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Akpabio, Others Escape Plane Crash

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Akwa Ibom State Governor, Obong Godswill Akpabio, and his aides on Friday evening, narrowly escaped what would have been the worst air disaster in recent times.
The chartered aircraft, Hawker 900 series belonging to Garventon Air Services, which conveyed the governor, almost collided with another aircraft taking off from the Port Harcourt airport. The governor took off from the nearby Margaret Ekpo International Airport in Calabar.
In the aircraft, among others, were the Permanent Secretary, Government House, the Director of Protocol and the governor’s security details.
The incident shook the occupants of the craft including the pilot and crew, and as at yesterday evening, the governor and his team were yet to overcome the shock.
It was gathered that the air hostess collapsed when the pilot battled with the craft to avert a collision with the other aircraft.
Aniekpeno Mkpanang, the Director of Protocol said “the aircraft took off at the Calabar Airport en route Port Harcourt to Lagos. As we were going above the airspace in Port Harcourt, which is the air route, we began to experience a sudden drop of about 5000 feet in a split of a second and from there problems started and we tried to go up and all to no avail. It was madness and everybody on board after that experience fell ill and the air hostess collapsed on the floor of the aircraft.”
Mkpanang who was yet to recover from the shock of the incident narrated further: “Eventually, we thought it was all over. We prayed to God and handed over our souls to Him. The Governor and other passengers are yet to recover from the trauma as I speak to you. When eventually it dawned on all of us that the aircraft had completely lost control by going here and there, up and down, with all sorts of madness, it was all calm.
“Immediately the aircraft gained a little stability, the co-pilot, Mr. Ritman, a white man, emerged from the Cock pit and went straight to His Excellency and said ‘Sir we have just escaped what is called in aviation a near air mishap and there was a near collision with another aircraft.’”
The obviously shaken governor demanded details and was told: “Sir, while we were flying at about 24,000ft above sea level, there was an aircraft which was above us which was coming towards Calabar and on the same place in Port Harcourt, the aircraft decided to descend, and it was descending right inside our aircraft.
But we have an equipment called GCAS which is like a radar which would show the pilot the position and distance of other aircraft and their levels around them and it is compulsory for all aircraft to have, but most Nigerian planes are flying blind because they don’t have the equipment.”
Ritman said further that, “even if they have it, it had seized to function because checks on aircraft are not taken seriously and they still allow them to enter the airspace which is wrong.”
The Director of Protocol explained that it was either the aircraft in question did not have the said GCAS or it was out of function, as a result did not see the aircraft conveying the governor.
He said the warning system in their aircraft alerted the pilots immediately that they should take the aircraft down because the approaching aircraft was crashing into it.
“At about 400 metres to our aircraft we made a mad descent because the upcoming plane was a bigger one, and was faster than ours. We were once again advised to go up and in that process, the plane got stalled and we had a free fall until the engine came up again.”
Mkpanang said: “We now radioed the Port Harcourt Control Tower not to allow the plane to land and even if it lands, it should be seized. But the Control Tower told us that the aircraft was on its way to Calabar. We asked them to radio Calabar and to the chagrin of everybody, we were told that they have no communication link with Calabar except through GSM. At this point, the governor shouted and shouted. Thereafter we were able to get Calabar. We learnt the plane was a CBN chartered flight belonging to Allied Air. And for reasons known to the pilot, it took-off immediately it landed.”
Governor Akpabio himself confirmed the incident and said if the incident involved a fully loaded passenger aircraft, the manoeuvre that saved his aircraft would not have been possible because of the weight. That, he added, “would have crash landed and the plane that caused it would not have been known.”

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We Get Petrol At N200 Per Litre From Depots, IPMAN Cries Out

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The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has decried the ‘unsustainable’ price that the private depot owners sell the premium motor spirit, otherwise known as petrol in the country.
Speaking, yesterday, on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, the Deputy National President of IPMAN, Zarama Mustapha, revealed that the private depots get petrol at the approved price of N148/litre from the sole importer of the commodity, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, however, sell it for as high as N195 to N210 to independent marketers, which is not sustainable.
“Though marketers get petrol at the approved price of N148/litre from NNPC depots, the company does not have enough storage facilities to cater to the needs of marketers, hence, the latter resorts to private depot owners. It is more of the issue of private depots collecting the products at the approved price and not selling to the independent marketers at a price approved by the mainstream, downstream regulatory authority.
“You cannot get a product at N195 to N200 and expect to sell it at N175,” he noted.
The IPMAN official said depot owners give excuses such as the cost of transporting the product from the mother vessel to their depots and escalation of the dollar as reasons for the price hike.
Mustapha lamented that most Lagos depots are in a chaotic situation and marketers spend three days to load refined petrol that they are not supposed to spend more than three hours to lift.
He urged the NNPC to engage depot owners to sell the product to marketers at the recommended price, saying the common man is at the receiving end.
For weeks, vehicle owners have had a tough time getting petrol from filling stations, especially in Lagos and Abuja.
Whilst many outlets are closed, the few open ones sell the indispensable commodity for as high as N250 per litre from the uniform price of N169/litre.
The supply shortage has led to long, gruelling snake-like queues at the few open filling stations as motorists and business owners jostle to buy fuel while others resort to the black market.
The situation has also worsened traffic on major roads as vehicle owners block at least one lane to join queues to filling stations.

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Make Nigerian Youths Innovative, Buhari Tells Corporate Leaders

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President Muhammadu Buhari has tasked leaders of corporate organisations to build the capacity of Nigerian youths to be innovative and embrace technology to make positive contributions to their organisations and the nation.
The president, represented by the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, said this at the Institute of Directors (IoD) 2022 Annual Director’s Conference (ADC), yesterday, in Lagos.
The ADC had as its theme: “Corporate Governance and Digital Transformation: Leading Purposefully for Growth and Sustainability.”
Buhari, noting that the challenges associated with corporate governance were multifaceted, stressed the need for heads of organisations to harness technology to achieve effective governance.
He reiterated the commitment of his administration to providing the necessary legal support and framework to support the entrenchment of good corporate governance practices across various sectors of the economy.
Buhari also pledged his commitment to supporting the IoD by giving the institute’s chartered bill the necessary consideration to enable it to achieve its mandate.
Deputy Secretary General, United Nations, Ms Amina Mohammed, said the world was hit by a series of global crises which have affected the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
Mohammed said technology and digitalisation would set the era of digital transformation in areas of health, education, agriculture and finance.

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Nigeria Does Not Belong To North, Arewa Youths Tell Northern Elders

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The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has said that Nigeria does not belong to the North ahead of the 2023 general election.
Apparently reacting to the recent interview granted by a member of the Northern Elders Forum, Alh Sani Zango Daura, in which he called on the North to support a Northern candidate.
The AYCF, in a statement issued by its National President, Yerima Shettima, noted that supporting a southerner was clearly a demonstration of justice.
He noted that this was because Nigeria does not belong to the North alone, or Muslims and Christians of the North, insisting that “even on moral grounds, the most responsible political action by the North was the decision on powershift in 2023, because the Presidency cannot be hereditary and Nigeria is not a Banana Republic”.
Shettima further said, however, that the elder was expressing his personal opinion and not the stand of the North in general, saying that a “ little balancing was needed in position of our father Zangon Daura, more so when he admitted that the elders are mere escorts for the younger generation today”.
The AYCF noted that when 13 Northern governors led by Kaduna State Governor, Mal Nasirel-Rufai endorsed a Southern candidate for the 2023 presidency, they repeatedly cited political justice.
“Though we are not card-carrying members of the APC, we shared the view that the decision was in line with being fair to the South in 2023.
“We are aware, as well as our father ZangonDaura, that the North is respected for honouring its promises to the South and this one absolutely undeniable character of all Northerners.
“We are not known to break promises and that explains why our son, President MuhammaduBuhari never objected to the idea of a Southern presidential candidate in the ruling party. In the North, like our father ZangonDaura knows, promises are sacred and in fact a culture”.
It would be recalled that in a viral audio of AlhajiZangonDaura while addressing a group of youths, suggested that they should throw their weight behind a fellow Northerner for the presidency in 2023, citing historic and religious instances, something the AYCF said it believed was “overtaken by events, current realities, and the spirit of justice and fairness in the Nigerian project”.

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