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I collected N26m from NSA office for Fani-Kayode, Police officer tells court – Vanguard

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VanguardI collected N26m from NSA office for Fani-Kayode, Police officer tells courtVanguardABUJA – Full-blown trial of the former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, kicked-off before the Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday, with a police officer, Mr. Victor Ehiabhi, narrating how he helped the defendant to receive N26million ...Femi Fani-Kayode Witness admits collecting N26m for ex-ministerPulse NigeriaDasukigate: I Collected N26m For Fani-Kayode - Witness Tells CourtSaharaReporters.comall 4 news articles »

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253 Nigerians deported from Libya arrive Lagos Airport – Vanguard

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Vanguard253 Nigerians deported from Libya arrive Lagos AirportVanguard253 Nigerians, who have been stranded in Libya were Tuesday deported back to Nigeria aboard an Airbus A333-200 with registration number 5A LAT. A deportee from Libya on arrival at the Murtala Muhammed Airport on Tuesday Photo Lamidi Bamidele.Fresh batch of 253 Nigerians return from LibyaGuardian (blog)all 2 news articles »

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Why court sent ex-Gov. Aliyu, PDP governorship candidate to prison – The Eagle Online

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The Eagle OnlineWhy court sent ex-Gov. Aliyu, PDP governorship candidate to prisonThe Eagle OnlineAfter a seven-hour deliberation on bail application, a Minna High Court Judge, Justice Aliyu Mayaki, has ordered that former Governor of Niger State, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, alongside the Peoples Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate in the 2015 ...Court remands Ex-Niger Gov, Babangida Aliyu In PrisonCHANNELS TELEVISIONCourt remands former Niger Gov, Aliyu in prison custodyDaily TrustCourt sends Babangida, one other to prisonDaily Post NigeriaPremium

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Nigeria to welcome 4G network after Airtel partners with ZTE

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Airtel and ZTE to roll out 4G network in Nigeria following a partnership agreement (Image Source: http://pctechmag.com) Airtel Networks Limited and ZTE have announced a strategic partnership  to launch 4G (fourth generation wireless mobile telecommunications technology) in Nigeria. Having beeen the first telecoms operator in the country to complete a successful 4G trial, in Lagos in December 2012, Airtel is looking to continue to influence the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria, which is in line with their commitment to pioneer innovation and lead a mobile Internet revolution in Nigeria. Commenting on the partnership with ZTE, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya, said, “This is a new dawn...

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Nigeria: How We Spent Kano Emirate Funds, Emir Sanusi-Led Council Explains – AllAfrica.com

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CHANNELS TELEVISIONNigeria: How We Spent Kano Emirate Funds, Emir Sanusi-Led Council ExplainsAllAfrica.comThe Kano State Emirate Council on Monday defended itself over an allegation of financial recklessness, saying it is not true that it has spent over N6 billion in less than three years since former governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Muhammadu Sanusi, ...Thoughts of A Modern Muslim King: Kano Emir Schools MuslimsNews Ghanaall 43 news articles »

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Zimbabwe: Man Escapes Crocodile By Shoving Reed Down Its Throat

Officials have warned villagers living near the Save River in southeastern Zimbabwe to move around in pairs for their own safety after a man was savaged by a crocodile, a report says.

Vhusani Munyire, 28, only managed to escape the crocodile by shoving a reed down its throat, says the state-controlled Manica Post.

The crocodile had sunk its jaws into Munyire's leg as he crossed the Save River last Saturday.

"Munyire fought back and with the reptile's jaws exposed, he inserted a reed in its wide open mouth," the newspaper said.

Continued the report: "In an instant it released its grip and Munyire made his way out of the water and crawled to safety on the sandy shore."

He's being treated at a local clinic.

Photos published by the newspaper, with the bone of the leg exposed, indicates how serious the wound is and that it's clear he needs further medical attention.

South African hunter Scott van Zyl is believed to have been taken by a crocodile on the banks of the Limpopo River in Zimbabwe earlier this month.

The recent rains that have pounded Zimbabwe caused flooding in the south of the country and rising river and dam levels elsewhere.

This can mean that crocodiles shift location to places where they are not normally seen.



Govt Anticipates Bumper Maize Harvest

After years of relying on food handouts, Zimbabwe expects this year to have a substantial maize harvest. But the… Read more »

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Buhari is plotting soft-landing for Babachir, Oke through Osinbajo panel – CACOL – NAIJ.COM

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NAIJ.COMBuhari is plotting soft-landing for Babachir, Oke through Osinbajo panel – CACOLNAIJ.COMThe Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL has said that presidential committee investigating the discovery of $43.4m in Lagos and the award of contracts under the Presidential Initiative on the North East, is a ploy by President ...VP Osinbajo Panel Begins Probe

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Cassava: Over 100 trained as spray service providers

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Participants taking instructions during caliberation using water

Close to a hundred people have trained as spray service providers on herbicides application, safety and use in Abia state, Nigeria.
The training, which came at the onset of cassava planting season, was conducted by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture led Cassava Weed Management Project in partnership with the National Root Crops Research Institute, Umudike; National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC); and the Abia State Agricultural Development Program.
The two-day training, which was implemented in two locations— Umuahia and Isuikwuato LGA — covered areas such as the different types of weed species, herbicides, and tips on application, calibration, and safety. A practical session on calibration was conducted to help participants understand the principles and importance of calibration.
The Program Manager, Abia ADP, Mr Bato Onyemaobi said the training aligned with the state government’s agricultural development program.
He described improved weed control as a critical component of cassava production, adding that without good weed control farmers won’t be able to make profit from farming.
Mr Nnamdi Udueze, Chairman of Isuikwuato Local Government Area also commended the IITA Cassava Weed Management Project for organising the training, and pledged to work with the team in his domain.
Located in South East Nigeria, Abia state like other states in Nigeria has embarked on economic diversification with more attention to agricultural development.
Prof Friday Ekeleme, Principal Investigator of the IITA Cassava Weed Management Project said on Thursday that the training was aimed at empowering farmers with the skills to control weeds while at the same time protecting themselves and the environment.
Prof Ekeleme noted that Abia farmers would benefit tremendously from agriculture with improved weed management, adding that “the objective of the IITA Cassava Weed Management Project is to address the drudgery caused by the use of short handled hoe.”
In Abia State, like several other states in Nigeria, the use and application of herbicides is growing as human labour for weeding gets scarce in rural communities, no thanks to rural-urban migration.
The IITA Cassava Weed Management Project, which is now in its fourth year, is tackling the weed menace using best-bet agronomic practices, use of simple motorised weeders, and the use of safe and environmentally friendly herbicides.
Godwin Atser, Communication and Knowledge Exchange Expert to the IITA Cassava Weed Management Project, said the training was timely.
“This is the beginning of the cassava season and with this training, spray service providers will be better equipped to control weeds,” he said.
NAFDAC representative, Mr Chukwuemeka Onwoasoanya, urged participants to pay attention to the training. He pledged NAFDAC’s commitment to ensuring that only safe and environmentally friendly herbicides are used in Nigeria, and encouraged participants to always look out for NAFDAC’s registration number before buying any herbicides.

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South Sudan: There Are No Clear Winners in War

By Kajo Keji Country

With their faces and clothes caked in dust after a long and gruelling bus journey, we're greeted by dozens of hungry and tired-looking rebels at a camp near the South Sudan-Uganda border.

Carrying AK-47 assault rifles, machetes, grenade launchers and even bows and arrows, the rebels, who have been brought in as reinforcements, have no time to rest and quickly prepare for the front lines.

Their commanders are uncomfortable that government troops are only 15km away.

The rebels belong to The Sudan People's Liberation Movement-in-Opposition (SPLM-IO) group, the country's main rebel group, who are fighting against government soldiers, also known as The Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA).

The SPLA is historically a liberating force that formed in the 1980s to fight the government of Sudan. It helped the South gain independence in 2011 but a civil war broke out soon after, in 2013. The conflict was triggered when President Salva Kiir, a Dinka by ethnicity, accused his then Vice President Riek Machar, a Nuer, of plotting a coup against his government.

A peace deal between the two sides was finally reached in early 2016 and Machar reinstated as vice-president. That did not last. On the eve of independence celebrations in July, renewed fighting between troops loyal to the two clashed in the capital Juba setting off another wave of violence that has displaced millions of South Sudanese.

That's how Kajo Keji, a county of more than 200,000 people (according to a 2008 census), got caught up in the fighting.

More than 100,000 people have fled from that area to neighbouring Uganda. Others, however, are staying at camps for displaced people in South Sudan close to the border.

It's at one of these camps that we meet Jennifer Pitta. She was making bean stew for nine children.

When the food is ready - she serves them a small portion. I know for sure it's hardly enough for all of them but she says the children have to eat what they get.

She told us her oldest son was killed in January by men dressed in military uniforms. She was not able to bury him because she had to take his children and run.

"That's what saddens me the most and the fact that he used to help me get food and now I have to do it all by myself."

IN PICTURES: Nowhere to run for the children of South Sudan

On the day we visited, rebel commanders and administrative leaders who took control of the area in December were meeting the community. They were received with songs and chants of "Viva SPLM-IO".

I asked Jennifer, who was not part of the fanfare, who she supports - government or rebels? Her answer was one I've come to frequently hear from many South Sudanese.

"The problem is you box us into taking sides. It's either I support the government or the rebels. If government soldiers come here now, they would kill us because they think we're rebels. Same thing will happen if rebels take territories the government controls. We don't get to choose who comes to our areas to take over our lives. We just have to co-exist with them and hope they live with us in peace."

The rebel leaders we spoke to say they are fighting for the rights of ordinary citizens such as Jennifer. They believe that the president and his administration have alienated other tribes of South Sudan in favour of the Dinka, who they say control the state.

But there are seemingly no winners in this war. The president and his government are sitting uncomfortably in Juba - ruling a deeply divided nation, dealing with increased violence, a devastating famine, a crumbling economy and an international community that is getting fed up with what looks like a failing state.

The SPLM-IO is not fairing much better. The movement is facing internal struggles leading to defections. It's armed wing is reportedly running out of weapons and ammunition and members of the movement are becoming increasingly disillusioned in the absence of their leader Riek Machar who is in exile in South Africa.

We leave the rebel fighters in an upbeat mood. They were preparing to feast, drink, then head off to the trenches. They tell us that their morale is high and victory is coming.

A week after our visit - I receive a call from one of the administrative leaders, Governor Frank Matata. Government troops have advanced and have tried to take the barracks where we were.

If that happens, it could mean bad news for civilians living in the area. They may be forced to seek refuge in Uganda after holding on for so long to a country they don't want to leave.

About 3.5 million South Sudanese have been uprooted from their homes. Families of thousands who have died are still grieving and looking for answers. Many people are starving because they cannot go to their farms. Children are not going to school.

Those are the biggest losers in South Sudan's war - and that's a sad reality.

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South Africa : 20 children killed in a bus crash near Pretoria

Subscribe to France 24 now: http://f24.my/youtubeEN FRANCE 24 live news stream: all the latest news 24/7 http://f24.my/YTliveEN South African emergency services say at least 20 school children have been killed in the capital Pretoria, after the minibus they were travelling in collided with a truck The internet’s back in Cameroon’s …

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Strategy on protection, return and recovery for the North-East Nigeria – February 2017 – ReliefWeb

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ReliefWebStrategy on protection, return and recovery for the North-East Nigeria - February 2017ReliefWebA series of consultations, under the technical support and guidance of UNDP and UNHCR, took place in Abuja, Borno, Adamawa and Yobe. These discussions, initiated based on a request by the Resident Coordinator (RC) during his recent visit to North-East ...[ April 20, 2017 ] NEWS ANALYSIS: How safe is Sambisa forest now? Latest NewsNIGERIAN TRIBUNE (press release) (blog)Boko

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Nigeria: Could “the rift” derail President Buhari’s agenda?

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Analysts disagree as to whether Nigeria’s executive-legislative battles are a sign of democratic maturity or immaturity.  Tensions have risen between the National Assembly and executive branch. Credit: IMF Staff Photo/Stephen Jaffe. In Nigeria, several elements of President Muhummadu Buhari’s agenda have ground to a halt amidst disagreements between the executive and legislative arms of government. The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) control both the branches, but over the past few weeks, tensions have risen as the National Assembly ...

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Africa: The Unbearable Cost of Drought in Africa

Photo: Kate Holt/ UNICEF

A mother holds up an empty cooking pot as she crouches alongside her daughter inside their makeshift home at a settlement near the town of Ainabo, Somalia, Thursday 9 March 2017.

By Baher Kamal

Rome — Nearly 50 per cent of all emergency multilateral food assistance to Africa is due to natural disasters, with advancing droughts significantly threatening both livelihoods and economic growth, warns the African Union through its ground-breaking extreme weather insurance mechanism designed to help the continent's countries resist and recover from the ravages of drought.

The mechanism, known as the African Risk Capacity (ARC) provides participating African states with quick-disbursing funds in the event of drought, and assists countries in developing drought response contingency plans to implement timely and effective responses.

"The result is significant economic and welfare benefits for participating countries and vulnerable households."

As currently structured, ARC reports, the cost of responding to extreme weather events in Africa, particularly droughts, is borne largely by the international community.

To give an order of magnitude using World Food Programme (WFP) operations as a proxy for international aid flows, in 2012 WFP assisted 54.2 million people in Africa, spending US $2.7 billion -66 per cent of WFP's global expenditure that year, it adds.

Droughts significantly threaten record Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in sub-Saharan Africa, ARC warned, while explaining that 1-in-10 year drought event could have an estimated adverse impact of 4 per cent on the annual GDP of Malawi for example, with even larger impacts for 1-in-15 and 1-in-25 year events.

"Such decreased productivity detracts from economic growth, causes major budget dislocation, erodes development gains and resilience, and requires additional emergency aid from the international community in the future." One dollar spent on early intervention through ARC saves 4.40 dollars spent after a crisis unfolds.

Devastating Effects for Households

The African Union's extreme weather insurance mechanism also informs that at the household level, the consequences of drought can be devastating in countries with low resilience where large sectors of population rely on rain-fed agriculture for their livelihood.

Experts from Oxford University and International Food Policy Research Institute conducted a cost-benefit analysis (CBA) to examine household coping actions when faced with a drought, and the likely long-term cost impacts of these actions, according to ARC.

The study estimated the economic benefits of early intervention and thus protecting a household's economic growth potential -that is, intervening in time to prevent households' negative coping actions such as reduced food consumption, livestock death, and distressed productive asset sales, which, in the absence of external assistance, have increasingly pronounced negative consequences.

"The CBA calculated that the economic benefit of aid reaching households within the critical three months after harvest could result in nearly 1,300 dollars per household assisted in terms of protected economic gains."

A further analysis shows the potential benefit of ARC outweighs the 4.4 times compared to traditional emergency appeals for assistance, as a result of reduced response times and risk pooling.

Lake Chad Basin - Extreme Emergency

The ARC report about the impact of droughts in Africa came out shortly before the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) chief's visit to some of the affected areas in North-Eastern Nigeria, where conflict has forced an estimated 2.5 million people to leave their homes and livelihoods.

The Sub-Saharan Lake Chad Basin, which is the main source of water in the region, between 1963 and 2013 lost 90 per cent of its water mass, with massive impact on the population, according to FAO.

Across the region, (encompassing parts of Nigeria, Cameroun, Chad and Niger), which is currently faced with one of the largest humanitarian crises in the world, some 7 million people risk severe hunger during the lean season and require immediate food and livelihood assistance.

"There are fifty thousand people on the brink of famine in the region, on a scale from 1 to 5, where 5 is famine, they are already at level 4", FAO director general Graziano da Silva warned.

Following three years of drought, agriculture including livestock and fisheries can no longer be left unattended, he said.

Agriculture produces food and sustains 90 per cent of the local population. Many of the people in the area have already sold their possessions including seeds and tools and their animals have been killed by the armed groups.

"Pastoralists and fishers need to be supported as well for animal restocking. Otherwise if internally displaced persons don't have their animals and their jobs back, they will remain in the refugee camps, " the FAO DG emphasised.

Contribution to Long-term Resilience and Growth in Africa Low resilience households must grow by more than 3 per cent annually in real terms to withstand a 1-in-5 year drought.

For many countries in Africa, a small shock in terms of a rainfall deficit or elevated food prices can precipitate a call for a major humanitarian intervention and emergency response. The resilience in such countries is significantly low such that they struggle through most years, let alone during a drought.

For example, in a country such as Niger, where households currently display very low resilience, the ARC team has calculated that to event, the income of the most vulnerable households would have to grow by an annual average of 3.4 per cent over the next five years in real terms to build sufficient resilience in order to adequately cope without requiring external assistance.

In the meantime, insurance is not the 'correct' tool to deal with this chronic risk. In order to improve such countries' resilience to natural disasters, thereby enabling sustained growth on the continent, two key elements are required: risk management and investment.

Drought, a complex and slowly encroaching natural hazard with significant and pervasive socio-economic and environmental impacts, is known to cause more deaths and displace more people than any other natural disaster, according to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

By 2050, the demand for water is expected to increase by 50 per cent, it reports, adding that as populations increase, especially in dryland areas, more and more people are becoming dependent on fresh water supplies in land that are becoming degraded.

"Water scarcity is one of the greatest challenges of the twenty-first century. The Global Risks report published by World Economic Forum ranks 'water crisis' as the top risk in the coming decade and it has a place in the Sustainable Development Goals where a specific goal has been dedicated to water."

Drought and water scarcity are considered to be the most far-reaching of all natural disasters, causing short and long-term economic and ecological losses as well as significant secondary and tertiary impacts, UNCCD informs.

The African Risk Capacity was established as a Specialized Agency of the African Union to help Member States improve their capacities to better plan, prepare and respond to extreme weather events and natural disasters, therefore protecting the food security of their vulnerable populations.

Follow @https://twitter.com/Baher_Kamal

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Babachir’s suspension a welcome development, long overdue – Senate – Vanguard

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VanguardBabachir's suspension a welcome development, long overdue – SenateVanguardABUJA-THE Senate, Wednesday, declared the suspension slammed on the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Engineer David Babachir Lawal, by President Muhammadu Buhari as a welcome development. Secretary to the Government of ...Nigeria's Buhari orders corruption probe over humanitarian fundsThe Star OnlineNigeria's Buhari suspends spy chief after $43m found in LagosFiji Broadcasting CorporationBabachir: Sack other corrupt ministers, officials in your cabinet now, Ozekhome tells BuhariNAIJ.COMFinancial

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South Africa: Organ Trafficking Hoax Sparks a Massive Spike in Donors

Photo: Pixabay

(File photo).

Why languish in illness when the poor could be used to help you live long and prosper? a dubious advertisement advocated.

A "blatant" activity, which has upset countless people working in the transplantation of human organs industry, has had an unintended consequence: it has led to an almost 40% increase in donor registrations, according to the Organ Donor Foundation of South Africa (ODF).

Towards the end of March, Capetonians were handed flyers, which were also doing rounds on the internet, advertising "healthy, reliable and fully tested" human organs that could be "sourced within 168 hours".

Hearts were on sale for just over R1.5-million, kidneys for R3.5-million and a pair of eyeballs for R20000. "Life is a gift that you deserve. So why languish in poor health when the poor could be used to help you live long and prosper?" the pamphlet read.

The New Day Clinic in Cape Town, which provided a cellphone number, offered a "hassle-free experience" along with "an unlimited supply" of organs.

The ODF was inundated with calls, emails and social media comments about the clinic. When the organisation investigated the clinic, it found it was an elaborate ploy to advertise the movie Bypass, South Africa's first medical thriller.

"The clinic is a hoax, but the underlying issue at hand is very real," says Bypass spokesperson Cara Fowler.

The campaign set out to promote the film and to illuminate the dark underworld of organ trafficking in South Africa and the rest of Africa, she says.

But the macabre trick has paid off.

ODF's director of communications, Joost Vermeulen, who issued a press statement after its investigation, says there were 620 donor registrations in the week following the media release - 38% more than the organisation normally receives in a week.

There is a dire need for organ donors, says the foundation's executive director, Samantha Nicholls.

The ODF collates an annual list of people waiting for transplants and those who have been helped. According to its records, only 12.5% of needy recipients in 2015 received an organ. There are about 4 800 adults and children on the list.

A 2007 World Health Organisation report revealed that a shortage of organs globally has led to the development of an international illegal organ trade that exploits the poorest.

Although Nicholls says the foundation is not aware of any current illegal organ trafficking in the country, Bypass director Shane Vermooten says his film, which will be released on May 12, is inspired by true events.

In November 2010, Saint Augustine's Hospital in Durban pleaded guilty to having knowingly allowed its employees to be used in an organ trafficking scheme.

The hospital admitted that 109 illegal kidney transplants took place at the facility between 2001 and 2003, according to a case analysis published in the Medical Law Review journal in 2011. Five of the transplants involved the removal of kidneys from minors.

The syndicate lured desperate people into South Africa. Once in the country, buyers, who were mostly from Israel, would receive a kidney from a willing donor for about R1.4-million each.

Vermooten, who is now working with the ODF to advocate donor registrations, says he was compelled to do so by the secrecy of these illegal operations, which often happen in well-established hospitals.

In 2010, the World Health Organisation estimated that 11 000 organs were sold on the black market. This amounts to one organ every hour, every day of the year.

Vermooten explains: "When you ask people if they think the value of each human life is equal, they will always say yes.

"But here we see a world in which the poor are for sale and the rich can buy them."

Click here to register as an organ donor.

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Air Force set to bombard militants, Boko Haram with new Mi-35M attack choppers – Daily Post Nigeria

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Daily Post NigeriaAir Force set to bombard militants, Boko Haram with new Mi-35M attack choppersDaily Post NigeriaNigerian Air Force (NAF) is set to induct the two newly acquired Mi-35M attack helicopters into its inventory as it prepares to carry out renewed aerial bombardment of Boko Haram terrorists. The Russian jets will also be used to bombard militants ...Air Force to celebrate 53 yrs with induction of 2 new fighter jets, free medical serviceVanguardall 5 news articles »

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