The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has said that the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) is expecting the supply of more aircraft purchased by the Federal Government to boost the fight against insurgents in the North-East.
Speaking in an interview with newsmen last Tuesday in Yola, Abubakar said that NAF had already received some, including helicopters and had repaired 12 aircraft.
“We have inducted additional aircraft in the combat, including M35 helicopters.
“We are expecting more aircraft which government had already paid for to add value and improve our performance in the North-East.”
Abubakar was in Yola to interact with officers and men of the air component of ‘Operation Lafiya Dole,’ inline with the directives of the Acting President to security chiefs.
The Nigerian Army says it has recovered 21 additional bodies in an operation to rescue oil exploration crew abducted by the Boko Haram insurgents in Borno State.
A statement signed by Director, Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Sani Kukasheka, released in Maiduguri, said that the army recovered vehicles and various calibres of weapons in the operation.
“So far the search and rescue team has recovered additional bodies of five soldiers, 11 members of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) and five members of the exploration team.
“Contrary to reports in some media, six out of the 12 members of the exploration team that went out are still missing, while one of the NNPC staff returned to base alive,” Kukasheka said
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF), says it would continue to protect the territorial integrity of the nation.
The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, said this while briefing newsmen at the end of NAF’s annual 10km walk/jogging exercise recently in Abuja.
Abubakar said physical fitness was pivotal to humans, especially members of the armed forces, adding that it was in view of this that NAF continued to conduct the exercise on quarterly basis.
He quoted a Greek philosopher, Thucydides, as having once said, “the bravest are surely those who have the cleverest vision of what is before them, glory/danger yet go out to meet it.
“It is, therefore, my desire to congratulate you all for putting up a brilliant performance in today’s exercise, “ he said.
Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, last Tuesday in Kaduna, unveiled five Super Mushshak trainer aircraft acquired by the Federal Government to boost the capacity of Nigerian Air Force personnel in the country.
The five aircraft are among the 10 acquired by the government from Pakistan.
Osinbajo, who was represented by Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, said Nigeria would welcome more support from friendly nations in its efforts to mow down Boko Haram insurgency.
“I will not fail to mention that the decision to acquire the Super Mushshak aircraft from Pakistan has greatly promoted the existing bilateral relationship between the two sister countries.
A Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr Adeyemi Egbeola, recently in Lokoja, decried the increasing rate of recession-associated clinical depression in Nigeria.
Egbeola, who works at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Lokoja, made the assertion at the 2017 Annual General Meeting (AGM), Scientific Conference Week of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Kogi State chapter.
The theme of the conference was: “Economic Recession and the Rise of Depression”.
According to him, a significant association has been demonstrated between macro-economic indicators in recession and clinical depression as a mental illness.
Kwara State Muslim Pilgrims’ Welfare Board, has disqualified three pregnant women from performing the 2017 pilgrimage.
It is reported that 1,465 intending pilgrims from the state have been medically certified for the pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.
The Executive Secretary of the board, Alhaji Mohammed Tunde-Jimoh told newsmen that the disqualified women had been notified.
“The exclusion of the three pregnant women detected after the medical screening of the intending pilgrims is not punitive, but to safeguard their health and that of the babies”, he said.
A Saudi-bound flight operated by Medview Airline, was last Saturday night aborted at the Ilorin Airport, due to birdstrike.
The airline confirmed the development in a statement by its media consultant, Mr Obuke Oyibhota, in Lagos.
Oyibhota said the B767 aircraft carrying 222 pilgrims was taxing for takeoff when it was struck by a brood of birds, forcing the pilot to abort the flight.
“The 222 pilgrims were de-boarded without incident, and arrangements are being made to provide another aircraft to airlift them today (Sunday),” he said.
He, however, assured all pilgrims that the schedule for their transportation to the holy land would not be affected by the incident.
The Interim Management Committee Chairman, Keffi Local Government Council, Nasarawa State, Alhaji Isma’ila Nuhu, has appealed to the state government to rehabilitate the roads in Keffi GRA.
Nuhu also urged the government to build more drains in the area to improve the standard of living of the people.
The local government chief, made the call recently at the official installation and presentation of first class staff of office to Dr. Shehu Chindo Yamusa III as the new Emir of Keffi.
He applauded Almakura for providing the dividends of democracy to the people of Keffi especially in the area of infrastructure development.
The police in Minna recently arraigned two men, Ola Martins and Jibril Mohammed, who allegedly broke into a hotel and stole a television set.
The accused appeared before a Minna Magistrates’ Court on a three-count charge of conspiracy, break in and theft.
The prosecutor, Insp. Gunduma Ibrahim, said that Martins connived with Mohammed on June 21, at 10.00 p.m. to break into a room at Aloevera Hotel, where Martins worked as a security guard.
Ibrahim submitted that the television set was valued at N130, 000.
Unknown gunmen last Saturday shot dead a yet-to-be identified middle-aged woman in Osogbo, according to reports.
The incident occurred at about 9.00 am at Old Garage area of Osogbo.
An eyewitness said the deceased was a labourer who was on her way to Old Garage, where labourers usually assemble for daily engagements, before she met her untimely death.
The source said that the deceased was hit by stray bullets from a gun fired into the air by some men on a motorcycle before they sped off from the scene.
The police spokesperson in the state, Mrs Folashade Odoro, confirmed the incident to journalists, saying four suspects had been arrested.
An 18-year-old man, Agugu Adau, has allegedly killed his mother for refusing to give him a “disappearing” charm he claimed was his inheritance from his late herbalist father.
A family source told newsmen that Agugu committed the crime at his Kisaghyip village farm in Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State.
The source said that Agugu, after killing his mother, removed the sum of N20,000 from her blood-soaked clothes and used it to buy a mobile phone, a shirt and a pair of slippers.
Spokesman of the Plateau Police Command, Mr Tyopev Terna, confirmed that the suspect was being held, but declined further comments.
About 60,000 Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs), have remained unclaimed by their owners in Zamfara State, Speaker of the state Assembly, Alhaji Sanusi Rikiji has said.
Rikiji who leads a state mobilisation committee on voters registration, made the disclosure when the committee visited Kaura-Namoda and Talata-Mafara last Wednesday.
He described the situation as worrisome and appealed to those who had not collected their PVCs to do so immediately.
Rikiji said the committee’s mandate was to sensitise eligible voters to partake in the ongoing continuous voter registration and encourage those yet to collect their cards to do so.
“It is very disheartening to hear that from April to July, 2017, only 25 PVCs were collected across the state.
“We are mandated by the state government to arrange ways of mobilising, educating and sensitising the public on the importance of voter registration and collection of PVCs.
“Apart from this committee headed by me, we had set up other committees across the three senatorial districts, 14 local government areas and 147 wards across the state to ensure effective mobilisation”, Rikili said.
Emirates Resumes Flights To Nigeria, June 23
The UAE carrier, Emirates Airlines, would start carrying passengers from South Africa, Nigeria and India from June 23, the UAE Embassy said as it announced revised rules on Covid-19.
“We look forward to facilitating travel from these countries and supporting various travellers’ categories,” the airline said in a separate statement, yesterday.
“Residence visa holders from India and travellers from South Africa should’ve taken two doses of a vaccine approved by UAE authorities and carry RT-PCR tests reports from labs approved by the federal governments of these countries.
“But for Nigerians vaccination is not made mandatory but all other conditions apply.
“In addition to the above, Indians have to take a rapid PCR test four hours prior to their travel.
“While there are four vaccines in the UAE for use on eligible individuals against the Covid-19 infection – Sinopharm, Pfizer-BioNTech, Sputnik V and Oxford-AstraZeneca, it is unclear if the UAE has approved vaccines administered on Indian, South African and Nigerian citizens in their countries,” it stated.
“All travellers are also required to present a negative Covid-19 test result taken within 48 hours before departure.
“UAE citizens are exempted.
“Only QR coded PCR test result certificates are accepted.
“All passengers must take a rapid PCR test four hours prior to flight departure.
“All passengers must undergo a PCR test on arrival at Dubai Airport.
“Passengers should undergo institutional quarantine until they receive their PCR test result, which is expected within 24 hours.
“Passengers should produce a negative PCR test certificate with a QR Code from labs approved by the Nigerian government.
“All passengers must undergo a PCR test on arrival to Dubai Airport.
“Transit passengers should comply with entry protocols of final destinations.
“Entry will now be permitted to residents who have received two doses of UAE-approved vaccines,” the state said.
The revised procedures for travellers coming from the Republic of India, South Africa and Nigeria were issued by the Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management in Dubai.
They are effective from June 23, the Dubai Media Office said.
It said the updates are part of the committee’s keenness to protect passengers and ease hassles for them without compromising on Covid-19 preventive measures, said the Chairman of the Supreme Committee, Sheikh Mansoor Al-Maktoum.
The Media Office announcement said the updated travel protocols are part of a normal process of revising and optimising preventive measures based on the latest local, regional and international developments.
Bagudu Vows To Lead Rescue Operation Over Yauri Abduction
Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State last Saturday vowed to lead the rescue operation of teachers and students abducted from the Federal Government College (FGC), Birnin Yauri, in Ngaski Local Government Area of the State.
Bagudu, who is also Chairman, Progressives Governors’ Forum, spoke when local hunters visited him.
Reports had that the Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, and his Jigawa State counterpart, Alhaji Badaru Abubakar, also paid a solidarity and sympathy visit on Gov. Bagudu.
Bagudu assured that some other governors and stakeholders will join him in the ongoing search operations for the abducted students and staff of the school.
According to him, he will discuss with his colleagues and security agencies in this direction, so as not to jeorpardise the ongoing commendable operations to rescue the abducted students and staff.
He said: “But, we will go out there and like I promised, the day we will move out, I will not be in the office because we will join you in the field.”
The Kebbi State Governor said that this would be done barring all consequences in a bid to rescue the abductees.
Bagudu argued: “It is not weapons that win wars, but it is the will that bad people cannot triumph and we will show that, we have enough will power .
“President Muhammadu Buhari and the security agencies have been doing the best they could with limited resources.
“But, we also need to mobilize, kit ourselves and take on these bandits. Our various scriptures as Muslims and Christians allow us to put our lives at risk in defence of our honour, property and our faiths.
“In what the bandits are doing, they have challenged all of us, so, we can’t let them.”
Bagudu asked the hunters to go back and fully mobilise, pending when he gets the necessary clearance from the security agencies, adding, “we will meet in the field.”
The governor maintained that governors were not sworn in only to sit down in the office and work.
He stated that they are aware that one day they would be required to lead in the field, even though they are not military or police personnel.
He said that if hundreds of thousands of people can be mobilised during campaigns, same should be done now to join the search party.
He said: “What happened in Birnin Yauri should be the last straw. We should follow these bandits wherever they are and take them on.”
Bagudu also described the abduction as very callous, even as he lauded the security agencies, management of the school, ‘Yan Sakai and vigilantes for their heroic efforts since the bandits struck at the college.
Govs, Others Task Security Agencies On S’East
South-East governors and leaders have requested security agencies in the zone to respect the rights and privileges of all those living in the zone.
They made the call on Saturday in Enugu after a meeting attended by political leaders, socio-cultural organisations, clerics and the traditional leaders.
The Chairman, South-East Governors’ Forum, Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State, who addressed reporters after the meeting, condemned the killing of civilians in the zone by security agencies.
Umahi urged them to discharge their duties within the law and in accordance with their rules of engagement.
The Ebonyi governor reaffirmed the commitment of the region to the corporate existence of the country.
Umahi, however, said that such union must be based on love, mutual respect and equality of rights irrespective of one’s religion, ethnic group, political inclination and creed.
The governor said the various secessionist groups from the region were not speaking for the people of the area.
He said the leaders from the zone had set up a committee to engage the agitators to allow elders of the region to address their fears.
“We have come out publicly on many occasions to speak against such agitations,” he said.
Umahi said the meeting was in fulfilment of the June 11 agreement they had with a federal government delegation led by the Minister of Defense, Bashir Magashi, a retired major-general.
“Consequent upon that, we scheduled our own meeting today to discuss and articulate our positions.
“This is to enable us not only engage the presidential team but also engage our people over all burning issues,” he said.
The governor said leaders from the region had noted with concern threats against the Igbo people by some groups in other regions.
“The meeting pleaded with leaders of other regions to note such threats to our people, address it and protect our people,” he said.
He said that governors from the South-East had assured people from other ethnic nationalities of their safety in the region in spite of the prevailing circumstances.
The leaders condemned the killing of security personnel and burning of government infrastructure in the region.
He called on National Assembly members from the region to support the creation of state police in the ongoing efforts to amend the constitution.
The governor said the meeting endorsed the South-East joint security unit called EbubeAgu, and requested the personnel to work with statutory security agencies.
Those present at the meeting included Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu.
Anambra and Imo states were represented by the deputy governors, Nkem Okeke and Placid Njoku respectively.
Others were the Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe; Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige; Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Uche Ogah, and President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, George Obiozo.
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