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NAF attack jets destroy Boko Haram vehicle, fighters near lake Chad

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The Nigerian Air Force says the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation LAFIYA DOLE has destroyed a Boko Haram vehicle and neutralised scores of the insurgents at Tumbun Rego on the fringes of Lake Chad in Borno.

Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, NAF Director of Public Relations and Information who disclosed this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja, said that the operation was carried out on Wednesday.

“As Operation THUNDER STRIKE 2 entered the tenth day on Sept. 12, the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation LAFIYA DOLE has recorded significant successes against Boko Haram Terrorists (BHT) in air raids conducted at Tumbun Rego on the fringes of Lake Chad in Borno State.

“The attacks were conducted in successive waves, involving Nigerian Air Force (NAF) F-7Ni and Alpha Jet combat aircraft.

“As well as Mi-35M Helicopter Gunships supported by Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platforms, resulting in the destruction of a BHT vehicle and neutralisation of scores of insurgents.

“Characteristic of the insurgents’ tactics, the BHT fighters were initially well camouflaged under foliage and inside abandoned buildings within the settlement.

“However, timely intelligence enabled the ISR platforms to track and locate one of the BHT vehicles as it was entering the settlement,” he said.

Daramola said that the vehicle was engaged and destroyed by the attack aircraft.

“Subsequent waves of attack targeted the scores of insurgents that emerged from their hiding places after the attack on the vehicle. These were engaged in turns by the attack aircraft and neutralised,” he said.

In another development, Daramola said the ATF conducted several ISR and Close Air Support missions throughout the night of Sept. 12 and early morning of Sept.13, in support of troops of the 145 Nigerian Army Battalion, ensuring that the BHTs’ attack at Damasak was thwarted.

He said the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, was in Maiduguri Sept.13 to again assess progress of the operation as well as boost the morale of the front-line troops.

The NAF spokesman said Abubakar seized the opportunity to commend the Command and personnel of the ATF for their efforts.

He said the CAS also urged them to sustain the momentum of operations with a view to locating and destroying all remnants of the insurgents within the fringes of Lake Chad and other areas in Northern Borno.

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NABDA Set To Develop Sustainable Value Chain For Gum Arabic-DG

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BY SARAUNIYA G USMAN, ABUJA

The National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) says the agency is poised to use biotechnology tools in developing
a sustainable value chain for improved productivity of gum Arabic in the country.

The acting Director-General of NABDA,Prof. Alex Akpa,said this at the 1st National Gum Arabic Biosciences and Biotechnology Stakeholders Session on Monday in Abuja.

The theme of the session is “Sustainable Exploitation of Gum Arabic for Socio-economic Development of Nigeria’’ which has in attendance, experts from
different fields as genomics, phylogeny, agronomy and related areas.

According to him, the goal of the session is to aggregate the perspectives and research results of experts in the fields on the best approach to carry out
the exploration and exploitation for gum Arabic for socio-economic development.

He said that “potentially, gum Arabic is an export crop that can add value to various sectors of Nigeria’s economy, most especially in the food
industry, biomedicine and afforestation, thereby contributing to national Gross Domestic Products (GDP).

“Gum Arabic is one of the most important crops in the mitigation of climate, hence the priority need for its massive cultivation in strategic areas of the country at the time in our history.

“NABDA is positioned to lead the use of biotechnological tools in developing a sustainable value chain of the crop for improved productivity.

“Specifically, shortening the maturity age of the crop, massive production of the seedling using tissue culture, enhancing the quality of the product
at molecular level, phylogenetic studies, among others, shall be our priorities.’’

Akpa said that the engagement was expected to lead to the development of actionable work plans on the crop to the benefit of the nation at large.

The acting Director, Agricultural Biotechnology Department, NABDA, Dr Nasiru Ibrahim,said that the meeting was to get all those involved in one way or the other in the field to make impactful inputs that would lead to sustainable research and development of the crop.

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Buhari speaks on INEC, elections, as details of meeting with EU observers emerge

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President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari, Tuesday, in Abuja told the European Union Observer Mission (EOM) to Nigeria’s elections starting in February, that he was impressed by the preparations made by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and was optimistic that the electoral body would deliver on its mandate of a credible poll.

Receiving the EOM, led by the Chief Observer and member of the European Parliament, Maria Arena, at the State House, the President said he had listened earlier in the day, to the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, when he briefed the National Council of State.

He said, “I am happy and impressed with the briefing he gave. I hope that the confidence he exuded and the intellect he brought to bear on the Report will be justified at the end of the day.”

The President told the EU delegation that Nigeria had grown its electoral system incrementally, getting better, year after year.

“Having participated in elections four times in the past, I would say that since 2015, technology has helped the credibility of our elections,” he said.

Buhari said that Nigeria with over 250 cultural groups across religions and ethnic groups, with each group canvassing for identity and primacy in the affairs of the nation, “patriotism demands that we identify the nation’s best interest and go with it.”

He stressed that the governing All Progressives Congress, APC, administration had the good sense of identifying the national interest to include security, peace and stability, improved economy, jobs creation and the campaign against corruption, noting that the party was not wrong in 2015, and is not wrong going into the election this year with the same issues in its campaigns.

The President thanked the delegation for taking interest in Nigeria’s elections, and in the affairs of the nation generally.

The EOM team, accompanied by Ambassador Ketil Karlsen, Head, European Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, said that the EU had observed every election in Nigeria since 1999, and had come here again for the next one, following an invitation by INEC.

The delegation promised impartiality and neutrality in the monitoring of the elections.

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Housemaid exposed her boss for allegedly trying to use her for ritual

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A housemaid, Mary Mulembe reported her madam a business woman named Bridget Banda and a single mother of one to the police of ritual activities after she overheard her over the phone planning to sacrifice her life and a fellow worker.

Officers later followed up the issue yesterday morning and got the woman arrested after shocking the police with some fetish items found at her residence in Kabulonga area of Lusaka, Zambia. Believed to be used for rituals.

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