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News Today; Identities Of Airforce Personnel Killed In Abuja Airport Crash Made Public, Hostages Taken In NSTA Bus Kidnapping In Niger State Released By Their Abductors

Identities Of Airforce Personnel Killed In Abuja Airport Crash Made Public

Beechcraft KingAir B350i Aircraft Which Crashed At Abuja Airport

More details are emerging about the Nigeria Airforce personnel on the ill-fated Beechcraft KingAir B350i aircraft that crashed at the Abuja Airport on Sunday.

Earlier reports said the military aircraft which was headed to Minna went down due to an unspecified engine failure. The bodies of 7 Nigeria Airforce personnel were recovered from the wreckage of the crash.

The identities of the seven Nigeria Airforce personnel lost to the crash are given as –

  • Flight Lieutenant Haruna Gadzama (Captain).
  • Flight Lieutenant Henry Piyo (Co-Pilot).
  • Flying Officer Micheal Okpara (ATOS Specialist)
  • Warrant Officer Bassey Etim (ATOS Specialist).
  • Flight Sergeant Olasunkanmi Olawunmi (ATOS Specialist).
  • Sergeant Ugochukwu Oluka (ATOS Specialist).
  • Aircraftman Adewale Johnson (Onboard Technician)

ATOS is an acronym for Airborne Tactical Observation System

Eye-witness account has it the pilot made a courageous effort to avoid the aircraft crash landing in the vicinity of the residential area before going down near the airport runway.

An investigation into the crash has been ordered by the Chief of Air Staff – Air Vice Marshall (AVM) Isiaka Oladayo Amao.

May the souls of the perished airmen rest in peace.

(Image Credit – twitter.com)

Hostages Taken In NSTA Bus Kidnapping In Niger State Released By Their Abductors

Family and friends of the hostages taken in the Niger State Transport Authority (NTSA) bus kidnapping of last week Sunday, can finally heave a collective sigh of relief concerning their safety.

Eight days after their brazen kidnapping on the NSTA bus, the shaken but grateful 39 passengers involved in the widely publicized abduction saga have finally been set free.

The hapless NSTA bus passengers were snatched on their way back from a wedding in Kontangora, Niger State, before accosting the heavily armed kidnappers along the Minna-Zungeru road.

Recall the hardboiled abductors last week Wednesday released a video in which they taunted the government while showing off their captives like spoils of war. The video and images of the hapless hostages went viral on the internet.

The hostage saga finally came to an end on Sunday evening when the captives were released and handed over to the Niger State government at an undisclosed location in Zamfara State (the unofficial kidnapping headquarters of the Northwest region).

Unconfirmed sources has it the release of the NSTA bus hostages wouldn’t have been possible without the efforts of prominent Kaduna-based Islamic cleric self-appointed hostage negotiator, Sheik Gumi.

The brazen bandits had earlier demanded a N500million ransom but the Niger State government was said to have remain unyielding in their No-Ransom-To-Bandits policy.

It is unclear what it took to secure the release of the hostages who were said to have been taken back to Minna, the Niger State capital, late on Sunday Night.

Chief Press Secretary to Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, Mary Noel Berje, confirmed the release of the kidnapped NSTA bus passengers.

(Image Credit – twitter.com)

Tricycle Operators Embark On Strike In Kano City To Protest Imposition Of N100 KAROTA Tax

It is said when two elephants fight, it’s the grass that suffers. That’s the predicament of Kano metropolis citizens have found themselves because the city’s tricycle operators and Kano State authorities are at loggerheads.

Tricycle operators in Kano popularly known as “Adia Data” have embarked on indefinite strike over the imposition of N100 daily tax by Kano State Roads and Traffic Agency (KAROTA). But who goes on strike over a N100 levy?

The tricycle riders see the KAROTA-imposed levy as another means of extortion and the beginning of suppression, and vowed to resist it with every fiber of their being.

Their embarking on what they term ‘compulsory strike’ has resulted in the disruption of essential public mass transit service in the state.

The crux of the matter, however, it is understood isn’t unconnected with the Kano State Government’s desire to start a transportation scheme with 200 buses, which would in the long run be replacing the tricycle riders and putting them out of business, before the end of 2021.

Irate tricycle riders who in a bid to enforce full compliance of the strike became unruly and attacked other riders who picked passengers earlier in the day.

Defaulting riders going about their normal businesses had their windscreens shattered by the irate enforcer-riders, who wanted full compliance at all cost, even if they had to resort to violence.

It was recorded irate riders clashed with the police in the Gyadi-Gyadi Court-Road area of town but were dispersed by shots fired into the air by the police.

In areas where the enforcer-riders blockaded the road and lit bonfires by burning tires, the police was called to restore order and normalcy.

In the Airport Road area of town, a small procession walk, made up of secondary school students, was seen soliciting for the return of Adia Data but they were dispersed by a team of policemen.

The brunt of the disruption of services was borne by commuters who couldn’t afford to take e-hailing cabs, taxi rides and motorcycles to their various destinations.

Stranded commuters had to resort to trekking long distances as they went about their businesses.

(Image Credit – google and solacebase.com)

Chief Of Army Staff Issues 48-Hour Deadline For Routing Of Insurgents From Marte And Environs

Maj-Gen Attahiru Talks Tough On Marte Recapture

The battle to recapture the town of Marte and environ from insurgents hots up with the handing down of an ultimatum to Nigerian troops from the Army Chief.

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Major General Ibrahim Attahiru, has given a 48-hour deadline for the recapture of Marte and other communities recently overrun by Boko Haram terrorists.

The troops of Operation Lafiya Dole were handed strategic and operational orders to take back the villages and towns which recently came under heavy attack from the Boko Haram terrorists, as recent as last week.

The towns and villages included in the military brief includes Kirenowa, Kirta, Wulgo, Chikingudo communities of Marte and Ngala Local Government Areas in Borno State.

General Attahiru dropped the gauntlet while addressing them at Nigerian Army Super Camp 9 at Dikwa, Borno. Himself a former Operation Lafiya Dole theater commander, Attahiru assured the men will get all the support they need to get the job done in time.

Insurgents suspected to be ISWAP-faction fighters ambushed Dikwa and some other towns with several trucks mounted with machine guns. The overwhelmed soldiers were said to have beat a tactical withdrawal to mitigate their losses to the stubborn insurgents.

The Dikwa area is said to be of strategic importance to the Nigerian military and had been the subject of a back-and-forth tussle with the insurgents who keep launching counter-oppressive attacks each time they lost the town to the men of the Nigerian Army.

Though the total number of displaced persons following the attack is yet to be ascertained, it is believed more than 130,000 Nigerians live in Dikwa.

The number includes the 75,000 who came to resettle in Dikwa from other parts of the Northeast region away from incessant fighting against the insurgents.

Marte and its environs became the renewed subject of contest between Nigerian troops and the Boko Haram insurgents following the appointment of new service chiefs for the Nigerian Armed forces by President Buhari.

(Image Credit – arisenews.com)

#14Headies Awards Photospeak: The Buzz, The Misses, The Hits And The Stunners

The 14th edition of (arguably) the biggest recognition in the Nigerian music industry – Headies 2020 (delayed till the night of Feb. 21, no thanks to Covid-19 restrictions) may have finally come and gone but the buzz is still very much in the air.

Angry (and some disconsolate) music fans are still at pissed with the choice of awardees in some categories (isn’t that what award shows are about) because their faves missed out. Olamide, Burnaboy, Davido, Naira Marley were conspicuously missing on the awards roll-call

One thing isn’t in doubt, #14Headies was the most talked about affair on social media, last night and well into the early hours of Monday (no thanks to the fans – it’s all about the fans after all).

What’s the Headies without the fashion parade…Check out some of these celebs in their outfits.

Forget about Laycon’s oversized sneakers for a minute, one of the most talked about was Nollywood actress Iyabo Ojo’s glitter number… Bad bellicks think it sparkles like Omo detergent but that’s their problem, Iyabo smiled home N250,000 richer on account of her hairdo. Take that haters…

Arguably the biggest fashion statement of the night was without the shadow of a doubt comedian Bovi’s #EndSARS-inspired Danshiki. Need you say more…

Voice Of The Youth -Bovi

The night’s biggest awardee was none other than Fireboy with his 4-category haul (Best R&B Single, Best R&B Album, Best Pop Award and Best Headies Revelation). The “Apollo” Album no doubt is taking him to infinity and beyond.

Winner Of 4 Headies – Fireboy

The night, however, belonged to Wizkid, whose 2 awards (Artiste of The Year and Viewers Choice Award) propelled him to Headies history. Wizkid cemented his place as all-time Headies winner with 9 awards…King! Undisputed!

The King Of Headies Himself – Wizkid

So, what’s your view of the 2020 Headies Awards? Hit or flop?

(Image Credit – twitter.com)

Celebrity Couple – Adesuwa Etomi And Banky W Announce Birth Of Baby Boy

Nigeria’s Latest Celebrity Parents – Adesuwa Etomi And Banky W

The best kept secret in Nollywood broke into the open on Monday when the news of actress Adesuwa Etomi and her superstar hubby Banky W’s baby boy smashed the internet to smithereens…joyfully too.

Social media is awash with congratulatory messages and heart well-wishes for the Wellingtons, who (unlike most couples) managed to keep the arrival of their boy under wraps for a massive 4 weeks!

Are these people super spies or what? Was there an iron-clad contract somewhere?

The celebrity couple who tied the knot in November 2017 welcomed the baby late January 2021 but decided to keep the world guessing.

Adesuwa dropped the news about the arrival on her Instagram page in a message celebrating her 33rd birthday pictures showing her baby bump. What a joyful double whammy!!! Mr. W must be gushing with joy!

Congratulation to these Nigerian sweethearts and the latest celebrity parents in town.

(Image Credit – instagram.com)

Embattled Rochas Okorocha’s ADC, Others Docked And Granted N5m Bail By Imo Court Over Property Mess

Rochas Men Docked Granted Bail Over Property Mess

The developing battle of supremacy between former Imo governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha and the incumbent Hope Uzodinma has gotten to court with the speed of light and decisions have started dropping.

Fourteen aides of serving Senator Rochas Okorocha, before her lordship, B. U Adikaibe of Magistrate Court 4, Owerri have been granted bail to the sum of N5m each.

Senator Rocha’s Aide-de-Camp, Eberendu Chiimechefulem, legislative aide, Steve Asinuobi and 12 others who were arraigned on a six-count charge bordering conspiracy, breach of public peace, possession of firearms, unlawful destruction of the official seal of the Imo State Government, got the bail during the Monday morning arraignment.

The embattled aides’ arraignment wasn’t without drama, however, as one of the defendants, Darlington Ibekwe, slumped while the magistrate was ruling on the bail application.

While all the court drama was going on, the man in the eye of the storm, Rochas himself, though released after getting arrested by the Imo State Government on Sunday, is yet to be arraigned.

It is understood former governor Rochas and Governor Hope Uzodinma are locked in a battle of supremacy over the alleged unlawful sealing of Royal Palm Spring Estate, belonging to Rochas’ wife, along Akachi road in Owerri.

A free-for-all between Rochas’ men and supporters on one side and Imo State security operatives on the other on Sunday, saw the wanton destruction of public property and vehicles.

All the unnecessary drama could have been avoided if the two mastodons had decided not to flex their muscles. Accusations and counter-accusations, along with distasteful videos are all over social media concerning the unwholesome closure brouhaha.

For all it’s worth, the Southeast region’s governors have waded into the matter which they hope could be resolved before further dragging of the reputation of both powerful political sluggers in the mud.

(Image Credit – dailytimes.ng)

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