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BIG STORY

Dead NAF Officers On Mission To Rescue Kagara Abductees —– Reps

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The House of Representatives Committee on Air Force has commiserated with the Nigerian Air Force and families of the victims of the ill-fated military aircraft that crashed in Abuja on Sunday.

Seven persons were confirmed dead in the incident involving a NAF Beechcraft KingAir B350i aircraft.

Chairman of the committee, Shehu Koko, said, “We highly regret the loss of our gallant officers who apparently were on a mission to rescue the kidnapped students in the Kagara community in Niger State.”

Bandits had abducted staff members and students of the Science College, Kagara, in Niger State. The gunmen had in the early hours of Wednesday attacked the college, leaving a student reportedly killed while several others, as well as teachers, were abducted.

Koko, in a statement issued on Sunday and titled ‘House Committee on Air Force commiserates with Nigerian Air force, family of victims’, said he witnessed the incident along with the Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Isiaka O. Amao.

Koko, who said an investigation would “begin in earnest to determine the remote cause,” expressed his condolence message on behalf of his committee to the NAF and the families.

He said, “This is to confirm that a Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Beechcraft KingAir B350i aircraft crashed while returning to the Abuja Airport after reporting engine failure en-route Minna. First responders are at the scene. Sadly, all seven personnel on board died in the crash. The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Vice Marshal Oladayo Amao, has ordered an immediate investigation into the incident.

“While mourning with families of the deceased, we urge Nigerians to remain calm and await the outcome of the investigation.”

The lawmaker noted that the committee under the leadership of the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, is “deeply saddened by this development and will work with the Chief of Air Staff to unravel the remote cause.”

Koko said the committee also commiserates with the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.). He also prays to God to comfort the bereaved families and grant the departed souls eternal rest.

BIG STORY

BREAKING: Boko Haram Frees Abducted Pastor 24hrs Before Execution Deadline

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Pastor Bulus Yikura, who was kidnapped by Boko Haram, has regained freedom 24 hours before the deadline set for his execution of the abductors.

A security source informed The Nation the cleric was set free on Wednesday evening on the outskirts of Maiduguri metropolis.

He was sighted with a few family members and the Nigerian Secret police.

Yikura’s freedom is coming one day before the dateline for his execution in a widely circulated video to seek help.

He was sighted in the video kneeling and begging the Federal Government and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to intervene as his life was left hanging for a few days.

He was quoted in the video pleading: “I have been given only seven days to appeal for assistance that will help me out of this torture.

“If truly you want to rescue me from this untold suffering and threat to life, then you have to act fast.

“I am also calling on the EYN president to help mobilize help that will rescue me, and also pray for me so that God will make things easy for me here”.

It is not clear what transpired before the release of Pastor Yikura as details are still being kept under wraps.

Recall that Yikura was abducted on Christmas Eve last year when Boko Haram attacked Pemi village in the Chibok local government area of Borno State and has since been with the captors.

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Northern Traders Agree To Resume North To South Movement of Food Stuff

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After about six days, the Leadership of Cattle and Foodstuff dealers under the aegis of the Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria, on Wednesday, agreed to resume the movement of food supplies from the northern part of the country to the southern region.

It was gathered that the agreement was reached when the leadership of the trade union met with Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State in Abuja. Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode was also at the meeting.

About a week ago, northern traders had embarked on strike over the alleged killing of their members in the southern part of the country. Prices of food commodities like pepper, tomatoes, beef, yam, garri, amongst others, had gone over the roof with many southerners groaning and complaining about the increase.

The General Secretary, AUFCDN, Ahmed Alaramma, had said the President of the association, Mohammed Tahir, was with the Department of State Services over the blockade.

The northern traders had also called on the Federal Government to pay them billions in compensation while Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere; Activist Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho, and others had threatened to launch a campaign against cows in protest against the development.

 

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Sanwo-Olu Threatens To Name Beneficiaries Of Apapa Rot

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Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has threatened to name those benefitting from the perennial traffic gridlock and disorderliness experienced along the Apapa corridor in the state.

Sanwo-Olu stated this on Wednesday in Lagos while commending the Nigerian Ports Authority for the new E-Call Up system for trucks going to the ports.

The Apapa area of the state is notorious for chaos over the haphazard operations of container-laden trucks around the seaports.

At an event in Lagos today, the governor said, “We will name and shame them. We will bring out their names, be it a corporate organization, be it a company, be it a Lagos State officer, be it a police officer, whoever it is, be it a union that will say that the solution that we have brought about will not work.

“They will go and answer to the citizen of Nigeria and the citizen of Lagos State and the citizen of Nigeria. We will bring them to the public courts for them to see that we are about seriousness; we cannot condone the recklessness and the carelessness that our citizens have gone through.

“And I want to use this opportunity to commend the Management of NPA because they have worked with us on this agenda. So, my challenge is to others who have not signed on to this wonderful column system.”

NPA Managing Director, Hadiza Bala-Usman, had assured port users that the e-call up system would address irresponsible parking of trucks on port access roads in Apapa.

The e-call up system was designed for the management of truck movement and access to and from the Lagos Ports Complex and the Tin Can Island Ports, Apapa.

The Apapa corridor had been a nightmare for road users and Sanwo-Olu had last year said the Lagos State Government had started the process of taking over the operations of the Presidential Task Force on Port Decongestion that had been managing the traffic gridlock in the area.

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