PLANE CRASHES, 3 Confirmed Dead| Workers Protest, Prevent Vehicular Movement | Tears As Wigwe, Wife, Son Buried Today

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Three killed in military helicopter crash near US southern border

A helicopter flying over the US-Mexico border in Texas has crashed, killing two national guard soldiers and a border patrol agent, the US military has said. Another soldier on board was injured. The UH-72 Lakota helicopter was assigned to the federal government’s border security mission when it went down near Rio Grande City on Friday, the joint taskforce north said. The cause was under investigation.

The crash happened mid-afternoon while the helicopter was conducting aviation operations, according to the taskforce’s statement. A tall, rust-colored metal bridge made of slats expands across a bridge into the ocean, with nothing and nobody on either side.

Starr County judge Eloy Vera, the county’s top official, said those onboard included one woman and three men. He said the person who was injured was in critical condition. The names of those killed were not immediately released. A US Border Patrol spokesperson did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

The Starr County sheriff’s office posted on Facebook on Friday that it was assisting with a “downed helicopter incident” on the east side of the county. Vera said the scene had been secured by the sheriff’s office and that federal officials were on the way. The border region is heavily patrolled by both state and federal authorities, including routine aerial surveillance.

In January, a Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter patrolling the state’s border with Mexico lost power and crashed, officials said at the time. The co-pilot suffered a minor hand injury and the helicopter was significantly damaged. That helicopter was flying as part of Operation Lone Star, Texas governor Greg Abbott’s nearly $10bn border mission that has tested the federal government’s authority over immigration.

SOURCE: Guardian

1,500 sacked OAUTH workers protest

The disengaged staff of the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife, on Friday, protested at the hospital premises following the failure of the management to reverse the decision to lay them off. More than 1,500 workers of the hospital were laid off by the Federal Government following alleged irregularities in their recruitment process.

They were protesting against a circular by the management of the hospital to conduct examination for certain cadre that would be considered for employment. The protesters, who were calling for the suspension of the examination, blocked the main gates of the hospital, preventing human and vehicular movement in and out of the complex.

One of the disengaged staff, Samson Falope, told the News Agency of Nigeria that the circular stated that the examination would be conducted on March 9, at the Command Day Secondary School, Army Barrack, Ede, Osun. “What we discovered was that, the circular for the conduct of recruitment exercise under the June 2022 recruitment waiver has been released, which led to the protest.

“The ministry in charge had been notified, the House of Representatives and the National Assembly were aware too. All we are waiting for is their intervention and resolution. “We are hopeful that the examination would be suspended indefinitely,” he said. The Public Relations Officer of OAUTHC, Miss Kemi Fasoto, told NAN that the examination would be conducted by the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare as scheduled.


Rivers community mourns as Wigwe, wife, son are buried today

All is now set for the burial of the late former Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings, Dr Herbert Wigwe in his hometown, Omueke in Isiokpo, Ikwere Local Government Area of Rivers State on Saturday (today).

His remains, which were accompanied by a huge motorcade on Friday, had left the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa in Ikwerre LGA at about 1:33pm straight to his father’s compound in Omueke, Isiokpo.

Recall that Wigwe’s kinsmen had insisted that their son must be buried in his hometown. Omueke, even as they vowed to deploy ancient tradition in finding out the cause of his death.

Many community members already adorn black attire to welcome Wigwe’s body, while Isiokpo married women gathered at the circle of the entrance into the community to offer prayers for God to avert the spirit of untimely death and the demise of prominent members of the area.

The women numbering over 200, sprinkled water on the floor, while some sat on the grass and sobbed uncontrollably in prayers, prayed in their dialect as they welcome the body.

One of them said, “We have just completed a three-day fasting which ended today. We have been fasting from 6am to 9am which ends today.

“We are not happy at all. Our son, Herbert, was taking care of us, widows and children in this area. Every Christmas, he brings bags of rice and other foodstuff to every family here.

“We are praying God to remove the spirit of untimely death and stop our prominent people from dying. We are pained.”

The Chairman of Ikwerre Local Government Area, Dr Samuel Nwanosike, and elders of the community received his body when it arrived in Isiokpo on Friday morning.

Speaking to newsmen, Nwanosike described Wigwe’s death as a great loss, saying, “He had a large vision not only for his people but the entire Ikwerre ethnic nationality.”

He said the people would find a way to immortalise him.

Meanwhile, about 30 private jets conveying dignitaries ranging from governors, ministers, prominent politicians, captains of industries, top traditional rulers, are expected to grace the occasion to pay their last respect to the financial mogul and philanthropist.

The Port Harcourt International Airport is already experiencing heavy traffic as some visitors and community folks have started arriving.

As of the time of filing this report on Friday evening, preparations are in top gear for a wake to be held at Wigwe University, which he founded.

The university which has reached an advanced stage of completion shares the same fence with late Wigwe’s palatial residence in the serene community.

Meanwhile, the Rivers State Police Command has taken significant steps to reinforce security arrangements to ensure a peaceful and well-organised burial ceremony for the late Herbert Wigwe, his wife, and son.

This was contained in a statement issued in Port Harcourt by the spokesperson for the State Police Command, Grace Iringe-Koko and sent to newsmen on Friday.

Iringe-Koko said operatives, including Mobile policemen, would be deployed from various units, including tactical command and undercover personnel, due to the expected large gathering of mourners.


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