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Investigate sources of fake reports about luxury bus hijack, GUO, ALBON tell police

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Luxury bus owners and operators have denied a new report claiming that one of the buses was hijacked and 123 passengers abducted by some gunmen.

The transporters were reacting to what they called the latest in a series of recent fake news that a “fully loaded” Abuja-bound luxury bus belonging to GUO Transport Co Ltd was “intercepted” in Edo by “bandits suspected to be Fulani who kidnapped about 123 passengers on board, hours after departing Owerri.

They asked the police and other security agencies in the country to investigate the sources of such frequent hoax online news reports about the hijack of their vehicles and kidnap of passengers by bandits.

Describing the abduction story which was widely publicised online as a mischievously fabricated falsehood, the Managing Director of GUO, Maduabuchukwu Okeke, disclosed that neither was any of his company’s buses hijacked nor the passengers abducted.

He stated that since the middle of last week when the false report was posted, his company has been inundated with calls and visits by worried members of the travelling public trying to confirm the “news.”

One of the publications went as far as claiming that the bandits were “armed with Ak-47 rifles and machetes.”

The GUO Managing Director recalled that false stories of luxury bus hijack and kidnap of passengers have been recycled several times since banditry became a worrisome issue in the country.

He urged the Department of State Services {DSS}, the police and other law enforcement agencies, to track down the perpetrators who are bent on scaring away innocent long distance road users, putting luxury bus business in jeopardy and causing disaffection among sections of the society.

Okeke debunked the story, saying, “The mischief makers claimed that 123 passengers were abducted. But, what kind of luxury bus can accommodate 123 passengers even with the so called “attachment” seats which are totally prohibited in GUO as a matter of policy. Or, are we talking about pieces of wood here, and not human beings anymore? You do not need to think deep to know that the story is false.”

He stated that if there was any such incident involving GUO buses, the management would have officially issued a statement in addition to a confirmation by the police.

Also speaking on to latest hijack and kidnap hoax, the recently elected National President of Association of Luxury Bus Owners of Nigeria {ALBON}, Nonso Ubajaka, decried the frequent generation of falsehood about his members’ vehicles on the internet.

Ubajaka said he checked with the management of GUO and confirmed that none of their buses was attacked by bandits.

“So, the question is: What is the motive behind the frequent fake news about luxury buses being “intercepted” and occupants abducted by the Fulani? All the transport owners are worried because there seems to be a secret plan to cause fear and disaffection which gives us cause for concern,” he said.

The ALBON President, therefore, echoed the appeal to the law enforcement agencies to swing into action and apprehend the mischief makers before they cause more damage through the internet.

Other luxury bus transporters and members of both ALBON and the bigger amalgam of transport bodies –   Public Transport Owners of Nigeria Association {PTONA}, urged online news readers to disregard such fake news.

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Range Rover shines as Velar wins 2021 Nigeria luxury SUV

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The 2021 will go down as a year of glory for Range Rover brand as its new model, the Velar, has won multiple awards. The latest is the Luxury SUV of the Year 2021 at the annual Nigeria Auto Journalists Association (NAJA) Awards just in Lagos.

The Velar, which is currently on sale in Nigeria via Coscharis Motors, had earlier won the 2021 Business Motoring Award for the Best Large SUV.

A statement by Coscharis Motors said the awards were a follow up to the 2018 World Car Awards for the design of the year.

The auto firm noted that the new Range Rover Velar fought off stiff competition from other brands nominated for the same category.

The editorial team considered the entrants based on a combination of factors such as technology, design and style, adding that the Velar excelled on all fronts.

The Range Rover Velar was said to have been chosen as the outright winner in the luxury car of the year category due to its class-leading technology, exhibiting novel features such as Pivi and Pivi Pro, providing the latest in-car artificial intelligence such as self-learning navigation system for a fully connected journey; the deployable door handles which could retract when not in use, the split armrest and crafted materials throughout.

The organisers praised Land Rover’s cutting-edge lineage, said to be instantly recognisable in the Velar, given its beautifully balanced stance with optimised proportions from the formal, powerful front end, through a flowing, continuous waistline, culminating in a taut and elegantly tapered rear.

The Velar was also commended for its Meridian’s Trifield 3D technology, found to create a truly unique ‘live’ sound experience.

Group General Manager, Marketing and Communications, Abiona Babarinde, who received the award on behalf of the auto firm, said, “For combining the off-road capabilities of a Range Rover and leading technology with the desirability of an electric vehicle, the Range Rover Velar just had to win it for us.”

He also said the NAJA award meant a lot to Coscharis Motors and “it is fantastic for the Velar to win the Luxury SUV of the Year as that is what the vehicle truly represents.

“I am really happy to pick it up on behalf of Coscharis Motors and most especially the Land Rover team who put so much hard work into the design and engineering – it is great to be recognised for leading edge and innovative technology wrapped in such a fantastic design.”

According to the statement, every Land Rover vehicle sold by Coscharis Motors comes with a complementary five-year/100,000km service plan and five-year/150,000km warranty.

 

 

L-R: Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps, giving award of Luxury SUV of the year to Mr Abiona Babarinde, GM, Marketing Corporate Communications, Coscharis Group; Mr Felix Mahan, Brand Manager, Coscharis Motors; and Mr Mike Ochonma, Chairman, Nigeria Auto Journalists Association, during the 2021 edition of the association’s award night held in Eko Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.

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CIG boss, Diana Chen, named Nigeria 2021 Auto CEO

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  • GAC GS8 clinches most fascinating SUV

Chief Diana Chen, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of Choice International Group (CIG), Chief Diana Chen, has emerged as Nigeria’s Auto CEO of the Year.

This was announced during the 2021 edition of the annual Nigeria Auto Awards held in Lagos.

The Nigerian Auto Journalists Association gave the verdict at the ceremony, where Chief Ade.Ojo, founder of Elizade Nigeria Limited fondly called Mr Toyota, was honoured as Pillar of the nation’s auto industry.

Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi, Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps, and Jelani Aliyu, Director General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council, were also named as Road Safety Personality of the Decade and Auto Personality of the Year (Public Sector) respectively.

Jacky Hathiramani, who is the chief executive officer of Dana Group, emerged as Auto Personality of the Year (Private Sector).

The CIG boss, whose firm represents the GAC auto brand in Nigeria, was given the CEO of the year award as a result of her continuous efforts in pushing the brand among the enterprising young people, lawmakers and senior government officials, raising the standard and image of Chinese products in Nigeria, according to the organisers of the event.

She was also praised for sponsoring a number of sporting and socio-cultural events as well as encouraging celebrities including young artistes to drive and identify with her brand.

Chen, while responding to the award, said she was excited and felt challenged to do more in the coming years.

She urged other major players in the industry, especially the CEOs, to come together and forge a formidable force that could move the sector forward.

“It’s when we come together that we can brilliantly generate ideas on how to improve the industry,” she stated.

Chen, who invited all the CEOs present at the award night to the podium, stressed that the auto industry holds so much power in transforming the national economy if given the right impetus.

She commended the organisers of the award for giving the industry stakeholders a platform to interact every year and promised to sponsor the 2022 edition so that it could be bigger and enable all CEOs in the industry and policymakers to attend.

Chief Diana, who is also vice president of the China-Africa Business Council, is reputed to have successfully managed the CIG for 20 years.

Leveraging her extensive international trade experience and brand operations, she has established several subsidiaries and overseas branches of the company.

The group’s product line covers many industries providing quality products and services to Nigeria and the African community at large.

Chen was in 2015 conferred with a chieftaincy title in Nigeria, making her the first Chinese female chief in Nigeria. She got two other titles in 2016 and 2021.

Through the China’s ‘One Belt & Road’ and ‘Going  Global’ national strategies, she has been promoting China-Africa cooperation & China-Nigeria economic, trade & cultural exchanges.

She is credited to be promoting the industrialization of Africa, by establishing an auto assembly plant in Nigeria.

 

GAC GS8 gets most fascinating SUV award

Meanwhile, one of the models of the GAC brand, GS8, has won the most fascinating SUV award in Nigeria.

The vehicle being sold by the CIG Motor, an arm of the CIG Group, is one of the product awards announced at the auto industry event.

The second generation GS8 unveiled in July 2021 came with a 2.0 litre turbo engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, with a maximum output of 185kW and a maximum torque of 400Nm.

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Photos: Minister inspects Eco-Green bus proposed for FCT roads

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L-R: Permanent Secretary, Federal capital Territory Administration, Olusade Adesola; Minister of the FCT, Muhammad Musa Bello; and Chief Executive Officer of Austrian Technologies Nigeria Ltd, Johann Rieger, during the inspection of the eco-friendly mass transit bus, ECO- Green bus, which the company is proposing for deployment on FCT roads.

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