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We Have Not Seen Such Images Since the Holocaust – Einat Weiss, Israel’s Ambassador to Rwanda

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By Dolapo Aina

On Wednesday, the 11th of October 2023, Israel’s Ambassador to Rwanda, Ambassador Einat Weiss had an extensive time with the media in Kigali, Rwanda. With the aftermath of the terror attacks by Hamas on Saturday, the 7th of October 2023 (which began with the “Supernova Sukkot Gathering” music festival; an event which was an open-air psychedelic trance festival, arranged to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Sukkot).

The Israeli Ambassador who recently resumed at her new diplomatic posting in the month of August 2023, commenced by stating that: “It is very important that the people of Rwanda who want to get information of how Israel is coping with the tragedy of last week Saturday (October 7, 2023) do so. People woke up to their last breath, last day; from attacks from a bloody Hamas who attacked kids, mothers, babies, elderly people in their homes. And an attack on youth who came from all over Israel to celebrate music. People were beheaded, burnt, raped in front of their family members. No other country in the world would accept such attacks. No country. 1200 (present numbers have increased) people killed so far. More than 100 people were taken hostage. A lot of information is still being processed. Whole family members wiped out. An Israeli volunteer of an Israeli institution who was here in Rwanda, was kidnapped with 8 of her family members into Gaza.”

The Israeli Ambassador went further to state that: “The atrocities on Saturday are something the world has not witnessed. The things the eyes have seen in the past days are not what you see in a regular round of violence. We have received a lot of support from the Government of Rwanda and the people of Rwanda. And a lot of Rwandans have sent us numerous messages of support. Same from all over the world. This is very meaningful to us as Israelis. We are just entering a war on not only the security of Israel but of the world. If it can happen in Israel, it can happen in the world. Hamas didn’t discriminate against any nationality. Terror does not discriminate. The world has to unite against terror. The world has to fight against terror. The world has to eliminate terror.”

On the question of the failure of Mossad, the Ambassador stated that; “The first thing you do in such a case, is that you fight, protect your territory and borders and all other things before you investigate. Once things settle down, Israel would definitely investigate what happened. The hand of Iran is all over this operation. Iran’s hands, money and fingerprints are all over this.

The fact that they still continue to send funds to Hezbollah is also a known fact.”
Asked about an escalation in the Middle East; Ambassador Einat Weiss stated that; “Israel can do, will do and has the capacity to defend herself. All those who want to take advantage of the situation, I would say what the great President of America stated last night (on Tuesday during a live broadcast); don’t.”

Fielding a question bordering on patriotism in Israel; the Ambassador who recently commenced her stint as Israel’s Ambassador to Rwanda revealed a personal detail going thus; “My husband was drafted and has gone to the warfront to fight for Israel. A lot of Israelis who were on vacation from all over the world have been flying back home to Israel to fight for Israel. People are coming back home when the time is hard. They (the Hamas terrorists) would not break us and they would not take our souls. They would not break us. Our secret weapon is that we have no other place to go as Israel is our home. In this blink and dark days, what is important is the power to continue. The officials of the consular department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel have not slept for days and they have been working throughout the past week. I cannot understand how this terrorist organisation can send missiles to Holy Sites irrespective of the religion. We cannot and we would not give terror organisations any opportunity to derail our way of life.

On the question of Rwandan citizens in Israel, Ambassador Weiss revealed that the 250 Rwandan students in Israel were safe. Israel’s top envoy in Rwanda went further to state that the United Stated of America, the European Union are willing to assist Israel with whatever it takes. And she can only hope the goals can be achieved.

On the scale of Israel’s possible response, Ambassador Einat Weiss stated that; “This is not another round of violence we have had in the last week. The gloves are off. This is pure evil. I don’t believe Israel can live side by side such evil. The people of Israel are ached and angry going through funerals and funerals. The scale of the atrocities committed is huge. It is not a cycle of violence. This is war. We are at war with Hamas not the people of Hamas; and this needs to be made quite clear. This is enough and I don’t believe any other country would tolerate this. We have to defend our borders.”

On the question of the publication of the collated horrific images, Ambassador Weiss stated that; “The images seen are mindboggling. We have not seen these images since The Holocaust. The images seen by the Government are indescribable. Whilst discussing about the catastrophic nature of the attacks on the society; Israel’s top envoy in Rwanda stated that; “When everyone in Israel knows someone who was affected, it is catastrophic. It is traumatic. Not catastrophic enough to bring us to our knees. We would not allow terrorists to take our minds and souls. Israel would continue to live.”

On Israel Rwanda relations, Ambassador Weiss stated that; “We have had the utmost support from the Rwanda Government and the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Rwanda. My predecessor (Ambassador Dr. Ron Adam) and I have received thousands of messages of support. And you can see that people are disturbed that if this can happen in Israel, it can happen anywhere.”

Dolapo Aina writes from Kigali, Rwanda

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Court Denies Binance Executive Tigran Gambaryan Bail

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Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court Abuja, on Friday, refused to grant bail to an executive of Binance Holdings Limited, Tigran Gambaryan.

Justice Nwite held that Gambaryan is likely to jump bail if granted to him.

The company and its executive were arraigned on a five-count charge bordering on money laundering before Emeka Nwite, judge of a Federal High Court in Abuja.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Moving an application, Counsel to the Defendant, Mark Mordi, argued that the court had the power to grant bail to the defendant and impose conditions to ensure his presence in court.

The prosecution counsel, Ekele Iheanacho, however opposed the bail application, stating that the defendant is a flight risk.

He stated that the defendant attempted to obtain a new passport, which he claimed was stolen, and this is a suspicious act given the proximity to his colleague’s escape from custody.

He added that the court cannot risk granting Gambaryan bail, especially as he is not attached to any community in Nigeria.

“The fact that the passport of the defendant is with the complainant does not guarantee that he will remain in Nigeria because the defendant is not only an American citizen but also an Armenian citizen by birth.

He urged the court to refuse the application and instead remand him in EFCC custody to ensure his safety and prevent potential flight risk.

Delivering ruling, the judge said several factors including the nature of offence and its severity must be considered when trying to decide whether or not bail should be granted to the defendant applicant.

Justice Nwite agreed with the depositions made by prosecution and was of the view that the applicant will jump bail if bail is granted to him.

He subsequently ordered that the trial be given an accelerated hearing.

After the ruling, the EFCC called its first witness, a staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

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Governor Adeleke Felicitates with Dele Momodu at 64

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The Executive Governor of Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke has felicitated with the celebrated journalist, and Publisher of Ovation Magazine, Akinrogun Dele Momodu on the occasion of his 64th birthday, describing him as “a pride of the media industry.”

Governor Adeleke noted Akinrogun Momodu’s heartwarming contributions to a just and equitable society, saying he has touched the minds and hearts of countless people with insightful words, logistic support and unwavering dedication to truth and justice.

The Governor appreciates the Ovation Magazine Publisher’s sustained commitment to informing and enlightening the public as a weapon of nation building, acknowledging him as an inspirational figure, who has empowered readers to think critically, and engage meaningfully.

“I congratulate my dear friend, Akinrogun Dele Momodu, on the auspicious occasion of his birthday. The Aare Tayese of Iwoland is a unique personality, who has touched lives positively and brought smiles to countless faces,” the Governor was quoted in a congratulatory message, signed by his spokesperson, Mallam Olawale Rasheed.

“On this auspicious occasion, I honour both your wonderful life and exceptional contributions to the media sector and the larger society. I note, with admiration, Akinrogun Momodu’s deep sense of commitment to a better Nigeria, which is manifest in columns and public discourse.

“On behalf of my family, I convey best wishes to Akinrogun Momodu on his birthday and it is my prayer that God grant him many celebrations in good health and happiness while also bestowing him the grace to give more to humanity.”

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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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