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PDP Retains Demagum As Acting National Chairman

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The acting National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Umar Damagum, has survived attempts to remove him from office.

In the lead-up to today’s National Executive Committee meeting, the issue of whether Damagum should maintain his position or be substituted has been the focal point of discussions among party officials.

Formerly serving as the PDP National Deputy Chairman (North), Damagum assumed the position of acting National Chairman after the court suspended the party’s National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu.

The court’s decision followed a request by a PDP member, Terhide Utaan, triggered by a prior vote of no confidence passed on Ayu by his ward executives in Igyorov ward, Gboko Local Government Area of Benue State.

Recently, 60 members of the House of Representatives called for Damagum’s ouster and called for the appointment of a substantive chairman from the North Central region.

However, shortly after this announcement, members of the House minority caucus, led by Kingsley Chinda, distanced themselves from the group, dismissing it as an unrecognised entity within the parliament.

The PDP Caucus meeting in the House of Representatives on Tuesday ended in discord, with lawmakers divided between those supporting Damagum’s continuation and those opposing it.

However, the primary goal of the pre-NEC meeting, which aimed to endorse Damagum with a vote of confidence by lawmakers aligned with FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, faced hurdles and did not proceed as intended.

Recall that, on Wednesday, the PDP’s National Working Committee expressed full support for Damagum.

Nevertheless, after its caucus meeting on Wednesday, the North Central Zone of the party unanimously decided that the zone should nominate the next national chairman of the party following Ayu’s removal.

Speaking to reporters after the National Caucus meeting in the early hours of Thursday, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, disclosed that Damagum will continue to serve as the acting national chairman of the party until another NEC meeting after today’s session.

The PDP National Caucus is a crucial assembly of party stakeholders that convenes before the NEC meeting and sets the tone for every major decision to be made at the NEC meeting.

In many instances, when the National Caucus reach a consensus on matters, the NEC simply approves it, but when there is disagreement, other members of the NEC will vote either for or against the issue in question.

Ologunagba disclosed that the PDP National Caucus endorsed Damagum’s continued acting role to allow for broader consultations.

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Why We’re Charging Helicopter Landing Fee – Aviation Ministry

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The Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development on Monday said the introduction of helicopter landing levies was in line with global best practices and cost recovery measures.

This is contained in a statement by Odutayo Oluseyi, Head, Press and Public Affairs of the ministry in Lagos.

According to Mr Oluseyi, the ministry recognises the importance of helicopter operations in Nigeria’s aviation industry and is committed to implementing international best practices in helicopter operations.

He said that helicopter landing levies were commonplace in countries such as the US, the United Kingdom, India and various other regions worldwide.

He maintained that Tallahassee International Airport in Florida began implementing helicopter landing levies under Vector Airport Systems, since 1 October 2022.

Mr Oluseyi said helicopter landing levies were common across airfields in the United Kingdom, ranging from major commercial ones, to small general aviation fields.

He added that, typically, helicopter levies matched or exceeded those for fixed-wing aircraft, and varied based on factors like location and services provided.

“The federal government has granted NAEBI Dynamic Concepts Ltd exclusive rights to collect helicopter landing levies in line with the MoU between NAEBI Concept and NAMA (focal Agency), Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

“It is instructive to note that NAMA, under the Act as amended in 2022, is empowered to collect aeronautical revenues in both the upper and lower airspace to support her self-sustainability.

“However, over the years, NAMA has predominantly relied on the upper airspace for her revenue generation.

“Government in her wisdom, having discovered a lacuna on the lower airspace where helicopter operations is dominant, directed NAMA to live up to its responsibilities, to enable them generate enough resources, to sustain their aeronautical architecture, enhance security and surveillance and improve the overall quality of helicopter operations in Nigeria,” he said.

According to Mr Oluseyi, the government is confident that the move will improve capacity, efficiency, safety, security and attract more investments in the aviation industry.

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Fubara Vows to Probe Previous Rivers Administrations

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Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, has said he will set up a panel of inquiry to look into the affairs of governance in the state.

Fubara disclosed this during the swearing-in and administration of the oath of office on Dagogo Iboroma, SAN, as the Attorney General of the state and Commissioner for Justice.

The governor criticised recent comments by the former Attorney-General of the State and Justice Commissioner, Prof. Zacchaeus Adangor, SAN, who resigned from his cabinet over a fortnight ago and urged the new Attorney-General to defend the state.

Fubara stated, “It is not the one that while you were here… the only thing you do is to sabotage the government.

“Instead of you to close your mouth, you publicly claim that you’re a learned person to tell people that you’re the Chief Law Officer. Chief Law Officer, you were here and went to stand before a Magistrate Court.

“At that time you didn’t remember that you’re a Chief Law Officer going against the ethics of your job.”

Addressing the new AG, the governor said, “You have a big task. As it is today in the local parlance, they say the jungle has matured. We will be setting a panel of inquiry to investigate the affair of governance.”

The governor further said there was a deliberate attempt to sabotage his administration, saying, “If we disagree, no matter how bad it is, it should be resolved.

“But it has become very clear that this disagreement there is no headway to it, and for many reasons, there is very visible evidence that there is sabotage, a deliberate attempt to sabotage this administration.

“Maybe where they are, they are telling them nothing will happen, it is happening here live, we have our own legislators that are performing their duties according to the Constitution. So that record is threatened.”

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Tobi Amusan Again! Sets New World-Leading Record

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The world record-holder in the women’s 100m hurdles, Tobi Amusan, was the fastest over the barriers, setting a world-leading time of 12.40 (0.9m/s).

Danielle Williams, a two-time world champion, was ahead for most of the race but lost her rhythm over the final two hurdles and finished second with 12.46.

“This is the healthiest I’ve been. It’s a pain-free season compared to other years,” World Athletics website quoted Amusan to have said.

“I told myself: ‘I’m not getting a DQ today’. I’m not the best of starters, but looking at how I executed today, it could have been better, but I am thankful for the win.”

Nigeria’s Minister of Sports, John Enoh, took to his X handle to congratulate the Nigerian athletics queen for her latest feat.

“Take your flowers Tobi Amusan, you stormed to an emphatic win in the women’s 100m hurdles at the Jamaica Athletics Invitational, clocking a time of 12.40s (0.9), a World Lead time!

“You defeated World Champion Danielle Williams, who came 2nd in 12.46s, while Christina Clemons was 3rd in 12.54s.

“Tobi, you keep making our country proud. Paris Olympics is around the corner, your performance gives us hope just like others that Nigeria is set to break a jinx. Keep soaring, we are proud of you,” Enoh wrote.

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