Full Text Of President Buhari’s 2022 Independence Day Anniversary Broadcast

 

 

INDEPENDENCE DAY ADDRESS BY MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE ARMED FORCES, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA DELIVERED ON THE OCCASION OF NIGERIA’S 62ND INDEPENDENCE ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION ON 1ST OCTOBER, 2022

Fellow Nigerians,

I address you today, with a deep sense of gratitude to God and a high level of appreciation to all Nigerians whose tremendous goodwill gave me the opportunity to provide leadership for our great country at one of the trying times in her history.

Conscious that today’s address would be my last on an Independence Day as your President; I speak to the millions of Nigerians, who believed in me, propelled and stood by me in my quest to bequeath a country where all citizens have equal opportunities to achieve their lives desires in a peaceful atmosphere.

I am honoured to say that my story in the annals of Nigeria’s history is no household secret. My various attempts, failures and eventual success in being elected as a Democratic President in 2015 was made possible by the majority of Nigerians.

When you elected me, I readily acknowledged that the tasks before me were daunting but surmountable because of the growing national consensus that our chosen route to national development was democracy.

This democracy was to be anchored on a clear understanding, application and the principles of separation of powers supported by a reformed public service that is more effective.

I then pledged to Improve the Economy, Tackle Corruption and Fight Insecurity and this was further strengthened by my commitment to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in ten years as the central plank of my second term in 2019.

To the Glory of God and His Grace as well as the commitment and passion displayed by many Nigerian supporters, we have made appreciable progress in these areas but not yet at our destination.

READ ALSO: Independence Day: Return To Classrooms, Buhari Urges Striking Lecturers

Mindful of the task before us, we took some time in settling down and we re-positioned the Economy by providing strategic interventions in core areas at both the Federal and Sub-National levels.

One of the areas where we have made significant progress is in the eradication of deeply entrenched corruption that permeates all facets of our national development.

We strengthened the Institutions for tackling corruption and also cultivated international support, which aided the repatriation of huge sums of money illegally kept outside the country.

The increasing number of prosecutions and convictions, with associated refunds of large sums of money is still ongoing. Furthermore, we would continue to block opportunities that encourage corrupt practices.

In order to address Insecurity, we worked methodically in reducing Insurgency in the North East, Militancy in the Niger Delta, Ethnic and Religious Tensions in some sections of Nigeria along with other problems threatening our country.

Our efforts in re-setting the economy manifested in Nigeria exiting two economic recessions by the very practical and realistic monetary and fiscal measures to ensure effective public financial management. In addition, the effective implementation of the Treasury Single Account and cutting down on the cost of governance also facilitated early exits from recessions.

Fellow Nigerians, this administration removed several decades uncertainty for potential Investors in the Oil & Gas sector with the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act, 2021. This landmark legislation created opportunities for foreign investments in addition to improving transparency in the management of the sector.

Our administration has given the desired priority to the Agricultural Sector through a series of incentives to Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises that resulted in creating millions of jobs. Leading this initiative, the Central Bank of Nigeria’s intervention in a number of areas as well as the Anchor Borrowers Programme had created the required leverages for Nigerians towards self-sufficiency in food and the necessary attraction for farming as a business.

The growing contribution of non-oil exports, especially in agriculture, information and communication technology as well as the performing arts to our national economy will enhance our foreign exchange earning capacity.

We are confronting current economic challenges such as debt burden, growing inflation, living standards and increasing unemployment accentuated by our growing youthful population. These problems are globally induced and  we would continue to ensure that their negative effects are addressed in our policies.

This administration will continue to ensure that our fiscal policies are supported by a robust and contemporary monetary policy that recognises our peculiarities in the midst of the growing global economic difficulties.

This is evidenced by the recent Monetary Policy Committee decision to maintain all parameters, especially interest rates and marginally increased the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) from 14% to 15.5% and the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) from 27.5% to 32.5%. It is projected that this would further insulate our economy from overexposure to uncertainties at the international market by restraining growth in core inflation.

As we continue to de-escalate the security challenges that confronted us at inception of this administration, newer forms alien to our country began to manifest especially in the areas of kidnappings, molestations/killings of innocent citizens, banditry, all of which are being addressed by our security forces.

I share the pains Nigerians are going through and I assure you that your resilience and patience would not be in vain as this administration continues to reposition as well as strengthen the security agencies to enable them to deal with all forms of security challenges.

At the inception of this administration in 2015, I provided the funding requirements of the security agencies which was also improved in my second tenure in 2019 to enable them to surmount security challenges. We will continue on this path until our efforts yield the desired results.

As we put in place all measures to ensure that Nigeria takes her place in the Comity of Nations, we recognize the importance of a well-educated populace as a panacea to most of the challenges we face.

We have, therefore, pursued policies and implemented programmes designed to create a literate and proficient society that ensures that citizens are availed with opportunities for life-long achievements.

I must confess that I am very pained by the recurring disruption to our tertiary education system and I am using this Independence Day celebration to re-iterate my call for the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to return to the classroom while assuring them to deal with their contending issues within the limits of the scarce resources available. This administration has made appreciable progress in redressing these issues that have been lingering for over eleven years.

The Federal Government will continue to mobilize resources both internationally and nationally towards funding education to ensure that our citizens are well educated and skilled in various vocations in view of the fact that education is a leading determinant of economic growth and employment generation.

Fellow Nigerians, we have also improved our health facilities, especially during and after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which attracted commendation of the global community.

As you are aware, Nigeria was one of the countries that defied global predictions of the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic because of our resilience, commitment and passion with which we individually and collectively managed the pandemic.

This administration embarked on addressing critical ecological challenges across the country in order to mitigate the impact of Climate Change manifesting in the form of flood, soil erosion, desertification, air pollution amongst others

We will continue to ensure that our infrastructure drive remains the key to Nigeria’s economic growth and for which every Nigerian will feel the impact.

The Federal Government is already expanding ports operations to ensure that they provide opportunities for the growth of the Nigerian economy.

We have also continued to accelerate our infrastructure development through serviceable and transparent borrowing, improved capital inflow & increased revenue generation by expanding the tax bases and prudent management of investment proceeds in the Sovereign Wealth Fund.

To further open up our communities to economic activities, we have continued to boost our railway infrastructure with the completion of a good number of critical railways and at the same time rehabilitating as well as upgrading obsolete equipment.

I am pleased to inform my fellow citizens that besides our emphasis on infrastructural development with its attendant opportunities for job creation, employment generation and subsequent poverty reduction, our focussed intervention directly to Nigerians through the National Social Investment Programme is also yielding benefits.

There is hardly any ward, village or local government in Nigeria today that has not benefited from one of the following: N-Power, trader-moni, market moni, subsidized loans, business grants or Conditional Cash Transfers.

All the aforementioned programmes along with various interventions by the National Social Investment programme, direct support to victims of flooding and other forms of disasters have provided succor to the affected Nigerians.

Fellow Nigerians, no matter what gains we make, without a good governance system anchored on electing credible leaders on the basis of free, fair, credible and transparent elections, our efforts would not be enough.

It is for this reason that I have resolved to bequeath a sustainable democratic culture which will remain lasting. The signing of the Electoral Act 2021 as amended with landmark provisions further assures us of a more transparent and inclusive Electoral Process.

Having witnessed at close quarters, the pains, anguish and disappointment of being a victim of an unfair electoral process, the pursuit of an electoral system and processes that guarantee election of leaders by citizens remains the guiding light as I prepare to wind down our administration.

You would all agree that the recent elections in the past two years in some states (notably Anambra, Ekiti and Osun) and a few federal constituencies have shown a high degree of credibility, transparency and freedom of choice with the people’s votes actually counting. This I promise would be improved upon as we move towards the 2023 General Elections.

As we begin the transition process to another democratically elected government, I want to implore all aspirants to conduct issues-based campaigns devoid of hate speeches as well as other negative and divisive tendencies.

I also want to express my wish that we see more female and youth participation in the forth-coming electoral cycle. I am sure that our teeming and energetic youths now realise that violence generally mar elections and so should desist from being used by politicians for this purpose.

Reforms in the public sector are already yielding results especially in the delivery of services.  On this note, I urge the general public to demand for citizen-centred services from the relevant authorities.

On the international front, we have continued to take advantage of our bilateral and multilateral platforms to explore cooperation with friendly countries and partners whenever these areas of cooperation are to the advantage of Nigeria.

Fellow Nigerians, in the past few years we have witnessed and overcome a good number of challenges that would ordinarily have destroyed our Nation. However, the indefatigable spirit of the Nigerian people has ensured that we overcome our challenges.

It is in this spirit that I call on all of us to individually and collectively bring to the fore in dealing with all our development issues.

I was called to serve, along with my team, I saw an opportunity to create a better Nigeria which we have done with the support of Nigerians. Almighty God and the good people of Nigeria supported us in laying a solid foundation for the Nigeria of our dreams.

I thank you all and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

9 Law Professors, 3 EFCC Lawyers, 50 Others Emerge Senior Advocates of Nigeria

 

The Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee (LPPC), has elevated nine Professors of law, three lawyers of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and 50 others to the prestigious rank of the Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANS.).

They were honoured with the rank by the Committee headed by the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola,

A statement released on Thursday evening by the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court, Hajo Sarki Bello indicated that the LPPC conferred the rank on the lawyers at its 154th plenary session held on September 29, 2022.

The law Professors are Kathleen Ebelechukwu Okafor, Muhammed Taofeeq Abdulrasaq, Amokaye Oludayo Gabriel, Ismail Adeniyi Olatunbosun, Abdullahi Sheu Zuru, Joy Ngozi Ezeilo, Theodore Bala Maiyaki, Olaide Abass Gbadamosi, and Chimezie Kingsley Okorie.

The three EFCC Lawyers elevated to membership of the Inner Bar are Wahab Kunle Shitu, Sylvanus Tahir, and Rotimi Iseoluwa Oyedepo.

Other new senior advocates are a former, Head of Afe Babalola Chambers, Mr Bankole Joel Akomolafe, Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar, Johnson Tarigho Omophe, Lawrence Sunday Oko-Jaja, Christopher Agbomeirhe Sunday Oshomegie, and Sanusi Olugbenga Said.

Also elevated are Emmanuel Idemudia Oboh, Diri Said Mohammed, Oladipo Akanmu Tolani, Ayodeji Oyewole Omotoso, Chijioke Ogbonna Erondu, Ajoku Kingsley Obinna, Yakubu Maikasuwa, Henry Eshijonam Omu, and Dagogo Israel Iboroma.

The list also has Joseph Ademu Akubo, Gozie Bertrand Obi, Inam Akpadiagha Wilson, Abubakar Bature Sulu-Gambari, Abioye Araoye Oloyede Asanike, Bolarinwa Elijah Aidi, Tonye Tombete Jenewari Krukrubo, Aderemi Moshood Nashua, Kolapo Olugbenga Kolade and Samuel Peter Karigbo.

Also elevated are Ifeanyichukwu Sylvester Obiakor, Olasoji Olaiya Olowolafe, Mutalubi Ojo Adebayo, Victor Odafe Ogude, Sulayman Olawale Ibrahim, Mumini Ishola Hanafi, Tanko Tanko Ashang, Damian Ohakwe Okoro, Andrew Mwajim Malgwi and Etukwu Onah.

The LPPC list also has Adeboro Lateef Adamson, Kelechi Chinedum Obi, Andrew Osemedua Odum, Okoro Okechukwu Edwin, Godson Chukwudi Ugochukwu, Steven Onyechi Ononye, Ikani Kanu Agabi, Mustapha Shaba Ibrahim and Muzudeen Yunus Abdullahi.

The rest are Magaji Mato Ibrahim, Sunusi Musa, Oladoyin Oluseyi Awoyale, Chukwudubem Bonaventure Anyigbo, Lukman Oyebanji Fagbemi, and Michael Jonathan Numa.

The statement affirmed that the rank of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) is awarded as a mark of excellence to members of the legal profession who have distinguished themselves as advocates and academics

It further indicated that the new members of the Inner Bar would be inaugurated on Monday, November 21, 2022.

Meanwhile, the LPPC meeting has approved new guidelines for the conferment of the rank and all matters pertaining to the status to guide future exercises.

Lagos Govt Suspends RTEAN Activities Statewide

 

 

The Lagos government has suspended all activities of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) with immediate effect.

The announcement comes a day after factional members of the association clashed in the Iyana Iba and Lagos Island areas of the state.

In a statement announcing the suspension on Thursday, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Sola Giwa, said the move was aimed at fulfilling one of the state government’s cardinal objectives under the T.H.E.M.E.S Development Agenda.

The acronym, T.H.E.M.E.S, refers to the six pillars of the State’s strategic development agenda, namely: Traffic Management and Transportation, Health and Environment, Education and Technology, Making Lagos a 21st Century Economy, Entertainment and Tourism, as well as Security and Governance

Giwa confirmed that the decision was necessary after “some pockets of violence recorded in Ojo and Lagos Island” on Wednesday.

A 35-Man Caretaker Committee has been constituted to take over activities of the Union.

The Committee is headed by Hon. Sulaiman Adeshina Raji with Bamgbose Oluseyi as Deputy Chairman.

Other members of the Committee include; Sunday Aransiola, Sulaiman Onabanjo, Azeez Abdulrahman, Isiaka Seriki, Victor Ifemenam, Kareem Babatunde, Amusan Abdulrahman, Teslim Adeshina, Sulaiman Surajudeen, and Fatai Rauf.

Others are; Sunday Banjo, Segun Omole, Thomas Akinkayode, Taiwo Lasisi, Gbenga Kashimawo, Samson Ajala, Taiwo Daodu, Sule Aliu, Ahmed Musa and Oladipupo Ibrahim, Adewale Adeniyi, Olatunji Durojaiye, Wasiu Olanrewaju, Taofeek Onileola, Yusuf Afolabi, Bode Ogungbade, Alh. A.A. Ussaini, Saliu Usman, Saheed Badru, Kolawole Yusuf, Kayode Thomas, Idowu Oyewole, and Salami Babatunde Ope are to also join them.

Giwa reiterated that suspension becomes necessary to prevent further acts of violence in the State, stressing that men of the Lagos State Police Command will be deployed across the State to enforce the suspension and ensure the safety of lives and properties.

He revealed that the State had met with some representatives of the RTEAN on Wednesday following a protest by some members of the Union demanding the removal of their National President.

He added that the Government had assured the RTEAN members of a total investigation into the allegations leveled against the National President with a promise to resolve all lingering issues.

‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ Rapper Coolio Dies At 59

In this file photo taken on May 31, 2022 rapper/actor Coolio performs at halftime of a game between the Connecticut Sun and the Las Vegas Aces at Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Ethan Miller / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP)

 

Coolio, the US rapper best known for the chart-topping 1995 song “Gangsta’s Paradise,” has died, his manager said Wednesday. He was 59 years old.

The Grammy-winning musician passed away in Los Angeles. No cause of death was immediately provided.

Coolio’s friend and long-standing manager Jarez Posey confirmed the news to AFP without providing additional details.

Posey told celebrity news website TMZ that Coolio was found unresponsive in the bathroom of a friend’s house on Wednesday afternoon.

Born Artis Leon Ivey Jr on August 1, 1963, in Pennsylvania, the artist spent most of his life in Compton, California, attending community college and working jobs including airport security before finding success in rap.

Coolio began his music career in California in the late 1980s, digging roots in the Los Angeles scene by 1994 when he signed to Tommy Boy Records.

His single “Fantastic Voyage” off his debut studio album “It Takes a Thief” charted as high as three on the Billboard Hot 100.

But it was “Gangsta’s Paradise” the following year that would make Coolio a household name.

 

The rapper soared to global fame in 1995 when he released the song for the soundtrack of the film “Dangerous Minds” which starred Michelle Pfeiffer.

It was the year’s top single and scored Coolio a Grammy for best rap solo performance for the track at the subsequent awards gala.

With a hook lifted from Stevie Wonder’s 1976 track “Pastime Paradise” off of that artist’s seminal “Songs In The Key of Life,” the hit sold millions of copies worldwide, topping pop charts in 16 countries.

“It’s about life, because you’re living in the gangster’s paradise also,” Coolio said about his song, speaking in 1995 on the “Howard Stern Show.”

‘It wrote me’

In an interview more than a decade later with Britain’s “The Voice,” Coolio said he had “no clue” that the song would go on to endure for so many years.

“I didn’t write Gangsta’s Paradise — it wrote me,” he said. “It was its own entity, out there in the spirit world, trying to find its way to the world, and it chose me as the vessel to come through.”

“I thought it was going to be a hood record; I never thought it would cross over the way that it did — to all ages, races, genres, countries and generations.”

He never recreated the success of his signature track but later put out hits including “1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin’ New)” and “Too Hot.”

An endearing star of gangsta rap, Coolio’s high-spirited music videos brought him an increased following. He later pursued an acting career, including nabbing a part in 1997’s “Batman and Robin” and making a number of television cameos including on the hit 1990s show “The Nanny.”

The social media reaction to the rapper’s death was one of shock, with 1990s rapper Vanilla Ice tweeting: “I’m freaking out I just heard my good friend Coolio passed away.”

“Peaceful Journey Brother. #Coolio,” wrote Questlove.

This is sad news. I witness first hand this man’s grind to the top of the industry. Rest In Peace @Coolio https://t.co/vCeyn08Vsi

AFP

2023 Elections: NBC Reads Riot Act, Warns Against Hate Speech

 

 

The Nigeria Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has read the riot act to operators in Nigeria’s broadcast industry, ahead of the kick-off of political campaigns for the 2023 general elections.

Speaking at a sensitisation forum on political broadcasting in Abuja, the Director-General of the NBC, Mr Balarabe Ilelah, advised against the use of hate speech during the campaign.

He warned that the Commission would not hesitate to sanction any individual and organisation that breaches the broadcasting codes.

The Commission threatened to shut down broadcast stations that run fowl to the NBC broadcast code.

READ ALSOIndustrial Court’s Ruling Ordering ASUU To Call Off Strike (Full Details)

The ongoing forum on political broadcasting in Abuja is a grand finale of a sensitisation exercise embarked on by the NBC, ahead of the campaigns for the 2023 general elections.

The meeting in Abuja is attended by heads of broadcast media organisations, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, and the Nigeria Police Force.

China, India Call For Negotiated Way Out Of Ukraine War

Ukrainian gunmen fire a US made M777 howitzer from their position on the front line in Kharkiv region on August 1, 2022, amid Russia’s military invasion launched on Ukraine. (Photo by SERGEY BOBOK / AFP)

 

 

China and India on Saturday called at the United Nations for a negotiated end to the Ukraine war, stopping short of robust support for traditional ally Russia.

After a week of pressure at the United Nations General Assembly, Russia’s foreign minister took the General Assembly rostrum to deliver a fiery rebuke to Western nations for what he termed a “grotesque” campaign against Russians.

But no major nation has rallied behind Russia, including China, which just days before the February invasion of Ukraine had vowed an “unbreakable” bond with President Vladimir Putin.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi called on both Russia and Ukraine to “keep the crisis from spilling over” and from affecting developing countries.

“China supports all efforts conducive to the peaceful resolution of the Ukraine crisis. The pressing priority is to facilitate talks for peace,” Wang said.

“The fundamental solution is to address the legitimate security concerns of all parties and build a balanced, effective, and sustainable security architecture.”

Chinaís Foreign Minister Wang Yi addresses the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York City on September 24, 2022.(Photo by Yuki IWAMURA / AFP)

 

 

 

During his visit to the United Nations, Wang met with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, in their first talks since the war began.

Earlier this month Putin acknowledged Chinese “concerns” about Ukraine during a meeting with his counterpart Xi Jinping.

Limiting material support

US officials have been heartened by what they see as China’s lack of concrete backing for the war and say that Beijing has declined requests to send military equipment, forcing Russia to rely on North Korea and Iran as its own supplies dwindle.

China’s reaction to Russia is being closely watched for clues on its approach to Taiwan, a self-governing democracy that Beijing claims as its territory.

Wang held firm that China would take “forceful steps” against any interference, insisting that efforts to prevent “reunification” with Taiwan would be “crushed by the wheels of history.”

India, unlike China, has a warm relationship with the United States but it has historic ties with Russia, its traditional defense supplier.

“As the Ukraine conflict continues to rage, we are often asked whose side we are on,” said India’s foreign minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.

“Our answer, each time, is straight and honest — India is on the side of peace and will remain firmly there,” he said.

“We are on the side that calls for dialogue and diplomacy as the only way out.”

Indiaí’s Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar addresses the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York City on September 24, 2022. (Photo by Bryan R. Smith / AFP)

Russia on offensive

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at a news conference declined to answer whether there has been any pressure from China. In his speech, he sought to cast blame squarely on the West.

“The official Russophobia in the West is unprecedented. Now the scope is grotesque,” Lavrov told the General Assembly.

“They are not shying away from declaring the intent to inflict not only military defeat on our country but also to destroy and fracture Russia.”

The United States, he said, since the end of the Cold War has acted as if it is “an envoy of God on Earth, with the sacred right to act with impunity wherever and wherever they want,” Lavrov said.

He also blasted the European Union as an “authoritarian, harsh, dictatorial entity” and said the bloc’s leadership forced one member state’s leader — Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades — to cancel a planned meeting with him.

Western powers are looking at further sanctions after Putin called up reservists and made a veiled threat to use nuclear weapons, and have vowed not to recognize results of referendums on Russian annexation being held in occupied territories.

They have welcomed Lavrov’s isolation, noting how he only showed up at a Security Council session on Thursday to deliver remarks and not to listen to others.

Russia enjoyed one rare voice of support Saturday at the General Assembly. Mali’s interim Prime Minister Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga, appointed by coup leaders, hailed the “exemplary and fruitful cooperation” with Moscow.

The junta has welcomed Russia’s Wagner Group security firm, despite Western allegations of rights abuses, as France pulled out troops who had been struggling to contain a jihadist insurgency.

AFP

Record-Breaking Women Super League Crowd Watches Arsenal Thrash Tottenham

Match Ball during Barclays FA Women’s Super League match between West Ham United Women and Arsenal at The Chigwell Construction Stadium on 08th May 2022 in Dagenham, England (Photo by Action Foto Sport/NurPhoto)

 

Arsenal moved top of the Women’s Super League with a 4-0 thrashing of north London rivals Tottenham in front of a record-breaking crowd for the women’s top flight in England of 47,367 at the Emirates.

The popularity of the women’s game in England received a huge boost with the Lionesses’ victory at Euro 2022 on home soil.

One of England’s heroes Beth Mead opened the scoring before the prolific Vivianne Miedema struck twice either side of Rafaelle Souza’s goal.

The crowd topped the previous record of 38,262, set in November 2019 in the reverse fixture at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

However, in contrast to that match and some other record-breaking crowds for women’s matches in other European leagues and the Champions League, tickets at the Emirates were not given away for free.

“I don’t want to sound arrogant, but I don’t think we should compare attendance figures with giveaway tickets and sold tickets,” said Arsenal manager Jonas Eidevall.

“I don’t think it’s fair when you’re doing that comparison.

“If you give away tickets, it’s something else. When you sell tickets, that’s how you run a football club.”

AFP

Plane Skids Into Lake In France

Plane Skids Into Lake In France
This handout picture obtained on September 24, 2022, from the Bureau d’Enquetes et d’Analyses pour la Securite de l’Aviation Civile (BEA) shows an Aeropostale Boeing 737 aircraft after it overran the runway during its landing phase at night at Montpellier airport. Credit: AFP PHOTO / Bureau d’Enquetes et d’Analyses pour la Securite de l’Aviation Civile (BEA)

 

 

 

French authorities on Saturday shut the airport in the southern city of Montpellier for an indefinite period after a cargo plane overran the runway and ended up with its nose in a nearby lake.

Images showed the Boeing 737 of the West Atlantic cargo carrier tilting with its nose in the lake and body perched on the land. The three crew escaped the accident in the early hours of Saturday unhurt, local authorities said.

The prefecture for the Herault region said the airport would be closed to both passenger and cargo planes until further notice as a security measure and until a specialised firm came to take the plane away.

“We will not reopen the airport as long as the aircraft is on the runway and the investigation is not finished,” an airport source, who asked not to be named, told AFP.

“After the removal of the aircraft, the runway will also be carefully checked,” added the source.

West Atlantic Plane Skids Into Lake In France
Credit: AFP PHOTO / Bureau d’Enquetes et d’Analyses pour la Securite de l’Aviation Civile (BEA)

 

 

Twenty-one commercial flights had been scheduled on Saturday at the airport which in peak season sees up to 197,000 passengers a month.

“A technical incident prevents normal operation,” said an English message on the airport’s website headlined “closure of Montpellier airport”.

The website showed that flights had either been cancelled or diverted to Marseille.

AFP

Egypt Considers Bid To Host 2036 Olympics

The Olympic Rings are pictured in front of the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Lausanne on March 21, 2020. Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP.

 

 

Egypt is planning to apply to host the 2036 Olympic Games, sports minister Ashraf Sobhi said on Saturday during a reception for IOC president Thomas Bach in Cairo.

“President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi has given his permission for Egypt to put itself forward as host for the 2036 Olympics,” Sobhi said.

If successful with its bid, Egypt would become the first African or Arab nation to host the Olympics.

“Egypt has solid sporting infrastructures and if it can host the Olympic Games, it will be historic,” Bach said during a joint press conference with Sobhi.

An Egyptian official announced earlier in the month that Egypt, Greece, and Saudi Arabia were in talks to jointly host the 2030 World Cup.

Egypt staged the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, as well as last year’s handball world championship during the Covid-19 pandemic.

AFP

Iran’s Main Reformist Party Urges End To Mandatory Dress Code

Iran's Main Reformist Party Urges End To Mandatory Dress Code
Women chant slogans and hold up signs depicting the image of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died while in the custody of Iranian authorities, during a demonstration denouncing her death by Iraqi and Iranian Kurds outside the UN offices in Arbil, the capital of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region, on September 24, 2022.

 

 

Iran’s main reformist party called on Saturday for an end to the mandatory Islamic dress code for women in force since 1983, after eight straight nights of protests.

The Union of Islamic Iran People’s Party also called for the winding down of the morality police charged with enforcing the code following the death in their custody of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini on September 16.

The party, which is led by former aides of reformist ex-president Mohammad Khatami who oversaw a thaw with the West between 1997 and 2005, called on the authorities to “prepare the legal elements necessary for the repeal of the law on mandatory hijab”.

The party, which remains legal but is firmly outside the corridors of power, said Iran should announce an “official end to the activities of the morality police” and “authorise peaceful demonstrations.”

It said an “impartial commission” should be set up to investigate the circumstances of Amini’s death and called for the “immediate release of people recently detained”.

READ ALSO: 35 Killed In Iran Protests After Woman Dies In Police Custody 

At least 35 people have been killed and hundreds wounded in the protests that erupted after Amini’s death, according to official figures. Hundreds more have been arrested, including reformist journalists and activists as well as demonstrators.

Under the law adopted in 1983, four years after Iran’s Islamic revolution, all women, regardless of faith or nationality, must conceal their hair with a headscarf in public and wear loose-fitting trousers under their coats.

The code has been widely skirted for decades, particularly in the major cities, but there have been periodic crackdowns.

AFP

Death Toll Of Lebanon Migrant Ship Tragedy Rises To 90

Mourners march with the body of one of the victims who drowned in the shipwreck of a migrant boat that sank off the Syrian coast, during his funeral after the return of his body in Lebanon’s northern port city of Tripoli on September 24, 2022. (Photo by Fathi AL-MASRI / AFP)

 

 

 

Thirteen more bodies were recovered Saturday after a boat carrying migrants from Lebanon sank off the Syrian coast, raising the overall toll to 90, Syrian state television said, in one of the eastern Mediterranean’s deadliest such shipwrecks.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Filippo Grandi, called it a “heart-wrenching tragedy”.

At least 14 of those rescued were recovering in hospitals in Syria, while six others were discharged, as search efforts continued with several people still missing since the boat sank on Thursday.

“The number of dead from the sinking off the coast of Tartus has risen to 90,” state television said.

Fourteen people are receiving treatment at Al-Basel Hospital, two of whom are in intensive care, Syria’s official SANA news agency reported earlier.

The Lebanese army said that it had arrested a Lebanese national who “admitted to organising the recent (people) smuggling operation from Lebanon to Italy by sea”.

Lebanon, a country which hosts more than a million refugees from Syria’s civil war, has been mired in a financial crisis branded by the World Bank as one of the worst in modern times.

Nearly three years of economic collapse have turned the country into a launchpad for migrants, with its own citizens joining Syrian and Palestinian refugees clamouring to leave by dangerous sea routes.

As many as 150 people were on board the small boat that sank off the Syrian port of Tartus, some 50 kilometres (30 miles) north of Tripoli in Lebanon, from where the migrants set sail.

Those on board were mostly Lebanese, Syrians and Palestinians, and included both children and elderly people, the UN said.

Families in Lebanon held a second day of funerals Saturday after they were handed bodies of relatives on Friday night through the Arida border crossing. Others still await the bodies of their relatives.

In Tripoli, anger mixed with grief as relatives received news of the death of their loved ones.

Hundreds of people gathered Saturday in the Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp, north of Tripoli, for the funeral procession of one of the victims, pumping fists into the air.

‘Death boats’

Since 2020, Lebanon has seen a spike in the number of migrants using its shores to attempt the perilous crossing in jam-packed boats to reach Europe.

The UN children’s agency, UNICEF, said they had initial reports that 10 children were “among those who lost their lives”.

“Years of political instability and economic crisis in Lebanon have pushed many children and families into poverty, affecting their health, welfare and education,” UNICEF added.

Philippe Lazzarini, head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees said: “No one gets on these death boats lightly.

“People are taking these perilous decisions, risking their lives in search of dignity.”

Lazzarini said more must be done “to offer a better future and address a sense of hopelessness in Lebanon and across the region, including among Palestine refugees”.

Antonio Vitorino, head of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), said: “People looking for safety should not be compelled to take such perilous and often deadly migration journeys.”

Most of the boats setting off from Lebanon head for European Union member Cyprus, an island about 175 kilometres (110 miles) to the west.

AFP

Party Crisis: Northern PDP Youths Hold ‘Ayu Must Go’ Protest in Kaduna 

 

A group of youths within the Peoples Democratic Party in the North have staged a peaceful protest in Kaduna State to demand the immediate resignation of the party’s National Chairman,  Senator Iyorchia Ayu.

Holding placards with various inscriptions, the group under the aegis of Northern PDP Youth,  took their protest to the state PDP Secretariat in the Kaduna State capital on Saturday.

Although they were denied access to the premises, the leader of the group (Chairman, Northern PDP Youth), Shehu Isah, insisted Ayu must step down to pave way for a Southerner to emerge as Chairman of the PDP.

The demand, according to him, is in the interest of peace, equity, and fairness.

He said the continued stay of Senator Ayu in office could jeopardise the success of the party in the 2023 general elections.

“As things stand, Nigerians need PDP, Nigerians want PDP. But with this internal crisis, I don’t think we will succeed. That is why we are calling on Mr Iyorchia Ayu, the PDP National Chairman, to fulfil his promise to resign,” he said, adding that Ayu promised during the National Convention that if a northern candidate wins the party’s ticket, he would resign.

“But now, almost six months after the convention, Ayu remains as PDP National Chairman, which is injustice. We are calling on the PDP NEC (National Executive Council), PDP BOT (Board of Trustees), PDP Caucus, (and) PDP NWC to do justice for all.”


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Isah said the protesting youth were 100 percent in support of the PDP Presidential Candidate Atiku Abubakar for the 2023 presidential election. They were, however, concerned that if the internal crisis in the party is not resolved, it would hurt his chances, hence their action.

There have been increased calls for Senator Ayu’s resignation to enable a Southerner to emerge as the party’s national Chairman since a Northerner has emerged as the presidential candidate.

The calls led by Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike and supported by some top stakeholders of the party including Chief Bode George have resulted in the withdrawal of supporters of the governor and the call from the PDP presidential campaign council.

In a media chat on Friday, Governor Wike defended his call for Ayu’s resignation and slammed him for the role he played in the crisis, while also accusing him of corruption and manipulation of delegates during the party’s presidential primary.

Watch the media chat below: