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Boko Haram: Air Force acquires 6 new helicopters

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The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has said it had acquired six brand new Helicopters, to reinvigorate the nation’s air power.

Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who made the disclosure in Abuja, said this was the first time in about 18 years, that the NAF will be making such acquisition.

Abubakar made the disclosure at the “winging” ceremony of 12 pilots, who will be deployed to boost the air component of Operation Lafiya Dole in the North East, and other internal security operations across the country.

“This is the first time in about 18 years that we are acquiring 6 brand new helicopters for the air force”, the CAS said.

According to the Air Chief: “This is quite significant in the sense that at least we are building capacity and making sure that we have the right number of qualified staff that will man this helicopters that have been acquired.

“Acquiring the number of platforms in the air force. for us to have this platform flying we have to train the pilots.

“Human capacity is the most important .You can have all the aircraft but if you don’t have people who are trained to fight with aircraft, you will still not get anything. Now that the government is acquiring more platforms for us, we already have pilots.”

Abubakar expressed delight that this was the second time the NAF was graduating new pilots this year.

Hear him: “This is the second that we are winging pilots this year and this shows that we are thinking ahead of what the government is providing for us and I think it is really impacting positively.”

Meanwhile, the NAF has trained the first set of 2 flying officers from Liberia.

The 12 new pilots, and their Liberian counterparts, acquired their trainings from the International Aviation College in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, as well as the Afrika Union Aviation Academy, South Africa.

“In realization of our drive for human capacity development through robust and result oriented training for enhanced professional performance, I am pleased that 12 more Nigerian Air Force pilots along with 2 of their Liberian counterparts are being winged today, having concluded their training in Kaduna and Ilorin.

“To our dear guests and brothers from Liberia, I hereby express our appreciation for the confidence you displayed in us by allowing us train your first set of pilots. I believe this is another milestone aimed at strengthening the relations between our nations”, Abubakar said.

This was as he also seized the moment to reiterate NAF’s efforts at defending the territorial integrity of the country.

While noting that countries of the world were contending with myriads of armed conflicts such as terrorism and other violent crimes, Abubakar assured that his Force, in collaboration with other security agencies, will not rest on its oars, in its determination to protect the sanctity of the nation.

His words: “The Twenty- First Century is characterised by plethora of armed conflicts occasioned by the struggle for political power among ethnic nationalities and sub-nationalities.

“Resource based conflicts, terrorism and militancy have also continued to define the post-Cold War international environment.

“The Nigerian Air Force in the last 3 years or thereabouts have continued to project air power both within and outside Nigeria.

“To achieve this, we have embarked on human capacity development to reposition the Nigerian Air Force to adequately deal with these challenges.”

Earlier the Minister of Defence, Brig-Gen. Mansur Dan-Ali (rtd), re-assured President Muhammadu Buhari of the Armed Forces of Nigeria’s total loyalty, even as he reminded the newly-inducted officers, that to whom much was given, much was expected.

The Minister, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs Nuratu Batagarawa, said: “Let me use this opportunity to assure Nigerians that federal government under the leadership of president Muhammadu Buhari remain resolute in safeguarding lives and properties and achieving sustainable peace across the length and breath of the nation.

“To this end, the government will continue to provide the necessary support and encouragement to the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies.”

The ceremony was attended by the Liberian Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Al-Hassan Conteh, the country’s Minister of national defence, officers, as well as families of the decorated officers.

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Malaria, a threat to world community

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Chief Executive Officer of RBM Partnership to End Malaria, Dr. Kesete Admasu has raised the alarm over the threat malaria posed to the world population, saying half of global community was still threatened by malaria, an entirely preventable and treatable disease which takes a child’s life every two minutes.

In a statement to mark the World Malaria Day, the RBM Partnership to End Malaria, urged governments, health bodies, private sector companies and the public to accelerate progress against malaria, making the 2018 World Malaria Day even more vital.

“After a decade of success in pushing back malaria, it is on the rise again and will come back with a vengeance if we do not act decisively now,” Admasu warned.

Admasu added: “Half the world is still threatened by malaria, an entirely preventable and treatable disease.

 “The malaria fight is at a crossroads and we could be the generation to end the disease for

good. If we don’t seize the moment now, our hard-won gains will be lost. We’re ready to

beat malaria – are you?”

The World Malaria Day is marked every April 25 globally to raise awareness on what to do to reduce its burden. The theme of the 2018 World Malaria Day is ‘Ready to Beat Malaria’.

Dr. Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho, RBM Partnership Board Chair, said, “We also need citizen and community action around the world to drive momentum towards reaching global targets.

“The malaria fight is at a crossroads and we could be the generation to end the disease for

good. If we don’t seize the moment now, our hard-won gains will be lost. We’re ready to

beat malaria – are you?”

World leaders came together this month to renew commitments to step up funding and speed up innovations against the disease, but the battle was not yet won.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organisation, said:

“World Malaria Day reminds us of the challenges that remain. The declining trend in malaria

cases and deaths has stalled and vital funding for malaria programmes has flat lined. If we

continue along this path, we will lose the gains for which we have fought so hard.

“We call on countries and the global health community to close the critical gaps in the

malaria response. Together we must ensure that no one is left behind in accessing lifesaving

services to prevent, diagnose and treat malaria.”-

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Strike: FG –JOHESU meeting deadlocked

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 The meeting between the Federal Government and the leadership of the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) to resolve the ongoing strike by health workers in Abuja on Wednesday night was deadlocked.

The National Vice Chairman of JOHESU, Dr. Obinna Ogbonna told the New Telegraph that although, the meeting was deadlocked, and both parties were still working out ways to resolve the issues. “Day of another meeting will be announced next week,” he added.

Obinna said, “JOHESU and the government is already discussing on the way to resolve the matter, but there are indications that not too long from now the matter will be resolved.”

It will be recalled that the national body of JOHESU declared the strike on midnight of Tuesday, April 17, after its efforts to get the Federal Government meet its demand failed, hence, prompting about 90 per cent of the health workforce, all of whom are members of JOHESU to proceed on the strike actions, which have left many patients unable to access medical care.

The health workers are demanding   the implementation of the adjusted CONHESS, the payment of specialist allowances to deserving health professionals, payment of arrears of the skipping of CONHESS 10, increase of age of health workers from 60 to 65 and the review of the composition of the Boards of Federal Health Institutions (FHIs).

JOHESU members include five registered associations including the Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Associated Institutes (SSAUTHRIA), Nigerian Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), the Non Academic Staff Unions (NASU), Medical and Health Workers Union (NHWU) and the Nigerian Union of Allied Health Workers (NUAHP), the five of which have formed JOHESU,  a pressure group.

In effect, JOHESU members include nurses, medical laboratory scientists, pharmacists, record officers, physiotherapist, among others.

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PDP sponsoring herdsmen attacks- Reps member, Kazaure

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As armed bandits suspected to be Fulani herdsmen continue to kill innocent citizens and sack communities, a member of the House of Representatives, Muhammad Kazaure, has alleged that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), were behind the killings.

Kazaure made this known on Thursday in Abuja, at the inauguration of the board of trustees, Buhari Campaign Organisation (BCO) as well as the launching of the book, ‘Amazing Testimonies of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Personal Integrity.’

He noted that members of the PDP were making use of the funds looted during its 16 years in power to sponsor the ongoing killings by suspected herdsmen, in an effort to discredit the good works of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

“PDP messed up for 16 years and destroyed the economic and social life of the people. We are the ones that allowed them to talk, they should have been in the prison by now. I don’t know what this government is waiting for.

“They want to fight the progress and I am surprised some Nigerians are supporting them the people that looted our money.

“Majority of these kilings, there are people behind it. If we start arresting those looters, these killings will stop because they are the ones financing the killings,” he said.

On Senators call for Buhari’s impeachment, Kazaure noted that nobody could impeach Buhari saying, “they can do nothing, they are just wasting their time.

“We are the ones representing the people, we are the ones with them and they still want Buhari because of his integrity and honesty. All these propaganda will come and pass, President Buhari will be reelected to Presidency come 2019. Even if an election is tomorrow, Buhari will win the election,” he added.

Also speaking, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, alleged that members of the PDP have politicised the ongoing killings in some parts of the county to score cheap political points and enrich their pockets.

He stressed that the PDP was trying to maximise damage to the APC government as well as fight the APC’s stand on corruption, by trying to undermine its good works.

Adamu who maintained that the killings was an act of terrorism which has become an unfortunate phenomenon of our time, however, added that the PDP was using it as an avenue to make money out of innocent Nigerians

“This is an unfortunate phenomenon and because it pleases the opposition, they are being so inhuman, so unfair to try to bring the president on live. All the killings going on they are making politics out of it, theyvare making money out of other peoples misfortune.

“Yes the president has a duty as the commander in chief and we accept this, but to use this as a campaign issue against the government is most unfair and it is most ungodly

“We must stand up, every town, every village, every street and defend this government. Come out and be counted we have more people than they have.

“We are not asking you to break the law but we are saying stand up defend and promote the cause of this government within the armbit of the law, we must take this government down there,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Buhari Campaign Organisation (BCO), a non governmental organisation, has endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for another term in office.

Making the endorsement, the Chairman Board of Tustees of the BCO, Markus Gundiri, argued that Buhari has substantially delivered on his campaign promises in the areas of education, insecurity, health and the economy, but needs another four years to effectively bring about a total change in the country.

According to him, Buhari deserves another chance to rule Nigeria and complete the good works he has started, as he remains the only person capable of reviving the economy and ensuring peace and security.

“The continuity of President Muhammadu Buhari will usher a highly sophisticated economy that each and every one of us will be proud of. He has continued to fight illiteracy and disease in education and health, and he has brought about improvement in our security especially in the North East.

“They may be other areas where there are insecurities today but given another opportunity, he will tackle the issues of insecurity. No other person knows or have the skills to tackle the insecurity in the is country,” he said.

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