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Divers Rescue Five As Bus Plunges Into River In Ebonyi

Wisdom Nwachukwu

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Divers have rescued five persons from the Akaeze-ukwu River in Ivo Local Government Area of Ebonyi as a ‘608’-model bus plunged into it on Friday evening.
The bus was said to have 38 passengers on board.
Mrs Stella Uchegbu, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Commander in Ebonyi told newsmen, in a telephone interview that the incident involved the bus and an articulated vehicle.
Uchegbu said that reports reaching her desk indicated that the rescued victims were unconscious and were taken to the hospital.
“We can, therefore, not confirm if any person is dead or not and the FRSC team (Ishiagu unit) is still at the scene for rescue efforts.
“The Afikpo unit team is, however, on standby in case any major thing ‘breaks’ this night to give back-up to the staff at the scene,” she said.
The sector commander further revealed that the victims are members of a particular church who attended the burial of their pastor in Afikpo and were returning to Enugu.
“There are, however, two versions of the incident as one held that the articulated vehicle tried to overtake the bus which made it (the bus) to lose control and another held that it was the bus which actually tried to overtake.
“There was no report of collision by both vehicles but the bus just lost control at the bridge and plunged into the river.
“We have not ascertained whether the bus was fully loaded or if the passengers observed COVID-19 social distancing but divers from the area managed to rescue five persons,” she said.
She further revealed that someone called to inform that his brother and wife were still trapped inside the river but the divers said they couldn’t continue because it was dark.
“God is alive and he can still preserve the victims,” she said.
Mr Chidi Ogbuatu, Coordinator of Akaeze Development Centre, also told newsmen on telephone that efforts were on to rescue the trapped passengers.
“The incident is horrible as the bus tried to overtake the articulated vehicle at the bridge with 38 passengers on board.
“We can confirm that five persons have been rescued as one of them, a woman had died at the time they were rescued,” he said.
Ogbuatu said that the Chairman of the council and the Commissioner for Works provided cranes to retrieve the trapped vehicle and the process is still ongoing.
“The bus is yet to be traced inside the river but the divers managed to retrieve the five victims.
“I have notified the state governor of the incident and we are hoping for the best,” he said.

READ  Robbers flee with cash into the forest, abandon vehicle in Ekiti

 

SOURCE:NEW TELEGRAPH

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US Special military forces rescues an American citizen in Nigeria

Benjamin Ukpabi

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US military forces rescued an American citizen in Nigeria, the Pentagon said on Saturday, days after he was kidnapped by gunmen in the south of neighbouring Niger and apparently taken across the border.

The hostage, Philip Walton, was abducted Monday night on the outskirts of Massalata, a village about 10 kilometres (six miles) from the border with Nigeria.

Walton is safe and in the care of the US State Department, the Pentagon said in a statement. US forces did not suffer any casualties in the rescue operation, it added.

“The United States is committed to the safe return of all US citizens taken captive,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a separate statement.

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“We delivered on that commitment late last night in Nigeria, where some of our bravest and most skilled warriors rescued a US citizen,” he said.

President Donald Trump hailed the rescue operation.

“Big win for our very elite U.S. Special Forces today. Details to follow!,” he tweeted.

Niger’s Defence Minister Issoufou Katambe had earlier confirmed the hostage release to AFP without giving details about how he had been freed.

Local officials had said this week that the kidnappers had called the man’s father to demand a ransom, though the family did not confirm this.

Walton had been living in Massalata with his wife and child for two years, according to his father, who himself has been in Niger for nearly 30 years.

Niger lies in the heart of the vast Sahel region, which is struggling with a jihadist insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives and driven hundreds of thousands from their homes.

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US forces have two drone bases in Agadez and Dirkou, in northern Niger. Their aircraft provide significant support to the French anti-jihadist Barkhane force.

In October 2017, four American Special Forces soldiers and five Nigerien soldiers were killed in an ambush in Tongo Tongo, near Mali, in southwestern Niger.

The attack was claimed by the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara.

Several Westerners are currently being held hostage in the region, including American aid worker Jeffery Woodke, who was kidnapped in the central town of Abalak in 2016 and is believed to be in neighbouring Mali now.

Three Europeans, including 75-year-old French charity worker Sophie Petronin, were released by their captors in Mali earlier this month under a prisoner swap arranged by the Malian government.

In August, six French aid workers and two Niger citizens were killed in the Koure wildlife reserve west of Niamey, in an attack claimed by the so-called Islamic State group.ci

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FG threatens to make migration difficult for doctors

Wisdom Nwachukwu

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Dr Osagie Ehanire, The Minister for Health, made it clear that the federal government will do everything within her power to discourage doctors from travelling outside Nigeria.

The Minister said that the government will provide adequate medical facilities and also provide incentives that will discourage the Doctors from traveling outside the country, he said this on Friday in Abuja after inspecting the Cancer Centre in the National Hospital Abuja.

He said “I have heard the challenge of doctors leaving the country. We have plans to provide better funding for our hospitals in Nigeria and make such migration unattractive,”

Dr Osagie Ehanire praised the hospital staffs and administration, and encouraged them to better, he urged the hospital to be ready incase the global corona virus resurface again as seen in other countries. He advised the hospital to make judicious use of the funds made available to them.

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He added “Schools are resuming, people are travelling in and out the country so we must be prepared for any emergency”.

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Banks commence emergency system update due to threats from Anonymous

Wisdom Nwachukwu

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A global hacktivist network known as Anonymous stirred an aggressive campaign in Nigeria two weeks ago, Nigerian banks as part of the precautionary measure has decided embark on an immediate emergency upgrade.

Mohammed Abdullahi Minister of State for Science and Technology confirmed the threat from Anonymous, he clearly stated there was a well planned attacks on important government Databases.

Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy Isa Pantami, also  admitted that some government websites were tampered with. He said: ‘‘On my instruction, the NITDA and NCC worked almost round the clock last week to rectify the situation and ensure no vital data was compromised. I am happy the websites are back and running now.”

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He also assured Nigerians that stringent measures have been take taken to avoid further attacks,  emphasized  for all the relevant organization to upgrade their system.

 

 

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