the deliberate provocation go unchallenged...", while calling on the state governemt and security opreactives in the state to ensure the immediate release of both Mr. Ani Oku Ita and Mrs. Eno Patrick as well as other Kidnapped victims yet to be released. 

According to a Press Statement signed by Mr. John Offiong, leader of the group, "Cross Riverians now live in fear in a live in fear in a once quiet, safe and peaceful environment. Our reality today is that visitors/tourists are becoming more hesitant to visit, thereby impacting negatively on the tourism industry which once made our economy boom." the statement reads in part. 

The group informed that Security is a delbrate action and doesn't happen by chance and it behooves on the leadership of the state to take delibarte actions to ensure its citizens are protected. 

The statement reads in full: 

As a result of the kidnap of Mr. Ani Oku Ita and Mrs Eno Patrick Okon are both illustrious children of Cross River State, we, the Cross River State Southern Senatorial Assembly have been compelled to condemn the menace unequivocally.  

Safety and security doesn't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus, public investment and a firm resolve by the leadership of the day uphold this requirement. We owe our people, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free from violence and fear. The kidnap of Mr Ani and Mrs Okon can easily be described as the umpteenth incidents within the last fear years. "Cross Riverians now live in fear in a once quiet, safe and peaceful environment. Our reality today is that visitors/tourists are becoming more hesitant to visit, thereby impacting negatively on the tourism industry which once made our economy boom.

There is a continuous silence in some quarters and it is curious and disturbing, the statement added. "We refuse to keep quiet and let this deliberate provocation go unchallenged and hereby call on the State Government, the Inspector General of Police, Director of Department of State Security State and other Security Agencies to intervene and put modalities in place to curb the menace and end the existing security nightmare in Cross River State. We demand that Mr Ani Ita and Mrs Eno Patrick be returned to their families forthwith, unarmed! "The people of Cross River State deserve better than what we are being served at the moment. We will not continue to fold our arms and watch the docile handling of our security. We hereby charge the State Government to live up to the basic expectations of securing lives and people of ALL Cross Riverians.

 WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH! #EndKidnappingincrossriver#

Monday, 16 November 2020

Over 50 million Nigeria Children are engaged in Child Labour - ILO

Ukorebi Esien | 16th November 2020 

The International Labour Organisation, ILO, has disclosed that over 50 million Nigerian children are currently engaged in Child Labour, cutting across multiple sectoral industries in the country. 

This was disclosed by the Officer in charge for the Nigerian office of International Labour Organisation (ILO), Mr. David Dorkenoo during a three day training for Media personnel and journalists which kicked off toady in Abuja on Effective Child Labour reporting and presentation of the National Advocacy Strategy on the Elimination of Child Labour in Nigeria.

According to Mr. Dorkenoo, 152 Million children engage in Child Labour globally while while in Nigeria there are over 50 million of them engaged in Child Labour across multiple industries and geographical settings. And 73 million are in hazadious work in many parts of Africa. In 2019 alone over 2 million children were said to have worked in the Cocoa sector across Africa. 

The ILO representative informed that the training of journalist to report the negative effect of such staggering figures as it borders on child labour is not only timely but relevant. 
 Mr. David Dorkenoo, Officer in charge for the Nigerian office of International Labour Organisation (ILO)

"The setting up of this training is timely as it is relevant based on the increasing number of children engaged in child labour not only in Africa but in Nigeria despite a reduction in the global participation rate, as this is detrimental to the development of Africa young population." He said. 

Mr. Dorkenoo enumerated the causes of child labour menace to include poverty, ignorance and illiteracy, stating that until concrete measures are put in place to deal with these challenges, the problem of Child Labour will be very difficult to eradicate. 

"The issue of child labour is beyond just legalistic measures and putting in place the social framework aimed at addressing the challenges. There's a pressing need to appeal to the emotions of humanity and persons to own and gain full support of the population. One very powerful tool to reach out to the general population is the media." 

Dorkenoo further averred that media have an important role to play in the fight against child labour. "Your role as individual professionals in media houses is critical to the success of ILO intervention in eliminating child labour in Nigeria. And I have no doubt that this training will equip you in achieving this aim." He concluded 

In his remarks the Minister of Labour and Employement, Dr Chris Ngige informed participants of the Ministry's effort in ending child labour in line with the Sustainable Development Goals 8.7 aimed at taking  immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms. 

Participant and members of the high table ina group photograph. 

Ngige who was represented by a director in the inpsectorate department, Mr. Ajuwon Dauda, noted that his ministry which is overseeing the National Steering Committee on Child Labour has since in 2013 developed the National Policy on Child Labour and The Action Plan on the Elimination of Child Labour. 

Mr. Dauda revealed that so far 5, 401 and 3937 child labour infractions were reported in 2018 and 2019 respectively out of which 1494, and 1279 victims and their families have been empowered. Furthermore, 287 and 342  making a total of 629 offenders are been procescuted. 

The Minister noted that this was made possible using vehicles such as the Action Plan on the Elimination of Child Labour, the development of and validation of The  National Reporting Template on Child Labour as well as Training of key stakeholders. 

Cross Session of participants during the Training 

In a chart with newsmen, Mrs. Agatha Kolawole, National Project Coordinator, ACCEL AFRICA Project informed that the training was aimed at establishing a strong link between media personnel and implementing partners where journalists and media practitioners' have a better understanding of main concepts and conventions on child labour. 

Speaking further Mrs. Kolawole said the event will further strengthen the capacity of media practitioners to increase and improve on the quality and quantity of their reports on child labour cases which promotes positive behavioural change as well as increase quantum of information on Child Labour in Nigeria, especially in Ondo, Niger, FCT and/or Lagos state.