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Air Force Dismisses Boko Haram’s Claim Of Shooting Down Fighter Jet

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Edward Gabkwet, the Spokesperson of the Nigeria Air Force (NAF), has dismissed claims by terror group, Boko Haram that it gunned down the missing Alpha jet, which disappeared from the radar earlier in the week.

Recall that on Wednesday, March 31, 2021, it was reported that two personnel on the missing 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.

Boko Haram had claimed responsibility for downing the aircraft in a viral video.

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.

But while claiming that the aircraft which lost radar contact, was providing support for ground troops fighting Boko Haram insurgents in the North-East region when it disappeared, Gabkwet said the video released by Boko Haram was falsified.

In a statement made available to members of the public, Gabkwet added, “Intelligence report gathered by the Nigerian Air Force indicates that the Alpha Jet aircraft (NAF475) that went off the radar with two crew members on board on March 31, 2021, might have crashed. The cause of the crash as well as the whereabouts of the two pilots remain unknown.

Gabkwet in his reaction to Boko Haram’s claims insisted that the video was fraught with inconsistencies that established it as fake, adding that the lush vegetation in one of the videos suggested it was not in the North-East.

“We have seen some videos but there is nothing that has proven that the aircraft in those clips belongs to us, or have you seen a Nigerian Air Force aircraft number or the body of Air Force pilot or have you seen any Air Force uniform? Until we get all these details, we are not going to go into speculation.

“That video could have been shot somewhere. I have seen four videos so far; one of them has lush vegetation in the background, and I wonder where they have such vegetation in the Northeast. Unless they did something and they are releasing the clips bit by bit, we are waiting.

“Except we have evidence, because like I said, these persons have families and  you cannot go to their wives, parents or wards, without concrete evidence. There must be something to show,” the statement further quoted him as saying.

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Amid Terrorism Scandal, Pantami Lifts Ban On SIM Card Registration

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Amid Terrorism Scandal, Pantami Lifts Ban On SIM Card Registration

Isa Pantami, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy has lifted the ban on SIM card registration with a mandatory National Identity Number (NIN).

According to Dr. Femi Adeluyi, the minister’s Technical Assistant (Information Technology), who made this disclosure in a statement seen by Newsrand, starting from April 19, 2021, the approval for the activation of the new SIM card registration will take effect.

The statement read: “For IoT/M2M activations, SIM security protocols would be implemented on the SIM profile to ensure that SIMs can only be used for point-to-point data services specific to the URL they are working with. All other services will be barred.

“In the event that a data-only service is particular to individual use (eg home car tracking, WiFi, MiFi services, etc), the standard NIN registration process will be followed. A Telecoms Master will also be required for Corporates requiring IoT/M2M activations.”

Speaking on the NIN registration progress, Adeluyi added that the biometric verification process had been slower than anticipated, owing largely to the non-adherence of many previous SIM biometric capture processes to the National Identity Management Commission standards.

He said the revised policy would ensure that operators conform to the required standards for biometric capture.

He stated, “The implementation of the policy will commence on Monday, 19th of April 2021. The issuance of new SIMs and other suspended activities will resume on the same date, as long as verification is done and the guidelines are fully adhered to.

“The minister has also directed Nigerian Communications Commission and NIMC to ensure that the provisions of the policy are strictly followed by all operators and subscribers.”

As reported on Newsrand, Pantami had been linked with global extremist groups –the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, after declaring support for them in his past preachings.

Inquisitive Nigerians are however curious if the minister’s move was to divert attention from his terrorism scandal…

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Daily Headline News (Thursday,15-4-2021)

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Here are the top 5 news of the day.

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‘FG Still Disturbed Over Missing Chibok Girls’ – Presidency

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'FG Still Disturbed About Missing Chibok Girls' - Presidency

The Presidency has given hope to parents and guardians of the missing Chibok girls, that their release is still a work in progress as the Government is also bothered.

This was disclosed in a State House Press Release in their official Twitter handle, as the Presidency gives reassurance to parents and all concerned citizens.

READ ALSO: Police Say Rescued Trafficked Children Are Yet To Be Claimed

“No one is giving up hope here. Efforts to secure their release through various channels and activities of the security and intelligence agencies remain on course.

“The recent decisive push by the military against the terrorists gives hope that a breakthrough is possible and could happen anytime soon.

The government asks Nigerians to render aid and prayers to the military and understand with them as they discharge their historic mandate to quickly finish off the insurgency war and free all citizens held hostage.

 

HOW IT  ALL STARTED:

On the 14th night of April 2014, seven years from today, 276 female students from the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State were kidnapped.

The kidnappers broke into the school, pretending to be guards, although according to sources, a few hours prior to the raid, residents in Chibok had received phone calls from neighboring villages warning them of the incoming attack, who had witnessed convoys containing armed insurgents driving in the direction of the town.

57 of the schoolgirls escaped by jumping from the trucks in which they were being transported, while the others were being transported to Sambisa Forest around Lake chad.

The girls were forced into marriage with members of Boko Haram, with a supposed”bride price” of ₦2,000 each.

In 2015 a video of proof of life was released when Stephen Davis contacted the militants’ commanders during negotiation to release the girls. Some of the girls were down with an illness.

After negotiations, the deal fell through as the girls were unable to gain freedom.

In 2017, Rakiya Abubakar, One of the kidnapped girls was reported to have been found by the Nigerian Army along with a 6-month-old baby while they were interrogating suspects detained in army raids on the Sambisa forest.

82 further schoolgirls were released on 6 May following successful negotiations between the Nigerian government and Boko Haram, involving the exchange of five Boko Haram leaders.

2018, Salomi Pogu, one of the Chibok girls was rescued by the Nigerian military near Pulka, Borno State. She was also found with a child.

Concerned Nigerians still clamor for the release of the remaining 112 schoolgirls, as the Government reassures them of their unrelenting search.

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