South African authorities have granted landing permit to Air Peace Flight B777 to enable it to evacuate some 320 Nigerians escaping from xenophobia in that country, a Nigerian consular officer has confirmed.
Nigeria’s Consul- General in Johannesburg, Mr Godwin Adama, made the confirmation in a telephone interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday.
Adama spoke against the background of a complaint by the Managing Director of Air Peace, Chief Allen Onyema.
Onyema had said that the refusal of South Africa to grant the permit made it impossible for the flight to leave Lagos at 1a.m. for Johannesburg to convey the second batch of returnees.
But Adama said the permit had been granted the airline and that the flight would be late in the night of Tuesday.
Adama said, “They want Nigerians to arrive during the week, they are taking-off from here midnight.
“I do not know the exact time but they will be leaving (South Africa) midnight.
“I do not know why they were denied the landing permit. I think it is an airline operational issue. They did not get it yesterday but they told me that it came late yesterday (Monday).
“It was weekend and they were going to get it this morning; the airline did not tell me it was deliberate, but they explained to me that they have gotten it.
“Our manifest arrived last night towards the close of work and they were to take-off 1a.m. Nigerian time yesterday (Monday) but they did not because it was late.
“I have gotten it now so they will be able to make me know the time of their arrival here so that we can know when to take-off.”
Adama said buses provided to convey Nigerians wanting to return home were still at the mission premises and everyone was there.
“We are still really working on the number (320) to see how we can fill up the airline capacity with anyone that is readily available.
“We have more than enough, we are even trying to ensure that the aircraft is filled up that is why we are readily taking people who are on ground now.
“We have more than enough to fill the aircraft, the delay has also helped us because as we call names to board we see some people cleared at the last minute.
“The truth is they are people who have not been cleared, those who are ready to go are all here and we are trying to queue them up.
“We may not even be able to take all of them who are hopeful,” he added.
Adama said that the next batch of evacuation would be based on the Federal Government’s directives.
All Police Officers In Uganda To Undergo Mental Check-Up
All Police officers in Uganda are to undergo mandatory mental checkups to ascertain their psychological status.
The move followed reports to the Police administration in the East African country that many Police officers were reportedly brutalizing suspects while others have committed suicide.
The officers will be tested on levels of distress, how often they socialize, how often they experience temper outbursts and urges to beat, injure or harm someone. They will also be tested on whether they feel blocked as they try to get things done, whether they get difficulties making decisions and whether they find it hard to concentrate on their work.
Speaking at the launch of the exercise, Christine Oulanya, the acting Assistant Commissioner of Police Welfare in Uganda, said there is a need to check the cops’ mental health on grounds that some officers brutally handle.
They will be tested on levels of distress, how often they socialize, experience temper outbursts suspects which is unlawful and violates their code of conduct.
“We want to help our officers. Last year, six officers committed suicide, five died in 2017 and seven in 2016. This is what we want to clear out and help these officers accordingly,” Oulanya said.
She revealed that last year, one of their officers in Kampala murdered his wife and then killed himself after he discovered that he was HIV positive.
Also speaking during the launch, a counselling psychologist, Prof. Edward Bantu said they will also assess the officers’ suicidal ideation and social integration.
They will also evaluate superior-subordinate relationships, optimism, drug responses, coping strategies and the intimate partner violence of the officers.
“These officers have to be in a good mood while handling people. However, at times they ought not to serve promptly if they are depressed. It becomes worse if they have nowhere to run to. So, as a psychologist that is why we have come out to know the mental health of the officers,” Bantu said.
He added that in case some cops are found mentally ill, they will be rehabilitated and taught self-managerial skills.
“We are going to train a group of officers in skills to help the mentally ill as well as assist them to manage violence against spouses and children,” he said.
Addressing the press after the launch, Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson Patrick Onyango said the decision to carry out mental checkups on officers came from the Police Advisory Committee (PAC).
He said PAC deliberated on the issues raised about the conduct of some Police officers and observed that the officers could be stressed, mentally ill or psychologically unstable. Onyango noted that the force, thereafter, got in touch with the School of Psychology at Makerere University.
“This is necessary for our officers as they get involved in nasty situations. For example, a traffic officer who rescues casualties with broken limbs, a fire brigade directorate that goes for emergencies to retrieve a baby in a pit and crime officers who handle murdered victims, these people get stressed and traumatized, hence the need to be checked and helped,” Onyango said.
“However, the data obtained from officers will be confidential and only be used for research purposes,” he said.
The survey will be first of its kind to be conducted in Kampala.
Jonathan Departs Nigeria To Lead AU’s Election Observer Mission To Mozambique
Nigeria’s ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, has been nominated by the African Union (AU) to lead the continental body’s Election Observation Mission, to Mozambique’s scheduled October 15 general elections.
Jonathan’s spokesman, Ikechukwu Eze, said in a statement on Thursday, that his principal is billed to leave the country today for Maputo, capital of Mozambique.
While there, he will be overseeing the deployment of the mission’s 40-member team of observers, to different parts of the country.
In a letter of invitation signed by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, the AU described Jonathan as a man who is deeply committed to peace and democracy on the continent.
It said: “Given Your Excellency’s vast experience and commitment in promoting democracy and peace on the continent, I would like to invite you to lead the African Union Election Observation Mission (AUEOM) to the Republic of Mozambique.”
This comes just 24 hours after Jonathan met with President Muhammadu Buhari in a closed-door meeting, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
South Africa Agrees To Issue Nigerians 10-Year Visa Following Buhari’s Visit
South Africa and Nigeria have reached an agreement on issuing 10-year visa.
This is following the successful conclusion of the 9th Bi-National Commission of South Africa and Nigeria meeting in Pretoria, South Africa this week.
However, the visa will only be issued to businessmen, academics and frequent travellers.
This was revealed by President Muhammadu Buhari’s Special Assistant on New Media, Bashir Ahmad.
Ahmad tweeted: “FLASH: Following the successful conclusion of the 9th Bi-National Commission of South Africa and Nigeria meeting in Pretoria, South Africa, both countries have agreed on issuing 10-year visas to businessmen, academics and frequent travelers. #PMBinSA”