NAF address allegations of preventing chattered flight landing at its base

The attention of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has sadly been drawn to allegations that it prevented a chartered flight from landing at its Base in Makurdi on 16 July 2018, for political reasons.

In a press statement signed and issued by the Director of Public Relations and Information of the Nigerian Air Force, Air Vice Marshal Olatokunbo Adesanya stated that there is absolutely no iota of truth in the allegations that NAF’s decision was politically motivated.

He explained that the runway at NAF Base Makurdi is not a dual user facility but one constructed strictly for military purpose.

Accordingly, in line with global best practices, there is a clearly established procedure for non-NAF aircraft to operate into and out of the runway in Makurdi, and that procedure is well known to all qualified pilots in Nigeria. Indeed, many airlines had in the past adhered to the stipulated procedure and therefore successfully landed and taken off from the NAF runway in Makurdi.

The procedure includes a written request to NAF Headquarters Abuja for permission for a specific aircraft to operate into its airfield on a specific date and time, including the names of passengers and other necessary details.

In this case, there was indeed a request for permit by the Benue State Government, dated 16 July 2018, for Aircraft with Registration Number 5N-FCT to land at NAF Base Makurdi on 16 July 2018.

Although requests for landing permits are expected to reach NAF Headquarters not later than two days before the desired landing date, the NAF went out of its way to expedite the process and accordingly granted the permit for aircraft with Registration Number 5N-FCT to land at NAF Base Makurdi on 16 July 2018.

However, at about 5pm on 16 July 2018, the NAF was verbally informed that there was a need to change the aircraft for which permission had already been issued, reportedly because the aircraft had developed snags. The NAF, therefore, asked for another written request, in line with the established procedure. As at date, the NAF Headquarters is yet to receive a written request for the replacement aircraft with Registration Number 5N-IZY to land at its Base in Makurdi.

For the avoidance of doubts, the NAF does not concern itself with political or religious affiliations of individuals/organizations in granting landing rights at its airfields. The issue of security and safety remains uppermost particularly while noting that the ongoing Operation WHIRL STROKE is largely being coordinated from NAF Base Makurdi, with fighter aircraft flying in and out of the Base. The NAF remains a highly professional and apolitical organization that would rather focus on its military duties. Consequently, the NAF wishes to implore all concerned to desist from dragging the name of the NAF into partisan politics.

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Nigerian Air Force commences 3-day special surgical intervention for IDPs in Barkin Ladi

Nigerian Air Force commences 3-day special surgical intervention for IDPs in Barkin Ladi

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has commenced a 3-day special surgical intervention programme as well as medical outreach for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and other residents of Barkin Ladi Local Government Area (LGA) of Plateau State.

 

In a press statement signed and issued to Plateau news office in Abuja by the Director of Public Relations and Information Nigerian Air Force Air Vice Marshal OLATOKUNBO ADESANYA said this is part of the NAF efforts at alleviating the plights of persons affected by the recent violence in the area.

 

The special medical outreach, which is holding within the vicinity of the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN) Heipang in Barkin Ladi, has been attracting a large turnout of IDPs as well as residents who expressed gratitude to the NAF for its humanitarian gesture and concern for the wellbeing of Nigerians.

 

During the 3-day outreach, which is expected to end on 19 July 2018, patients with surgical needs would be operated on by NAF surgeons at the 563 NAF Hospital Jos while patients with other medical needs would be treated and given drugs as deemed necessary.  Medicated glasses and treated mosquito nets would also be distributed during the exercise. A total of 3,000 patients are expected to benefit from this special intervention by the NAF medical team.

 

The first day of the medical outreach was attended by the Director of Health, Barkin Ladi LGA, Mr Badung Daylop, who represented the Executive Chairman of Barkin Ladi LGA, Honourable Dickson Chollom. The Chairman appreciated the laudable effort of the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, in rendering humanitarian services through the provision of free healthcare to the people of the LGA. He noted that the medical outreach would bring great relief to his people after the recent ordeals.

 

During the first day of the medical outreach, the medical team from NAF Headquarters and 563 NAF Hospital, Jos conducted medical check-ups on the patients and screened those who potentially had surgical cases and thereafter immediately conveyed them to 563 NAF Hospital, where surgeries were carried out.

 

Furthermore, eyeglasses and drugs were distributed to patients. Other medical activities carried out were de-worming of little children as well as distribution of treated mosquito nets.

 

It would be recalled that the NAF on 25 June 2018, deployed an Mi-35P combat helicopter and an Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft to Plateau State in support of efforts aimed at quelling the crisis that erupted in the State. The medical intervention is a follow-up to the earlier deployment as part of NAF’s efforts at enhancing civil-military relationship.

 

 

By: Gom Mirian, Abuja.

Elders Forum of Nig urge FG to stop incessant killings

Elders and Leaders  Forum of Nigeria urged the FG to stop the incessant killings of innocent Nigerians

The Elders  and leaders  Forum of Nigeria on Wednesday in Abuja expressed concern over the state of the nation and urged the Federal Government to do more to stop the incessant killings of innocent Nigerians.

 

The Forum made the call in a communique jointly signed by Chief Edwin Clark, Leader of the Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF); Prof. Ango Abdullahi, Convener Northern Elders Forum (NEF); Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Leader Afenifere Socio-Cultural Group, and Chief John Nwodo, President Ohanaeze Ndigbo.

 

The communiqué was signed at the end of the Extra ordinary summit of elders  and leaders  of Nigeria, tagged : “State of the Nation: The rising spate of killings must stop.”

 

The elders called on the Federal Government to address the security challenges and revamp the security architecture of the country.

 

They said  the general state of insecurity and incessant killings in Nigeria have escalated in recent times with several communities at the mercy of marauding killers.

 

“it is  necessary to ensure the removal of marauding killers from the communities they have occupied and return same to their rightful owners who now live in IDP camps”.

 

They added that the affected communities perceived the government to be complacent with the killings that claimed over 3,500 lives in 2017 and even more in 2018.

 

On the other hand,   in a letter written by the former president Olusegun Obasanjo which was delivered by the former Osun state governor Olagunsoye  Oyinlola at the summit,  Obasanjo railed at some policies of the present government which he claimed had divided Nigerians along religious and regional lines,  posing,  according to his interpretation   “a serious danger to the  country’s democracy “.

 

” Nigeria,  in recent times  has not been so divided along religious and regional lines as at today with inexcusable killings and devastating poverty and the government’s  wringing hands and apparently incompetent to stem the tide except giving one unrighteous and unacceptable justification after the other “.

 

By:Gom Mirian, Abuja

 

Long Gamai calls on communities to promote peaceful coexistence

Communities of the State have been called upon to promote peaceful coexistence for the growth of the State and the people.

The call was made by the Long Gamai HRH Martins Shaldas, in his palace in Shendam at the enlarged Peace and Security meeting of the Southern Senatorial Zone.

According to the Royal Father, : ” we can only make progress in an atmosphere of Peace where people will be free to pursue their interests without fear.

Earlier in a welcom remark, the chairman of the organising committee and the LongTehl, Bar Donald D. Puntehl, said their main focus is sustaining the peaceful coexistence in the Zone.

Governor Lalong who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Security, Cornelius Shiol Bial commended the initiators of the forum urging other communities to emulate the commendable efforts.

He frowned at promoters of hate speech, enjoining residents to support the government’s efforts at peace building.

In his presentation, Undie Adie, Plateau State commissioner of Police, Undie Adie said he attended the meeting to verify rumours of impending attacks from the key stakeholders who were fully constituted.

He said the Police is fully mobilised to protect lives and property, appealing to the public to report any suspicious activity to the command.

A cross section of the Traditional rulers, religious leaders, Women and Youth leaders refuted claims of rumoured attacks saying it’s being promoted by enemies of the state who want to create fear among the people of the zone.

The Transition Committee Chairmen of the councils and Presidents of Traditional Councils of the Local government areas pledged to sustain the peace in the area and beyond.

The meeting which was also attended by heads of security agencies from the zone also resolved to combat criminality of any kind in the area.

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Berom nation issues statement, debunks report linking it to government house attack

PRESS RELEASE 18th July, 2018.
The Berom nation is shocked and taken aback at the allegations and deliberate destruction of the truth by the press conference addressed by a so called coalition of Plateau patriots led by one Sylvanus Lot.
This coalition is unknown and their motivation highly suspicious because many of them lack any qualification to be recognized as patriots in Plateau state.
Their conference in many ways clearly disrespected and belittled the current plight and agony of victims of the recent attacks by killer herdsmen in Gashish, Ropp, Barkin Ladi and Riyom in addition to Bassa, Bokkos and Mangu Local Government Areas where more than 230 innocent lives were butchered and roasted like chicken in their homes.
In their desperate attempt to gain political mileage for their selfish political interest which is overtly known to us, this partisan elements concocted and muddled up accounts of the unfortunate attack on the Governor of the state, alleging that some Berom people were using the misfortune of the IDPs for political objectives.
For the avoidance of doubt Anguldi where the unfortunate attack took place is a cosmopolitan setting, housing different ethnic groups within and outside the state.
The gate and store of the IDP camp were equally broken and damaged with the intention of looting relief materials.
It is on record that all registered Berom Associations including His Majesty the Gbong Gwom Jos have never condoned the stoning of any Governor as we had equally condemned attacks on Governors J.C Dariye and J.D Jang.
The allegation that links the Berom to violence in government house, Little Rayfield is to say the least, a blatant lie and very malicious, because the Berom nation did not organize the said protest in anyway. For the records, the Berom nation has always condemned the blockage of roads by hoodlums and criminals who take advantage of Fulani attacks to unleash mayhem on innocent citizens. In our view, the security agencies need to be more proactive in such circumstances in order to avoid degeneration and escalation of violence.
Therefore, for these self appointed Plateau patriots who are yet to visit or contribute to the welfare of the IDPs to drum up wild and unsubstantiated allegations against the Berom is simply to betray the sinister motive of their press conference which appears to have been sponsored to pitch the Berom against other ethnic groups in Plateau state.
We dare to warn Sylvanus Lot and his cohorts that such a satanic agenda shall not succeed because the Berom are incontrovertibly peace loving and highly accommodative as can be attested to by the good people of Plateau state and other citizens of Nigeria.
Furthermore, to claim that some highly placed individuals were actively involved in the violence that occurred in Government House, Little Rayfield is to be economical with the truth and playing to the gallery in order to cover ineptitude and insensitivity.
On the whole, the Berom are dismayed that some individuals and groups like the so called Plateau patriots are deliberately trying to mislead the public and divert government attention from addressing the prevailing security challenges in Barkin Ladi and Riyom local government areas where killings and maiming of innocent lives by Fulani herdsmen have continued unabated. In this regard 2 persons were ambushed and shot dead at Nding in Fan district on Friday, 13th July 2018 and another 2 killed at Bek in Foron district, their cattle rustled, while one of them escaped narrowly with injuries.
The Berom nation vehemently rejects the allegations and insinuations contained in the text of the S.D. Lot led press conference of coalition of Plateau patriots and therefore, demands an unreserved apology from the initiators, sponsors and presenters of that ill motivated conference.
As a nation we shall continue to stand on the side of the truth, peace and justice for all citizens living within and outside Plateau.
In the same vein, we shall live to resist surrogates and sycophants determined to achieve selfish and partisan interest at the expense of our people.
Finally, we acknowledge the outpouring of love, empathy and sacrifice to our IDPs by individuals, Churches and NGOs.
Also, the initial efforts of the Federal and Plateau state governments are appreciated with an additional plea for more supplies and the disbursement of the ₦10 billion Victims Support Fund for the rebuilding of homes and an early return of the IDPs.

Da Davou Choji Davou Chief Ngo Florence Jambol
General Secretary President
Berom Educational and Cultural Organization (BECO) Berom Women DevelopmetAssociation (BEWDA)

Rws. Choji Dalyop Chuwang
President
Berom Youth Moulders Association (BYM)

 

FG to invest more in girl child education

The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu says that the federal Government is giving priority to the girl child development by promoting science and technology education in tertiary institutions.

Dr Onu said this at the pre- conference Girl -child sensitization of the Organization for Women in Science (OWSD) held at government Girls Science School, Kuje during the week.

Dr Onu said the federal government is convinced that investment in the girl child education, especially in science, will assure future greatness for the country.

According to Onu, for Nigeria to be a great nation, discrimination on the basis of gender must be jettisoned.

He further said that the notion of girl- child as pleasure objects and second class citizens was a misnomer, adding that the girl child must embrace science, technology, engineering and mathematics to be of benefit to themselves, to their family and the nation at large.

Dr Onu advised the girl- child to believe in themselves, think and work towards rebuilding the country in the nearest future.

While saying that no nation develops without science and technology, he advised the girl child to resolve to be part of a new Nigeria where science and technology would be the driver of economic development.

With the largest population in Africa and the largest concentration of black people Nigeria needs to brace up and invest massively in science, technology and innovation Dr Onu added.

Earlier in her welcome address the Director FCT Department of Science and Technology Mrs Christiana Ibrahim said that the FCTA is investing in girl – child education to build their capacity for them to stand out and be at par with their counterparts the world over.

The National President, Organization of Women in Science for Developing World (OWSD) Nigerian Chapter, Professor Ibiyinka Fuwape in her speech read by Dr Maimuna Abdullahi Habib Coordinator Northern Zone (OWSD), said that science needs women and if the talents and intelligence of women are utilized in STEM fields, there will be increased competency, knowledge and better understanding which will be beneficial to the development of our nation.

 

 

Plateau NA caucus faults Buhari

The Plateau State caucus in the National Assembly, has faulted President Buhari’s response to the killings in the state, suggesting that people should resort to prayers to end the carnage.
The lawmakers from the two chambers of the National Assembly at a joint press briefing that the federal government should recovered all the lands and homes currently occupied by the killer herdsmen who invaded over 52 villages in the state killing 215 natives.
The member representing Shemdam Quanpan and Mikang Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. John Bull Shekarau who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, frowned at the presidents attitude when he visited the state recently to commiserate with the people and there after asked them to resort to God and prayers.
According to the caucus, they had a common enemy in the state that was against the tribe and it was time the president took over the security of the state and stops the genocides.
While calling on security agencies to investigate recent comments by Hon. Idris Wase that killings, they further regretted that the internal security outfit in the state are not helping matters and passed a vote no confidence in them.
The caucus also called on government to stop land grabbing and the genocide now and return occupied places to the aboriginal land owners.
Group reject imposition of Senator Melaye on PDP as Automatic Senatorial Candidate.

-The Nigeria Standard