Monday, 19 April 2021

How lack of Judicial Autonomy affect us all

1. It helps to devalue Nigerian courts. Investors insist on inserting foreign jurisdictions in arbitration clauses as loci for resolution of business disputes.

2. Investors insist on clauses that will take all forms of dispute resolution outside Nigerian courts so that they won't hire Nigerian lawyers.

3. Judges adjudicate with fear with respect to any case involving the government, ministries, departments and agencies due to arm-twisting and undue interference.

4. Judges work hard to please the Government so that the Governors will agree to release budget votes to the Judiciary.

5. Court orders are not effectively enforced against the Government thereby turning the Government to a Leviathan.

6. Having captured the Legislature and the Judiciary, the Governor becomes the sole administrator of his State, acting with impunity and above the rule of law.

7. Democracy loses its checks and balances, cascading to authoritarianism, then to totalitarianism, which blossoms to full dictatorship with time.

8. The resultant is that institutions are personalised while the Judiciary becomes aristocratic with their key officials being those having consanguineous relationship with politicians.

9. They stifle professionalism, human rights and good governance.

_Support an independent judiciary today. Aluta continua._

"Janet If I don't love you..."Police officer thrills Ayade’s aide with melodious tune while on inspection tour.

According to a video made available to TND, a senior police officer with Police Secondary School Akpabuyo displayed mind blowing skills in music and instrumentation over the week when the Director General of Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency paid a visit to the school clinic. 

Baba Enoch, the Officer-in-charge of medicals who welcomed Dr. Janet and her team with melodious tune was heard saying in one of his renditions while appreciating the hardworking DG "How can I forget Janet Ekpeyong, Sister Janet, the proper future planer, the proper decision maker, the one scoring goals for the Youths and Youth Empowerment"

"If I don't love you, what else will I do, if you don't love me, then why are you here? Mmmmm. Janet Ekpenyong, the proper future planer, the proper decision maker, the one scoring goals for the Youths and Youth Empowerment".

This left the DG, her team members, the school commandant and all present clapping and smiling while Enoch went on singing and playing his guitar.

In response to the warmth reception, Dr. Janet said "I hope students don't get to pretend that they are sick because of how much care you show them, but Truly, this is great and worthy of emulation". 

The visit which was unscheduled was aimed at Inspecting the school's medical facility as well as seek collaborative opportunities. The DG said she was in all satisfied with what she saw in the facility while assuring to assist the facility in areas of weakness. 

See video here: 

C'River LG boss hails Ayade for putting food on the table

The Executive Chairman of Odukpani Local Government Area, Hon. Justina Edem, has said that Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State is at the forefront of ensuring Cross Riverians do not go to Ed hungry through his "Hands on the Plough, Food on the table" agenda 

The LG boss made this known at the just concluded Federal Government Cash Grant to the Rural Women held in Calabar. "Prof Ayade has always been at the forefront of putting food on the tables of Crossriverians, so his resolve to partner with the Federal Government in putting smiles on the faces of these rural women is encouraging and this has always been my policy drive". She said. 

 She opined that with more money in the hands of the Rural Women, the rural communities would experience rapid growth than what's obtained now. She applauded the efforts of the government for always towing the path of humanity and development while extending her appreciation to the Federal and State Government for putting smiles on the faces of the rural women. She advised them to ensure judicious use of the money given to them.

In his remark, the State Governor who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Bar. Tina Banku Agbor expressed the State's willingness to always partner with both the Federal and Local Government and private sector as well in any project aimed at uplifting the lives of the rural women.

While advising beneficiaries to invest their money in profitable ventures instead buying material things, the Governor informed that the State is working assiduously towards the development of the rural economy hence the location of most of the industries in the Rural Communities. 

On their part, the beneficiaries who thanked the governor for coming o their aide expressed joy and gratitude as they promised to make judicious use of the money.

Highpoint of the event was presentation of cash gifts to beneficiaries.
Ameachi is a Great Achiever – South-South Leaders


Prominent leaders in the South-South geo-political zone on Saturday hailed the Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, for demonstrating rare leadership qualities and changing the status of the country's transportation sector for the better.

''Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi has delivered the dividends of democracy to Nigerians. Posterity will place him in the right place and judge him well''.

They also praised the former Rivers State governor for building bridges of unity across the country and putting in place the necessary machinery for the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the country.

The leaders, cut across ethnic cleavages in the South-South geo-political zone, gave Amaechi kudos for conceiving and articulating policies that stood the test of time.

''Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi belongs to a rare breed of high achievers. It is either the best or nothing'' the leaders stated.

In a statement signed by APC chieftain and chairperson of Progressive Volunteers Group (PVG), Mrs. Ibifuro Tatua, the leaders thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for giving the mission-driven former governor of Rivers State, whose drive and grasp of development issues have made him a significant voice in the country's quest for socio-economic development, the opportunity to work for unity, stability and overall development of the country.

The statement emphasized Amaechi's character, inner strength and sterner stuff.

The leaders commended Amaechi for doing his best to improve the lives of Nigerians.

''Things are simply getting better in Nigeria'' the leaders under the auspices of Progressive Volunteers Group, led by Mrs. Ibifuro Tatua, said.

They eulogized the virtues of Amaechi, listing the commissioning of freight services on Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri Rail Line as a major feat he was able to achieve in the country.

 ''Amaechi, a team builder, true Christian and bright-shining icon, is one of the few turn around managers in the country''.

The leaders urged the people of the South-South geo-political zone and Nigerians in general to cooperate with the Muhammadu Buhari led APC government.

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

UTCH: Staff, professionals, others pass vote of confidence on management and board, list numerous projects, achievements in two years

As the Chief Medical Director of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Professor Ikpeme A. Ikpeme approaches two years in office, a section of staff, the public and professionals from the medical facility has appraised the performance of the management and board scoring the leadership high while calling on the public to give him maximum support to do more.

This was contained in a communique signed by the leaders of the group and made available to TDN. The group said the management under Chief Medical Director Ikpeme and Board chairman Col. Abdul Muhammadu "have injected a breathe of fresh air into the medical facility that had been laid comatose for eight years..." Stating that the CMD's strides are all visible even to the blind as the facility has been transformed.

While calling on the public to disregard publications by a group it described as "Fake Staff of the hospital", said some staff of the facility loyal to the former CMD are bent on discrediting the magnificent works of Prof. Ikpeme and Muhammadu.

"Not surprisingly, the goliaths of that devilish, non-performing era, having found it difficult to comprehend the glittering performance of this god-fearing David within just two years, had become discomfitured, threatened and envious.  Hence, they have resorted to the primitive tactics of sponsoring baseless publications meant to discredit the present Board and Management of the hospital. The statement noted.

"We believe that such publications are baseless, spurious and inconsequential, and therefore undeserving of any serious attention as they are meant to create distractions.  Moreso because the authors, who claim to be staff of the hospital, are fake.  None of their names could be sighted in the staff nominal role.  As the maxim goes: "Nemo dat quod non habet" (you can't put something on nothing and expect it to stand).  A publication by a phantom group of persons must be treated for what it is: falsehood, lies." The statement reads in part.

The group of staffers of the University Teaching Hospital, who have vowed to resist any act of mischief designed to derail the progressive course of taking the hospital to unprecedented glory and greatness, listed about 16 interventions carried out by the Prof. Ikpeme's led administration stressing that "If, within a short span of two (2) years the current administration of the UCTH has successfully executed all these valuable and verifiable projects, non of which could be accomplished in 8 long years of the previous administration, it stands to reason that the present administration deserves a passionate and unconditional support. And as staff of the hospital they willingly supports the administration's giant strides.

The statement reads in part:

Likewise the CMD, Dr. Ikpeme, a seasoned professional, who has brought to bear his administrative astuteness in the day to day running of the establishment.  Little wonder that the hospital has in the last two years progressed at various levels by geometrical pace. In confirmation, we will attempt to capture below a few verifiable interventions made by the current administration that has led to the rising profile of the hospital.

1. Obstetrics and Gynaecology
The current Dr. Ikpeme - led Management, apparently enjoying strong support from the Board, undertook and successfully accomplished the overhaul of facilities in the O& G Department.  The labour ward was tastefully renovated.  A New Triage room was constructed while the Theatre, Antenatal & Gynaecology clinics complex were fully and beautifully renovated.  The icing on the cake for the Department of O&G was the installation of new laparoscopic and hysteroscopic surgery equipment.  We consider it a tragic irony that the immediate past CMD, a Gynaecologist, could not record any of these achievements for the department even after long eight years in office.  It took an orthopaedic surgeon to rehabilitate this department and upgrade same to international standard.

2. Power: 
Black-out stands largely banished from critical units of the hospital.  With constant power supply, affairs of the hospital ensue unhindered round the clock in critical life-saving units.

3. Water: 
The era of lack of water in the hospital is gone.  There is now an efficient and effective water system that guarantees supply and availability of potable water.

4. Environmental Sanitation: 
UCTH no longer smells.  Drainages are regularly desilted and evacuated.  The lawns are now trimmed and green, so attractive that visitors are commonly sighted using them as background scenery for selfies and photographic moments.  Erosion control projects are also on-going.

5. Dental Clinic: 
The department has undergone total renovation, coupled with the installation and commissioning of five brand new state of the art Dental Chairs.

6. Radiology Department: 
Similarly, this department has undergone total renovation culminating in the installation of 2 brand new 4-D ultrasound scanners, full digital direct radiography x-ray machine and a new 32 slice CT Scanner. The environmental upgrade that houses these facilities are topnotch.

7. Isolation Centre/ICU: 
In line with the leadership's avowed commitment to contain COVID-19 pandemic in the state, a new 30 bed modern isolation centre is being constructed alongside a new 10-bed level 3 ICU.

8. Medical microbiology laboratory: 
The Medical Microbiology Laboratory has been completely renovated and upgraded to serve as the only anti-microbial resistance reference (AMR) laboratory in South-South Nigeria.

9. Orthopaedic ward: 
The female orthopaedic ward has been completely renovated and functioning effectively.

10. Staff Welfare: 
The present leadership has continued to demonstrate unprecedented passion for staff welfare and development.  Staff are sponsored for further trainings relevant to their respective careers and promotion implemented for deserving ones.  Payments of various emoluments are usually managed transparently once funds are released.  It must be said that it is as a result of such show of significant commitment to workers that the UCTH has experienced relative industrial peace for two years now with no local strike nor threat of strike.  Every strike action in the last 2 years had been called nationally.

11. Staff Discipline and Efficiency: 
While the current leadership has remained passionately committed to staff welfare and promotion, we commend their demonstrable objectivity in the management of issues of discipline and efficiency in service directed at enhancing productivity.  Not only does Management lead by example, but are also firm on decisions made in the best interest of the establishment.  This was recently typified in the Works and Engineering Department where an eminently qualified contract staff was appointed Head of Department (HOD) deservedly.  

Expectedly, the appointment drew disaffection from disgruntled quarters on the bases that there is a bonafide senior staff who is "qualified" to head the Department. However, that argument fell flat on its face when addressed.  The said officer, in the strict sense of the word, is not "qualified" to head the department. Records, originated and well documented by the previous administration, reveal that he had been twice queried and warned for acts of Misconduct and Truancy.  

A warning is taken seriously in the Public Services. Surely, a staff like that whose continued stay in service is by God's mercy cannot be entrusted with the responsible office of HOD. Besides, the contract staff, although the law allows a relatively short time for such appointment, is a respectable character and his wealth of experience constitutes a dependable source of knowledge the junior ones in the Department shall continue to understudy, benefit from and subsequently apply for the good of the hospital.

12. Okoyong Health Centre:  
The Health Centre, Okoyong, has been renovated and modernized thereby leading to increasing patronage of the centre by indigenes of the community and beyond.

13. Completion of Abandoned Projects: Projects which were initiated in 2012/2013 and wickedly abandoned by the immediate past administration have been re-commenced.  So far, the current leadership has re-commenced work on the 56 suit laboratory to Radiology link road and secured visitors car park.  We believe the abandoned 56-Suite House Officers Quarters will soon come on stream.

14. Health Records & Revenue Management: 
There has been introduction and deployment of electronic Health Records, Information and Revenue Management system which have engendered efficiency and blocked leakages in the system.

15. ENT Nursing: 
The school of post Base ENT nursing has been renovated and working towards re-securing accreditation.  One the only such school in Southern Nigeria.  It was abandoned by the immediate past administration.

16. Other Interventions: 
There are other areas of positive intervention including the beautiful streetlight project, the Ward Lightings, renovation of the mortuary, etc. 
 Concerning academics, many Departments that had lost accreditation to train our people for the benefit of our society have had their accreditation fully restored within the last 2 years.  Other Departments who never had accreditation now have successfully gained accreditation.  We can continue to count.

The successes recorded by the current management within two years in office stand in stark contrast to the maladministration of the immediate past rulership. The reason for such tremendous achievements is not far-fetched. It can be attributable to the inalienable commitment of the Board and Management to the development of the hospital. The Chairman of the Board, Col. Abdul Muhammadu (Rtd), as a highly reputed solider who rendered diligent service to the nation and meritoriously retired, has proven his mettle as a gentleman of impeccable integrity by ensuring harmonious relationship between the Board and Management for the overall benefit of the hospital.


We, therefore, wish to particularly counsel the past leadership and their racketeering contractor to desist from their sponsorship of ever failing plots of mischief, calumny and pull-him-down.  They should learn from the divine wisdom that "who God blesses, no man can curse". Rather, they should join hands with the dynamic leadership of the current Board and Management in their undeterred march to elevate UCTH to greatness.

Going by records available to us, we make bold to say that the UCTH has never had it so good from inception.  We are all living witnesses to a revolution in growth and development sweeping through all facets of the hospital.  As staff and stakeholders, we support the current leadership whole-heartedly, with all our power and all our might. 

Accordingly, we shall resist whatever act of mischief designed to derail this progressive course of taking the hospital to unprecedented glory and greatness.
We thank God for blessing our beloved UCTH with a thoroughbred leadership – a diligent and disciplined Board Chairman on one hand, with the support of progressive minded Board members, and an astute and visionary CMD on the other hand, ably supported by loyal and disciplined Management Staff. Together, they have ensured decorum and tranquility in the hospital, thus all hands are on deck and all eyes focused on growth and development.

Monday, 12 April 2021

Defect and lose your seat, ex governor warns incumbent over defection rumour


As the 2023 election year draws closer with party primaries just months away, the political climate in most states like Cross River, Zamfara and Ebonyi are tensed up with rumours of defections and counter rumors. 

The heat of defection is currently very strong in Cross River and Zamfara as governor Ayade of Cross River have been facing a serious running battle with members of the National Assembly from the State. This has divided the party in the state while crippling party activities.

Recently, Ayade who played host to governor Balla Mohammed was heard complaining about the several injustice he has faced from the PDP while warning that he will no longer tolerate such level of disrespect and injustice meted on him and his office, stating that he is dancing on the fence.

Many had taken the governor's dancing on the fence statement to mean he is in between two parties. 

Also in Zamfara, governor Bello Matawelle have had his own fair share of party tussle as to who takes hold of the soul of the party in his state. With this supremacy tussle lingering for long there are strong rumors that the governor might be dumping his party for the APC which seems to be a strong party in his state. 

It was based on the aforementioned that a former governor of Zamfara State, Alhaji AbulAziz Yari, informed  governor, Matawalle, that his movement to APC will mean forfeiture of his seat as governor  to note that he would lose his seat going by the Supreme Court's verdict that brought him to power in 2019.

Yari who said there's yet to be a verbal or official communication to the governor's decisions to leave the party, however, cautioned that the apex court nullified the election of the APC candidates in 2019 and announced the PDP candidates as winners who would remain in power till 2023.

"As such, until after that period, any PDP elected officer who defects to another party must also vacate his seat going by the court's judgment," he said.

Yari who was at the secretariat of the All Progressives Congress in Gusau on Sunday to distribute N1.3bn assorted grains he purchased for the APC supporters as Ramadan gift, said he believes Matawalle was being misled by some people to join the APC "forgetting the circumstances that have made him to become the governor of the state."

Wednesday, 7 April 2021

Let's rally round our new Olu designate, Prince Tsola Emiko, Dr. Agbolaya urges Itsekiri


...Calls for unity to move Iwere land forward

A Chieftain of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Delta State, Amb. Evangelist, Dr. Toyin Agbolaya has appealed to all Itsekiri sons and daughters to rally round the new Olu of Warri Designate, Prince Tsola Emiko who was presented as the Omoba Monday April 5, 2021 at Big Warri (Ode-Itsekiri) the ancestral home of all Itsekiri.

Dr. Agbolaya while urging Itsekiri nation to support the Omoba,  described Prince Tsola Emiko  the new Warri Monarch designate as a well equipped Man who has the basic necessary requirements of royalty to pilot the affairs of Iwere land to greater progressive heights.

Amb. Dr. Agbolaya who was recently ordained in the Lord's vineyard as an evangelist, said thus "that he's very  sure the Omoba will sail the Iwere ship to the promised land and better days ahead for Warri Kingdom.

" I enjoined all Iwere faithful to join hands with him to move the kingdom forward".

Evangelist Dr. Agbolaya called on those aggrieved to come for peaceful dialogue for unity and interest of Warri Kingdom as well as work for uplifting of Itsekiri togetherness anchored on  the revered Crown which is sign of their unity.

Dr. Agbolaya congratulated The new Olu of Warri Designate saying he is proud of the Omoba as his Boss, adding that he has been in touch with Warri people touching lives positively for development of Warri Kingdom.
Gani Adams is obstructing justice - Yoruba Women


South-West women on Monday accused the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Gani Adams, of threatening peace and security, obstructing justice, distorting facts and embarking on a campaign of blackmail.

''We will not fold our arms and allow Gani Adams to rubbish the good name and excellent track record Mrs. Ngozi Onadeko has built over the years'' the descendants of Oduduwa said.

They also tongue-lashed Adams for his apparent disregard for law.

 ''Gani Adams and his co-travellers are behaving like a pack of juveniles. They don't mean well for this country''

In a statement in Osogbo, the women praised Onadeko for her extraordinary courage and absolute understanding of security issues in Oyo State.

They accused Adams of pushing the real issues aside and employing sentiments and blackmail to explain the security situation in Oyo State.

The notable South-West women expressed delight and satisfaction with the high degree of determination so far exhibited by Onadeko to address the security challenges in Oyo State.

Signed by the Chairperson of Yoruba Women in Government (YWIG), Chief Fumilayo Adesanwo, the women commended the courage and patriotism of Onadeko to rid Oyo State of kidnappers, arsonists and other criminal elements.

The women underscored the shameful show of power, uncivilized tactics and the rights of citizens.

They condemned the   uncouth language, arrogant demeanor and use of brute force by Gani Adams and members of the Oodua People's Congress (OPC).

''Gani Adams did not put on his thinking garb before calling for the redeployment of the police commissioner. He is misinforming the people''

Specifically, they took a swipe at the action of the OPC members in Kajola community, Ibarapa North Local Government, describing it as unacceptable.

 ''The solution does not lie in the use of blackmail or force''

The women further praised Governor Seyi Makinde for protecting the lives and property of the people of Oyo State

They also urged the Inspector General of Police and the Police Service Commission to ignore Gani Adams.

''The South-West people are solidly behind Mrs. Ngozi Onadeko. We are very proud of her. She has given good account of herself in Oyo State'' the statement added

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

"Forgive, unite and development your communities", council boss charges leaders

The Chairman, Odupkani Local Government Area, Hon. Mrs. Justina Edem, has called on leaders of the Local Government Area to seek ways to foster development in the council while ensuring peace and unity is their main objective. 

Mrs. Justina who made this know in Calabar during the 2021 Easter Celebration party held for councilors and appointees of the council, admonished the council leaders to forgive one another and live in harmony while  calling on all indigenes and residents of Odukpani to respect and love one another as they go about their normal  businesses. She advised all her Councilors and Appointees to remain united towards the development of their various communities.

She further noted that as Christians, Easter was a period to reflect on the gains of Jesus Christ death and apply same to our daily live. She emphasized that Easter signifies sacrifice, peace and  forgiveness, as evoked by Jesus Christ's death on the cross giving us the leverage as Christians to access the throne of grace.

Mrs. Edem used the event to appreciate the Executive governor of Cross River State, Sen. Prof. Ben Ayade for restoring peace and sanity in the State through the launch of a security outfit code name "Operation Akpakwu" which has seriously combated crimes and reduced insecurity in the state. She expressed satisfaction with the success stories recorded so far in weeding out criminal elements in Odukpani Local Government Area. She urged the security outfit not to relent in their effort to weed out those who might regroup.

Also appreciating the leader of the party in the Local Government, Mr. Asuquo Ekpenyong Jnr. Rt. Hon. (Deno Enuo), including Amb. Francis Bassey, Hon Oqua E. Oqua, for their continuous support to Odukpani Local Government Area. She reiterate her resolve in consolidating on the already gains so far achieved in ensuring the Council grows from strength to strength.

For appointees and councilors of Odupkani, 2021 Easter came with so much glamour and sober reflections as the chairman of council, Mrs. Justina Edem hosted them to a treat at the Cross River Cultural Village, where they were entertained with traditional dances, comedy, public interface and merriment.

The event which was in partnership with the G-5 group led by her president, Mr Effiong Edet Oqua (Etoakpa) had several dignitaries in attendance including the Vice Chairman Hon. Enefiok Inyang, The leader of legislature Hon. Eton Effiong Okon and Councilors, the Secretary Pastor Terrance Orok, Special Adviser to the governor on Public Affairs, Prince Eyo Ita Okon, as well as Appointees from State and Local Government and Odukpani PDP Chapter Chairman, Mr Edem Eyo Anam with his Secretary Mr Jimmy Ekpe.
Ayade goes tough suspends more aides, orders investigation of two MDAs


Governor of Cross River State, Sen. Prof. Ben Ayade in what seems like a sanitation of the system while resolving to "Finish Strong" has approves the suspension of Mr. Gabe Onah as Chairman, Carnival Commission.

The suspension is coming few days after the Commission organized and had the first ever Calabar Carnival award to recognize some eminent personalities whose contributions have gone unnoticed since the establishment of the Calabar Carnival.

The suspension is the second since the Governor made his declaration of finishing strong which saw to the suspension of the Chairman of IRS, Mr. Akpanke Ogar and the SA, Media, Miss Ursula Agbor. Like the former, details of the reason for the suspension were not revealed, however, according to the press release, the suspension takes immediate effect.

Recalled that since the establishment of the Commission, Mr. Gab Onah has been on ground and conducting the affairs of the Commission. He is well schooled on the working of the carnival having attended several training on the growth and development of tourism with particular reference to carnival development.

According to some Cross Riverians who reacted to the suspension, they faulted the timing of the suspension which as earlier mentioned came up shortly after the award night conducted by the Commission. For them, Mr. Onah is storehouse on the affairs of carnival which remains untapped given his many years of experience in the industry. For others however, Mr. Onah has overstayed his welcome having been there from time immemorial, his ideas were becoming defective, hence he should give way to fresh hands and ideas. However, the Governor has not named any replacement to take up from the suspended Mr. Gab Onah.

Similarly, Gov Ayade has also approved of the investigation into the activities Ministry of Lands & Urban Development and the Cross River Geographic Information Agency (CRGIA), sets up committees to carry out these tasks.

According to the press release signed by the Special Adviser Media to the Governor, Mr. Christian Ita, Mrs. Franca Inok, the Auditor General for Local Government will serve as chairman of the committee, Mr. Efem Eja and Mrs. Agede Ibe will serve as members.

Whereas Mr. Henry Ojogu, a former accountant general in the state will act as Chairman, Mr. Michael Mbang, Prince Ekanem Ekpo Nya will serve as members of the committee to investigate the activities of the Cross River Geographic & Information Agency.

The committee will investigate the activities of the agency from 2015 on matters concerning ground rent and building approval of all new property.

Interestingly, the agency according to reliable information was almost grounded as they were faced with multiplicity of problems especially in the discharge of their duties. The source went on to mention the overbearing interference as one of the challenges of the agency