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Oil Spill In Mauritius Turns Crystal Clear Indian Ocean Black (Photos)

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Thousands of volunteers in Mauritius are racing to contain a catastrophic oil spill swamping its pristine ocean and beaches on Sunday.

The bulk carrier MV Wakashio ran aground two weeks ago and has been seeping fuel into a protected marine park boasting unspoiled coral reefs, mangrove forests and endangered species, prompting the government to declare an unprecedented environmental emergency.

Attempts to stabilise the stricken vessel, which ran aground on July 25 but only started leaking oil this week, and pump 4,000 tonnes of fuel from its hold have failed, and local authorities fear rough seas could further rupture the tanker.

Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth said response crews had managed to stymie the leak for now, but were bracing for the worst. The cracks have grown. The situation is even worse,’ he told reporters late Sunday. ‘The risk of the boat breaking in half still exists.’

Japan said Sunday it would send a six-member expert team to assist, joining France which dispatched a naval vessel and military aircraft from nearby Reunion Island after Mauritius issued an appeal for international help.

Thousands of volunteers, many smeared head-to-toe in black sludge, are marshalling along the coastline, stringing together miles of improvised floating barriers made of straw in a desperate attempt to hold back the oily tide.

Mitsui OSK Lines, which operates the vessel owned by another Japanese company, said Sunday that 1,000 tonnes of fuel oil had escaped so far.

‘We are terribly sorry,’ the shipping firm’s vice president, Akihiko Ono, told reporters in Tokyo, promising to ‘make all-out efforts to resolve the case’.

But conservationists say the damage could already be done.

Aerial images show the enormous scale of the disaster, with huge stretches of azure seas around the marooned cargo ship stained a deep inky black, and the region’s fabled lagoons and inlets clouded over.

Thick muck has inundated unspoiled marine habitats and white-sand beaches, causing what experts say is irreparable damage to the fragile coastal ecosystem upon which Mauritius and its economy relies.

Pressure is mounting on the government to explain why more wasn’t done in the two weeks since the bulker ran aground.

The opposition has called for the resignation of the environment and fisheries ministers, while volunteers have ignored an official order to leave the clean-up operation to local authorities, donning rubber gloves to sift through the sludge.

‘People by the thousands are coming together. No one is listening to the government anymore,’ said Ashok Subron, an environmental activist at Mahebourg, one of the worst-hit areas.

‘People have realised that they need to take things into their hands. We are here to protect our fauna and flora.’

Police said Sunday they would execute a search warrant granted by a Mauritius court to board the Wakashio and seize items of interest, including the ship’s log book and communication as part of its investigation into the accident.

The ship’s captain, a 58-year-old Indian, will accompany officers on the search, police said. Twenty crew members evacuated safely from the Japanese-owned but Panamanian-flagged ship when it ran aground are under surveillance.

Prime Minister Jugnauth has convened a crisis meeting later Sunday, after expressing concern that forecast bad weather could further complicate efforts to stymie the spill, and cause more structural damage to the hull.

The slick has already begun drifting further up the coast, fanned along by strong winds and currents.

‘I think it’s already too late. If the ship breaks in two, the situation will be out of control,’ Vassen Kauppaymuthoo, an oceanographer and environmental engineer, told AFP.

‘We’re talking about a major disaster that is progressing, and it’s getting more complicated hour by hour.’

Mauritius and its 1.3 million inhabitants depend crucially on the sea for ecotourism, having fostered a reputation as a conservation success story and a world-class destination for nature lovers.

The spill is a double blow for tourist operators who had hoped foreign tourists could soon return to Mauritius. The Indian Ocean nation has no active cases of coronavirus, and had declared wary victory after a long stretch without any new infections.

But it also relies on its natural bounty for food and income. Seafarers in Mahebourg, where the once-spotless seas have turned a sickly brown, worried about the future.

‘Fishing is our only activity. We don’t know how we will be able to feed our families,’ one fishermen, who gave his name only as Michael, told AFP

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Nigerian Army colonel dies after Boko Haram ambush in Borno

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A Nigerian Army colonel has died after an ambush by Boko Haram terrorists in Borno State.

 

Colonel DC Bako and some soldiers were attacked, on Sunday, September 20, when their vehicle was ambushed near Damboa, about 85 kilometres from Maiduguri, the state capital. He was until his death the commander of 25 Task Force Brigade in Damboa

 

Spokesman of the Nigeria Army, Sagir Musa, who confirmed the death in a statement on Monday September 21, said the colonel died in a military hospital where he was receiving treatment after the ambush.

 

“Operation LAFIYA DOLE wishes to intimate the general public of the demise of one of our gallant and finest war heroes Col DC Bako,”

”It could be recalled that the professional, gallant senior officer who always led from the front and a patriotic Nigerian, led a patrol to clear Boko Haram Terrorits from Sabon Gari-Wajiroko axis near Damboa when his patrol team entered an ambush at about 10 a.m Sunday 20 September 2020. Under his able leadership, the troops cleared the ambush resulting to the killing of scores of terrorists and recovery of weapons and equipment.

”Sadly however, he was wounded in action and immediately evacuated by the Air Task Force Operation LAFIYA DOLE to the 7 Division Hospital at Maimalari Cantonment. The late senior officer was recuperating well after successful operation at the hospital, in good spirit and also said his prayers in the early hours of this morning before his sad passing at the hospital. May Almighty Allah grant his soul eternal rest. Ameen.

”The Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen TY Buratai on behalf of himself, gallant troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE and indeed well meaning Nigerians hereby express his heartfelt condolences to his esteemed family. We are most grateful for his contributions and sacrifices to the motherland.

”May God grant eternal rest to the gentle soul of Col DC Bako and the souls of all Nigerian Army officers and soldiers who paid the supreme prize in the defence of our father land.” the statement reads.

 

Nigerian Army colonel dies after Boko Haram ambush in Borno Nigerian Army colonel dies after Boko Haram ambush in Borno Nigerian Army colonel dies after Boko Haram ambush in Borno Nigerian Army colonel dies after Boko Haram ambush in Borno

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Overcrowded Burial: Thousands Bid Emir Of Zazzau Farewell ( Video)

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After 45 years on the throne, light dimmed yesterday for Emir Zazzau Alhaji Shehu Idris, who passed on at 84.

Thousands of people converged on the palace at Zaria to pay their last respects as the remains of perhaps, the longest serving emir, were interred beside the tomb of some of the past emirs.

Prayers for the repose of the soul of the 18th Emir of Zazzau, were attended by Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, who led the presidential delegation. Other members are: Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika and Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai led the Kaduna State delegation which included Secretary to State Government, Balarabe Lawal-Abbas, Speaker Yusuf Zailani and heads of military and paramilitary formations and institutions in the State.

The demise of the Emir threw the entire people of the emirate into tears and mourning, as the remains of the late paramount ruler arrived the Palace from Kaduna at about 2.45pm.
The palace that was filled to capacity by friends, relatives and well-wishers who patiently waited till evening.

Also at the palace was the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, and heads of military and paramilitary formations in the state.

The Waziri of Zazzau, Malam Ibrahim Muhammad, had earlier confirmed the demise of the 18th Emir of Zazzau, who until his death, was the Chairman, Kaduna State Council of Chiefs in Zaria..

The Emir died at the 44 Army Reference Hospital, Kaduna in the early hours of yesterday.
Aminu Shehu Idris, son of the Emir, said his father passed on after a protracted illness.
According to Aminu, his late father had been battling with an undisclosed ailment for a decade “until this morning when death snatched him away.”

The late monarch left behind four wives, many children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
The governor said: “We have lost a rare gem, a source of wisdom and guidance and a true father of all. May Allah Grant his soul abode in Aljanna Firdaus. Amin.”

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Osinbajo Welcomes First Granchild As His Daughter, Oludamilola Gives Birth

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and his wife, Dolapo, are now grandparents as their daughter, Oluwadamilola and her husband, Oluseun Bakare, have welcomed their first child, a baby boy.

Oluwadamilola and Oluseun welcomed their baby boy today September 21.

Yemi Osinbajo announced the news on Twitter. He wrote:

”All glory to GOD! I am now a grand dad! My daughter, Oludamilola and her husband Oluseun became parents to a wonderful baby boy this morning!”

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