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NAF boss: Our jet crash purely accidental, not shot down

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Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Hassan Abubakar, has debunked the claim, by one Dogo Gida, a notorious bandit operating in parts of Northern Nigeria that the Nigeria Air Force (NAF) jet which crashed on Tuesday while on operation in Niger State, was shot down.

The terrorist, claiming responsibility for downing the helicopter, had said on Tuesday: “They did this to see the downfall of Dogo Gide and by God’s grace, he is still alive and won’t die. These are dozens of soldiers as you can see them. This is their airplane. Repent, we have no business with anyone except those who try to come for us. This is God’s work. We used an AK-47 to bring down this plane.

“Take a look at them. Let this be a lesson. You all should repent. It is not our intention to kill but for everyone to be enlightened and have the fear of God. Leaders who sent these soldiers our way to be killed by us should repent.

“We won’t surrender from pressure or even an aeroplane. Dogo Gide, who is their target, won’t die now. He is still alive. These are the AK-47s we used to bring down this plane. We opened fire when we sighted them and they did the same. Repent and fear God. We pray for God’s mercy at all times. This is God’s work and not ours as you can see.”

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But the CAF, said on the NAF MI-171 helicopter which said to have taken off on Tuesday from Zungeru, Niger State heading for Kaduna, that the crash was due to bad weather, adding that seasonal weather challenges, which he said usually hamper officers’ striking capabilities, were also responsible for the crash.

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Speaking when Niger State Governor, Umar Bago, paid him a condolence visit over the death of pilots and some soldiers in the incident, he added: “Going forward, we are striving to achieve zero incidents in all our operations. That challenge we’re addressing.

“We also have other challenges which are seasonal. For example, the rain has come and there is a route cloud. This hampers what we can see, especially in terms of our strike capabilities. Also, when the harmattan comes, it also has effects on our operations. These are challenges we live with and we hope that sometimes you understand when our operations are hampered or impeded by some of these challenges. The fact is that, as long as we operate, fly airplanes, there would be incidents and accidents. In fact, the volume of incidents and accidents is directly proportional to the rate of operations,” he said.

Bago said the state was vulnerable to security challenges because it has the largest landmass and is surrounded by water bodies.

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Tough economy: Trouble in APC, as staff plan strike

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A loud grumbling has enveloped the 40 Blantyre Crescent, Wuse, Zone 2, Abuja, headquarters of the All Progressives Congress (APC), where staff across different departments are threatening to down tools in protest of poor welfare and biting economic hardship.

Daily Trust, is reporting that the staff are specifically asking the party’s top echelon to make provision for their housing and other allowances, stressing that the economic situation of the country had become quite unfavourable to them.

The paper quoted one of the staff, who spoke on condition of anonymity, as saying that the party’s executive members had left them to suffer, while taking home humongous amounts of money as salaries and allowances.

Though Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, National Chairman of the party, is said to have commenced payment of N35,000 provisional wage award to them in January 2024, they argued that the largesse would in June, and they would be back to square one and therefore, they needed more stable welfare packages.

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In a swift riposte, Felix Morka, spokesman of the party, was quoted as dismissing the agitation, saying: “Those matters I don’t really discuss them. As you can see, there are many important things to discuss; at the national level, in Edo State. We are battling with all that. So, any in-house matters are not my focus right now.”

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BREAKING: Davido ups the ante, doles out N300million to orphanages

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David Adeleke Nigerian music sensation, otherwise known as Davido is stamping his giant feet with which he has mesmerised his audience across the world in the arena of philanthropy, with an announcement of a fresh donation of a whopping N300million to some orphanages across the country.

The latest is an increase of N63million up from the N237million the popular singer, who disclosed the largesse in a statement on his social media accounts on Tuesday, dolled out last year as part of the gesture in what is now turning out a yearly programme since it started a few years ago.

The gesture is coming at a time Nigeria is under an intense weather of deprivation and poverty, with the prices of food and other commodities hitting the roof and citizens, unable to afford basic items mostly going to bed on empty stomachs as a result.

In recent weeks, demonstrations had erupted in many parts of the country, including Niger, Kano, Ogun and Oyo States, where residents trooped into the streets to demand an end to the parlous situation, which they blamed on the insensitive policies of the government of Bola Tinubu, the Nigerian President.

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The singer, who first gave out N250m to 292 orphanages in October 2022, said the this year’s donation would be done through The David Adeleke Foundation (DAF), adding: “I and my foundation pledge the sum of 300 million Naira to orphanages around Nigeria … as my yearly contribution to the nation. Details of disbursement tomorrow.”

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BREAKING: Tinubu set to probe Buhari’s N23trillion Ways and Means debt

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At last, President Bola Tinubu, may be going through the N23trillion Ways and Means debt obtained by his predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari, with a fine comb to determine what the funds, which is attributed to a major part of the current debt overhang in the country, went into.

The Nation, quoted Wale Edun, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy as revealing this much to participants at the ongoing Public Wealth Management Conference organised by the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MoFI).

Besides, the Minister reportedly said the Federal Government would also present a bill to the National Assembly, soon to authorise the removal of “all taxes and levies that constitute nuisance from the country’s tax system, as a measure to wean itself from future Ways and Means indebtedness.

The government, Edun added, will vigorously pursue policies that will allow it harvest revenue in real time from Government Owned Enterprises (GOEs) and Corporate entities.

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It was also on the same day that the Minister explained that Tinubu’s administration inherited a surge in food and general commodity prices from the previous government, but emphasised the government’s commitment to reducing food prices and tackling the nation’s high inflation rate.

Outlining the measures government was taking in tackling the situation, he revealed that, the government had released 42,000 metric tons of grains, with an additional 60,000 metric tons scheduled for release soon.

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