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‘NAF Jets Hovered Around While We Were Attacked By Boko Haram’ — Garkida Residents

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Some residents of Garkida community in Gombi Local Government Area of Adamawa have accused the Nigerian Air Force of doing nothing while they were attacked by Boko Haram insurgents last week.

The villagers told TheCable that the NAF authorities were informed on time about the attack, but they are still shocked that the insurgents were allowed to have their way while air force fighter jets hovered above them.

One of the residents said;

“We spotted the insurgents hours before they came into Korongilum, and immediately, we informed the nearest army battalion which is in Chibok.

“It appeared that the army would need help and they called the air force for air support. The insurgents were already in town, and when we saw air force jets we were happy. The insurgents carried on with the attacks and didn’t leave until after three hours. While they were at it, air force jets just kept hovering and not a shot was fired.

“The insurgents, right there under the hovering guns of the air force drove out unchallenged in a convoy of about 17 trucks.”

Another resident said: “While we ran to hide inside the rocks, we saw air force jets coming and we started monitoring them.

“Air support is meant to come from Yola, and indeed they came on time, but we did not hear them fire or bomb the insurgents. The insurgents came in large numbers and they were operating in the open when NAF could clearly see them and engage.”

A third resident of the community said: “At a point, we started asking ourselves if the jets were those of the air force or the insurgents, because how could the insurgents operate that freely? Are we saying the air force couldn’t see them moving in their large numbers? Please, we need help. We need to understand what’s happening.”

A senior army official who also confirmed the incident to TheCable, said they shared valid information with the Nigerian Air Force authorities but they claimed no target was on sight.

The military source further disclosed that the soldiers on ground had only one gun truck and were outnumbered by the insurgents who had many gun trucks.

He said: “The approach to this fight is intelligence driven, and the air force actually stands the bigger chance to crush the enemies.

“During the attack in Garkida, the air force came. The army troops on the ground had shared intelligence on the exact location of the enemies, but we were shocked when the air force said they did not see anything.

“Even if they had shed just once, trust me, the enemies would have fled. I don’t really understand if the army is fighting a different war from what the air force is.”

However defending itself, the Nigerian Air Force said they couldn’t open fire on the insurgents in order not to kill innocent civilians.

Spokesperson of the Force, Ibikunle Daramola insisted that they can’t be accused of negligence when it responded to the calls for air support by dispatching its aircraft to the location.

He said: “Close air support, by definition, requires detailed coordination between the aircraft and the forces or individuals being supported.

“Hence, there must be communication between the aircraft, which is thousands of feet in the air, and the ground elements so as to avoid collateral damage or attacking one’s own troops (fratricide). As you may have come to know, the situation on the ground in Garkida on 21 February 2020 was extremely chaotic with significant movement in the general area that were indistinguishable from the air.

“The situation was worsened by the fact that the attack mostly took place at night. In such situations, the rules of engagement, as internationally known, is not to attack unless it is clear that no civilians are in harm’s way. The essence is to avoid the inadvertent killing of the people that the aircraft were dispatched to protect. It must be noted that the NAF ISR and attack aircraft remained airborne to provide support while seeking to de-conflict targets before engaging them; this was done outside the vicinity of the town in order to avoid killing any innocent civilians.

“Furthermore, as a follow-up, the Air Task Force of Operation LAFIYA DOLE, on 22/23 February 2020, carried out air strikes against terrorists’ hideouts at Parisu in the Sambisa general area of Borno State, where the Boko Haram elements that attacked Garkida were said to have originated. The battle damage assessment video of the attacks will be released, once declassified.”

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Metro

2 Pilots Remanded For Flying In Expatriates Into Rivers State

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Two Caverton pilots have been remanded in prison custody for flying in expatriates into Rivers state, after the state government ordered a border closure.

The pilots are Samuel Ugorji and Samuel Buhari.

Chief Magistrate D. D. Ihua-Maduenyi who ordered that a medical test be carried out on the pilots to ascertain their health status, also ordered that they be remanded in prison till May 19, 2020 when their trial will commence.

However Caverton kicked against the court’s directive which remanded their pilots in prison custody, appealing to the federal government to urge the Rivers State government to release “our pilots who violated no law and are being unduly punished for reasons we still do not understand.”

The airline insisted that it received approval from the Minister of Aviation to operate essential services during the lockdown.

The statement reads;

“At the start of the COVID -19 lockdown, we received a letter from our client stating that they have been given approval/ exemption to fly and continue operations. We (Caverton along with three other companies) also received approval from the Minister of Aviation to fly only essential services, mainly in the oil and gas industry. Lastly, we got another approval from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to fly for this same oil and gas sector. We have been flying along these guidelines for the past seven days.

“Today, we were informed that the Governor of Rivers State, Mr. Nyesom Wike was coming to address the operators in Port Harcourt and our people waited. But on arriving, the governor directed two of our pilots to be taken to CID where they were told to write statements.

“Despite all pleas by our lawyers who showed all the relevant documents, they were taken to the magistrate court and charged. At the court, our lawyers also presented all the documentations approving us to fly by the federal government but the case was closed and the pilots have been remanded in Port Harcourt prison till May 19.”

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“Local Transmission Of Coronavirus Is Increasing In Lagos” — Health Commissioner

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Lagos state health commissioner, Prof. Akin Abayomi has said the rate of local transmission of Coronavirus is increasing in the state.

The commissioner who disclosed this at a press conference on Monday April 6, said 82 percent of the total COVID-19 cases were imported into the country as at week 4. However in the following week, 45 percent of novel Coronavirus patients had no travel history – which suggests that local transmission is increasing.

He said;

“At the end of week 4, 82% of the patients imported the disease from abroad while 18% had no travel history.

“By the end of week 5, 45% of the patients have no travel history. This shows that the importation is decreasing and local transmission is increasing.”

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Each Time My Doctor Husband Leaves For Work, I Worry — Chimamanda Adichie Writes After Losing Her Closest Aunt

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Nigerian writer Chimamanda Adichie whose works range from novels to short stories to nonfiction has shared her plight following the Coronavirus pandemic which is ravaging countries around the world and also shutting down activities globally.

Chimamanda who announced that her closest aunt died from brain aneurysm last week, described it as a “devastating tragedy”.

Reflecting on the Coronavirus pandemic, the celebrity author disclosed that she is now reminded everyday of how fragile and breakable humans are. Chimamanda who disclosed that she worries each time her husband who is a doctor leaves for work and each time her daughter coughs, averred that this is a time to cope in the best way we can.

She added that she cannot imagine thinking of over-achieving or accomplishing more than usual, when all around the world has changed, perhaps never to return to what it used to be.

See her post below;

 

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Last week, my family suffered a devastating tragedy, the very sudden death of my closest aunt, from a brain aneurysm. One day she was well and happy and the next day she was gone. Our time is filled with pain whose cause still does not feel fully true. We cry and yet we feel as though she is not really gone.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ And it is more surreal to grieve a sudden death in these strange times when the world has shut down, places once full are empty, heavy with the ghosts of silent gatherings, and across the world people are dying alone. Coronavirus is a menace in the air, a menace inside our heads. Every day I am reminded of how fragile, how breakable we are.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ My husband is a doctor and each morning when he leaves for work, I worry. My daughter coughs and I worry. My throat itches and I worry. On Facetime I watch my elderly parents. I admonish them gently: Don’t let people come to the house. Don’t read the rubbish news on whatsapp.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ This is a time to cope in the best way we can. There are moments when our spirits will sag. Moments when we will feel tired after doing absolutely nothing. But how can we not? The world as it is today is foreign to us. It would be strange not to be shaken to our core.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ I cannot imagine thinking of over-achieving, or of accomplishing more than usual, when all around you the world as you know it has changed, perhaps never to return to what it used to be. And yet we must continue to go on day by day. We must choose to live. And to do so we can set small goals. Like drink more water, if you’ve spent the past ten years wanting to be more hydrated. Like learn something every day, no matter how small. Like call loved ones – not text them, call them. Like help someone – with a small cash transfer, an encouraging message, a shared laugh.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ I believe in allowing myself to feel what I feel. But endless negative feelings are enervating. And so to manage it I give myself time to feel what I am feeling – an hour, or two, or three, or four – and then when the time is up, I try to push my mind into a different territory. It doesn’t always work. But it’s worth trying for when it does work.⁣ ⁣ Continued in comments.

A post shared by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (@chimamanda_adichie) on

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