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‘Tourism, Mainstay Of C’River Economy’

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The Director-General of Cross River Carnival Commission, Mr Gabe Onah, has said that tourism remained the mainstay of the state’s economy.

Onah, who said this in Calabar at the inauguration of the 2012 Carnival Calabar Street Procession, said: “‘This is our own oil well.

‘’It has become our entire life and this is what Cross River is known for.’’

He said that the state’s economic survival would now hinge on the development of the culture and tourism sector.

The director-general said Jamaica, Brazil, Ghana, Trinidad and Tobago and the Republic of Cameroun were participating in this year’s carnival.

Also speaking, Mr Akin Ricketts, Commissioner for Information and Orientation, said that this year’s carnival was the most successful in recent times.

Ricketts said that the 2012 Carnival Calabar witnessed mass participation of the private sector, noting that tourism was firmly taking root in the state.

‘’We also have individuals and philanthropists, who had doled out cash in support of this year’s carnival,’’ he said.

According to him, the carnival is gradually living up to the vision of Gov. Liyel Imoke by attracting private sector participation.

‘’It is in line with Gov. Liyel Imoke’s vision of making tourism in the state self-sustaining,’’ he said.

He said that the state planned to improve on this year’s achievement ‘’and by so doing we are sure that tourism has come to stay in Cross River’’.

While inaugurating the event, the acting Governor, Mr Efiok Cobham, said the state was satisfied with the success achieved in the this year’s event.

Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Mr Edem Duke, Senate Leader, Sen. Ndoma-Egba, members of the State House of Assembly and members of the State Executive Council were in attendance.

Earlier, the Speaker Cross River House of Assembly, Mr Larry Odey, expressed happiness that the momentum of the 2012 Calabar carnival had increased.

‘’The 2012 Calabar Carnival is increasing in size, scope, momentum, content and the colours are wonderful colours and cannot be compared all over the world,’’ he said.

Noting that the carnival was the biggest in Africa, Odey said it could only be compared to the Brazilian Carnival and that of Trinidad and Tobago.

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Niger Delta

Diri Suspends Twin Kingdom Youth Election 

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Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has directed the immediate suspension of the election of a new executive of the twin clans of Epie-Atissa, popularly referred to as the Oguan Youth Congress (OYC).
The Tide learnt that the Governor’s directive was sequel to the factional crisis that has engulfed the kingdom’s youth body, resulting in tension in the state capital, Yenagoa.
A statement made available to newsmen by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Daniel Alabrah, on Wednesday, noted that the Oguan Kingdom comprises 29 Epie and Atissa communities in the Yenagoa Local Government Area of the state.
The statement added that the suspension was indefinite, pending the resolution of the impasse by the State Government.
Alabrah also said the Governor has directed the police and other security agencies to ensure there was no breakdown of law and order as a result of the feud.
Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa
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Niger Delta

US Consulate Trains 25 Girls On STEM In Edo

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The U.S. Consulate says it is training 25 girls in underserved secondary schools in Edo State on STEM initiative (Science, Technology Engineering, and Mathematics).
The Tide’s source reports that the training is called the GirlLEAD STEM Talent Accelerator Programme, and was inaugurated recently.
Addressing the female students at the Benin City Window on America, in Benin, the Consul-General, US Consulate in Lagos, Will Steven, said  the programme was aimed at bridging the gender divide in STEM.
Stevens said:  “We want to see more of female founders in the tech space as well as doing well in STEM.
“Technology is one of the drivers of the Nigerian economy, and it holds a lot of opportunities for job creation.
“The job opportunities are there but not to be filled only by boys”.
According to him, the STEM programme prepares secondary school girls for possible scholarships in universities in the U.S. or for the students to continue in Nigeria universities or other universities in the world.
He also talked about the AI (Artificial Intelligence) conference to be organised in Lagos by the United States in collaboration with the Nigerian government.
He said the conference would encourage both countries to work together to talk about the framework as well as the safe environment for AI.
“We want to bring in AI training to the 27 American spaces across Nigeria”, he added.
Earlier, Dr. Georgina Erifeta, Director, Benin City Window on America, said the U.S. space had contributed to making the tech ecosystem in Edo to emerge as a major player in Nigeria’s tech landscape.
“By equipping young people with digital skills, we empower them to innovate, solve problems, and drive economic growth, fostering a brighter future for our community and beyond”, he said.
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Niger Delta

Impeachment: Security Operatives Take-over C’River Assembly Complex

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Security personnel have taken over the Cross River State House of Assembly complex, following the impeachment of the Speaker, Mr Elvert Anyambem, recently.
The Tide’s source  reports that the Speaker’s removal almost resulted in a clash between his supporters and other members of house.
The State Commissioner of Police, Gyogon Grimah, was sighted in the midst of other security personnel around the Assembly Complex.
Analysts say the presence of the security personnel is to forestall breakdown of law and order around the complex.
It would be recalled that the Speaker was impeached on Wednesday on grounds of  gross misconduct, high-handedness and misappropriation of funds.
Anyambem’s impeachment was carried out at a sitting of the Assembly in which he was presiding.
The impeachment notice was singed by 17 out of the 25 members of the Assembly.
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