Rann Misfire: Air Force Panel Dialogues With Traumatised Survivors

Rann Misfire: Air Force Panel Dialogues With Traumatised SurvivorsThe Nigerian Air Force investigative panel set up to over the misfiring incident by one of its jets has been having series of discussions with survivors of the incident.

This is because the affected population in Rann community, of Kalabalge Local Government in Borno state have been thrown into trauma, following the incident which left over 200 people dead.

While some of those affected by the misfire have been whisked away to Maiduguri, others with minor injuries are stabilizing back home.

But anytime an Air Force jet flies over the Rann airspace, there is panic and fear of the unknown, according to officials of the 3 Battalion operating in the area.

Civilian authorities, the Nigerian Army and the Air Force have been talking to them for confidence building.

The Commanding Officer of 3 Battalion, Colonel Patrick Omoke said: “There’s been some form of panic within the community.

“Even when we send for aggressor to come and check what’s happening around us, the moment it’s airborne everybody starts dispersing maybe as a result of shock from the event of January 17th.

“But we have been doing a lot of talking to them through the community leaders, explaining to them that it was an accident and we are the ones sending for them now to come and survey and make sure that we are safe.”

Some of the locals confirmed the words of the Commanding Officer, confessing their feeling of insecurity and fear of the unknown anytime an aircraft flies over the community.

One of the survivors, Bulama Malawa, told Channels TV: “I lost my wife and daughter to the bomb from the airplane and people were in pieces that day.

“Today when we see them coming, everyone looks for where to hide especially the children. We are lucky to be alive from the last time but so no one is taking chances.”

The AVM Bala-Ribah-led board has assured the villagers of the good intentions of the Nigerian Air Force and a thorough investigation.

Part of the terms of reference of the board is to investigate circumstances surrounding the operational error that killed over 200 civilians and two soldiers.

“In the Nigerian Air Force, be it accidents, incidents or whatever, we go very thorough in our investigations; reason being that the operations will be continuous and if there was a mistake whether systemic, whether it was from the machine or from the human being; we need to find out exactly what the problem was so that we can incorporate that in our local procedure or in the rules of engagement to forestall future occurrence,” he said.

The board also visited the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Lucky Irabor, commending the Army for the show of solidarity when the error occurred.

General Irabor has also asked the Air Force Investigative Board to concentrate on detecting what went wrong and make recommendations on how future occurrences can be forestalled.

He said that the theatre command is also conducting independent investigation for record purposes.

There are about 23,000 men, women and children living in Rann, the headquarters of Kalabalge Local Government Area.

While the Doctors Without Borders (MSF), put the death toll at 90, the locals put the figure at over 200.

The Nigerian Airforce had admitted that the bombing was a mistake and apologised.

PDP Asks Dakuku, Amaechi To Explain Work Done In Rivers State

PDP Governors Appoint Fayose As Forum ChairmanChairman of the Rivers state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), Mr Felix Obuah, has asked Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside, to account for the work they have done for the people of Rivers state.

He made the confrontation in a statement signed by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the party, Jerry Needam.

“Chairman of the Rivers state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), Mr Felix Obuah, has observed that the people of the state have benefited nothing from the All Progressives Congress, APC, led government since it came to power at the centre.”

He described the development as unfortunate, the height of irresponsibility and insensitivity to the people’s expectations, as well as a failure to deliver its statutory obligations to the citizenry,

The PDP chairman expressed disappointment that since the appointments of Amaechi and Peterside, who are both from the state, they have not been able to initiate any project or empowerment scheme in the state.

Obuah noted that rather than serve as a blessing to the people of Rivers state, the appointment of the APC leaders from the state, has become a source of woes and anguish, as they have only used such positions to cause crisis and division, doing everything to blackmail the government in the state in their quest to force themselves on the people undemocratically.

“It is sad”, Obuah emphasized, that while APC leaders from other states of the federation are making efforts, using their positions to do something positive and developmental in their respective states, our brothers in the same party, who are even holding top positions at the centre, are only bent on destroying our state, always igniting crises and misinforming the good people of Rivers state on issues of development, policies and actions of government.

“Stop the noise and desist from causing problems in Rivers state, deliver meaningful projects and empowerment schemes to the people”, the PDP urged the APC top government appointees.

“By her strategic location and economic base, Rivers state occupies a significant position as the leading live-wire of our nation’s economy, which statutorily and based on the principle of derivation and federal character, ought to be benefitting greatly from the government at the centre in addition to the share due her.

“Regrettably, Rivers state today is one of the few states that has not been accorded her right place by the APC government as a result of continued and deliberate denial and suppressive actions by even those who have benefitted a lot from her treasures.

“It is on the strength of this that we charge the duo of Amaechi and Dakuku to have a rethink, by stopping the fight of attrition against the government and people of the state and join hands to develop it and to influence federal projects into the state as their lawful responsibility.

“The PDP is afraid that if about two years into the life of the APC government at the national level and its leaders have not been able to show any project on ground in the state, the remaining months ahead might be impossible for them to make any reasonable mark, as all we see them doing now is playing politics with everything, including security and development of the people.

“Time is running out.” Obuah sounded as a note of warning to Amaechi and Dakuku.

“The PDP therefore, commends the Rivers state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, for committing himself and the Rivers state government to ensuring peace, security and development in the state in the face of apparent efforts to distract him by leaders of the opposition party in the state, the APC.

“Bro Obuah particularly lauded the decision and action of governor Wike in acquiring 10 gunboats for the Nigerian navy, which will be used for security patrol on the waterways.”

He then expressed hope that on the day of handing over the boats, the NIMASA boss and Transportation Minister, would be invited to participate in the commissioning proceedings, “even though Amaechi wasted eight years in office without procuring a single gunboat for the navy,” the statement added.

Edo State Inaugurates Multi-Door Court House

edo-justiceThe Chief Judge Of Edo State, Justice Cromwell Idahosa, has inaugurated the Edo state Multi-Door Court House as part of efforts to enhance justice delivery through alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.

According to speakers at the inauguration which took place in Benin city, the Edo state capital, the Multi-Door Court House concept will ensure speedy delivery of justice as it is cheaper and ensures harmony among litigants.

“The goals of the the Multi-door approach is to provide our people with easy access to justice and reduce delay by making options available through which disputes can be resolved.”

While stressing that the training of Judiciary staff is key to the success of the court, the Chief Judge also urged the Nigerian Bar Association to brace up to the alternative dispute resolution and process.

“A lawyer who is not skilled with ADR options, would send himself completely out of touch with no service to render to disputants who by choice, will prefer the Multi-door Court House, to the regular court.”

The Judiciary in Delta state and the Edo state governor, represented by the solicitor general of the Edo state, also gave support for the Multi-Door Court House concept.

“This Government supports the Multi-Door initiative because we recognize that the formal justice system can a-times be intimidating, unfriendly, expensive and so many other things to the masses of our society.

The highlight of the occasion was the unveiling of the Book “Practice Directions on Mediation”.

As of now about 16 states of the federation have set up the Multi-Door Court House scheme.

Oyebode Debunks Claim Of Crude Oil Ownership By Northern Elders

Akin-Oyebode-Professor-of-Intl-LawA renowned Professor of International Law, Akin Oyebode, has debunked a claim by some northern elders that the oil resources of the Niger Delta should be controlled by them because of their vast land.

The Professor described the argument as mischievous and provocative.

He went on state that the principle of burden and benefit, provides that when a people suffer degradation and pollution as a result of oil exploration activities, they should also have the privilege of enjoying the benefits from such activities.

As a way of resolving this dispute, Oyebode has therefore called for the adoption of the 2014 National Conference Resolution on Derivation Formula.

Confederation Of African Handball Lifts Ban On Nigeria

nigeria_handball_teamThe Confederation of African Handball (CAHB), has lifted its ban on Nigeria after the Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN), paid the outstanding debt of 9,800 euros.

The HFN was banned by the CAHB in June 2016 for owing affiliation fee as well as participation money for the January 2016 African Men’s Handball Championship.

The country was unable to take part in the 2016 African Women’s Handball Championship in Angola last month – a competition which was a qualifier for the 2017 World Women Handball Championships.

Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Solomon Dalung, has demanded that the HFN submit its programmes for 2017 to avoid further sanctions

Benue Police Challenge Farmers, Herdsmen On Agatu Peace Deal

Benue Police Challenge Farmers, Herdsmen On Agatu Peace Deal The Benue state police command has read the Riot Act to violent herdsmen and criminal elements among farmers in the state, warning them to desist from fomenting clashes in the year 2017.

This follows various complaints by residents who have are raising concerns over their safety as another farming season arrives, with memories of the clashes between herdsmen and farmers still fresh.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, handed down the order at a meeting convened to implement the peace agreement brokered between Agatu farmers and Fulani herdsmen by the governors of Benue and Nasarawa states.

Meanwhile, the governors had also approved the release of 30 million Naira, as part of contributions to the rebuilding of the region.

According to them, the donation was to help the residents of the state, after the destruction carried out by suspected herdsmen.

They also called on the Federal Government to halt the influx of foreign herdsmen into the country.

Police Arrest Woman For Alteration Of Dates On Food Products

Police Arrest Woman For Alteration Of Dates On Food ProductsThe Police In Abia state have arrested a woman who they say is allegedly involved in changing expiry dates on food products.

Following the arrest, they have cautioned citizens to always check the expiry date on purchased products and ensure it is not tampered with.

According to the Police, the lady known as Nnenna Sunday, has perfected the act of using chemicals to erase batch production numbers and expiry dates on snacks.

Meanwhile, she has claimed to be innocent, stating that she was only obeying the orders of her boss, as she recently joined the company.Police

The Police Commissioner, Adeleye Oyebade, told reporters that after investigations she would be charged to court.

Trump Dismisses Media Reports On Size Of Crowd

trumpinaugurationPresident Donald Trump has accused the media of dishonestly reporting the size of the crowd at his inauguration.

He said the crowd had reached the Washington monument as he spoke at the U.S capitol, despite photographic evidence to the contrary.

Later, his White House Press Secretary, said it had been “the largest audience to ever see an inauguration, period”.

On Saturday, millions in the US and around the world protested against Mr Trump’s new administration.

The aim was mainly to highlight women’s rights, which activists believe to be under threat from the new administration.

Train Crash Leaves 36 Dead In India

india-train-derailAt least 36 people have been killed and many others injured after a train derailed in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, officials say.

According to them, nine coaches and the engine left the tracks near Kuneru station in Vizianagaram district.

While many are still trapped in the wreckage and rescuers warn that the death toll could rise, the injured have been taken to the hospital.

Though it has been confirmed that the incident occurred in an area known as a Maoist hotbed, officials are yet to ascertain the actual cause of the crash.

Air Force Investigative Panel Visits Borno

Osun Lawmaker Urges Air Force To Avoid Further ErrorsA six man board commissioned by the Nigerian Airforce to investigate the misfire in Rann village, Borno state, has arrived the state.

The board is chaired by Chief of Standards and Evaluation, Headquarters of the Nigerian Air Force Air Vice Marshal Sallau Bala-Riba.

The panel is saddled with the task of finding out issues surrounding the accidental bombing, number of casualties and the role of the flight crew in the accident.

Already, there are controversies over the number of people killed in the accidental bombing.

While the Doctors Without Borders (MSF), put the death toll at 90, the locals put the figure at over 200.

The Nigerian Airforce had admitted that the bombing was a mistake and apologised.

Some senior military officers, including the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, had visited the village for an on the spot assessment of the scene.

The investigative board who also visited the Theatre Commander Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Lucky Irabor, commended the army for the show of solidarity when the error occured.

General Irabor has however asked the Board to concentrate on detecting what went wrong in order to make recommendations on how future occurrences can be forestalled.

The Board has also been talking to injured persons in hospitals in Maiduguri and state government officials.

They are also expected to visit Rann in Kalabalge local government of Borno state for on the spot assessment.

Police Deny Alleged Killing Of IPOB Members

Port Harcourt Police Deny Allegations Of Killing Of IPOB MembersThe Police in Port Harcourt are refuting claims by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), that some of their members were killed during the last protest, showing solidarity for the new U.S President, Donald Trump.

Members had gathered in their hundreds on Friday, in the streets of Port Harcourt, expressing joy over the inauguration of Trump.

According to them, they were on a peaceful rally in support of who they referred to as “our man”, when they were abruptly dispersed by Army officers and other security operatives, on Aba Road in the Rivers State capital.

The Deputy Commissioner Of Police in Charge of Operations, Ahmed Mogaji, who described the rally as an illegal gathering said that the security operatives only resorted to the use of tear gas to disperse the unruly crowd.

According to him, the acclaimed members of IPOB were on an illegal protest to actualise a sinister agenda and the security operatives had to rise to the occasion.

65 Arrested

Some of the affected members had told journalists that the Police and the Army unleashed mayhem on them when they came out on a peaceful rally.

Reports say as many as 11 persons were killed, while many others were wounded during the alleged clash.

Mr Magaji, however, told journalists that contrary to claims by the group, their actions were an affront to the Nigerian state.

“In an effort to disperse the rampaging group from carrying out their unlawful intention, reasonable force like teargas was used to disperse them.

“Others left lawfully in obedience to our directives, the disobedient ones continued with the intention of actualising their illegal purpose.

“Consequently, about 65 of them were arrested at different points within the metropolis, being suspected members of the Indigenous People of Biafra,” he said.

According to him, items recovered from them include: some flags bearing the inscription of IPOB and other incriminating items.

“The suspects arrested have made useful statements to the Police and investigation is ongoing,” he added.

‘Peaceful Rally’

Meanwhile, one of the lawyers to Nnamdi Kalu, the self-acclaimed leader of the group, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, insisted that the security operatives attacked persons on a peaceful rally.

He told Channels Television that the actions of the security operatives are condemnable, while he called on all well-meaning citizens to rise up against it.

He said: “Actually I was in Abuja monitoring the peaceful rally staged by innocent members of IPOB, until the whole thing changed.

“I had to take the next available flight to Port Harcourt to see the extent of damage done to people who were on a peaceful rally.

“When I arrived, I noticed that a lot of damage had been done. The people were on a peaceful rally in support of President Donald Trump who was inaugurated, before the Police and the Army opened fire on them. And there was nothing to show that they were on a violent protest.

“If you check online yesterday, you will see that all over the world, there were anti-trump protests and nowhere was there any incident of security agencies using live ammunition on them, except in Nigeria where you have IPOB members being murdered and massacred by the forces who are supposed to be defending them.”

Although many cannot see a link between the U.S President and the acclaimed Indigenous People of Biafra, the security operatives say they will not allow any group or persons to threaten the peace and security of the country.

Independent State

Meanwhile, the IPOB supporters have said they will continue to believe in their dream of the nation of Biafra.

The walk took them through some major streets in Port Harcourt.

On January 4, members of the IPOB began widespread mobilisation and sensitisation for a referendum ahead of what they called the emergence of the independent state of Biafra.

Spokesman for the group, Comrade Emma Powerful said: “IPOB family members worldwide are working tirelessly to restore our long lost freedom and political independence from the Luggardian creation called Nigeria without bloodshed.”

Resettlement Of IDPs: Over 1,300 Displaced Persons Expected In Borno

Resettlement Of IDPs: Over 1,300 Displaced Persons Return To BornoA fresh challenge of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), is facing the government and people of Borno state, as about 1,300 of them are expected to return to Maiduguri.

The displaced persons would be travelling through Yola and would be in Maiduguri by Monday.

They had been in Abuja since being displaced by the terrorist group, Boko Haram.

This addition of 1,300 people mostly of women and children will now pose an additional challenge of providing food and other relief materials to them.

Over two million IDPs have been displaced from the northeast by the Boko Haram terrorists since 2009.