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Helicopter mishap: Obi expresses sadness over death of slain soldiers

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Peter Obi

 

Mr Peter Obi, the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party has expressed sadness over the ill-fated Air Force helicopter that claimed 36 solders in Niger on Monday morning.

Obi, the former Anambra governor made this know in a statement via his official X handle (formerly Twitter) in Lagos on Friday.

The Nigerian Air Force on Thursday, announced that an MI-171 Helicopter on a casualty evacuation mission crashed in Niger State.

A statement by the spokesman, Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, said the aircraft crashed in Chukuba Village, Niger, saying that preliminary investigation had commenced to ascertain the cause of the air mishap.

Obi said the death of the soldiers, reportedly killed in a terrorist ambush in Niger and the ill-fated military helicopter, on a rescue mission, in the same state was unfortunate and disheartening.

He expressed concerns over the deplorable level of insecurity in most parts of the country which, had continued to cost the nation precious lives and property with the attendant economic costs.
Obi also expressed sympathy to families of the patriotic slain soldiers who had paid the supreme price for their fatherland in a very painful way, fighting against insecurity in the country.

“The continual loss of lives, of our military men and other citizens, to insecurity is very painful and disgusting.

“We must unite as a people, to subdue this monster of insecurity threatening our collective existence, without which, no development will be experienced in the country,” he said.

While commiserating with the military agencies over the sad incidents, Obi urged them not to be dispirited over the challenges they faced but to see them as the inevitable path to go before achieving a safe and secure nation for all.

He said: “I commiserate with our military agencies whose personnel have continued to pay the supreme price, for peace and security in our nation.

“I want you to remain courageous and resilient in the fight. I will also like to encourage a full-scale investigation to be carried out to unravel the cause of the helicopter crash as a way of preventing future occurrences.”

The former Anambra governor restated his commitment to ensuring safe and secure Nigerians, adding that fighting insecurity in the country would always be his top priority.

 

According to him, fighting insecurity squarely, remains my priority in the New Nigeria, and so should it be, for long-lasting peace and progress in Nigeria.
Finally, Obi prayed God to grant eternal rest to the dead, console their families and console them as a nation over this great loss.

He said they would never give up on their nation as it was their greatest heritage in whose service all their sacrifices became noble acts.

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Unknown Gunmen Abduct Channelstv Reporter In Port-harcourt

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Some unknown gunmen have kidnapped Joshua Rogers, the ChannelsTV reporter in Port-Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

Politics Nigeria learnt that Rogers was picked up close to his residence at Rumuosi in Port Harcourt and to an unknown destination by the gunmen around 9pm on Thursday, April 11.

The reporter was driving his official ChannelsTV branded car when the hoodlums accosted, pointed a gun at him and took him away in the same vehicle.

 

Rogers was said to be returning from his official assignment in Government House after a trip to Andoni for a government event when the incident happened.

Already, the gunmen were said to have contacted his wife and demanded a N30million ransom for bis release.

His cameraman confirmed the incident and appealed to his abductors to set him free unconditionally.

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Sermons, Tinubu Appeals To Religious Leaders

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Bola Tinubu

 

President Bola Tinubu has called on religious leaders to refrain from vilifying or denigrating the nation in their sermons.

Speaking during Ramadan Iftar with traditional rulers and religious leaders at the State House on Thursday in Abuja, the President emphasized the important role of religious leaders in shaping public opinion and fostering a sense of unity among citizens.

He urged the leaders to be more constructive in their criticism of those in elective positions.

President Tinubu also declared that his administration is determined to turn Nigeria’s challenges into prosperity.

He reiterated that no terrorist can defeat the collective will of Nigerians, no matter how hard they try to prey on innocent citizens.

He urged traditional and religious leaders to forge a strong bond with the government to defeat terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, and other forms of criminality in the country.

”Yesterday in Abuja, I attended the burial of the 17 soldiers killed in action at Okuama, Delta State. I saw their pregnant wives and little kids.

”The love of the nation is in your hands. Pray for our country. Educate our children. The sermons we preach to the members of our churches and mosques are important.

”Do not condemn your own nation. As a Yoruba man and as our fathers will say, ‘No matter how slippery the bottom of your child is, you must leave the beads there.’

“Leave the beads there. This is your country; do not condemn it in sermons, do not abuse the nation. Leadership is meant for change.

”Yes, this leader is bad, fine. Wait until the next election to change him, but do not condemn your country. Do not curse Nigeria. This is a beautiful land.

The President, who acknowledged the birthday wishes and goodwill extended to him on the occasion, reminded the leaders that his birthday on March 29, 2024, coincided with Good Friday.

“I have earned the honour of having my birthday fall on Good Friday, and I pray that on this Maundy Thursday, you all shall return to your homes safely. May God guide and keep you and your families in good health, and lift your spirits,” the President prayed.

Different speakers at the dinner expressed gratitude for the opportunity to come together in the spirit of Ramadan to share a meal with the President and renew the bonds of friendship that unite the nation.

Vice-President Kashim Shettima emphasized the pivotal roles of religious and traditional rulers in promoting peace and unity, urging them to continue to ‘‘build bridges that transcend ethnic and religious divides.’’

 

The Vice-President expressed delight that the nation’s economy is on a rebound, noting the strengthening of the naira against the dollar.

”The President means well for the nation, and he has continued to redefine the meaning and concept of modern leadership.

”For many years, fuel subsidy was an albatross. The President took a bold decision from day one, and he hit the ground running. Now the economy is turning the corner,” the Vice-President said.

Speaking on behalf of the Traditional Rulers Council of Nigeria, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, assured the President of the unwavering support of traditional rulers and commended the government’s efforts to address the hike in food prices and the security challenges.

”You are not alone, Mr. President. The prices of food items and goods are gradually coming down. You are doing your best on security, and we cannot allow you to do it alone. We will join hands to support your vision for the betterment of our nation,” the Ooni said.

Ambassador Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli, Emir of Zazzau, speaking on behalf of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), highlighted the significance of Ramadan as a period of reflection, empathy, and unity.

On the security situation in the country, the Emir of Zazzau, who represented the Sultan of Sokoto and President General of NSCIA, expressed optimism that the country will return to peace and stability.

”I am happy to see representatives of Muslim and Christian communities in this room. I pray God Almighty blesses the President for him to do more to take the country to the Promised Land,” the Emir prayed.

Apostle Samson Fatokun, General Secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), noted that the Ramadan dinner with religious and traditional leaders, coincided with Maundy Thursday, the Thursday before Easter, observed in commemoration of Jesus Christ’s institution of the Eucharist during the Last Supper.

The General Secretary, who delivered the address of CAN President, Archbishop Daniel Okoh, commended President Tinubu for fostering a harmonious relationship between the State and the Church.

”We are encouraged that your administration has shown great determination in tackling the challenges of kidnapping and banditry and bringing to justice the perpetrators of this dastardly act.

”We shall continue to show our support to your administration so that you can execute your noble intention for the nation,” CAN General Secretary said.

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