Air force dismisses Boko Haram’s claim of downing missing fighter jet
- Two personnel on the missing Nigeria Air Force Alpha jet were feared dead following reports that the aircraft had crashed at the outskirts of Maiduguri, Borno State.
- The NAF identified the two men as Flt Lts. John Abolarinwa and Ebiakpo Chapele.
- The Air Force dismissed claims by terror group, Boko Haram, that it gunned down the missing Alpha jet, which disappeared from the radar on Wednesday
- It said there was no confirmation of the claims, noting that the clips posted online by the group might be that of a previous incident
- Boko Haram had claimed responsibility for downing the aircraft in a viral video on Friday.
- The Abubakar Shekau-led faction of the Boko Haram sect released the footage of a crashed jet with one of its fighters standing on the wreckage. A body was also seen in the wreckage of the aircraft.
- The NAF spokesperson, Edward Gabkwet, said the aircraft which lost radar contact on Wednesday around 5pm was providing support for ground troops fighting Boko Haram insurgents in the North-East region when it disappeared.
Bandits killed 2,619, collected N970m ransom –Matawalle
- Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State has given reason why his administration is negotiating with bandits, declaring that the option remains the only solution to the insecurity in the northwest state.
- The governor explained that at least there are almost 30,000 bandits in 100 camps in the state and five other neighbouring states.
- The neighbouring states are Zamfara, Sokoto, Kebbi, Kaduna, Niger and Katsina, according to the governor.
- He said between 2011 and 2019, bandits had wasted 2,619 people, kidnapped 1,190 others and collected over N970 million ransom from their victims’ families during the periods under review.
- The governor stated these through the state Commissioner of Information, Mr. Ibrahim Dosara in Kaduna on Friday.
- Dosara, who said he was speaking for Matawalle, said the governor chose the path of peace with the bandits to stop the wanton waste of innocent citizens’ lives and property.
- The governor maintained that as result of the ongoing peace moves, over 60 bandits had so far surrendered their arms while 2,000 kidnapped victims were release through the repentant bandits.
IGP under pressure to arrest Igboho as activist snubs police invitation
- The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, is believed to be under serious political pressure to arrest Yoruba rights activist, Sunday Adeyemo, aka Sunday Igboho, for calling for the secession of the Yoruba from Nigeria.
- It was learnt that the police may again attempt to carry out a covert operation to take Igboho into custody having failed to arrest him last month.
- Findings indicate that the police authorities are in a dilemma on how to contain the activist who has been demanding the secession of the Yoruba from the country, following the failure of the Federal Government to curb the insecurity in the South-West.
- Security sources said the police are being careful not to upset the delicate security situation in the South-West, which may become aggravated if Igboho is forcefully arrested.
- The activist had on Friday confirmed that the IG sent letters to him but his security team refused to accept the letter, citing fear for his safety.
Easter: IGP orders AIGs, CPs to protect national assets
- The Inspector-General of Police has ordered an intensive round-the-clock security of all public spaces and critical national assets.
- He directed state Commissioners of Police and their supervising Assistant Inspectors-General of Police to ensure adequate deployment of police personnel – both covert and overt operatives, and other operational assets in areas of security interest within their respective areas of responsibility.
- A statement on Friday by the force spokesman, Frank Mba, said the officers are also to ensure confidence-boosting, proactive and high visibility patrols on the highways, motor parks, train stations, airports, worship centres, banks and other financial institutions while taking adequate measures to provide a peaceful, crime-free and enabling environment for religious, cultural and other socio-economic activities to thrive.
- Meanwhile, the Cross River State Police Command has banned procession during Easter celebration by various groups such as Agaba, Nnabor and others to avoid violence.
- Also, the Nigeria Police and Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps have deployed 9,750 operatives in Rivers State to ensure there are no security breaches.
- Spokesman for the state police command, Nnamdi Omoni told our correspondents that about 7,000 cops were drafted to various parts of the state.
Millions stranded as banks disconnect MTN customers
- Millions of telecommunications subscribers were stranded on Friday as commercial banks disconnected MTN customers from banking channels including the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data and banking apps.
- MTN has 77.35 million subscribers, according to latest industry statistics from the Nigerian Communications Commission.
- MTN customers complained on Friday about being unable to recharge their MTN lines using USSD and other banking channels like the bank apps.
- Customers were also unable to do banking transactions on MTN lines through USSD.
- A source said this was not the doing of the telco but the banks who had refused to give any formal communication prior to the disconnection.
- The source disclosed that MTN had reduced the banks’ commission from an average of 3.5 per cent to 2.5 per cent which predicated the actions of the banks.
- According to the source, the reduction is standard because the volumes compensate for the reduction, adding that the contract with convenience channel partners and aggregators through which they were indirectly connected to the banks allowed this.
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