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Air Peace Sacks 69 Pilots, Blames Coronavirus-induced Economic Downturn

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Nigeria’s major carrier, Air Peace, on Monday sacked 69 pilots due to the economic downturn occasioned by the Coronavirus pandemic.

The airline said in order to survive the effect of the pandemic, it had to restructure its operations, hence the reduction of its workforce.

Spokesman of the airline, Stanley Olisa, in a statement said Air Peace had to take “a very painful but rightful decision, in the circumstances the airline has found itself as a result of the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on its operations and financial health, to terminate the employment of some of its pilots.”

“This decision was taken for the greater good of the company and its almost 3000 workforce, the affected pilots inclusive. The airline cannot afford to toe the path of being unable to continue to fulfill its financial obligations to its staff, external vendors, aviation agencies, maintenance organisations, insurance companies, banks and other creditors hence the decision to restructure its entire operations with a view to surviving the times,” the statement said.

It also explained that the pandemic had hit every airline worldwide so badly that it had become very impossible for airlines to remain afloat without carrying out internal restructuring of their costs.

“Anything short of what we have done may lead to the collapse of an airline as could be seen in some places worldwide during this period. Therefore, we decided to review the salaries being paid to all staff. The new salaries reflect a 0%-40% cut of the former salary depending on the salary grades of every staff. Even after the cuts, it was obvious that for us to be able to sustain our operations and survive the times, some jobs must inevitably have to go.

“Air Peace has never, for one day, ever owed salaries to its workers in its almost six years of existence, pilots inclusive. Rather, the management of Air Peace has always been known to be increasing salaries of its employees periodically without being prompted by staff. In fact, in one fell swoop, Air Peace increased the salaries of pilots by over 100 per cent in one day! Our salaries have always been paid even before the end of the month in the last five years!” the statement said.

Air Peace said it loved its staff but the decision it took was inevitable “under the circumstances we find ourselves.”

“In order to protect the continuity of majority of the existing jobs and the possibility of creating new ones in future, the survival of the airline is of paramount importance. When everything comes back to normal, those pilots affected today will have a place to come back to in future if they so wish.

“The decision is a reflection of the negative impact of the pandemic on airlines and aviation worldwide. We are in trying times. Even the biggest airlines in Europe, America, Middle East, Asia, Australia and, indeed, Africa, are all either slashing jobs and cutting salaries in order to remain afloat or are shutting down. Air Peace is not immune from these challenges,”
 the airline added.

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Igboho promises a protest if his accounts are not released

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Self-acclaimed political dissident, Mr. Sunday Adeyemo, otherwise called Sunday Igboho, on Tuesday, blamed the Federal Government for freezing his financial assets, following his assault on the fulani herdsmen in Oyo State.

Igboho, who addressed Vanguard, affirmed that all his financial asset have been frozen by the Federal Government since certain individuals were gathering donations.

Nonetheless, Igboho said he had no hands in the said donations, cautioning that his records should be released to dodge protest by young people across the South-West area.

His words: “They have frozen my bank accounts because I am fighting a just course.

I know Yoruba people are behind me.“I will not relent. I must achieve my aims by putting an end to criminalities in Yorubaland.

“If they refuse to release my accounts, there will be serious protests across the South-West.

“Yes, the Yoruba are living in fear. They are afraid that the killer-herdsmen might attack them.

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IGP adamu retires

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Adamu enrolled in the Police Force on February 2, 1986.

The IGP who will turn 60 on September 17, was appointed IGP in January 2019. He has gone through two years in office.

Three Deputy Inspectors-General of Police (DIGs) and 10 Assistant Inspectors-General of Police (AIGs) are additionally due for retirement with him today.

It is accepted that there is a mission to broaden Adamu’s residency.

However, some have contended against such expansion, since it would negate the arrangements of the Police Act 2020 that fixes the retirement of cops at 60 years old or 35 years of administration.

Section 18(8) of the new Act states: “Every police officer shall, on recruitment or appointment, serve in the Nigeria Police Force for 35 years or until the age of 60 years, whichever is earlier.”

The Act provides for a tenure of four years for the Inspector General of Police.

Section 7, subsection 2 of the Act provides that: “The person to be appointed as Inspector General of Police shall be a senior police officer not below the rank of Assistant Inspector General of Police with the requisite academic qualification of not less than a first degree or its equivalent, in addition to professional or management experience.”

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Ortom tests positive for Covid-19

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Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has tested positive for the feared COVID-19.

The declaration was made on Wednesday by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase.

Review that a significant number of the governor’s aides which includes his personal physician, aide de camp, orderly, permanent secretaries among others recently tested positive for the virus.

Akase in an articulation made accessible to writers in Makurdi said that “the most recent result of the governor’s COVID-19 test has brought positive back.

This follows the test results of most of the Governor’s close aides who also returned positive in the last few weeks.

“Though the Governor has not shown any symptoms of the disease, he has already commenced treatment as prescribed by medical personnel.

The assertion added that the governor exhorted the individuals who have interacted with him over the most recent few days to go for test.

“The Governor says it is equally important that those who came in contact with other persons who have tested positive for the virus should go for a test to ascertain their COVID-19 status.

Akase said that Governor Ortom encouraged Benue individuals to keep on noticing the safety measures for the avoidance of the infection, for example, wearing of face masks, utilization of sanitisers, ordinary hand washing and physical distancing.

He urges the individuals not to fear going for COVID-19 test as doing so would help in containing the spread of the illness.

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