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Disruption As Max Air Loses Landing Wheel In Abuja



Max Air

NSIB begins investigation

It was a chaotic scene at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja, yesterday, as Max Air airline had a serious incident on landing, and abruptly cordoned off the busy runway.

The emergency incident, which occurred at about 2:58 p.m., panicked onboard passengers, as much as it distressed all Abuja outbound and inbound passengers that were subsequently grounded for over seven hours.

The Guardian learnt that the Boeing 737 Max Air jet, with registration number 5N-MBD, and 149 souls onboard, took off from Yola Airport at 2:03pm, losing one of its left rear tyres.

An onboard passenger said the take off damage to a rear tyre was noticed by the passengers, “with many panicking and some started praying for safe landing.”

“The flight went well until it hit the Abuja runway, losing the second tyre, with more confusion for everyone on board. The roll was scary, and the left landing wheel was engulfed in flames.”

Emergency responders and Aerodrome Rescue and Fire-fighting Service (ARFFS), who had been intimated of the emergency landing, were on ground to put off the fire. All passengers and crew disembarked and safely evacuated on the runway.

Former President of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Mike Ogirima, who was also onboard, gave an account of the incident, saying the tyre burst occurred after takeoff at Yola Airport.

Ogirima said: “We thank God. We are still on the runway, and the pilot has reassured us. He has called for the stairs, and we are now disembarking from the runway to be evacuated to the airport building at the arrival hall.

“We bless God because we have witnessed the pull-out of the tyre right from the airport in Yola, and we went into a prayer session. I never announced it as a surgeon, so as not to cause any panic, but we bless God.”

Officials of the Abuja Airport, when contacted at 5 p.m., said efforts were on to usher in a heavy duty crane to safely tow the damaged equipment off the runway, and have the same reopened to domestic and international flight operations.

“As it is, we cannot just move the aircraft that has lost a landing wheel on the runway. It requires a lot of effort, but we are trying to do that as soon as possible,” one of the aerodrome engineers said.

General Manager, Public Relations of the Nigeria Safety Investigations Bureau (NSIB), Tunji Oketumbi, said the runway was temporarily shut for repairs.

Oketumbi confirmed that the aircraft busted two tyres, but has been safely evacuated from the runway.

He added that NSIB officers were probing the incident, and details would be made available to the general public.

As at press time yesterday, Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika, tweeted that the runway was due to be open in about an hour.

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Anambra Govt. Arrests Two Fake Doctors, Shuts Down Hospitals



The Anambra state government has arrested two fake medical doctors and sealed off their health facilities at Alor in Idemili South Local Government Area and Adazi-Enu in Anaocha Local Government Area of the state.

Dr Afam Obidike, the state’s commissioner for health, accompanied by some security operatives and members of the Anambra Joint Enforcement Team (ANJET), raided the areas on Friday night and arrested the suspects.

Speaking to newsmen on Saturday, the commissioner identified the suspects as Anayo Okwara, owner of Bright Land Hospital and Maternity Ltd in Alor and Igwe Ogbonna, owner of Favour of God Hospital and Maternity, Adazi-Enu.

He said that the suspects were operating the hospitals illegally in the state.

“Following investigation, it was discovered that Ogbonna is not even a medical doctor and does not have any medical knowledge.

“He also used his hospital as a nursing school, where students pay as much as N70,000 to N100,000 to study nursing. Some of the student nurses we met at the facility confirmed this.

“On Okwara, the second suspect, the president-general of Alor community, Chief Emmanuel Ojukwu, wrote to the ministry complaining about incessant deaths recorded at Bright Land Hospital.

“Okwara, first claimed that he was a homeopathic doctor, but later admitted that his medical certificates and license were forged when he was being questioned,” he said.

Mr Obidike said that five illegal health facilities had been shut down so far, saying that Gov. Chukwuma Soludo’s administration would not relent in its effort to flush out fake doctors operating across the state.

He said that the objective of the exercise was not to witch-hunt anyone but to ensure standards both in government and private hospitals in the state.

“It is unfortunate that death is an irreversible course and I do not understand why people who are not medical practitioners will continue to waste people’s lives because of greed and quest to make money through illegal means.

“We are sending out this warning to those operating illegally and parading themselves as medical doctors to close down their hospitals or face the full wrath of the law.

“Anambra is not a place for quacks to practice,” he said.

The commissioner thanked the community leaders and vigilante groups for the tip-off and urged residents to be vigilant and report such illegality in their areas.

He commended Mr Soludo for giving them the necessary support to execute the raid.

Mr Obidike said that the suspects would be charged to court.

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Abia LP Commends NLC For Calling Off Strike



The Abia State Chapter of the Labour Party, led by Ceekay Igara, on Sunday, commended the organised labour in the state for showing solidarity with the incoming government of Alex Otti by calling off her two-week old strike.

Igara, in a statement signed by Njoku Jerry Ajike, the state publicity secretary of the party, said it was a sign of the great change that is about to happen among the Abia state workforce.

He stated, “We, as the political arm of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress, consider this decision to call off the strike by the leadership of the TUC and NLC as a great act of patriotism and evidence of loyalty and support to the incoming Labour Party-led government of Dr Alex Otti.”

He explained that the leadership of the Congress arrived at the decision on May 27 after visiting the governor-elect, Alex Otti, at his residence.

“The incoming Executive Governor of Abia State, Dr. Alex Otti, had reassured the workers of his commitment to improving workers’ welfare without wavering,” the party assured Abians.

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Rivers Police Seal Ex- Lawmaker’s  Hotel, Entertainment Centre




Two entertainment centres, the CSKR Hotels and Priscy’s Bar and Suites both in Elekahia, Port Harcourt, Rivers State were early on Monday morning sealed by armed policemen.

Staff and lodgers at the two sealed facilities were forcefully ordered out of the premises by the security operatives who stormed there in a commando style.

The businesses are owned by a former member of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Jones Ogbonda.

Ogbonda is said to be a staunch supporter of the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar.

It was gathered that the heavily armed operatives, all dressed in black, are said to be from the C4i Intelligence unit of the state police command.

Our correspondent who visited one of the sealed premises (Priscy’s Bar and Suites) at about 6:55 am on Monday reports that heavily armed, stern-looking policemen occupied the entrance, while two white Hilux patrol vans were stationed there.

In a voice note sent to our correspondent, Ogbonda confirmed the incident, saying the managers of the facilities put calls across to him in the wee hours of Monday to break the news.

He stated,” On the early hours of 29th May 2023 at about 2:55 am, my phone rand and my manager informed me that men of the C4i tactical team of the Nigeria Police Force in about five patrol vans drive into the premises of  Priscy’s Bar and suites in Elekahia.

“They ordered guests in the rooms, customers in the club and staff in the outer bar out, that they have orders from the governor to seal the place.

“As I speak, they are still occupying the premises.

“I also received a call from the manager of CSKR hotels at Elekahia Housing Estate to the effect that men of the C4i of the Nigeria Police were at the hotel searching from room to room, ordering guests and staff out of the premises.

“That they have taken occupation under the orders of His Excellency. This is sad.”

Our correspondent reports that on 19th August 2022,  the Priscy’s Bar and Suites was sealed and some staff and customers were arrested and detained by security operatives.

The bar was sealed off for 11 days before it was allowed to reopen.

When contacted, the spokesperson of the State Police Command, Grace Iringe-Koko, said she will contact the Elekahia Police Division and get back to our reporter.

She has yet to do so as of the time of filing this report.


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