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Daily Archives: June 12, 2019

Buhari renames national stadium Abuja after M.K.O. Abiola

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday renamed the National Stadium Abuja to Moshood Abiola stadium as mark of honour to the late winner of the June 12 1993, Presidential Election.

This was announced on Wednesday by the president while delivering his 2019 June 12 Democracy Day celebration at the Eagles Square Abuja.

It would be recalled that Abiola had run for the presidency in 1993, but the election results were annulled by former military President, Ibrahim Babangida, popularly called IBB.

But Buhari, on the 6th of June 2018 recognised the election and awarded Abiola posthumously with Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR) – award meant for Presidents.

According to Buhari, the country only needs to get its acts together because it has all it takes to become a world power.

Buhari was optimistic that Nigeria can do it, since nations like China, India and Indonesian achieved the feat, saying that Nigeria’s economy is expected to grow 2.7% this year. “Nigeria can do it,” he said.

He noted that his administration has made remarkable progress in the fight against corruption, improving economy and securing the nation in the past four years.

The president also assured that his administration in the next four years would consolidate on the achievements recorded in the past four years.

He urged state governments and the private sector to play their own part, as the Federal Government cannot develop the nation alone.

Buhari said that his administration will not tolerate any form of attack and violence against Nigerians in any part of the country, noting that the country’s unity is unshakable.

“Join me in this journey of rebuilding our nation,” he added

Herdsman beheads wife in Ekiti

The police in Ekiti have confirmed the alleged beheading of a lady in Ilasa Ekiti, Ekiti East Local Government Area of the state on Wednesday, by a herdsman believed to be the deceased’s husband.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, Caleb Ikechukwu who confirmed the killing, said the suspect had been arrested while investigations into the incident had commenced.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that tragedy struck as the young herdsman (name withheld) allegedly cut off the head of the lady at a stream side in Ilasa Ekiti.

The victim, who is also of the same ethnic group with the suspected assailant, was allegedly attacked beside the stream where she had gone to fetch water with her younger sister.

The young man was said to have ambushed her and brought down her head while she bent to collect some water from the stream, and took to his heals immediately.

He was arrested following the information provided by the younger sister of the deceased who witnessed the incident.

The victim was said to have been betrothed to the herdsman while she was a teenager, in line with their customs and tradition.

NAN further gathered that trouble started last month when the suspect requested the lady to spend the Eld-el-Fitr holiday with him, but the family of the deceased failed to release her.

The lady was said to have observed that the suspect was a drunkard and drug addict and had avoided him for necessary marriage arrangements.

The suspect, NAN gathered, was angered, having assumed that the family of the deceased had breached the marriage contract.

Some relatives of the deceased who did not want their names mentioned expressed sadness over the incident.

The traditional rulers of the community, Oba Ajayi Omolagba, condemned the incident and said that the community had been in shock since the strange occurrence.

The Alasa of Ilasa said that the town had summoned the two families as well as their landlords to a meeting where resolutions were reached on how to forestall future occurrence.

Oba Omolagba noted that the community would also make necessary appeasement to God as such incident was strange and a taboo in the land.

Buhari recognises MKO as past president, says Osoba

Former Ogun State governor, Chief Olusegun Osoba, says the recognition of June 12 as National Democracy Day by President Muhammad Buhari indirectly recognised MKO Abiola as a past president of Nigeria.

Osoba said this during the celebration of the first National Democracy Day on Wednesday in Abuja.

He said that the Day was significant as past presidents from 1999 had refused to recognise the day or Abiola’s sacrifices for Nigeria’s democracy.

He said that the late Abiola, who refused to surrender his mandate, suffered and died in the struggle for democracy for the country.

“I have lot of very bad memories about June 12, as a lot of people lost their lives for the struggle, a lot of families also suffered incurable damages, also a lot of people sold their properties to survive.

“I also suffered in the hands of Seargent Rogers, who made two attempts to kill me and I was in hiding for almost a year, along others who paid the price.

“I also recalled that when I was a governor with a former president from my state and all efforts that we should do something to immortalise Abiola did not make any impact.

“You can therefore see why we are grateful to President Muhammad Buhari who recognises the significant of June 12.

“The significance is the full price paid by Abiola that is making us enjoy democracy that is 20 year old now.

“One of my own benefited from Abiola sacrifice to become president but here is Buhari who indirectly accepted that Abiola was once past president of this country, so those sacrifices that we also suffered are no more in vain,” he said.

He commended the President, saying that democracy have come to stay in Nigeria.

Ethiopian Airlines says it’ll be last to fly Boeing 737 Max 8 … after re-certification

Ethiopian Airlines says it will be the last airline to operate the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft after the model has been adjusted and re-certified by the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), US.

Esayas Hailu, managing director, Ethiopian International Services, disclosed this while speaking with journalists in Addis Ababa, Ethiopian capital, on Wednesday.

On March 10, an Ethiopian Airlines’ flight ET302  en route Nairobi from Addis Ababa crashed six minutes after take-off, killing all 157 persons on board.

The victims included two Nigerians– Pius Adesanmi, Canada-based professor of Literary Arts, Carleton university, and Biodun Bashua, a former UN and African Union (AU) deputy joint special representative in Darfur, Sudan.

The crash was the second involving Boeing 737 MAX 8 within five months – a Lion Air crashed in Indonesia in October 2018.

The March incident led to the grounding of aircraft model by airlines across the world.

Halilu said the airline will only fly the aircraft after it had been certified and flown by American and European airlines.

He added that Boeing would have to also train its pilots on the technicalities of the aircraft.

“Ethiopian Airlines has four grounded B737-Max-800 aircraft with an order for 27 more which will be determined after the adjustment by Boeing,” Hailu said.

“ET has vowed to be the last airline to fly that aircraft. We can only fly it after others in Europe, America and the Gulf States have and after it has been recertified by the FAA.

“Boeing will also come up with a list of other training for our pilots and crew because we have a B737-Max-800 Simulator in our facility.

“Everybody knew that it was the design of the aircraft that led to the crash and Boeing and the FAA have attested to that.

“Our commercial brand emerged stronger and the public’s confidence to travel with us have not been affected.”

DSS arrests social media users for ‘inciting violence’

The Department of State Services (DSS) has arrested yet to be identified social media users who who posted “inciting materials and misleading statements”.

Peter Afunanya, DSS public relations officer, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday.

Afunanya accused the individuals of instilling fear in the minds of Nigerians.

“The Department of State Services (DSS) has observed with concern, the deliberate plots and attempts by some subversive and undemocratic elements to incite or pit one ethnic group against the other by stoking the embers of tribal sentiments to cause disaffection and violence across the country,” he said.

“These unpatriotic actors make unguarded public statements and/or use the social media platforms to instill fear in the minds of citizens.

“These are reflected in the misleading statements and articles being circulated among unsuspecting members of the public. Such inciting materials oftentimes are designed to make or convey false accusations by one group against the other.

“They also resort to skewing historical narratives to suit their objective of masterminding ethnic violence in the nation. So far, some of the culprits have been arrested.”

He warned individuals involved in such “divisive acts and tendencies to desist forthwith.”

“Community leaders and persons of influence are, therefore, enjoined to be most responsible in their utterances as well as rein in (their) people for national cohesion and peaceful co-existence,” the spokesman said.

“Aggrieved persons and groups are encouraged to use dialogue as a true means of non violent resolution of disputes or any misgivings.”

Afunanya added that the country could only achieve greatness when it is united.

June 12: Nigerians are hungry, says Atiku

Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says it is not enough to declare June 12 as Democracy Day as many Nigerians are hungry.

President Muhammadu Buhari had signed into law, the bill to make June 12 Democracy Day, in honour of MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of the 1993 presidential election.

But Atiku said June 12 demands something bigger than “merely declaring it a Democracy Day”.

“It is not enough to declare June 12 a work-free day when a disproportionate number of citizens are not sure of where their next meal will come from and when the sanctity of their lives is not guaranteed,” he said.

“It is not enough to declare June 12 a work-free day when freedom of the press, and of speech, fundamentals of democracy is being assailed.”

He said June 12 remained a threshold in Nigeria’s national life, urging the people, to do a soul-searching.

“The significance of the celebration of June 12, 1993 Presidential Election is a reminder of our history to becoming a democratic country,” he said.

“On this day 26 years ago, Nigeria voted for democracy against the jackboot notion of oppressive totalitarianism.

“The collective decision by Nigerians to elect democracy on that day was not to aggrandise the political elite or to replace military dictatorship with civilian autocracy. No! The choice of democracy was to restore power to the people.”

Atiku cited disrespect for the rule of law and disregard of court orders on issues that border on fundamental human rights as some of the challenges which ought to be addressed.

Atiku said as a “compatriot who stood shoulder-to-shoulder” with MKO Abiola whom he described as the icon of the June 12 struggle, he knew first-hand that the choice of HOPE as his campaign slogan wasn’t “merely a populist tokenism.”

He said Abiola did not mean to deceive Nigerians with a hope he could not deliver upon.

“Today, the minimum requirement for any June 12 convert is to demand of them wherever they may be – either in government or in private lives – to deliver on the promises they made to the people,” he said

“June 12 is about the political leadership having the focus to retool the Nigerian economy. It is about having the skills to create wealth and jobs for the teeming mass of unemployed. It is not about the inclination for shared pains; it is about shared prosperity.

“As we celebrate yet another episode of the June 12 struggle, the desire for hope is more preponderant today much as it was 26 years ago. So, for all true lovers of democracy, let us keep the hope alive.”

Pastor ‘kidnaps self’, demands N3m from congregation

Rev. Adewuyi Adegoke (pictured right), a pastor at Methodist Church, Ado-Ekiti, capital of Ekiti state, has been arrested by the police for allegedly organising his own kidnap.

It was gathered that Adegoke had arranged with one Oluwadare Sunday to demand N3 million ransom from his congregation.

He reportedly went into hiding on Sunday evening while there were reports that he was abducted between Esa-Oke in Osun state and Aramoko-Ekiti in Ekiti.

His purported abductors later contacted the church members to demand the ransom, which they insisted must be paid latest by Thursday to prevent the reverend from being killed.

Detectives, however, intercepted the pastor’s accomplice, Sunday, who came to pick up the ransom at Okeyinmi area of Ado-Ekiti, after which he led them to the hotel where the pastor had been hiding.

Adegoke

 

Detectives reportedly tracked the suspects through the mobile phone that he was using to make contact with the church members.

Amba Asuquo, commissioner of police in Ekiti, confirmed that the command is investigating the incident but refused to disclose the identities of the suspects.

“Yes there is something close to that, but we are still investigating and will come out with the details later,” he told reporters.

When asked if the reverend was among the suspects in custody, Asuquo said, “I know we have some suspects in custody in connection with the incident but I cannot reveal their identities to you now.”

When the news of the reverend’s kidnap broke, several members of his congregation took to social media to solicit support towards his rescue.

On Facebook, one Awoyemi Matthew wrote: “People of GOD. everywhere. please let us raise prayer altars for this vibrant servant of GOD. REV Adewuyi Adegoke, who was kidnapped recently between Ekiti and Osun state.”

 

BREAKING: NAF fighter helicopter crash-lands

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) says its helicopter crashed in the process of landing while returning from an anti-banditry combat mission in the Northwest Theatre under Operation HADARAN DAJI.

A statement on Wednesday in Abuja by NAF’s spokesman, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, said that details of the cause of the incident, which occurred at the Katsina Airport at about 3.30pm, were still scanty.

“However, there was no loss of life, either of persons on board the helicopter or on the ground,” he said.

Daramola said that the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, immediately directed the constitution of a Board of Inquiry to determine the exact cause of the incident.

“NAF continues to solicit the understanding and support of the general public as it daily strives to ensure the security of Nigeria and Nigerians,” he said.

One killled as Fulani gunmen attack passengers on Ife-Ibadan highway

Bandits, described as Fulani herdsmen on Wednesday attacked passengers on the Ife-Ibadan highway, killing one person.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the dead man was identified as Mr Adenipekun Ademiju, a worker in the Atakumosa West Local Government Area of Osun.

Ademiju was said to have boarded a vehicle at Osu town going to Ibadan when he and other passengers were attacked at Ikire community along the expressway.

According to an eye-witness account, Ademiju was hit by bullet as the robbers fired indiscriminately in to forcefully stop the vehicle.

“The man was killed instantly by Fulani herdsmen who rob regularly on this road.

“It was Ademiju and the driver that were in the car but while the robbers were shooting indiscriminately to forcefully stop them, the bullet hit the deceased.

“The driver ran into the nearby bush and Ademiju’s body was left on the highway by the robbers, who went away with the car,” the witness said.

The Public Relations Officer of the Osun State Police Command, SP. Folashade Odoro, who confirmed the incident in an interview with newsmen, said police were still investigating the matter.

Herdsmen and other criminal gangs have launched deadly attacks on highways in parts of the country in recent years, making travelling a risky venture nationwide.

Kidnappers have similarly, descended on hapless citizens in full force but the Federal Government has equally descended on the criminal elements, making life unbearable for them.

We have no reason not to deliver , says Oshiomhole

Adams Oshiomhole, national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), says the ruling party has no reason not to deliver on its electoral promises.

Oshiomhole was speaking on Tuesday following the emergence of the party’s preferred candidates as winners of the national assembly leadership poll.

The candidates anointed by the party and President Muhammadu Buhari swept the polls which held on June 11, at the national assembly.

Ahmad Lawan, erstwhile majority leader, emerged senate president, after polling 79 votes to defeat Ali Ndume, who got 28 votes — both men are from the APC.

For the deputy senate president position, Ovie Omo-Agege, Delta-central senator, polled 68 votes to defeat Ike Ekweremadu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and immediate past occupier of the position, who had 37 votes.

In the house of representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila beat Umaru Bago, both of the APC, to emerge speaker while Idris Wase of the ruling party was elected deputy speaker of the house — unopposed.

The APC had wanted Lawan as the third citizen in 2015 but ex-Senate President Bukola Saraki manoeuvered his way and emerged as senate president.

Like Lawan, Gbajabiamila was the preferred candidate of the APC in 2015 but Yakubu Dogara, who was then of the APC, had teamed up with the PDP to defeat him.

The executive and legislative arms had a severed relationship in the 8th assembly with the presidency blaming the legislature for some of its failures.

Speaking after the polls, Oshiomhole said the party will now have no excuse not to deliver on its three cardinal promises — security, anti-corruption and improved economy.

According to him, now, “we can’t say we are being blocked by the parliament”.

He said it was the “mischief” of 2015 the party was trying to correct, “and I am happy that it has been settled.”

“Nigerians with their eyes open gave the APC the executive, they also gave us overwhelming majority in the two arms of the National Assembly,” Oshiomhole said.

“And I think in doing that they also expect that this time around, APC would have no excuse not to deliver.

“We can’t say we are being blocked by the parliament; parliament is ours and those who don’t believe in change cannot be entrusted with the challenge of managing the change.

“And that is why I said we must give the position of responsibility to those who believe in our change agenda. So today, that has been translated.

“We now have no excuse not to deliver on security, not to deliver on the economy and not to deliver on prosperity because that is what the ordinary man voted for and they are our constituents.

“You can just imagine how I feel like a mother who has been carry babies and now, we are on the verge of delivering twins in the two chambers of National Assembly.

“So we must exercise our rights with a sense of responsibility and the ultimate objective must be to what extent does these actions impact on the welfare of the Nigerian people.”

AIB slams Air Peace for failure to report serious incidents

The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) has expressed its displeasure on the failure of Air Peace to report incidents that involved one of its aircraft

In a statement, the spokesman of AIB Tunji Oketunbi said the failure of the airline to report serious incidents involving two of its Boeing 737-300 aircraft with Registration Marks 5N-BUK and 5N-BUO to the Bureau as mandated by Law is not acceptable.

Accident Investigation Bureau wishes to express its displeasure over the persistent failure of some airlines to report accidents or serious incidents to the Bureau as mandated by Law.
“On the 5th of June 2019, the Bureau received notification about a serious incident involving a Boeing 737-300 aircraft with Registration Marks 5N-BUK, belonging to Air Peace Limited from a passenger onboard. It was reported that the said incident occurred on Wednesday, May 15, 2019, while the aircraft was on approach to Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos from Port Harcourt.

The aircraft was said to have experienced a hard landing as it touched down on the runway (18R).
Upon receipt of the notification, the Bureau visited Air Peace Limited office and confirmed the said occurrence.

The Bureau further conducted a damage assessment on the aircraft, which revealed that the aircraft made contact on the runway with the starboard engine cowling as obvious from various scrapes, scratches and dents, an evidence of tyre scouring on the sidewalls of the No. 4 tyre as well as bottoming of the main landing gear oleo struts. There was also visible damage to the right-hand engine compressor blades.,” AIB affirmed.

The statement said further, “the aircraft has since been on ground, awaiting implementation of the hard landing inspections recommended by the aircraft manufacturer, the Boeing Company.

This includes an inspection of the right-hand engine pylons and the wing root, due to the heavy impact concerns.

It said further discussions with the Maintenance Personnel of Air Peace Limited revealed that CFM International, the engine manufacturer, has also been contacted with regard to necessary inspections, to ascertain the serviceability of the starboard engine.

The nature of the damage, according to AIB, “suggested that, there was a high probability of an accident as captured in the definition of Serious Incidents in the Bureau’s Civil Aviation (Investigation of Air Accidents and Incidents) Regulations 2016 viz:
‘An incident involving circumstances indicating that there was a high probability of an accident, and is associated with the operation of an aircraft …’
It added, “Of utmost concern is the fact that till date, the Accident Investigation Bureau has received no notification of the incident: three (3) weeks after the date of occurrence, contrary to ICAO Annex 13 which guides the operations of aircraft accident investigation procedures. Rather, the Bureau further to the occurrence, received a submission of a ‘Mandatory Occurrence Report’(MOR) subsequently filed at NCAA, on June 7, 2019, which filing was as a direct result of the Bureau’s visit to Air Peace office on the 6th day of June 2019”.

An MOR is a Mandatory Occurrence Report that an Operator files after an occurrence to NCAA and not a Notification to the Bureau as required by its Regulations.

Similarly, and in recent times, an aircraft belonging to Air Peace Limited was also involved in a serious incident and the airline willfully failed to comply with the provisions of the Bureau’s Regulations which provides that:
“Subject to paragraph (2) below and regulation 14 where an accident or a serious incident which results in the withdrawal from service of an aircraft occurs in or over Nigeria, no person, other than an authorised person, shall have access to the aircraft involved and neither the aircraft nor its contents shall, except under the authority of the Commissioner, be removed or otherwise interfered with. Where it is necessary to move aircraft wreckage, mail or cargo, sketches, descriptive notes, and photographs shall be made if possible, of the original positions and condition of the wreckage and any significant impact marks.’”

Precisely, on December 14, 2018, AIB alleged that a Boeing 737-300 belonging to the airline, with registration marks 5N-BUO, enroute Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu from Lagos was involved in a serious incident at about 10:44hrs. The information only got to the Bureau through the social media.

It said that whist the Bureau was not notified of the occurrence until later in the evening, AIB investigators met the aircraft at the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) apron in Lagos where it was parked with the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) affected, thereby posing an undesirable difficulty in the Bureau’s bid to successfully discharge its statutory mandate of investigating accidents and serious incidents.

It further alleged, “A careful investigation of the incident by the Bureau, revealed that the aircraft was relocated from Enugu where the incident occurred, back to Lagos: and all relevant information on the CVR was over written, thereby making it impossible for the Bureau to retrieve the actual data.”

It said the Accountable Manager and Chief Pilot of Air Peace Limited at the material time, were duly warned by the Bureau for non-compliance with the Regulations.
Based on all the foregoing, the AIB concluded, “it is obvious that Air Peace Management lacks the full understanding of the statutory mandates, functions and procedures of the Bureau”.‌

It is noteworthy that Air Accidents and Serious Incidents investigations are carried out in accordance with the relevant Laws and Regulations in force, in the interest of safety and with the aim of forestalling similar occurrences in the future.
Section 29 of the Civil Aviation Act 2006, which is the Act establishing the Bureau, confers the prerogative to determine the classification of an accident or serious incidents on the Accident Investigation Bureau, Nigeria. All Airlines are therefore enjoined to report these occurrences at all times.
The relevant statutory and regulatory provisions are reproduced here under for ease of reference:
Subsection 29 (11) (a) further provides;
‘… Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (10) of this section, the regulations made there under may in particular contain provisions:
(a) requiring notice to be given of any such accident or incident as aforesaid in such manner and by such persons as may be prescribed…’

Furthermore, Section 10 of the Civil Aviation (Investigation of Air Accidents and Incidents) Regulations 2016 provides for Notification to the Bureau and Duty to furnish information relating to accidents or incidents as follows:

‘Where an accident or incident occurs in respect of which, by virtue of regulation 14(2), the Commissioner is required to carry out, or to cause an officer to carry out an investigation, the relevant person or any other person having knowledge of an accident or incident and in the case of an aerodrome accident or incident occurring on or adjacent to an aerodrome, the operator of the Airport shall forthwith give notice thereof, within twenty four hours, to the Bureau by the quickest means of communication available and in the case of an accident occurring in or over Nigeria, shall also notify forthwith a Police Officer of the area where the accident occurred …’

Section 10 (2) (a) also provides that the expression ‘Relevant Person’ means
‘in the case of an accident or serious incident occurring in or over Nigeria or occurring elsewhere, to an aircraft registered in Nigeria, the Pilot-in-Command of the aircraft involved at the time of the accident or serious incident or, if he or she is fatally injured or incapacitated, the quality assurance,/safety personnel, Owner or Operator of the aircraft…’
It is also worthy of note that the Flight Data Recorder (FDR) and Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) data are very crucial, as the data accessed from them provides relevant evidence which sustains the weight of air safety investigation.

The provisions of ICAO Annex 6 (Operation of Aircraft) to the Convention of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), Section 11.6 (Flight Recorder Records) states:

“To preserve flight recorder records, flight recorders shall be deactivated upon completion of flight time following an accident or incident. The flight recorders shall not be reactivated before their disposition as determined in accordance with annex 13.”

“The operator shall ensure, to the extent possible, in the event the aeroplane becomes involved in an accident or incident, the preservation of all related flight recorder records and, if necessary, the associated flight recorders, and their retention in safe custody pending their disposition as determined in accordance with annex 13.”

We wish to reiterate that air accidents or serious incidents investigation is not for the purpose of apportioning blame or liability rather it is to uncover the causes of occurrence and to propose safety recommendations.

The responsibilities for reporting, collection and exchange of safety data and investigating of safety occurrences are established by ICAO annex 13 and amplified in the AIB Regulations. The Bureau will do anything within its mandate and the confines of Law to investigate accidents and serious incidents and promptly issue safety recommendations to prevent reoccurrences.

Consequently, all aviation service providers have a legal responsibility to report to the Accident investigation Bureau on all accidents and or serious incidents of which they become aware; so are all Pilots, Airline Operators and the general public enjoined to do, in compliance with the Laws and Regulations as it relates to accidents and serious incidents investigation.

The SAFETY of the flying public is of primary importance and on the scale of significance, supersedes the commercial consideration of any airline.

The Bureau has simplified its reporting systems to be user friendly and any accidents or occurrence should be reported via the following 24-hour accident reporting methods;
1. Emergency Mobile Lines (+234) 807 709 0909, 807 709 0908
2. Online Reporting Form via http://www.aib.gov.ng/report-an-accident/
3. Downloadable Accident Reporting Form 001
4. Send details to info@aib.gov.ng or commissioner@aib.gov.ng
5. Through the Bureau’s Mobile App.