Crash reported for helicopter carrying President Raisi in Iran’s northwest

A helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and senior officials in northwestern Iran has suffered a crash with no information available yet on potential injuries or damage.

President Raisi was returning from a ceremony to open a dam on Iran’s border with Azerbaijan when his helicopter crashed upon landing in Varzaqan region on Sunday.

Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, Governor of East Azarbaijan Province Malek Rahmati, Tabriz Friday prayer leader Hojjatoleslam Al Hashem and a number of others were also on board the helicopter.

IRNA correspondent says rescue and relief teams have been dispatched to the area and search operations continue.

Foggy weather and the impassability of the area has made the search operations difficult.

Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi told Iran’s state television that due to the tough weather conditions, it may take time for the search and rescue team to reach the site of the crash.

He expressed hope that the team will reach the site soon and convey more informat

This story is developing.

Source: Ghana News Agency

NSCDC urges personnel to protect road, rail facilities in FCT

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), FCT Command, has charged its personnel to ensure the protection of road reflective studs, railings, street lights and manhole covers.

Dr Olusola Odumosu, FCT Commandant of the corps, gave the charge in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Abuja, on Sunday.

Odumosu also charged the personnel to ensure adequate protection of facilities of all ongoing and completed projects in the territory as well a national critical infrastructure.

According to him, it is of paramount importance that street lights, amenities of the newly constructed roads and bridges, Abuja metro line rail tracks and other critical infrastructure are protected.

‘Also road reflective studs, railings, manhole covers and other facilities must be properly secured from persons with criminal intentions.’

He clarified that the directive does not exempt the coverage of already existing roads and projects in the territory.

According to him, the yet to be inaugurated projects sho
uld be given priority attention because of its new components.

‘We have activated surveillance patrol in the FCT especially in the city center and we will not take it lightly with anyone caught vandalising public properties.

‘Most of the manholes and street lights in the territory have been vandalised and these new ones might be the next target for these criminals.

‘The corps have put in place several measures to tackle this menace and has succeeded in the arrest and prosecutions of some suspected vandals and we are not stopping or slowing-down now,’ he said.

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Odumosu called on well-meaning Nigerians to serve as the eyes and ears of security agencies, urging residents to ‘say something when they see something’.

He reiterated that the corps, being the lead agency in the protection of critical national asset, would not relent in ensuring that the efforts of the present government ate not wasted.

According to him, it is high
time the FCT regain its lost glory of infrastructural development.

NAN reports that the FCT Minister had said the various new projects in the territory would be inaugurated by Mr President between May 27 and June 6.(NAN) (

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Guard dog breeds require responsible handling

Owners of dogs, especially the guard dog breeds, have been advised to be more responsible towards their dogs to ensure that their pets do not become a danger to the public, or even household members.

This is because, while dogs make excellent pets, and could be of great service to humans in many aspects of life, irresponsible ownership, often result in man’s best friend, becoming a deadly threat, and not an agent of help.

Mr Robert Anane, a professional dog trainer, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview, that deciding to keep a dog was a huge responsibility, since the moment one chose to keep a dog, the prospective owner, had decided to take care of the dog’s feeding, health and psycho/emotional needs, as well as to ensure it has clean sleeping quarters, among others.

On the prevention of dog attacks on innocent people, the dog trainer said such attacks were very much avoidable, ‘It all bogs down to responsible ownership,’ he said.

Mr Anane noted that there was a sharp rise in the sales of guard dog
breeds, because of a heightened awareness of their effectiveness in keeping robbers and other unwanted intruders from the homes of their owners, ‘but this means a higher potential for an increase in dog attacks, if responsible ownership is not ensured.’

He said, ‘the very drive in guard dog breeds that makes them effective as protectors of their owners, as well as their homes and properties, that very drive is what potentially makes them dangerous to both their owners and strangers. And this is why it is crucial to have the right knowledge on how to keep them, before going in for dogs, especially guard breeds.’

Currently, guard dog breeds, such as the Rottweiler, German Shepherd, Doberman Pinscher, Caucasian Shepherd and Boerboel among a number of others, are in high demand, because of their effectiveness in keeping criminals away from the home.

Unfortunately, in quite a number of instances, knowledge on how to rightly handle them, from puppyhood, right through their adulthood is often quite scanty.

keeping a dog could be lots of fun, if done with the right knowledge and approach, on the other hand, a dog in the wrong hands, especially if it’s a guard breed, could be a nuisance and even a deadly threat, not only to innocent members of the public, but its own household members as well.

In the words of Mr Anane, ‘if all dog owners, especially those who go in for the guard breeds, were well furnished with information on how to correctly keep these dogs, that would result in responsible dog ownership, and in effect, prevent cases of attacks by guard dog breeds on innocent people.

Source: Ghana News Agency

NAF@60: We are now force to reckon with – Air Chief

The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, says the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has become a force to reckon with among comity of nations in its 60 years of existence.

Abubakar communicated this at the Interdenominational Church Service as part of activities lineup for the 60th Anniversary Celebration of the NAF on Sunday in Abuja.

He was represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans (NAF) AVM Sayo Olatunde.

He said the NAF, which started from a very humble beginning, had become one of the top air forces on the African continent.

Abubakar reiterated the commitment of the service towards addressing the myriads of security challenges confronting the nation.

‘We are doing everything possible to make sure that we resolve the insecurity challenges confronting the country as soon as possible and we are making great successes, remarkable achievements in that aspect.

‘We are actually making progress just for some few things that prevented the impact of our successes for being seen and being felt
by the country.

‘I am sure those things should be resolved and then we begin to have peace in this country.

‘In the area of operation, we are making remarkable successes and we are also making sure that we are doing a lot of things to enhance our operational efficiencies.

‘Recently, we have this capability assessment that review what we need holistically to fight current official warfare so that we can make the best use of the resources available, the resources graciously given by the federal government.”

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The CAS said the NAF continued to make frantic efforts to improve on welfare of its personnel and the families of fallen heroes through several projects and initiatives.

He listed some of the welfare programmes to payment of monthly relief package for personnel on flight lieutenant and below to cushion the impact of the current economic situation in the country.

According to him, he has instituted an insura
nce that will cater for illness and accidents, in addition to what is obtainable from the Ministry of Defense level as part of efforts to cater for the welfare of personnel.

The air chief said the recruitment process had been sanitised to ensure that only the best were taken.

‘We have made serious effort to make sure we enhance the process so that the people will recruit into the Nigerian air force will be people who are truly interested in job.

‘And one of the steps we took was to train our recruitment officers to be able to determine those people, who are with drugs; who have ulterior motive for wanting to come to the service.

‘From the process of screening we just started that 100 per cent of the efforts are just betrayed at Kaduna airport based communities.

‘Another step we take to enhance the quality of personnel coming into the air force is to make sure we do screening, a computer screening test even before we call them for interview.

‘When you apply, you do the screening; so that we know them in
terms of quality of people.

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‘All these things we put in place to make sure that the process is fair, firm, and qualitative and we expect quality outputs,’ he said.

The Chairman organising Committee, AVM Michael Ekwueme, called on Nigerians to pray for the service in its operational engagement and the success of the occasion.

‘Let us continue to thank God and pray for the success of the event; foreign participants have started arriving; let us pray for the safety of those on their way’ he said.

The Director, Chaplaincy (Protestant), NAF, Air Commodore Dogo Gani, said the church service was organised to thank God for protection and commit the future of NAF into God’s hand .

Gani said the NAF also solicited for prayers of the men of God to continue to pray for the service and charged all members of the armed forces to always look up to God in all their dealings.

According to him, his sermon is centered on the need
for strategic partnership with God for greater success.

‘First and foremost, we must know who we are in partnership with and above all look unto the Lord who is the author and finisher as well as the greater person that can give us victory over every human aid,’ he said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

NCCE launches committee in Nandom for peaceful election 2024

The Nandom Municipal Directorate of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has inaugurated the Inter-Party Dialogue Committee (IPDC) as part of measures to promote peace and security before, during and after the 2024 general election.

The committee comprised representatives of the various political parties in the Nandom constituency, security agencies, religious leaders, and the media, among others.

The initiative is spearheaded by the NCCE with financial support from the European Union (EU) to work towards averting violent extremism and promoting peaceful coexistence and national cohesion.

Speaking at the launch of the committee in Nandom, Mr Issahaque T. Angme, the Acting Nandom Municipal Director of the NCCE, said the committee would undertake peacebuilding activities in collaboration with other stakeholders in the municipality to achieve its set objectives.

‘The above objectives will enable all stakeholders to collaborate to effectively confront the menace through concerted efforts to comb
at Violent Extremism and Terrorism (VET) before, during and after the 2024 general elections,’ he explained.

Mr Angme indicated that due to the proximity of the Nandom municipality to Burkina Faso, which was experiencing activities of VET, there was a dire need for the people in the municipality to take their security very seriously and expressed hope that the IPDC would help in that regard.

Mr Victor Elikpilim Nuworkpor, the Upper West Regional Director of the NCCE, commended the members of the committee for their commitment to safeguarding and promoting peace and security in the municipality.

He encouraged them to work together, which was a requirement for preventing the infiltration of unscrupulous persons into the municipality to cause mayhem, especially during the electioneering campaigns.

Reverend Dr. Stephen A. Koya, the Chairman of the IPDC, expressed gratitude and appreciation to the committee members and the stakeholders for availing themselves to help chart a peace course for the municipality.

e emphasised the need for members of the IPDC to resort to Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to settle misunderstandings, avoid politics of insults and incrimination among others and uphold objectivity, truth, and circumspection always.

He stated that since the formation, inauguration and operationalisation of the IPDC concept in the Nandom Municipality in 2016, a lot of successes had been chalked toward preventing Nandom Municipality from being a flashpoint.

‘It has instituted and sustained peace, cohesion, and social inclusion for development. Strategically peace before, during and after the 2016 and 2020 presidential and parliamentary candidates’ election had been chalked admirably’, Rev. Dr. Koya explained.

The members of the committee unanimously resolved to proactively and with circumspection promote peace before, during and after the 2024 presidential and parliamentary elections.

The Nandom Municipal IPDC is chaired by Rev. Dr Stephen A. Koya, with Naa Vitalis Yelyang as the Vice Chairperson and
Issahaque. T. Angme as the Secretary.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Students, youths’ bodies beg Tinubu to appoint competent CEO for PTI

The leadership of students and youths unions have called on President Bola Tinubu to appoint the acting Principal of Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), Dr Samuel Onoji, as the substantive Principal of the institute.

The unions’ appeal was conveyed in a letter addressed to the president and co-signed by the leadership of the different student/youth bodies, a copy of which was made available to newsmen on Sunday in Abuja.

The unions are the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS), National Association of University Students (NAUS) and the National Association of Colleges of Education Students (NACES).

Others are the Nigerian Youth Union (NYU) and the African Students Education Support Initiative (ASESI).

The signatories are Comrades Chinonso Obasi, National President, NYU; Lucky Emonefe, National President, NANS; Marshal Obaji, National President, NAUS; Bassey Eka, Nigerian Country-Rep, ASESI; Egunjobi Samuel, National President, NACES and Ridwa
n Opeyemi National President, NAPS.

According to the groups, the unprecedented peace and joy in the institute since the announcement of Onoji as the acting principal is one borne out of acceptance by all and sundry.

‘It also shows Onoji’s capacity to deliver on goals, integrity, ingenuity, unquestionable leadership and charisma.

‘Our interest is primarily in Nigerian students’ welfare and a peaceful academic environment.

‘The testimonials from PTI students about Onoji affirm that he is the square peg in the square hole.

‘As former Director of PTI services, an officer in charge of the day-to-day maintenance and repair of the infrastructure of the institute, he is described and addressed by students as a cat with nine lives.

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‘This is because of his availability to call to duty even at odd hours.’

The groups further highlighted student’s appraisals of Onoji’s competence.

‘Under Onoji as chairman board of examiners, we have experienced seamless
examinations; under his admission committee, PTI’s admissions have always been on merit.

‘As chairman institute curriculum development committee, we have enjoyed rich curricula that place us ahead of other scholars in sister institutions.

‘As a sound academia, he has published several papers in international reputable high-impact Elsevier journals, among others, which can be verified online.’

The groups said that the standard of PTI was falling drastically because of the rising competing training institutes created by multinational companies.

According to them, the situation creates the urgent need for a seasoned and experienced Onoji who is the chairman of the PTI strategic team.

They said confirming Onoji as the Chief Executive Officer of the PTI would make significant impact on visibility of the Institute in the oil and gas industry.

‘His appointment, we believe, will rekindle the lost glory of the Nigerian-only petroleum training institute and the institute, will in turn, contribute meaningfully to
Nigeria’s GDP by upscaling its established mandate.

‘It is always said that ‘when preparation meets opportunity, success is abound; Onoji’s preparedness for the task ahead is unquestionable.

‘In April, he completed a 2-week mandatory training for heads of Federal Government Agencies/Parastatals at Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON), Topo-Badagry to further equip him with administrative skills to manage the institute.

‘For the mandate of PTI which is to train competent technical manpower required for the sustainability of the Nigeria oil and gas industry to be achieved awesomely, we passionately recommend the appointment of Onoji as the Principal and Chief Executive Officer of PTI.

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‘This is because in acting capacity, much cannot be achieved considering the government bureaucracy associated with it,” the groups said. (NAN)(

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

WaterAid Ghana advocates women’s involvement in WASH governance

WaterAid Ghana has stressed the need for women’s involvement and active participation in managing Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) facilities within their communities.

In addressing the persistent challenge of sustaining WASH facilities, the organisation identified effective WASH governance as essential for ensuring their long-term viability.

Madam Fauzia Aliu, Policy, Campaigns, and Inclusion Manager for WaterAid Ghana, said despite the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) recommending at least 60 per cent female membership on Water and Sanitation Management Teams (WSMTs), women’s voices often remained unheard.

Speaking in Jirapa during a leadership training session for WSMT members from Gbare, Ul-Dantie, and Sabulli communities, she underscored the need for inclusive leadership of the WSMT.

The training, a collaborative initiative between WaterAid Ghana and Diageo is aimed to empower WSMTs to effectively manage solar-powered mechanised water systems in their communities.

It included leader
ship skills and practical exercises to address and overcome gender norms and stereotypes that hindered women’s active participation.

Madam Aliu noted the ineffectiveness of the current WSMTs and the poor condition of facilities, emphasising the necessity of incorporating women’s perspectives in WASH management.

‘Bringing the silent voices of those affected by dysfunctional facilities, particularly women, into the decision-making process is crucial,’ she stated.

Madam Aliu explained that ‘Women bear the brunt of lack of access to WASH related services such as travelling long distances for water, spending time in search of water, care for sick children and other tasks that limit their economic opportunities.’

She reiterated WaterAid Ghana’s commitment to partnering with other organisations to build and sustainably maintain WASH facilities, contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on water and sanitation and enhancing community living standards.

Mr James Nono, the representative of the Chief
of Gbare pledged commitment to supporting women’s active participation in WASH management, which underscored the importance of inclusive governance and the critical role of women in maintaining sustainable WASH services.

‘We will ensure that women’s contributions in the teams are heard and provide an environment for them to contribute to decisions related to WASH facility management in the community,’ he stated.

WaterAid Ghana also facilitated community dramas to raise awareness about the dire effects of gender norms and stereotypes in community development.

These performances received positive feedback, with community members recognising the benefits of shared responsibilities.

Madam Juliet Mwinsungma, a resident of Gbare recognized the need to support girl child education instead of marrying them off at early ages.

The project’s goal was to enhance access to improved WASH services and create an environment where women could thrive and to contribute to a balanced and equitable society.

By promoting gen
der equality and empowering women in WASH governance, WaterAid Ghana and its partners aim to ensure sustainable WASH services, support community development and improved living standards in the Jirapa Municipality.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Publisher says Gov Uba Sani’s leadership rewriting narrative in Kaduna

Gov. Uba Sani’s leadership is changing the narrative in Kaduna State, Mr Victor Bobai, publisher of Privilege Magazine, has said.

‘Gov Sani’s leadership carries everyone along. He is running an inclusive governance that makes everyone feels he has a stake,’ Bobai told newsmen on Sunday in Kaduna.

He said that Sani’s new narrative was bringing hope, progress, and positive change.

‘Privilege Magazine has created a platform that provides a unique opportunity to engage, converse, discuss, negotiate, propose, evaluate, ask questions, and seek solutions.

‘This platform goes beyond any individual, but Gov. Sani is focused on good policies. He is doing well, and we must say so,’ he said.

He declared that Sani’s administration ‘has good intention for the state’.

Bobai expressed joy that Kaduna now has a leader that treats everyone as an important stakeholder.

Bobai emphasised that Sani has the opportunity to rewrite history in the minds of Kaduna citizens and unite them to build a strong cohesive team.

‘The atmosphere in Kaduna has become refreshing and the stories being told have changed for the better.

‘The previous administration was marked by daily cries for justice. There was poverty, unemployment, insecurity, and neglect.

‘But, under Sani’s leadership, the situation has significantly improved.’

Bobai urged the people of Kaduna to rally behind Sani by offering their support and prayers for his continued success.

He praised Sani’s readiness to go the extra mile to bring meaningful change.

‘The people’s prayers and support are essential in ensuring that the positive momentum continues, and the state of Kaduna flourishes under Sani’s visionary leadership,’ he added. (NAN)

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

DR Congo army says it has thwarted attempted coup

The Democratic Republic of Congo army says it has quashed an attempted coup against President Felix Tshikedi in the capital Kinshasa, involving Congolese and foreign fighters.

DR Congo army spokesperson Brig Gen Sylavin Ekenge said on the state-run broadcaster RTNC TV that several suspects have been detained and the ‘situation is now under control’.

His statement comes hours after armed men attacked the house of Vital Kamerhe, the former chief of staff and close ally to President Tshisekedi early on Sunday morning.

Witnesses say a group of about 20 assailants in army uniform attacked the residence and an exchange of gunfire followed.

Local media reports said the assailants were members of the New Zaire Movement linked to formerly exiled politician Christian Malanga.

Two guards and an assailant were killed in the attack on Mr Kamerhe’s house, his spokesman and the Japanese ambassador said in posts on X.

President Tshisekedi has not made any public comment on the situation so far.

Source: Ghana News Age