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South African President apologises to Nigerians over xenophobic attacks

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The President of South Africa, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, has just apologised to Nigeria over the xenophobic attacks in his country.

The apology was delivered to President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on Monday by Ramaphosa’s special envoy, Mr Jeff Radebe.

A meeting between Buhari and Radebe has just ended at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Punch reports.

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It was gathered that the special envoy comprising of former minister in the presidency, Jeff Radebe, Ambassador Kingsley Mmabolo and Dr. Khulu Mbatha, will also visit the following African countries;  Niger, Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia.

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The delegation delivered a message from President Ramaphosa regarding the incidents of violence that recently erupted in some parts of South Africa, which resulted in attacks on foreign nationals and destruction of property.

187 Nigerians were successfully evacuated from South Africa via an Air Peace Airline, following approval by President Muhammadu Buhari.

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Eid-El-Fitr: CAS charges troops on combat readiness

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The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has charged the Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole to be vigilant and combat-ready to guarantee security throughout the Eid-El-Fitr period and beyond in the country.

Abubakar made the call on Monday at the Maiduguri Air Force Base during the Eid el-Fitr lunch with troops of the Air Component.

Abubakar commended the troops for their commitment to carrying out the fight and urged them to sustain the tempo.
He said that the luncheon was in keeping with the tradition of celebrating the festive period with frontline troops to boost their morale and foster comradeship in their duty of securing the nation against criminal elements.

Abubakar said that in spite of the challenges of competing resources occasioned by the COVID-19 induced lockdown, the NAF through pragmatic planning and foresight, maintained the tempo of its operations, not only in the North East, but other parts of the country.

“I want to reiterate that not only are we going to sustain operations, but we will also continue to leap forward based on my key drivers.

“We have kept the pace in training of both air and ground crews, developed the Regiment specialty to defend our Bases and increased the force structure of the Service, whilst building more accommodation and office infrastructure to cope with the growth,” Abubakar said.

He said that NAF had also recruited about 11,000 personnel to increase its manpower disposition for services to the country within the last five years.

“I’m delighted to also observe that very soon we are going to get the Airforce flank flying in Damaturu as well to ensure that our aircraft do not have to come back to Maiduguri to refuel while fighting these bandits.

“Need I remind you all that our exploits would not have been possible without the support of the President and Commander-in-Chief, President Muhammadu Buhari, who has provided us with the resources required to perform our assigned duties.

“We can only show our appreciation for the President’s support to the Nigerian Air Force by remaining a disciplined force and exhibiting the highest level of professionalism in all our actions,” said Abubakar.

In his remarks, Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno, lauded the Chief of Air Staff, the Air Components Commander of the Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole and other personnel for their support in combating insurgency in Borno and Northeast in general.

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Zulum said that the epic efforts of the NAF was recognized and has been commended by the people of Borno.

“In addition to providing enabling environment to people of Borno state to do their normal activities, we also acknowledged the support of the NAF especially in capital projects to support displaced persons in the state.”

Zulum reiterated the commitment of his administration to continue to support NAF in achieving its desired objective in the fight against terrorism.

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Africa Day 2020: Buhari advocates for peace, security to achieve sustainable development

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President Muhammadu Buhari says Peace, security, unity, and harmony are prerequisites for development in Africa

Malam Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, in a statement in Abuja on Monday, said President Buhari stated this in a message to African leaders to mark the ”Africa Day 2020”.

The event was commemorated by the African Union Commission in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO).

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The Nigerian leader, therefore, called for peace on the continent as a prerequisite for sustainable development.

According to him, Africa has given the world a new hope by choosing the theme ”Silencing the Guns in the context of the COVID-19” for this year’s Africa Day.

He stressed the need for African leaders to ensure that every effort is made to ensure the success of silencing the guns on the continent.

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He also emphasized the need to sensitize Africans about the inseparable connection between peace and development.

President Buhari urged citizens all over the continent to innovate on how ”Silencing the Guns” could be used to achieve peace and grow African economies.

He also urged regional economic groups, civil society organizations and the private sector in Africa to take full ownership of the theme of this year’s celebration to strengthen collaborative efforts among member-countries of the African Union.

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Africa Day is observed annually on May 25, to commemorate the founding of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the precursor of the African Union, which was created on May 25, 1963 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

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COVID-19: Gov. Obiano’s aide commends monarch for distributing palliatives to PWDs

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Mr. Chuks Ezewuzie, Special Adviser (Disability Matters) to Anambra Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, has commended the Traditional Ruler of Ifitedunu, Igwe Emeka Ilouno, for gifts given to Persons With Disabilities (PWDs).

Ezewuzie gave the commendation during the presentation of COVID-19 palliatives by Ilouno in Ifitedunu, Dunukofia Local Government Area of Anambra on Monday.

The governor’s aide recalled that the governor recently constituted Disability Community COVID-19 Response Team to ensure that every class of persons in the state was not left out in the COVID-19 palliatives.

He said the gesture shown by the monarch would go a long way to reduce hardship associated with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the lives of persons resident in Ifitedunu.

“These food items, bags of rice, and tubers of yam from Ilouno would sustain the special persons well enough to be thankful to God. It is well appreciated,” he said.

According to reports other items distributed at the event, courtesy of World Ebony Network, were face masks, farm inputs, fertilizer, lime, maize, cucumber, watermelon seeds.

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Ezewuzie appealed to other traditional rulers in the state to seek People Living With Disabilities in their communities and support them in order to give a meaning to their lives at these bad times.

He said that the monarch had remained at the forefront to support policies and programs of the government, especially as it affected disabled persons.

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Earlier, Ilouno said the step was taken in response to the need to help the disabled persons in the community to cushion the effect of coronavirus challenges.

He said that some individuals, as well as community efforts, helped to make the event a success.

The monarch reassured the group that his community would not relent in showing kindness to them at all times.

He encouraged the people to religiously observe preventive measures issued against the virus and advised the group to embark on subsistence farming to enable them equally cushion post-COVID-19 effects.

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Ilouno said that he was confident that the Anambra government would successfully manage all COVID-19 cases in the state.

Some of the beneficiaries, Stanley Obi, Arinze Nwafor, and Innocent Okafor, commended the traditional ruler for his kind gesture toward the group and assured him that they would observe the preventive measures.

Obi, who is the Co-ordinator of the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities in the state, said that life had never been easy for people living with disabilities.

He said that they would ever remain grateful to the monarch for his kind gesture to their members.

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