Boko Haram fighters raze down military base in Maiduguri

Boko Haram jihadists have torched a military base in northeast Nigeria, a day after the group killed seven people in a separate raid, residents said.

Jihadists believed to be loyal to a Boko Haram faction that is recognised by the Islamic State group on Thursday attacked the base in Wajirko village, 150 kilometres (90 miles) from Maiduguri, capital of Borno state, forcing the soldiers to flee.

“The gunmen arrived in pickups and engaged soldiers in the base just outside the village in a heavy shootout,” Wajirko resident Bukar Maduye told AFP.

The assailants were believed to be loyal to the faction headed by Abu Musab Al-Barnawi, the son of Boko Haram founder Mohammed Yusuf.

Barnawi was appointed last year by the Islamic State group to replace leader Abubakar Shekau.

But Barnawi’s right-hand man Mamman Nur, the alleged mastermind of a 2011 bombing of a UN building in Nigeria’s capital Abuja, is believed by many to be the real leader.

A vigilante assisting the military in its fight against Boko Haram confirmed the incident, adding that the soldiers had moved to a military base 40 kilometres away (25 miles).

“There were no reports of casualties from either side but the (military) base was completely burnt by the Boko Haram terrorists and the soldiers fled,” Mustapha Karimbe said.

In a separate attack on Wednesday scores of Boko Haram fighters rode on motorcycles into Abbati, a farming community outside Maiduguri, where they killed seven men and stole 360 livestock.

“They slaughtered the two men they had forced to lead them to the community and shot dead the five owners of the cattle herds who had confronted them with bows and arrows,” said vigilante Babakura Kolo.

Barnawi and Mamman Nur have previously promised residents in areas under their control they would not be harmed as long as they did not cooperate with Nigerian troops fighting Boko Haram.

But in recent weeks the Islamist fighters have intensified raids in areas near Lake Chad, stealing food from residents.

They have also killed several civilians they accused of cooperating with the military.


Source: The Guardian

Dog pays the ultimate sacrifice after stopping suicide bomber in Maiduguri

A dog died saving dozens of people at a wedding party in Maiduguri after it attacked a suicide bomber, an official said. The dog stopped the teenage suicide bomber from detonating her explosives in the crowd.

The dog, according to the police, belonged to a resident of the neighbourhood where the wedding took place. The suicide bomber was about making her way into the gathering at the wedding before the dog pounced on her.

The girl, whose original mission appeared to have been thwarted, detonated her explosive while battling to wriggle herself from the canine grip of the dog. The gallant dog paid the supreme sacrifice as it died alongside the suicide bomber.

Spokesperson of the Nigeria Police Force in Borno State, Victor Isuku, said the incident happened around 7:30a.m. in Belbelo community of Jere Local Council in Borno State.

“Information just received indicate that today (yesterday) around 0733hours (7.33am), a female suicide bomber with IED strapped to her body, attempted to infiltrate a wedding ceremony in Belbelo community of Jere LGA She was, however, prevented by a watchdog, so she had to detonate the IED to kill herself and the dog,” said Isuku, a Deputy Superintendent of Police.

Isuku said normalcy has since been restored in the area and “no further casualty was recorded apart from the dog.” The incident occurred few hours after three suicide bombers blew themselves up at two different locations not far from the spot where the wedding took place.


Source: The Guardian

Nigerian Troops Arrest Two Boko Haram Spies

Two suspected Boko Haram terrorists carrying out surveillance on Kareto and Dangalti villages, were apprehended by Troops of 158 Task Force Battalion of 5 Brigade, Nigerian Army.

This was revealed in a statement signed by the Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka Usman.

The statement adds that, “Preliminary investigation shows that the apprehended spies were on a mission to facilitate possible attack on the communities by Boko Haram terrorists.

“One of the Boko Haram terrorist belonging to Mamman Nur’s faction, Bulama Kailani Mohammed Metel, under the leadership of Abu Mustapha surrendered himself to troops of 145 task Force Battalion, 5 Brigade at Damasak”.

It has been confirmed that the surrendered suspect, Bulama Kailani Mohammed Metel, a high profile terrorist, had been on the Nigerian Army’s Wanted Boko Haram terrorists poster recently produced, with a serial number 253.

He is currently undergoing further interrogation.


Source: Channels TV

Top Boko Haram member surrenders – Army

A high ranking member of the Boko Haram terrorist group, Bulama Kailani Mohammed Metele, has surrendered to 145 Task Force Battalion, 5 Brigade troops at Damasak.

Sani Usman, a brigadier general and army spokesman, made this known in a statement on Saturday in Maiduguri.

Mr. Usman said that Metele, from Tumbun Bera in Borno, belonged to Mamman Nur’s faction of the terrorists group under the leadership of Abu Mustapha.

He said Metele was of serial number 253 on the Nigerian Army’s wanted Boko Haram terrorists poster produced recently.

“He is currently undergoing further interrogation,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Usman said that two suspected Boko Haram terrorists carrying out surveillance on Kareto and Dangalti villages were arrested by troops of 158 Task Force Battalion of 5 Brigade based on information.

According to him, preliminary investigation shows that they are on reconnaissance mission to facilitate possible attack on the communities.


Source: NAN

Boko Haram fighter killed, soldier injured in ambush attack – Army

A Boko Haram gunman was killed Wednesday in a village in Borno State as troops shot their way out of an ambush attack that left one soldier injured, officials said.

The spokesman of the Nigeria army, Sani Usman, a brigadier general, said the attack was repelled by troops of 112 Task Force Battalion, 22 Brigade, Nigerian Army on Operation LAFIYA DOLE.

He said the attack occurred when the troops were carrying out a fighting patrol towards Boskoro, Dikwa Local Government Area of Borno State where it was believed, a sleeper cell of Boko Haram terrorists was hibernating.

“While advancing, the troops came in contact with some elements of the terrorists suspected to be in staging area to lay ambush for troops along Ajiri-Dikwa road,” said Mr. Usman, who is the director, Army Public Relations.

“The patrol team engaged the terrorists and neutralized one of them and recovered an AK-47 rifle, 1 Magazine, 47 rounds of 7.62mm (NATO) ammunition and belt links.

“Unfortunately one soldier sustained injury during the operation.

“The gallant soldier has been evacuated to military hospital and he is responding to treatment.”


Source: Premium Times

Boko Haram faction seeks grassroots support in Nigeria

A Boko Haram faction led by the son of the group’s founder is trying to win over civilians by shunning the indiscriminate violence of its longtime figurehead that has alienated locals.

Eyewitnesses to a spate of recent raids attributed to Islamist fighters loyal to Abu Musab Al-Barnawi in northeast Nigeria have said they repeatedly told villagers they would not be harmed.

Others say mass violence has been reduced in parts of the northern Borno state around Lake Chad now controlled by Barnawi and Mamman Nur, his right-hand man who is seen by some as the real leader.

Herdsman Jabbi Sambo said jihadists loyal to the elusive Boko Haram chief, Abubakar Shekau, repeatedly stole or killed their prized cattle, abducted women and children, and razed their homes.

“Things changed dramatically” when Nur took over control of the Lake Chad area, Sambo, from the town of Shuwaram, he told AFP.

“The raids and the killings stopped and we were free to move with our herds for grazing.”

Nur, the alleged mastermind behind the 2011 bombing of a UN building in Abuja that killed 24, told them in person that he “wanted to build trust and confidence between his group and people in the area”.

The only proviso was that they did not cooperate with the military, he added.

– Developing networks –
Balaraba Abdullahi was abducted from Baga in January 2014 and was held for three years by the group, whose insurgency has killed at least 20,000 people and made more than 2.6 million homeless.

She said conditions were “extreme” in the bush, with a lack of food and widespread disease, while “executions and amputations” for crimes such as adultery, spying or theft were commonplace.

“A little offence would attract death. All of these happened under Shekau but things changed under Mamman Nur,” said the 20-year-old, who was eventually released.

Shekau pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group in March 2015, but in August last year it announced that Barnawi was in charge of its “West Africa province”.

Barnawi, whose father Mohammed Yusuf founded Boko Haram in 2002 with Shekau as his deputy, has criticised the latter’s indiscriminate targeting of civilians and fellow Muslims.

Instead of suicide bombings causing mass casualties, his faction has vowed to concentrate on fighting “Christian crusaders” in Africa, as well as the government and military.

Yan St-Pierre, from the Modern Security Consulting Group in Berlin, said the Barnawi faction was “keeping a low profile and is looking for support in local communities”.

“It’s patiently developing networks around Lake Chad to set itself up for the long term, a bit like Daesh is doing in Iraq and Syria,” he added, using an Arabic acronym for IS.

Omar Mahmood, a researcher with the Institute for Security Studies in Pretoria, said Barnawi’s men were seeking to gain ground and build up their capacity to attack.

The idea was to create a “sustainable safe haven” after being forced out of captured towns and villages by a regional military counter-offensive that began in early 2015.

– ‘Skin-deep’ –
Despite the reassurances of Barnawi fighters, recent events demonstrate the group is still willing to kill civilians.

Last week, three men from Kalari Abdiye in the Konduga area were killed after being accused of providing information to the military. A fourth was mutilated.

Abubakar Gamandi, the head of the Borno fishermen’s union, said his members had warned people that the apparently conciliatory approach was only “skin-deep”.

“They may not be as vicious as Shekau and his men but the Mamman Nur faction cannot be trusted. They are only projecting a humane face because it suits their agenda,” he said.

“If they have to kill to achieve their goal they will be as bad as Shekau or worse. It is all about interest.”

Gamandi said Barnawi’s men slaughtered a cattle driver’s 100 cows “as punishment for selling herds to ‘infidels’” and whipped a fisherman who wanted to sell his catch back home rather than to the group.

Food is looted from civilians who rely on hand-outs from aid agencies, he said.
In effect they were “killing slowly through hunger”, Gamandi said.

Marc-Antoine Perouse de Montclos, from the French Institute of Geopolitics in Paris, said the tactics showed how both factions of Boko Haram were still locally focused.

There appeared to be no financing or even foreign fighters from IS, he said, adding: “The only concrete link… is they have helped Boko Haram’s publicity by relaying it around the world.”

17-year-old Boko Haram fighter captured, confesses to have killed 18 people.

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC) on Tuesday paraded a 17-year-old Boko Haram suspect, who admitted killing 18 people since he joined the group three years ago.

The suspect, Ali Mustafa, said he was forced to join the deadly group when Boko Haram terrorists attacked his village in Monguno and left with many boys.

The teenager said he gained skill handling assault rifles, with which he executed his victims.

“I was forced to join Boko Haram about three years ago,” he said.

“Boko Haram insurgents came to our village and forcefully took many of us away. We were kept in the bush camp near Kala Balge and from there we carried out various operations, during which I personally killed 18 persons.

“I can handle all kinds of guns including AK-47 and AA (anti aircraft) rifle.

The boy said his last mission was to go to Maiduguri to spy for his group, as he often did before attacks were carried out. He said he decided to change his mind on the way to Maiduguri.

“I was tired of killing people against my wish, so I told my two other colleagues with whom we were asked to go on a spying mission that we should abandon the mission and run.

“So I came to Maiduguri to search for my parents in the camps. But some IDPs who knew me as member of Boko Haram decided to report me to the security people,” he said.

The teenager, who looked unkempt, said he belonged to the Mamman Nur group of Boko Haram.

He said there were hundreds of young boys like him currently in the bush working for Boko Haram.

The Commandant of NSCDC, Ibrahim Abdullahi, paraded the young boy alongside other nine criminals who were arrested for other offences.

He said the young man had initially denied being a member of Boko Haram.

“But after a thorough interrogation he gave up his denial and confessed to be a Boko Haram member and that he had carried out many execution of innocent persons,” he said.


Source: Premium Times

Never again will terrorists seize any part of Nigeria – President Buhari

Never again will terrorists take over and occupy any part of Nigeria’s territory, President Muhammadu Buhari vowed in Sambisa Forest on Monday.

The President made the vow when he declared the 2017 Nigerian Army Small Arms Championship, NASAC, opened.

Represented by the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, Mr. Buhari noted that holding the championship in the forest was an affirmation that government was “resolved to stamp out all activities and operations of the Boko Haram insurgents from our territory.”

Mr. Buhari said: “This championship is a showcase of the clear effect and degradation of the Boko Haram terrorist group with the destruction of Camp Zairo in the heart of the famous Sambisa forest.

“I can say categorically that never again will Boko Haram occupy any of our land.

“I want use this opportunity to congratulate the Nigerian Army for this achievement and reiterate at this point by noting that it is a case of professional training that brought the Nigerian Army to this length.”

Mr. Buhari restated that through the Presidential Committee on North-East Initiative, PCNI, government would reconstruct facilities and structures destroyed by the terrorists so that the people of the region could enjoy the dividends of democracy.

Earlier, the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, said the championship was held at the forest to consolidate on the gains achieved by troops in the north-east so far.

“This championship is therefore held here at the heart of the Sambisa forest as part of Nigerian Army’s plans to effectively dominate all hostile territories in the North East”, Mr. Buratai said.

NASAC was held seven years ago, at Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, in Kaduna state.

According to Mr. Buratai, the championship could not be held since then due to numerous operational engagements by the army.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has named the newly established Nigerian Army shooting range at the Sambisa forest after the late lieutenant colonel, Abu Ali.

Mr. Ali, who was the commander of an army formation at Mallam Fatori in Borno east, died in a battle on November 4, 2016 when Boko Haram terrorists attempted to invade and take the town.

The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, recalls that the army routed the terrorists and took over Sambisa on December 23, 2016 at about 1.35 p.m. after it overran Camp Zairo, their last strong hold in the forest.


Source: NAN

Fleeing Boko Haram Members Arrested In Ekiti, Other States – DSS

The Department of State Service has arrested a suspected Boko Haram kingpin, other members of the fleeing insurgency group in some states across the country.

The agency made the arrest during a recent operation carried out in Ekiti, where the suspected Boko Haram kingpin in was nabbed, with other members of the group caught in Nassarawa, Kogi, Yobe, Kano, Bauchi, and Kaduna States.

According to the spokesperson of the DSS, Tony Opuiyo, in a statement released stated that some alleged notorious kidnappers in Niger and Kaduna states have also been nabbed.

“On March 20 2017, a suspected Boko Haram kingpin, Adenoyi Abdusalam was arrested in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State by a Joint Military/DSS Operation Team.

An Ak-47 rifle was recovered from the suspect who is presently undergoing investigation. Abdusalam was on the final stages of kidnapping some high level targets in Ekiti, not only to raise funds but to terrorise communities in the State.

“Prior to this arrest, several other Boko Haram suspects had been apprehended in various parts of Northern Nigeria especially the States of Bauchi, Yobe, Gombe, Nasarawa, Kaduna and Kogi.

“Typical cases of arrest include that of 29 year Boko Haram member, Usman Ladan Rawa (a.k.a Mr. X) on 17th March 2017 at Lafia, Nasarawa State. Rawa was discovered to have rented accommodation at Lafia for Abdullahi Isa, known for his notorious terrorist actions.

His plan was to establish an effective base to conduct terrorism, kidnapping and robbery operations in Abuja, Minna, and other adjoining States.

“On 15th March 2017, Nasiru Sani (a.k.a OSAMA) was arrested at Ahmadu Bello Way, Bauchi. He is a Boko Haram top commander, and discovered to have escaped from Bauchi Central Prison in October 2010 and hid in Maiduguri, Borno State.

Similarly, on the same 13th March 2017, at Jeka-da-Fari Market, Gombe State, Adamu Jibrin was arrested.

He operated under the pseudo name of Dantata Sule and served as a middleman for Boko Haram members and their commanders especially the one simply identified as Kanumbu.

Suspect affirmed his membership of the sect.

“On 1st and 2nd March, 2017, at Ngalda Town of Fika LGA, Yobe State and Nagazi area of Adavi LGA, Kogi State, Abdulazeez Umaru and Nuhu Usman a.k.a Okadigbo were respectively arrested.

Umaru, who has confessed his membership of the Boko Haram sect was arrested by the Service in concert with the local vigilante.

Preliminary investigations have revealed the participation of Usman in several deadly insurgent attacks in Kogi State.

“While the Service has ensured a relative peaceful environment in the month of March, it is instructive to note that it recorded many successes in the month of February as can be seen from its operations during the period.

“On 2nd February 2017, one Suleiman Yahaya, who had been on the wanted list of security agencies was arrested during a raid in Potiskum LGA, Yobe State, for his role in several terrorist attacks in Borno and Yobe States.

Similarly, on 7th February, 2017, in Kumbotso LGA, Kano State, Mohammed Isyaka (a.k.a Maikwano), was also arrested for his complicity in Boko Haram attacks in the North East.

“Meanwhile, on 9th February, 2017, at Ayingba, Dekina LGA of Kogi State, the trio of Uwais Abubakar, Abdullahi Umaru and Mukhtar Suleman who are Boko Haram terrorists, were arrested by the Service’s tactical team.

Suspects were actively involved in series of attacks on select targets in Kogi State such as the Federal Polytechnic Idah, Kogi State University and the newly constructed Kogi State Revenue House, Lokoja.

“Ali Bukar and Mustapha Umar were also arrested on 17th February 2017 at Zaria Road, Kano State for their involvement in Boko Haram activities.

Abdullahi Isah, an indigene of Isari LGA of Yobe State was equally arrested at the Lafia Modern Market, Lafia, Nasarawa State for gun-running to raise funds for Boko Haram operations. He was a suspected armourer of the sect”.

In furtherance of sustaining its operations against Boko Haram during the month of February, the Service on 28th February, arrested a Boko Haram Commander and food supplier, Ibrahim Fulata and his associates – Shamsudeen Aliyu, Zaharadeen Ibrahim and Suleiman Abubakar at Zaria Clinic, Dustsen Tanshi area of Bauchi LGA of Bauchi State.

Determined to sustain the prevailing peace and stamp out all cases of kidnap in various States where it is taking root, the Service staged vigorous operations which recorded successes.

The duo of Ibrahim Sule and Bello Shehu were arrested on 13th March, 2017 at Nasarawa town, Nasarawa LGA of Kaduna State for their suspected involvement in the kidnap of two (2) German nationals – Dr.Peter Breuning and Johannes Brehinger– on 22nd February, 2017 at Pahkogo, Kagarko LGA, Kaduna State.

They are being questioned to establish other possible members of the network.

“On 9th February, 2017 at Umuahia, Abia State, Tochukwu Prince Johnson and Madubuike Christopher Iromaka were arrested for alleged threat to abduct two (2) prominent businessmen in the State namely: Obioma Okorie and Chidozie Ohabuchiro.

Also on 12th February, 2017, a notorious local bandit, Saidu Musa was arrested in Makarfi LGA of Kaduna State for terrorizing people of the area. On arrest, a pump action gun and twenty three (23) cartridges were discovered in his vehicle, Toyota Carina KRD 523 EZ (Lagos)”.

In another development, on 3rd February, 2017, Ashiru Abubakar, a suspected kidnapper, was arrested at Maraban Jos Junction, Igabi LGA of Kaduna State.

He was a member of the notorious gang that kidnapped eleven (11) travelers along Kaduna-Abuja road, where they extorted several millions of naira from them to buy their freedom. The Service also arrested some kidnappers in Kaduna, Kogi, and Plateau States.

While Bingel Mohammed, Kabiru Lawal, Dahiru Lawal and Shagari Usman were arrested in Maigiginya Village, Igabi LGA, Kaduna State on 4th February, 2017, Lawal Abdullahi, a notorious kidnap kingpin was also arrested on 6th February 2017 at Elka, Ohizenyi Okehi LGA of Kogi State.

“On 24th February 2017, at Bosso LGA, Niger State, Abubakar Mohammed a.k.a Baba Dogo, a notorious kidnapper/cattle rustler was arrested. On the same date at Ankpa Town, Kogi State, thirty (30) year suspected kidnapper, Mallam Idris Baba was shot dead while trying to evade arrest.

“Earlier on 28th January, 2017, in Wudil, Wudil LGA, Kano State, the Service arrested Ahmed Muhammed a high profile Boko Haram terrorist, who kept custody of many persons abducted by sect members during their operations.

On 31st January, 2017, one Yusuf Hayatudeen, a suspected terrorist was arrested by the Service at Oziokutu Adavi LGA, Kogi State. He had threatened to bomb a Radio House in Okene, Kogi State before his apprehension.

The arrests, according to the agency, were made possible by members of the public who volunteered information.


Source: Channels TV

“Nigerians Must Go”, Cameroon forcing Nigeria refugees home.

The UN refugee agency has criticised Cameroon for the forced return of hundreds of refugees to north-east Nigeria after they had fled from the Islamist Boko Haram insurgency.

The UNHCR said forced returns had “continued unabated” despite an agreement earlier this month.

Under the deal, any returns would be voluntary and only “when conditions were conducive”.

This year, more than 2,600 refugees have been forcibly returned to Nigeria.

Many are unable to go back to their villages in Borno state for security reasons and have ended up in camps for displaced people.

In some cases, the UNHCR said, people had been returned “without allowing them time to collect their belongings”.

UNHCR spokesman Babar Baloch spoke of “chaos” in the returns process and said “some women were forced to leave their young children behind in Cameroon, including a child less than three years old”.

Many of the returnees are now settled in the Banki camp for internally displaced people.

UNHCR staff also recorded about 17 people who claimed to be Cameroonian nationals, who it said had been deported by mistake to Banki.

It is common in the region to find people who have no documentary proof of their nationality.

The Cameroonian authorities have not responded to the UNCHR comments but have previously said Boko Haram militants have been entering the country disguised as refugees.

Militants have carried out a number of attacks in northern Cameroon in recent years, often using suicide bombers.

The UNHCR said forced return constitutes a serious violation of the 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1969 OAU Convention, both of which Cameroon has ratified.

It called on Cameroon to honour its obligations under the conventions and continue keeping its borders open so as to allow access to territory and asylum procedures for people fleeing the Islamist insurgency.


Source: BBC

Boko Haram will take over Africa, Shekau boasts in new video.

Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, has appeared in a new video released on Friday urging his fighters to persist in their insurgency against democratic governments until the sect takes over most countries in Africa and enthrone Sharia particularly in Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria and Mali.

In the video, he displayed identity cards, arms, ammunition and other equipment purportedly seized from the Cameroonian Army.

Shekau, who maintained that his men will not back down, also refuted recent attacks in Libya and threatened some world leaders.

The 27-minute footage, sent to media houses in Abuja by a journalist with known contact to Boko Haram, has Shekau thanking his loyal followers.

Three days ago, the sect released a video claiming to have killed some three men allegedly working for government as spies.


Source: Daily Post

JUST IN: Nigerian Army Lieutenant Killed In Boko Haram Attack

A security source in Maiduguri says Boko Haram terrorists have killed a Nigerian army Lieutenant in an attack in Magumeri town in Magumeri Local Government Area of Borno State on Wednesday evening.

The source said the militants ambushed Lieutenant AC Oguntoye and his colleagues on their way to Gubio from a shooting range competition in Monguno. The officers were pinned down by terrorists in Magumeri where they razed down houses, including a police station in the town.

The militants rode into the area in 10 utility vehicles, shooting and attacking military formations. A press release from the Nigerian police stated that a police Sergeant Haliru Aliyu was also killed in the attack while another sustained leg injury from gunshots.

A spokesperson to the Nigerian army later said the insurgents who were being shielded by members of the Magumeri community have been subdued.


Source: Sahara Reporters

Boko Haram Attack On Magumeri Repelled By Nigerian Troops

Troops of 8 Task Force Division, Operation Lafiya Dole, have foiled an attack on Magumeri town, Borno State, on Wednesday evening.

The terrorists who came with some vehicles at about 6:00pm attempted to set the town ablaze and kill the residents but the timely intervention of the troops prevented that mishap.

This was revealed in a statement signed by the Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka Usman.

“The troops have neutralized quite a number of the attackers and those that escaped with gunshot wounds are being pursued.

“So far, the troops have recovered three vehicles and large quantities of arms and ammunition.

“While troops are still consolidating and mopping up, it is imperative to state that preliminary investigation shows that the attackers of Magumeri came from the same community.

“The terrorists that attacked the village are well known to the people”.

It was noted that the village was never attacked throughout the period of the insurgency, for some inexplicable reasons.

The terrorists and their collaborators hibernating in the area were never exposed, so there seems to be unholy alliance between the terrorists and the villagers.

“It is high time for the people to take up the fight themselves and help the Nigerian military and other security agencies to protect them.

“It is a grievous mistake and criminal offence to continue to shield or harbour any known Boko Haram terrorist in their midst.

“The terrorists must be exposed and their movements promptly reported to the security agencies, they are inhuman and barbaric, therefore, they cannot be trusted to spare anyone in perpetuating their inhuman acts”.

However, it is imperative that all communities in the North East especially Borno State, should fully cooperate with the military and the security agencies by exposing Boko Haram terrorists in their respective towns and villages.


Source: Channels TV

BREAKING: Boko Haram factional leader, Khalid al-Barnawi charged to court.

The leader of Boko Haram splinter group Ansaru appeared in court in the Nigerian capital Abuja on Tuesday charged with the abduction and murder of 10 foreigners.

Khalid al-Barnawi, one of three Nigerians listed by the US government as a “specially designated global terrorist”, appeared alongside six other defendants, including his second wife.

All pleaded not guilty and all seven were remanded in custody until a further hearing on April 11.

Both were killed by their captors in the northern city of Sokoto just moments after the start of a joint British-Nigerian rescue operation at the compound where they were being held.

Barnawi is also accused over the kidnapping of Frenchman Francis Collomp and German national Edgar Raupach.

Collomp was kidnapped in December 2012 and held by Ansaru for nearly a year before he managed to stage a dramatic escape in November 2013.

Raupach’s abduction was initially claimed by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb to which Ansaru has been linked. He was killed during a military raid in Kano, northern Nigeria, in May 2012.

The other kidnapping and murder charges relate to seven foreign nationals — two from Lebanon, two Syrians, an Italian, a Greek and a Briton — who were seized in the northern state of Bauchi in 2013.

Ansaru also claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.

According to the charge sheet, the seven were taken to the Sambisa Forest area of Borno state, in northeastern Nigeria, and held for about 10 days before they were killed.

They were then buried in a shallow grave, the charge read.

Halima Haliru, Barnawi’s second wife, faces only one charge — failing to disclose information about acts of terrorism.

Nigeria’s military announced in April last year that Barnawi was arrested in the capital of Kogi state, in central Nigeria, and described him as “on top of the list of our wanted terrorists”.

The group, also known as Jamaatu Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladissudan (“Vanguard for the Aid of Muslims in Black Africa”), specialised in high-profile killings and attacks on foreigners.


Source: The Guardian

Lafiya Dole: Troops Record Success In Clearance Operations

Troops of Operation Lafiya Dole and other Internal Security operations have recorded success in their clearance operation, patrols and raids in suspected areas where Boko Haram terrorists, cattle rustlers and other criminals were hiding or sighted.

In this regard, troops of 232 Battalion of 23 Brigade were on patrol towards Gombi, Guriki and Bobini towns in Adamawa State, to prevent Boko Haram terrorists infiltrating from other parts of Borno State.

In a press statement by the Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka Usman, “Troops in Garkida have continued to maintain blocking positions through patrols close to Jau area, to fix any fleeing Boko Haram terrorists.

“Other units under the Brigade have also steered patrol towards the Wurolade village to prevent terrorists infiltrating through our border from Republic of Cameroon. While those deployed at Hong have intensified patrol at Mararraba Pella, Kalla and Shangui as well as Hong- Garaha road.

“Troops of 120 and 159 Task Forces Battalions of 27 Task Force Brigade have maintained aggressive clearance operations”.

On their part, troops of 154 Task Force Battalion, 29 Task Force have also been carrying out their patrol to Mauli with the aim of destroying Boko Haram terrorists. While 156 Task Force Battalion have embarked on route clearance patrol along Alagarno-Mauli.

The 33 Brigade Nigerian Army following a tip off on the presence of suspected cattle rustlers and armed bandits at Dutsen Kelembu around Dogon Ruwa, Ningi Local Government Area embarked on a fighting patrol to the general area. Although the suspected criminals fled, but the troops recovered one AK-47 rifle, one locally made gun and an empty magazine buried in cow dung. The patrol team destroyed the cattle rustlers’ camp.

The Brigade also arrested a former Assistant Police Inspector, Odigba Elias and Abdulwahab Adamu at Married Officers Quarters in Shadawanka Barracks, Bauchi, in possession of one Single Barrel Gun, four cartridges, 11 empty cartridges, Gun powder, one Leg chain, one Motorcycle and one Cutting Machine, both suspects are being interrogated.

Similarly, troops of 301 Artillery Regiment and 231 Battalions have also intensified patrols in southern parts of Borno and Gombe State to destroy fleeing Boko Haram terrorists from Ajigin and Talala axis.

The troops of 251 Battalion, seven Division Garrison deployed at Ummarari while on routine patrol discovered 2 wrapped suicide bomb vests possibly kept there for pick up in the bush. The troops called the Nigeria Police Explosive Ordinance Team who safely detonated the vests.

The troops of 7 Division Gun Boat Company responded to a distress call by cattle rearers at Aramari village very close to Konduga on the presence of Boko Haram terrorists rustling over 1,000 cows from them. The troops mobilized and rescued two persons along with the rustled cows intact while the terrorists fled.

Also, troops of 145 Task Force Battalion of 5 Task Force Brigade arrested a suspected Boko Haram terrorist, Auta Abdullahi attempting to enter Damasak from Niger Republic. Although the suspect claimed to be a herbs dealer, preliminary investigation confirmed his membership in the Boko Haram terrorists group. Nevertheless, he is being further interrogated.

Some elements of the Brigade while advancing to clear an objective encountered an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) at Duoma near Damasak. The fragment of the IED damaged the door of one of the armoured Personnel Carrier.

Further investigation confirmed that the IED was made of comportments of Acetylene Gas Cylinder and Pressure Plate Switch.

On Saturday night two female suicide bombers attempted to enter Maiduguri through Ummarari. One of them was shot by a soldier while the second panicked and detonated the suicide vest strapped to her body.

There were no casualty beyond the two suicide bombers.


Source: Channels TV

We have no hand in Boko Haram insurgency, says French ambassador.

We have no hand in Boko Haram insurgency, French Ambassador in Nigeria, Denys Gauer, declared yesterday. Speaking with The Guardian in Abuja, Gauer stated that a national newspaper, (not The Guardian) recently published a report and photograph of a white man, which it claimed is a French national arrested by the Nigerian military in its operation against Boko Haram.

The French envoy said the white man in the newspaper report is a German national, who was kidnapped by members of the Boko Haram sect but was later rescued by Cameroun security forces.

He said the report was capable of creating credibility issues for the newspaper.“When a newspaper makes such an enormous blunder, it loses its credibility. Who will trust them anymore?”

He noted that though France has its internal crises with some of its radicalised citizens who left France to join terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq, he maintained that there has never been any reported case of a French national providing support for the Boko Haram.

Gauer disclosed that France has put in place a strong legislation to deter its citizens from joining terrorist organisations. “We now have a strong law that when those guys come back to France, they are immediately arrested, but concerning Boko Haram, I must say I am not aware of any case of a French national involved in the group,” the envoy said.

He explained that when the Boko Haram insurgency got to a peak in 2014, former President Goodluck Jonathan approached President Francois Hollande of France who immediately convened a meeting of Nigeria neighbours, Chad, Niger and Cameroun in Paris where the Multi-national Joint Task Force, MJTF was established to deal with the situation. He added that although, Nigerian authorities had on several occasions blamed terrorism activities around the Lake Chad basin on nationals other than Nigerians, the diplomat stated that Nigeria’s Francophone neighbours believed otherwise.


Source: The Guardian

After a tip-off, troops raid Gombe International Hotel for Boko Haram members.

The Nigerian army has said that it carried out a raid of Gombe international hotel on suspicions that Boko Haram terrorists from Chad and Niger were lodging there.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Sani Usman, a brigadier general, made this known in a statement in Abuja on Thursday.

“Based on tip-off on the presence of foreign elements of Boko Haram terrorists from Chad and Niger, troops carried out cordon and search operations at Gombe International Hotel, Gombe state.

“However, nothing incriminating was found. More vigilance is being maintained in the area.”

Usman also said that one soldier has lost his life in an ongoing operation to rid remnants of terrorists from their hideouts in Borno and the north-east.

He said that the operation involved ambushes and search of the suspected remnants hiding places in the remote areas.

He added that two soldiers are still missing and 13 others are wounded

Usman said that efforts were ongoing to locate the two missing soldiers.

He said troops of 159 battalion artillery detachment, based on information and confirmation on the presence of suspected Boko Haram terrorists at Tula Udah forest, carried out heavy bombardment to neutralise them.

He said during the operations, 505 persons were rescued while nine arrests were made.

Usman said that one Boko Haram camp was destroyed during the exercise and two vehicles recovered, adding that the owner of one of the recovered vehicles was also arrested.


Source: The Cable

Troops of the Operation Lafiya Dole capture 14 terrorists, recover arms.

Troops of the Operation Lafiya Dole captured 14 terrorists and neutralised several others during clearance operations at Chikum Gudu in Northern part of Borno on Friday.

Brig.-Gen. Sani Usman, the Director of Army Public Relations, who said this in a statement in Abuja on Sunday, added that the troops captured many arms and ammunition from the terrorists during the operation.

“Unfortunately, four of soldiers were wounded in action and they have been evacuated to medical facility where they are receiving treatment,’’ he said.

He said the insurgent stole trucks from Niger Republic Defence Forces.

Usman said the troops also recovered two Toyota Hilux gun trucks, one of which the insurgents earlier took from 153 Task Force Battalion of the Operation Lafiya Dole.

Others, he said were 25-horse power Yamaha outboard engine, two solar panels and five empty belts of anti-aircraft guns ammunition links.

He said that the troops recovered one gun bipod, 12 pairs of Boko Haram terrorists’ fighters uniform, five flags, 37 rounds of 7.62mm (NATO) ammunition, 84 copies of Holy Quran and 270 books on Islamic literature.

“The troops also recovered and destroyed over 70 motorcycles used by the terrorists to launch attacks, three shops stocked with medical supplies, three other shops with provisions and three wooden boats.

“They also recovered two Niger Republic Drivers’ Licenses, two mobile telephone handsets and two Wooden Slates.’’


Source: The Guardian

VIDEO: Why I refused to detonate my explosive – Female suicide bomber explains

A teenager, Amina Yusuf, paraded by the military on Wednesday in Maiduguri said she failed to detonate her explosive because she did not subscribe to Boko Haram ideology.

The 17-year-old told newsmen in Maiduguri that she was abducted five years ago, alongside her parents, in Madagali in Adamawa, after a terror attack on the village.

“I was abducted alongside my parents in Madagali in Adamawa after the terrorists attacked our village. We were taken to a camp in the bush where we were forcefully indoctrinated by the group,” she said.

The suspected suicide bomber alleged that her parents were killed after they had refused to be indoctrinated.

“My parents were executed because they did not join the group.

“I was married off to a Boko Haram militant with whom I lived in the camp,” she said.

“One day I was asked to wear the bombs. I was brought to Maiduguri with an instruction that I detonate the bomb where there is a large crowd of people,” the teenager added.

She said that she declined to detonate the explosive because she did not want to die.

“They said I should press the button but I refused and allowed security men to capture me alive.

“My four siblings are still with the terrorists in the camp,” Yusuf said.

Maj.- Gen. Lucky Irabor the Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole had presented her along with two unindentified girls to newsmen during a weekly briefing in Maiduguri.

Video Credits: Olatunji Ololade/The Nation newspaper

We killed 48 Boko Haram fighters, arrested 7,898 suspects in February – Army

The Nigerian military authorities said Wednesday that troops fighting insurgency in northeast Nigeria arrested 7, 898 suspected Boko Haram terrorists and killed at least 48 others in various operations last February.

This was made known by Lucky Irabor, a major-general, who is the Theatre Commander for the ongoing counterinsurgency operation, tagged Operation Lafiya Dole.

Mr. Irabor, who addressed a press conference, chronicled the activities of the Nigerian troops in various areas where the country still faces challenges from the outlawed Boko Haram group.

“The total number of arrests made during the period under review was 7,898, which include women and some foreigners,” he said.

Mr. Irabor said the military lost about 22 soldiers including an officer during the month, while about 27 others were injured in various attacks mostly through explosion of improvised Explosives Devices by Boko Haram.

He said the military was in search of three soldiers who are missing in action.

Mr. Irabor said most of the Boko Haram suspects were arrested around the axis of Damboa, Kaga and parts of Yobe state, which surround the city of Maiduguri.

He also revealed that 301 motorcycles suspected to have been gathered by Boko Haram in preparation for attacks were intercepted and destroyed through burning by the troops.

The General said all those arrested by the troops as Boko Haram suspects would be properly profiled and handed over to appropriate authorities for prosecution if found wanting.

He also revealed that a large cache of arms were recovered from the Boko Haram insurgents during the various raids and ambush operations by the troops.

He further added that the military will sustain its operation in Sambisa forest for a long time to come in order to prevent the reoccupation of the area by the insurgents or any criminal group.


Source: Premium Times

Nigerian Army arrests three foreign Boko Haram suspects

Three foreigners suspected to be members of the Boko Haram were on Sunday arrested in Gombe State, the Nigerian Army said.

The Army spokesperson, Sani Usman, said on Sunday that the three Chadians were arrested in Gombe State.

“The three Chadian terrorists suspects, Bilal Muhammed Umar, Bashir Muhammed and Muhammed Maigari Abubakar were arrested at Arawa and Mallam Inna Areas of Gombe metropolis,” the brigadier general said.

“They were reported to be members of Albarnawi faction of the Boko Haram that operates in Chad and mostly northern part of Borno State but came to Gombe State for another heinous assignment.”

The Boko Haram are believed to be split into two factions, one led by Albarnawi, believed to be a son of the sect’s late founder, Muhammed Yusuf, and the other led by the elusive Abubakar Shekau.

The spokesperson said one of the arrested suspects, Mr. Umar, “attempted to escape and was shot on the leg. He was however apprehended and is receiving medical treatment. ”

“The terrorists were also arrested with Improvised Explosive Device (IED), materials that they could have coupled and attacked parts of the state.”

Mr. Usman said the suspects are in custody undergoing preliminary investigation.

About 100,000 people have been killed since the start of the Boko Haram insurgency in 2009. Most of the attacks happened in three north-eastern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe. Most of the territory once controlled by the Boko Haram in those states have been retaken by Nigerian forces.


Source: Premium Times

Boko Haram: Norway pledges N60 billion humanitarian support for Nigeria

Nigerian victims of Boko Haram insurgency will benefit about NOK1.6 billion (N60 billion) in aid from Norway within the next three years, that country’s authorities announced Friday.

About N27 billion of the amount will be disbursed this year alone, according to a statement by Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Borge Brende.

“The Government has proposed a three-year commitment to provide up to NOK1.6 billion in humanitarian and development aid for the period 2017-2019,” Mr. Brende said.

The diplomat’s comments came when he spoke at the ongoing international donor conference for Nigeria and the Lake Chad region in Oslo, the Norwegian capital.

Mr. Brende decried the humanitarian crisis in the war-ravaged Northeast, where an estimated 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced since 2009.

‘We urgently need to put an end to this crisis. It is affecting an area with a population of 26 million, and is threatening the whole region.

“Unless we make a concerted effort now, the situation will get even worse, with inevitable consequences,” Mr. Brende said.

Mr. Brende further stated that NOK150 million (about N5.6 billion) out of Norway’s NOK729 million (about N27.5 billion) humanitarian intervention budget for 2017 will go into providing food for the displaced Boko Haram victims.

“This humanitarian funding will be channelled through the UN, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and various Norwegian NGOs in north-eastern Nigeria and the other countries around Lake Chad – Niger, Cameroon and Chad,” Mr. Brende said.

Mr. Brende said Norway will provide other developmental supports for long-term survival of the people of the north-east, especially in the areas of basic infrastructure, health and education.

He said the UN will track all the donations members of the international community have pledged towards the Northeast humanitarian efforts, adding that the world body will ensure transparency and accountability for all the funds received.

The conference was arranged together with Nigeria, Germany and the UN. Around 170 people from 40 countries, UN and civil society organisations took part.


Source: Premium Times

Cameroon repatriates 517 Nigerians

Cameroon has forcibly repatriated more than 500 Nigerians who had fled into the country due to the Boko Haram insurgency, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

A total of 517 Nigerians were sent back to their home country, including 313 who had applied for asylum, according to a UNHCR statement.

UNHCR Cameroon tweeted that it was “very concerned by these repatriations and continues to advocate for access to asylum and the principle of non-refoulement.”

Non-refoulement refers to the practice of not returning refugees to a country where they could face persecution.

UNHCR said it planned to sign an agreement with Nigeria and Cameroon on March 2 that would see 85,000 Nigerian refugees voluntarily resettled in their home country.

More than 61,000 refugees are currently living at the Minawao camp and a further 20,000 at the Logone-et-Chari camp in Cameroon’s far north region.

Nigeria and its neighbours have cooperated closely in fighting Boko Haram, which split into a faction aligned with the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) and another loyal to long time leader Abubakar Shekau in 2016.

Five countries—Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, Chad and Benin—contribute troops to a regional taskforce aimed at routing the militants.

Cameroonian troops have also conducted cross-border operations against Boko Haram.

The military has succeeded in preventing the sect from carrying out organised attacks, but it still retains the capacity to carry out suicide and car bombings.

Seven suicide bombers blew themselves up last week on the outskirts of Maiduguri, the Borno state capital in north-east Nigeria.


Recent Attacks By Boko Haram Is A Failed Attempt To Stay Relevant – FG

The Federal Government has dismissed the pockets of attacks by members of Boko Haram.

The government says it is a feeble attempt by the terrorists to make themselves relevant, having lost the battle to destabilise Nigeria.

Speaking at the 7th National Security Summit in Abuja, the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, Ambassador Danjuma Sheni, said the government remains committed to providing security for all persons resident within the country.

He, however, condemned the isolated attacks carried out by members of the Boko Haram sect.

“The isolated attacks we have been witnessing, particularly since the terrorists were dislodged from Sambisa forest is not unexpected, but will eventually be brought to an end,” said the Permanent Secretary.

For the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, it is time to match words with action.

“Truly, the problem is not lack of what to do or lack of papers, but the strength to implement what we have agreed to do,” the monarch said.

The Commandant of the National Defence College (NDC), Rear Admiral Samule Alade, who shared the same view with the Sultan, said “having technically defeated Boko Haram, there is the need to as a matter of urgency, build upon the gains recorded”.


Source: Channels TV

“Kogi State is now a haven for Boko Haram” – Governor Bello

Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi on Tuesday said that following the losses suffered by Boko Haram in the north-east, its fleeing members had found a haven in his state.

Mr. Bello made the disclosure in Abuja while speaking at the seventh edition of the National Security Seminar entitled: “Consolidating on the Gains of Counter Terrorism Operations in Nigeria.”

He, however, warned that the insurgents had chosen a wrong place because he was ready to collaborate with the military to rout them out of the state.

“Kogi is now a haven for Boko Haram, because many of them have relocated to my state.

“Just last night, four high profile Boko Haram members were arrested in Kogi by the military.

“I want to assure them that they have chosen a wrong place to relocate, because we will never allow them.

“We will work together with the armed forces to consolidate on the victory and gains recorded in the North-East,’’ he said.

The governor commended the military for their efforts at “technically defeating’’ the insurgents in the north-east, and underscored the need to consolidate on the victory to avoid a relapse.

Mr. Bello said the government had actually done a lot in safeguarding lives and property and in reclaiming the territorial integrity of the country.

The Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, said that for the nation to consolidate on the gains of counter terrorism operations, national security agencies must work in synergy.

Mr. Abubakar also appealed to the government to look into and implement several suggestions made by experts at previous security seminars held in the country.

He said it was high time the government developed the political will to implement suggestions proffered by experts to prevent making security seminars mere talk shows.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Temlong, the President, Alumni Association of National Defence College, described terrorism as a global threat that had affected over 65 million globally.

The brigadier general commended the armed forces for the victory recorded against the Boko Haram, but emphasised the need to brace up and consolidate on the exploit in order to put a final end to the threat.

The seminar is jointly organised by the National Defence College of Nigeria, the Office of the National Security Adviser and the Alumni Association of National Defence College.


Source: NAN

United Nations: Boko Haram recruited nearly 2,000 children in 2016.

In Nigeria and neighbouring countries, data verified by the United Nations and its partners show that nearly 2,000 children were recruited by Boko Haram in 2016 alone.

The children were recruited to fight in a war that has lasted over seven years in the north east states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe,  Doune Porter, the spokesperson of the UN body for children, UNICEF, said.

Since 2009, Boko Haram insurgents have waged a war against western education in the region leading to the death of several thousands of people and according to the Kano state government, nearly 100,000 people.

On February 13, Kashim Shettima, governor of Borno state, in what has been the highest casualty figure of the crisis presented by the government, said “the Boko Haram insurgency has led to the deaths of almost 100,000 persons going by the estimates of our community leaders over the years”.

“Two million, one hundred and fourteen thousand (2,114,000) persons have become internally displaced as at December of 2016, with five hundred and thirty seven thousand, eight hundred and fifteen (537,815) in separate camps; 158,201 are at official camps that consists of six centres with two transit camps at Muna and Customs House, both in Maiduguri.”

UNICEF said it has released some of the child soldiers from the hold of armed groups like Boko Haram in several war torn countries including Yemen, Syria and South Sudan.

“At least 65,000 children have been released from armed forces and armed groups in the past 10 years,” the organisation said as it marks the 10th year anniversary of the Paris commitments to end the use of children in conflict.

“Ten years ago the world made a commitment to the children of war and matched it with action – action that has helped give 65,000 children a new chance for a better life,” said Anthony Lake, UNICEF executive director.

“But today’s meeting is not only about looking back at what has been accomplished — but looking forward to the work that remains to be done to support the children of war.”

Exact data on the number of children used and recruited in armed conflict are difficult to confirm because of the unlawful nature of child recruitment.

However, UNICEF estimates that tens of thousands of boys and girls under the age of 18 are used in conflicts worldwide.

“The Paris International Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Children in Armed Conflicts will look at ways to build on this momentum.

“These include calling for the unconditional release of all children, without exception, and putting an end to child recruitment; increased resources to help reintegrate and educate children who have been released; and urgent action to protect internally displaced children, child refugees and migrants.”


Source: The Cable

People believe Boko Haram would have captured Aso Rock if PDP had remained in power – Garba Shehu

Garba Shehu, spokesperson of President Muhammadu Buhari, says many people believe that Boko Haram “would have taken over Aso Rock by now” if the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had remained in power after 2015.

Shehu said this while speaking over the weekend in Abuja at an interactive session with Nigerian youths.

He said the Buhari administration had achieved a lot in terms of security.

The president’s spokesman said Nigeria has attained the record of the second largest producer of rice in the world despite the fact that the rice revolution “just started a year ago.”

“Look at all of the way the efforts that has been put in rolling back Boko Haram. There are many people who believe that if not for president Muhammadu Buhari, PDP had continued in this country in 2015 they would have taken over Aso Rock by now. We have achieved so much in terms of security,” Shehu said.

“As I speak to you now Nigeria just achieved the record of the second largest of rice in the world. The rice revolution just started a year ago.

“A newspaper did an investigation in Kebbi and they found out that there were 48,000 new millionaires in Kebbi state alone for growing rice. Over reliance on oil has killed this country and we cannot continue like this.”

He said the whistle blower policy initiated by the federal government was an opportunity given to Nigerians to make an income.

“The important policy of whistle blower that the president has instituted, it gives an opportunity to me, you and to every citizen of this country,” he said.

“If you see stolen money going anywhere, you will not only be honoured for pointing it out for discovery but you can earn a commission. So reward by exposing that. About 10 million USD and they give 2.5 of that. That money can change one’s life.”

Shehu appealed for the patience with his principal saying: “President Muhammadu Buhari is a long distance runner he is not looking for short-term gain that people will just clap at him and those advantages just disappear.

“The jobs are being created last year we promised half a million jobs, the economy couldn’t support it but before the close of the year we had done more than 300,000 the balance that will be carried into the new year.

“And another 500,000 will be given jobs and I’m happy that the economy is getting better, oil price is going up and the policies of government in the Niger Delta are beginning to calm things down.

“You can see that exploration and exportation of oil is growing, gas is coming back and power is getting better. He wants to build a future of prosperity, a future that will be everlasting. Something that will stay for generation upon generation and I assure that this is a beginning of the good things to come.”


Source: The Cable

Borno adopts new measures to flush out Boko Haram residues.

The Borno Government has approved the introduction of new security measures to curtail the increasing attacks by remnants of Boko Haram insurgents in the state.

Malam Isa Gusau, the Special Adviser to Gov. Kashim Shettima on Communication and Strategy stated this in a statement in Maiduguri on Sunday.

According to him, the measures include the setting up of new guard locations in strategic areas to prevent the insurgents from carrying out attacks.

It also stated that the measures were adopted after an emergency security council meeting in Maiduguri.

“Following resurgence of attacks by suspected remnants of the Boko Haram insurgents in some parts of the state, Shettima held an emergency security meeting with heads of the Nigerian Army, Air Force, Police and the Department of State Security.

“The meeting is part of the initiatives to take proactive measures to tackle recent upsurge in insurgents attacks.

“At the end of the meeting, new guard locations were established in some routes across the state to curtail the movement of remnants of Boko Haram fighters.

“Deployment of security personnel to various locations were increased with additional number of local vigilantes (the Civilian JTF).

“The governor gave approval for the release of additional patrol vehicles to security agencies for increased surveillance.

“He also approved logistics to compliment efforts of the Federal Government in strengthening armed forces, while measures were adopted to strengthen the Civilian JTF and hunters.”


Source: Guardian

Officer injured as Boko Haram shoots air force jet in Borno

Boko Haram insurgents attacked a helicopter belong to the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) in Borno state on Wednesday.

According to Ayodele Famuyiwa, spokesman of the force, the helicopter the incident happened at Gwoza.

Famuyiwa said the aircraft was conveying personnel on medical outreach programme from Maiduguri to Gwoza, when it came under attack.

He said the insurgents shot the Mi-17 helicopter, but that there was no casualty except for an airman that sustained bullet wound.

“Nevertheless, the pilot was able to fly the helicopter safely to and from its destination to enable the outreach programme continue uninterrupted,” Famuyiwa said.

“Following the attack, the NAF immediately scrambled a fighter aircraft and helicopter gunship to the location between Bama and Gwoza to neutralise the threat.

“Intelligent report by ground troops confirmed scores of BHTs were killed, signifying that the air attack on the threat location was successful.”

He said the force had been conducting medical outreach in the north-east as part of its humanitarian support to internally displaced persons (IDPs).

Boko Haram: UN Security Council to visit Nigeria in March

The UN Security Council will be visiting Nigeria within the next few weeks to discuss strategies for combating the Boko Haram insurgents and to assess the level of humanitarian crisis caused by the terror group.

The Deputy Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General, Farhan Haq, confirmed to the correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria in New York that the visit would take place in March.

Mr. Haq regretted the negative consequences of the insurgency on the country and the people but gave the assurance that the UN would continue to support Nigeria in and work with the country in its efforts to overcome the challenges.

He said “and there will be efforts to also evaluate what the situation (Boko Haram) is.

“I believe, in the coming days, the Security Council itself does intend to visit Nigeria and see for itself the humanitarian situation and evaluate it first-hand.

“The Security Council will be going to Nigeria to assess the humanitarian situation caused by Boko Haram.

“The visit will be coming up in March,” the deputy spokesperson told NAN.

Mr. Haq also noted the recently reported attacks by Boko Haram on a village in Borno and killing of people.

According to him, the UN agencies and partners would continue to deliver aid and provide other humanitarian assistance to the victims of the insurgency in the north-east.

He, however, said the recent attack was making it more difficult for the organisations to effectively deliver aid in view of the recent breakthrough in reaching more victims following the successful recovery and liberation of territory previously under the control of Boko Haram.

“We (UN and partners) do continue to try to provide humanitarian aid, including in Nigeria.

“Certainly, any violence on the ground makes it more difficult to deliver humanitarian aid,” Mr. Haq said.

NAN gathered that besides visiting Nigeria and meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, the 15 council members would also visit other African countries that have been affected by Boko Haram including Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

NAN recalls that on May 22, 2014, the Security Council, at the request of the Federal Government, listed Boko Haram as a terror group.

The Council’s Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee approved the addition of Boko Haram to its list of individuals and entities subject to the targeted financial sanctions and the arms embargo set out in paragraph 1 of Security Council resolution 2083 (2012), adopted under Chapter VII of the Charter of the UN.

The Chairman of the committee, Australia’s UN Ambassador Gary Quinlan, had said the international body had “very clear evidence” that members of Boko Haram had trained with al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

“We will work to try and make that anyone providing material assistance to Boko Haram, whether funding or arms, will in effect be stopped,” Mr. Quinlan said.

“Jama’atu Ahlus-Sunna Lidda’Awati Wal Jihad (Boko Haram) was listed on pursuant to paragraphs 2 and 3 of resolution 2083 (2012) as being associated with Al-Qaida.

“For ‘participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing, or perpetrating of acts or activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf of, or in support of’ Al-Qaida and the Organization of Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb.”

The committee stressed the need for robust implementation of the Al-Qaida sanctions regime as a significant tool in combating terrorist activity.

The committee urged all member states to participate actively by nominating for listing additional individuals, groups, undertakings and entities which should be subject to the sanctions measures.

With the listing, any individual or entity that provides financial or material support to Boko Haram, including the provision of arms or recruits, is eligible to be added to the Al-Qaida Sanctions List and subject to the sanctions measures.


Source: NAN

13 countries to meet to raise $1.1 billion for IDPs in Northeast

No fewer than 13 countries are seeking $1.1 billion (N330 billion) as humanitarian assistance to 1.8 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) affected by Boko Haram insurgency in the north-east sub-region of the country.

The Ambassador of Ireland, Sean Hoy, disclosed this yesterday in Maiduguri, while briefing journalists about the “worsening humanitarian crisis” in the three affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.

He said that the 13 ambassadors and representatives of Republic of Korea, Sweden, Netherlands, Japan, Germany, France, U.S, United Kingdom, and Norway among other countries; will attend the Oslo Conference slated for February 24, 2017 to raise the $1.1 billion.

Hoy listed the four humanitarian intervention and assistance to include, protection of IDPs, food, security and education.

Meawhile, the House of Representatives yesterday lamented the absence of a comprehensive data of IDPs spread across various camps in the country.

The House committee on the north east, refugees and internally displaced persons has called on the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and the Displaced that such data would be required for effective planning and implementation of resettlement re-integration programmes.

The Sani Zorro-led committee which met with the federal commissioner for refugees and internally displaced persons and migrants , Hajia Sadiya Farouk on her outfit 2017 budget proposal also stressed the need for durable solutions to the problems of the IDPs in the polity.

Zorro urged the commission to partner with state governments and NGOs as well as the Federal Capital Territory Administration to get accurate data on the number of persons displaced across the country and how to resettle or integrate them.

Also, the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has trained 400 clerics, youth and women leaders in the north east to help propagate counter-terrorism messages to the youth in the zone.

The CDD Programme Officer, Mr. Ikponmwosa Omoijiade, at a workshop yesterday in Yola said that the training which is sponsored by Japanese government is to de-radicalize extremism in the region.

He said the programme is yielding fruitful, pointing out that the clerics and the youth have now understand the implications of radical extremism by some clerics in the country.

Boko Haram terrorists kill Islamic scholar, injure boy in Borno village

No fewer than 30 Boko Haram terrorists have killed an Islamic scholar and injured a teenage boy in Mifa village, Chibok Local Council of Borno State, a resident said yesterday in Maiduguri.

He said the attack occurred at 9.30 p.m. on Monday before soldiers were deployed to the village yesterday morning.Confirming the incident in Maiduguri, a military source said the insurgents entered the village through the south flank of Sambisa Forest, shooting sporadically to scare away the villagers before killing the Islamic scholar.

“Soldiers stationed in Chibok were quickly drafted and we were able to repel the attack and killed one of the terrorists,” the source said.
Residents of Chibok, who spoke with The Guardian yesterday on telephone, expressed fears that the community may be attacked again despite military’s presence in the area.

“You know this is getting too much. Chibok is surrounded by bush and the borders are not well patrolled. We cannot sleep well because of fear and that is why we want the soldiers to resume their mobile patrol,” another Mifa resident said.

Meanwhile, the Presidential Committee on North-East Initiatives (PCNI) has said that the N45 billion budgeted by Federal Government to feed over 2.6 million Internally- Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North-East was grossly inadequate.

The PCNI pointed out that this was especially so when compared to what the international community spends on humanitarian services.According to the PCNI, the country requires N108 billion to effectively and efficiently intervene and feed IDPs in camps and liberated communities of the affected states in the northeastern part of the country.

Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume, who led members of the panel to the Deputy Governor of Borno State, Usman Durkwa, on the humanitarian crisis to feed displaced persons, stated this yesterday in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

He noted that the Federal Government budgeted N12 billion last year and N45 billion in 2017.The contributions of the international community to the humanitarian crisis in the region, he noted, was more than that of the Federal Government.

In another development, victims of the Boko Haram insurgency from seven local councils of Adamawa State yesterday decried the discrimination against Christians in the sharing of relief materials meant for them.

They called for the intervention of the state and federal governments to help alleviate their sufferings.The victims, who are from Mubi North, Mubi South, Madagali, Maiha, Hong, Michaka and Gombi council areas, urged the government to review efforts made so far towards restoring the North-East to check its effectiveness.

Leader of the group, Rev. Paul Alhamadu, faulted government’s claim that it has defeated Boko Haram. He said that there were still silent attacks in some of the villages with no effective intervention from the government in terms of relief, compensation or rehabilitation since the insurgency.

Boko Haram created 54,000 widows, destroyed 541 Borno schools – Shettima

The Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, said on Monday that at least 54,000 women had become widows due to the activities of the Boko Haram sect between 2011 and February 2017.

He added that the terrorists destroyed 5,335 classrooms in 541 schools.

Shettima said this while delivering a speech at the 2017 Murtala Muhammed Memorial Lecture, an annual event held in commemoration of the third Nigerian head of state who was assassinated on February 13, 1976.

While delivering the keynote address titled, ‘Managing the Boko Haram Crisis in Borno State: Experiences and Lessons for a Multi-party, Multi-ethnic and Multi-religious Nigeria,’ the governor opined that the cure for religious extremism remains quality education.

He said, “In Borno, there are currently 54,000 widows,” adding that the political class needs to step up its humanitarian efforts.

The governor added, “Virtually all our schools are being rebuilt in Borno. As I said earlier, a total number of 5,335 classrooms in 503 primary schools and 38 high schools and two tertiary institutions were destroyed in the state.”

Shettima urged the western world to assist Nigeria in the fight against terrorism and the rehabilitation of victims, adding that the Syrian refugee crisis will be nothing compared to Nigeria’s if the nation’s crisis is not well handled.

He added, “Believe me, unless we wear our thinking caps as leaders, the future is very bleak. We either take advantage of the demography and its dividends or reap demographic disaster. As I said in Washington, Syria has a population of less than 30 million people. I think it is in the interest of the Western world to see that Nigeria works. Just two million Syrians knocking on the door of Europe and the Europeans have become agitated. What do you say of about 30 million English-speaking Africans knocking on the door of Europe?

“And in Nigeria, South is the Atlantic Ocean; up North is the Sahara desert. We can eat up the food reserves in Niger, Mauritania and all the countries in the Sahel within a week. The other side is Togo which is not bigger than Ogun State.”

Also speaking, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo urged political and religious leaders not to encourage violence but peace.

Osinbajo noted that great leaders like the late Nelson Mandela of South Africa; Martin Luther King junior in the United States are remembered for promoting peace even in the face of persecution.

Acknowledging the guests for their solidarity to one of Nigeria’s heroes past, the Chief Executive Officer of the Murtala Muhammed Foundation and daughter of the late head of state, Aisha Oyebode, praised the President Muhammadu Buhari administration for its achievements in the fight against terrorism.

She added, “For those that knew my father intimately while he was alive, you would agree that beyond the mien of the no-nonsense general, he was generous and kind-hearted. He was more at home in the company of the masses, and understood the pains and suffering of the downtrodden, and used all the power and resources he had to fight for the weak and the oppressed within and outside Nigeria. General Murtala Muhammed truly had empathy, which is why 41 years on, his sacrifice and legacy as a man of the people, is still very worthy of commemoration.”

“We, at the MMF, believe that our theme for this year – Humanitarian Crisis and Response in a Plural State: What Role for Leadership? – is a fitting tribute to General Muhammed’s legacy.”

OPEC, WFP to feed two million victims of Boko Haram insurgency.

The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) has approved an emergency assistance grant for humanitarian food and nutrition assistance operations in famine-stricken areas in north-east Nigeria.

A statement released by the organisation said that the grant, which will support the operations of World Food Programme (WFP), will target over two million people in areas affected by the Boko Haram crisis.

“This latest initiative will target over two million people in the worse-affected areas—Borno and Yobe states—including population pockets where humanitarian assistance has not yet reached.

“The ongoing unrest in northeast Nigeria has caused critical levels of food insecurity and malnutrition and as a result, some 4.6 million people are going hungry. An estimated two million people are in urgent need of assistance, and over one-half of children under the age of five are suffering from moderate to acute malnutrition.

“Activities will include providing food, and where markets are functioning, cash-based assistance and distributing specialized nutrient-rich food for children under the age of five.”

The WFP said that it will focus on low-income families, helping them with money to buy nutritious food to prevent any relapse after their children must have been treated for malnutrition.

In August, a survey conducted by Philips Consulting reported that more than 93 million Nigerians were battling food insecurity.

The survey results showed that food was the highest household expenditure by more than half of the respondents.

In October, WFP donated food to Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) residing in the Gwoza camp.

DSS interrogates CAN leaders for appearing in alleged inciting video

The Department of State Services, DSS, has invited members of the Board of Trustees of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, over a video showing the destruction of some churches in the north east. The video was allegedly being used by Christian leaders to raise funds for the reconstruction of worship

The video was allegedly being used by Christian leaders to raise funds for the reconstruction of worship centres destroyed by Boko Haram insurgents in the North East.

According to sources, four key members of CAN’s BoT, who are also leaders of the National Christian Elders Forum, NCEF, were questioned for four hours on Tuesday evening at the DSS headquarters in Abuja.

Those that were interrogated by the DSS included a former Chief of General Staff, Lt. Gen. Joshua Dogonyaro (retd.), representing TEKAN/ECWA bloc of CAN; a retired High Court Judge, Justice Kalajine Anigbogu, representing the Christian Council of Nigeria bloc; Mrs. Osaretin Demuren, representing the Organisation of African Instituted Churches and a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Tunde Lemo, representing the Christian Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria and Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria.

Sources told the newspaper that a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Dame Priscilla Kuye (SAN), representing the Catholic bloc; President of the National Christian Elders’ Forum, Solomon Asemota, its General Secretary, Bosun Emmanuel and many others would be invited for questioning by the DSS soon.

Also to be interrogated include the President of CAN, Dr. Samson Supo Ayokunle and its General Secretary, Dr. Musa Asake.

One of the personalities interrogated by the security service disclosed that they were asked to explain why they appeared in the video which showed footages of the carnage and destruction unleashed on churches in the North-East by the members of the Boko Haram Islamic sect, alleging that it was an inciting video.

He said, “We spent over four hours at the DSS headquarters on Tuesday evening and they were asking us the motive behind the video. The grouse of the DSS was that we appeared in the video soliciting for funds to rebuild churches destroyed by Boko Haram. They specifically told us that the video which showed burnt churches was inciting.

“They asked us why we produced a video like that having blood and demolished buildings. We are just members of the BoT of CAN Trust Fund. I suspect that they will cajole us to remove the video but that is not possible because we are for Christ,” the source stated.

The Director of Legal and Public Affairs in CAN, Kwamkur Samuel, while confirming the invitation said, “I accompanied them to the DSS headquarters; CAN would be watching as the situation unfolds.

“When the Christian elders were invited, they wondered why all of them, particularly those who appeared in the video. They drew the attention of the CAN President who directed me to write a letter to the DSS to tell them that those they invited are members of the CAN Trust Fund Board of Trustees.

“But they didn’t reply the letter. If their invitation has anything to do with CAN, they should invite CAN leadership and that was why I went with them to the DSS. We are studying the situation.”





Boko Haram: DSS interrogates CAN leaders for appearing in alleged inciting video

“I was paid N200 to detonate the explosive”, says suicide bomber.

An 18-year-old suicide bomber, Amina, who was intercepted by Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) personnel yesterday in Maiduguri, said Boko Haram gave her N200 for the mission.

She told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Maiduguri that she was abducted two years ago by the terror group’s members in Madagali, Adamawa and taken to Sambisa Forest.

“They gave us N200 each to buy food for ourselves. It took us three days to come to Maiduguri on a motorcycle. We were directed by the sect members to detonate our explosives where there is any form of gathering.

“On our way to Maiduguri, we encountered the military and they were shooting. I was very scared and the people that brought us ran away. “I am from Imam Shekau’s faction of Boko Haram even though I have never seen Shekau. But I hear about him in Gobarawa,” Amina said.

She said that her father, mother and younger brother, Umar, were all killed when they tried to escape from the enclave where they were held hostage. “We came from Gobarawa along Damboa, Madagali and Algarno axis, a community where we were held hostage and married off by the sect members.

“I am also married to a Boko Haram commander known as “Amir”. Meanwhile, the NSCDC Commandant in Borno, Abdullahi Ibrahim, said the command had handed over the suspect to the Garrison Commander, 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Maiduguri, “for proper investigation.”

The Theater Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Maiduguri, Maj.-Gen. Lucky Irabor, confirmed that the suspect was in custody of the Army, and that she would undergo investigation.

“We are going to profile her as she would give us the lead to get to other insurgents,” Irabor said. NAN said that personnel of the NSCDC had earlier intercepted two female suicide bombers, who tried to ram into motorists at the NNPC mega station on Damboa Road, Maiduguri.

The commandant of the corps, Ibrahim Abdullahi, said the incident occurred at about 6.45 a.m. “Our personnel at the NNPC station intercepted two female suicide bombers who were targeting motorists on the long queue at the NNPC mega petrol station at about 6.45 a.m.

“One of the bombers got scared and threw away her bomb and was instantly arrested, while the other one ran after people with her explosive,” Ibrahim said.

Boko Haram is out of funds, UN envoy tells Security Council.

The Boko Haram group is currently plagued by financial difficulties, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, has said.

Mr. Feltman stated this while briefing the Security Council on the UN Secretary-General’s Fourth Report on the threat the group poses to international peace and security efforts to “check and roll it back” on Tuesday

The UN envoy also noted that Boko Haram was under intense military pressure, but warned against undermining its capacity to launch fatal attacks.

“ISIL-affiliate Boko Haram is attempting to spread its influence and commit terrorist acts beyond Nigeria.

“And Boko Haram remains a serious threat, with several thousand fighters at its disposal.

“It is, however, plagued by financial difficulties and an internal power struggle, and has split in two factions,” Mr. Feltman said.

While the previous reports on the subject had focused on South East Asia, Yemen and East Africa, Libya and Afghanistan, the fourth report focused on Europe, North Africa and West Africa.

It noted that ISIL had conducted a range of attacks in Europe since declaring in 2014 its intent to target the region.

Some of these attacks were directed and facilitated by ISIL personnel, while others were enabled by ISIL providing guidance or assistance or were inspired through its propaganda, it said.

The report stated that while the military offensive in Libya had dislodged ISIL from its stronghold Sirte, the group’s threat to Libya and neighbouring countries persists.

“Its fighters, estimated to range from several hundred to 3,000, have moved to other parts of the country.

“ISIL has increased its presence in West Africa and the Maghreb, though the group does not control significant amounts of territory in the region.

“The reported pledge of loyalty to ISIL by a splinter faction of Al-Mourabitoun led by Lehbib Ould Ali may elevate the level of the threat,” he said.

Following the increased military pressure, Mr. Feltman said ISIL is now on the defensive militarily in several regions, but was also adapting to military pressure by resorting to covert communications such as the “dark web”.

“Although its income and the territory under its control are shrinking, ISIL still appears to have sufficient funds to continue fighting,” he warned.

Mr. Feltman noted that ISIL relies mainly on income from extortion and hydrocarbon exploitation, even though resources from the latter are on the decline.

According to him, UN Member States are concerned that ISIL will try to expand other sources of income, such as kidnapping for ransom, and increase its reliance on donations.

“ISIL is adapting in several ways to military pressure, resorting to increasingly covert communication and recruitment methods, including by using the ‘dark web,’ encryption and messengers,” he warned.

The report also noted some of the measures taken by Member States and the UN, stressing the need to develop sustained and coordinated responses to the grave threat posed by ISIL and associated groups and entities.

Mr. Feltman said that there were 19 universal counter-terrorism conventions and protocols, as well as related regional instruments on international terrorism, and relevant UN General Assembly and Security Council resolutions.

“But we need to do more, as Member States continue to face significant challenges to ensure effective international cooperation,” he said.

He warned that foreign terrorist fighters leaving the conflict could pose a grave risk to their homeland or to the countries they are travelling to or transiting through, such as Iraq and Syria’s neighbours, as well as countries in the Maghreb.

“Ultimately, it is the spread and consolidation of peace, security, development and human rights that will most effectively deprive terrorism of the oxygen it needs to survive,” he concluded.


Source: NAN

Repentant Boko Haram Terrorist Narrates How Colleagues Cut Off His Limbs.

A 31-year-old repentant Boko Haram fighter claims he was amputated by his colleagues to whom he revealed his intention to surrender to federal troops.

The man who simply identified himself as Mohammed Abubakar told journalists in Maiduguri that he joined the militant group late 2014.

The man also claimed that he was a member of the ISIS recognized Mamman Nur faction of the Boko Haram until his surrender.

He was brought before journalists for questioning during a live press conference convened by the Theatre Commander of the Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Lucky Irabor.

Abubakar claimed that he was forcefully recruited alongside his childhood friend at the Gamboru Ngala axis of Borno state in the wake of insurgency operations in that area.

After realising the futility of the militancy, Abubakar claimed he confided in his childhood friend and persuaded him to join him in planning an escape to surrender.

According to him, “I was betrayed by my supposed friend who leaked my plans to other fighters and on the day we planned to take off together, they found us and amputed my right hand and left leg as punishment, and left me to die.”

He survived the brutality and continued with his mission until soldiers found him and turned him over to the “Safe Corridor” officials.

While advising others to take advantage of the initiative and surrender, he confessed that many of the fighters were misled into becoming militants and also described the hardship they were going through in the trenches.

During the conference, General Irabor also revealed that a total of 3,332 civilians were arrested as BHT suspects while five BHT members surrendered to troops during operations conducted between January 11 and February 1, 2017.

Also, a total of 26 foreigners were arrested comprising 17 Chadians and nine Nigerians.


Source: Channels TV

Troops Recover Shilka, Gun Truck From Fleeing Boko Haram Terrorists

Troops had an encounter with fleeing Boko Haram terrorists and recovered armoured fighting vehicle, trucks, arms and ammunition from the insurgents.

The recovery was made on Wednesday morning by troops of 25 Task Force Brigade, Seven Division of the Nigerian Army on Operation Lafiya Dole, during a clearance operation at Dulsa and Buk in Damboa Local Government Area of Borno State.

The spokesman for the Army, Brigadier General Sani Usman, said in a statement that the soldiers neutralised a large number of the terrorists and wounded several others.

“At Dulsa this morning, the troops cleared the hideout of the terrorists during which they neutralised six Boko Haram terrorists, recovered one light machine gun, two rocket propelled grenade tubes and one extra anti-aircraft gun barrel.

“The troops also encountered Boko Haram terrorists’ camp at Buk where they were engaged by the terrorists.

“During the encounter, the troops neutralised a large number of the Boko Haram terrorists and wounded several others. They also made an unprecedented recovery.

“The items recovered include nine AK-47 rifles, three Fabrique Nationale rifles, two rocket propelled grenade bombs, one mortar tube, one Shilka, one gun truck mounted with anti-aircraft gun and two Hilux vehicles,” he siad.

General Usman, however, said that three soldiers paid the supreme price while five others were wounded in the action.

He added that one Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected vehicle belonging to the Brigade was badly damaged.

The Army spokesman said that the bodies of the late soldiers and those that sustained injuries have since been evacuated.

He also noted that the wounded soldiers are in stable condition.

Troops kill 6 Boko Haram fighters — but lose 3 officers

The Nigerian army on Wednesday said it had neutralised six insurgents, but lost three soldiers during an encounter with Boko Haram insurgents in Damboa local area of Borno state.

Sani Usman, director, army public relations, made this known in a statement in Abuja.

Usman said apart from the three soldiers who died, five others sustained injuries.

He said troops of 25 task force brigade, 7 division Nigerian army, encountered the “fleeing terrorists” at Dulsa and Bukin local government areas.

“At Dulsa this morning, the troops cleared the hideout of the terrorists during which they neutralised 6 Boko Haram terrorists, recovered one light machine gun, two rocket propelled grenade tubes and one extra Anti-Aircraft gun barrel,” he said.

“The troops also encountered Boko Haram terrorists’ camp at Buk where they were engaged by the terrorists.

“During the encounter, the troops neutralised large number of the Boko Haram terrorists and wounded several others. They also made an unprecedented recovery.

“The items recovered include: nine AK-47 rifles, three Fabrique Nationale rifles, two rocket propelled grenade bombs, one mortar tube, one shilka, one gun truck mounted with anti-aircraft gun and two Hilux vehicles.

“Similarly, one Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected – MRAP vehicle belonging to the Brigade was badly damaged.”

Boko Haram: Maiduguri residents celebrate ‘return of peace’

Residents of Maiduguri, capital of Borno, converged on Ramat Square, on Wednesday, to celebrate the momentary return of peace to their locality.


The event had in attendance officials of the state government in attendance as well as top military commanders.



Speaking at the occasion, Leo Irabor, theater commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, assured the people of the continuous support of the military.


He said security operatives would put in their best to rout insurgency from not just the state, but the entire region.


Borno is the worst hit state in the violent campaign of Boko Haram.

Army arrests two prominent Borno politicians over alleged links to Boko Haram

Two prominent politicians in Borno state and a traditional ruler have been arrested by the army over suspected links to Boko Haram insurgents.

The names of the politicians are being withheld but TheCable understands that they are close associates of an APC governor.

The traditional ruler is the first son of another prominent ruler in the state.

The army previously arrested a council chairman over suspected links to the militants.

The latest arrests were confirmed by Lucky Irabor, a major general and theatre commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, the counterinsurgency team of the army.

Irabor did not give further details.

“It is true we have arrested some people. They may be known faces. We started picking them one by one. We’re taking them now and we are still investigating them so I can’t give you any detail,” he said.

The politicians were arrested early this week by detectives and troops from Operation Lafiya Dole.

One of them, who is also an Islamic spritualist, fled the state but was arrested along Maiduguri-Jos road, sources told TheCable.

The second politician was said to be a thug (called ECOMOG) and an aide to some politicians in the state.

A military source told TheCable that more arrests will be made in the “coming days” and the information will be officially made public.


Source: The Cable

Dispatch from Chibok: A Community’s Resilience In the Shadow of Boko Haram – By Alkasim Abdulkadir

The Chibok we saw needs more from international and local NGOs, and above all everyday citizens. It needs bore holes, psycho-social support, agricultural inputs, primary health care centres, amongst several other things. We left behind a community of resilient people… There are also courageous vigilantes standing around intersections and clusters of towns people, all waiting for this veil of darkness to pass over and become distant memories.

The Trip of Uncertainty

A combat readied soldier delicately held the anti-aircraft gun at the back of the open van, three other armed soldiers precariously stood beside him scanning the morning traffic as we drove out of Maiduguri. Soon enough we were cruising out of the city, escorted by another van mounted by stern looking soldiers at the rear. These were the complements the theatre Commander, General Lucky Irabor had described as an unbroken special escort when the leader of our delegation, the Vice Chairman of the Presidential Committee on the North East Initiatives (PCNI), Alh. Tijjani Tumsah, led us on a courtesy visit to the Theatre Command a day earlier. Their task that day was to take us to Chibok and back safely. The town had grabbed global consciousness in the wake of the abduction of girls at Girls Government Secondary School on April 14, 2014. The pristine and consistent work of the BringBackOurGirls movement has also ensured the incident remains in our collective hearts.

Most of us in the convoy were passing through the Damboa road since it was opened for the first time recently. Soon enough the now familiar sights of wanton destruction, mortar pockmarks on walls came into view shocking those who were seeing it for the first time. The emptied shells on the right and left shoulders of the road and fallen mobile phone masts all told tales of death and devastation. We passed empty settlements, homes that had become the abode of insurgents until early 2015. Every few kilometres, one is accosted with the ruins of hamlets that are now fading memories in the minds of the townsmen.

We passed soldiers at desolate intersections, lonely sentries waiting for slight movements in the shrubs to shoot. Shortly after passing Masba village, a loud ricochet followed by a volley of AA bullets interrupted our chatter; it stunned us into our thoughts as our eyes scanned to see if there were any movements around the shrubs. Fortunately, they were simply warning shots by our escorts; however, our hearts had skipped several beats at the possibility of mortality.

A Rebound for Damboa

Hundreds of thousands of IDP families from Damboa hitherto were part of the IDP population in camps in Borno State, but four months ago they went back home after a safety assessment by the army. Today, there are clear signs of a bounce back, amidst great reconstruction going on there. Along the roadsides, the greatest signs of recovery were the fresh oranges, guava, carrots and vegetables on sale. There were also lush green farmlands of spring onions spreading as far as the eyes could see and truckloads of commodities passing through – a testimony of livelihoods slowly coming back after years of displacement.

The Victims Support Fund is also implementing its Livelihood Programme, which is providing support for small businesses and skills empowerment and the forster care project in Chibok, where it places orphans under the care of forster parents and pays them a monthly stipend.

Arriving Chibok

At Damboa, we took a detour to Chibok, passing through an undulating and never been tarred road. We were told it is even more torturous and impassable during the raining season. The journey from Maiduguri should have slightly been more than an hour; however it took us four hours to get there. At last we arrived Chibok and drove state to GGSS Chibok, where we were received by Mr. Yaga Yagarwa, the Local Government Chairman and other cheerful elders of the community. We went round the ongoing ambitious construction within the school, which will include a race track, ICT halls and staff residencies when completed; the project is intended to be a model institution in defiance to the Boko Haram ideology and a tribute to egalitarian values.

A Call for Greater Support for Chibok

The governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima continues to personally be involved in the development of the Chibok community. Last year he spent Boxing Day with them and pledged to continue working in the interest of the released Chibok girls. Most importantly, 1.8 billion naira has been earmarked for the Damboa-Chibok-Mbalala fifty-five kilometre road in this year’s budget. The Church of the Brethren in Nigeria, alongside the Midland Church of the Brethren in the United States, continues to also support the people of Chibok, not only spiritually but also in the donations of cash and other non-food items. The Victims Support Fund is also implementing its Livelihood Programme, which is providing support for small businesses and skills empowerment and the forster care project in Chibok, where it places orphans under the care of forster parents and pays them a monthly stipend. The PCNI sub-committee on Education under Professor Hauwa Biu is also committed to revamping the educational infrastructure in Chibok LGA and scaling up the livelihood support in the area.

But the Chibok we saw needs more from international and local NGOs, and above all everyday citizens. It needs bore holes, psycho-social support, agricultural inputs, primary health care centres, amongst several other things. We left behind a community of resilient people, from young girls riding bicycles home after a day of studies, to women with stacks of fire wood tied to their bicycles – indeed the women of Chibok are inseparable from their bicycles. There are also courageous vigilantes standing around intersections and clusters of towns people, all waiting for this veil of darkness to pass over and become distant memories.

Postscript: Less than 48 hours after passing the Damboa route, Boko Haram elements attacked a traveling convoy killing 10 people.


Alkasim Abdulkadir is the Head of Media and Communications at the Presidential Committee on the North East Initiatives, PCNI.

Army arrest traditional ruler, cleric for allegedly sponsoring Boko Haram

Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj. Gen. Lucky Irabor, has disclosed that the Nigerian Military have arrested two prominent politicians and a traditional ruler during a raid in Borno State.

Irabor made this disclosure after he confirmed that some of his troops were ambushed by Boko Haram insurgents in the Damboa area, during which a civilian was shot dead and two others critically injured.

According to him, a traditional ruler from a Borno community and two popular Islamic clerics were among those arrested following intelligence about their alleged link with Boko Haram.

He told Daily Sun, “More revelations are coming and more people may be arrested in days to come.”

Although he did not give further details or disclose names of the arrested culprits, he was quoted as saying, “We will not confirm the identities of the arrested persons, doing so will jeopardize investigation.

“It is true we have arrested some people. They may be known faces.

“We started picking them one by one. We’re taking them now and we are still investigating them so I can’t give you any detail now.

A source privy to the incident was quoted by the medium as saying, “The politicians, who are known in government circle, were arrested by detectives and troops from Operation Lafiya Dole, the counter-insurgency military team.

“One of them is also an as Islamic spiritualist, who fled the state when he learnt military men were on his trail.

“He was fleeing to one of the North Central states, but was arrested along Maiduguri-Jos Road.

“The second politician isa thug often called ECOMOG in Borno and an aide to some politicians in the state.

“He is in military net now.”

Boko Haram kills police officer in Borno

Suspected members of the Boko Haram sect ambushed a police convoy along Kubwa highway in Damboa local government area of Borno state, on Tuesday, killing a police officer.

A source confirmed the attack to TheCable, saying it happened around 2:15pm.

Four officers, who were said to have sustained injuries in the incident, are receiving treatment at the University of Maiduguri teaching hospital.

The attack comes three days after insurgents ambushed troops of Operation Lafiya Dole, escorting commercial vehicles from Maiduguri to Damboa.

Two soldiers and eight civilians lost their lives in the tragic incident, while vehicles were reportedly hijacked and driven into Sambisa forest.

Boko Haram renewed its attacks on security operatives after camp Zairo, its stronghold in Sambisa forest, was taken over by troops.

Many had said capturing of the camp signified the end of insurgency.

Lai Mohammed, minister of information, had said Zairo is to Boko Haram what Aso Rock means to Nigeria, emphasisng its importance in defeating members of the sect.

“Camp Zairo might occupy probably one kilometre out of 60,000 kilometres expanse of Sambisa, but it is so crucial to us in this war,” he had said.

“It is like imagining that there is a war and the Villa is captured. That is the essence of camp zairo.

“It is not the extent of physical expanse but that we struck at the very heart of insurgency and it does not mean the end of the campaign in Sambisa forest.”

Lai: Having lost Sambisa, Boko Haram now set for media war.

Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, says Boko Haram’s new strategy is to dominate the media by propagating lies.

The minister said this in a statement issued by Segun Adeyemi, his media aide, on Tuesday.

“Following the recovery of a treasure trove of materials from the decimated Boko Haram, the federal government has called on the media and the general public to be vigilant, saying the decimated group has shifted its strategy towards dominating the media space, propagating a perverted version of Shariah law and giving the impression that it is still holding territory,” he said.

In the statement, Mohammed appealed to Nigerians and the media to ensure that they did not “unwittingly provide the terrorists with the oxygen of publicity that they desperately need”.

He said the propaganda strategy was discovered from the material left behind by the insurgents after they were routed from their stronghold in Sambisa forest.

“The materials include documents, phones and computers that contained detailed information on the Boko Haram media and propaganda strategy. An analysis of the materials revealed Boko Haram’s training in videography as well as how they sought and received training from other terrorists groups on video recording and manipulation,” he said.

“The documents, written in Arabic, also outlined the media strategy that Boko Haram commanders should employ and how the surviving members should ensure the propagation of the Boko Haram doctrine using the social media.”

The minister said “the recovered material confirmed the announcement of a new media wing called ‘Wadi Baya’ (Clear Speech) by Boko Haram in an audio released by the group on 17 January, 2017, following its routing from Sambisa”.

“As Boko Haram refocuses its resources to media war and propaganda against the Nigerian people and state, we must all unite against terrorism by denying Boko Haram our platforms to propagate its ideology. Both the media and the citizens have important roles to play in complementing our armed forces, which are combining land and air resources to completely clear the vestiges of Boko Haram,” he added.


Source: The Cable

Save the Children pledges to help educate child victims displaced by Boko Haram

A non-governmental organisation, Save the Children, has disclosed its plans to partner with the federal government in a bid to make education a priority in Nigeria.

Tove Wang, CEO of Save the Children Norway, made this known during a media briefing on the preparations for the Oslo Humanitarian Conference on the crisis in Nigeria.

The conference which is scheduled for February 23 and 24 in Norway, will focus on nutrition, protection, food security and also on the access to education.

The Save the Children organisation is an NGO that has been working in Nigeria since 2001, helping to improve health systems in northern Nigeria to deliver maternal, newborn, and child health services, including the revival of routine immunisation.

Ms. Wang noted that “there is a desperate need to prioritise education for children whose chances of fulfilling their potential are slipping away with each further day out of school.”

From Right:  CEO of save the children  Norway Tove R. Wang and Ben foot, Country Director , Save the Children Nigeria
From Right: CEO of save the children Norway Tove R. Wang and Ben foot, Country Director , Save the Children Nigeria

She, however, urged the Nigerian government and international community to ensure that the children’s future is not destroyed.

Ms. Wang, who recently visited the north-east, said that the crisis in such areas has greatly affected the education of most children.

“80per cent of displaced children live in host communities and have little or no access to education.

“Over 1,200 schools have been destroyed while more than 500 teachers killed and 19,000 displaced” she said.

Speaking on the efforts of her organisation, Ms. Wang said the organisation has enrolled a lot of children in its centres, and aims to establish more temporary learning spaces in camps and host communities.

This she said will serve as support to children’s access to formal education.

“We will also provide training to teachers and will work in communities hosting high numbers of displaced children, providing tuition fees, materials and school uniforms”.

Meanwhile, the 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan for Nigeria seeks more than $1 billion to address the needs of those in crisis in the three most affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, with 75 partners ready to respond to those needs where areas area accessible.

This Humanitarian Response Plan will address the needs of almost 7 million people, in dire need of nutrition, food, shelter, health, education, protection and the water and sanitation needs of a very vulnerable population.

“He’s my only child”, mother of Boko Haram fighter cries out.

More than a year after she was taken from Boko Haram by the Nigerian army, Falta still has mixed feelings about her freedom.

While she does not miss life in the Sambisa forest – a vast former game reserve in northeast Nigeria and the jihadists’ final stronghold – Falta is worried about her son, Mamman Nur, who is believed to be one of Boko Haram’s leading commanders.

Nur was the suspected mastermind behind a suicide bomb on U.N. headquarters in the capital Abuja in August 2011 that killed 23 people. Nigeria’s state security service has offered a $160,000 bounty for information leading to his capture.

The question of whether Boko Haram still has a base in the Sambisa is disputed, with President Muhammadu Buhari last month saying their last enclave in the forest was captured, before a man purporting to be the militants’ leader denied the claim.

Falta, a frail grandmother who describes herself as an “old woman”, recalled how her son insisted that his entire family move to the Sambisa for their safety following clashes between Boko Haram and the army in their hometown of Banki.

With no-one else to look after her, Falta said she had no choice but to go with her son, his three wives and his children to the base from which the militant group has waged a bloody seven-year campaign to create an Islamic state in the northeast.

“He is my only remaining child … his father died when he was a child,” said Falta, who had been a farmer in Banki.

Despite her doubts, life in the Sambisa was comfortable for Falta. Vans arrived regularly with food and clothes, a hospital staffed with doctors and nurses tended to the ill, and Falta had her own room in a house she shared with her son and his wives.

“I was happy to have my grandchildren around me,” she said.


Falta lived with her son for more than four years before she and his wives were captured by the Nigerian military in a 2015 raid on the Sambisa forest that took place while Nur was away.

Sitting on a mat in the government safe house, Falta said she had repeatedly tried to talk her son out of joining the Islamist militant group, which has killed some 15,000 people and forced more than two million to flee their homes since 2009.

“But he did not listen to me,” Falta said, explaining that she does not know when or why her son joined the jihadists. “I gave birth to him, but I did not give birth to his lifestyle.”

“After he moved to the Sambisa, I decided it was no longer any use talking … I could see he was already deeply involved.”

President Buhari in December said Boko Haram’s last enclave in the forest had been captured in the “final crushing” of the group, yet the Thomson Reuters Foundation has been unable to independently verify that the area was captured.

Days after Buhari’s announcement, a man purporting to be the leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, denied the claim in a video seen by Reuters, which could not be verified as genuine.

The Nigerian army has retaken most areas held by Boko Haram, yet the group still often stages attacks and suicide bombings.

While the government is ready to release Falta from the safe house, the mother of the Boko Haram commander has nowhere to go.

Holding her face in her hands, Falta described her anxiety at not knowing anything about what has become of her only child.

Since leaving the forest, she has heard nothing of him.

“Anybody who has a child will know exactly how I feel,” she said. “I don’t know if he is dead or alive.”

This article was first published by Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, corruption and climate change.

Heavy gunfire in Yobe as Army foils Boko Haram’s attempt to capture military base

There was intense exchange of gunfire in Borno on Wednesday night as a huge number of suspected Boko Haram terrorists descended on a military base in Yobe with the intention of dislodging the troops there and taking over the location.

Military insiders told PREMIUM TIMES that the terrorists stormed the military base in Kamuya at 5:30 p.m. from three different directions shooting non-stop for over 30 minutes.

Because the attack was unexpected and the terrorists were in such a large number than the officers and men at the camp, the troops initially withdrew, our sources said.

However, a reinforcement was quickly sent from Buni Yadi to join the troop on ground.

After hours of intense fighting, the troops were able to retake the camps, with the terrorists fleeing.

A large number of Boko Haram terrorists were said to have been killed in battle with some fleeing the scene with gunshot wounds.

One source said three Nigerian soldiers died while some equipment were lost during the battle. A number of soldiers are also said to be missing.

The Yobe attack came days after suspected Boko Haram members abducted seven women and killed three other persons when they attacked a village in the southern part of Borno State.

Witnesses and police said the incident occurred in Ndagu Village of Askira-Uba Local Government Area of Borno State.

Ndagu village is located near Alagarno, which was once known as the spiritual headquarters of Boko Haram and was said to have been recently liberated by troops of the Nigeria military.

A leader of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria in Borno State, Abbas Gava, informed PREMIUM TIMES that he received a report from one of his colleagues in Askira-Uba Local Government Area that Ndagu in Lassa district came under massive attack by Boko Haram.

Mr. Gava said he was briefed by the Commander of VGN in Askira-Uba, Hamidu Wampana, that many of the residents fled into the jungle when the gunmen set the whole village on fire.

The army authorities were yet to comment on the Yobe attack at the time of this report.

Army spokesperson, Sani Usman, did not pick or return calls and did not respond to an SMS sent to him.

Zamfara emir hands over 3 Boko Haram suspects to army.

The Nigerian army says the Zurmi emirate council in Zamfara state has handed over three suspected Boko Haram members to it.


Abdullahi Adamu, commanding officer, 223 light tank batallion of tactical operation unit, Gusau, said the suspects were apprehended by a local vigilante in the area.


He said the three suspects had been moved to the 1 division, Nigerian Army, Kaduna, for interrogation.


“Based on our preliminary investigation, we discovered that the suspects may be connected to the fleeing Boko Haram members who were recently disbanded by the military from Sambisa forest of Borno state,” Adamu said.


The commanding officer further commended the emirate council and local vigilantes for their efforts in arresting the suspects.


He said AK 47 riffles, over 600 ammunition, illicit drugs, charms and other belongings were recovered from the suspects.


Source: The Cable

Femi Kuti visits IDPs in Maiduguri, urges artistes to extend help victims.

Renowned Afrobeat musician, Femi Kuti, has urged celebrities and their fans to work with the government to help millions of people struggling to survive in Boko Haram-hit northeast Nigeria.

The Lagos-based Afrobeat star said he wanted to raise awareness among young Nigerians and encourage them to demand a greater humanitarian response, having visited Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, on Monday. “People need to have a sense of the reality in the northeast – from people walking around hungry to mothers with malnourished children,” Kuti said, during his visit.

“I hope more celebrities will visit and engage with their fans,” Kuti told the Thomson Reuters Foundation after accompanying the International Rescue Committee (IRC) on visits to local communities hosting the displaced and a health clinic.

Yet the jihadist group has stepped up attacks and suicide bombings in the past few weeks as the end of the rainy season facilitates movements in the bush.

While calling on more support and aid for people in the northeast, Kuti said he was struck by the generosity of local communities towards those uprooted by the insurgency. “It is heartening to see so many displaced people welcomed into the homes of local families … and community elders offering to give up land to displaced for farming,” Kuti said.

In Maiduguri, which has seen its population almost triple to five million in recent years, there are signs a sense of normality is gradually returning to the city.

The curfew has been pushed back to 10p.m. from 6p.m. and clubs are packed and pulsating as DJs play the tunes of artists like Kuti and his late father Fela, the 1970s Afrobeat pioneer.

Boko Haram attack Borno village, abduct 7 women, kill 3 residents – Police

Gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram members on Monday abducted about seven women and killed three other persons when they attacked a village in the southern part of Borno State, witnesses and the police have said.

The incident took place in Ndagu Village of Askira-Uba Local Government Area of Borno State.

Ndagu village is located near Alagarno, a place that was once known as spiritual headquarters of Boko Haram and was said to have been recently liberated by troops of the Nigeria military.

A leader of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria, VGN, in Borno state, Abbas Gava, informed PREMIUM TIMES that he received a report from one of his colleagues in Askira-Uba Local Government Area that Ndagu in Lassa district came under massive attack by Boko Haram.

Mr. Gava said he was briefed by the Commander of VGN in Askira-Uba, Hamidu Wampana, that many of the residents fled into the jungle when the gunmen set the whole village on fire.

“At about 5.40 p.m. on Monday, Boko Haram group entered Ndagu Village near Lassa, and killed four persons, burnt houses and took away car,” he said.

“We learnt that soldiers of the 115 Battalion and our vigilante operatives have gone on the trail of the terrorists”.

A resident of the attacked village, Ibrahim Askira, said villages and communities in that area have recently been constantly attacked by Boko Haram insurgents who would in most cases loot their food stores.

He said after the attack on Monday, many women were found missing and may have been abducted by the gunmen.

“As I speak with you now, many people who fled to the bush have not returned”, said Mr. Askira.

“We are not sure what has happened to the missing villagers but the gunmen also took away many women, whose number we cannot ascertain yet.

“The people in our village are completely traumatised due to this attack, we cannot be sure of our safety the next night.

“I call on the security agents to be more proactive in dealing with these Boko Haram boys. If the security leave us like this, they will finish us”, he said.

Askira is one of the Borno communities bordering the notorious Alagarno, the erstwhile spiritual headquarters of Boko Haram. It is also not far away from Sambisa forest.

The Borno State Police Commissioner confirmed the attack.

“From the information we have, the attack took place three days ago”, said the CP. And the intelligence gathered was that 7 women were abducted and three persons were also killed. Most of the villagers fled but their houses were completely razed down by fire which the attackers use to set them abkaze”.

He said he has dispatched a team from the commands Criminal Investigation Department to go and ascertain the details of what actually happened.


Source: Premium Times

Sambisa, The Forest of Learning – By Buki Ponle

By now, it is crystal clear to the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG), or any other groups and individuals with similar perception, that government is not toying with the safety, lives and property of Nigerians. This is clearly evident in the latest search conducted for the missing Chibok school girls in the notorious forest called Sambisa.

Few days ago, the Federal Government, represented by the Minister of Information and Culture and that of Defence, arranged to join the Nigerian troops in the forest, in furtherance of efforts at finding the girls. They invited the advocacy group BBOG to come along.

On the eve of the trip, the Co-convener of the BringBackOurgirls (BBOG), Dr Obiageli Ezekwesili, in an e-mail to the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, indicated the interest of her members to join the search. The group, for reasons only known to it, however gave impractical conditions to join in the search of
the girls, according to reports.

However, government acceded to their demands, including the last-minute insistence by Ezekwesili that the Information Minister abandon the aircraft for government delegation and fly instead with BBOG members in another aircraft.

”Only Oby Ezekwesili could rightly decipher what she had in mind to have insisted that the minister should take such a last minute decision,” notes an Abuja-based lawyer, Mr Ebenezer Okoli.

”Prior to this trip, the group had staged a week-long rally in commemoration of the 1000th anniversary of the kidnap of Chibok girls, accusing government, among others, of reneging on the rescue of the remaining 195 girls, after it had secured the release of 21 of them.

”One need not be reminded of the human degradation, especially womanhood, in the senseless war being waged against Nigeria by the Boko Haram terrorists, even in spite of heightened efforts by the Buhari administration to decimate them” he says.

The Sambisa forest, 60,000 sq. km., or 18 times the size of Lagos State, situated in the north eastern part of Nigeria, was once the pride of Borno indigenes because of its serenity, rich floral and fauna, but has turned evil with the habitation and vandalism of Boko Haram insurgents in the past eight years.

They have, however, substantially been smoked out by our gallant soldiers many of who have paid the supreme price for the love of the country, and at painful loss to their families and the nation.

Although the activity of the insurgents has been degraded, one’s blood turns chilly each time the Theatre Commander of Operation Lafia Dole, Major General Lucky Irabor, reels out the number of casualty of officers and men who have laid down their lives in the struggle to liberate the country from insurgency.

These were also men born of women, with families and other dependants, but who are seldom talked about outside the military.


BBOG assumed global fame when it rose as a resonate voice of concern over the violence perpetrated against women and children, but more especially against the abducted girls. It became an advocacy movement right from April 2014 when the school girls were kidnapped.

A journalist, Simon Lambert, observes: ”with its recent activities, the utterances and demeanor of BBOG members, one is at pains to situate the group properly, with its apparent ‘for profit’ non-governmental organisation attitude.

”Even if some of its members are full time workers for the group, they should understand the workings of government and should defer to government position which has demonstrated enough transparency in efforts at rescuing the remaining Chibok girls. Government is not faceless, and those in charge of governance have blood running in their veins, have the female as wives, children and relations.”

A political scientist, Dr. Omobolaji Akerele, comments: ”Government does not divulge everything simultaneously, and a government which has shown sincerity of purpose, such as this, should at least be given the
benefit of the doubt.”

She continues: ”BBOG should not be perceived as caring for Chibok girls alone to sustain its international recognition. It should show concern for all the victims, including the IDPs, the fallen heroes and their families, as well as those who have been vegetated by BokoHaram’s bestial attacks.
”The use of cheap blackmail, appearing in holier-than-thou attitude, resort to unnecessary rallies and grandstanding are not the hallmark of a responsible advocacy movement, as interpretations are being given to the genuineness of such actions,” Akerele adds.

Some of the members have even been assuming presidential posturing and would not want to appear in related public meetings unless President Buhari is physically present.

Nonetheless, the trip has altered the perception of BBOG group which had apparently lost confidence in government efforts at battling corruption and rescuing the remaining trapped Chibok girls in that
dreaded forest.

Not until a gruesome day and night rounds of search sorties in Sambisa did Ezekwesili become convinced that government is doing its best, as witnessed in the professionalism and sophistication of the Nigerian Air Force, in executing the war against terror.

For instance, the Air Force now possesses many search planes as against just one, and the the deployment of many fighter jets as against just two before this administration. It is noteworthy that the Air Force has also flown 6,000 hours and spent N2 billion on fuel in searching for the girls.

Following the tour, BBOG testifies in its report, that ”the air component of the counter-insurgency is being prosecuted by a highly professional, capable, motivated and committed team of the Nigerian Air Force.”

Ezekwesili also saw the need for government to descend more heavily on looters of the national wealth, and those who have dis-empowered the military, for the terrorists to have initially gained an upper hand.

All told, more stakeholders must be prepared for Sambisa lessons, now a forest for learning, discipline, soberness and patriotism. In particular, those lawyers who placed money above national interest and would hold brief for the worst rogue as long as blood-money talks, should be the next in line for the Sambisa trip.

Ditto for the judge who compromises, because each perverted judgement of national interest could also mar the operation of the war against terror. With such visits, justice will be served expeditiously and without fear or favour.

*Ponle is a public affairs analyst

PRESS STATEMENT: DAY 1000 of consistent, daily #BringBackOurGirls advocacy.

One thousand days ago — April 30, 2014 — our movement started with a march by over two thousand citizens from all walks of life in the city of Abuja demanding rescue of hundreds of girls alleged to have been abducted by Boko Haram terrorists from their dormitory at the Government Secondary School, Chibok Borno State.
The world was later to learn from the findings of the Presidential Task Force set up by the preceding federal government that 276 schoolgirls writing their final certificate examination had been forcefully taken on the night of April 14, 2014.
The findings stated that 57 of the girls had escaped variously as their captors hauled them on the long journey into the Sambisa forest leaving 219 missing by the time the news of the abduction reached the public.
Social media starting reacting  from April 15 when the news of the abduction broke even while the traditional media in Nigeria was not reporting the tragedy. One week later on April 23, 2014 the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls emerged and became popular on social media as the widely used message of demand for the rescue of the abducted school girls.
Fifteen days later and with still no acknowledgement nor action by the federal government on the abduction, diverse citizens were convened using reach outs of all types to participate in a solidarity march for the abducted girls. That march of April 30, 2014 adopted the social media hashtag  #BringBackOurGirls as the message of the protesters. The citizens that gathered walked from the Unity Fountain under heavy rains to the Nigerian National Assembly to demand for government rescue of the school girls.
That march awakened much more people to the tragedy and in a rare demonstration of global empathy, many people organized marches in several cities in Nigeria and around the world calling for rescue of the abducted girls.  That first march went on  to become a daily “sit-out” campaign in Abuja and a weekly “shout out”  in Lagos and various advocacy activities in cities like Oshogbo, New York, Washington DC.
At the beginning, members of our movement made a promise to our #ChibokGirls couched in a question that is part of the movement’s chants: “When shall we stop?” The answer is simple: “Not until our Girls are back and alive! “Not without our daughters! The two pillars around which our advocacy was framed for 1000 days are our  shared humanity with our #ChibokGirls and the social contract between citizens and their government.
As a citizens movement, our priority has been to awaken our government to its responsibility of protecting lives and properties of its citizens like our #ChibokGirls. Our activities invariably also awakened global awareness of and some action against the cruel action of the Boko Haram terror group. Staying above the fray of politics and change of governments, our movement has remained resolute in the singularity of purpose of demanding and compelling necessary government action to rescue the Chibok girls.
That our movement — a citizens’ advocacy in Nigeria —  has lasted 1000 days is traceable to the core values on which it  is founded. Interestingly these core values make up HUMANITEEDS: Hope, Unity, Motivation, Affability, Nationalism, Integrity, Transparency, Empathy, Equity, Discipline, and Sacrifice. These are the  values that have shaped the thought processes, decisions, and actions of the movement.
Lending our contribution to solutions has also been part of our modus operandi. In 1000 days, we have not only advocated on the matter of our girls but also delivered solutions to our government and people. Below are some of the Solutions we worked on:
–         Citizens’ Solution to End Terrorism
–         Verification, Authentication, and Reunification System (VARS) document
–         ABCs of Our Demand
–         Missing Persons’ Register (MPR)
–         Chronicle of false narratives by the Nigerian government on the rescue of the Chibok schoolgirls
–         Options Note on Rebuilding the Northeast
These are available on our website
Key milestones achieved by BBOG include:
  • Ignited the ultimate acknowledgement of the tragedy three weeks after by the then federal government following one week of our movement’s sustained advocacy.
  • Catalytic to multi-nation meeting convened in Paris, France in May 2014 to find the abducted girls and build a sub-regional counter terrorism response.
  • The offer of leading member-nations of the UN Security Council to help rescue our ChibokGirls,
  • Crystalized the advocacy for #ChibokGirls by key global figures and the global community.
  • Saw a strong commitment made by then incoming president – Muhammadu Buhari-  that the return of our girls and other abducted citizens as the indicator of defeat of the terrorists;
  • Compelled our federal government to prioritize the effective and efficient use of resources provided for prosecuting the war and providing security more broadly. In the process, our troops in the battlefront confirm improvement in the tools necessary for war.
  • Shone the light on the scale of humanitarian tragedy that has befallen millions of our internally displaced citizens as far back as 2014 when the North East destabilization was escalating.
However none of those milestones  compared to the sense of progress that the movement celebrated when the first  Chibok girl — Amina Ali Nkeki was found by the Civilian Joint Task Force and the military on Tuesday May 17, 2016.
Subsequently two other Chibok girls — Maryam Ali and Rakiya Abubakar were also found at different times due to the activities of the military. The largest set of girls – twenty one- were released by the terrorists on October 13, 2016 following a successful negotiation with the Federal Government, the Swiss Government and the International Committee of the Red Cross. That 24 of our ChibokGirls have been given the  justice of freedom from terrorists is considered a testament that our citizens’ advocacy for them was valid despite the stiff attacks and opposition our movement attracts for our steadfast stance.
Furthermore, by making our #ChibokGirls the symbol of all other victims of Boko Haram –many of whom lost their identity in the course of the tragedy in the North East– it compelled the Nigerian military to achieve the rescue of thousands of these other Nigerians.
We also highlighted and advocated on issues related to military welfare, demanded for presidential pardon of soldiers who were wrongly sentenced to death upon being court-martialed for refusing to fight without arms. Some of such unjust sentences were later commuted to life imprisonment.
Adopting our #NigerianHonourOurHeroes initiative, we continue to champion the cause of our soldiers and their families for the risk they take at the war front and for the gallantry they show whenever any of  them die at the battlefront to safeguard people and nation.
In the last 1000 days of our advocacy,  we have become a model for the effective expression of the #OfficeOfTheCitizen which promotes demand for democratic accountability from their government.
Our movement has seen the emergence of other citizens’ advocacy groups on related issues of good governance, philanthropic and humanitarian efforts, citizens interventions and such like. The idea of the informed, engaged and active citizen is no longer a dream but already being acted upon by ordinary citizens across the country.
Our singular issue was the rescue of our Chibok girls, but it did not take our movement time to see how the lack of good governance and demand for accountability failed them on that night they were abducted. It is reason our movement insists on Good Governance.
On this tragic DAY 1000 of our advocacy, we again celebrate the efforts of our men and women in uniform who continue to place their lives on the line at the frontlines of the fight against the insurgency and in the search for our Chibok girls as well as other persons who have been abducted by Boko Haram.
Today as we ponder  the colossal tragedy of the non-return of 195 of our girls on day 1000 of daily #BringBackOurGirls advocacy, we renew our  commitment to never stop  demanding until all the remaining 195 of our missing girls are rescued. It is why we today ask the federal government to accelerate the effort it assures is being made to successfully negotiate the release of another set of 83 of our ChibokGirls.
As a movement, we do not wish to see DAY1100 without all our ChibokGirls back. #BringBackOurGirls!
For and on behalf of #BringBackOurGirls

Boko Haram Must Not Regroup – UN

UN Security Council has tasked the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) to prevent Boko Haram insurgents from regrouping.

The Council said that destructive insurgents who were recently dislodged from their safe haven in Sambisa Forest should not be allowed to regroup.

The Task Force was set up by Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Niger and the Republic of Benin to tackle Boko Haram insurgents.

The Security Council, in a Presidential Statement, reiterated that terrorism should be combated in all forms to prevent its spread.

“The Council urged the Multinational Joint Task Force participating countries to further enhance regional military cooperation and coordination.

“The Force should deny safe haven to Boko Haram, and facilitate the restoration of civilian security and the rule of law in areas liberated from the militant group.” “The Council called on Governments in the region to facilitate access for humanitarian organizations, and to work with the UN and international partners to develop viable options for delivering aid.”

It strongly condemned all terrorist attacks in West Africa, particularly those carried out by Boko Haram militants in the Lake Chad Basin.

The Security Council stressed the need to combat terrorism in all its forms and to address the conditions conducive to its spread. The 15-member body reiterated its deep concern over the dire humanitarian situation caused by the activities of Boko Haram in the Lake Chad Basin region.

“In this regard, the Security Council calls upon the international community to immediately support the provision of urgent humanitarian assistance for the people most affected by the crisis.

“These people are in Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria, including by fulfilling the UN appeal for the Lake Chad Basin region.”

It further welcomed sub-regional, regional and international efforts to mitigate the security, humanitarian and development impact of Boko Haram’s activities.

The Security Council underlined that the UN Member States must ensure that any counter-terrorism measures are in compliance with all obligations under international law, particularly international human rights, humanitarian and refugee laws.

The statement also expressed deep regret over bombing of the camp for displaced persons in Rann on Jan. 17, which resulted in the deaths of numerous civilians, including internally displaced persons and humanitarian workers. The Council also urged the Federal Government to investigate the incident swiftly.

The Council welcomed recent positive political developments in several West African countries, in particular the holding of free and peaceful elections in Cape Verde and Ghana.

It also commended the outcome of the political dialogue in Guinea, as well as welcomed steps taken to develop and institute political, institutional and constitutional reforms in Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Senegal and Sierra Leone.

The Council said it was encouraged by the ECOWAS authority’s decision concerning the political situation in The Gambia, and commended its action which ensured peaceful transition.

It also commended the decisions by the AU Peace and Security Council that ceased to recognise out-gone President Yahya Jammeh as the legitimate President of The Gambia.



Troops kill 15 insurgents ‘responsible for accidental strike in Rann’

Tukur Buratai, chief of army staff, says troops have killed 15 Boko Haram fighters, who were part of insurgents responsible for the mistaken deployment of rockets on an internally displaced persons’ (IDP) camp in Rann, Borno state.

Speaking when he paid a visit to troops of 3 Battalion, Buratai said two days after the accident, Boko Haram fighters returned to Rann in two gun trucks, but were repelled by the soldiers.

He said while one insurgent, suspected to be a foreigner, was captured, others escaped with one gun truck.

He added that the troops recovered the other truck with weapons, including one General Purpose Machine Gun, three AK47 and ammunition.

He regretted that the weapons mistakenly hit IDP camps in the town, killing over 50 civilians and wounding many others.

“Two of our soldiers were also affected in the unfortunate incident,” Buratai said.

He described the incident as unfortunate and big mistake.

“We have all learnt lessons from it,” he said.

“We will take note of this; the issue of coordination and passage of the right information will help to prevent such incident again.

“It is a mistake which can happen and it has happened in other places. We pray it never happen again.”

Buratai urged troops not to allow the unfortunate incident to demoralize them.

He charged them to remain committed, dedicated and patriotic, assuring them that their efforts would be rewarded.

The chief of army staff also met with elders of the community and condoled with them over the incident.

Omoke, commanding officer of 3 Battalion, said Rann was one of the last towns retaken from the insurgents on March 22, 2016.

He said since the town was captured, insurgents had made five failed attempts to attack Rann but never succeeded.

The town is the headquarters of Kala Balge local government area of Borno. It is 175km from Maiduguri, the state capital, and 8km to Cameroon.


Source: The Cable

Boko Haram: 75 NSCDC Personnel Killed In Borno In 2016 – Officials

The Borno Command of the Nigeria Civil Defence Corps says 75 personnel of the command were killed while 15 were declared missing in action in the year 2016.


The Commandant of the Corps, Ibrahim Abdullahi, told journalists in a news conference that the officers were killed in separate attacks in Gwoza and Gamboru Ngala in the Boko Haram insurgency.


“We have alerted our sister agencies on the issues while the NSCDC national headquarters have assisted the families of the bereaved.” he said.


Abdullah noted that about 19 area offices belonging to the NSCDC across the state were completely destroyed by Boko Haram.


His words: “We will deploy additional 500 personnel in liberated LGA’s. We have already deployed 100 to Dikwa; we are preparing 30 for Monguno, while 20 of our men were drafted for Nganzai local government area.”


“Some of them are already in Chibok and Askira Uba local government areas.” Abdullahi stated.


Abdullahi said those deployed include the Anti-riot Squad, Bomb Detection and Disposal Unit as well as Intelligence and Detective Unit of the command.


Source: Channels TV

Soldiers repel Boko Haram attack on Rann IDP camp, kill 8

Days after the accidental bombing by a Nigerian airforce jet, which killed at least 54 persons, Rann IDP Camp in Borno State came under another attack, this time, by Boko Haram insurgents.


Witnesses in Rann said soldiers deployed to secure the bombed IDP camp battled for hours to repel over 100 Boko Haram gunmen who came attacking at about 6pm.


A source from Rann informed PREMIUM TIMES that the soldiers stood their ground and killed eight of the attacking insurgents.


The source, who asked not to be quoted for his security sake, said a soldier was wounded in the attack.


On Tuesday, the Theatre Commander of the Lafiya Dole counterinsurgency operations in northeast Nigeria, Major General Lucky Irabor, said the air force jet that mistakenly bombed the IDP camp was actually deployed to take on an idea identified location where Boko Haram insurgents were gathering in Kala-Balge local government area of Borno State.


Rann is the headquarters of Kalabalge local government area.


The Air Force said the bombings were aimed at Boko Haram militants.


It is not clear if the gang of Boko Haram insurgents that attacked Rann last night were those missed by the airforce jet.


Source: Premium Times

A misguided tour and the plight of Boko Haram victims – By Musa Hassan-Tom

As the battle against the book haram terrorists draws close to an end, the Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government should not allow itself to be cornered into a situation of winning the battle and losing the war by pandering to vested interests.

While the battle to defeat the insurgents has largely been successful, the task of attending to the needs of both internally displaced persons and refugees in neighbouring countries with a view to ameliorating their plight in the short term and creating conducive environment for their return to their ransacked communities have largely remain un-addressed by the Federal Government.

Even as UN donor agencies and activists like Oluwakayode Ogundamisi who take various degrees of risks to visit the IDPs camps continue to sound the alarm bell in respect of the unfolding human tragedy, the Federal Government would rather dismiss the call for urgent action and indulge in celebrating victory of winning the war.

The recent “guided tour” of Sambisa forest, the erstwhile stronghold of Boko Haram with conveners of the Bring Back Our Girls Movement is one of such political showmanship which only helps in shifting the focus from the unfolding tragedy that the government is denying.

In an uncanny turn of events, the present APC government which used the Chibok Girls saga when campaigning against the erstwhile government of President Goodluck Jonathan by leveraging on the activities of the #BBOG movement and its celebrity activists, now has to kowtow to the movement for fear of political backlash from the celebrity activists that have loud voice in the social media circles.

The conditions of IDPs in the various camps in Maiduguri, Borno State and other locations remain squalid with children dying of malnutrition and associated diseases. The exploitation and shortchanging of IDPs by government agencies and certain ‘big men’ in high places have been documented and yet no one has been held to account despite President Buhari’s vow to punish the culprits.

The Presidential Initiative on the Northeast which is under the direct supervision of the Presidency has become a conduit pipe for slush funds as it engages in self-serving expenditures without catering for immediate needs of the IDPs while planning for the long term need of rebuilding and resettling the IDPs back to their communities. The indictment of the SGF and Presidential Initiative on the Northeast by the Senate ad hoc Committee on the Northeast cannot be waved away.

The guided tour delegation of the Federal Government and the #BBOG movement conveners should have visited the IDP camps in the Northeast to evaluate the plight of all victims of the Boko Haram insurgency and the efforts of the Federal Government in addressing same.

One is at loss at what the tour sought to achieve and what it has actually achieved. The Federal Government figuratively and literally took the #BBOG conveners for a ride and after hovering over Sambisa forest, they came back to tell us that they discovered that Sambisa has a land mass of 60,000M2..

That is not exactly true but even if it is true what value has the revelation added to either the search for the Chibok girls or the plight of the other victims of Boko Haram? The tour was a misguided adventure!

The Chibok girls’ abduction is a fraction of the tragedy that has occurred and is still unfolding. The #BBOG movement ought to have organized a tour of the IDP camps even without government’s prompting to see first-hand, and verify the unfolding humanitarian crisis if its objective is altruistic and beyond grandstanding.

The bait of the guided tour of Sambisa forest which the #BBOG conveners fail for, further exposes the motives of the movement as they went all the way from Abuja and flew our Sambisa but did not bother to stop by and have a tour of the IDPs and their host communities to get direct assessment of humanitarian issues on the ground. Like all tragedies Nigeriana, Boko Haram terrorism became a launching pad into power, politics, governance and activism for many with the sole motive of self-aggrandizement.

The bitter public spat between the #BBOG movement and one of the daughters of President Buhari on the alleged use of the #BBOG hashtag in raising funds for a charity affiliated with her working with the Boko Haram victims sometime last year, leaves one wondering whether #BBOG has become a trademark of a franchise.

The Cable online news recently went undercover to investigate the plight of IDPs and the unfolding humanitarian disaster and its reports largely corroborated what the UN donor agencies have been sounding. Earlier on, an activist, Oluwakayode Ogundamisi, also took a tour of the IDP camps at Maiduguri all the way from the UK where he resides to see firsthand the plight of the victims of book haram. He gave a vivid and detailed report of his findings which he shared on twitter and also forwarded a report to the Presidency in that regard.

Instead of the President to reappraise his strategy, if any, for catering for the IDPs in the short-term and rebuilding of destroyed communities and settlements, the Presidency seems more interested in scoring political points and placating celebrity activists than walking the talk.

While acknowledging the fact that the kidnap of the Chibok School girls by Boko Haram was no doubt a tragedy of no small proportion and no efforts should be spared in ensuring the return of the remaining schoolgirls back to their families and community, the Federal Government must equally pay attention to the plight of all victims of the Boko Haram insurgency and not just pander to the celebrity activists like the #BBOG and their likes who zero their activities on the return of the Chibok girls without blinking an eye to the light of other victims of the tragedy.

The conveners of #BBOG movement have largely succeeded in creating “celebrity victimhood’ of their ilk out of the Chibok schoolgirls than taking a holistic approach to the plight and cause of all victims of Boko Haram. The celebrity status of the conveners of the #BBOG movement with its social media clout has distorted the reality and proportion of those directly affected by the crisis.

Many young girls and married ladies were abducted and taken as spoil of war in all the communities ransacked by Boko Haram during the height of the insurgency. So also, many young men and boys of school age were killed just as the Bunyadi boys whose martyrdom has not attracted the required media attention and sympathy.

The accidental bombing of an IDP camp at Rann, Kala Balge Local Government Area by the Nigerian Air Force yesterday which occasioned casualties yet to be ascertained, has once again reminded us that the plight of Boko Haram victims remains an unfolding tragedy that all stakeholders have to cooperate and coordinate to address.

The war against Boko Haram cannot be declared won until the last abductee in the custody these terrorists is freed, all communities rebuilt with IDPs and refugees resettled, and not just when all the Chibok girls are freed from Boko Haram.

In the interim, the death of infants at the IDP camps due to malnutrition and associated diseases must be given the desired attention. The sexual harassment and molestation at IDP camps must also be eliminated and efforts towards rebuilding, resettling and rehabilitating the affected communities must begin in earnest even as the gallant troops of the army supported by the Nigerian Air Force and the Navy continue to pursue the remnants of the Boko Haram terrorists.

Hassan-Tom, an indigene of Borno state, is a Port Harcourt-based legal practitioner

These are Boko Haram’s dying days, APC says.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) says the days of Boko Haram are numbered despite its recent attack on the University of Maiduguri.


On Monday, suspected Boko Haram suicide bombers attacked a mosque in the university, killing five and injuring 17.


In a statement on Tuesday, Bolaji Abdullahi, spokesman of the party, said the attack on the university was a desperate attempt to remain in the country’s consciousness.


“The APC condoles with the families of victims of the bomb blasts, which occurred in a Mosque inside the University of Maiduguri on Monday, leading to the death of a professor of veterinary medicine, Aliyu Usman Mani, and four others,” Abdullahi said.


“The APC strongly condemns this cowardly act by Boko Haram, and we view this latest act of terror as another confirmation of the group’s desperation to remain in the national consciousness, having lost its former stronghold to the Nigerian army.


“Even as we mourn with fellow citizens who have fallen victims to the terrorists, we are consoled by the knowledge that Boko Haram’s days are numbered and these indeed are its dying days.


“We once again salute our gallant men in uniform for their heroic efforts and their invaluable sacrifice to our nation. We commend President Muhammadu Buhari for keeping the promise that our Party made to Nigerians that we would end the insurgency and restore peace to the north-east of Nigeria.”


The party further assured Nigerians that with their support and prayers, the attacks by Boko Haram would soon be a thing of the past.

Nigerian government confirms negotiation with Boko Haram to free Chibok girls

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, on Tuesday reassured that the negotiations for the release of other Chibok girls in captivity were ongoing.

The minister disclosed this at the Air Force Base in Yola in a briefing to conclude a day and night rounds of search sortie of the missing girls to Sambisa.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Mr. Mohammed; the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Alli; the convener of the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) group, Obiageli Ezekwesili; as well as selected local and foreign journalists participated in the search mission.

Mr. Mohammed said that the success recorded by the military in the theatre of war was helping the negotiation because of the carrot and stick approach of government to ending insurgency.

He recalled that a meeting was recently held which was a near success and added that the government would not rest on its oars in ensuring a safe return of all the missing girls and others in captivity.

“The negotiations are still on, but unfortunately unlike the search operations, we cannot take you along to the negotiation table.

“I want to assure you that these negotiations are going on but they are very complicated and delicate and shift from time to time,” he said.

The minister commended the military for the victories recorded in various operations at decimating the insurgents particularly in Sambisa.

He noted that the capture of Camp Zairo in Sambisa, which is the headquarters and stronghold of the insurgents was very crucial to defeating the terrorists.

The minister stressed that the proportion of the camp to the size of the forest notwithstanding, ”the capture is a big victory for the military

“Camp Zairo might occupy probably one kilometre out of 60,000 kilometres expanse of Sambisa, but it is so crucial to us in this war.

“It is like imagining that there is a war and the Villa is captured. That is the essence of camp zairo.

“It is not the extent of physical expanse but that we struck at the very heart of insurgency and it does not mean the end of the campaign in Sambisa forest,’’ he said.

Mr. Mohammed commended the Air Force for their professionalism and for deployment of modern technology in their operations.

The minister also commended the Chief of Air Staff, Sadique Abubakar for initiating the search mission.

He added that it served its objective of participating and better understanding of the efforts of the military in fighting insurgency.

Speaking on casualty figure of his men, Mr. Abubakar said they were very lucky in terms of suffering casualties on their air operations.

“First and foremost, the enemy does not have air assets and we take training very seriously.

“We do everything possible to ensure capacity development of our pilots and we make judicious use of the personnel that are on ground,” he said.

He thanked the minister, the BBOG delegation, the journalists and others that participated in the exercise.

REPORT: Sambisa is massive. It’s 18 times the size of Lagos – Oby Ezekwesili

Oby Ezekwesili, co-convener of the Bring Back Our Girls group, says Sambisa Forest, the hideout of the Boko Haram, is 18 times the size of Lagos state, Nigeria’s commercial capital.


Ezekwesili, who went on a tour of Sambisa with the Nigerian Airforce (NAF), said the forest is a vast expanse of land, and more has to be done to capturing the whole forest.


“Dreaded Sambisa is massive. Sixty thousand square kilometers. Eighteen times the size of Lagos State! All of Lagos is 3,345 square km,” she wrote on Twitter.


“Apparently, the Sambisa ‘general area’ as it’s called is some 85% of entire size of Borno State.”



She said the military had succeeded in capturing the capital spot of Boko Haram, but the search must continue.


“The famous Camp Zero in Sambisa? Well, it turns out that capturing Camp Zero is NOT equal to capturing Sambisa. It is just a spot in there.


“Capture of Camp Zero in Sambisa is akin to capturing the Capital City of a country. Camp Zero was the Capital SPOT of Boko Haram in Sambisa


“Capture of Camp Zero is significant but not cos of its SIZE. It is SIGNIFICANT because it USED TO BE the STRONGHOLD of the enemy in there.


“So, could our Chibok girls and other abducted citizens still [be] within the vast field of Sambisa other than Camp Zero? Yes. So, NAF searches on.”


Regarding the entire trip, she said “We came. We learned. Now we return. To stand! To demand!! ! Thanks everyone at Nigerian Air Force for all we learned”.


Shekau: My people attacked UNIMAID mosque because of its ‘ungodly’ acts

Abubakar Shekau, leader of the Boko Haram group, has taken responsibility for the bomb blasts that occurred at the University of Maiduguri, Borno state, on Monday.


On Monday, suspected Boko Haram suicide bombers attacked a mosque and another location within the university.


The blasts killed four people and injured 17 others, as of first count.


In a audio recording published on YouTube, Shekau said the mosque was attacked because it was “ungodly”.


He reiterated that the Nigerian army did not kill any of his members in the Sambisa forest.


“The bomb that happened this morning, it’s my people. Don’t deceive people that it’s a mosque, how would you build a mosque and do ungodly things in it,” Shekau said in the recording.


“We are not angry with Nigeria. You didn’t kill anyone in Sambisa. We are praying that we don’t change; Koran is our teacher; this is the message we are sending to you. Are you [Buhari] as powerful as God?


“You should know it’s Shekau talking and I’m alive and it’s we that did it, even if King Pharaoh repents, we will not accept it.”


Source: The Cable

Boko Haram Claims Responsibility For Attack On Nigerian University Of Maiduguri

The leader of Boko Haram Islamist terrorist group, Abubakar Shekau has claimed responsibility for the dawn attack on a mosque at the University of Maiduguri. The attack carried out by a 7-year old suicide bomber killed a university professor and 3 others.  Security forces said they foiled a third attack near the university by killing another suicide bomber strapped with a suicide vest.


Shekau released an audio in Hausa last night claiming they carried out the attack because the university was mixing “Islam with democracy.”


He said “we carried out the University of Maiduguri Bomb at the mosque.


“We did it because they are mixing Islam with democracy.”


“We carried out the attack in the morning and I am speaking to you this evening.”


“Here in Maiduguri and you will see more of this attacks.”

Boko Haram: Court adjourns Senator Ali Ndume’s trial

Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday adjourned hearing in Mohammed Ndume’s trial till February 2.


Mr. Ndume represents Borno South in the Senate and was recently removed as senate leader.


In his ruling, Justice Kolawole ordered the prosecution to pay cost for filing an application out of time. At the resumed hearing, the prosecuting counsel, Chinyere Emezina, told the court that there was a pending motion filed and dated January 13 before the court.


Ms. Emezina urged the court to hear the motion in order to continue with the trial.


The defence counsel, Rickey Tarfa, however, did not oppose the application, but rather urged the court for cost for the late filling of the motion.


Mr. Ndume was arraigned in 2011 on a four-count charge of allegedly sponsoring the violent Boko Haram sect.
The lawmaker has denied the charges.


The offence Contravened Sections 3(b), 4(1) (a) and 7(1) (b) of the Terrorism Prevention Act.


Source: NAN

Nigerian Air Force Gives Cost Of Involvement In Lafiya Dole Operation.

The Nigerian Air Force says it has spent a total of 2.738 billion Naira in 2016 to ensure a functional air component of the Operation Lafiya Dole, in the Northeastern part of Nigeria.


This was made known during a briefing of Ministers of Information, Defence and members of the Bring Back Our Girls Group, (BBOG), Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, Commanding Officer by Air Vice Marshal Nurudeen Balogun and the Tactical Commander, Air Commodore Charles Ohwo.


Addressing the Members of the BBOG, the Commanding Officer Air Vice Marshal Balogun, informed the group that efforts were being made to locate not only the missing Chibok school girls but also any person abducted by the Boko Haram sect.


According to him, the abducted were cited on January 7 and 12, 2017 and those abductees who were rescued, have been handed over to the ground troops in Maiduguri.


Source: Channels TV

Nigerian Army Release 257 Cleared Boko Haram Terrorists In Borno

Theatre Commander of the Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Lucky Irabor, has released 257 screened and cleared suspected Boko Haram terrorists to the Borno state government.

The handing over exercise, took place during the 2017 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration held at the Ramat square Maiduguri, Borno State.

This was revealed in a statement signed by the Deputy Director Army Public Relations (7 Division), Colonel Mustapha Anka, the force.

Meanwhile, the State Governor, Alhaji Shettima Kashim, in his remarks, called on Nigerians to imbibe the spirit of tolerance and understanding while pursuing their daily endeavors.

According to him, this would help in averting misunderstandings, which he said could accumulate to full blown war and destruction of lives and properties.

Shettima, who was represented by the Deputy Governor of the state, Alhaji Usman Durkwa, said the Federal Government is mindful of dangers associated with military service; especially in the case of those who had to pay the supreme prize or suffer permanent disabilities in the course of defending the sovereignty of the nation.

“We as government are mindful of your sacrifices to the nation and we will continue to assist the Legion in any way we can.”

He also used the occasion to commend the effort of security agencies in the current security challenges facing the northeast region of the country, while assuring them of the government’s support.

Furthermore, he urged Nigerians to always support the veterans, departed heroes as well as their families.

President Muhammadu Buhari, also commended troops serving within Nigeria and across Africa, for their sacrifice for the country and the continent.

The highlight of the event was the laying of wreath in commemoration of the fallen heroes by Mr Durkwa, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, the Shehu of Borno, military and para-military commanders, as well as the Chairman Nigerian Legion, Borno state chapter.

The guests also visited the Military Cemetery at Maimalari Cantonment, where prayer, was offered for the repose of the fallen Heroes.

They then proceeded to the 7 Division Medical Services and Hospital for a sympathy visit to wounded soldiers.

The ceremony, is the first since the emergence of insurgency in the State.

Nigerian troops rescue 58, kill 13 suspected Boko Haram members

Troops of the Operation Lafiya Dole in conjunction with local vigilance group killed 13 suspected insurgents in two villages and rescued 58 from operations in Bomboshe and Sinbaya in Dikwa Local Government Area of Borno at the weekend.


The Director Army Public Relations (DAPR), Brig-Gen. Sani Usman said the result achieved was from the continuous raid, fighting patrols, cordon and search on suspected Boko Haram hideouts in some villages, carried out by troops in conjunction with the civilian JTF.


This is coming as a fleeing member of the sect identified as Alkali, was arrested in Ibadan and is undergoing interrogation by the police.He confessed that he fled Sambisa forest and that some members of the group were in Lagos.

While confirming the arrest, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Adekunle Ajisebutu said the man was under interrogation. Also, the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), has hailed the Department of State Services for its vigilance, which led to the arrest of suspected Boko Haram members in Lagos State.


Adams praised the DSS and sent out further warnings to criminal elements in the South West and other states with OPC presence that they would not be allowed to fester.Meanwhile, the Northern Interfaith and Religious Organizations for Peace (NIROP), has queried the motive behind Borno State government’s reaction to the arrest and interrogation of the Chairman of Mafa Local Government Council, Alhaji Shettima Lawan, who was caught harbouring Boko Haram fighters.


National Coordinator of the group, Bishop Musa Fomson in Abuja yesterday said it appears that while soldiers were diligently working to round up escaping terrorists, the politicians were covertly subverting the military’s efforts thereby making the work to be worthless.Fomson expressed worry that the action of the state government shows sabotage in the Federal Government’s quest to end terrorism.


He said Nigerians must rise up and condemn any attempt that will encourage the terrorist group from regrouping. He urged the army to remain focus in its mission of moping up remnants of the Boko Haram terrorists.


He said, “We appeal that Nigerians make vigilance their watchword, be their neighbors’ keepers and support the military to expose those that are political Boko Haram as we see this as being strategic to winning the battle and ensuring that the peace in the wake of the terror group’s defeat is not short lived.’’


Meanwhile, the Borno state government has returned 454 “rehabilitated and stabilised children” to two border liberated communities, after spending nine months at the Maiduguri stabilization and rehabilitation centre.


The children were accompanied by their mothers to join their parents and other relations in Bama and Banki.Addressing them yesterday at the stabilization and rehabilitation camp in Maiduguri, Chairman of State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Alhaji Ahmed Satomi, said: “We are not just returning these children and mothers to liberated communities, but on arrival, they will be provided with educational facilities to continue with their educational pursuits and future.”He said another batch of 482 children out of 2, 018 IDPs at the rehabilitation and stabilization centre, will be re-integrated and enrolled into schools in the metropolis.


Source: Guardian

JUST IN: University Professor Killed By Suicide Bombers At The University Of Maiduguri

Aliyu Mani, a professor of veterinary medicine, and a child are among those killed in the suicide attack on University of Maiduguri.

Mani died after a male suicide bomber detonated a bomb at the senior staff quarters of (UNIMAID) early on Monday morning

Damian Chukwu, commissioner of police(CP), confirmed the incident to reporters in Maiduguri.

Chukwu said 15 persons sustained various degrees of injuries, and had been rushed to hospital.

“At about 5:45am a mobile police officer who is on duty sighted a suicide bomber who was trying to scale the fence at Gate Five of the university,” he said.

“Suspicious of his movement, the mobile police officer instantly gunned him down and his bomb exploded and killed him instantly.

“The second suicide bomber, a seven year-old, detonated the second explosive at the senior staff quarters mosque in the university where a professor and four persons were killed, and 15 persons sustained various degrees of injuries and were rushed to the hospital.”

Commenting on the incident, Satomi Ahmed, chairman of State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), said: “All I can say is to appeal to the people to be vigilant and ensure proper watch because, like we have said, the insurgents are in disarray and employing any tactic to cause havoc.

“The people must be vigilant at all time.”

Emergency workers have evacuated the body of the victims and the suicide bombers to a mortuary.

The attack happened after morning Islamic prayers, Subhi.

The attacks were recorded at a mosque near Gate 1, and Gate 5 of the university.

Rescue and security officials have cordoned the areas, while evacuation have been concluded.

Ibrahim Umar, a student of the institution, told TheCable that the attack took people unawares.

“This is the first time that we would experience this kind of thing on this campus,” he said.

“As I speak to you now, there is confusion. No movement within and outside the school. Those inside are trapped, while those outside cannot go in. Security personnel have taken over strategic places.

“We are really worried, and there are fears that ongoing examination will be rescheduled.”


Source: The Cable

Troops Rescue More Hostages In Intensified Clearance Operations

As part of clearance operations of remnants and fleeing Boko Haram terrorists in Nigeria’s northeast, troops have continuously been carrying out raids, patrols and cordon operations.

Troops of 112 Task Force Battalion, 22 Brigade, Nigerian Army on Operation LAFIYA DOLE, conducted joint operations with vigilantes and civilian JTF in suspected Boko Haram terrorists’ hideouts in their area of responsibility.

A statement by the Army spokesman, Brigadier General Sani Usman, revealed that within the last two days, the troops carried out quite a number of patrols and clearance operations in various villages and towns in Dikwa Local Government Area of Borno State.

Troops Rescued 37 Persons

“On Thursday January 12, 2017, with the assistance of some local vigilantes and civilian JTF, the troops carried out fighting patrols and clearance operations in Awada and Sinbaya villages. During the operations, the troops met stiff resistance towards Sinbaya from suspected Boko Haram terrorists in which they neutralised eight terrorists.

Army troops during clearance operations

“They also carried out similar clearance operation at Anaduwa village where they removed Boko Haram terrorists’ flags and recovered four Isuzu vehicles and three motorcycles. The troops also rescued 37 persons held captives; comprising 23 women and 14 children.

Some of the rescued Boko Haram hostages

“Yesterday (Friday), they also carried out a joint patrol to Talwari village which served as harbour area for Boko Haram terrorists as well as Agulari, Kirinari, Gubdori and Yale villages.

“Although the terrorists have abandoned the locations, the troops observed suspected Boko Haram terrorists activities such as abandoned flags in the area. They also arrested the terrorists’ food store keeper and recovered two Isuzu vehicles, grinding machines and vehicles workshop.”

Abandoned Boko Haram terrorists’ flag

Troops Rescued Another 21 Hostages

Brigadier General Usman further disclosed that the troops rescued another 21 hostages while some arms were recovered during clearance operations in some villages.

“In addition, they (troops) recovered five Pump Action Guns, two Pumping machines, eight vehicle tyres and one battery. The troops proceeded to Dagumba, Boboshe, Kajeri, Boskoro and Saleri and cleared the areas.

“The troops discovered and destroyed suspected Boko Haram terrorists’ night market at Boboshe and neutralised five terrorists. They also rescued 21 persons held by the Boko Haram terrorists that comprise of 12 women and nine children. The patrol also recovered one Toyota truck at Kajeri and arrested one Boko Haram terrorist in Boskoro village.”

Arrested Boko Haram suspect

The Army spokesman noted that a soldier who sustained an injury during the clearance operations was in stable condition where he was receiving medical attention.

He maintained that the operations to rid Nigeria of the remaining Boko Haram terrorists was ongoing, urging members of the public to inform security agencies about suspicious persons in their environs.

Troops Arrest Fleeing Boko Haram Terrorists

Troops of Operation Lafiya Dole have continued their mop up operations around the Sambisa Forest area and its surrounding environment in Borno State.


On Wednesday, four suspected fleeing members of the Boko Haram Sect were arrested by Troops of 27 Task Force Brigade stationed in Bara, during one of their patrols to Madaki Village in Biu Local Government Area of the state.


According to the Army, the suspects were intercepted at the outskirt of the town alongside 100 concealed motorcycles, which were also recovered from them.


The Director Army Public Relation, Brig. Gen. Sani Usman, told journalists that some of the Boko Haram members dislodged from the Sambisa forest are presently on the run and the general public should be on high alert by calling the attention of security operatives when people with unusual character and dressing are sighted.


He further stated that the suspected Boko Haram terrorists are undergoing preliminary investigation.

‘Over 1 million’ cattle lost to Boko Haram, rustlers in North-east, Group claims

Nigerian Fulani herdsmen pressure group, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, says its members have lost over one million cattle and other livestock to Boko Haram insurgents and rustlers in the North-east.

The North-east Vice Chairman of the association, Mafindi Danburam, said this on Thursday in Yola in an interview with journalists.

Mr. Damburam said while most of the union’s members in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe lost their livestock to Boko Haram, the losses were to rustlers in Bauchi, Gombe and Taraba states.

He appealed to government to consider the affected herdsmen in its resettlement and rehabilitation programmes for the North-east.

He said the typical herdsman knew no other business than rearing and needed to be assisted over their losses.

“A typical herdsman knows no other business than rearing his cattle and such person who is now rendered redundant and idle needs to be supported to pick up his life before he joins bad company and becomes a problem.

“Government needs to consider affected herdsmen under its rehabilitation programme for North-east, particularly the much- talked about North-East Development Commission,” Mr. Danburam said.

The vice chairman, who was in Adamawa over the latest farmers/herdsmen clashes, sued for peace and the need to embrace dialogue.

“In some of those states, particularly Taraba, the problem is mostly not between us and farmers but between us and rustlers,” Mr. Damburam claimed.

Boko Haram Not Defeated Until Chibok Girls, Others Are Rescued – President Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has admitted his government will not proclaim victory over the extremist group, Boko Haram, until all the kidnapped Chibok school girls are rescued.

The president said this in a letter he wrote to Pakistani child rights activist, Malala Yousafzai, in which he offered explanations about the ongoing efforts to rescue the kidnapped girls.

A statement from the Ministry of Information said Mr. Buhari signed the letter on January 10, 2017, as a response to an earlier letter he received from Ms. Yousafzai.

In the letter, Mr. Buhari assured Ms. Yousafzai, who is the youngest Nobel Peace Prize recipient, of the “doggedness, commitment and sincerity of the Nigeria’s Federal Government towards ensuring the safe return of the Chibok girls, and indeed all others still in captivity”.

But the statement, signed by Segun Adeyemi, an aide to the Minister of Information Lai Mohammed, said Mr. Buhari declined to “divulge the details of ongoing negotiations to secure the release of the girls due to the sensitive nature of the negotiations”.

The president said “in line with his pledge that Boko Haram will not be considered defeated without the rescue of the Chibok girls and all other innocent persons held hostage by the insurgents, the military, the State Security Service and the other security agencies are intensifying their efforts to ensure freedom for all those who remain in captivity,” the statement said.

The reassurance is a notable breakaway from Mr. Buhari’s frequent declarations that the insurgents have been finally defeated.

One of such comments came when he delivered his Independence Day speech on October 1, 2016.

“On Security, we have made progress. Boko Haram was defeated by last December – only resorting to cowardly attacks on soft targets, killing innocent men, women and children,” Mr. Buhari said on that day.

In his letter to Ms. Yousafzai, the president also touched on the welfare of the 21 Chibok girls who regained their freedom on October 12, 2016, saying the government had taken over the responsibility for their personal, educational and professional goals and ambitions in life.

”They are being given comprehensive medical, nutritional and psychological care and support, and anyone who has seen them in recent times will attest to the fact that their reintegration back to the society is progressing well. The Federal Government believes that it is not too late for the girls to go back to school, and everything will be done to ensure that they continue the pursuit of their studies,” he said.

Mr. Buhari commended Ms. Malala for her continuing caring disposition towards the release of the girls who remain in captivity, and the welfare of the girls who have regained their freedom, adding: ”There is no better example of the fact that we are all linked by our common humanity”.

Scary Tales of 2 Nigerian Airforce Pilots: ‘What we saw in Sambisa Forest’.

Little is known about the young Nigerian Air Force pilots who played various roles in the decimation of Boko Haram insurgents and the  capture of the dreaded Sambisa Forest. Many of them have been at war front for years, with not a few losing their lives in the process. Assistant Editor Seun Akioye reports his encounter with some of the fighter pilots on their  involvement in the battle against Boko Haram terrorists in the Northeast.

Flight Lieutenant (Captain) Sam Haastrup jumped down smartly from the cockpit of a Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Alpha-Jet, took off his helmet and hung it by the side of the aircraft. He was calm. It was a daily routine and a way of life. “It’s what I do for a living”,  Flight-Lt. said.

He looked at the reporter and said: “I am a fighter pilot with the Nigerian Air Force, 103 Strike Group, Yola. I have been in this campaign for the past three years and that is what I am doing for a living right now. I am doing the job as much as possible and I am trying to pay back for the colleagues that we have lost in this war. I pray that the Lord will continue to be with their families.”

Haastrup stood at the expansive airstrip of the NAF Headquarters, 105 Composite Group, Maiduguri,  headquarters of the Air Component of Operation Lafiya Dole. All around, young pilots were busy with their aircraft, the Alpha-Jets, the F7-Ni, the Augusta helicopters, ATR 42 surveillance aircraft and the massive transport plane C-130.

The 105 Composite Group has not always been impregnable. On December 3, 2013, a legion of Boko Haram militants invaded the base, wreaking untold havoc on men and equipment.

Not a few soldiers died and three fighter jets were destroyed by the terrorists. The incident, described as “one of the saddest occurrences in the NAF” by a senior officer, was a wake-up call to the Air Force which has since formed a fierce group of fighters dubbed “Special Forces” to defend Air bases and provide the much-needed ground security.


A cat with nine lives

Hasstrup is a ‘cat with nine lives’. In three years of participating in Operation Lafiya Dole, he has been shot at many times by Boko Haram fighters. He scaped the fate which befell Wing Commander Chinda Hedima on September 12, 2014. Hedima, whose Alpha Jet NAF/466 was gunned down at Kauri, was captured by Boko Haram fighters and subjected to the most inhuman atrocities after which he was beheaded. Hedima’s companion, Group Captain Abdulrasheed Braimoh, is still “missing in action”.

For years, the identities of its most treasured fighters were kept as NAF’s best-kept secret, obviously for security reasons. The Air Component of the war against insurgency has been to use air power to soften the ground for troops to operate. The method includes: Air Interdiction and Close Air Support. None of the missions is a pleasure flight and Hasstrup attested to that fact.

Haastrup has an enviable military background.  He attended military schools, obtained a degree in Chemistry from the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) and a Masters’ degree in Environmental Chemistry. He went to the United States (U.S.) to train as a fighter pilot and returned in 2012. Since 2013, he has been in the Northeast.

Hasstrup has been in the thick of the fight against Boko Haram, conducting several air interdictions against the insurgents. He has had many close shaves, shot at many times.

“Yes, at the beginning of this campaign in 2013 and 2014, I was shot more than once but still managed to fly back to a safe landing location. But with time, tactics on how to avoid being shot evolved.  So far, I am alive to tell my story. I only pray that God will keep the families of our colleagues who have passed on in this campaign,” he said.

But despite his many close shaves, Haastrup views the insurgents as “a group of nuisance requiring unnecessary attention.”  Anytime he goes on his plane, he “feels normal” as he goes on a mission of life and death.

The insurgents are no fools, as  they quickly gather their hostages, using them as human shield to prevent an attack from the fighter jets. It was always frustrating for the pilots whose training forbids the killing of civilians.

Haastrup said: “I have no fear of any kind. Even though I understand it’s normal to have a little fear because that gives you a reason to stay alive. But my worry is that the insurgents having to use innocent Nigerians as human shield when they see aircraft coming.  So, my concern is not to hit innocent citizens. However, we ensure that we are in a fight with only the insurgents before we open fire. We don’t ever engage without proper clearance that we are fighting only the insurgents.”

One of the most memorable missions of Haastrup was also his very first. He had received all the details about Boko Haram convoy marching towards the troops’ location, his jet was scrambled and he went in a fight with them.

“It was an armed reconnaissance. I came across a convoy of vehicles belonging to the insurgents and I had to do the necessary to stop them from advancing to hurt innocent Nigerians.”


Flying Officer (Lieutenant) Goni: A pilot fighting for his people

A first-time acquaintance with Flying Officer Ibrahim Goni will mistake him for a school pupil. Goni has yet to pack all of his 26 years into his face, which looks like that of a high school football captain than a fighter pilot he really is. Even with the assistance of his pilot suit, Goni’s features are deceitful.  But hidden under his brown uniform is one of the bravest hearts in the military.

“Owing to the fact that I came from the Northeast, I know how much the people have suffered. So, whenever I am on any mission, I go with the mind that I want to see Borno people smiling the way they were smiling before,” Goni said, wiping his face with his right hand.

The young pilot’s dream was not to fly in Alpha-Jets, put his life on the line to battle dangerous and unforgiving terrorists as a child. He only wanted to be a pilot. But two years into his career as a fighter pilot, he has come to see his work as a crusade for his fatherland.

Goni knew the risks of flying over Sambisa forest. During his missions, he knew the consequences of being shot down. “Of course the terrorists shoot back at us but you know we have minimums to observe and limitations on the aircraft. So, there are certain range and altitude that we cannot pass below, to keep ourselves safe. Flying is good, but safety first.”

When Goni graduated four years ago with a degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, he was sent to the U.S. to train as a fighter pilot by the NAF. Back home, he was seconded to the Alpha Jets and for some time, had to learn the ropes as a pilot observer. His first mission was memorable as well as intriguing.

He said: “To become a fighter pilot, you have to undergo a series of training and my first mission, I was like an observer behind and it was pretty cool. There are some scenes you only see in films and I used to think they were film tricks but they are real. So, you say to yourself these things are really happening and this is what you will do one day alone.  You know, some of these situations, you just tune your mind towards what you want to achieve. After a couple of flights, I started going for air interdiction myself,” Goni said.

He has flown to Sambisa against Boko Haram on many occasions, seeing many ‘unspeakable things’ which remain highly classified. Shortly before the fall of Sambisa, Goni was one of the NAF pilots who took part in Air Interdictions and close air support missions.

“Because of the rules of engagement and the human rights laws, that day in Camp Zairo, we saw a couple of women and children moving around. But we had to make contact with the ISR guys up there to confirm that these guys are the bad guys before we engage them.

“We had good clearance that they were the bad guys. The clearance was to ensure that we don’t hit children and women because it is against the rules. We went for the bad guys not the children,” he said.

Goni refers to Boko Haram terrorists as “the bad guys”because of the devastation and pains they had caused. It was his duty to restore the joy and lessen the pains by taking out the bad guys.  When he spoke about “picking out the bad guys”, it sounded like picking vegetables and choosing which to throw into the pot of boiling water first.

Many Nigerians have queried why the NAF could not just bomb Sambisa Forest, killing completely every living thing inside it. Goni smiled.

He said: “You have to consider a lot of things. In Sambisa, there are captives and the insurgents have a lot of hostages that we don’t want to hit. If it is to go and raid Sambisa Forest, I think it is something that could be done in a twinkle of an eye. But there are people there that we don’t want to kill.

“Another thing is about human rights and there are rules of engagement we adhere to. As a professional force, you have to adhere to those rules of engagement whenever you are on a mission,” he said.


Fewer bad guys, better society

Goni has not lost his admiration for fighting. Behind his zeal to hop on his Alpha-Jet and take off to the sky is a patriotic philosophy. That is what goes on in his mind as he prepares for another deadly mission, where he may win or lose.

“What goes on in my mind is that I am going to fight the bad guys. We call them bad guys because they have wreaked a lot of havoc and inflicted pains on our people. So, when I am fighting, I say ‘this is my own quota’ of eliminating these bad guys because the fewer the bad guys, the better our society. So, it is always a good thing for my going on a mission, it gives me that hope that I am here fighting for my people and Nigeria as a whole.”


Squadron Leader Olusola Adeniyi: A pilot making history

Olusola Adeniyi, a Squadron Leader (Major) recently made history not on account of his good looks but because he was the first pilot to land in Sambisa after it fell to government troops in December, last year.

He said: “Landing in Sambisa Forest shortly after the fall of Camp Zairo would linger for a very long time in my memory. It was an infamous place where all I could do for a very long time was to fly over. Eventually, I got the opportunity to land there. I took a senior military officer into Sambisa Forest where he met with the troops and addressed them and appreciated them for the work. I felt very proud to fly the first helicopter to land in that area and the personality that I took there,” Adeniyi said.

The Augusta 109 light helicopter has been Adeniyi’s ‘home’ for many years. He is a pilot, instructor and captain on one of the most versatile utility aircraft in the arsenal of the Air Force. The helicopter was designed for light troop transportation within the theater of battle, casualty evacuations and logistics supply of military equipment. But it can also be armed by the door to attack small targets, making it suitable for many occasions.

For a long time, Adeniyi was deployed in Operation Sharan Daji which was designed to battle the menace of cattle rustlers and armed bandits in the Northwest. It was Adeniyi’s job to transport troops into hard-to-reach locations and intermittently supply them with logistics.

But he has also been involved in Operation Lafiya Dole, the biggest military operation in Nigeria since the civil war. When there is need for highly classified missions of national importance, Adeniyi and his Augusta helicopter are called into action.


What I saw inside Sambisa

Being the first to land in Sambisa Forest after the takeover by the military, Adeniyi was in a vintage position to observe first hand, how Boko Haram operated from its enclave. But he would not disclose many of the things he saw. He admitted the sight wasn’t pretty.

“When we landed, the sight there wasn’t the best – mostly deserted; the small communities around that area had been ravaged and burnt. The after-effect of what the insurgency had done to Nigeria and particularly the Northeast, to me in particular, is very painful, but I am glad about the progress we have made and that people can return to their homes. Hopefully, normalcy will return to those areas,” he said.


The eyes, ears in the sky

The ATR 42-500 aircraft sat lazily on the airstrip of the 105 Composite Group in Maiduguri. Whether you look at it from afar or from close-up, it is never a pretty airplane. Everything about the aircraft seems ugly, even the colours. It is huge and round with small tires and doors.

But the aircraft is not for beauty. It was designed as the monster in the sky and the ear and eyes of the military in the cloud. The ATR 42-500 is so fundamentally important to the conduct of Operation Lafiya Dole that without it, it might have taken more time and more lives to win the war against the insurgents.

The masters of this game are Flying Officers (Lieutenants) Ahmed Safianu Saley and Emmanuel Balogun. Their job is to conduct one of the most important duties of any battle: Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR).

Saley and Balogun’s assignment is so important. No fighter jet – no matter how skillful and talented the pilot is – will take to the sky without a precise ISR. It details the location of the enemy, the ammunition, the possible number of civilians and how to avoid them.

“We are like the eyes. I have seen quite a lot of things in Sambisa and most of them are classified. I can tell you we see our ground troops and we give them the accurate location of the enemy. So, they will not be caught unawares. Some of the challenges in ISR are trying to differentiate the good guys from the bad ones. So, we have to be very careful; we are not a ragtag troop. We are well-trained. You have to think and sieve the information,” Saley said.

Tall, with freshly formed face and well-trimmed moustache, Saley is very forthcoming. He is funny and enthusiastic, But he is also deeply suspicious, secretive and many times ‘uncooperative’.

Balogun lacks the enthusiasm of his co-pilot, he looks like a man who has a job to do and he is willing to do it, whether he enjoys it or not. A man with a deep sense of responsibility, he is as secretive as his partner, maybe a little more impatient with nosey reporters.

Saleh said: “I have been a pilot for close to three years now. It’s a dream come true; to serve the nation is a pride of every patriotic Nigerian to come out and save the Nigeria people. So, I am really proud of my job.

“I trained in the U.S., then returned to Nigeria and enlisted in the NAF. I went for my training on the ATR 42 aircraft in Holland, and I am here serving. My job description is basically surveillance and intelligence. We provide surveillance for the ground troops; we go over there; we provide maritime patrol as well and support the ground troops in the Northeast.”

It is Balogun’s third year as a pilot. He also attended many flying courses in Holland and the Czech Republic. To him, being a pilot is a dream come true and he is feeling fulfilled.

“It’s a dream come true. I always wanted to serve my fatherland; I happen to have a military background. My dad was in the military. I am feeling fulfill”, he said.

The two young men had no illusions about the importance of their job. A mistake from these can be counter-productive to the ground troops and result in casualty of unimaginable proportion. A job well-done will end in the decimation of the enemy and victory over the ‘bad guys’”.

But their duties do not include the power to engage the enemy but to guide the troops to safety in engaging the enemy. “In Sambisa, we find the enemy’s location and direct the ground troops there and also the fighter jets. We are not to engage,” they said.

The ATR 42-500 could remain in the sky for many hours. But Balogun declined to reveal the length of any of the missions. He said it depends on the type of mission. “Let’s just say we can be there for many hours,” he said without betraying any emotions.

The two pilots have been deployed in other operations aside Lafiya Dole.

“I have been in Operation Delta Safe, Zaman Lafia and Lafiya Dole,” Saley said.

They found the Lafiya Dole the most challenging and memorable. The duo, due to the nature of their jobs, played critical roles in the fight to capture Sambisa Forest.

They, however, declined to give details of their operations in  Sambisa’.

“Sorry, we cannot discuss what we saw in our operations with you. They are classified,” they chorused. Saley laughed but Balogun did not.

So, are these two promising pilots single and searching?

Balogun: “I rather would have you not asked that question.”

When asked if the question was difficult to answer, he replied: “I would rather  not answer.”

But, Saley was more forthcoming, he laughed and joked and gave the reporter a pat on the back, saying: “I am not married, but I have my eyes on someone, on a special lady, I know the lady will say I am using one stone to kill a bird but so shall it be.”

Boko Haram: UN fires back at Borno governor over allegations on misuse of funds

Edward Kallon, the UN Resident Humanitarian Coordinator to Nigeria, has refuted Borno Gov. Kashim Shettima’s allegations of under-performance and misuse of funds against UN agencies in the North-East.

Mr. Kallon said during a courtesy visit to the Executive Director of Victims Support Fund (VSF), Sunday Ochoche, on Wednesday in Abuja, that UN agencies had scaled up their presence and assistance in the area.

According to him, UN agencies have currently reached over 2 million people with humanitarian assistance as against barely 100,000 people as at October 2016.

“The challenges are enormous but there has been a lot of progress on humanitarian response since October 2016 when I assumed duty as the UN Resident Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP resident Representative to Nigeria.

“Before I came, the international community was barely reaching 100,000; however, in December, humanitarian assistance was reaching over 1 million families,” he said.

“Presently, humanitarian assistance is reaching about two million people in the North-East; there has been a huge progress so far.

“The UN system is an accountable system and if we receive a request from the Governor of Borno on what we are bringing in and what is being spent we would give that information.

“Such information is not hidden.’’

Mr. Shettima had on Tuesday attacked UN organisations and over 100 nongovernmental in the north-east, accusing them of misusing funds meant for people displaced by Boko Haram crisis.

He singled out UNICEF for rebuke, but also praised eight organisations for their efforts.

On allegations of misuse of funds, the UNDP representative described it as unfair as the operations in the North-East were being executed at a cost which must be met.

He explained that respective UN agencies had the moral obligation of ensuring the security and safety of its staff in the country.

The UNDP Chief therefore advised the Federal Government and relevant authorities at all levels no to politicise the role and response of the UN and international communities in the North-East.

Mr. Kallon advised government agencies to ensure the accountability of government funds being contributed to the efforts in the North-East.

According to him, his principal goal is to ensure coordination among stakeholders in the field through effective synergy.

He applauded VSF for its role in the reconstruction efforts in the North-East towards rebuilding public and personal structures as well as rebuilding lives and livelihoods.

Mr. Kallon said the UN had launched a humanitarian response plan, where it is requesting a million dollars to provide humanitarian assistance to over 5.6 million people affected by the conflict in North-East.

Responding, Mr. Ochoche thanked the UNDP chief for his efforts so far since he assumed duty.

He said the challenges in the North-East were beyond one agency or government to manage, adding that partnership and collaboration were inevitable moving forward.

Mr. Ochoche said the fund was focusing on addressing the crises around health, social services, education and economic empowerment of women.

According to him, VSF has been supporting the safe return of IDPs and rehabilitating those trapped in Boko Haram enclaves back to their communities.

Mr. Ochehe urged Kallon to collaborate with the state government as Shettima’s allegations could be due to a mild miscommunication.

Cameroon claims progress in fight against Boko Haram

Cameroon said Wednesday its military offensive against Boko Haram across the Nigerian border has made major progress, with scores of jihadists killed and hundreds of hostages freed since December.

But in a sign of continuing jihadist trouble, four would-be human bombs — two young boys and two teenaged girls — tried to strike in Cameroon’s Far North province Wednesday.

Only the bombers died in the attempted attacks which were foiled by security forces and local vigilantes.

Cameroonian troops have in recent weeks killed some 100 Boko Haram fighters and freed “hundreds of hostages” held by the group, Cameroon’s government spokesman Issa Tchiroma Bakary said Tuesday.

Some 30 other jihadists have been taken prisoner and returned to Nigeria.

“Hundreds of freed hostages have (also) been sent back,” Tchiroma said.

With access to the combat zones tightly controlled, it was impossible to verify the government’s claims.

Cameroonian troops have been conducting cross-border operations alongside their Nigerian allies in the Nigerian village of Ngoshe since December 19, Tchiroma said.

“Unfortunately … three (Cameroonian) soldiers lost their lives” in January, he said. One was killed in a blast, the other two in fighting.

The operation, Tchiroma said, is being carried out “in perfect synergy with the (Nigerian) army command”.

He described it as a response to repeated incursions into Cameroonian territory by Boko Haram.

On Wednesday, four young suicide bombers were killed in the restive Far North province, located just across the border from the epicentre of Boko Haram’s insurgency in Nigeria, regional governor Midjiyawa Bakari said.

Two vigilantes supporting the armed forces were lightly injured, he added.

Cameroon’s Far North province has been the frequent target of suicide attacks, with many of them carried out by children.

Boko Haram’s brutal insurgency, launched in northern Nigeria in 2009, has spread across the border to Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

At least 20,000 people have been killed and some 2.6 million displaced in the violence.

Nigerian Army releases 1,250 cleared Boko Haram suspects

The Nigeria Army on Monday said it has released 1,250 Boko Haram suspects who have been cleared of no links with insurgency.

Brig.-Gen. Victor Ezugwu, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 Division of the army, disclosed this when the Head of Sub Delegation of ICRC, Mr Beat Mosimann, visit him at the Maimalari cantonment in Maiduguri.

Ezugwu said that the cleared suspects were released in about seven batches after been cleared of having no link with Boko Haram.
“We are keeping this on the regular release because the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Burutai, want us to ensure that it is only people who has contact and connection with Boko Haram that have insurgency issues to sort that should be detained so that those who do not have contact should be released.
“By the end of this January and February another batch of detainees would be cleared.
“The ICRC wants us to collaborate in the area of welfare for our detainees and we have assured them that we are going to continue doing our best interns of welfare in accordance with the international practice.
“Our approach in handling detained suspects is multi agency so what we do is that we collaborate with NGOs so that once there is gap in what we are  doing they will tell us.

“In terms of feeding, we are providing solid Nigerian foods for the detainees; good food supplement that would enhance their wellbeing.

“Access to exercise and the best out of accommodation. We are hoping that things will get better in 2017.’’

Mosimann had earlier said that ICRC has mapped out several programmes in 2017 to assist IDPs who would soon be returning back to their respective librated communities.

“We have discussed with the army on issues of protection of especially that of the detainees which was part of our mandate to see how we can improve on that.
“It is part of our mandate, which was stipulated in Geneva convention, to assist wounded persons not just soldiers but anybody who is wounded in a conflict situation.
“Our job is purely humanitarian. The humanitarian situation had quite improved. We thank the army for supporting the people in librating their communities and ICRC will support this people to go back,” said Musimann.

The many tribulations of Nigerian journalists working in the shadow of Boko Haram – By Abang Mercy

“A 9-year-old boy, dressed for school, turns to say goodbye. Within the twinkle of an eye, a bullet from an AK47 rifle makes its way through his body. I watch him drop dead immediately. His crime? He wore a school uniform and was headed for school”.

Sixty-three-year-old veteran journalist Ahmed Juba immediately breaks down in tears as he tries to recall all that had happened that fateful day.

“That was when I knew this is war. I was headed to the office, running after a story, then I held back; I carried the lifeless body of Musa, a story was before me,” he said.

Journalists from the front lines, from the fringes of Madagali in Adamawa State to the trading communities of Potiskum in Yobe State and of course the renown tragic abductions in Chibok in Borno State, narrate the tales of surviving Boko Haram and fulfilling the resilience of a society that lost everything except its sense of hope.

According to a report by the third edition of the Global Terrorism Index, Boko Haram had overtaken ISIS as the world’s deadliest terrorist organisation, accounting for 6,600 deaths, displacing 2.3 million people and forcing 250,000 to flee to Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

Invariably Journalists became the under-reported casualties of the tragic insurgence. Channels Television’s Akogwu Enenche and the NTA Cameraman Zakkariyya Isa killed in Borno are popular because of the traction their deaths elicited. However, there are more and more reporters whose tale of resilience is just emerging — tales that explain why the North East became a media black hole. .

The crisis affected the day-to-day activities of media organisations. Jamila Bako said male casters were asked to work in the evenings as the streets were mostly deserted and unsafe for female staff, who had regular encounters with the insurgents, being caught in between the volley of bullets from soldiers and insurgent.

“As a newscaster, I went on air tensed and in most cases, my voice battled with the sound of bomb explosions and gunshots while on air. We then moved our news bulletin from 7pm to 5pm, and the worst part was when our cameraman was killed. The insurgents called us to explain to us why he was killed; they had all our phone numbers.”

Jamila, a middle-career journalist, also narrated how her colleague was asked to visit the family of late Boko Haram leader Mohammed Yusuf’s in-law to inquire the purpose of then President Olusegun Obasanjo’s visit — only for the interviewee to be killed.

“The reporter immediately fled; he was on the run, left Maiduguri to Bama and later moved to Cameroon for safety. That episode was terrifying, residents stopped talking to the press and especially NTA, because talking to the media was signing your own death sentence.”

The terrorists also wanted to be known by a particular name initially and the journalists were told what to do. An instance was when roving reporter, Mariam Aaron, said the insurgents were very upset that journalists called them Boko Haram instead of the name they wanted to be identified with at the start of the crisis: Jam?’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da’wah wa’l-Jih?d.

“I was repeatedly called to stop using the name Boko Haram if I wanted to stay alive with my family members,” Aaron, a television reporter said.

“They were very upset to be referred to as Boko Haram, a name they felt was given to them by the West. We were forced to stop calling them the names they hated.”

Amnesty International constantly issues reports about the detention of children and men at Giwa barracks in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions, many of them arbitrarily rounded up during mass arrests — often with no evidence against them. Once inside the barracks, they are incarcerated without access to the outside world or trial. A news reporter’s accounts gives credence to what the Human rights agency documents.

Pressman Bello Gaidam was forced to flee Maiduguri to Adamawa and then Yobe after filing a story that ruffled the terrorists so badly he and his immediate family members were penned for death.

“All that needed to happen for us to be raided was for insurgents to attack anywhere on our street. The military will ensure they raided everyone’s home,” he said.

“Every male child was picked up and detained at the ‘notorious’ Giwa Barracks. Most of the kids were in JSS 1 and Jss 2, and they died of suffocation in the process.”

As he spoke, he struggled to hold back tears dredging up the harrowing experience in itself. “We had to contend with Boko Haram and the Nigerian military,” he said. “It was a tough call but we had to, we’ve also asked ourselves: who is the lesser evil?”

Reporting Boko Haram forced him to change his name, identity and looks “but somehow they still knew me, and told me to my face”.

And Maryam Sule, a known radio producer who presents one of the most popular programmes in the region, talks about the misrepresentation of the North East and journalists reporting the conflict..

“We are not talking about the protection of journalists; we are not debating the rights of one reporting conflict; we are saying we were in it, part of it and in it all, tried to perform the surveillance function. Mercy how do you do that? Tell me. We’ve heard people criticise Nigerian journalists from this region; some say we are doing nothing.

“Boko Haram will call me, instructing me on how to file my stories. There was a time I reported the victories of the Nigerian army in Boko Haram-controlled territories. I was immediately threatened to rewrite the story or get killed.”

She also spoke about the welfare of Nigerian journalists, especially those in the northeast region. “I have no insurance at my work place, I have no security protecting me like journalists who visit here. Most of the international journalists are accompanied with more than 10 security personnel. My family is here so at some point I had to listen to them and I was even ready to do what they wanted.”

Journalists in the northeast aren’t only reporting the crisis, they struggled to survive the conflict as well. The key actors, such as the military and the Boko Haram were not all there was to the story. Abdullahi Danlami sheds light about dealing with Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF).

“The emergence of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) also had its implication. The youths wanted all young boys to take part in hunting for the terrorists; we had sleepless nights, we were reporting all that was ongoing and you get random young men knocking at some point threatening to break down your door to enroll your kids and take them to the bush to hunt for terrorists and when you fail to allow your 10-year-old to join, you’re in trouble.

“I must commend the CJTF but it was a nightmare knowing that your kids had to be turned into terrorist hunters. Those that came back alive were never the same. Most of them had to start smoking and drinking, and then you are faced with reporting the crisis when you are also the story. What do you do?”

Danlami added that he then had to sleep in his station for about six months or more and even in the station, there was no security. “I was waiting for the day the terrorists would come take over the station and force us to put them on air!”

These tales highlight some of the tragic and traumatic instances journalists faced while working to tell the multifaceted story of the Boko Haram insurgency.

Editor’s Note: To protect the identity of the journalists, the names in this piece are pseudonyms. However, all the quotes and testaments are true.

Boko Haram: Governor Shettima lambasts UNICEF, 126 other ‘nonperforming’ NGOs

Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno has advised all “nonperforming” United Nations agencies, including UNICEF, and 126 other nongovernmental organisations to leave the state for alleged failure to justify the funds they claim to be expending on persons displaced by Boko Haram insurgency.

Short of calling the groups thieves, the governor said most of the NGOs were using funds released to them for servicing only their overheads and personnel costs.

He accused them of enriching selves in the name of providing service to victims of Boko Haram in his state.

Mr. Shettima said of the 126 NGOs that have mobilised to the state, only about eight were actually providing humanitarian services to the displaced persons.

He specifically singled out UN agencies for bashing when he said they were in the habit of using large portion of the money meant for providing for IDPs to fund their logistic needs.

The governor said he would no longer tolerate the presence of NGOs that were in the habit of “using the name of Borno to make money and enrich themselves”.

The governor said the UN system would announce millions of dollars as intervention for victims of Boko Haram, but more than half of what was released would end up being used for recurrent spending of the humanitarian agencies.

Mr. Shettima said he was fed-up hearing the UN’s rhetoric and had decided to take tackle his problems on his own.

“We have the list of all NGOs operating in this state; apart from the officially functioning NGOs,” he said.

“Some of the United Nations agencies are doing their best in their own way of doing things; but to me I am not satisfied.

“The huge chunk of what they are budgeting for Borno goes to service their overheads. I, as a governor don’t ride in bullet proof cars; but they spend more than $50, 000 buying bullet proof cars for themselves.

“They will construct five toilets in Gwoza and fly in helicopters more than seven times to inspect the toilets.

“We are in the post-conflict phase of insurgency era where we are concentrating on recovery, reconstruction and rehabilitation. But the foreign NGOs have near fixation on the IDP camps.

He however singled out some few NGOs for commendation.

“The World Food Programme is doing a very good job,” he said.

“The ICRC is doing a very good job. We also appreciate the efforts of the Norwegian Refugee Council and the Danish Refugee council. The International Organisation for Migration is doing a good job. The UNHCR is also doing a good job.

“Apart from these eight NGOs, the rest of them are merely existing. I have a list of 126 NGOs in Borno state.

“But we hardly know what the UN agencies are doing. We only see them in some white flashy bullet proof jeeps; apart from that, we hardly see their visible impacts. But particularly the UNICEF, considering the huge quantum of funds at their disposal, they are not really trying.

“We have become a cash cow; and people are smiling their ways to the banks from the agony of our people. This is unacceptable. People that are really ready to work are very much welcome here. But people that are here on to use us to make money, may as well leave. We don’t need them, since they are only he to use us to make money.”

Boko Haram’s bomb timers discovered in Maiduguri

The Borno state command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) says it has discovered “Count down timers” which Boko Haram insurgents use to detonate explosives.


Ibrahim Abdullahi, commandant of the corps, disclosed this in Maiduguri, the state capital, during an interview with NAN.


Abdullahi said the instruments were discovered in Kalari area of Maiduguri, scene of Sunday’s bomb blast.


“The digital timer countdown displayed served the purpose of allowing the planter of bomb or suicide bomber to know the time to explode his improvised explosive device,” he said.


“Since we now know what they are using; the security agencies would trace the roots of where these gadgets are coming from.


“To this end, we appeal to people to be vigilant and proactive in their respective environment.


“They should also assist the security agencies with relevant information to nip Boko Haram activities and other crimes in the bud.”

How To Identify A Suicide Bomber Or An Accomplice – Nigerian Army

Suicide bombing has claimed several lives in Nigeria’s northeast, in the heat of insurgency by Boko Haram terrorists.

Heightened counter-terrorism operations in the northeast have reduced the insurgents’ activities that have been on in the area in the last seven years.

Forced out of their enclaves, last bastion in Sambisa forest and territories they have occupied, the terrorists have taken to attacking soft targets, mostly with suicide bombers who are more of young females.

The challenge for most victims have been the inability to identify a suicide bomber or persons suspected to be having Improvised Explosive Device (IED) strapped to their body, waiting to be detonated.

sani usman
Spokesman for the Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Sani Usman, asks residents in northeast to be wary of fleeing terrorists

In the midst of the counter-terrorism operations, the Nigerian Army is making attempts to sensitise the public on how to identify a suicide bomber or their accomplice.

The spokesman for the Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Sani Usman, stressed the need for residents of different communities in Nigeria’s northeast and other cities to be wary of fleeing Boko Haram members that could infiltrate their settlements and carry out attacks on soft targets.

He hinted that the process of coupling an IED would require inputs from different persons, making it possible for observant persons to know that crisis was imminent.

“Terrorists are normal human beings that mingle with the public. Whenever you are coupling an IED about 10 other persons will be in the chain of it. If the public are more vigilant they will notice something amiss,” he said.

Giving further hint on how to identify a suicide bomber, Brigadier General Usman said: “When you see somebody buying bells of nails and you know for sure he does not have the capacity to buy that quantity of nails and you know him full well to the point that he is not embarking on a building project.

“Sometimes you will see somebody in the night moving about when every other normal human being is sleeping or somebody, wearing a winter coat when actually it is so hot. His mode of dressing is so awkward that you will think that you are in a winter society. In most cases they are odd”.

He urged Nigerians to report suspected persons to security agencies within their locality to save lives, stressing that the war on terror could not be won by the military alone.

According to him, one strategy that the military had employed that is yielding result, is the establishment of Joint Task Force (JTF) with residents of communities in the northeast, whom he said aided the ousting of terrorists from territories they occupied.

“The JTF has been operating in the locality and they are familiar with the culture.

“They know the mode of dressing of people within a locality and that, a soldier posted to the area, may not know. They can identify when there is something strange about a person’s dress.

“It is very important that we involve the people that are on ground,” he said.

International community providing support to the Nigerian military had advised the forces to involve locals in the war against terror to enable them quickly differentiate terrorists from other residents.

At least 5 soldiers die in dusk attack by Boko Haram on army facility in Yobe

At least five soldiers were killed in a surprise weekend attack by Boko Haram Islamists on a military base in northeast Nigeria, senior officers told AFP on Monday.

A group of Boko Haram fighters launched an attack on the army facility in the town of Buni Yadi at dusk Saturday, leading to an “intense battle”, one officer said on condition of anonymity.

“We lost five soldiers in the attack, including a captain who was recently deployed to Buni Yadi,” he said, asking not to be identified as he was not authorised to speak to the media.

The Boko Haram gunmen are believed to have regrouped after Nigeria’s military chased them out of the group’s Sambisa Forest stronghold in the neighbouring state of Borno last month.

Nigeria’s military and government maintains the Islamic State group affiliate is a spent force because of sustained pressure that has driven them out of swathes of captured territory.

Last month, Abuja said the insurgency, which began in 2009, was in its final stages, a year after President Muhammadu Buhari said the group was “technically” defeated.

But questions will be asked about how the rebels were able to attack such a sizeable military base and inflict casualties and the extent to which they pose a security threat.

Such attacks have been a common feature of the insurgency, with Boko Haram in the past regularly over-running military bases and seizing weaponry.

A spokesman for the Buni Yadi base, Lieutenant George Okupe, said: “There was indeed an attack in Buni Yadi by terrorists which was repelled.

“I cannot confirm any casualty for now. All I can say is that some soldiers are missing in action.”

Buni Yadi, some 65 kilometres (40 miles) from the Yobe state capital, Damaturu, fell into the hands of Boko Haram in February 2014 after Boko Haram attacked a boys’ boarding school.

At least 43 students were killed as they slept and the school was set ablaze.

The militants sacked the town and remained in control until March last year until they were ousted by the Nigerian military.

If I knew Shekau’s whereabouts, I’d grab him by the balls – Army Commander

Lucky Irabor, theatre commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, says if he knew Abubakar Shekau’s whereabouts, he would find him and “grab his balls”.

Irabor said this at a press conference in Maiduguri, capital of Borno state, while responding to a question on the whereabouts of the sect’s leader.

“If I know where Shekau is now, I will grab his balls,” he said.

Irabor’s latest comment is totally different from what he said three months ago.

In September, the commander boasted that the military had killed the individual originally identified as Shekau, as well as his impostor.

He described as “a façade” videos of Shekau released by Boko Haram.

“I can confirm to you that the original Shekau was killed, the second Shekau was killed, and the man presenting himself as Shekau, I can also confirm to you that few days ago, he was wounded. We are yet to confirm whether he is dead or not,” he had said.

“They released videos to prove that they are still active, but that’s just a facade.”

However, Irabor also told journalists on Wednesday that three female suicide bombers were intercepted following an intelligence report that they were going towards Limankara in Gwoza council in Borno.

He added that Nigerian troops and their Cameroonian counterparts had been making remarkable progress and recoveries in Ngwoshe axis and Gwoza hills.

“Just this morning, we intercepted the bombers but the three of them resisted and tried to ram into our troops. And of course, we had no choice but to open fire on them,” he said.

“Our troops and those of the Camaroon Republic have been recording tremendous successes in flushing out remnants of the Boko Haram terrorists in that axis.

“And of course during the operation, we discovered stockpile of arms and ammunition. We also intercepted 30 cows at Cashew plantation here in Maiduguri capital.

“We also arrested one of the most wanted Boko Haram terrorists, Number 164 on our list.”

JUST IN: Another “Big Supporter” Of Boko Haram Arrested In Borno

Few days after the council chairman of chairman of Mafa Local Government Area, Alhaji Shettima Lawan was arrested for allegedly hiding a top member of the Boko Haram group in his home in Maiduguri, the army has confirmed the arrest of another council chairman in the state.

The Nigerian Army while confirming the arrest of Lawan on Thursday said the the Vice chairman of Kaga local government also in the state has also been arrested.

The two council officials are said to have alleged links with Boko Haram insurgents.

Maj.- Gen. Lucky Irabor, The Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, made the confirmation during a news conference at the headquarters of the 7 Division, Nigerian Army, Maiduguri.

“All I can say is that the Chairman is a big supporter of Boko Haram.

“We heard that he harboured Boko Haram members along with his father. That he kept the Boko Haram members because the father begged him to do so.

“The Chairman was in the habit of accommodating people that had fled from the bush.

 “At some point he was valuable to us being with the Civilian JTF to fight Boko Haram. But that does not mean we cannot investigate him for a crime especially one like this.

“We have also arrested the Vice Chairman of Kaga Local Government and he is undergoing interrogation,” Irabor said.

Borno LG chairman Shettima is a ‘big supporter’ of Boko Haram – Army

The Nigerian Army has confirmed the arrest of Shettima Lawan, chairman of Mafa local government area of Borno state, describing him as a big supporter of Boko Haram.

Lucky Irabor, theatre commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, said this at a news conference in Maiduguri, on Wednesday.

He accused Lawan and his father of providing moral support for the sect.

“All I can say is that the chairman is a big supporter of Boko Haram,” he said.

“We heard that he harboured Boko Haram members along with his father. He kept the Boko Haram members because the father begged him to do so.

“The chairman was in the habit of accommodating people that had fled from the bush.

“At some point, he has been valuable to us being with the Civilian JTF to fight Boko Haram; but that does not mean we cannot investigate him for a crime like this.”

Irabor also disclosed that the vice-chairman of another local government area had been arrested

“We have also arrested the vice-chairman of Kaga Local government and he is undergoing interrogation.”

Military Detains Borno Government Official For ‘Hiding’ Boko Haram Militant

A serving local government chairman in Borno State, Shettima Mafa, was last week arrested and detained by the military for allegedly keeping a suspected Boko Haram militant in his Maiduguri home.

News of his arrest, which began as a rumours, suddenly generated an uproar in the state when it began to trend in the social media.

The Borno State government confirmed the incident on Sunday, describing it as a “worrisome twist” in the war against Boko Haram insurgency.

At the weekend, the news got to the media that a council chairman, whose local government was one of the strongholds of Boko Haram, was picked by the military for allegedly keeping a suspected insurgent in his house.

He was said to have been picked from his home to the military barracks. He has not been released since then.

The authorities at the 7 Division Nigeria Army, Maiduguri and those in the Theater Command of Operation Lafiya Dole, have not issued any statement to this effect.

Apparently embarrassed by the trending news about one of its most “trusted” council chairmen, the Borno government released a statement on the matter.

The statement, released by the Ministry for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, said the government doubted the complicity of the council chairman in the activities of Boko Haram.

The commissioner for local government and chieftaincy affairs, Usman Zanna, said the arrested council chairman had been in the forefront of assisting security operatives in the fight against Boko Haram. As such, he should not be the one being linked with the insurgents.

The Commissioner said he had to speak because his ministry supervises the chairmen of the 27 local government areas in Borno ?State.

Mr. Zanna said, his Ministry “neither questions the judgment and authority of the military nor exonerates the chairman of any wrongdoing in order not to preempt the outcome of ongoing investigation”.

“?If not because of media reports on this matter, the Ministry for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs which oversees the affairs of the 27 local government areas in Borno State, would have preferred not to make public comment over a matter that is still being investigated by our competent and patriotic military establishment involved in the fight against Boko Haram.

“It has become necessary that this statement is issued in order to put some records straight. First of all, contrary to media reports, the caretaker chairman in question was not arrested. He actually reported himself to the military command in Maiduguri after he got information that he was needed by the military.

“Secondly, contrary to reports by the media that he was arrested at the 1,000 housing estate along Maiduguri-Damaturu road, there was never any issue at all at 1,000 estate. The Chairman lives at 505 housing estate, which is located on an entirely different route, along Dikwa and Mafa which is the way to the Chairman’s office in Mafa.

“The Chairman actually reported himself to the military last week and was detained pending the outcome of ongoing investigations being conducted by the military.

“While we do not intend to question the intelligence gathering, judgment and authority of the military, to us at the Ministry for Local Government and Emirate Affairs, the whole development is a worrisome twist.

“It is a twist because, for years, the caretaker chairman has been known for his courage in joining hunters to go into front lines to battle Boko Haram fighters. His commitment in the fight against insurgents is known to different Army Commanders that served in Mafa local government area in the last two years. The likes of Major Manga can bear testimony to this. It is mainly due to his passion for the fight against insurgency that he has been successively reappointed as caretaker Chairman of Mafa for renewable term of six months as provided by laws of Borno State.

“The Chairman is also known to champion the course of citizens fleeing from communities after attacks by insurgents. From information available to the military, the Chairman recently got involved in assisting some citizens trapped in a village within his local government area and he is believed to have Internally Displaced Persons living in his residence at 505 estate like most adults in Maiduguri, Jere and parts of Konduga do have fleeing relatives and friends living with them.

“There is an information that a certain suspected member of the Boko Haram might have joined some of the citizens he helped last week but whether he knew the identity of the suspect and deliberately hid him and for whatever purpose is what we look forward to being determined by the military.

“This investigation is particularly important to us because it affects the safety and integrity of the Ministry. As we acknowledge, it would amount to sitting on a keg of gun powder if anyone dealing with the Ministry, involves in harbouring any criminal, especially insurgents that have killed our parents, wives, sons and daughters in addition to sending our families out of their communities to now live with us in pains.

“We assure citizens of the 27 local government areas; other concerned Nigerians and the International community that we are usually very thorough in identifying those appointed either as local government chairmen, ward councillors, traditional rulers, vigilantes and members of the Civilian JTF deployed to the 27 local government areas of Borno State. As can be confirmed by security agencies, we do not engage any youth as vigilante or in the Civilian JTF unless he or she is verified by the Department of State Security in addition to fingerprints and photographs of everyone captured into a database.

“We anxiously look forward to the outcome of the investigation while we shall abide by publicly known position of Governor Kashim Shettima that anyone found having any connection with insurgents is an enemy of Borno State and it’s people,” Mr. Zanna, said.

Boko Haram: How Army, Airforce conquered terrorists’ stronghold.

Major General, Leo Irabor, Theatre Commander of Operation LAFIYA DOLE, has revealed how the military stormed the dreaded Sambisa forest hitherto occupied by the Boko Haram sect.

In a text of his media briefing held on Wednesday and made available to DAILY POST, Irabor affirmed that troops had cleared Camp Zairo, the last stronghold of Boko Haram Terrorists, deep inside Sambisa Forest.

The commander also released video clip of fleeing terrorists from the forest following air bombardment and assault on the camp by troops.

The full text reads: “Capture of Camp Zairo. On 22 Dec 16 at about 0800hrs, own troops commenced advance for the capture of CAMP ZAIRO which was the main BHT enclave suspected to be holding high value persons in Sambisa Forest. The Air Component and Artillery were effectively employed during the operation before the final assault by the troops. Our troops made contact with the BHT and successfully cleared the camp after some resistance from the insurgents. On sighting of our troops and having been overpowered in the fire fight, most of the BHT fighters fled in all direction.

“The gallant troops subsequently carried out search for any abductees and equipment. Our troops also raided and destroyed other camps and hideouts around Camp Zairo. At the camp, our troops destroyed several BHT logistics as shown. The gallant troops also dismantled the official BHT flag at Camp Zairo signifying the capture of the insurgents’ Headquarters. The flag would be officially presented to me by the GOC 7 Div. Later, same would be conveyed to COAS for further action to the C-in-C.

“Air Ops: During the operation in Sambisa, ISR coverage indicated that the BHT were in disarray. The clip is as shown.

“Fighting Patrols: Our troops have conducted some fighting patrols during the period under review:

“On 20th Dec 16 at about 1730hrs, own troops deployed at MIYANTI conducted patrol along road MIYANTI-BANKI Junction. Contact was made with the BHTs at one of their crossing points and one of them was killed in action while another was wounded. Items recovered during the patrol include 3 bicycles, a basket of kola nuts, 2 cartoons of Omo detergent, 92 sachets of cowbell milk, 7 measuring cups of sugar, 15 bars of duck soap, 10 packets of matches and 8 packets of Diclofenac tablet.

“On 22 Dec 16 at about 0843hrs, own troops in conjunction with vigilantes conducted fighting patrol along road KATARKO – GONIRI -BULTURAM KURA – BULTURAM KWANA – MELERI – NGAMMA and YURAMTI village. The patrol team apprehended 15 suspected BHT members comprising 5 men and 10 family members in YURAMTI village. The suspects were relocating from ZINDIYA and BUK villages in DAMBOA LGA of Borno State to GONIRI town. All suspects are in custody undergoing investigation.

“On 23 Dec 16 at about 0801hrs, own troops embarked on fighting patrol to KALARI village to deny BHT freedom of action. The patrol recovered one HK21 machine gun during search of a suspected location and there was no any contact with BHT.

“Ambush Operation: We equally conducted ambush operations during the period under review:

“Between 19 21 Dec 16, own troops in conjunction with CJTF embarked an ambush operations at suspected BHT crossing point in MADA general area where they laid in wait for 2 days. During the process, a suspected BHT member Ali Bulama (53 years) was arrested in MOMADU BUKUMIRI village around MAINOK general area in KONDUGA LGA of Borno State. The suspect has been undergoing interrogation.

“On 23 Dec 16 at about 0845hrs, own troops deployed at MAULI on admin patrol to Alagarno ran over an IED along the road and while attempting to salvage the situation, they came under escaping BHT attack. Sadly, 4 soldiers were killed in action while 2 others were wounded. One canter truck was damaged. The wounded soldiers have been stabilised while the bodies of Killed in Action (KIA) troops had been deposited at University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) mortuary.

“Arrests. During the period, our troops arrested some suspected BHT in different areas. These BHT fled Sambisa Forest during our operations.

“On 20 Dec 16 at about 0530hrs, own troops deployed at ZABARMARI arrested one Abdullahi Yakine at DANGE in MAFA LGA. Preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect is from BURKINA FASO. Suspect in our custody undergoing further investigation.

“On 24 Dec 16, own troops arrested a suspected BHT leader who was traced to Lagos. He has been undergoing investigations.

“On 25 Dec 16, own troops deployed in POTISKUM arrested a suspected BHT member Musa Abdullahi at FIKA. He is in custody undergoing interrogation.

“On 26 Dec 16, following a tip-off, our troops arrested 2 BHT members who sneaked into Maiduguri. Their accomplice has also been arrested and is undergoing interrogation.

“Interception of Suicide Bombers: On 26 Dec 16 at about 0815hrs, some civilians within Kasuwan Shanu in MAIDUGURI sighted 2 suicide bombers trying to infiltrate the cattle market. The suspects were challenged by CJTF from a distance but one of the 2 suicide bombers panicked and attempted to run into the crowd to detonate the suicide vest strapped on her.

“The vest detonated partially killing her while the other attempted to run but was killed before detonating the suicide vest her. Only the 2 suicide bombers died during the incident. No other casualty was recorded. The Nigeria Police and its EOD team recovered the unexploded suicide vests.

“Warning: Given the situation of the BHT who are currently in disarray, the public is hereby warned to be weary of individuals coming to hibernate in and around their homes. Also, we would like to warn that failure to report the presence of BHT members in your home is tantamount to support to the BHT. All are therefore, to report such presence to troops and other security agencies.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, we have won the war. We need to win the peace. You have a role. Our collective destiny lies in our hands. You have what it takes to contribute selflessly to this cause. I therefore urge members of the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious movement of persons and objects to the military or to the nearest security agencies.

“On this note, on behalf of all troops in Operation LAFIYA DOLE, I wish to sincerely thank the Commander-in-Chief for all the support and encouragement. I also thank the Chief of Defence Staff, the COAS as well other Service Chiefs for all their leadership and support to our operations in the Theatre.

“The understanding and sacrifice by all the credible media houses in our operations are well appreciated. I thank everyone, and re-state that we remain ever committed to the mandate of Operation LAFIYA DOLE. Thank you.”.

Frenchman Reportedly Captured In Sambisa Is A Military Mechanic Specializing In APCs

The mysterious white man captured by Nigerian soldiers during last week’s storming of Boko Haram’s headquarters in the Sambisa Forest is a Frenchman and he specializes in repairing and unlocking armored personnel vehicles and other fighting equipment, Daily Trust learnt from authoritative military sources yesterday. The white man’s identity is being concealed by the Federal Government and military authorities for diplomatic reasons, the sources also said.

Defense Headquarters has been silent on the development since the news broke last Friday, shortly after President Muhammadu Buhari announced that   Boko Haram’s last stronghold in the Sambisa forest, Borno State had been overrun by troops. Soldiers who took part in the operation told our correspondent yesterday that a white man was actually arrested in the Sambisa forest and that he has been providing “credible information” to military authorities. A source said, “He was arrested along the Bama axis of the Sambisa forest and agreed to give vital information provided he would be spared. I learnt that he is from France but authorities do not want to make his real identity known for diplomatic reasons…They  don’t want to jeopardize the success recorded.” Although some sources only said the captured white man is “from Western Europe,” Daily Trust learnt that he is actually a Frenchman. All Nigeria’s neighbours in the North East, namely Cameroon, Niger Republic and Chad are French speaking.

The French embassy in Nigeria did not respond to email and text message sent to it for comment yesterday.
How top officers led Sambisa offensive
The one month long military offensive that led to the capture of Sambisa Forest last Thursday was led by “the best hands” in the Nigerian Army and Air Force, sources close to the operation told Daily Trust yesterday. Before the renewed offensive to reclaim the dreaded forest where Boko Haram fighters held sway since 2013, officers between the ranks of Lieutenants, Captains and Majors normally led operations, sources said. This time around, more senior officers led the operation on all fronts during the final onslaught. It was gathered that the officers, besides various trainings they obtained at home, have been trained abroad and had participated in serious military operations.

The 60,000 square kilometres (23,000 sq mi) vast Sambisa Forest had been the nightmare of the Nigerian security forces, including their foreign allies, who provided various security reports over the years. It was gathered that some of the fighting troops were mobilized with light rocket propelled grenades [RPGs], weapons they did not use previously.  The light RPGs, according to one of our sources, could be carried on by soldiers on their shoulders for long distances because of their light weight and were used against far flung targets.

“With the exception of one major of the Nigerian Army, all the commanding officers that led the 4,200 troops into the Sambisa Forest are of the rank of Colonel and Lieutenant Colonel,” a soldier who participated in the operation said. He said “the Bama axis was led by a Colonel who viciously decimated many Boko Haram fighters. Together with his troops, he captured Alafa 1, 11 and 111 in the Sambisa Forest and freed over 1,000 people. He also captured nearly 500 suspects, mostly men who are being interrogated for having links with the Boko Haram.”

According to him, “some of the suspects are claiming that they were forcefully conscripted into the violent group while others have admitted that they belong to the group.” Another source said the Konduga/Aulari axis of the Sambisa Forest was captured by a daring army Major. “This Major is one of the heroes in the Nigerian Army. He was very close to the late Lieutenant Colonel Abu Ali of blessed memory. He knows the Sambisa Forest very well and was therefore directed to approach the forest through the infamous Gate One,”the source said. He added, “The Ngurosoye axis of the Sambisa Forest was led by a Lieutenant Colonel who is also a fearless and versatile officer. His 151 Battalion is known as Blocking Force. His troops recovered many AK47 rifles of fleeing Boko Haram insurgents and they also freed many women and children.”

The real operation
Sources said during the planning to re-take Sambisa Forest, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt. General Tukur Buratai frequented Maiduguri almost on daily basis. “Sometimes he passed the night there (in Maiduguri) and sometimes he went back to Abuja. He personally commanded the general operation,” an officer who craved for anonymity said. He said radar with monitors was mounted at the 7 Division of the Nigerian Army and everything, including troop movement; logistics, ground operation and aerial reconnaissance both day and night were closely monitored with precision.

He said, “The close monitoring from Maiduguri helped a great deal in reducing mistakes. This gave the troops the confidence to relentlessly march on during operations. The fact that the mine detectors deployed to the Sambisa forest also demobilized all the bombs planted by the insurgents gave our troops added impetus. The mine detectors normally detonated most of the IEDs with ease and also cleared the terrain for armoured vehicles to move freely.”

The source that added some Boko Haram commanders and foot soldiers who were arrested long ago and “de-radicalized” were also imbedded in the operation. “The repentant insurgents, some members of the civilian JTF and local vigilantes know the Sambisa Forest very well, far better than the maps we used in the operation and therefore, they assisted greatly in helping us to locate hideouts. Also, sophisticated fighter jets and drones that have capacity to monitor things as far as away as 600 meters were deployed to the Sambisa forest and worked day and night,” he said.

The fall of ‘Camp Zero’
A military officer told our correspondent that this was not the first time attempt made to capture “Camp Zero” in Sambisa Forest where the factional leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau used as his hide out on different occasions. “This is the second time Camp Zero is taken. The first was during the JTF (Joint Task Force) in June 2013 before it (JTF) was disbanded and the area was lost completely,” the officer said.
He said despite the success recorded, there is worry among the military high command because some of the things expected to be recovered at the building were not found. “It is likely they (Boko Haram) are somewhere because they moved away with their equipment and prized possessions, including the Chibok girls in possession of Shekau group,” he said.

He said there were other dreaded cells that have been deserted by the Boko Haram terrorists, such as the ones in Kareto and Gudumbali at the height of offensive last year and another one in Kukawa which was reclaimed this year. It was learnt that while some of the Chibok girls and other captives are with the Shekau camp, many of them are with the Mamman Nur faction, led by Abu Musab Al-Barnawi, son of the group’s late Mohammed Yusuf. They are suspected to be held in cells in northern Borno State.

“Camp Zero has for a long time been an objective for our troops but it is not the end of Sambisa in the true sense of the crisis. Boko Haram terrorists have been trained in the art of war, so it is likely they moved away for tactical reasons,” he said. The source said the COAS, the Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole as well as the GOCs of the army’s 3, 7 and 8 Divisions and other key Army Headquarters officers held a marathon meeting on December 24 and continued meeting yesterday on the operations in the North East. “They had a break on the 25th because of Christmas and they went to open the roads from Maiduguri to Damasak and to Baga.

Their main concern in the meeting is the disappearance of Boko Haram leaders with their equipment and lack of trace of the Chibok girls,” the officer said. Sources said beside the equipment found there, Boko Haram fighters had raided many workshops and laboratories in schools around the Sambisa Forest in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states and had fabricated fighting equipment and chemicals with the facilities they carted away.

There is controversy as to how Camp Zero actually looked like. While some soldiers that participated in the operation said it has two underground buildings and tunnels as well as hardware and equipment for the training of the disbanded National Guards, some officers told our correspondent that the place was actually inherited from the Sambisa Game Reserve.

“The National Guard were to train there but were never there. A team went to inspect the place in the 80s but the movement and training did not hold. The solid structure there belonged to the forest management authority,” he said.

Boko Haram Fighters Surrender In Niger Republic

Niger Interior Minister on Wednesday said dozens of Boko Haram fighters have given themselves up to authorities in southern Niger, days after the Islamist group suffered key losses over the border in Nigeria.

Minister Mohamed Bazoum said that 31 young people from Diffa, who were enrolled a few years ago in Boko Haram, decided to surrender.

The fighters arrived in the remote desert town of Diffa in groups and were being held by local authorities.

“I learned that the first who surrendered were not arrested, and I surrendered.

“We expect a pardon from the government so that we can participate in the development of the country and help us get rid of the trauma,” a former Boko Haram combatant told newsmen.

In June, tens of thousands of people fled Diffa as Boko Haram swept the region.

However, five Niger soldiers were killed by the militants near Diffa in September.

It was not clear what would become of the ex-Boko Haram fighters, but authorities said there was the possibility of reintegrating them back into society.

A security source said a meeting was planned for Wednesday in Diffa to discuss “the conditions of surrender”, without providing further details.

Boko Haram has killed 15,000 people and displaced over 2 million during a seven-year insurgency aimed at creating an Islamic state in Nigeria.

In recent years its attacks have spilled into neighbouring Niger, Cameroon and Chad.

Hundreds of Boko Haram fighters surrendered in Chad in October and November as the group ceded territory.

The group controlled an area about the size of Belgium in early 2015 but has since been pushed back by international forces including troops from Niger.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday said Nigeria’s army captured its last enclave in the vast Sambisa forest on Friday.

“Abuja is filled with insurgents”, says arrested Boko Haram suspect.

Usman, a Boko Haram suspect arrested in Utako market in Abuja, has warned of pending attacks in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, saying a lot of “colleagues are out there in the city to unleash mayhem”.


According to a statement by Kinglsey Madaki, spokesperson of the AMAC Marshal, the security agency that “arrested” Usman, the suspect was found at Utako market with a “Qur’an and a chaplet on his neck while trying to lobby people in the market.”

Madaki said AMAC Marshal was recently established by the Abuja Municipal Area Council.


He said the suspect had been handed over to the army at the Mabila Barracks. He called on residents to be watchful every time and report suspicious movements to security agencies to ensure the safety of live and property.


Insurgents have been reported to have fled Sambisa forest, a Boko Haram stronghold, following an invasion by the Nigerian army. One suspect was also arrested in Lagos.

JUST IN: “We Have Won The War Against Boko Haram, We Need To Win The Peace” – Army

The Nigerian Army has declared that the war against the Boko Haram insurgents group has been won.


Theatre commando of the Operation Lafiya Dole, the military operation in the north east, Major General Lucky Irabor stated this at a press briefing in Maiduguri, Borno State on Wednesday.


He however said Nigeria still needs to win the peace despite winning the war against the insurgents.


Given details on how Nigerian troops captured camp zero in Sambisa Forest, said tactical support from the air force aided ground troops in the capture of the forest.


He displayed the Boko Haram flag and the holy book left behind by the fleeing terrorists which he described as the symbol of authority of the leadership of the group.


While calling on Nigerians to report any suspected member of the Boko Haram group living within their midst, Irabor called on information managers to give adequate support to the activities of the military.


Details later…

Army arrests Frenchman who repairs Boko Haram’s equipment in Sambisa

A French man, who was captured in Sambisa forest during the invasion of Boko Haram’s stronghold by the Nigerian soldiers, is currently in the custody of the army.

According to Daily Trust, the suspect has been identified as a French citizen.

Until his arrest, he specialised in repairing and unlocking armoured personnel carriers (APCs) and other fighting equipment of the insurgents.

The newspaper said the man’s identity was being concealed by the federal government and military authorities for diplomatic reasons.

“He was arrested along the Bama axis of the Sambisa forest and agreed to give vital information provided he would be spared,” a soldier, who took part in the operation, was quoted as saying.

“I learnt that he is from France but authorities do not want to make his real identity known for diplomatic reasons…They  don’t want to jeopardize the success recorded.”

Ahead of the clearance of the forest, the military reportedly mobilised troops with light rocket propelled grenades and weapons they did not use previously.

Quoting another source, the paper said the light RPGs could be carried on by soldiers on their shoulders for long distances because of their light weight and were used against far-flung targets.

Sambisa, a 60,000 square kilometres, had been the nightmare of security forces, including their foreign allies, who provided assistance over the years.

BokoHaram commander arrested in Ikorodu, Lagos – Buratai

A top member of the Boko Haram sect has been arrested in the Ikorodu area of Lagos state on Saturday.

This was revealed by Tukur Buratai, chief of army staff.

Buratai said this during the reopening of two major roads in the state.

The roads – Maiduguri-Gubio-Damasak and Maiduguri-Monguno-Baga – were closed during the height of the activities of the insurgents in 2013.

He charged his men to arrest fleeing members of the sect.

“You must maintain the momentum of the operation. We must pursue the terrorists wherever they are. We must not allow them to regroup,” he said.

He said in spite of the takeover of the insurgents’ last strong hold in Sambisa forest, “we have no time to waste”.

Buratai described the seven-year fight against the Boko Haram insurgents as “quite sober and touchy”, saying that a number of officers and soldiers had lost their lives in the war.

He prayed for the repose of their souls and vowed that the army would recommit itself to the fight until “remnants’’ of the terrorists were cleared.

Lucky Irabor, theatre commander, operation Lafiya Dole, had earlier said that the north east had been secured.

He also said insurgency had brought untold hardship on the people of Borno and the entire north-east zone.

IBB: I knew Buhari would crush Boko Haram

Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB), former military president, has restated his belief in the ability of President Muhammadu Buhari to crush Boko Haram.

In a statement issued by his media office obtained by PRNigeria, on Monday, Babangida said “President Muhammadu Buhari and the  military are capable of crushing any challenge of the territorial integrity of Nigeria”.

He said he was delighted about the news of the successful military operations in Sambisa forest.

“May I rejoice with the government and Nigerians on the successful dislodging of Boko Haram from their base in Sambisa,” he said.

“It is a sign of relief that the military has finally smoked out Boko Haram terrorists from their notorious enclave of Sambisa forest.”

He saluted the courage of the president, the army and other security personnel for their sacrifice in the liberation of the area.

Babangida expressed hope that the remaining Chibok girls would be located and reunited with their families.

He urged the military “to unveil a new strategy of further defeating pockets of insurgents, armed bandits and cattle rustlers all over the country”.

Buhari announced the fall of Ground Zero – a key insurgent camp in Sambisa forest – on Saturday.

Sambisa Forest to be converted as army training ground – Buratai

Tukur Buratai, chief of army staff, on Monday said Sambisa forest would serve as training ground for personnel of the Nigerian Army.

Buratai said this in Damasak, a town in Borno, while celebrating Christmas with troops of 145 Battalion.

He said troops were already conducting a mop up operation in the forest.

“We are also opening up roads to Sambisa and Alagarno forest. Sambisa forest is going to be one of our training grounds,” he said.

“I have already directed that we should conduct Nigerian Army small arms championship in that forest next year.

“And we are going to use it also to test fire our fighting vehicles, other key equipment and weapons that require testing whenever we want to induct new weapon and equipment into the Nigerian army inventory.

“It will afford us very good ground for basic tactics and indeed advance tactics, including but not limited to tactics at the Platoon, company, battalion, Brigade and even division levels.

“We are going to make it more robust to make sure that these criminals do not come back to that forest again.”

21 Freed Chibok girls to spend first Christmas away from Boko Haram in 3 years

The 21 Chibok school girls freed by Boko Haram in October, will be spending their very first Christmas away from the sect in three years.

The girls, who were kidnapped in April 2014, had their 2014 and 2015 Christmas in Boko Haram’s captivity, as the Nigerian government attempted getting them out of the sect’s den in Sambisa.

Confirming their release in October, Garba Shehu, special adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on media and publicity said: “The release of the girls, in a limited number is the outcome of negotiations between the administration and the Boko Haram brokered by the International Red Cross and the Swiss government. The negotiations will continue.

“The President welcomes the release of the girls but cautioned Nigerians to be mindful of the fact that more than 30,000 fellow citizens were killed via terrorism,” he said.

On Thursday, rumours were making round on social media that another 21 girls have been released  by Boko Haram, only to be debunked by Shehu, who said the girls were only going home to spend Christmas with their families.

“To my friends spreading the news of a further release of Chibok Girls, we are not there yet. The negotiations are ongoing and the Department of State Service, DSS is full of optimism that they will be successful,” Shehu said.


“Today, the DSS took the 21 Girls already secured to Yola, Adamawa State on their way home to celebrate the Christmas with their families.

“No new girls have been released but by God’s grace, they will be. Happy Christmas, everyone.”

In all, 79 girls have regained freedom over the past two and a half years, bringing the total number of girls who have to spend a third consecutive Christmas with Boko Haram to 197.

Boko Haram insurgents have started fleeing Sambisa forest – Army

The Nigerian Army has said some Boko Haram terrorists have started escaping from the Sambisa forest and settling in nearby villages.


In a statement by army spokesperson, Col. Sani Usman, the army said residentsof Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states should be extra vigilant and conscious of strange persons in their environment.


“The public is also please requested to report any suspicious person or group of persons to the security agencies for prompt action,” the statement read.


He added, “We wish to reiterate our commitment of clearing the remnants of the Boko Haram terrorists in all their suspected hideouts by the end of this year.


The army also thanked Nigerians for their support.


“We, therefore, solicit for more public support and cooperation to achieve that.”

Obama assents new U.S. law to help tackle Boko Haram

An analysis of factors that have helped Boko Haram fester and recruit must come to grips with issues of poor socio-economic environment and access to justice in Nigeria’s north-east, the United States has said.

The U.S. issued the position in a new law, S. 1632 – ‘An Act to require a regional strategy to address the threat posed by Boko Haram’ – signed into law by outgoing American President, Barack Obama, last week.

“It is the sense of the Congress that lack of economic opportunity and access to education, justice and other social services contribute to the ability of Boko Haram to radicalize and recruit individuals,” said the U.S. in the new law obtained by PREMIUM TIMES.

Nigeria’s north-east is the worst among the country’s regions affected by development concerns caused by years of mismanagement and corruption.

The north-east has the highest poverty rate in Nigeria. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the region’s poverty rate is above the national average of 60.9 per cent.

The region consists of Borno, Adamawa, Yobe, Taraba, Bauchi and Gombe states.  It has a history of chronic underdevelopment in terms of illiteracy, poverty, widespread drug abuse and joblessness.

Coming into its ninth year of active insurgency, Boko Haram has killed thousands of people, devastated infrastructure and displaced millions of people who now face acute humanitarian crisis.

Boko Haram
Boko Haram

According to the United Nations in September, “49,000 of the 244,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition in Borno State would die over the coming 12 months, translating to about 134 every day (if nothing is done).

“Some 65,000 people are in famine-like conditions, the worst level of food insecurity, and facing starving to death for lack of food.  It is a very unique situation in the world.”

But Nigeria’s government said the UN was exaggerating the situation in the North-east.

To address the problems provoked by Boko Haram and combat the terrorism with lasting measures, Nigeria’s government and the country’s neighbours must “accept and address the legitimate grievances of vulnerable populations affected by Boko Haram,” said the U.S., in evolving strategies to help Nigeria combat the terrorist group through the new law.

According to the law, the counter-terrorism strategy must follow “a means for assisting Nigeria, and as appropriate, the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) to combat Boko Haram, to counter violent extremism, including efforts to address the underlying factors shown to contribute to the ability of Boko Haram to radicalize and recruit individuals.”

The law also provides for plans to enhance the capacity of Nigeria’s MNJTF partner nations to investigate and prosecute human right abuses by security forces; promote respect for the rule of law within the military; and prevent corruption.

Former military and security chiefs, including former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, are under investigation and prosecution for allegedly misappropriating funds meant to purchase arms and cater for welfare of soldiers deployed to combat Boko Haram. And there have been accusations of rights violations – though denied – made against Nigeria’s military.

The U.S. law also provides that the American government should, “pursuant to existing authorities and restrictions”, help enhance the military capacity of Nigeria and partner nations, including Chad, Niger and Cameroon, to combat Boko Haram.

It also provides that Nigeria should be helped in terms of “long-term capacity to enhance security for schools such that children are safer and girls seeking education are protected, and to combat gender-based violence and inequality.”

The strategies, the law provides, should form elements of a five-year plan to be submitted to U.S. Congress within 180 days by the Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense.

Then, the Director of the US National Intelligence should assess “the willingness and capacity” of Nigeria and regional partners to implement the plan and submit a report on the assessment to Congress, the law further provides.

Specifically, the law seeks assessment of Nigeria’s readiness to address socio-economic factors that help Boko Haram fester and “legitimate grievances” of populations affected by the group.

Although the law provides that the U.S. should militarily assist Nigeria and her regional partners, there is no specific provision to sell arms to Nigeria.

Primary School Kids donate N2.5 million sanitary kits to soldiers fighting Boko Haram

Pupils of Children International School, Lekki in Lagos State, at an emotional event on Monday in Maiduguri, Borno State, donated sanitary kits worth about N2.5 million to soldiers fighting Boko Haram insurgents in North-east Nigeria.

The pupils raised the money for the items by forfeiting their lunch in appreciation of the troops’ sacrifices for the country.

The contribution was coordinated by a Lagos based non-governmental organisation known as Volt Club, which conveyed the items to Maiduguri on behalf of the pupils.

Leader of the delegation and Volt Club’s Head of Assesment, Bhila Khipani, said the donations were made by the pupils, following the club’s advocacy campaign calling young Nigerians to show supports for troops in the battle field.

“Volt Club is a voluntary organisation within Lagos with interest in charity, especially on issues concerning children and their educational needs,” said Khipani.

“This is just a token of appreciation from school children all the way from Lekki Phase 1 Lagos. It is a kind gesture coming from school children in times of celebrations like this.

“But the key message in this gesture is in urging all Nigerians to take this torch onward and do something to make a soldier smile.

“It may not be in this form; other Nigerians can do even more. Let everyone go out and think of what they can do to make a soldier happy by telling them they are all appreciated for the sacrifices they are making for the country,” he said.

Receiving the gift items on behalf of the soldiers, the Acting General Officer Commanding 7 Division Nigeria Army, Victor Ezugwu, said the gesture by the children brought him to experience his most emotional moment as an officer.

“On behalf of soldiers of the 7 Division Nigeria army, I want to thank you for this show of solidarity, brotherhood and camaraderie for our soldiers out there fighting Boko Haram,” Mr. Ezugwu, a brigadier-general, said.

“We have fought Boko Haram from the land areas and territories they had hitherto command as their caliphate; we have taken the battle right to them in Sambisa forest where we are now and we are trying to clear them out once and for all so that our peace can be total and whole.

“This is a very emotional moment for all of us that have been fighting Boko Haram; and of course the most emotional moment of my stay as a GOC.

“Children of ages 3, 4 and 5 years being able to remember that there are soldiers and commanding officers in the North-east fighting Boko Haram and laying down their lives, is quite commendable. Of course family members have lost their loved ones all because we want to keep peace in our father land”.

He said he was touched emotionally because the children’s kind donation came at a time some other Nigerians were allegedly trying to tarnish the image of the Nigerian Army.

“Some people are trying to paint us black and trying not to see anything good in our efforts to safeguards our nation. But we take it that God almighty will bless these children because they are very patriotic in their attitudes and behaviour. God will bless them and bless their parents”.

Officials of the Volt Club said they had presented 1000 sachet packs containing a unit of tissue paper, tooth paste, hand towel, shaving sticks, toothbrush, bars of soap, sanitary pads, chewing gum and recharge cards ranging from N1000, N500 and N200.

Each of the packs was worth N2500.

No time for rest until Boko Haram is defeated – Brig-Gen. Victor Ezugwu

The Acting General Officer Commanding (GOC) of 7 Division of the Nigerian Army,Brig-Gen. Victor Ezugwu, has said there would be “no enjoyment for soldiers” in the Theatre Command until Boko Haram is defeated and peace restored to the Northeast region of the country.

Ezugwu gave the charges yesterday while decorating four promoted Colonels and three Brigadier Generals at the Officers’ Mess of Maimalari Cantonment, Maiduguri.

The GOC also denied that troops protested yesterday in Bama, as reported by online media, saying he returned in a helicopter yesterday morning from the 212 Armoured Brigade in Bama.

He said if there were any protests by the troops, he would be the first person or the military commanding officer on ground (Bama) from Maiduguri to meet the protesting soldiers.

He stated that the spread of such rumours in the ongoing fight against Boko Haram insurgency are the makings of sympathizers of the terrorists, who do not want the war to end.

Ezugwu said the officers’ promotions by the Nigerian Army was a reward of excellence and their performances in the Theatre Command in fighting insurgency to the finish.

“This is a big day for you, and you should ensure that the remnants of insurgents in the Sambisa Forest and Northern Borno State are cleared, so as to restore peace in the affected region,” he told the affected troops.

He said that to achieve this, the soldiers in the frontlines and Sambisa Forest should double their efforts in clearing the remnants of all Boko Haram insurgents, adding: “Clear all the remnants of these insurgents before you commence enjoying your promotions in the Nigerian Armed Forces.”

Dignitaries, including heads and representatives of the Nigeria Police, Nigerian Customs Services (NCS), Nigeria Immigration Services (NIS), Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and Nigerian Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), state Ministry of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (MRRR) and decorated military
officers donated N2.86 million at the occasion.

Norway Donates N3.6bn To Victims Of Boko Haram

Norway has donated $11.5m approximately N3.6bn to improve basic education, support girls and women who have been victims of sexual violence by Boko Haram in conflict-affected northeast states.

The United Nation’s Children Fund Chief of Communication, Ms Doune Porter, in a statement on Saturday said that the benefiting states are; Borno, Yobe, Adamawa and Gombe.

She said that the fund was part of the Safe Schools Initiative in the northern Nigeria.

She said that in 2013, Norway was a pioneer member of the Safe Schools Initiative Committee established in response to Boko Haram attacks on schools in the areas.

Porter said that UNICEF, however, noted that there was an urgent need to provide a safe learning environment for children in northeast.

She said that through the support of UNICEF about 100,000 children were currently accessing education through Temporary Learning Spaces and schools in northeast Nigeria.

“This fund would further boost access to education for an additional half a million boys and girls in internally displaced persons’ camps, host communities and areas of Borno that have become accessible to humanitarian assistance.’’

Porter quoted Jens-Petter Kjemprud, Norwegian Ambassador to Nigeria in the statement as saying that: “We believe in the importance of doing what we can to break the cycle of violence in northeast Nigeria.

“This funding will provide more children complete basic education in a good learning environment and will provide much-needed counselling for girls who have suffered unimaginable trauma in the hands of Boko Haram,” Kjemprud said.

Read More: punchng

Boko Haram: US Donates Fresh $92m To Displaced Persons

The United States has announced a donation of nearly $92m as additional humanitarian assistance to people affected by the Boko Haram insurgency and severe food insecurity in the North-East and the Lake Chad Basin region.

With this donation, the US said it had provided more than $291m in humanitarian assistance in the 2016 fiscal year to people affected by Boko Haram-related conflicts.

The US continued to be the single largest humanitarian donor to the region, a statement on Wednesday in Abuja from the Information Office of the US Embassy stated.

“This new funding to United Nations and Non-Governmental Organisation partners will help tens of thousands of people receive critically needed humanitarian assistance, including food, water, shelter, and services to address acute hygiene, protection and nutritional needs,” the statement added.

The statement hinted that the insurgency had left more than 6.4m people in need of emergency food assistance and displaced 2.6m people in Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad.

It said that the United Nations estimated an additional $1bn was needed to meet the humanitarian needs of people in 2017.

The US called on other donors to contribute additional humanitarian assistance for the millions of people in the region whose lives had been affected by Boko Haram.

Credit: punchng

Nigerian Army announces rescue of 605 women, children from Sambisa Forest

The Nigeria Army on Wednesday said it had rescued additional 605 women and children during its operation in Sambisa forest.


The Theatre Commander, Leo Irabor, stated this during a press conference at the headquarters of the 7 Division of Operation Lafiya Dole in Maiduguri.


Mr. Irabor, a Major General, said that troops have continued to record remarkable progress in the fight against counter terrorism operation in Sambisa forest.


He added that “69 male adults, 180 females, 227 male children and 129 female children, were rescued during the operation between December 7 and December14.


“The victims are in our custody for further investigation and interrogation.


“On the operation, our troops are determined to wipe out the terrorists from their hideout. I can tell you that the counter terrorism operation is already yielding positive results.”

Scores Feared Dead In Boko Haram Attack On Remote Borno Village Near Buratai’s Home

Scores of people may have been killed on Tuesday when Boko Haram militants attacked a military base in the remote Borno State village of Kamuya, a military source told SaharaReporters.


The militants stormed the area, which is about 10km to Buratai, the hometown of Chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen TY Buratai, in Biu Local Government Area at about 10 a.m.


The source said many were killed in the two-hour duel, but the terrorists went away with their dead bodies.


“We lost some soldiers as well, some also wounded in the course of repelling the invaders, but we killed more than a dozen of them in a gun battle that lasted for two hours,” the source said.


The source further told our correspondent that the road linking Biu town with Buratai has been closed temporarily as a result of the attack.


It was gathered that the terrorists had dislodged and burnt down the base before its renewed attack yesterday.

ALERT: Boko Haram insurgents now disguise as menial workers

The defence headquarters (DHQ) says Boko Haram insurgents now disguise as menial workers to carry out attacks on communities.


Rabe Abubakar, defence spokesman, said this in a statement on Tuesday.


He cited the recent bombings in Madagali, Adamawa state, and in Maiduguri, Borno state, as results of Boko Haram’s new antic.


“The defence headquarters wishes to alert members of the public of another antic being employed by the escaping Boko Haram terrorists that were smoked out of Sambisa forest by the combined efforts of the Nigeria armed forces,” he said


“Available information indicates that some fleeing Boko Haram terrorists are now disguising as menial workers to melt into communities and towns with a view to organising terrorists attack against our innocent citizens.  The unfortunate recent incidents in Madagali and Maiduguri are instructive.


“The defence headquarters therefore advises citizens to be on the alert and be wary of these tricks of the defeated terrorists who are hell-bent on remaining relevant in spite of their lost battle.”


Abubakar added that the sensitisation became necessary “to create security awareness to citizens to be conscious of some strange faces that could take menial jobs in their communities or towns, especially now that festivities are around the corner”.

Boko Haram Now Disguising As Menial Workers, DHQ Alerts Nigerians

Defence Headquarters, Tuesday,warned Nigerians to to be wary of people entering their communities as menial workers, saying it was a new strategy employed by the dreaded Boko Haram terrorists to get at their targets.

In a statement, by Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar,its Director of Information, the Defence Headquarters insisted that the terrorists, in their desperation to get at their targets, have resorted to disguising as menial workers.

The statement read: ”The Defence Headquarters wishes to alert members of the public of another antic being employed by the escaping Boko Haram terrorists that were smoked out of Sambisa forest by the combined efforts of the Nigerian Armed Forces.

“Available information indicates that some fleeing Boko Haram terrorists are now disguising as menial workers to melt into communities and towns with a view to organising terrorists attack against our innocent citizens. The unfortunate recent incidents in Madagali and Maiduguri are instructive.

“The Defence Headquarters therefore advises citizens to be on the alert and be wary of these tricks of the defeated terrorists who are hell-bent on remaining relevant inspite of their lost battle.

“This sensitisation becomes necessary now to create security awareness to our citizens to be conscious of some strange faces that could take menial jobs in their communities or towns, especially now that festivities are around the corner. ”


Famine may have killed 2,000 people cut off from aid by Boko Haram – Analysts

Over 2,000 people may have died of famine this year in parts of northeast Nigeria which cannot be reached by aid agencies due to an insurgency by Islamic militant group Boko Haram, hunger experts said on Tuesday.

A report by the U.S.-based Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) said the deaths occurred in the town of Bama in Nigeria’s Borno State, the jihadists’ former stronghold.

According to FEWS NET, while food aid is staving off famine for people uprooted by conflict who can be reached, the outlook is bleak for those in parts of the northeast cut off from help.

“The risk of famine in inaccessible areas of Borno State will remain high over the coming year.

“In a worst-case scenario where conflict cuts off areas that are currently accessible and dependent on assistance, the likelihood of famine in these areas would be high,’’ the report said.

About 4.7 million people are in need of emergency food aid in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe states, nearly two-thirds of them in Borno alone.

The UN children’s agency (UNICEF) said in September that some 400,000 children were at risk from famine in the three states, 75,000 of whom could die from hunger within months.

“Yet the current humanitarian response is insufficient amid extreme levels of food insecurity, and only one million people have received food aid this year,’’ FEWS NET said.

It noted that almost four in five of the 1.4 million displaced Nigerians in Borno State were living in local communities, where tension was rising in many families as food runs short.

It added that improving security had enabled aid agencies this year to reach some areas that were previously cut off, but many remained unreachable due to the ongoing violence and lack of security.

Boko Haram militants have killed about 20,000 people and displaced 2.4 million across Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria during a seven-year campaign to create an Islamist caliphate.

Nigeria’s army has pushed the Islamist group back to its base in Sambisa forest in the past few months, but the militants still often stage raids and suicide bombings.

Boko Haram terrorists, suspects must be prosecuted – NSA

The Federal Government has vowed to prosecute Boko Haram terrorists and anybody suspected to be engaged in acts of terrorism using the instruments of the law.

The National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno, stated this on Tuesday in Abuja, at the technical consultations on considering and developing comprehensive approach to prosecuting, rehabilitating, and re-integrating former members of Boko Haram terrorists.

Mr. Monguno said Nigeria has resolved to win the fight against terrorism through its core national values, which includes respect for human rights as guaranteed by Chapter 4 of the 1999 Constitution and relevant international human rights conventions.

He stressed that “whereas violent do not respect human rights, and share no such values, we are committed to ensuring that every suspect charged with terrorism has a day in court”.

He stated that counter-terrorism measures are only effective when anchored within a rule of law and human rights framework, and “why we undertook a holistic approach to strengthening our criminal justice system to serve as our most formidable weapon against terrorism”.

Against this backdrop, he said Nigeria was partnering with the European Union (EU), United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC), Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) and other relevant agencies to find the best “approach to prosecuting, rehabilitating and re-integrating former members of Boko Haram”.

“We are therefore, looking beyond the ongoing counter-isurgency campaigns in the Northeast to the next phase where Violent Extremist Offenders (VEOs) who had either repented or had passed through the criminal justice process were rehabilitated and re-integrated back to the society,” he stated.

Mr. Monguno said this commitment to defeat terror through the strength of laws and values informed the “Abuja Declaration on the Treatment of Violent Extremist Offenders under the Nigeria Countering Violent Extremist (CVE) Programme of April 14, 2016, which among others recommended that:

“CVE programmes need to be developed and implemented within a strategic policy and legal framework that promotes an end to violence, accountability, justice, re-integration and reconciliation; and Federal Government establishes and implements a sector-wide monitoring and evaluation framework for the De-radicalisation programme through the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).

“Also that appropriate authorities develop and establish a mechanism for the transfer of those awaiting trial or convict(s) to the custody of the Nigerian Prison Service (NPS); and investigation and justice agencies establish a coordination mechanism to ensure that prosecution and court hearings are conducted in a timely fashion and in accordance with national legislation,” he said.

Also speaking, the representative of the EU delegation, Richard Young, stated that “in tackling global terrorism, there were various views on its solutions, including those of the view that terrorists who surrender and are captured should be sent to prison, de-radicalised and be reintegrated back into the society, and those of the view that terrorists should be fully prosecuted and face the law, which he said was a difficult view”.

Boko Haram: Adamawa to arm more local vigilantes

The Adamawa state government in North-east Nigeria has said it would procure arms for 150 more local vigilantes to help fight insurgency in areas recaptured from Boko Haram terrorists.

The state’s commissioner of Information and Strategy, Ahmad Sajoh, told PREMIUM TIMES in a telephone that the measure was in response to the recent suicide bomb attacks in Madagali local government area of the state in which at least 50 persons were killed and 177 others injured, including minors.

The state government had already mobilized 223 local vigilantes to help the security agencies tackle Boko Haram remnants in the troubled northern part of the state.

Mr. Sajoh said the government would assist the new batch of 150 “with stipends and ammunition for their locally-made dane guns.

“The vigilantes, who include hunters, have been assisting in the fight against Boko Haram, and these men will be drawn from Madagali, the town hit by bomb blast on Friday,’’ he explained.

“They know the terrain like their fingertips, and are capable of outmaneuvering the terrorists,’’ said the commissioner.

In recent times, attempts by suicide bombers to attack Shuwa, Michika and Rumirgo Market in Askira Uba local government area of Borno State were reported to have been thwarted by vigilante group members.

“They wield machetes, locally made guns and anything they could use to terrify the enemies”, said Adamu Kamal, the member representing Michika and Madagali Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives.

‘’And since their inception, they have had some success fending off Boko Haram in our areas,’’ Mr. Kamale told PREMIUM TIMES.

Troops may leave N’East in 2017, says Buratai

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, on Monday said troops fighting the Boko Haram insurgents in the North-East would be returned to the barracks in 2017, when the fight would have been over.

Although twin blasts, suspected to have been coordinated by the Boko Haram fighters, killed 56 persons and injured 77 in a market in Madagali, Adamawa State on Friday, the army chief said the military was sure of success over the insurgents.

Also, on Sunday, another suicide attack on Monday Market, Maiduguri, Borno State, claimed three lives and injured 17 persons, but Buratai, who visited troops in the Damboa Local Government Area of the state, said the army would continue aggressive actions against the insurgents.

The army chief, who visited the 81 battalion on Monday, added that success over the Boko Haram remnants in the area would also facilitate the return of the Internally Displaced Persons to their homes.

He said, “Going by my first message in December, we must work to get out of this place. We must work to get out of this operation very quickly. We must defeat the Boko Haram. I was in one of the barracks and I have assured the families of our troops that many of you will go back in 2017.

“This battalion has done well. It fought along with the Cameroonian troops in this battle which means it is better placed to deal with these criminals. We must continue with the aggressive actions, patrol and ambush.

“We must move into all the hideouts of these criminals and fish them out. Other troops in the Sambisa Forest are dealing with them as well.”

Buratai said the army would do more to enhance the welfare of troops, adding that there would be a rotation of soldiers every six months of deployment.

The COAS also visited Alpha Company of 25 Brigade in Damboa to assess the new headquarters of the brigade.

Meanwhile, a member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Adamu Kamale, on Monday debunked claims by the Federal Government that all communities hitherto occupied by Boko Haram insurgents had been completely liberated.

Kamale, who represents Michika/Madagali Federal Constituency of Adamawa State, said contrary to the claims of the authorities, particularly the Nigerian military, not much had changed in the territories.

He spoke exclusively with The PUNCH in response to last week Friday’s twin bomb explosions in a popular market in Madagali, which resulted in the death of at least 56 people.

Kamale explained that many villages in his constituency share common boundaries with the dreaded Sambisa Forest, the main base of the Boko Haram insurgents.

He stated that insurgents infiltrated the communities, occupied the villages for as long as it pleased them, kidnapping and killing defenceless villagers in the process.

The lawmaker added, “Madagali still has challenges. I am the representative of this area and I know what I am saying. Many of our territories are still under the control of the insurgents.

“They kidnap and slaughter our people at will. Before last week’s attacks in Madagali market, three people were kidnapped and killed a day earlier in the same place.

“Some of these incidents are actually unreported and because they are not documented, the impression is created that all is well.

“The claims by the authorities that only pockets of insurgents are still operating are not true. The insurgents are still very much in control of many of our villages close to the Sambisa Forest. They still occupy these territories.”

Kamale told The PUNCH that though the insurgents would try to retreat whenever they sensed the presence of the military, he insisted that they always returned to “terrorise the villages and occupy them as soon as the soldiers move to other locations.”

The lawmaker said the solution was for the government to provide “adequate security for these communities in Madagali” by ensuring that the military had a permanent operational base there.

“We need the Federal Government to come to the aid of these defenceless villagers,” he appealed.

Kamale added that he felt embittered each time the government asked displaced villagers to return home on the excuse that their communities had been fully liberated.

“Let the people have adequate security; the psychological loss to our people is devastating.

“Their problem is beyond sharing food items to them or merely asking them to return to homes that are not secured,” he said.

BREAKING: Another Nigerian Lieutenant Colonel killed by suspected Boko Haram

Another senior Nigerian Army officer has been killed by suspected Boko Haram militants.

The officer, O. Umusu, a Lieutenant Colonel and Commanding Officer, 118 Task Force Battalion in Borno State, was killed alongside his security details, by an Improvised Explosive Device in an ambush Monday evening.

Military insiders said the officer and his men were returning from Maiduguri to their location towards Baga. The incident happened between Sari and Gudumbali.

Their remains were evacuated to 7 Division Medical Services and Hospital, our sources said.

This is the fourth lieutenant colonel the army is losing in two months.

More details coming…

Finish-off Boko Haram – Buratai Command Troops

Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai has charged soldiers to finish off Boko Haram remnants on time to enable Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) return to their homes.

The army chief gave the charge when he visited troops of the 81 battalion in Damboa Local Government Area in Borno state.

Buratai who reiterated the determination of the army towards enhancing the welfare of troops, said rotation of soldiers would take place after every six months of deployment.

“I am sure you have read and heard the message I sent across. If you are aware of it then we must work to get out of this place. We must work to get out of this operation very quickly.

We must defeat Boko Haram. “I was in one of the barracks and many of the troops were already there and I have assured your families that many of you will go back next Year.

“81 battalion is my unit too when I was a lieutenant Colonel This unit has seen it all. You fought along with the Cameroonian troops in this battle which means you are better placed to deal with this criminals.

“We must continue with the aggressive actions, patrol and ambush. You must move into all the hideouts of these criminals and fish them out.

Some of your colleagues in Sambisa Forest are dealing with them properly.

“You are better equipped, better motivated and mobile.The army has provided you with better equipment to fish Boko Haram out and deal with them completely.

“I wish to commend your effort and I urge you all to maintain the momentum and keep it high. Nigerians are proud of you. President Muhammadu Buhari the Commander in Chief is also pleased with you,” he said.

The COAS also visited Alpha Company of 25 brigade in Damboa where he assessed the newly constructed permanent headquarters of the brigade.

Adamawa State Government to ban use of Hijab over suicide attacks.

As part of efforts to reduce suicide attacks, the Adamawa State government may temporarily review the use of hijab in troubled areas in the state.


This was disclosed by the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mallam Ahmad Sajoh on Sunday in Yola.


Sajoh said the decision was taken at the emergency security meeting over the Friday’s twin bomb blasts in Madagali market.


He said Governor Bindow met with stakeholders to discuss the decision.


He also said those who attacked madagali on Friday were in hijab.


“We also resolved in the meeting, based on security recommendations, to assist members of vigilance groups in the areas in view of their contribution to security agencies.”

JUST IN: Two bomb blasts kill 10 in Madagali town market, BokoHaram blamed

Police say two explosions have ripped through a market in northeast Nigeria’s Madagali town, and a survivor says they killed at least 10 people.


Boko Haram Islamic extremists are blamed for the attack Friday morning on the edge of the group’s Sambisa Forest stronghold, which Nigeria’s military has been bombing ahead of ground assaults.


Since the military has dislodged the extremists from towns and villages this year, the insurgents have been attacking soft targets.


Survivor Ahmadu Gulak says the two explosions struck simultaneously at opposite ends of the market selling grains and vegetables. He says he counted at least 10 bodies and many wounded people being ferried to a nearby hospital by ambulance.


Police spokesman Othman Abubakar confirms the blasts but says he has no toll of victims yet.

Nigerian Military Set To Reopen Key Borno Roads After 3 Years Of Closure


The governor made the announcement while meeting with Muhammad Dandano, governor the Diffa region in the Niger Republic. Diffa, like Borno, has been ravaged by Boko Haram attacks.


According to Mr. Shettima, the Borno State government will begin to rebuild Damasak in 2017 so as to allow local residents to return to their homes. He explained that the government is prioritizing Damasak due to the vulnerability of people in that area.


“Rebuilding Damasak is our priority. The Borno Abadam, Mobar and Magumeri people are rich farmers; they do not need any help if you return them to their communities,” he said.


The governor lauded the government of Niger for its cooperation in protecting and supporting internally displaced persons (IDPs).


“We commend the Republic of Niger for hosting about 90,000 internally displaced persons,” Mr. Shettima said.


Mr. Dandano said his government would continue to support the IDPs and others affected by Boko Haram violence. He added that Nigerians and Nigeriens are living peacefully together in Diffa.


“We are giving the IDPs our maximum support, as many of them have taken up farming and other ventures,” he said. “When you go there, you will hardly differentiate between an IDP from Nigeria from a Nigerien.”

Troops ‘rescue’ 801 from #BokoHaram victims in 2 weeks

The Nigeria army says it has rescued 801 people held hostage by the Boko Haram over the past two weeks.

Lucky Irabor, theatre commander, Operation Lafiya Dole,made the announcement on Wednesday while briefing journalists in Maiduguri on the counter-terrorism operations in the northeast.

He said that the persons were rescued between November 23 and date.

“A total of 801 persons were rescued from the terrorists’ camps from November 23 to date,” he said.

Irabor said that the military had also arrested a number of terrorists fleeing their Sambisa forest hideout due to the ongoing operation.

“Likewise, on December 4 at about 1345hrs, our troops in conjunction with local vigilante intercepted five men, 29 women and children heading towards Goniri from Kafa,” he said.

“The men were screened by the local vigilante and two of them were confirmed to be terrorists. They have since been taken into custody and are undergoing interrogation.

“The military also apprehended suspected cattle rustlers during its operations. On November 28, four persons and a teenager were arrested by our troops deployed at Bulabulim Ngarnam with 4 cows. The arrested persons have been handed over to the Nigeria Police.”

Irabor said that the military also recovered arms from suspected kidnappers in Bauchi state.

“On December 2, our troops while on patrol at the general area of Gamji and Kafin Lemu villages in Ningi LGA of Bauchi state encountered some suspected kidnappers who engaged them in gun battle,” he said.

He added that they were killed in the gun battle that ensued and the troops recovered several arms and ammunition, including five Dane guns, a locally made pistol, some cartridges and charms.

Nigerian Soldiers Repel 10 Boko Haram Attacks In 2 Weeks– Theatre Commander

Nigerian soldiers repelled at least 10 different attacks by Boko Haram in the past two weeks, a military commander has said.

The commander of the ‘Lafiya Dole’ counterinsurgency operation in north-east Nigeria, Lucky Irabor, said on Thursday that scores of insurgents were killed in the attacks while a few soldiers also lost their lives.

Mr. Irabor, a major general, however said troops under his command are prepared to bring an end to the Boko Haram insurgency.

He called on Boko Haram members to give up their dying struggle and surrender to the Nigeria troops or face the bitter fate that befell their killed colleagues.

Speaking at a press conference in Maiduguri, Mr. Irabor said the troops in the past two weeks raided several camps of the Boko Haram around Borno and Yobe states during which a total of 801 captives were freed.

A total of 27 Boko Haram insurgents were also arrested by the troops during the raids, he said.

He said in the last two weeks, the Nigerian troops have been able to move “deeper into Sambisa Forest on many fronts, under its present Operation Rescue Finale.”

The operation rescue finale was launched last month as a continuation of an existing Operation Crackdown, which was aimed at rescuing all the Chibok girls and other hostages held in Sambisa forest.

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18 finalists emerge in federal essay competition for north-east children

After rigorous essay writing sessions and validation of submitted entries, 18 finalists have emerged winners of the Essay Writing Competition in the recently announced Federal Government’s education advocacy programme for displaced children in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states.

The Grand Finale holds Thursday in Maiduguri, Borno State, where the finalists will present their education advocacy videos at an event to be attended by dignitaries and functionaries from across the three states.

The Protecting Education Advocacy Challenge to reorient children affected by insurgency in the three Northeast states was announced November 20 and kicked off soon after garnering 3,079 of such children showing keen interest in the competition by turning in their entries.

“The enthusiasm and active participation of these children in the Essay Competition is indicative of their willingness to be the voices raised so that education is protected for them,” according to the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, Mariam Masha.

The 18 finalists – six from each state – were the lucky winners out of 3,079 entries received from the three states, with Borno having 1,337, closely followed by Adamawa with 1,230 while Yobe had 512 entries.

The winners from Borno are Aisha Musty and Bukar Abdulrahman in the 8-11 years category; Abubakar Musa and Zulai Mikaila in the 12-14 Years Category and Hauwa Bulus and Kaka Emmnauel in the 15-18 years category.

From Adamawa State, the winners are Emmanuel Andrawus and Faith Mathew in the 8-11 Years Category; Midenda Napatali and Abba Gana-Bundi in the 12-14 years while in the 15- 18 years category are Grace Markus and Ali Bulama.

Modu Aisami and Adamu Ibrahim emerged in the 8-11 years category in Yobe State. Other winners in the state are Fatima Lawan Jinbam and Mustapha Abdullahi in the 12- 14 years Category and Sadiq Abubakar and Abubakar Adam were winners in the 15-18 years category.

In Borno, 10 IDP Camps participated including Dalori 1 and 2, Bakassi A & B, Teachers Training College, EYN, Farm Centre, Gubio, NYSC, and Bokolis, all spread across the state.

In Damaturu, the Pompomari IDPs Camp, host communities and schools such as Government Secondary School in Gulani,Goniri,Bularafa and Government Day Secondary School in Buni-Yadi, Bukar Ali,Bindigari and  Nayi-nawa submitted entries while their counterparts in NYSC , Makoyi and Fufore IDP Camps in Adamawa State also participated in the Essay writing competition.

The programme is an integral component of counter- radicalization project of the Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA), and the Disaster Risk Reduction project of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). It is coordinated in the Presidency by the Office of the Vice President.

With the essay writing over, the expected 18 winners are to develop an advocacy campaign video which will be presented by the children themselves before a live audience at the finals in Maiduguri, the Borno State Capital on December 8th.

Also, as parts of the advocacy, series of drama presentations, community events and focused mentorship are being staged in the camps, to provide an uncommon window to take the counter-terrorism fight from the battlefield right into the minds of these children.

Other partners and supporters of the programme include the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Niger Delta Power Holding Company, Medview Airline, Softcom, Venture Garden Group, Academy Press and UACN Property Development Company – UPDC.

End of Boko Haram in sight, Buhari assures international community

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday in Dakar, Senegal, assured the international community that the end of Boko Haram terrorists was in sight.

The President gave the assurance at the meeting of a panel of heads of states at the 3rd Dakar International Forum on Peace and Security in Africa.

In a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, on Tuesday in Abuja, the President also assured the international community that the security situation in Nigeria had improved significantly.

President Buhari noted with delight the increased cooperation between Nigeria and its neighbours in the fight against terrorism.

“About a month ago, I spoke with the President of Chad and I was pleased that a number of Chadians and Nigerians that were Boko Haram members are surrendering to him en-masse.

“The good news I have is that the end of the raining season has come in the North-Eastern region of Nigeria.

“Members of the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) are in their respective positions and at an agreed time they will move simultaneously and spontaneously for us to see the end of Boko Haram.

“We are now operating in the Sambisa Forest and as far as Boko Haram is concerned in the Lake Chad Basin area, I think they are done for,’’ the President added.

While highlighting the gains of the cooperation among the Lake Chad Basin Commission countries comprising Chad, Niger, Cameroon, Benin Republic and Nigeria, Mr. Buhari told the gathering that “Boko Haram is no longer holding any territory or Local Government Area (LGA) in Nigeria.

“Those who live in the North East know that Boko Haram is no longer holding a single territory in the 774 LGAs in Nigeria.

“But they have a system of using IEDs and they indoctrinate mostly teenage girls and send them to soft targets, to churches, mosques and market places. That too is becoming very rear.

“I think Boko Haram shot themselves in the foot when they gave their ideology a religious connotation by killing children in their schools, people in the mosque and churches and shouting Allahu Akbar.’’

According to him, this is a major contradiction as no religion advocates hurting the innocent.

He said:“You can’t kill people and say Allahu Akbar. You either do not know what you are saying or you don’t believe it.”

The President stated that Nigeria was capable of surmounting its security challenges, and appealed to the international community to focus more attention on addressing piracy in the Gulf of Guinea and unemployment in Nigeria.

“In the southern part of the country, stolen Nigerian crude is being illegally transported through the Gulf of Guinea and installations offshore are being subverted.

“We also have the problem of unemployment in Nigeria. With a population of 180 million people of which 65 per cent are under the age of 35, young Nigerians are looking for any kind of job to survive.’’

He said that the present administration is addressing the problem of youth unemployment by turning to agriculture and solid minerals “because we are lucky to be blessed with arable land, water and resources.”

Soldiers, Policemen Arrested For ‘Raping, Sexually Exploiting’ Women Displaced By Boko Haram

The Inspector-General of Police (I-G), Ibrahim Idris, said two policemen, three army personnel, one prison official, one Air Force personnel, a staff of Borno Ministry for Agriculture and two members of the Civilian JTF have been arrested for sexually abusing women and girls displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency.

A report published in Human Rights Watch, in October, detailed how government officials abused and raped women living at IDP camps in Borno State.

The report documented sexual abuse, including rape and exploitation, of 43 women and girls living in seven internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

Four of the victims told Human Rights Watch that they were drugged and raped, while 37 were coerced into sex through false marriage promises and material and financial assistance.

President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered the I-G and the affected state governors to investigate the allegation.

Police set up a special panel to investigate the alleged abuses.

Speaking Tuesday at the Inspector-General of Police Conference in Abuja on Tuesday, Mr Idris said police would liaise with the Army and Air Force to make their personnel available for a thorough investigation.

Mr. Idris said after the investigation, any suspects found guilty of the offence would be dismissed and taken to court for prosecution.

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