Jeddah Bound Air Craft Did Not Make Emergency Landing- Kabo Air

Kabo Air Limited has denied media reports that a Saudi Arabia bound air craft made allegedly belonging to them made an emergency landing in Sokoto.

Addressing a news conference in Kano, the airline’s Public Relations Manager, Alh. Aminu Hamza said the aircraft lost its two main body tyres on landing but was able to pack safely.

A Boeng 747 jumbo jet with 400 passengers on board was reported to have taken-off from Malam Aminu Kano International Airport on Friday night en route Sokoto to Jedda.

However, on reaching Sir Abukar III International Airport, Sokoto to pick some other passengers, the air craft lost two tyres after being exploded on the process of landing.

Director, Flight Operation of the airline, Captain Joseph Machimu confirmed that the air craft just returned from Indonesia for maintenance insisting that the air craft “is airworthy”.

Meanwhile, officials of the airline said a new air craft has been sent to Sokoto to airlift the passengers for this year’s Hajj.

Ebisan Says No Special Challenges For Female Artistes

Upcoming artiste, Ebisan has said that there are no gender-based challenges in the music business,contrary to the popular belief that females in the Nigerian music industry face tough times finding a level playing ground with their male counterparts.

The soul artiste said “whatever challenges that has come my way, I can’t particularly say it’s because I’m a woman. I think a guy would go through some of the things that I have gone through” and stressed that the method of overcoming obstacles is what differentiates people.

“There’s always going to be challenges, but I’ve never really looked at it as it’s because I’m a woman. I just think that any career path that you take, there would always be challenges.

However, one’s passion, motivation, drive would help artistes overlook obstacles and consider them as vehicles of improvement.

She said this during an interview on Sunrise where she also revealed that her degrees, in Accounting and Finance (B.Sc) as well as International Business Management (M.Sc), have put her in a “better position” because “this is a music business after all.”

She added that her experience in a family of music lovers influenced her decision to pursue a career in music. “There was always something fun and creative happening at home”.

The singer who was raised in Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and England said music moved from being a passion to a profession at age 16, when she was paid for the first time.

Governor Fashola’s Father Dies At 80

The father of the governor of Lagos state, Babatunde Fashola, Ibrahim Ademola Fashola on Monday died at the age of 80 years at an undisclosed hospital.

In a statement signed by the Chief of Staff to the governor, Mr. Lanre Babalola said the remains of Elder Fashola will be buried on Tuesday, the 6th of August 2013 at Vaults and Gardens Ikoyi by 1pm.

Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan Monday has sent a condolence message to Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State who is presently away on lesser Hajj in Saudi Arabia

A statement by the Special Adviser to the president on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, said the president on behalf of himself, his family, the Federal Government and the people of Nigeria, conveys sincere condolences to the governor.

“As they mourn Pa Fashola, President Jonathan urges Governor Fashola, his family and people of Lagos State to give thanks to God Almighty for the octogenarian’s very exemplary and accomplished life,”

The President urged  the family  to be comforted by the knowledge that Pa Fashola is returning to his Creator as a very blessed and fulfilled man who lived to see his son become a two-term Governor of one of Nigeria’s most populous and vibrant states.

President Jonathan joins the Governor Fashola, members of his family and the people of Lagos in praying that God Almighty will grant Pa Fashola peaceful and eternal rest from his labours on earth.”

The deceased is survived by children, grandchildren and great-grand children among whom is the Lagos State Governor, Mr.
Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Arinola Fuwa, Olayinka Fashola, Ademola Fashola, Omolara Fashola, Adewale Fashola, Ademola Fashola Jnr. and Ademola Keji Fashola.

Saudi Arabia Says Five Dead From New SARS-like Virus

Saudi Arabia said five more people have died of a deadly new virus from the same family as SARS, and two other people were in intensive care.

The seven cases were discovered in al-Ahsa governorate in the Eastern Province, the Saudi news agency SPA quoted the Saudi Health Ministry as saying in a statement late on Wednesday.

A Saudi man died in March from the virus.

The novel coronavirus (NCoV) is from the same family of viruses as those that cause common colds and the one that caused the deadly outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that first emerged in Asia in 2003.

The new virus is not the same as SARS, but similar to it and also to other coronaviruses found in bats. It was unknown in humans until it emerged in the Middle East last year. There have been confirmed cases in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Britain.

In a March 26 update on its website the World Health Organisation said it had been informed of a global total of 17 confirmed cases of human infection with NCoV, including 11 deaths.

U.S. Warns Health Officials To Be Alert For Deadly New virus

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday warned state and local health officials about potential infections from a deadly virus previously unseen in humans that has now sickened 14 people and killed 8.

Most of the infections have occurred in the Middle East, but a new analysis of three confirmed infections in Britain suggests the virus can pass from person to person rather than from animal to humans, the CDC said in its Weekly Morbidity and Mortality Report on Thursday.

The virus is a coronavirus, part of the same family of viruses as the common cold and the deadly outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that first emerged in Asia in 2003. The new virus is not the same as SARS, but like the SARS virus, it is similar to those found in bats.

So far, no cases have been reported in the United States.

According to the CDC’s analysis, the infections in Britain started with a 60-year-old man who had recently traveled to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and developed a respiratory illness on January 24, 2013. Samples from the man showed he was infected with both the new virus and with H1N1, or swine flu.

This man subsequently passed the infection to two members of his household: a male with an underlying illness who became ill on February 6 and subsequently died; and a healthy adult female in his household who developed a respiratory illness on February 5, but who did not need to be hospitalized and has recovered.

The CDC said people who develop a severe acute lower respiratory illness within 10 days of returning from the Arabian Peninsula or neighboring countries should continue to be evaluated according to current guidelines.

The health agency said doctors should be watchful of patients who develop an unexplained respiratory infection within 10 days of traveling from the Arabian Peninsula or neighboring countries. The CDC has set up a special website with updates on the infections at .

Symptoms of infection with this new virus include severe acute respiratory illness with fever, cough and shortness of breath. Neither the CDC nor the World Health Organisation has issued travel restrictions related to the virus.

Twitter Launches Advertising Services In Middle East

Twitter Inc. on Sunday launched an advertising service in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) as the social media firm seeks to exploit a tripling of its regional subscriber base following its widespread use during the Arab Spring protests.

Digital advertising is relatively undeveloped in the region, accounting for an estimated 4 percent of its total advertising spending, tech-savvy population and rising Internet penetration points to significant potential for growth.

“The two are interconnected – the rapid growth of our user base with the timing of why we want to help brands connect with that audience,” said Shailesh Rao, Twitter vice-president for international operations.

Twitter does not provide a regional breakdown of its more than 200 million users worldwide, but Rao said its MENA subscriber base had tripled in the past 12 months.

The company has recruited Egypt’s Connect Ads, owned by Cairo-listed Orascom Telecom Media and Technology, to launch advertising initially in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

Twitter Inc. has named Pepsi and Saudi telecom operator Etihad Etisalat (Mobile) as confirmed clients.

Twitter says the products it promotes typically has an audience response rate of 1 to 3 percent, significantly higher than traditional advertising rate of 0.1 to 0.5 percent.

“Social media advertising is totally different because it relies on what people say. It’s about two-way, not one-way, communication,” said Mohamed El Mehairy, Connect Ads managing director.

Fire at Saudi wedding kills 23 women, children

Over 23 women and children have been reported killed when a blaze that erupted inside a tent at a wedding was set ablaze.

The media cite civil defense officials said celebratory gunfire, common at weddings, brought down a power line that touched off the fire late Tuesday in the Eastern Province.

The official Saudi Press Agency said Wednesday that a special government committee will conduct an investigation into the incident. The probe will be by the provincial governor.

Saudi Arabia’s ultraconservative codes require genders to be separated at most public events, including weddings.

Eid-el-Kabir: I’m committed to restoring peace in Nigeria – Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday said that his administration will “continue to give dedicated, committed, focused and purposeful leadership towards overcoming old and emerging challenges before the nation.”

In a Message to mark this year’s Sallah celebration, the president urged Nigerians to “seize the opportunity of the Sallah season and the public holidays to reflect on how we can bring the ideals and virtues of our religious beliefs to bear on the positive resolution of the many challenges facing us as a nation.

“Nigerians remain a people of great faith with the vast majority of our people professing belief in God either as Muslims or Christians.

“There can be no doubt that we will make faster progress towards the attainment of developmental objectives as a nation if we all resolve to do more to live up to the highest ideals of our religious beliefs including the fear of God, willingness to make personal sacrifices for the collective good, selfless service, respect for laws and constituted authorities, honesty, justice, equity, fairness, dutifulness, peace and harmonious co-existence with others,” he said.

Speaking on the challenge faced by some Muslim Pilgrims in the Holy land, Mr Jonathan said though “the problem was eventually resolved with the positive intervention of the Federal Government, I have ordered a thorough post mortem of the incident with a view to ensuring that our Hajj airlift operations are never disrupted by such problems in future and that no Nigerian pilgrim is ever subjected to such traumatic experience in the Holy Land again”.

He expressed the commitment of his administration to give dedicated, committed, focused and purposeful leadership towards overcoming old and emerging challenges before the nation.

He enjoined all Muslims to remember the plight of the many thousands of Nigerians who have been displaced by the floods which recently devastated many communities across the nation and resolve to contribute whatever we can to ameliorate their suffering.

“In the true spirit of our major religions which enjoin us to be generous to the needy, I urge all Nigerians who can do so, to donate magnificently to the national relief fund for affected persons and communities” he said.

He promised that his administration will monitor the disbursement and utilization of the funds released by the Federal Government and those raised by the National Committee very closely to ensure that they are judiciously and expeditiously expended for the benefit of the flood victims.

3 Nigerian pilgrims die in Saudi Arabia

The Head of the National Hajj Commission, Bello Tambawwal on Sunday said that three Nigeria pilgrims have died in Saudi Arabia.
Mr Tambawwal disclosed this in an interview in Medina, saying the pilgrims were from Kebbi, Kano and Katsina states.

He said the first was a pilgrim from Kano State, who died aboard the plane conveying him and others in the inaugural flight to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

He said the others died in Medina from illnesses but added that “both of them were in their ripe age at the time of their death.’’

Mr Tambawwal said the Nigerian mission was working hard to ensure that medical services were available to the pilgrims always by operating two clinics in Medina, which rendered services for 24 hours.

He said the commission was working with the medical teams of state pilgrims’ boards to ensure that priority attention was given to the health- care of pilgrims.

He commended the Federal Capital Territory, Edo, Jigawa, Osun and Kogi states for their zeal and commitment to the health-care of their pilgrims and urged others to emulate them.

Mr Tambawwal also commended the states for the thorough screening of intending female pilgrims, which resulted to none carrying a pregnancy unlike in the past.

”Last year we had nine cases of pregnancy cases, resulting in still birth or safe delivery of the babies but we have no pregnancy cases this year,” he said.

FCT pilgrims official blames FG for Hajj lapses

The leader (Amir Hajj) of the Federal Capital Territory Muslim Pilgrims to Saudi Arabia this year, General Bagudu Mamman (Rtd) says the government is partly to be blamed for the detention and eventual deportation of some female pilgrims.

General Mamman who received the House of Representatives committee on foreign affairs at the Pilgrim’s Camp in Abuja said Nigeria could have avoided the face-off if earlier warnings had been heeded.

The camp was filled with pilgrims, many of whom should have been in Saudi Arabia by now but for the hitches in this year’s pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.

The committee was told that 1000 pilgrims from the FCT have so far travelled for the hajj.

Meanwhile Chairman of the Committee, Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje advised intending pilgrims from FCT to be of good behaviour in Saudi Arabia.

“Every one of you is an ambassador of Nigeria while in the Holy Land, “she said.

Elendu-Ukeje said that the committee would do everything possible to ensure that the pilgrims perform hitch-free religious rites.

The chairman urged them to protect and uphold the good name that Nigerian pilgrims had been known for to avoid being treated the way some female pilgrims were treated recently.

The lawmaker said that the Presidential committee put in place to dialogue with the Saudi authorities, would ensure that the deported female pilgrims went back to perform the Hajj.






You must respect the dignity of our women FG warns Saudi Arabia

The Committee set up by President Goodluck Jonathan to interface with the Saudi Arabian authorities over the detention and subsequent deportation of Nigerian female pilgrims to this year’s Hajj, met yesterday, Friday, September 28, 2012.

The committee stated that whatever further action the Saudi government wishes to take must respect the dignity of the female pilgrims as enshrined in international conventions which the two countries are signatories to a statement by the Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mallam Imam Imam said.

The meeting was chaired by Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal and attended by other members of the committee, which include the Emir of Zuru, HRH Alhaji Sani Sami, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Martin Uhomoibhi who represented the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Professor Shehu Galadanchi, Chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Alhaji Muhammed Bello, Chairman of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Foreign Affairs, Hon Nnenna Ukeje and Hon Bashir Adamu Kazaure.

The Committee reviewed the correspondence, discussions and actions taken by the Nigerian government and the Saudi authorities in the last three days.

In furtherance of the discussions going on between the Nigerian and Saudi Arabian government, members of the committee will undertake a trip to Saudi Arabia as soon as they receive the go ahead from the Saudi authorities with a view to resolving the issue once and for all.

The committee wish to assure pilgrims and Nigerians that the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is on top of the situation.

Arabian foreign minister says female pilgrims were deported due to Islamic law

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga A. Ashiru yesterday (Friday) 28th September 2012, in New York met with His Royal Highness, Prince Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, Acting Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on the sidelines of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly. 

The Minister of Foreign Affairs used the occasion of the meeting to register Nigeria’s strong objection to the treatment meted out to many Nigerian female pilgrims, who after fulfilling the visa requirements were denied entry to Saudi Arabia in order to perform Hajj, one of the five fundamental pillars of Islam.

Ashiru expressed Nigeria’s particular concern at the denial of consular access to the detained female pilgrims by both the Nigerian Ambassador and Consul-General in Saudi Arabia, which is in contravention of the Vienna Convention.

He also expressed the view that the action of the Saudi Authorities was not only unfortunate but did not truly reflect the historic friendly ties between the two nations.

He concluded by requesting the Saudi Authorities to immediately find an appropriate solution to the problem while ensuring that these intending pilgrims are treated with respect and dignity so that they can consummate their religious duties and obligations.

The Saudi Acting Foreign Minister, while expressing regrets at the development, informed that the denial of entry to unaccompanied female pilgrims to perform the Hajj was not a Saudi Arabian regulation but an Islamic requirement that all women must be accompanied by Muharrams.

He however informed that efforts are being made to find an immediate solution to the problem.  Finally, he expressed the hope that Nigerian pilgrims will in future fully comply with this Islamic injunction in order to avoid such unpalatable consequences.

The Nigerian government, while calling for restraint on the part of those affected by the recent action of the Saudi government, wishes to assure Nigerians that all efforts are being made to find an early solution to this worrisome development. Government also reiterates its determination to protect the legitimate interests of its citizens abroad.