Good morning Nigeria, welcome to Naija News roundup of top newspaper headlines in Nigeria for today Monday, 22nd February 2021
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has confirmed the death of all 7 personnel on board a military aircraft that crashed on Sunday afternoon.
According to a statement by the NAF spokesperson, Air Vice Marshal Ibikunle Daramola, the crash was caused by a reported engine failure.
The statement added that the Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal I.O Amao commiserates with the families of those who lost loved ones in the crash while urging the entire public to remain calm as an investigation into the matter has been opened.
A military aircraft King Air 350 crashed close to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja runway after reporting engine failure.
Former Imo State Governor and current Imo West Senator, Rochas Okorocha has been arrested by operatives of the Nigerian Police.
The ex-Governor was arrested on Sunday for forcefully unsealing the Royal Palm Estate sealed by the Imo State government under the leadership of current Governor Hope Uzodinma.
Okorocha was said to have broken the chain and seal of the estate to recover the property seized by the state government from his wife, Nkechi.
President Muhammadu Buhari-led government on Sunday noted that there is nothing wrong in dialoguing with bandits.
Recall that bandits last Wednesday invaded the Government Science College (GSC) Kagara, Rafi LGA of Niger state, and kidnapped students, staff, and some members of their families.
The Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello while speaking on the development noted that his government has taken steps to rescue the victims.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed in a statement on a radio programme on Sunday reacted to the comments of Nigerians who have condemned the approach of dialoguing with criminals.
Lai said there is nothing wrong in dialoguing with bandits, as long as the ultimate objective is to make peace.
Kidnappers responsible for the abduction of some students and staff of Government Science College, Kagara, Niger State have reportedly freed them all.
Those freed also include twelve members of a family kidnapped in the early hours of Wednesday.
Sources quoted by The Nation say the freed victims are already on their way to Minna and are expected to be received officially by the Naija State Governor, Abubakar Bello.
Former Minister of Aviation Femi Fani-Kayode has finally reacted to reports he is planning to dump the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In a lengthy statement to newsmen on Sunday, FFK, as he is fondly called, stated that he never told anyone he would remain in the PDP forever.
He insisted that before the next general elections, there will be many realignments and new alliances.
According to him, major parties will see many shifts and that many individuals will change sides.
The Chief of Army Staff, Maj-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru has stated that the Nigerian Army will soon begin the second phase of operation against Boko Haram insurgents.
Recall that the Army under Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai (rtd) had in 2015 had launched operation Lafiya Dole, a code name derived from Hausa language which means “peace by all means”, and hundreds of Boko Haram insurgents had been eliminated under the operation.
In January, the army had also launched Tura Takaibango, a subsidiary of Lafiya Dole.
Speaking during a visit to troops in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, on Saturday, Attahiru said he was in the theatre command to appraise the military operation in the Sambisa general area.
The military general also said he was in Maiduguri to boost the morale of troops prosecuting the war on terror.
Gunmen suspected to be bandits on Sunday burnt down a church building and two homes in Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
Naija News reports that this was made known in a statement issued by the state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr. Samuel Aruwan.
He stated that security agencies reported that armed bandits razed the building of the Holy Family Catholic Church, and two homes, in Kikwari village, Kajuru.
Members of the Boko Haram terrorist group loyal to Abubakar Shekau have engaged in a fierce battle with members of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP).
The battle between the two terror groups reportedly took place in Sunawa, a border area between Nigeria and the Niger Republic.
The clash resulted in the death of many fighters from both sides but more from the ISWAP camp, Naija News gathered.
HumAngle quoting an al-Qaida affiliated media outfit, Al Thabat in a statement said “Jama’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da’wah wa’l-Jihad, commonly known as Boko Haram, killed Islamic State West Africa Province insurgents in the village of Sunawa on the Nigeria-Niger border.”
A report on the incident, monitored on the BBC Hausa website also has it that ISWAP abducted dozens of women linked to Boko Haram which prompted the counter-attack to rescue the abducted women.
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has backed moves by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to privatize Nigeria’s refineries and other assets to fund the 2021 budget.
Reports had emerged last Thursday that the Buhari government had submitted a proposal to sell or concession 36 of its properties between January 2021 and November 2022 to the National Assembly.
Reacting in a statement to Naija News on Sunday, Atiku expressed happiness that the Buhari administration that once failed to back the economic policies, is now facing reality and has now embraced reason.
Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has said Nigeria may get COVID-19 vaccines by the end of February which is within the next 10 days.
Ehanire stated this at the end of an inspection tour of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba.
According to the Health Minister, Nigeria has put all facilities in place to receive the vaccines.