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Nigeria joins other countries in grounding Boeing 737 Max

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The federal government has banned Boeing 737 Max airplanes from flying into Nigeria’s airspace until further notice.

Minister of State, Aviation, Hadi Sirika, disclosed this to State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

This is a direct reaction to the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 crash on March 10 morning enroute from Addis Ababa to Nairobi, killing all 149 passengers and eight crew on board. Subsequently, the European Union, UK, China and India banned the Boeing 737 Max from flying over their airspace due to concerns over passenger safety. Also Ethiopia, Singapore, China, France, Ireland, Germany, Australia, Indonesia and Malaysia have all temporarily suspended the 737 Max.

The aviation minister yesterday reiterated that no operator in Nigeria was using that type of airplane. He said: “Regarding Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 that have been in the news recently, there is no cause for alarm as there is no operator in Nigeria that is using that type of airplane.

“The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), whose mandate it is to issue advisory, has already issued advisory that nobody should fly into Nigeria or out of Nigeria using Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 pending the determination of the actual cause of the crash in Ethiopia and also pending the outcome of the response of the manufacturer, which is Messers Boeing.”

He remarked that “regardless of the enormous safety records of this plane, Boeing 737, it has caused concern in the world of aviation and you know aviation is universal – whatever affects one affects the other, because aircraft will be flying in and out.

“So, we have issued directive that no operator with Boeing 737 Max 8 or Max 9 should operate into and outside our airports and this is being carried out.”

Speaking on the orders placed by Air Peace and Arik for the supply of that brand of airplanes, the minister noted that they would not be delivered in the country until the next two years “and this is enough period to sort out whatever problem it is with that plane.

“The world of aviation will not be sleeping just as we in Nigeria will not be sleeping. And it is normal standard practice that once a particular aircraft type is involved in accident back to back, it is withdrawn from the market to see if there is something they are doing wrong. And if it is confirmed that a particular problem, say for instance, landing gear, they will issue an instruction to ground such plane worldwide until the problem is fixed. So, this case is not different,” he said.

Sirika gave assurance that authorities would be alive to their responsibility, which is to secure life and property.

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SECURITY

Adamu confirmed as IG of Police

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Mohammed Adamu was yesterday confirmed Inspector-General (IG) by the Nigeria Police Council (NPC). The Council, chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari, confirmed Adamu’s appointment during its meeting at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Members of the council expressed satisfaction with Adamu’s performance since his appointment in an acting capacity on January 15.

He was appointed at the expiration of the tenure of former IG Ibrahim Idris, who retired at 60, the statutory retirement age. Speaking to reporters after his confirmation, the IG promised to re-organize the police for efficiency to fight banditry, kidnapping, insurgency and general insecurity across the country.

According to him, he briefed the council on the security situation in the country and the efforts being made to tackle the situation.

The IG said that after his presentations on the strategies put in place to address security, his appointment was confirmed.

He said: “I was ushered in and I briefed the council on the security situation in the country and the efforts we are putting in place, or have put in place to address the security challenges. After the presentation, I was confirmed as the IGP.”

IG Adamu said that his confirmation signaled a huge task to the entire force to put in more energy in addressing the security situation.

He said: “What it means for us is that we have been given a huge task to make sure that we provide security within the country and make the country crime-free, which means that we have to re-double our efforts.

”Whatever strategy we have put in place, we have to look at it and re-strategize day in, day out to make sure that the insecurity in the country goes down to the barest minimum.

“We have to look at our strategy and re-strategize and also look at our personnel to re-organize the way our system is structured, identify the right personnel in the right places to have them do the job.

“So, it requires re-strategizing for us to be able to dig deep into what is happening in the Northwest so as to deal with the situation squarely.”

Adamu noted that he was sure that the security agencies have what it takes to deal with the situation.

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Buhari confirms the appointment of Mohammad Adamu as Police IG

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday confirmed the appointment of Mohammad Adamu as the Inspector General of Police.

According to Buhari’s aide on New Media, Bashir Ahmad, Adamu’s appointment was confirmed at the Police Council Meeting which held at the State House.

The meeting was presided over by Buhari.

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“Nigeria is safe”

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Information, Culture & Tourism Minister Lai Mohammed has declared that Nigeria is safe and there is no cause for alarm. The declaration came yesterday despite uncovering an alleged plot to disrupt the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari for the second term on May 29.

He said world leaders, who will attend the maiden June 12 Democracy Day, have nothing to fear.

Mohammed, who made the declaration at a news conference in Abuja, said security agencies were on top of the recent security alarm.
He, however, emphasized that the presidential inauguration on May 29, would be a low-key event in order to save cost.

Muhammed said: “On the invitation of world presidents to the presidential inauguration, I said leaders will be invited instead to the observance of Democracy Day and that invitations have since been sent out.
“Nigeria is safe and sound for world leaders to attend the celebration. I will not tell you the measures taken for safety. I have no reason to doubt the credibility of the security alarm raised by security agencies. There is no cause for alarm as the security agencies are on top of the matter.”

According to him, the swearing-in of the President and the Vice President at the Eagle Square would be followed by a State Banquet at the State House.

Mohammed noted that the event marking the June 12 Democracy Day would start on June 7 with a historical exhibition in arts, pictures and immersive environment, and would run through June 12.

On the inauguration activities that began with yesterday’s news conference, the minister said: “This will be followed on Tuesday by the commencement of three-day national youth entrepreneurship empowerment summit in Abuja.

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ECOWAS: President Buhari charges security chiefs on transborder crimes

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President Muhammadu Buhari has called on police and security chiefs from the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) to share Intelligence to curtail violent crimes ravaging the subregion.

President Buhari 

He said terrorist’s activities affecting Nigeria and the Lake Chad basin countries and Cameroun in central Africa have created new humanitarian problems and serious security threats.

The president made this known at the closing ceremony of the 16 Annual General Meeting of West African Police Chiefs Committee (WAPCCO) and Meeting of the Forum of Ministers in charge of Security in Abuja.

Represented by the Minister of Interior, Lieutenant-General Abdulrahman Dambazau, President Buhari noted that insecurity posed by corruption, terrorism, communal clashes, kidnap for ransom, organised crimes among were some of the vices threatening the peace in the region.

The President, who attributed the vulnerability of the region to criminal activities and other threats to peace and security to the vast borders and proximity to the Sahel, said that it was imperative for member-states to coordinate their security plans and activities, to enable law enforcement and other security agencies to contain and prevent these vices.

“We are aware of other threats to security such as climate change which brings with it environmental degradation, extreme poverty and poor governance,” Dambazau said, speaking for the President.

“However, as police chiefs, your focus is on security of lives and property in relation to law and order,“ he said.

Buhari noted that the fight against crime and criminality was vast and resource consuming, transcending national, regional and global levels.

He said that WAPCCO was a forum that affords the police and security chiefs the opportunity for cooperation and collaboration to proffer solutions to the security challenges confronting the region.

The President said that the fight against crime and criminality could only be achieved through the collective will and effort of member-states.

He said that resolutions in the meeting would become the standard measure of performance of the participants.

“It is pertinent to note that resolutions in the meeting would become the standard measure of your performances which in turn would help in safeguarding our nascent democracies.

“The knowledge they garnered here will also enhance your competences and capacities to successfully handle and resolve such incidences when they occur.

“Nigeria in the last four years has taken drastic measures and spared no effort in her resolve to fight corruption and her quest to defeat Boko Haram.

“We have led vigorous military campaigns against the terrorists by re-organising the multinational joint task force which had dislodged them.

“Working with our regional and international allies, we have denied them safe haven within and around the sub-region.

“We have also strengthened legislation against terrorism and corruption by equipping the ant-graft agencies in the country to be able to carry out their mandates,“he said.

He said that the measures adopted have yielded much dividends in reducing financial crimes and acts of terrorism in the country.

On his part, the President of ECOWAS Commission, Mr Jean-Claude Brou, said that the current security challenges in the sub-region required urgent attention.

He was represented by ECOWAS Commissioner in charge of Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Gen. Francis Behanzin.

Brou said that results could be achieved in the fight against crime and criminality if it was handled by members-states with seriousness.

He noted that the security situation in the region was precarious due to terrorism, drug trafficking, arms proliferation and smuggling among others.

The president attributed insecurity in the sub-region to poverty, corruption and socio-political problems.

He called on member-states to collaborate with ECOWAS to hold the WAPCCO meeting annually.

Also speaking, Dambazau said that the region was faced with numerous regional and international security challenges.

Dambazau, who was represented by an official of the ministry, Mrs Georgina Ehuriah, charged the security ministers to provide lasting solutions to tackle them by providing leadership and formulating policies.

He said that all over the world, crime and criminality are assuming new and unimaginable dimensions that no country can effectively fight without the collaboration with others.

Countries in attendance were Bukina Faso, Cape Verde, Benin Republic, Cote I`Voire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo and Nigeria.

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