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Niger Delta

Imoke Assures On Calabar Carnival

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Cross River  State Gover
nor, Liyel Imoke, has flagged off the 2013 Carnival Calabar at Tinapa Business and Leisure Resort with the promise that this year’s edition will be bigger and better.
It would be recalled that Calabar Festival began in 2000 as a Christmas celebration for residents of Cross River, while its carnival component was introduced in 2005.
Calabar festival is easily the largest event of its kind and its carnival component acclaimed as Africa’s Biggest Street Party with no less than 500,000 visitors and 50,000 costumed revelers.
Imoke, who was speaking at the press conference to flag-off the event, said that this year’s carnival with the theme “Ain’t no stopping us’’ would be bigger and better than other editions.
Imoke told participants, including Nollywood stars and major corporate sponsors, at the conference that Nigerians and the global community were duly invited to “Africa’s Biggest Street Party’’.
He said that the 32-day festival would kick-off on November 30 with a tree lighting ceremony, building up to its climax on December 26 and 27.
He explained that the line-up of events had been informed by audience feedback and a desire to further increase the reach and range of the event.
“ Calabar Festival 2013 will be fresher, greener and most importantly meet the expectations of the audience and spectators.
“The traditional international partners Brazil (featuring Beija-Flor – Brazil’s most successful band at the Rio Carnival) and Trinidad and Tobago will be joined by Rwanda and France,’’ he said.
He said that the addition of these participants would add a fresh flavour to the festivities.
According to the governor, the presentation of James Ene Henshaw’s play “This is our chance’’ will herald a welcome return to theatre.
“Others include “Kakadu” the musical, a first time appearance of “Les Grandes Personnes,” a collection of storytellers, craftsmen and puppeteers, who create large-scale effigies and locally-based story line for street drama.
“They gained worldwide attention at the FIFA World Cup in South Africa,’’ he said.
He said that all musical performances would be by Nigerian artistes because the festival planning committee observed that Nigerian musicians pulled larger crowds than their international counterparts at previous festivals.
“Many of these artistes like P-Square and D’Banj have significant worldwide presence. The support today of major Nollywood stars, is therefore particularly significant,’’ the governor said.
He said that the festival village had been moved from the Cultural Centre to a larger space at the Calabar Municipality Grounds on Marian Road.
“Festival Village 2013 will feature the return of the popular Guinness Village for ‘over-18s’ and a new First Bank-sponsored Children’s Village and Santa’s Grotto for family fun.
“The Dangote Group will again be the main sponsor of the Children’s Carnival,” the governor said.
Imoke said that various charity events to raise money for youth empowerment programmes and the under-privileged would be part of the activities.
“For the first time this year, there will be a Green Ball, a charity event with an environmental conscious theme,’’ he said.

Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Engr. Tele Ikuru, his wife, Dr. Mina Ikuru (left), with  winner of Port Harcourt Centenary beauty pageant, Miss Theodora Kelechi Atako (middle) and the runners-up, at Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt, last Friday.

Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Engr. Tele Ikuru, his wife, Dr. Mina Ikuru (left), with winner of Port Harcourt Centenary beauty pageant, Miss Theodora Kelechi Atako (middle) and the runners-up, at Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt, last Friday.

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Niger Delta

Monarch Tasks NDDC  On Due Process

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The Mingi of Nembe Kindom and former Minister for Petroleum Resources, His Royal Majesty, King Edmund Dakoru, has called on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to follow due process in all its activities for the development of the region.
He said he was not interested in who was right or wrong, but only cared about the development of the region through due process. 
The Nembe monarch in Bayelsa State disclosed this while speaking to aviation correspondents last Friday, shortly on arrival from Abuja.
He noted that the Niger Delta people had become enemies to themselves even when the creation of the NDDC itself had not yielded the desired development in the region.
He said that the setting up of the board of the commission was long overdue since two years ago.
“The question is, are we getting enough from both NDDC and the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs? The answer is No, we are not getting enough.
“It is ourselves that is our own enemies, and we later turn to blame other people. They have given us NDDC and the Ministry of Niger Delta, and what have we actually done with it.
“We are not getting enough from the establishment of the commission and the ministry because we are not following the enabling law, and in years to come, they will say: “We gave you NDDC and Ministry of Niger Delta, and what have you done with them”, Dakoru said.
On the regulation of the social media, especially the Twitter, the former minister frowned at the way it is being currently used by the citizenry, and said there was nothing wrong if government in its wisdom decides to regulate it.
According to him, government in every nation has the right to decide what is good for its own citizens.
“Government is doing what it is supposed to do to protect the social reputation of the people by regulating the social media and the unnecessary spread of lies.
“It is not about the social media itself, but the way people use it is the issue, and if government in its own wisdom decides to regulate it, I do not think that there is anything to question”, he said.

By: Corlins Walter

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Niger Delta

Diri Promises Bayelsans Better Deal

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Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, Saturday re-echoed his administration’s readiness towards bettering the lots of the state through developmental projects and policies.
Governor Diri stated this in Yenagoa, during a live broadcast on radio stations across the state to commemorate this year’s June 12 Democracy Day celebration which was monitored by The Tide.
In a statement made available to newsmen by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, shortly after the broadcast, the governor was quoted saying:
“Democracy was about the people, Nigeria had come a long way with 22 years of uninterrupted civilian rule. We’ve also observed that the nation’s Democratic journey had not been very smooth but it’s worth celebrating. The urban renewal programme and other projects as well as policies of the prosperity administration were part of the efforts to accord the state a facelift, making it better and more attractive to tourists and investors”.
Speaking against the backdrop of the ongoing demolition of illegal structures in the state capital, the governor stated that it was in line with his administration’s urban renewal policy, noting however, that since the demolition commenced, sanity had been restored in some of the major markets in the state, regretting that the shanties in such areas were hide-outs for criminals.
In the same vein, governor Diri has made clarifications on the Federal Government’s infrastructure development refund to the state.
He said the actual amount the state received was N27.5 billion and not N38.4 billion as was earlier speculated, just as he explained that the total refund due the state was N38.4 billion.
Diri however maintained that the Federal Government has said the release would not be possible in the next four years and therefore offered the state a second option of a discounted amount of N27.5 billion through the Debt Management Office, DMO which he said the state has since received last December, 2020.
“The Federal Government infrastructural refund had been committed to constructing critical capital projects; the Yenagoa- Oporoma road in the state’s Central Senatorial district, the Sagbama-Ekeremor road in the Western district,and the AIT-Igbogene ring road project were being constructed, with the refund”, he said.
“We’re also constructing the dualised Glory Drive-Onopa road, the Nembe unity bridge and we’ve done and will continue to do the installation of street lights in the state capital and other projects”, he added.
On open grazing, Diri maintained that he was not counteracting the Federal Government’s stance on resuscitating grazing routes, saying that his administration has, however, put in place a legal framework to ban open grazing.
Diri mentioned that the southern governors had adopted same instrument as part of measures to forestall, farmers/herders fracases.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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Niger Delta

Police Nab 126 Suspected Criminals In C’River

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The Cross River State Police Command has arrested 126 suspected criminals in the Northern and Central Senatorial districts of the state.
Sixty-eight suspects were arrested in the Northern senatorial district while 58 were arrested in the central senatorial district of the state.
Speaking to journalists in Calabar, the State Commissioner of Police, CP Sikiru Akande, said “My officers who are in the central senatorial district have carried out similar operations and they have 58 different suspects while those in the North have about 68 different suspects
“In the Southern senatorial district, we have 109 criminals arrested from different areas. We want to restore peace which is the mandates of the current police administration and we are to use all tactics to ensure that peace is restored in our region”
CP Akande said in every armed robbery, there is cultism, in every kidnap, there is cultism, cultism emboldens the heart to do and undo and in most cases, these people use cultism for nefarious activity because cultism is an impressive instrument in the society
Following the arrests of many suspects, The Police boss said efforts are on top gear to curb cell congestion, especially as the courts are still on strike.
He said, “We are going to use the opportunity to screen them to the last person so that if it is possible for us, we put of the fire that is likely to come from that area
“We will profile them and send them back to their different communities to police the place Now that we have their pictures, now that we have their fingerprints, anything that happens in that area, they will be held responsible
“We have a template, criminals before now don’t have identities, now they do, we are going to profile them we are going to send them back to their community with a digital monitoring capacity. What we want to do is that we want to use them as forces against future criminality because what we have now is a large number of people from different parts of the city.
‘If anything happens in their areas, they are going to be the first suspect to be pick up. If they don’t want to suffer, they will maintain peace. The numbers of creeks created by these individuals are too much. Those who stay around these areas, when they see strange face say something” he stated.

By: Friday Nwagbara, Calabar

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