Plane Crash: FG Condoles With Family Of Former Ambassador Bashua

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffery Onyeama, addresses members of the diplomatic community in Abuja on… February 20, 2019



The Federal Government has sent its condolences to the family of the late former Ambassador Abiodun Oluremi Bashua who was among the 149 passengers and 8 crew members that boarded the ill-fated Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302.

The plane crashed shortly after take-off from the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa on Sunday, on its way to Nairobi, Kenya, killing all on board.

In a statement, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, George Edokpa, described the death as ‘untimely’, adding that the minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, and the ministry were in great shock.

“The Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama and members of Staff of the Ministry received the sad news of his death with great shock and prayed that the Almighty God grant his family and the nation, the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.”

READ ALSO: Pilot Of Crashed Plane Reported ‘Difficulties’, Asked To Return – Ethiopian Airlines

Ambassador Bashua was a seasoned UN Expert who had extensive experience in several United Nations peacekeeping operations in Africa.

He joined the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) in 2009 and was appointed Deputy Joint Special Representative for the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur in 2014 by the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Ambassador Bashua also served as Secretary to the Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Ethiopian Airlines To Resume Flights To Eritrea’s Capital On July 17


Ethiopian Airlines said on Tuesday it would resume flights to Eritrea’s capital Asmara on July 17 for the first time in 20 years, a day after the neighbours and longtime foes declared their “state of war” over.

In a historic deal on Monday, the Horn of Africa neighbours agreed to open embassies, develop ports and resume flights, concrete signs of a rapprochement that has swept away two decades of hostility since war erupted over their disputed frontier in 1998.

“With the opening of a new chapter of peace and friendship between the two sisterly countries, we look forward to starting flights to Asmara with the B787,” the firm’s Chief Executive Tewolde GebreMariam said, referring to a Boeing jet.

Monday’s announcement formally ended one of Africa’s most intractable military stand-offs, a conflict that has destabilised the region and seen both governments funnel large parts of their budgets into security and soldiers.

The 1998-2000 border war killed an estimated 80,000 people. Tens of thousands were also deported, splitting groups that shared bloodlines.

The rapprochement followed a visit to Asmara by Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who embraced Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki on the airport runway.

Thousands of Eritreans came onto the streets to cheer them and the two men danced side by side to traditional music from both countries at a dinner that evening.

The deal signed between them on Monday also includes a resumption of phone connections.

Ethiopia’s state-run telecoms monopoly Ethio Telecom sent text messages to its subscribers late on Monday, announcing “with happiness” the restoration of phone links.


Nigeria, Egypt Tie: Match Officials To Arrive On Wednesday

Nigeria super EaglesOfficials for Friday’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier between Nigeria and Egypt in Kaduna are scheduled to arrive in Nigeria on Wednesday.

Referee Janny Sikazwe, Assistant Referee two, Romeo Kasengele and Reserve Referee Wisdom Chewe are all expected to arrive in Abuja aboard an Ethiopian Airline flight from Addis Ababa, alongside the match commissioner, Abbasi Ssendyowa from Uganda.

Assistant referee one, Arsenio Chadreque Marengula, from Mozambique, will arrive on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Football Federation has appealed to fans, who will be at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium on Friday, to ensure they are law abiding and orderly.

The NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, made the appeal in Abuja on Tuesday, as the NFF continued the countdown to the big match.

“We are specially appealing to our football fans not to come with any item that might be seen as a weapon, because security will be very tight on the day. We also appeal passionately to the fans to co-operate fully with the security agents to make for hitch-free entry into the venue.

“Similarly, we are appealing to the fans to come to the stadium wearing green and white colours. We want the venue proudly adorned in our national colours,” he said.

Players and officials of the Super Eagles arrived in Kaduna on Tuesday afternoon, led by Head Coach Samson Siasia.

The Super Eagles will clash with the Pharaohs of Egypt in a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium on Friday, from 5:00pm local time and both teams will battle again in Alexandria on Tuesday, March 29.

Woman Docked For Allegedly Peddling 4.5Kg of Cocaine

cocaineThe National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on Monday arraigned a 38-year-old woman before a Federal High Court in Lagos for drug trafficking.

The accused, Alake Abdulrazaq, is standing trial on a one-count charge bordering on the offence. She, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The prosecutor, Mr Abu Ibrahim, told the court that the accused committed the offence on October 12.

He said that she was arrested at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Ikeja, during the outward clearance of passengers on-board an Ethiopian Airline flight to India.

Ibrahim said that about 4. 5kg of Cocaine was recovered from the accused, which she concealed in a neat wrap.

The offence is said to have contravened the provisions of Section 11 (a) of the NDLEA Act, Cap N30 Laws of the Federation, 2004.

The offence of drug trafficking can attract as much as life imprisonment.

Justice Saliu Saidu, following an application for bail by defence counsel, Mrs Lilian Omotunde, granted the accused bail in the sum of N10 million with two sureties in like sum.

He adjourned the case to February 2, 2016, for trial.

Reps to probe Aviation Minister’s refusal of landing rights to four airlines

The House of Representatives is to investigate the alleged refusal by the Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah to grant four airlines landing rights at the Mallam Aminu Kano international airport, Kano.

In a motion of urgent national importance, Aliyu Madaki, said the despite applications made by the airlines, Ethiopian, Skyline, Turkish and Emirates airlines, Ms Oduah had refused permission.

The lawmakers resolved that its committee on aviation should investigate the matter and report its findings back to the house in four weeks’ time.

Lagos Airport welcomes Boeing 787 Dreamliner

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner, an aircraft described as a piece of 21st century   technology   has touched ground on Nigerian soil at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, where the plane owned by Ethiopian Airline was given a ‘shower treatment’ as it landed.

The Dreamliner is a long-range, twin-engine jet airliner which seats 210 to 290 passengers, depending on the variant.

It is Boeing’s most fuel-efficient aircraft and the world’s first major plane to use composite materials for most of its construction.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner consumes 20% less fuel than other similarly-sized ones.

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner offers passengers greatly enhanced on-board comfort, with higher level of humidity, the biggest windows in the sky and unique lighting system.

Outside Japan, Ethiopian Airline is the first airline to take delivery of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, when the aircraft made its first flight to Africa last week, landing in the Ethiopia capital.

Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways are the only two airlines already operating Dreamliner aircraft.

Ethiopian Airlines has bought 10 of Boeing’s flagship aircraft, which are built from lightweight material, rather than aluminum, to save fuel.

Speaking to Channels Television, the Acting director, Ethiopian Airline Nigeria, Solomon Begashaw, noted that the airline’s history of operating in Nigeria for 52years warranted the reason for the first African flight of the Dreamliner to be to Nigeria.