Archive | November, 2013

‘Three dead’ in pub helicopter crash

30 Nov

 

Rescue workers cover the wreckage of a police helicopter which crashed onto the roof of the Clutha Vaults pub in Glasgow

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond said it was “a black day for Glasgow”
 

Three people have died after a police helicopter crashed into a busy pub in Glasgow, the BBC understands.

Police Scotland have confirmed one death but said they expected the final number of fatalities would be higher. A rescue operation is continuing.

The crash happened at The Clutha in Stockwell Street at 22:25 on Friday.

There were three people on board the helicopter – two officers and a civilian pilot. Thirty-two people have been taken to local hospitals.

scene of crash

The emergency services remain involved in a “search and recovery” operation

Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond told a press conference it was a “black day for Scotland.”

Prime Minister David Cameron paid tribute to the bravery of the “ordinary Glaswegians” who rushed to help.

Chief Constable Sir Stephen House confirmed that one person had died and further fatalities were expected after the helicopter crashed on to the roof of the pub.

He said they “can’t say definitively” whether there are people still trapped within the pub, and added “we are still in a search and recovery phase”.

Chief Constable House went on: “This is a very difficult and sensitive operation. The scene is, as you will understand, a particularly challenging one.

“Given the damage caused and the nature of the damage, it will take some time to complete the search of the building and to assess how we begin the investigation.

“Clearly the safety of those conducting the search is of the highest importance.”

Mr Salmond said: “This is a black day for Glasgow and Scotland but it is also St Andrew’s Day and we can take pride in how we respond to adversity.

“The response from our emergency services and citizens has been exemplary.”

It has been reported that about 120 people were in the pub at the time of the crash. Many were rescued or escaped but others were trapped by a collapse on the left-hand side of the building.

Emergency services have erected barriers around the scene and specialist rescue teams remain at the scene.

• A large area of the city centre has been cordoned off

• Mass held at St Andrew’s Cathedral in city for those involved in crash and emergency services involved in response

• Council has cancelled St Andrew’s Day celebrations in George Square as a mark of respect

• A minute’s silence was held ahead of the Falkirk v Rangers match

• Injured were taken to Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Western Infirmary and the Victoria Infirmary

• Some of those who were in pub taken to a nearby Holiday Inn Express

• Police Scotland Casualty Bureau number is 0800 092 0410 – for those concerned about relatives

• Glasgow City Council has opened a family reception centre at 40 John Street

• Investigation into what happened is under way

• Air Accident Investigation Branch is in Glasgow.

Speaking from the press conference at the multi-agency command centre in Glasgow, Fire Scotland deputy chief officer Alex Clark said: “Along with our emergency service colleagues, we responded very, very quickly and pulled out all the measures that we possibly could in order to rescue people who were affected by this incident.

“I can assure you that until such time as there is an inevitable outcome we will undoubtedly remain on site and carry on our rescue activities in the best way that we possibly can.”

Helicopter crash scene at the Clutha pub

The Police Scotland helicopter crashed onto the roof of the pub as a band was performing

Gary Hardacre, who is leading the Scottish Ambulance Service response, said: “All of our thoughts and condolences are with those that have been affected by this tragic incident.

“We have been working with our partners in the police and fire service to ensure a joined-up response, and provide the best possible care that we can for the people affected by this.”

William Byrne, 45, from Coatbridge, who was in the pub when the helicopter came down, returned to the scene this morning.

“There was a loud bang. Then there was dust and the lights went out. It was surreal,” he told BBC Scotland.

‘We didn’t know what had happened. At our side of the pub at least two people were trapped under the gantry. Myself and others lifted it up and managed to get them out. I spent some time with one injured man.”

He added: “At our side of the pub I would say there were less than 10 people injured, mainly walking wounded, not seriously injured. One girl had clearly been hit on the head – she had a big bump.

“The other side of the pub took the brunt. Myself and my friends managed to get out without a scratch. Everyone helped everyone else to get out.”

Helicopter operator Bond Air Services said it was working with the police and emergency services.

A statement added: “Our thoughts are with those who have been affected by this tragic incident.”

About 250 people attended a special service at St Andrew’s Cathedral on Saturday afternoon.

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia told worshipers: “We pray for those who have lost their lives, who are injured, the bereaved, and the emergency services and members of the public.

“We pray for our city of Glasgow, which is in mourning today.”

Jim Murphy, the Labour MP for East Renfrewshire, was in the area at the time of the helicopter crash and said he ran into the pub to help before emergency services arrived.

He told the BBC there was “pandemonium” as people tried to get out of the pub.

“It was almost like slow motion,” he said, adding: “People just formed a bit of human chain, side by side with each other, to help pull injured people out.”

The shadow cabinet minister, who had blood on his shirt which he said was not his, described what he saw as a “horrific scene”.

Man at crash scene

Local people have gathered at the scene

The band who were playing in the pub at the time of the crash, Esperanza, have released a statement on their Facebook page.

Bassist Jess wrote: “Waking up and realising that it is all definitely horribly real. Despite the situation everyone was so helpful and caring of each other.

“The police, ambulances, firefighters all did a stellar job and continue to do so today in extremely difficult conditions.”

Eyewitness Fraser Gibson, 34, was inside the pub with his brother to see his former band, Esperanza.

“Midway through their set it sounded like a giant explosion,” he told BBC Scotland.

“Part of the room was covered in dust. We didn’t know what had happened. We froze for a second; there was panic and then people trying to get out the door.”

Mr Gibson added: “I would say there was maybe 120 people inside the pub. A lot of people managed to get out straight away, but it was hard to tell how many were actually trapped in the other half of the bar.”

He said there had been no indication a helicopter had caused the devastation, adding: “The roof had just totally collapsed.

“There were shards of wood sticking out the top but nothing that said there had been a helicopter crash.”

Map of the area

Eddie Waltham, a former firefighter who had a friend inside the pub, told the BBC: “A roof joist came down and hit him and pushed him towards the window which is at the left side of the left door.”

He added later: “My own reaction was to run straight up to the pub.

“It was amazing to watch just how people were trying so hard to get into this building.”

John McGarrigle has spent the night at the scene and said he feared his father had been in the pub at the time of the crash: “I’ve checked every hospital and there’s no sign of him. I’m very anxious.”

Gordon Matheson, the leader of Glasgow City Council, said his heart went out to the families affected.

He also praised the response of ordinary people in the area before the emergency services arrived.

Mr Matheson said: “People who were in the pub, the people who were in the streets and who just helped out their fellow human beings who were out having a good time.

“It’s Glasgow at its best you know, if people are in need the spontaneous response is to go to their help. And I want to pay great tribute to that and I’m very proud as leader of the city that that was the reaction. It doesn’t surprise me.”

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “This is a tragic event and our deepest sympathies are with the families and friends who lost a loved one last night.

“I want to thank the emergency services who worked tirelessly throughout the night and I also want pay tribute to the bravery of the ordinary Glaswegians who rushed to help.

“We have offered the Scottish government our support in any way we can and we are all wishing a speedy recovery to those who are injured.”

Clutha scene

The roof of the pub has been covered with tarpaulins

Labour leader Ed Miliband described the crash as an “unimaginable horror”.

He added: “I know there will be lots of people worried about their loved ones who are unaccounted for and my thoughts are with them and also with the people of Glasgow who are an incredibly strong people, who showed, I think last night, in their reaction when the helicopter hit, a great bravery, a great courage, great calm in the midst of all this.”

In 2002, a police Eurocopter EC-135 came down in a field in Ayrshire. All three people on board survived.

In 1990, a police sergeant was killed when a Bell Jet 206 helicopter crashed in bad weather at Newton Mearns in East Renfrewshire.

BBC © 2013

In Defence of Oshiomole

30 Nov

BY Ani Michael

Image“Go and die” as said by Comrade Gov.Adams Oshiomole to a ‘widow’ is now an anthem.The righteous are demanding and wishing the Comrade Governor be stoned to death. 
As a fan of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole,having seen him as a man with a simple heart who realizes the gravity of his provoked annoyance and has the will-power to say sorry and apologized after a perceived wrong,shows that he is human. Personally,I see no wrong on the part of the Governor.Citizens need to be responsible and adhered to all laws made by government.Roadside trading do caused accident and many resulted in untimely death.
Being a widow isn’t a license to lawlessness.In decent and organized societies,law breakers domicle is prison.Sentiment and unnecessary political glory can’t score points in justice.What killed her husband in the first place?She might be the one,who knows?The greed of women killing their husbands to become ‘landladies’ are very rampant in recent times.And what ‘ll happen if millions of widows in Nigeria decide to trade on our roads?
However,I am happy that she didn’t ‘go and die’.I am happy our party gave her #250,000.But the authorities has obligation to stop wanton killing of innocent Nigerians in the northern part of Nigeria and many other places in the country,as hundreds of Nigerians are dying everyday even without the marching order to ‘go and die’.

PRESS STATEMENT BY MOBIL CORE OIL COMMUNITIES IN NIGERIA

30 Nov

TEXT OF A PRESS CONFERENCE HELD BY MOBIL PRODUCING NIGERIA UNLIMITED CORE COMMUNITIES OF EKET, ESIT EKET, IBENO AND ONNA.

Oil Spill Impact, killing birds and aquatic animals

Oil Spill Impact, killing birds and aquatic animals


BACKGROUND:
ON the 9th November, 2012, there was a major oil spill from one of the offshore facilities of Mobil Producing Nig. Unlimited and the result of the spill was conspicuous in and around the entire operational areas/ Core Communities of MPNU. Arising from the spill, the Core Communities made demands for the payment of adequate financial compensation on MPNU.
MPNU admitted the occurrence of the spill in its communication to the state, Local Governments and the Leadership of the various communities. MPNU at several fora made a commitment to react accordingly in due course as it contended that the process of determining the quantum of spill and the corresponding compensation sum and variables was still ongoing with the statutory regulatory agencies including the DPR and NOSDRA.
In the interface between the Core Communities and MPNU over the payment of the oil spill compensation, MPNU on a letter dated 15th June, 2013 and in a publication of Pioneer newspaper of 27th October, 2013, offered to carry out some projects in its Core Communities in particular and in other parts of the state as part of its Corporate Social Responsibilities to its Host communities and state. This may have been an attempt to redeem its failure in corporate social responsibilities for the last 15 years during which MPNU had been claiming that they have paid their statutory obligations to the various governments and contributed to the NDDC.
The demands by the Core Communities on MPNU for the compensation for oil spill persisted and this culminated in the peaceful protest by the communities which lasted for 10 days. The protest was suspended at the intervention of Akwa Ibom State Government after an offer to mediate between the Core Communities and MPNU.
The above mentioned offer to mediate led to the meeting between the Technical Committee of the Core Communities and the representatives of the management of MPNU on Monday the 4th day of November,2013 at the conference room of the Secretary to Government of Akwa Ibom state. In the meeting, the Core Communities presented its position paper and MPNU acknowledged the rights of the communities and therefore considered their demands reasonable but pleaded for time not exceeding Thursday the 14th November, 2013 to enable the Board of MPNU to meet and ratify the demands.
Oil Spill devastation in Nigeria

Oil Spill devastation in Nigeria


November 14th, 2013 has lapsed and communities have again become very restive arising from the intransigence of MPNU. We are familiar with all the antics of MPNU – divide and rule, delay tactics, sponsoring derogatory and inciting stories, seeking Government protection on its abdication of its Statutory Responsibilities, etc. it was this attitude that led to the kidnapping of the Paramount Ruler of Esit Eket L.G.A and attacks on other Paramount Rulers of Ibeno, Eket and Onna.
It has come to a point where the Core Communities can no longer contend these antics. We are also aware that Exxon being the parent company of MPNU has a notoriety of failure to meet its obligations such as payment of compensation for oil spill to the extent that they had to be sent away from other countries. This and similar attitude account for their consistent declaration of outrageous profit to the consternation of other oil companies and the amazement of the United States Congress.
Since 1998, the Core Communities have suffered sufficient deprivations and a near total exclusion from the benefits of its operation.
Consequent upon the fore going, the Core Communities wish to state emphatically as follows:
1. That MPNU should immediately comply with all the requests at the meeting of 4th November, 2013.
2. That failure to do so might elicit further very strong reactions from the Core Communities.

THIS PRESS CONFERENCE IS AUTHORIZED BY:-
1. His Eminence, Akwa Edidem (Dr) Akpabio U. Ukpa,
Oku Ibom III, Chairman of the Forum
Paramount Ruler of Onna.

2. HRM Edidem Ubong P. Assam II
Aso I of Esit Eket
Paramount Ruler of Esit Eket.

3. HRM Edidem N.J.E Oduenyie Jp
Atara Ekid, Enin Akwa Afaha III
Paramount Ruler of Eket.

4. HRM Owong (Dr) Effiong B. Archianga
Akwaha Owong Ibeno – Spokeman of the forum
Paramount Ruler of Ibeno.

5. Rt. Hon. Chief Nduese Essien
Attah of Ekid
Chairman Technical Committee

6. Pastor (Hon) Isaiah W. Abia
Coordinating Secretary

7. Proffesor Etie Ben Akpan
Member Technical Committee

8. High Chief Williams Mkpah
Member Technical Committee

9. Chief Okon Akpan Owong
Member Technical Committee

10. Barr. Bassey Nkanang
Member Technical Committee

11. Chief Ime M. Utin
Member Technical Committee

12. Chief Bassey Udo Akpan
Member Technical Committee

13. Rt. Hon. Imo Udobia
Member Technical Committee

Glory Itauma Says “I Do, I Do” To Samuel Coffie @ Latter Day Saint Church, Uyo

30 Nov

ImageAll roads lead to the Church of Jesus Christ of The Latter Day Saints headquarters, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State as former Ms. Glory ‘Ronke’ Itauma  from Eket drops her spinster’s garment to kiss “I do, I do” to Samuel Coffie of Nung Obong, Nsit Ubium Local Government Area.

The wedding is billed for Saturday, 30th November, 2013 by 10:00 A.M  at the church regional headquarters Uyo. Speaking to news men, Ms. Itauma said she’s very much delighted to meet Mr. Coffee whom she described as a young entrepreneurial, loving and caring friend. She said, though they have not known each other for a long time, she was confident that Samuel who has already shown her excellent traits of  a good husband and God fearing young man will definitely live to the bidding of the holy matrimony.

“I count myself lucky to meet Mr. Samuel Coffie and I will cuddle him into my arm as one. As a young man with rare traits of men of his class and age, I can imagine that our home will be a peaceful one and more of God’s love filled with blessings…” Ms. Itauma assured.

Also speaking, the man whose face will be beamed by a cream of jealous spinsters on that Saturday morning, Mr. Samuel Coffie, did not hide his joy for meeting a young lady whom he called ‘my honey-comb and the joy of my heart.’ He maintained that his meeting with Glory Itauma was one the Lord’s greatest doings in his life.

“When you are humble before the Lord and pray for your heart’s desire, God will always be kind enough to shower you with flood of His blessings.  It is not about riches or your understanding; it is about the Lord’s goodness. The Lord has been so kind to me; that’s why I am thrilled to tell you that for giving me Glory Itauma, He has done it again in my life.” Coffie brags

Asari Dokubo Released By Beninoise Gendarmes, Flown To Abuja

29 Nov

imageThe leader of the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force, Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, who was arrested yesterday in Cotonou, Benin Republic has been released.

Mr. Dokubo was released after President Goodluck Jonathan personally intervened on his behalf with the Beninoise President Yayi Boni.
Festus Keyamo, a civil rights activist and personal attorney to Mr. Dokubo confirmed his release to Saharareporters.

Dokubo, who once bragged openly that his arrest will lead to the demise of Nigeria spent 36 hours with the Beninoise gendarmes before his release around 1 AM Nigerian time today.

President Jonathan reportedly deployed a jet to ferry Mr. Asari to Abuja a few hours after his release.

Anambra: Rivers REC blames Colleague for flaws

28 Nov

 BY MUDIAGA AFFE, CALABAR

ImageThe Resident Electoral Commissioner in Rivers State, Mr. Aniedi Ikoiwak, has blamed the lack of commitment of some officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission for the flaws experienced in the conduct of the November 16 governorship election in Anambra State.

Ikoiwak, however, said the November 30 supplementary election would experience high level of commitment by all INEC staff from top to bottom.

The REC, who spoke with journalists in Eket, Akwa Ibom State, on Wednesday, said the shortcoming in the poll arose because some INEC staff failed to master the new policy adopted by the commission.

He said, “The November 16 election in Anambra was programmed to be the best. We all agreed that there are some areas where we had human lapses. Issues of commitment on the side of the officials were also noticed; that is people were not fully committed and this cut across junior and top staff including some of the commissioners.

“The commitment level of the officials of the commission should be higher in the next election than what was put in the election.  What happened was that because of the innovations, some persons did not know what to do.”

He noted that the innovation introduced by INEC for the conduct of the controversial election was meant to reduce malpractices to its barest minimum.

Seven PDP rebel governors join APC

26 Nov

BY OLUSOLA FABIYI

ImageThe seven aggrieved governors of the Peoples Democratic Party have announced their decision to merge with the All Progressives Congress.

The governors, at the meeting they had with the leadership of the APC in Abuja on Tuesday, said their decision was aimed at rescuing the country.

A former Acting National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Abubakar Baraje, announced the decision after the meeting, which was held at Kano Governor’s Lodge in Abuja.

Among the governors at the meeting were that of Rivers (Rotimi Amaechi), Kano(Rabiu Kwankwanso), Adamawa(Murtala Nyako), Kwara(Badulfatah Ahmed) and Niger(Dr. Babangida Aliyu).

The governors of Jigawa and Sokoto states, Sule Lamido and Aliyu Wamakko respectively were absent.

Baraje said the governors were part of the decision.

Some leaders of the APC like its Interim National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande; a former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; and a former Head of State, Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari(retd.), were in attendance.

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