The Ekuri Community of Cross River State has accused the state government of deliberately seeking to destroy 20,000 hectre of its 33,600 hectre age-long community forest through logging for the proposed super highway construction, and has therefore written to President Muhammadu Buhari to step in and stop the depletion.
In a letter made available to newsmen in Calabar dated 4th May, 2021 and signed by 24 chiefs and elders of the community, including Chief Chief Abel Egbe, clan head of Ekuri clan and Chief Edwin Ogar, village head, Ubiofor, the community said government has already leased out the said forest to Sibawood Industry & Agriculture Nigeria to log timber and that the said company has already deployed bulldozers to deplete their prized forest.
The letter read in part: “We thank you Mr. President that when the threats from the superhighway project in 2016 threatened Ekuri community forest and our existence, you came to our rescue that the superhighway be detoured from Ekuri forest. This you did because of the richness and iconic status of this forest which also contributes in meeting Nigeria’s commitments to international environmental agreements.
“We wish to inform you that the threats to Ekuri community forest are not over as another superhighway specifically aimed at logging Ekuri community forest has been approved by the government of Cross River State through the Cross-River State Forestry Commission (CRSFC).
“Mr. President Sir, it is sad to inform you that the government of Cross River State through the Forestry Commission headed by High Chief Tony Undiandeye, has completed the re-validation of the 20,000ha illegal lease of Ekuri forest to Sibawood Industry& Agriculture Nig. Ltd to log against extant injunction and other government policies which the Commission is supposed to enforce but rather has abused them.
“Consequently, Sibawood have deployed bulldozers and commenced the construction of Iyamitet- New Ekuri road and have begun marking hundreds of trees in Ekuri forest for logging, threatening livelihoods, ecosystem services and mitigation of climate which this forest has been contributing to the wellbeing of Ekuri, Nigeria and the world at large.”
“Mr. President Sir, our humble prayer is to use your good office to stop this illegal revalidation of an illegal lease and end the current logging onslaught to destroy the famous Ekuri community forest which has promoted Nigeria’s image globally in terms of conservation, indigenous people’s involvement, livelihoods and climate change mitigation.
By: Friday Nwagbara, Calabar
Cleric Urges Youths To Take Care Of Their Parents
A Superintendent, Christ Army Church, City of David Cathedral, Ikot Ebidang, Onna, Akwa Ibom State, Mr David Udonsek, has tasked Nigerian youths to take care of their aged parents.
Udonsek offered the counsel in an interview with newsmen during the 3rd National Conference of the Church in Onna.
The Tide’s source reports that a sermon with the theme: “Parents Are Gates And Doors of Life”, was delivered at the conference.
Udonsek cautioned Nigerian youths against abandoning their parents at old age as such attitude usually reflect negatively on the larger society and on such children.
“A man’s door is shut immediately he or she abandons his parents.
“Children must catter for their parents because it is their responsibility to do that. In doing so, they are just reciprocating what the parents did for them from infancy into adulthood.
“Parents are gates through which everyone passes through, into this world; during labour, if a woman decides to close her legs, the child will not come out.
“Until a mother’s body is open, babies cannot find their way out into the world, either through womanhood or Caesarian Section.
“To castigate your parents as witches and wizards could cause a blockage to one’s destiny. It is a secret we have neglected. Our parents need our care just as they cattered for us during our childhood”, he said.
He advised youths to live for their parents in order to avoid walking in the dark, expressing regret that the neglect of parents was among the worst problems confronting Christian families.
He regretted that pride, self-centeredness, egoism and other bad tendencies were destroying the society, and particularly wondered why people would blame their parents for their failures in life.
“Seeing one’s parents as problems is the beginning of more problems for one”. he said.
C’River Dedicates Gov’s Tribunal Victory To People
The Government of Cross River State has dedicated the victory of the State Governor, Bassey Otu, at the governorship election petition tribunal on Tuesday to the people of the State.
The state Commissioner for Information, Mr Erasmus Ekpang, stated this while reacting to the judgment, which affirmed the election of Otu, who is of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Ekpang noted that while APC remained the vehicle that brought the government to office, the party was working with the mandate that was given to it by the people.
He said the judgment did not come to him as a surprise, stressing that there was never a case before the tribunal in the first instance.
Ekpang said, “I wasn’t surprised with the eventual outcome of the petition as the issues raised were all pre-election matters.
“We are indeed glad that it has come to an end and we want to ultimately dedicate this victory to the people who gave us the mandate in the first instance.
“Having done with the judgment, I now want to call on our friends from the other side to join hands with the governor to move the state to the next level.
“The state belongs to us all and not the party that we represent. They should feel free to come forward if they have good ideas to develop Cross River”.
The tribunal, led by Justice Oken Inneh, affirmed Otu’s victory by dismissing all the reliefs sought by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Prof. Sandy Onor.
Onor and the PDP had challenged Otu’s victory in the March 18 governorship election on the ground that Otu and his deputy, Mr John Odey, were not qualified to contest the poll.
Edo 2024: Oba Blesses Guber Aspirants
The Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, has said his palace remains apolitical and would always pray for political office seekers that seek his blessing and support.
The monarch spoke on Wednesday, when he received a former State Governor and APC Governorship Aspirant, Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor, and a frontline Labour Party Governorship Aspirant, Mr Kenneth Imansuangbon.
The TIde’s source reports that both aspirants were at the palace at different times to ask for the Oba’s royal blessings and support.
The monarch prayed for them and wished them well in their aspirations.
The arrival of the aspirants at the palace courtyard appeared carnival-like with each accompanied by different support groups and cultural dancers.
Speaking on Osunbor’s ambition, the highly revered monarch said the capability of the former governor, who was sacked by the election petition tribunal, was not in doubt.
He promised him that a prayer team would be put in place so that he would be free from any harm and also achieve his heart desire.
Osunbor was Edo State Governor between May 2007 and November 2008 before he was removed and replaced with Sen. Adams Oshiomhole.
Earlier in a speech, he said he was Governor for a short period “so it is my desire to come back and complete my mission and also contribute in my own way to assist Your Royal Majesty in developing our state to an enviable level.
“I know it is in the interest of Your Royal Majesty that whoever is coming to govern the state should be somebody who has the interest of the state at heart and prepared to do what is required to elevate Edo to an enviable height”
He recalled that within the short period of his stay in office, he exhibited excellence in governance.
He also recalled that he initiated a successful students’ bursary scheme and ensured that pensioners were paid their pension arrears without any of them owed by his government.
Speaking on his academic brilliance, he disclosed that he graduated with First Class in Law to become the first Nigerian to achieve the feat at the University of Nigeria.
The Omo N’Oba also prayed for Imansuangbon to have a hitch-free campaign, ahead of the poll in 2024.
Imansuangbon, popularly called Riceman, told the oba that he came to seek his blessing and support as he embarked on his campaign for the poll.
He said, “As my father, there is no way I can embark on my journey to the Government House without having the blessings of my father.
“My desire to govern Edo is to bring purpose and pattern to good governance”.
He promised the royal father that his administration would be just and firm.
He gave assurance that he would welcome the wise counsel of the traditional institution on the best ways to move the state forward, when elected.
He also promised to provide adequate security for lives and property in the state through the creation of jobs for the teeming unemployed youths.
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