Nine people were killed on Monday when militiamen attacked the Libyan capital’s international airport, the unity government’s health ministry said.
“Initial toll following the fighting on the perimeter of Mitiga airport: five dead at Mitiga hospital and four dead at the cardiac surgery hospital in Tajura. The number of wounded will be communicated later”, the ministry said on Facebook.
It was not immediately clear whether those killed were civilians or fighters.
The fighting erupted when an as yet unidentified militia attacked the facility in a bid to free colleagues detained at a jail there, a force loyal to the unity government said earlier.
The Minister of State for Aviation, Mr Hadi Sirika and the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi have appeared before the Senate to explain the reason for the planned closure of the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport Abuja.
The Senate invited both ministers on Tuesday to explain the reason for the closure and rather explore other options besides closing the airport.
Lawmakers are opposing the closure of the airport which they say would bring hardship on local and international travellers.
The Minister of State for Aviation Hadi Sirika, explained that to continue to operate, the Abuja airport will be unsafe and unreasonable as there are daily incidents on the runway.
Captain Sirika said that every flight plan always have alternate landing routes and Kaduna has always been the alternate for Abuja airport.
He also pointed out that most of the sections of the runway have collapsed and if multiple sections have collapsed, it means the entire runway has collapsed.
The runway in the Abuja airport was constructed in 1982 with a lifespan of 14 years which had been exceeded.
The Nigerian Government has restated its resolve to shut down the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja from March 8.
The government also reassured international and local airline operators, as well as air travellers of adequate security at the Kaduna airport.
The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, made the assertion on Thursday at a special stakeholders’ meeting on the temporary closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.
He emphasised the importance of the closure, pointing out the security and safety measures put in place to ease air transportation to and from Kaduna airport.
The Minister, who addressed all the concerns raised by the stakeholders, said that the closing of the airport was a painful decision taken in the interest of all stakeholders.
He said that the Federal Government remained committed to the safety of air travellers, stressing that the airport runway would be rehabilitated within six weeks.
In their separate remarks, the chairmen of Airline Operators of Nigeria and international airline operators, Mr Noggie Maggison and Mr Osho Joseph, expressed objections over the closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.
The British Deputy High Commissioner, Harriet Thompson, also raised concerns about the movement of passengers from Abuja to Kaduna.
The runway of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport was built in 1982 with a life span of 20 years.
Fourteen years after its lifespan expired, the airstrip has been adjudged unsafe for air travellers.
The House of Representatives says more provisions will be made for the Nigerian Air Force in the 2017 budget to acquire more air power.
This is according to the chairman of the House of Representatives committee on Air Force, Samson Okwu on Tuesday when the committee visited the 97 special operations group in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The committee which was constituted in accordance with section 62(1) of the 1999 constitution to over see the Air Force including its budget estimates, is on a nationwide oversight tour to ascertain the welfare and operational capacity of the Nigerian Air Force.
In recognition of such need to equip the force, President Muhammadu Buhari on October 10, transferred two Ballistics defence capabilities aircraft from his presidential fleet to the Nigerian Air Force.
The handover took place at the Presidential wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshall Abubakar while taking receipt of the aircraft says one of them will be used by the NAF as an air ambulance while the second one will be used convey troops.
A volcanic eruption in Indonesia has led to the closure of five airports including the tourist Hotspot Bali.
Mount Raung in east java has been spewing ash into the air for nearly a week, obscuring visibility at Bali’s Denpasar airport.
For a second day, many flights between Bali and Australia have been cancelled, leaving several travelers stranded.
The island is a top holiday destination for Australians.
A spokesperson for State Airport Operator, Angkasa Pura said, Denpasar would be closed until late hours of the day.
However, Indonesian transport ministry official Ja Barata, said the re-opening of the airports would be based on the activity on Mount Raung, which is about 120km (75 miles) from Denpasar airport.
The four other affected airports are the International Airport in Lombok, Selaparang Airport also in Lombok, Blimbingsari Airport in Banyuwangi, East Java and Notohadinegoro Airport in Jember, East Java.
Scores of flights have been postponed indefinitely or cancelled by airlines, including Jetstar and Virgin Australia who have halted all flights in and out of Denpasar Airport.
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Monday promised to act on the recommendations of the report of the Tribunal of Enquiry on the Road Traffic Accident, Arson and Vandalism on BRT buses at Palmgrove, along Ikorodu Road.
Mr Fashola, who spoke at Lagos House, Ikeja explained that the report would still have to go through council deliberations and debates.
He stated that there is no Tribunal of Enquiry or Commission that the State Government has set up in the past whose report has not been developed into a White Paper report.
Fashola also stated that a White Paper on the report of the Tribunal of Enquiry would be issued which would communicate what government decisions on the recommendations are and the actions that would follow.
The Governor also stressed that the protection of life and property remains the principal duty for which governments exist and that whenever such unfortunate incidents occur, government must do everything to ensure that they do not reoccur.
Speaking earlier while presenting the report, which is in eight volumes, the Chairman of the Commission, Justice Ebenezer Adebajo, said the Tribunal has recommended an upgrading of the Lagos Area Metropolitan Transport Authority (LAMATA) and further empower it to effectively carry out its regulatory functions in relation to transportation in Lagos State.
He added that the Governor of Lagos State should demand an apology from the Nigerian Army and that the Nigerian Army should on behalf of the 9th Brigade, Ikeja Cantonment, apologize in writing to the people of Lagos State and that such apology should be published in at least two national newspapers in order to reduce the constant friction between the military and the bus operators.
Airport workers were on Thursday stranded along the Murtala Muhammed International Airport road as limousine and cab operators protested their displacement from the space they were allocated at the Lagos airport six months ago.
The cab and limousine operators said that they would not operate at the Lagos airport until officials of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), address issues bordering on their operations at the international terminal.
Meanwhile the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria has appealed to the taxi operators to exercise patience, insisting that this inconvenience is being experienced because of the remodelling project ongoing at the Lagos airport.
The General Manager, Corporate Communications, Mr Yakubu Dati, said that once the remodelling exercise is complete, the taxi operators will have enough room.
A Public Affairs Analyst, Chima Nnaji, has commended the social media and its users for enabling the exposure of corrupt practices in the society.
“Thank God for social media,” he said, while speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily on Thursday.
The dismissal of a sergeant, Chris Omeleze, who was caught on film trying to extort money from a motorist in Lagos, has caused a stir and has raised several questions about the credibility of the Nigeria Police.
Mr Nnaji, while commenting on the issue said that the video which went viral online is the reason the Nigeria Police could not sweep it under the carpet and as a result “the best thing was to dispense with this guy.”
A recent development in the story is the revelation that Osugwor Festus and not Chris Omeleze is his real name.
A source, who chose to remain annonymous, said that the “real name of the dismissed policeman is not Chris Omeleze. His real name is Osugwor Festus from Umuseti in Ndokwa West LGA of Delta state. He was classmates with Chris Omeleze… They attended Ndemili Grammar school and finished in 1987.”
Reacting to this, Mr Nnaji raised several questions including why the police officer chose the name of that particular classmate, how long has he been using it and for what purpose?”
What name did he use in enlisting in the Police force, he asked.