… reinstates Prof. Hogan Itam as paramount ruler of Calabar South

Governor Bassey Otu of Cross River State has solicited stronger ties and cooperation with the Government of Canada for economic development, human empowerment and other mutual benefits.

The Governor made the call, last Thursday, while addressing a delegation led by the Country Director, Global Affairs Canada (GAC), ActionAid Nigeria, Ms. Djifa Ahado, and other development partners who were in his office on a courtesy call.

Governor Otu lauded the efforts of the Canadian Government in supporting women capacity building and economic empowerment in the state, pointing out that, “we are looking for effective bilateral discussions to improve critical areas like information and communication technology (ICT), agriculture, agro-allied industry.”

Commending the implementing partners for their enormous impact in Cross River through the support from the Canadian Government, the Governor expressed a sense of pride in the beneficiaries, noting that “they have indeed been working above board.

“We are happy with what you are doing not just in Cross River, but Nigeria at large. We are glad to partner with Canada in the advancement of society.”

He noted that Africa is the next emerging economy that must be considered for greater partnerships, assuring that his administration would continue to partner with the Canadian Government and other relevant agencies to boost economic growth in the state.

In her speech, the Country Director, Global Affairs Canada (GAC) of the High Commission of Canada, Djifa Ahado, stated that the essence of the visit was to keep the Governor abreast of the efforts of the Canadian Government through the various implementing partners in the last decade in the state, and the desired impact on women and girls as catalysts to poverty and economic growth.

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“We are working to enhance women political participation, economic empowerment and many other aspects of women’s lives. Cross River is among the states that we have the best impact, so we want to make sure that the Governor is aware of the different efforts we have been making.

“The impact has been very positive and sustainable. We want to see organizations that we are supporting continue to thrive in Cross River and Nigeria at large, hence the need for greater partnership with the state government to sustain already existing programmes executed through the support of the Canadian Government,” Ahado said.

Also on the team were implementing partners; ActionAid Nigeria, UN Women and CUSO International.

Meanwhile, Governor Otu has directed the immediate restoration of His Royal Majesty, Prof. Itam Hogan Itam, as the Village Head of Obufa Obio Ukem, Clan Head of Efut Ukem, Muri Munene and Paramount Ruler of Calabar South.

Governor Otu said the decision is based on the ruling of the High Court of Cross River State in Suit No. HC/MSC/154/2022 between HRM Muri Munene (Prof.) Itam Hogan Itam vs. Governor of Cross River State & 2 ors delivered on July 19, 2022, which set aside the removal of Prof. Itam as the Village Head of Obufa Obio Ukem, Clan Head of Efut Ukem, Muri Munene and Paramount Ruler of Calabar South.

The Governor noted that Prof. Itam Hogan Itam is the only and duly recognised Village Head of Obufa Obio Ukem, Clan Head of Efut Ukem, Muri Munene and Paramount Ruler of Calabar South, as any other person will be regarded as an impostor as such a person will be contravening Section 37 of the Traditional Rulers Law, Cap T4, Laws of Cross River State, 2004, and shall be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

The Governor, while congratulating His Royal Majesty Muri Munene, Prof. Itam Hogan Itam, on his restoration to the throne of his forefathers, urged him to pursue peace, inclusion and work towards the good of all Calabar South and the State in general.