Military Updating Tactics Against Boko Haram

airforceThe Nigerian Military says it is updating tactics against the Boko Haram Sect, with the addition of 260 Aerospace Engineers that graduated from the Nigerian Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) in  Kaduna State to the Air Force.

At the passing out ceremony of the officials, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adeshola Amosun, told reporters that the Nigerian Air-force is changing and updating its tactics in the fight against Boko Haram insurgents in the North- East by reviewing its operations and re-training its personnel.

The Air Marshal said that the military was making significant progress in the war against the Boko Haram terrorist group.

He assured Nigerians that in no distant time, the Nigerian military would dislodge the insurgents.

On his part, the commandant of the institute, Air Vice Marshal Toni Adokwe, reeled out the achievements recorded so far, but said that the major challenge the school was facing was inadequate funding.

It was another moment of joy and fulfilment for the young men and women who have successfully completed their courses in various engineering fields at the institute as they filed out, one after another to receive their certificates from the guest of honour. Families and relatives were also on hand to witness the colourful ceremony.

While congratulating the graduating students, the chief of Air Staff reminded them not to betray the confidence reposed in them as they join their colleagues in the field. He expressed satisfaction with the achievements recorded so far by AFIT especially in the area of aeronautical engineering, stating that with proper funding, the institute will contribute its quota towards ending insurgency in the north-east and to technological development.

The guest of honour at the occasion and Nigeria’s Senate President, David Mark, who was represented by Senator Kabiru Marafa, commended the Nigerian Air-force for the role it had played so far in the maintenance of both internal and external security.

The institute is structured into three schools: School of Air Engineering, School of Ground Engineering and Management Studies and the School of Postgraduate studies, which coordinates the various postgraduate programmes in the other schools.

Since inception, it has graduated about 5,000 persons, including personnels of the Nigerian Army, Airforce and Navy and civilians. This number includes foreign students from the Armed Forces of the Republic of Benin, Zimbabwe, Niger, Ghana and Sierra Leone.



Fighting Insecurity: Jonathan Meets With Governors, Security Chiefs

GEJ2The expanded meeting convened by the Federal Government to look at security situation in Nigeria has kicked off in the Presidential Villa with President Goodluck Jonathan presiding.

The meeting which has a fuller house as against what happened a week before, has many of the governors from the opposition parties present.

The President of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs in Nigeria and the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar, as well as the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor are also attending the meeting.

Twenty-four governors are in attendance while the governors of Jigawa, Imo, Oyo, Rivers, Kano, Ogun, Plateau, Edo and Yobe are being represented by their deputies.

The security chiefs in attendance are; the Chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Force, as well as the Inspector-General of Police, the Comptrollers-General of Customs and  Immigration, Corp Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps and the Commandant-General of the  Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp.

The Interior Minister, Mr. Abba Moro, Minister of Defence, General Aliyu Gusau, the Minister of Police Affairs, Mr. Abduljelil Adesiyan, the  Foreign Affairs Minister,  Viola Onwuleri, Agriculture Minister,  Akinwunmi Adeshina and the  Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke, are also present.

The expanded National Security Council meeting was summoned by President Jonathan following the bombing in Nyanya, Abuja and the abduction of over one hundred female students from Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok in Borno.


Malaysian Plane Search In 44th Day, Sea Bed Scans Could End In days

The search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 entered its 44th day on Sunday as Australian search officials said a crucial series of sonar scans of the Indian Ocean floor could be completed within a week.Handout of the Phoenix International Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Artemis participating in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370

The air, surface and underwater search is now focused on footage taken by a U.S. Navy deep sea drone, which has narrowed its target range to a tight 10-km (6.2-mile) circle of sea floor.

The Bluefin-21 autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) has spent the past week scouring the remote and largely unmapped stretch of ocean floor some 2,000 km (1,200 miles) northwest of the Australian city of Perth for signs of the plane, which disappeared on March 8 with 239 people on board.

The remote controlled submarine is now in its eighth deep sea mission with no sign of wreckage so far. The drone has searched about half its targeted area, the authorities said on Sunday.

The Malaysian government has said the search is at a “very critical juncture” and asked for prayers for its success. Malaysian Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein has also said the government may consider using more AUVs in the search.

After almost two months without a sign of wreckage, the current underwater search is centered on an area where one of four acoustic signals believed to be from the plane’s black box recorders was detected on April 8.

Weeks of daily sorties have failed to turn up any trace of the plane, even after narrowing the search to an arc in the southern Indian Ocean, making this the most expensive such operation in aviation history.

Hopes for further black box signals are fast diminishing, since the black box batteries are now two weeks past their 30-day expected life span, search officials have said.

But while the Bluefin-21’s target range has narrowed, the air and surface search continues unabated, with daily sorties a week after Australian search coordinator retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston said the air and surface component of the search would end within three days.

On Sunday, up to 11 military aircraft and 12 ships will help with the search, covering a total of roughly 48,507 square km (18,729 sq miles) across two areas, the Perth-based Joint Agency Coordination Centre said in a statement.

Amnesty International Accuses Both Insurgents And Security Agencies Of War Crimes

amnesty internationalRights group, Amnesty International (AI) has said that both the Nigerian security agencies and the Boko Haram insurgents have committed war crimes in the troubled north-eastern part of the country.

A statement issued by the group says that more than 1,500 people had been killed in the first three months of 2014, and that the situation in the north-east region has escalated into a non-international armed conflict.

Amnesty added that it has documented the killings carried out in January, February and March 2014 by both Boko Haram and the Nigerian security forces.

Part of the statement reads, “AI has received credible evidence that as the military regained control, more than 600 people, mostly unarmed recaptured detainees, were extra-judicially executed in various locations across Maiduguri.”

The rights group is asking the international community to ensure prompt, independent investigations into acts that might constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Lagos Boat Mishap: NEMA Suspends Search For Remaining Bodies

boat_mishapThe South-West Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Ibrahim Farinloye, has said that the mission to recover the remaining bodies of victims of Tuesday’s boat accident has been suspended.

In a telephone interview with Channels Television, Mr Farinloye said the agency is uncertain as to the exact number of persons who were aboard the boat before the accident. According to him, 13 bodies have been recovered while 6 persons survived.

Contrary to a statement by Lagos State Emergency Agency (LASEMA) that 12 persons had died, Farinloye said the figure was 13 as one of the initial seven who were rescued alive died on the way to the hospital. He maintained that 11 bodies were recovered on Tuesday while one body was recovered on Wednesday morning.

He also stated that the incident had occurred at about 7:30PM on Tuesday and the agency had been alerted via a text message at 11:10PM.

“Immediately, we alerted all the stakeholders. The Navy Special Boat Service, The Nigeria Police Marine, The Nigeria Police Disaster Unit, LASEMA, National Inland Waterways Authority to go for the search,” he said.

Farinloye also mentioned that over 30 local divers were employed to conduct the underwater search but it was suspended till Wednesday evening.

He assured that all agencies were on the same page and that there were no conflicting figures concerning the number of casualties. “Nobody was there when the boat loaded but one of the rescued victims told us there were 24 people on board… some people said 21 but what we are working with is 24.”

He added that “we are having 4 or 5 people missing.”

12 Confirmed Dead In Lagos Boat Accident

boat_mishapTwelve persons have been confirmed dead and six others rescued after a boat capsized on Tuesday night in Lagos, according to emergency rescue officials.

The incident occurred at the 4th Avenue, opposite 41 Road in Festac at about 7:30pm.

The General Manager of Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Femi Oke-Osanyintolu, told Channels Television that six people had been rescued from the boat and were receiving treatment at the Lagos State Teaching Hospital.

He said 11 bodies were recovered from the scene on Tuesday and one found on Wednesday morning. The corpses have been taken to Yaba Mortuary for examination.

National Emergency Management Agency had released the total number of bodies recovered as 13, but Oke-Osanyintolu insisted that the Federal Government agency was not represented at the scene on Tuesday.

Navy Promises To Rid Calabar Of Oil Thieves

The commanding officer, NNS Victory, Commodore James Oluwole has said that his command will rid Calabar of pirates, pipeline vandals, and sea robbers, adding that safety will be restored to the coastal city.

Commodore Oluwole said this, while parading a suspected pirate, Orok Okon who was caught with several gallons of stolen petrol.

Commodore Oluwole told journalists in the Cross River State capital that Okon was caught with stolen PMS from the NNPC Jetty in Calabar, as he was heading to the dry land for sales before being apprehended.

The product had been stored in gallons and hipped into a large wooden boat from the waters.

According to the Commodore, luck ran out of one of the suspects, Orok Okon who was the only one caught as others escaped on siting the BASE Operation officers and his men on patrol.

Oluwole said that the Navy in synergy with other security agencies will continue to join hands with the Chief of Naval Staff’s campaign on ‘Say No to Crude Oil Theft, be Warned by The Nigerian Navy’ to fight sea pirates until crime on the water ways is eradicated to zero level.

He promised to ensure safety on Nigeria’s waterways.

The suspect, the commodore added, will be handed over to NSCDC for further prosecution to serve as a deterrent to others still involved in this economic sabotage.

Navy Sets Up Investigative Panel

The Navy is insisting that its helicopter which crashed last Saturday in Okoloba community in Bayelsa state was certified  to fly by a ‘Certified Technical Support Engineer’.

The Navy made the clarification on a day the investigation team set up by the federal government led by the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba arrived Bayelsa state capital, Yenagoa to commence investigation on the crashed Chopper that killed the former governor of Kaduna State, Patrick Yakowa, former National Security Adviser, Andrew Azazi along with their aides.

Chief of Training and Operations at Naval Headquarters, Rear Admiral Emmanuel Ogbor who made the disclosure in Abuja said that contrary to insinuations that the Augusta 105 helicopter that crashed had engine problems, the helicopter was certified to fly by a ‘Certified Technical Support Engineer’.

Rear Admiral Ogbor added that the Navy has in its fold, experienced and trained pilots.


No sharp practices in Nigeria Aviation sector – Obakpolor

Contrary to allegations that airlines in Nigeria cut corners in order to maximize profit, the Chairman, Technical and Administrative Review Panel on Domestic Airlines, Group Captain John Obakpolor on Tuesday said there are no sharp practices in the country’s aviation industry.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Captain Obakpolor sharp practices in the industry worked before.
“Now you are monitored and you are followed,” he said.