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
Shun Cultism, Naval College Urges Graduating Students
The Commandant of the Nigerian Navy Secondary School, Akpabuyo, Cross River State, Commander Felicity Uchime, has charged graduating students of the school to shun cultism, examination malpractice and other vices.
Uchime, who gave the charge last Saturday during the graduation ceremony of 195 students of the 2021/2022 set, urged the students to see their graduation from the school as a ladder to climb to higher grounds.
She said the graduation signified the hard work, determination and resilience of the students.
“As you graduate today, I want to advise you all to stay away from cultism, examination malpractice and vices.
“The Nigerian Navy School has imbibed sound character and discipline in all of you, hence we expect you to be worthy ambassadors of this great school, “ she said.
She said the school was poised for academic excellence and quality education, adding that the school has imbibed sound character and discipline in the students.
“Your parents have dedicated financial resources to see you through school; you must not disappoint their trust in you,” she said.
I want to wish all of you the best in your future endeavours,” she said.
Speaking, Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Naval Command, Rear Adm. Ibrahim Dewu, congratulated the students for the successful completion of their secondary school education.
Dewu, who was represented by Capt. Dauda Isa, said that their graduation reflected the training and quality of education the students had received in the last six years.
“With the quality of teaching we have in this school, I have no doubt that you all have the requisite credentials to excel in your future endeavours.
“We are going to do our best to upgrade the facilities in this school with a view to meeting the expectations ofstudents and parents,” he said.
The Tide’s source reports that Master Divine Akpan was awarded the best performing student of the school in the just released released by the West African Examinations Council.
The school also presented other certificates and awards to deserving graduating students.
First Female Immigration Boss In A’Ibom Assumes Duty
Mrs Francisca Dakat has assumed duty as the 21st Comptroller, Immigration Service (CIS) and the first female Comptroller in Akwa Ibom Command.
Dakat, whose last posting was Rivers Marine Command, is taking over from Comptroller George Didel, who has been redeployed to Migration Directorate, Service Headquarters, Abuja.
Speaking with The Tide’s source during the exchange of baton in Uyo last Friday, Dakat said she would build on the achievements of her predecessor.
“The outgoing Comptroller has done so well and I intend to consolidate on those achievements, and if God helps us, we will do more.
“We always want to be better than our teachers. So, whatever we can do to make the command better, we will do it,” Dakat said.
Dakat, who was appointed into the Service in 1990, charged personnel of the Command to remain committed to duty and be disciplined, to move the service forward.
In his farewell message, the outgoing CIS, Didel, urged the personnel to remain loyal and committed to the service.
“I want to tell my staff that they must continue to be loyal to the country. They must be hard working and must be disciplined, especially in the performance of their duties.
“As public servants, we must continue to serve the public. So, I will leave them with that message, to be patriotic and be committed to their duties,” Didel said.
IPMAN Threatens Depot Shutdown Over Police Harassment
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), South East Zone, has threatened to shut down depots in Calabar, Port Harcourt and Enugu over incessant police harassment of its leaders.
Cross River State Chairman, IPMAN, Mr Robert Obi, made the threat last Friday in Calabar while speaking with newsmen.
Obi said the association decided to close all the depots and stations after a series of meetings with some stakeholders over police harassment of its leaders.
He alleged that there were moves by the Police Legal Unit at the Force Headquarters in Abuja to arrest its executives across the zone and possibly install a factional leadership.
He said that any arrest of its leaders in the zone would create more crisis in the association in spite of various court pronouncements laying the matter to rest.
Obi said the Attorney-General of the Federation, in a letter which was copied to Mr Chinedu Okoronkwo and his faction, who lost out at the Supreme Court, had acknowledged Alhaji Sanusi Fari as the authentic National President of IPMAN.
Obi frowned at the alleged moves by the police authorities and some, he described as “disgruntled elements”, to either misinterpret the Supreme Court ruling or subvert the will of the people.
He said their aim was to impose their cronies on the association even when the facts of the matter were very clear.
“Despite the legal advice, the police are putting all arsenals to arrest the current executives of IPMAN in Nigeria, particularly in Calabar NNPC depot and hand the leadership of the association to the people of their choice.
“IPMAN warns that further step shouldn’t be taken by the police to interfere with the current leadership of the association. We will shut down the distribution channels of petroleum and allied products in Nigeria pending when the police do the right thing.
“IPMAN leadership has resolved to continue with their rights in the constitution and abide by the extant laws and subsisting judgments of the courts in its favour,” he said.
The Tide learnt that the zone has been embroiled in leadership crisis which led to various court cases.
The South East Zone of IPMAN, comprises Enugu, Aba, Rivers, Cross River and Benue State with more than 40 depots and 1,000 petrol stations with about 2,000 members.
The zone has been having a running battle with officers of the Nigeria Police over alleged attempt by the police to force a factional leadership on the association.
Meanwhile, Force Headquarters spokesman, Mr Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said he was not aware of the matter.
Earlier, the Cross River State Command of the Nigeria Police had said it was not in position to react to the allegation.
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