Connect with us

News

Akpabio, Others Escape Plane Crash

Published

on

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.”

Continue Reading

News

FG Declares Thursday Additional Holiday For Eid-el-Fitri

Published

on

The Federal Government has declared tomorrow, Thursday, as additional public holiday to commemorate this year’s Eid-el-Fitr.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Dr Aishetu Ndayako, made this known in a statement he shared on the ministry’s X account, yesterday.
The statement said, “The Federal Government has approved Thursday, April 11, 2024 as an additional public holiday to celebrate this year’s Eid-el-Fitr.
“The Minister of Interior, Dr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, while congratulating the Muslim Ummah for a successful completion of a month of spiritual rejuvenation, reiterates President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s firm commitment to providing a safe and prosperous Nigeria for all to thrive.”
Saudi Arabia, on Monday, said the crescent of Shawwal has not been sighted, indicating that the fasting would continue on Tuesday.
It also added that the Eid-el-Fitr would hold today, Wednesday, to mark the beginning of the new Islamic month.
The Federal Government had earlier on Sunday declared yesterday (Tuesday) and today, (Wednesday) as public holidays to mark the Eid-el-Fitr celebration.

Continue Reading

News

Engage In Credible Opposition, We Won’t Hunt You, Fubara Tells IPAC …As Group Passes Confidence Vote On Rivers Gov

Published

on

Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has assured that the right climate will be created for all political parties to operate so that they can engage with Government and offer credible opposition.
The Governor emphasised that it was the best thing to do, especially because the opposition political parties have acknowledged that elections are over, and are resolved to offer effective support required to advance good governance in the State.
Governor Fubara spoke on Monday when he played host to the leadership of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Rivers State Chapter, led by its Chairman, Barrister Sensei Solsuema Osaro, at Government House in Port Harcourt.
The Governor insisted that an egalitarian society will be engendered so that people can feel free to voice their opinions without intimidation, because, according to him, those criticisms will contribute to having more focused implementation of policies that serve the general good of the State.
“So, we are happy to identify with you. We are assuring you, even when you leave here, criticise me, I don’t have problem with that, it is meant to spur me to do well. We will continue to give you the freedom. We will not cage anybody. We will not revoke your property.
“You can also take my message to your National Secretariat, we will continue to stand on the right path. We will support them because we can see that they are also doing what is right. Anytime they need our support, let them feel free to ask for it,” the Governor said.
Governor Fubara commended IPAC for identifying with his Administration, and pledging to collaborate efforts for the good of the State.
The State Chief Executive pointed out that no person who truly loves Rivers State, whether embittered, or not, will gladly want to burn down the State to achieve personal or political agenda.
The Governor said whatever political strength anybody claims to have, it amounts to nothing without the State and its people.
Governor Fubara assured that his team in Government will steadily work, genuinely, to protect the interest of the State.
While thanking the delegation for the vote of confidence passed on him and investing him as their Grand Patron, Governor Fubara urged them to tread the path of peace always in their activities.
Governor Fubara promised to consult with them and include their interest whenever appointments are made, and promised to donate a utility vehicle to enhance their logistics, while committing to support the upcoming programme of the body.
In his address, the Rivers State Chairman of Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Barrister Sensei Solsuema Osaro, thanked Governor Fubara for the opportunity to meet with them, and announced that IPAC has passed a vote of confidence on the Governor.
He also announced the decision of IPAC to honour the Governor as the Grand Patron and Leader of the umbrella body of all political parties in the State.
“IPAC is a roundtable of political parties saddled with the responsibility of enlightenment, advocacy, educating, and inspiring courage among political parties and the society at large.
“With the elections come and gone, it is practically the time for governance and to ensure all derivable of dividends of democracy to the people of Rivers State.
“Herein lies the core of our visit today to forge a collaborative bond with you, His Excellency, to foster partnership for the overall interest of Rivers State.
“We heartily congratulate you on your victory at Supreme Court judgement, which affirmed your election at the polls. To this end, we in IPAC have passed a vote of confidence on His Excellency, and assure you of our collaborative, collective and individual support to succeed now, and in the course of your administration, and after,” he added.
More than 17 State Chairmen of Registered Political Parties in the State were in the delegation to pay a solidarity visit to the Governor.
Highlights of the visit were the presentation of a large plaque of portrait picture, certificate as Grand Patron, IPAC T-Shirt and Fez Cap by IPAC Chairman to Governor Fubara.

Continue Reading

News

Our Position On Rivers PDP Ward, LGA, State Excos Unshaken -Fubara

Published

on

The National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has debunked as fake and misleading, the purported list of Caretaker Committee members circulating in the social media and published in some national dailies on Thursday, April 4, 2024.
The Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, who said this after a meeting with the NWC at the National Secretariat, Wadata Plaza in Abuja, last Thursday evening, restated that the resolutions of a meeting held between the NWC and members of the Board of Trustees (BOTs) and PDP Governors’ Forum in Abuja in March on the issue remain valid.
Governor Fubara reiterated the position of the party that the executive officers whose tenures had expired in March, shall remain in their various capacities until the three months’extension period approved by the NWC elapses, and new congresses conducted to replace them.
He recalled that a letter signed by the National Organising Secretary, Hon Umar M. Bature, dated Wednesday, March 27, 2024, addressed to the Chairman, Rivers State Caretaker Committee, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Hon Aaron Chukwuemeka, and titled: “Approval of Wards, Local Government Area and State Caretaker Committee Members for Rivers State”, had clearly resolved the issue of the authentic members of the Caretaker Committees at the affected levels.
The letter, copied the Acting National Chairman, Amb. Umar Iliya Damagum; Deputy National Chairman, South, His Excellency, Amb. Taofeek Arapaja; the Executive Governor of Rivers State, His Excellency, Sir Siminalayi Fubara; National Secretary, Senator Samuel Anyanwu; and National Legal Adviser, Ajibade Kamaldeen Adeyemi, SAN, reads in full, “Following the expiration of the elected Ward, LGA, and State Executive Members in Rivers State, the National Working Committee (NWC), pursuant to the provisions of Section 29 (2) (b) of the Constitution of our Party, has, on behalf of the National Executive Committee (NEC) approved the appointment of the expired Excos as Caretaker Committee Members.
“For the avoidance of doubt, attached to this letter is theauthentic list of the Caretaker Committee Members in Rivers State. These Caretaker Committees shall run the affairs of our Party at their appropriate levels for a period of three (3) months effective from the dates of their expiration, i.e. March 14, 18, 21, 2024 for Wards, LGA, and State, respectively.
“Please note that the NWC equally approved that anywhere vacancies have occurred due to death, removal, resignation, or defection, such vacancies shall not be filled.
“While thanking you for your continuous commitment, please accept the assurances of the NWC’s highest regards”.
Governor Fubara emphasized that the party stands on the agreement reached on the issue as encapsulated in the letter by the NWC to the State Chairman of PDP dated March 27, adding that no amount of intimidation, clandestine moves, wasteful lobbying and needless expenditure of public funds will change the position already taken.
The Governor stated that the list purported to be members of the Caretaker Committees of the party in the state was only the imagination of its purveyors, and advised those whose names were removed in the fake list and gullible members of the public to ignore it in its entirety.
He said that the party did not at any time remove or replace the names of officers whose tenures had been officially extended for three months, pending possible National Executive Committee ratification on April 18.
Governor Fubara insisted that what was published on Thursday and circulated on social media is not only fake, concocted and manipulated to suit the desperate ambitions of enemies of the State and its people, but a deliberate attempt to provoke members and cause discord in the party.
He observed that the list published in some national dailies and circulated on social media on Thursday was the handiwork of politicians who were spending public funds to cause unnecessary tension, anxiety and friction in the polity, and also distract the Government from the real task of governance in the State.
The Governor urged the elected officers of the party at ward, local government, and state levels whose names were removed and replaced with fictitious names to remain calm, and go about their legitimate duties as officers of the party.
He also warned those fomenting trouble and fanning the embers of confusion and disunity to retrace their steps, and embrace peace or face severe consequences.
The Governor also warned those whose names were forced into the fake and fabricated list of purported Caretaker Committee members being circulated not to be deceived by anybody with unmerited appointment, and avoid parading themselves or showing their presence at any party offices pretending to be officials, as anyone caught would be made to face the full wrath of the law for forgery and impersonation.

Continue Reading

Trending