Cross River State is not resting on its month long premium tourism product, Carnival Calabar, the state is on overdrive to up its octopus hold on the sector with a sport tourism cycling project dubbed Akwacross.
The game plan is keep the state continuously in focus with strategic and sustainable tourism activities, building up an entirely dependent economy on tourism culture, environment and other down stream influncers of the business.
Akwacross cycling project which is specially dedicated to enhancing the historical and cultural relationship between the people of Akwa Ibom and Cross River states, who share similar narratives on culture, dances, language, fashion and gastronomy, comes up on March 14, an innovation critical to generating domestic visitations and reconnection.
It is also promised to drive excellence in sports and physical wellbeing of the people, not excluding visitors as a well toned body notably contribute to the progress and advancement of humanity.
That’s not all about the rebirth and restructuring of tourism agenda of this state blessed with virgin aquatic and natural resources endowment as plans are afoot to organize the biggest training program for the hospitality operators and investors come 19th March, 2020.
Already, obudu resort on the northern fringes of the state is back on the tour circuit. This iconic resort with surreal landscape and cable car, remain the state’s best highly sought after tourist delight and activator of structured visits.
Eric Anderson, the honourable commissioner for tourism, disclosed that all tour sites in the states will receive facelift to make them attractive to investors and tourists.
“We are carefully addressing issues that help us create a true tourism environment that will place the state as most visited in Africa and at same time develope verifiable tourism economy capable of providing jobs and help protecting our prime fauna and flora ecosystem.” he explained.
Anderson who promised to sufficiently link other key tourism product drivers into top finishing ranking, stated that marine tourism will not be left out on the cross River tourism agenda as plans to give the iconic marina resort a big boost to increase the unusual visitors traffic to the city center located recreation site.
“We are sure cross River State can make a big statement apart from our carnival Calabar project. Our desire is to be seen as the best destination in Nigeria nay Africa. We are determined to prove a point and we are encouraged by the governor to make this state the most preferred among local and international visitors,” Anderson said.
Pastor Lands in Jail for Lying Against Colleague in Ondo
The Ondo State High Court sitting in Akure, the state capital, on Thursday sentenced a pastor, John Abiodun, to two years’ imprisonment for false allegation against a church founder.
Abiodun was arrested in 2019 for lying against the founder of Promiseland Prophetic Ministry, Akure, Pastor Gbenga Akinbiyi, that seven placentas were planted on the church’s altar.
The church is located in the Shasha area of Akure.
The convict, who was a former member of the church, swore an affidavit before the commissioner for oaths on the matter.
Abiodun and a lecturer of the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Prof. Lanre Olu-Adeyemi, were later arraigned on eight counts bordering on conspiracy, publication of false information, perjury, impersonation, threatening violence, among others.
The second defendant (Olu-Adeyemi) was the admin of a WhatsApp group on which the false accusation was published.
During a series of court proceedings on the matter, witnesses were called by both the prosecutor and the defence counsel.
The trial judge, Justice Bode Adegbehingbe, found Abiodun guilty of count five of the charge.
He said the convict contradicted himself while giving evidence in the allegation against him, which included the use of different church WhatsApp platforms and other social media to malign, carry out false publication and wrongly accuse the founder of the church.
The court said Abiodun was guilty of perjury, an offence punishable under Section 118 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Ondo State.
The judge also held that in law, anybody found guilty of perjury was liable to life or 14 years’ imprisonment, but due to the plea by the defence counsel, Mr Olanrewaju Adesanmi, he would reduce the jail term to two years.
“The first defendant is hereby sentenced to two years’ imprisonment,” the judge ruled.
The second defendant was discharged and acquitted as the court said the investigation conducted by the police on his involvement in the matter was shoddy.
The prosecuting counsel, Mr Kayode Dare, expressed satisfaction with the judgement, saying the court had vindicated Akinbiyi and other members of his church.
Accident in Katsina Claims 13 Lives, 70 Injured
Thirteen people died while 70 others sustained injuries in a motor accident along Kaita/Dankama Highway, Katsina State on Thursday night.
Although details of the circumstances surrounding the accident were still sketchy by Friday morning, it was learnt that a majority of the passengers inside the truck were from the neighbouring Niger Republic.
The witnesses added that 70 sheep were also killed in the accident.
The PUNCH learnt that those who sustained injuries have been taken to the Federal Medical centre, Katsina General hospital and Amadi Rimi Orthopaedic Hospital, all in Katsina, for treatment.
However, the Katsina State Government sent a delegation to attend the funeral prayers and burial of the deceased on Thursday night at Dantakum graveyard located within Katsina metropolis.
The delegation included Commissioners of Local Governments, Alhaji Ya’u -Umar Gwajo-Gwajo and that of Sports and Social Development, Alhaji Sani Danlami, as well as Governor Aminu Masari’s Senior Special Assistant on Restoration Alhaji Sabo Musa and Head of Kaita Local Government Administration among others.
The government delegation also visited the injured at the hospitals on Thursday night.
The spokesman for the Katsina police command, SP Gambo Isah, was yet to react to the accident as of the time of filing this report.
Katsina VP Pays Student N300-N500 to Have Sex with Her, Arrested
The Vice-Principal of the Kadandani Community School in the Rimi Local Government Area of Katsina State, Ibrahim Tukur, who allegedly raped and impregnated a student of the school, has explained the circumstances surrounding the development.
He made the explanation in Hausa language to journalists at the police headquarters in Katsina, where he and other suspects were paraded on Wednesday.
Tukur stated, “I am being accused of committing rape and it’s true I committed the crime. I have been having affairs with the girl for eight months ago now. I used to take her to my house and offer her the sum of N300 of N500; some other times, I would give her N200 to have sex with her.
“Information reaching me right now is that the girl has been delivered of a baby boy for me. I have three wives.”
Tukur and the other suspects were arrested between January 9 and 14, 2021.
The spokesman for the command, SP Gambo Isah, told journalists during the parade that the vice-principal was arrested on January 9, 2021 following a formal report at the Rimi Divisional Police Headquarters by one Ibrahim Sani.
Isah said Tukur took advantage of the victim to impregnate her.
“The vice-principal, who is married to three wives, used to take the girl from the school to his house, where he had serial sex with her. As a result, he got the girl pregnant and she was delivered of a baby through caesarean section.”
Other suspects paraded included Auwal Hamzat and Sulaiman Abubakar, who were alleged to have sodomised three boys, who were children of their neighbours.
The neighbours reported the incident to the police, leading to the suspects’ arrest.
One Ishiaku Sani, 25, was also paraded for a similar offence.
Sani was alleged to have also sodomised the six-year-old son of his neighbour, who reported the incident to the police on January 10.
Also paraded was a 61-year-old man, Lawan Sani, who was alleged to have molested a six-year-old girl, whose mother reported the incident at the Central Police Station, Katsina, on January 14.
Similarly, one Jamilu Salisu was paraded for the alleged molestation of a five-year-old girl in Funtua on January 11.