UN Pledges More Humanitarian Support In Northeast Nigeria.

The United Nations has pledged to beef up humanitarian support to the government of Nigeria to restore normalcy and security to the North East.

The Country Director of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Mr. Janthomas Hiemstra, revealed his mission to journalists shortly after a courtesy call on the General Officer Commanding 7 Division of the Army in Maiduguri, Brigadier General Victor Ezugwu.

Hiemstra said: “The UNDP is going to put more presence in this area because we believe that the situation for Nigerian people have evolved to outside of the humanitarian situation.

“The military have done their work. The humanitarian are still looking at where are the people that are really suffering and have no food but the development programmes to come in also and say it’s not about food it’s about jobs, business.

“It is about agriculture, it is about people rebuilding houses, rebuilding secretariat buildings, clinics and schools, so this is the next phase that would have to happen together with humanitarian work.

“The UNDP is a specialised agencies that would work with other agencies towards recovery and development in the Northeast.

“We have reassured the General Officer Commanding that we will be beefing up our office and our activities and he appears to be pleased with that,” Hiesmstra stated.

North East Committees: Jonathan’s PINE under probe, not Buhari’s PCNI – Alkasim Abdulkadir

Newspaper reports on the ongoing probe by the Senate Ad hoc Committee on the Humanitarian Crisis in the North East of the now defunct PINE have continuously misrepresented PCNI as PINE.


The Presidential Committee on the North East Initiative inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari on the 26thof October this year, while PINE was an initiative of former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.


The PCNI was established to provide effective coordination and guidance towards addressing the humanitarian crisis, the resettlement and reconstruction of the North East region.


In a statement released to the press by the Head of Media and Communications of the PCNI Alkasim Abdulkadir he said “It is embarrassing the continuous couched headlines purportedly referring to PINE as the organ established by President Muhammad Buhari. The deliberate and overt sensationalism to misrepresent PCNI as PINE has gone on for several months and distracts from the task of rebuilding the North East”.


The statement further stated that “It is hoped that with this clarification journalists and newspapers reporting the North East will henceforth stop misleading the general public.”


The PCNI draws its membership from other humanitarian and response organizations like NEMA, NCFRMI, VSF, State representatives and CSOs and it is headed General TY Danjuma.


Alkasim Abdulkadir
Head, Media and Communications

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.

We’ll Reduce Boko Haram To Nothing Despite Leadership Change – DHQ

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has said that the military was not in the least bit perturbed about the latest change of leadership in Boko Haram.


Wednesday, the BBC reported that Islamic State had named a new leader, Abu Musab al-Barnawi, for Boko Haram. Al-Barnawi, who was once the spokesman for the insurgent group, has replaced Abubakar Shekau. According to BBC, al-Barnawi was featured in the latest issue of an ISIS magazine. The magazine made no reference to Shekau. But DHQ spokesman, Brig-Gen. Rabe Abubakar, said wednesday that the military was not interested in what happens in what he described as “nearly dead” Boko Haram terrorists, including a change of leadership or alliance with ISIS.


Abubakar said that the military was singularly focused on the complete destruction of the terror group, irrespective of leadership and administrative changes. He said: “The leadership change in Boko Haram, as purportedly stated, does not in any way bother us, as the group is nearly dead in Nigeria and other countries within the Lake Chad Basin. “So whether there is a change in leadership or not, we are sure of total annihilation of the group. “Our focus is to clear them from their hideouts which we have been doing through the ongoing Operation Crackdown and Operation Gama Aiki with the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF).


It’s (leadership change) not anything to us and we will continue to reduce them to nothing.


Abubakar said the military has been capturing members of the terror sect on “a daily basis, so the change is not anything to us”. He said the military was certain that Boko Haram was “in disarray and collapsing”. “So they are trying to behave like a dying person who will hold on to any thing in his desperation to stay alive. People should not take them seriously, as they no longer pose a threat. We dismiss this change of leadership as child’s play,” he added.


Shekau was last seen in a Boko Haram propaganda video in March 2015, one of many footages released in his years of leading a brutal campaign against Nigeria. In one of the videos, Shekau pledged allegiance to ISIS, which was originally based in Syria and Iraq. ISIS has several offshoots now in other countries, including Libya. Al-Barnawi, who has been named as Boko Haram’s new leader, is something of a mystery. When he appeared in a Boko Haram video in January 2015 as the group’s spokesman, he wore a turban and his face was blurred out and it was filmed as a sit-down studio interview.


Unlike former leader, Shekau, his delivery in the Hausa language was considered and softly spoken.
Shekau was often filmed in the open, surrounded by fighters, loudly proclaiming his threats, victories and giving rambling ideological lectures. However, al-Barnawi pulled no punches, warning that towns which resisted Boko Haram in its mission to create an Islamic state would be flattened.


He also spoke of being against democracy and foreign education. In his most recent magazine interview, he again objected to the name Boko Haram, by which local people call the group, as it means “Western education is forbidden” in Hausa. He maintained ISIS was still strong in the region and promised to continue fighting West African governments.


But as the identity of the head of Boko Haram was revealed, the Nigerian Army said yesterday that its troops with the assistance of civilian vigilantes, on routine checks, identified and arrested a high profile member of the sect. Army spokesman, Col. Sani Kukasheka Usman, said in statement: “On Tuesday, 2nd August 2016, at about 8.30 a.m., troops of Operation Lafiya Dole with the assistance of vigilantes, on routine checks, identified and arrested a high profile suspected Boko Haram terrorist, Mohammed Mohammed Zauro, at Sabon Gari, Damboa Local Government Area, Borno State.


Preliminary investigation shows that the suspected terrorist kingpin was arrested as he was trying to flee to Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State, from Sambisa forest. “The troops recovered a Gionee brand of mobile phone handset and a fake SAIE/JIBWIS identification card to perfect his escape and the sum of N7,900.” Usman said the troops also intercepted another suspected Boko Haram terrorist, Lawal Aboi, along Damboa-Bale Road.


According to him, he was on his way to voluntarily surrender to the troops in Damboa because he was tired of fighting for no just cause. Both suspects are being further interrogated,” the army spokesman said.

Intensify Mop-up Operations In Northeast, Obasanjo Tells Military

Nigeria’s former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has urged the military to intensify mop up operations in liberated villages in northeast Nigeria, as displaced persons prepare to return home.

The former president, who is in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, on a two-day familiarisation visit in the University of Maiduguri, said although the war against insurgents was far from over, there was evidence that the Nigerian Army was winning.

Obasanjo’s last visit to Maiduguri was in September 2011 at the heat of the six year old insurgency.

He believes that security in the troubled town has greatly improved compared to the situation during his last visit.

“We are not out of the woods yet but it will appear we can see the light beyond the tunnel.

“There is no doubt that with the combined efforts of the local, state, federal and the community level that our security forces are on ascendency over the forces of destruction.” Obasanjo told the State Governor, Kashim Shettima, in a meeting held at the Government House.

The octogenarian is positive that “at this rate all Internally Displaced Persons should have vacated makeshift camps and return to their towns by December this year”.

Credit: CahnnelsTv

US Providing Over $240m In Development Assistance In Northeast Nigeria

The United States says it is currently providing over $240M in development and humanitarian assistance through comprehensive programs in north eastern Nigeria and the broader Lake Chad Basin region.

This is according to the Director of the United States International Agency For Development (USAID) Mission in Nigeria, Michael Harvey, who is in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, on an assessment tour.

He said the tour was to obtain first-hand information on the spending of sister donor agencies operating in war-torn northeast Nigeria and funded by USAID.

The insurgency problem in northeast Nigeria has forced millions of citizens out of their homes with school-age kids kept out of their classes, a situation that had made the USAID intensify its intervention programmes in the affected areas.

The Director of the USAID said the intervention programmes were targeted at Internally Displaced Persons in Borno, Adamawa, Gombe, Bauchi, Taraba and Yobe States.

USAID believes the task of addressing the many issues families in the displaced people’s camps as well as those in the host community are dealing with is overwhelming.

The victims of insurgency in Bakassi, originally from Gwoza Local Council in Borno State are the first to host the team.

They complained of poor living conditions and feeding, which they said had led to malnutrition and other illnesses.

“We need water and drugs and the weather is very harsh here because there are no trees. The sun disturbs us a lot,” one of the displaced persons, Hauwa Bello, told the group.

Part of the intervention plans of the USAID is to identify and empower displaced families preparing them for their return home.

The USAID also encouraged informal community schools assuring them of its willingness to partner with relevant authorities to give as many kids as possible unlimited access to education.

The region had seen over six years of insurgency and terror attacks mostly carried out by members of Boko Haram terrorist group.

Credit: ChannelsTv

Military Has Recovered Almost All Territories In Northeast– Brig. Gen. Rogers

The Chief of Civil/Military Affairs, Army HQ, Brig. Gen. Nicholas Rogers says territories held by the insurgents have been liberated as people are returning back to their communities gradually.

He added that the military has taken almost all the territories in the Northeast,“what is left are some villages between the boundaries of Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon particularly along the Lake Chad region”

The Brig. Gen. said that stability and calm have returned in Maiduguri, Damaturu, Gwoza, Bama, Baga, Monguno amongst other towns.

He also stated that some buildings like schools, churches that were burnt down are been rebuilt by the military, but noted that there are some challenges along the line.

In continuous fight against the insurgents and protecting the towns that have been liberated, the Brig. Gen revealed that other security agencies are yet to resume which is preventing the military from carrying out their full operations.

The Brig. Gen. also disclosed that several meetings have been held and is still ongoing to discuss the challenges in the system but noted that the responses are coming in slow.

Credit: ChannelsTV

Osinbajo Launches Northeast Intervention Programme

Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo yesterday declared open an intervention programme, the North-East Humanitarian Multi-Stakeholder Engagement (NEHMSE) for the victims of Boko Haram insurgency in the region.

The stakeholders include the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the Presidential Initiative for the North-East (PINE), the Victim Support Fund (VSF), and the Save Schools Initiative (SSI).

Osinbajo, while speaking at the meeting in Maiduguri yesterday, said one of the goals of the initiative is to strengthen the capacity of existing Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) especially in the North-east region, and to aid the development of others where noticeable and important gaps exist as they must invest in the CSOs community in order to succeed.

“Later in the course of this engagement, perhaps the Presidential Initiative for the North-East (PINE) will unveil its plan to develop the capacity of NGOs in this region and grow new ones where needed.

“This region has suffered tremendously in the past six years. The destruction of infrastructure, farmland, businesses and trades; the destruction of schools, the lost of school-years; rebuilding, restoring and rehabilitation would cost money and time. But neither money or time can fix the trauma of lost of family, relations and friends; the shame and pain of the rape, the scarce and fears or pains of the abducted and kidnapped,” Osinbajo said.

Credit: DailyTrust

Troops Recapture Northeast Border Town of Gamboru Ngala

Nigeria’s army said it recaptured the northeastern town of Gamboru Ngala, which borders Cameroon,from Boko Haram Islamist militants.

“Troops are now busy with clearing and mopping up,” the army said on its Twitter account Tuesday.

The Nigerian army said in July there was no area in the northeastern state of Borno that was still under the control of Boko Haram, after a regional military push.

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NEMA Plans Massive Relief On Recaptured Towns

The Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Alhaji Sani Sidi, has approved a massive relief operation to bolster previous interventions in the three states worst affected by insurgency. These are Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.

 Northeast zonal coordinator of the agency, Alhaji Mohammed Kanar, said his organisation noted the gains recorded by the military in liberating communities under occupation of insurgents in the North-East geopolitical zone.

The agency was waiting for the military to declare the communities free of terrorists before embarking massive rehabilitation and reconstruction plans for the areas. “As soon as the security of communities has been declared safe by the military, we will ensure that the people are resettled accordingly by providing adequate humanitarian services in collaboration with other stakeholders,” Kanar said.

The zonal coordinator added that ongoing relief operations would be a continuous process as camps would receive weekly relief material from the agency.

Credit: CAJ News