Tag Archives: Ben Ayade

It’s time to allow Nigerians carry arms and ammunition –Eholor

Chief Patrick Osagie Eholor, social crusader and President of the One Love Foundation, in this one-on-one chat advocated for legalising possession of firearms by Nigerians.

Excerpts:

On Cross River’s anti-crime unit, Operation Akpakwu and Governor Ben Ayade’s pronouncement

Most of the state governors are the criminals not the citizens. Governors who are collecting security votes and spending it without the consent of the citizens; governors who are hiding palliatives. They should be ashamed of themselves. The man (Governor Ben Ayade) is acting like a military officer. It was so disgraceful of him to put on a military uniform to address his people. When did you see Joe Biden or Donald Trump wearing military uniform and behaving like a military dictator? These people(Nigeria governors) get so power drunk.

This was the same attitude that Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State was putting up and I had to confront him. He went to a meeting of his kinsmen and was humiliating them. That wasn’t good. There are ways you can talk to people without been harsh. You will recall that Governor Wike was saying that there would be no room for endsars protesters on the streets of Rivers State.

That anyone who dares him would be arrested. I challenged him that he is not bigger than the people who power belongs to and they elected him. It is our fundamental human rights to demonstrate. It is our fundamental human rights to protest. Wike is supposed to be a law officer but he is a lawbreaker.

Prof. Ben Ayade has been in the news for so many bad reasons. It is very wrong for him to say that he is going to destroy any whose landlord is harbouring a criminal. Let me ask him, does he have a credit bureau in his state? Does he have the number of people in his state? Does he have a social security number in Cross River State? Does he have the enabling environment in the state that will stop these acts of criminality he is trying to banish from the state? It is quite wrong for him to be enacting such ambiguous laws in his state.

I think the people of Cross River State are very docile. If they are not docile they should rise up against this dictator(Governor Ayade) and show him the way out of office by telling members of the state house of assembly to commence impeachment proceedings against him for threatening the peace loving people of the state.

On the abduction of secondary school students in Katsina State

It is unfortunate. We know that our security system is dead. What they (abductors) did in Katsina State was to embarrass President Muhammadu Buhari. There is a saying in Benin that a lion cannot come to an area to steal a goat if he knows that the people there are very powerful. The lion would be taking a big risk if he does that. President Buhari cannot even defend himself not to talk about defending the students.

That’s the reason the abductors carried out that daring operation of abducting over 300 students right under his nose.

I have said it several times that Nigeria’s security chiefs are only loyal to President Buhari not to Nigeria citizens for reasons best known to them. They have served this country beyond the time permitted by the constitution. We are also aware that President Buhari has the power to extend their stay in office. But they have outlived their usefulness. Right now they have nothing to offer Nigerians. This abduction incident is an embarrassment to them and the nation. I urge General Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), to as a matter of urgency resign and apologise to Nigerians.

What’s also worrisome is the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who is a SAN, an understands the legality or illegality of what’s happening yet he is championing law breaking. He should apologise to his immediate family and the youths of Nigeria who have suffered in the hands of law enforcement agents and criminals. He should resign in shame because he too has over stayed his usefulness. It is when the ovation is loud that he should leave the stage.

My suggestion is that we should hire mercenaries to defend and protect our citizens and porous borders. I advocate for what is obtainable in America where every citizen has a right to bear arms and ammunitions. It is time that we agitate that every responsible Nigeria citizen should be allowed to bear arms and ammunitions. If we all have arms and ammunitions we can defend ourselves. From all indications, it is obvious that the government can no longer defend the citizens.

Cross River announces resumption date for schools, rolls out protective gear for pupils

Gov Ben Ayade inspects the PPE factory in the state

All public schools in Cross River State will resume June 16 as the State government plans a special protective measures for children and others.

So far the state remains the only state in the county without the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and poised to maintain that standard, the State government is blazing the trail again as it has commenced the mass production of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for trial resumption of public schools

The State governor, Senator Ben Ayade announced this in a statement made available to some newsmen in Calabar yesterday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Christian Ita as he (Ayade) unveiled the PPE made at the state owned garment factory.

The protective gears, which include face shields and PPE overalls, according to Ayade will be deployed to schools free of charge for the use of students and medical personnel in the state.

Ayade said, “Perhaps, we have to adopt a new lifestyle that will integrate coronavirus as part of our lifestyle. And so for Cross River State, we have a strong commitment that our children cannot continue to stay at home, the more they stay, the more the moral decadence, the more indiscipline, the more they become lazy of getting back to school and getting started because for every stage in life there is time where you have to be in class and once the children miss that delicate phase, it becomes very difficult.

“I think it is wise for the kids to go back to school and I have seen this happen in China where kids are back to schools with their nose masks and shields. So you wear your nose mask and you wear your face shield when you get to school you drop the mask and wear only your shield to allow for more ventilation and more breathing.”

He said, “We believe it is time for the federal government to also show love and support to Cross River State. We have always led from the front and we think the mass production of PPE is an added advantage for which all health practitioners from nurses to radiographers must be equipped with PPE for them to work.

“Because we care, we want to support our public schools with free distribution of PPE. But our PPE for schools is limited only to the nose masks and face shield. But for the health workers in Cross River State, they will be provided at no cost because the government has to borne the cost.

“We have invested massively in the mass production of nose mask and face masks but in the course of time, it became obvious that the PPE is even far more critical because we realize that without the PPE our health workers, our front line workers are at risk and so there is a need for the production of PPE.

“Recently, doctors in Nigeria issued strike notice and their major reason was that their colleagues are dying in their numbers occasioned by the lack of PPE as they have direct contact with patients with confirmed cases”.

In view of this, he said “Cross River State had to invest seriously into the production of PPE. And we have gone out of our way to get the best quality of materials and brought in people who specialize in mass production from India. They are here with us today and they’ are working very hard producing thousands of face shields. These face shields will be the first and major shield production here in Nigeria”.

The governor used the occasion to appeal for federal government for patronage, saying that the production of the protective gear was part of his administration’s effort to fight the global pandemic.

He said, “I think that the federal government will be excited to encourage the resumption of schools because obviously the coronavirus has come to stay with us and the reality is that countries that have attempted to resume schools have had to contend with the increase prevalence of the virus but obviously how long can we wait as a country”?

On his part, the State Commissioner for Education, Mr. Godwin Amanke said a trial resumption of schools will commence on June 16th of June, 2020 and ” students will wear face masks and face shield to school. Once at the school gate the children will wash their hands and legs. Hand sanitizers will also be used. When the children enter the class room, they will remove the face mask and use only the face shield so as to get enough ventilation.

“Upon closure, they will wear back their masks and wear the shields and go back home. Teachers will wear same and undergo the same coronavirus protocols in the class room.”

If this special strategy works, the state will be the first state in the county to resume since the pandemic and forced closure of schools in March.

(The Guardian)

Activist praises Pres Buhari, Ben Ayade, Hope Uzodinma over people-friendly financial policies

Observer-General of the Federal Republic and frontline activist, Patriot Patrick Eholor has hailed President Muhammadu Buhari for signing an executive order enabling state legislatures and judiciary to be financially autonomous of their state governments. He also hailed Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River for abolishing taxing for low income earners, as well as Hope Uzodinma of Imo State for ending pensions and gratuities for former governors and their deputies.

He also spoke on a number of other issues:

President Muhammadu Buhari just sighed an Executive Order on financial autonomy for State Legislatures and Judiciary. How would you react to this?

I think we are getting there. If we continue on this pace, we are eventually going to have our independence. When I say independence, I don’t mean the nation, but in various arms of government. We are supposed to have 3 arms of government but lately, the executive have pocketed the other two arms, the judiciary and the legislature. I am happy that the president have become very proactive and have done the needful. Am sure a lot of things are going to be different.

If the judiciary have their autonomy, it means that they are no more dependent on the Executive and won’t be afraid to make bold decisions and step on toes, that they didn’t have the power to do before now.

It will also now help the House of Assembly members who have also in many ways believed that they have to play to the gallery of their masters, since most of them were not elected but were selected. Because of this independence, majority of them will have the guts to do the needful for their Constituency.

It’s a shame that the two colossus, Adams Oshiomhole and Godwin Obaseki who are figgtubg today, were also the people who denied this state of local government autonomy. Am surprised a d shocked that the former Labour leader, who is my friend, with his economic team manager then, which Obaseki was, with some of the exco members. Then with the dishonourable House member Adjoto, they all connived to kill local government autonomy, because they want to continue to dictate for them. If anything has been delayed for the local governments, they had power to take the states to court because they were no more supposed to be getting allocations from states anymore. They can sue the state and federal governments to pay them their allocations.

I know that Donald Trump don’t have a right to control the mayor of New York. John Tradeau don’t have a rifht to control the mayor of Misisagagar, because they have their own independent power.

You said they could go to court if the state governments refuse to pay them. What if the states have a certain level of influence over the courts?

There is nothing like what if. The Federal government is superior to the state, the state is superior to the local government. So the authority has spoken and what they said is final. Its up to the local governments to be more responsible now and split the funds they call security votes, and allocation and give directly what is meant for Caesar to Caesar and what’s for God to God.

Some policemen harassed journalists on official duty, and the Nigerian Bar Association is with journalists on this to give the police 5 days notice to apologise. Where are we heading to?

We are heading somewhere. Its not complicated. What brought the whites to their knees in America during the era of Rosa Parks, when she refused to stand up for a white man in a bus in Alabama. She said I am not inferior. My blood is red and I think yours is red. When she was forced and molested, the civil rights leaders were Martin Luther King Jr, a Christian, and Malcolm X, a Muslim. They organised a Stay-at-home protest that brought the American economy to its knees.

So I think that a lot of journalists have been sellouts because of stomach infrastructure. If the journalists come together and unite, with the support of NBA-they boycott courts, journalists boycott news reporting, you will see what will happen.

Journalists eat fire for us to drink water and I think 5 days is too long for police to abuse journalists and refuse to apologise. Am in solidarity with journalists. Am giving them 24 hours to apologise.

There is the recent abolition of taxes for low income earners in Cross River State by Governor Ben Ayade. What’s your take on this?

For my state, I think Godwin Obaseki has to take a cue from that. Obaseki has been very boastful that he has raised the IGT to 2 million plus to the detriment of very low income earners. This is a shame because in civilised societies, the rich cushion the poor, they are the ones that pay taxes. But here, they don’t pay. You can’t even go to their gates to ask for taxes.

The police you gave them to protect you will harass or even beat you.

You didn’t give our fathers and mothers land, or fertilisers or seeds, you didn’t buy cutlass for them, or water or irrigation, they use their sweat and blood to make sure they are able to plant cassava, corn, yam. Yet when they are bringing their produce to sell in the city, when you didn’t do the roads for them, you will beat them, humiliate them, and seize their goods. That’s very inhuman. Even when the whites colonised us, they didn’t go to this extreme methods. I think something is wrong with the black race.

This is victory for us, and I pray for another epidemic like covid to come again. Because I think the covid is the one that has exposed the issue of good governance and fake pastors in Nigeria.

I want to applaud Ayade, and appeal that instead of Obaseki to be fighting for second term, he should take a cue from Ayade.

Imo State Governor also abolished the compulsory payment of pensions and gratuities to past governors and deputy governors. What do you think of this?

I want to say that the FG has to also go further to make a law that the governors or deputy governors are not entitled for their cars to be changed, the allowance they used to get they are not entitled to it, because we have no oil, and there are so many unemployed youths. Those monies can be used to repair hospitals, schools, set up new infrastructure, they have to even go further to make taxes.

‘Hunger will be next deadly virus’ – Gov Ayade opposes total lockdown

The Governor of Cross River State, Prof Ben Ayade says hunger will be the next deadly virus if the livelihoods of citizens are not guaranteed during the lockdown.

President Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday, extended the lockdown in Lagos, Ogun, and the federal capital territory (FCT) by two weeks to contain the spread of coronavirus in the country.

But in a statement in Calabar, signed by Christian Ita, special adviser to Ayade on media and publicity, the governor said as the federal government is making effort to protect the lives of citizens, their means of livelihood should also be sustained.

“Protecting lives without protecting livelihoods of Nigerians will spell doom for the nation after COVID-19 as hunger will be the next deadly virus. Globally, hunger and hunger-related diseases like kwashiorkor and tuberculosis kill about 8.4 million people every year and so there is more pandemic when it comes to hunger,” Ayade said.

“So, we will do all we can to curtail the pandemic from spreading to our state and protect lives too, but protection of lives without the protection of livelihoods is a complete imbalance. There must be a holy matrimony between protection of lives and protection of livelihoods.

“Some of our brothers and sisters depend on daily work. If you carry blocks for a living, the day you are stopped from going to work, there will be no money to feed the children.

“We are preparing ourselves for the post coronavirus era when the planting season is just coming with the onset of the rains.

“We have prepared ourselves to be the biggest rice producers in the country with the Ogoja rice mill which is the most professional and the first vitaminized rice mill in Africa, and is currently undergoing a dry test and by May we should be ready to start milling.”

C River Governor Ben Ayade explains why Agba Jalingo is still in detention

The Governor of Cross River state, Professor Ben Ayade, on Monday said the continuous detention of a Nigerian journalist, Agba Jalingo, is as a result of his involvement in “Revolution Now Protest.”

Ayade said this at the State House, Abuja, while fielding questions from journalists after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.

On Sunday, a non-profit organisation, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), threatened to sue Cross River government and Governor Ayade, over the continuous detention of Agba Jalingo. Mr Jalingo, the publisher of Cross River Watch, who is facing treason charges, was arrested on August 22 over a report alleging that Mr Ayade diverted N500 million belonging to the state.

The governor, while reacting at the Presidential Villa, said the detainee was no longer a journalist but chairman of the African Action Congress (AAC), a party founded by the publisher of SaharaRepoter, Omoyele Sowore.

“In court, it is Federal Government versus Agba Jalingo, not Cross River State. The same Agba Jalingo who is in jail, I send him money…. “But when I don’t get a thing right you go to the social media and write something as careless as Governor Ayade has taken N500 million to Russia. “You impugned my father’s name, my character, my family name, for just a personal request that I’ve not met, out of many that I have met. Please for once, put yourselves in my shoes. All I simply did was to stay out of the issue,” Ayade said.

Daily Trust reports that Jalingo is facing charges of terrorism, treasonable felony and attempt to topple the Cross River State government at the Federal High Court in Calabar, being presided over by Justice Simon Amobeda.

It would be recalled that the journalist was arrested in Lagos by operatives attached to the Intelligence Response Team of the Nigerian Police on August 22, 2019. He was first arraigned on September 25, 2019 where he pleaded not guilty to the four-count charge levelled against him.

Atiku Abubakar, a former presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 polls, had also promised in December last year to liaise with relevant parties involved in Jalingo’s case to resolve the issue. Jalingo has, however, been in detention for 158 days.

Governor Ayade added: “He’s in court for treason; a state does not have power to try anyone for treason, it’s not me. Agba Jalingo is not a journalist, he is the chairman of a political party and so once he started the campaign to overthrow the government of President Buhari, he ceased to be seen from the point of journalist because he has become the state chairman of a party. “I have an intellectual background as a professor, I will stand with journalists at all times and I will never prosecute somebody. But if you ask Agba Jalingo today, I’m the one working with his lawyers for his freedom; I’m the one sustaining him and sending upkeeps, the same man who once called me a golden brother, that I’ve stood with him through tough times.

“I am of the opinion that Agba should be released because I think he was just youthfully excited, but let him not use the power of the pen, let him not use journalism and hide to blackmail, chastise, lampoon, destroy another person just for personal economic benefit.”