“We won’t be part of Army chief’s panel of inquiry” – IPOB

Members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) have faulted the purported panel of inquiry set up by Gen. Tukur Buratai to investigate the multiple killings of unarmed civilians. They vowed not to participate in such a panel.

In a statement yesterday, spokespersons of the group, Dr. Ikenna Chinaka and Iyom Grace Ukpai, advised Buratai to disband the panel.

They said the action of the Nigerian army in setting up the purported panel of inquiry was apparently compelled by the widely published report of the Amnesty International (AI) on the gruesome and odious massacre of over 1,000 IPOB members, especially in the South-South and South-East regions of Nigeria within the last one year.

“Despite overwhelming evidence that the Nigerian security forces have committed human rights violations, including extra-judicial executions, torture and other ill-treatment, there has been no action by the authorities to hold them accountable. This report includes evidence of 87 videos of the events showing the killings of pro-Biafra activists and the immediate aftermath of these fatal shootings,” IPOB noted.


Source: The Guardian

We need UN assistance to demine Sambisa forest – General Buratai

Tukur Buratai, chief of army staff, says Nigeria needs the assistance of United Nations (UN) to demine Sambisa forest in Borno state.

In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Buratai said the army is doing a “limited demining” of the forest to enable the troops move around for operations.

He said that this is in order to create safe routes for the troops to move from one place to another.

“The army is currently doing a limited demining of routes in the forest to enable troops to move around for operations,” Buratai said.

“Strictly speaking, we have not started demining the Sambisa forest. The areas we are concentrating on are where we are working, where our troops will have to move from one point to the other.

“These are the efforts we are making to create safe lanes for troops to pass from one point to the other. But, for our deliberate demining efforts, it will require much, much resources, much more effort, and we may even request for the civilian demining support in that regard.

“Demining is not restricted to the military only, there are several organisations that have been doing this, the UN is one and there are other NGOs that are involved which actually work under the umbrella of the UN.

“So, as comprehensive efforts, these bodies need to be invited to support what the military is doing right now in a limited capacity in that regard.”

The chief of army staff said there was need for the police to take over strategic areas so it would enable the army concentrate on the mop up of the remnants of Boko Haram insurgents.

“We need more policemen deployed even in Maiduguri, Damaturu, Bama, Damasak, Gubio, Monguno and Baga and other towns where people have returned, they – police need to really take over,” Buratai said.

“Apart from the regular police, the Mobile Police also are key, we need them to be there. There are concerns all over that at this stage we really need the civil authority to come and take up their responsibilities fully.”

He added that the army was guided by laws, including the 1999 constitution which specified its own rules of engagement and international law on armed conflict in its operations.

“We know what we are doing, definitely we will not infringe on individual rights. We have our own constitutional role; we have our own rules of engagement which are in tandem with our constitution, in tandem with even the international humanitarian law and the laws of armed conflict,” he said.

“If, in course of our duty, someone feels that something has gone wrong contrary to what they believe in and they go beyond to call for arms embargo and denial of certain weapons or equipment to the Nigerian military, I think the government will address that appropriately.”


Source: The Cable

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

Soldier dismissed for stabbing lover to death

A Nigerian soldier, Sunday Umaru, has been dragged before a Barkin-Ladi High Court in Plateau, for allegedly killing his lover, Charity Thomas, over a phone call.

Mr. Umaru, a married man, was a private in the Nigerian Army and on posting at the Special Task Force (STF), sector 7, Barkin-Ladi, at the time of the incident, on January 23, 2016.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the hearing, scheduled for March 30, could not hold due to the absence of Justice Samson Gang.

Mr. Umaru was first arraigned on July 14, 2016 on a one-count charge of culpable homicide.

He was accused of killing his lover Ms. Thomas by stabbing her with a knife in the stomach and slaughtering her thereafter. Mr. Umaru attacked the woman who had arrived from Kaduna to visit him.

According to the prosecutor, W.T Awe, of the Plateau State Ministry of Justice, the accused person committed the crime on January 23, 2016 in Barkin-Ladi.

Mr. Awe, during the arraignment, told the court that the Nigeria Army had court-martialed the accused, dismissed him after they found him guilty, and handed him over to the police for prosecution.

He said the accused person had told the police, in a confessional statement, that the deceased visited him sometime in January 2016, after which they had a misunderstanding which led to her death.

“In the statement, the accused alleged that the deceased used a kitchen knife to stab herself after which he (accused), removed the knife and `helped’ her to complete the act by slaughtering her,” Mr. Awe stated.

Mr. Awe further quoted the accused as saying that he was in the sitting room while Ms. Thomas was in the kitchen at about 7 p.m. when the woman’s phone rang and he picked the call.

The accused, in the statement, said that a man’s voice insisted on speaking with Ms. Thomas, but that he (accused) demanded to know who he (caller) was.

He claimed that instead of answering his inquiries, the voice rained insults on him.

Mr. Umaru, according to the statement, dropped the call, went to the kitchen and asked Ms. Thomas who the caller was, but the woman refused to provide answers to his questions, instead reminding Mr. Umaru that he was a married man.

The accused further claimed that Ms. Thomas, in a fit of anger, called off the relationship and declared that she was no more interested, especially since her parents had consistently warned her against the affair.

“Umaru said that he got angry and slapped her, which angered Charity, who quickly picked a knife and stabbed herself in the stomach,” Mr. Awe told the court.

The statement further indicated that Charity failed down thereafter, with the accused removing the knife from her stomach and slaughtering her “to complete the job she started”.

Mr. Umaru thereafter took her body outside, left it there and reported for duty at 8 p.m.

The prosecutor said the accused, from his duty point, went to see his family at the Maxwell Kobe Cantonment, Rukuba Barracks, after telling his boss that his wife wanted to see him over “a very pressing issue”.

“Charity’s lifeless body was found the next day by neighbours, while military men, who came to evacuate the body, trailed the blood marks to the accused person’s house.

“Friends of the accused also recognised the girl as Umaru’s lover, who was seen with him the previous day,” Mr. Awe told the court.

He said a team of military men, mobilised to go after the accused, arrested him at his home in the barracks, while in the company of his family.

According to Mr. Awe, the accused was court-martialed by the military and dismissed, after which he was handed over to the police for prosecution.

He said during investigation, police discovered several gory pictures and videos of the deceased that the accused took in his phone, immediately after the murder.

The accused has, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

NAN reports that at his first appearance in July 2016, Mr. Umaru’s counsel, David Adudu, prayed the court to grant his client bail, citing section 36(5) of the 1999 constitution which says that an accused is presumed innocent until otherwise proven.

Mr. Adudu had added that if the bail was granted, his client would neither jump bail nor interfere with police investigation.

Justice Samson Gang admitted the accused to bail in the sum of N200, 000 and two sureties in like sum.

Mr. Gang, who ordered that the sureties must reside within the jurisdiction of the court, said they must submit two copies of their recent passport photographs, copies of their national ID cards, GCE certificates and copies of their Rights of Occupancy.

He thereafter adjourned the matter to March 30, for hearing.

NAN reports that with the judge not available to hear the case, the matter was adjourned to May 25.


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

Nigerian Army to build Bailey bridge in Enugu State

The Enugu State Executive Council has approved that the contract for the reconstruction of a bailey bridge over Ivo River in Okpanku, Ani Nri Local Government Area, be awarded to the Nigerian Army’s works unit for N54 million.

Speaking to journalists on decisions taken by the council, the commissioner for information, Godwin Udeuhele, said the army got the contract award based on the engineering expertise it had garnered over the years.

The commissioner also announced a planned collaboration between the state’s ministry of education and the Reading Association of Nigeria (RAN) towards the implementation of Literacy Enhancement and Achievement Project (LEAMP) in three local government areas of Udenu, Oji River and Enugu South. He disclosed that the education ministry has as a result been directed to express the state’s interest to the World Bank towards attracting the project.

“The LEAMP project is a reliable one that has the potential to enhance the proficiency of secondary school teachers as well as the performance of students in core subjects like English language, mathematics, sciences, among others,” he said.

Mr. Udeuhele revealed that the council further approved a review of rural electrification projects in Igbo-Etiti and Igboeze North by ten per cent of the project sum valued at N80,506,545 and N75,589,686 respectively. This review was informed by the need to ensure speedy and efficient completion of the projects, he explained.

Equally approved was the recruitment of 10 social welfare workers for the state’s ministry of gender affairs and social development to boost the establishment’s child welfare department.

The commissioner noted that the council meeting also witnessed the presentation of the Best State Government Website of the Year award to Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi by the Institute of Information Management of Africa’s Records and Information Management Awareness, RIMA, foundation, adding that the sum of N10 million was subsequently approved for the purchase of ICT equipment for the ministry of science and technology’s Computer Training Centre to help it meet its mandate on computer literacy.


Source: Premium Times

Nigerian Army commence hunt for “the real Abubakar Shekau”

Security agencies have begun a manhunt for “the real Abubakar Shekau,” the fugitive Boko Haram leader, following the military’s destruction of the Islamic sect’s spiritual base hitherto located in camp Zairo in the Sambisa forest, Borno State.

The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, who gave the indication after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in the Presidential Villa yesterday, vowed that the military would soon close in on “the real Shekau” who, he said, has continued to evade arrest with the aid of masks and other forms of disguise.

Shekau has been reportedly killed or fatally wounded no fewer than three times by Nigerian security forces but he always manages to ‘resurrect’, days or months later in video or audio recordings, claiming to be alive and well.

“There could have been so many Shekaus but we are looking for the real one. He has been using mask to portray Shekau in one incident or the other to give an impression that he has been killed so that we will relax, but we will not relax. We are on him,” the minister said.

The minister said the military has in the bid to effect the arrest, already captured Sambisa forest and currently “dominated the whole stronghold where they used to be.”

He said the military was acting on a presidential directive to ensure that the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and other Nigerians in the area return to their homes and farms, experience peace and tranquility as well as go about their normal businesses.

Meanwhile, the Borno State commandant of Nigeria Security Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), Ibrahim Abdullahi, said that two Boko Haram spies and a supplier were arrested along with eight other suspected vandals and merchants for allegedly re-reselling food supplies meant for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps.

Parading the suspects yesterday in Maiduguri, Abdullahi said that Ali Mustapha was sent on a mission by a Boko Haram Commander to spy on Maiduguri metropolis and report back to their base in Abadam of the Lake Chad region.

Also, Mustapha, a 17-year-old Boko Haram suspect claimed to have been forced to kill 13 people in Chikingudu Forest in Kukawa Local Government area of Borno State, when he was held captive for three years by insurgents.

He also confessed that he was sent by Boko Haram terrorists to assess the situations in the metropolis on Baga Road, Maiduguri Monday Market (MMM) and the Custom area.

Men of the command arrested the suspect near the Bakassi IDPs camp, Maiduguri. His parents were also identified as IDPs taking refuge at the camp.


Source: The Guardian

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

Army insists personnel did not kill Ogun State resident

The Nigerian Army Monday said none of its personnel attached to the 174 Battalion Ikorodu, Lagos, was responsible for the death of one Mr George at Ogijo, Ogun state.

The deceased was alleged to have died as a result of the beating he received from some soldiers by one Kenny Abel Adesanya on Twitter.

But the Army spokesman Sani Usman disputed Adesanya’s account of what led to George’s death, noting that investigation showed that George was not beaten by soldiers by some people contracted by his landlady’s son.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the location where the incident took place, Ogijo, is in Ogun State and 174 Battalion does not have any deployment there, neither do any of our troops patrol the area,” Usman said in a statement.

He said the Army dispatched a team to Ogijo Divisional Police Station, Ogun State, to investigate the matter, where it was confirmed that the incident dated back to 8th March 2017, when “one Mr George (now late), was threatened by the son of his landlady that he will invite his soldier friends to come and beat him for failing to pay his rent which was long overdue.”

“On the said day, the tenant was taken from the compound by three young men and beaten up. The case was reported to Ogijo police station. The parties involved were arrested and their statements were taken. Thereafter, the police wanted to charge the matter to court for which the tenant and the landlady opted for out of court settlement. The young men who carried out the beating were neither arrested nor their identity ascertained by the police.”

The army spokesman said the police claimed the landlady’s son contracted his friends to beat George and the case was treated as an assault. He said there was no correspondence sent to the Nigerian Army since those involved were not soldiers even after the death of the tenant.

Usman said, “On 24th March 2017, the said tenant Mr George died in his house and his corpse was taken to the frontage of the landlady who quickly reported to the Ogijo Police Station.

“She was arrested and the corpse was deposited at the mortuary. The son of the landlady who is currently at large is being hunted by the police authority.”

Usman, therefore, advised Adesanya to apologise to 174 Battalion in particular and the Nigerian for his ‘false’ post or face legal action.


Source: The Guardian

Nigerian Army to commence small arms championship in Sambisa Forest

The Nigerian Army Small Arms Championship (NASAC), with firepower demonstration, commences in Sambisa Forest in Borno State on Monday.Announcing the NASAC yesterday at a news conference in Maiduguri, Chief of Training and Operation, Maj-Gen. David Ahmadu, said the objectives of the championship is to sharpen the marksmanship skills of military personnel.

“The formations will be competing in marksmanship, with the best formation carting away the prestigious Chief of Army Staff’s trophy,” Ahmadu disclosed.This is just as spokesman of Nigerian Army, Brig-Gen. Sani Usman said a Boko Haram bomb-making factory at Gombole village was destroyed on Thursday by troops of Operation Lafiya Dole in Konduga Council.

The troops also rescued 10 women and children held captives by the insurgents in the village.Usman, in a statement in Maiduguri yesterday, said troops of the 103 Battalion of Operation Lafiya Dole discovered the factory during a clearance operation at Gombole.

He said the troops neutralised a number of the insurgents during the operation, while others fled, adding: “Unfortunately, a soldier sustained injury and was evacuated by the Nigerian Air Force. The soldier is in stable condition.”

He said troops have been conducting clearance and mop operations in areas, as the insurgents were suspected to have hidden there after they were dislodged from Sambisa Forest in December last year.

According to Ahmadu, small arms championship was designed to consolidate on the total defeat and routing of Boko Haram terrorists from their operation headquarters of Camp Zairo in Sambisa Forest.

On other activities of championship, he said: “The five-day championship will also mark the commencement of the ongoing plan to move speedily and make the forest general area safe for habitation and subsequently make it an area for the Nigerian Army training activities.

“To this end, provision has been made for the opening of more roads and construction of culverts and bridges by the Army engineers to facilitate easy movements to the general area.

“This will enable Nigerian Army to test its infantry weapons, armoured tanks and artillery guns, as well as various weapons in its inventory to enhance marksmanship of the its personnel.

“This could further emphasise the Army’s efforts and resolve in meeting and sustaining the constitutional role of defending the territorial integrity of the nation, as well as commitment to peace and security in various parts of the country.”

He urged the people of the state not to panic, as their safety and wellbeing would be guaranteed.Ahmadu, however, urged the public to remain on high alert and be security conscious by reporting any suspicious movements of individuals and groups of people to the military and other security agencies in the northeast.

“The fleeing insurgents from military operations in the northeast have forced them to hibernate among innocent members of the communities,” he said.He said other activities of the championship include medical outreach in Bama, Konduga, Magumeri and Maiduguri metropolis, educational workshop for teachers, relief support to displaced persons within the Seven Division area of responsibility and security awareness meeting with traditional rulers.


Source: The Guardian

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

Buratai Tasks Officers To Be Professional And Result Oriented

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai has urged participants at the First Commanding Officers Workshop holding in Maiduguri, to be professionally responsive and result oriented, while addressing the current security challenges facing the country.

The five-day workshop convened by the 2 Division Ibadan for Commanding Officers to interface and brainstorm on topical issues of security concern, confronting the nation under the theme “Empowering Unit Commanders to be professionally responsive.”

Buratai spoke through a representative, the Theatre Commander Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Lucky Irabor.

He reminded participants of the five-day workshop at the Maimalari cantonment Maiduguri, that the country is currently facing security challenges ranging from Boko Haram, kidnapping, communal clashes, cattle rustling and pipeline vandalism.

He noted there is a need for the military to reposition itself in order to face the challenges squarely.

“I expect that the first commanding officers workshop will provide a veritable avenue for unit commanders in the affected divisions, to contribute meaningful and workable inputs towards my desire to reposition the Nigerian Army to be professionally responsive in the discharge of its constitutional roles.” Buratai stated.

He advised that emphasis be placed on mission accomplishment in the outlined critical scenarios to equip unit commanders with a vast knowledge in confidence building, that would create a positive climate to foster trust and mutual understanding in arriving at solutions.
The General Officer Commanding 2 Division, Major General Chukwunedum Abraham said the commanding officers must wake up to their responsibilities, as  there is no bad soldier but bad officer.

General Abraham said: “The choice of the Northeast for the workshop is deliberate and timely, because of the Boko Haram insurgency ravaging the region, we must continue to strive for excellence, so as to improve our operational effectiveness and productivity, which will invariably stimulate citizen’s support and appreciation”.

The GOC urged the participants to put into use the knowledge acquired during the workshop, as they are expected to acquire enough knowledge to tackle the numerous security challenges facing the country.


Source: Channels TV

Nigerian Army probes church invasion by soldiers.

The 23rd Amoured Brigade of the Nigerian Army based in Yola, Adamawa State, has commenced investigation into the disruption last Sunday of a church service in Yola by some men in military uniform.

The men, suspected to be soldiers, were reportedly invited to the state headquarters of the Assemblies of God’s Church in Luggere Ward by a Reverend, Thomas Taro, during the Sunday service in an attempt to take over the church and remove the presiding pastor, Patrick Waziri.

But the brigade spokesman, Adamu Ngulde, a Major, said the army did not send any of its personnel to the church and has commenced moves to track those involved if at all they were genuine military men.

“The church told us that the men were not wearing their name tags. We contacted our officer in charge of counter insurgency as well as security in the town and he said he did not deploy soldiers to participate in any operation in the church.

“Besides, no civilian has the right to invite soldiers into a civil matter like this,” Mr. Ngulde said.

Mr. Ngulde said the military had already met with the authorities of the church and was looking for Mr. Taro who was said to have invited the said military men.

Speaking to journalists on his church’s experience, Mr. Waziri said the development had to do with the crisis rocking the national leadership of the church at its headquarters in Enugu.
Two men, Paul Emeka, a professor, and Chidi Okorofor, a Reverend, are contesting the leadership of the church.

Mr. Waziri said the Supreme Court had recently addressed the matter by asking the parties to embrace dialogue.

According to Mr. Waziri, the Supreme Court judgement did not give any party victory but said the parties should go and settle the dispute amicable.

Mr. Waziri said Mr. Taro, who belongs to Mr. Okoroafor‘s group, misinterpreted the judgement to mean the court gave his side victory and that was why he stormed the church with the soldiers to remove him.

He said Mr. Taro needed to know that since Mr. Emeka’s group, to which he (Waziri) belongs, is still in charge at the headquarters, nothing has changed.

“He (Taro) needs to know that he is not the one to enforce court judgement whenever the need arises; the presence of military was totally uncalled for.”

Mr. Waziri called for the review of the church’s constitution to check lapses that created room for the crisis.

“Most people have identified the need for the review of our constitution, which is obvious to safeguard such happenings in the future.”

When contacted on his involvement, Mr. Taro simply told journalists that he would not speak to the press until he had contacted the church’s national headquarters.


Source: Premium Times

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

Repentant Armed Bandits, Vigilantes Surrender Weapons To Army

Repentant armed bandits and livestock rustlers have continued to surrender their weapons to the military in Zamfara state, this is following the peace initiative by the state government together with the 1 Division Nigerian Army which started in 2016.

On Wednesday March 8, 2017, repentant armed bandits and local vigilante group called “’Yansakai” in Ruwan Tofa, ‘Yar Galadima and Babban Doka in Maru Local Government Area, Danwaren Daji in Tsafe Local Government Area, as well as Mada in Gusau Local Government Area of Zamfara State, handed over large quantities of dangerous arms and ammunition.

In a statement by Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka Usman said, 3 AK-47 Rifles, 1 foreign made Pistol, 1,169 Dane Guns, 323 Locally Made Pistols, 54 X Locally Made Revolvers, 102 Locally Made Multi-Barrel Pistols and 22 X Locally Made Double Barrel Rifles, were handed to 223 Battalion, 1 Brigade Nigerian Army in the presence of some state government officials and representatives of the various heads of security agencies in the State.

Over the last few months over a thousand assorted weapons have been surrendered across the North West Zone.


Source: Channels TV

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

Amnesty International hails army over decision to probe abuse of human rights

Amnesty International has commended the army for setting up a panel of inquiry to look into alleged human rights violation by its officers.

Tukur Buratai, chief of army staff, who established the panel, mandated it to investigate all allegations of extra-judicial execution, arbitrary arrests, detention as well as enforced disappearance of Boko Haram insurgents.

In a statement, Makmid Kamara, Amnesty International Nigeria’s interim director, said the step by the army is not only encouraging, but shows willingness to bring those responsible for such violations to book.

Kamara recommended the prosecution of all those found guilty, and suggested that they should be tried before civilian courts without recourse to the death penalty.

“This commitment from the Nigerian army to investigate human rights violations carried out by military personnel is encouraging,” the statement read.

“With our research showing that members of the Nigerian security forces continue to commit serious violations including extra-judicial executions, enforced disappearances, torture and other ill-treatment, such an investigation is sorely needed.

“The military’s announcement indicates its willingness to bring those responsible for such violations to account, and deliver justice for the many victims.

“While this is clearly a positive step, Amnesty International repeats its long-standing recommendation that any inquiry into human rights violations by the Nigerian army should be independent of the military, impartial and thorough, and its findings made public.”

Amnesty International has consistently accused the army and other security agencies of human rights violation.


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

Female suicide bomber disobeys Shekau, surrenders to Army.

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 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.

Source: Pulse

The military is on top of its game in the north-east – Osinbajo

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday said Nigerian security agencies were doing well to keep Boko Haram insurgents at bay in the north-east.

While receiving a briefing from the service chiefs, Osinbajo noted that the insurgent group had been heavily degraded.

He expressed satisfaction at the job done by the military but clamoured for vigilance, saying that the insurgents were now in the business of causing havoc with suicide bombers.

“As you know, the Boko Haram as a military force has been degraded. They are not holding territory at the moment. Our armed forces have been able to dislodge them from practically all territories they were holding in the past,” he said.

“What is happening now is just once in a while attack by suicide bombers. By the nature of asymmetric warfare, we are not able to say it has ended now. But I think that militarily they have been contained. There is no question at all that Boko Haram as a fighting force has been degraded.

“We are still vigilant because of their capacity to do damage with suicide bombers. I am very satisfied with what the military has done so far.

“And the briefing has shown graphically that they are really on top of their game and that they are doing excellently well in the Northeast.”

The Acting President also disclosed that he will speak with President Muhammadu Buhari, who’s on medical vacation in London, on the briefing received from the service chiefs.


Source: The Cable

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

We’ve rescued over 7,000 civilians from Sambisa forest – Nigerian Army

The Nigeria Army says so far, it has rescued about 7,898 civilians from Sambisa forest, a stronghold of the Boko Haram sect in Borno state.

Lucky Irabor, theatre commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, disclosed this during a press conference in Maiduguri, the state capital, on Wednesday.

Irabor also revealed that eight foreigners, including four Chadians, three Nigeriens and one Cameroonian were recently arrested.

He said troops have continued to record remarkable progress in the fight against insurgency.

“On the 7 February, troops killed 13 Boko Haram insurgents at  Sabarmari, Siraja Anzayi, at Chongodo village, while  arms and ammunition, vehicle and anti aircraft guns were recovered as well as  five women and children whom we suspected to be family members of Boko Haram,” he said.

“Nineteen Boko Haram terrorists were also killed at Butali Kura in Bulabulin axis and arms, ammunition were also recovered. List of terrorist names were also found one of the terrorist and four copies of the Holy Quran. During the operation, 59 women and children were rescued and are currently being profiled here at the theatre command.

“On the 22nd of February, troops along Damasak and Malamfatori also cleared 13 Boko Haram in an ambush operation.”


Source: The Cable

DHQ warns Amnesty, others to stop meddling in Nigeria’s security affairs

The Nigerian Defence Headquarters has warned international rights group, Amnesty International (AI) and other non-governmental organisations to desist from meddling in Nigeria’s security affairs.
Acting Director, Defence Information Brig.-Gen. Rabe Abubakar, in a statement in Abuja, said reports from AI showed that it never meant well for Nigeria.

AI criticised the military, accusing it of gross human rights abuses and extra-judicial killings in the Southeast and Northeast.

But Abubakar said the military maintained an open door policy and had been cooperating with stakeholders in ensuring that the armed forces remained one of the best and a proud institution for Nigerians.

Abubakar said: “Activities of AI in our nation have shown that AI never meant well for Nigeria and the situation is getting clearer to national and international communities what the AI is up to.
“This could be corroborated by inherent lopsidedness in the AI’s portrayal of Nigeria, its involvement in local politics and taking sides with terrorists and other belligerent groups to cause internal disorder, which no country can tolerate.

“The military in this new dispensation has maintained open door policy and has been cooperating with all stakeholders in ensuring that Nigerian Armed Forces remain one of the best and a proud institution for all Nigerians.

“For AI to be making spurious allegation, especially without substantiated and cogent reason, apart from those adduced by the AI itself for the reason best known to it and its collaborators, is disturbing and unethical of an international organisation that is supposed to stay clear of local politics and to be seen as maintaining neutrality in its reportage of the countries it operates.”

The Defence spokesperson said incessant negative report on Nigeria and the armed forces by AI “was condemnable by well-meaning Nigerians who have seen and appreciated what the military and other security agencies did to decimate Boko Haram terrorists and contain criminal elements”.
He alleged AI actions in Nigeria would succeed in giving insight into the possibility of the organisation sponsoring criminal gangs in achieving the sponsor’s intent.

Abubakar added: “As much as the military welcomes comments, criticisms and observations that could help the institution to grow higher for the interest of our nation, the activities of the AI, to say the least, is far from being noble. Al has negative mission in Nigeria. It is an agent of destabilisation, masquerading as a reputable international NGO, which Nigerians must rise up to this daunting challenge of not giving it the chance to truncate our hard earned democracy and unity.

“It does not operate like this in other nations of the world. Hence, the military once again condemns the activities of the AI and its affiliates in Nigeria. It is not until you write negative report about Nigeria before you are seen as working or justifying the huge amount you receive from international bodies.

“While the military and other security agencies remain focus in tackling the mirage of security problems in our nation, we urge our citizens, partners and international communities to continue to support Nigeria in its quest to free us from the hands of criminal elements, which AI and its cohorts are supporting.

“It is our conviction that, despite AI fanning the ember of disunity, hate and destabilisation in our land, Nigeria would continue to remain united, strong and prosperous to take her rightful place in the comity of nations.

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

Ex-Army Chief, Bamaiyi, plans tell-all book on Abacha regime role.

Former Chief of Army Staff, Ishaya Bamaiyi, says he has written a book, titled “Vindication Of The General” to correct “misinformation” about his role during the regime of former dictator, Sani Abacha.

Mr. Bamaiyi, who was charged in 1999 with the attempted murder of the publisher of the Guardian newspaper, Alex Ibru, is seen as one of the henchmen of the 1993-1998 Abacha regime.

He was discharged and acquitted on April 2, 2008 after nine years in detention.

“I have written a book for people to know what really happened to me during my active service inside and outside government,” he said when he received Deputy Senate Leader, Bala Ibn Na’Allah, who paid him a condolence visit on Sunday in Zuru, Kebbi State, over the death of a relation.

He said the date for the book launch will be made public as soon as all arrangements are concluded.

He used the opportunity to advise elders and youth of his native Zuru emirate to desist from acts that have brought political, social and economic underdevelopment of the area.

“Eight people expressed their desire to aspire for governorship from the emirate during our agitation for power in 2015 and the emirate was asked to produce a governor.

“At the end of the day, three that emerged as aspirants did not make it.

“Your religion is between you and your God and not with a fellow human being,” he said.

He expressed appreciation to the Deputy Senate Leader for the visit and the long standing relationship.

“Na’Allah has been in the team of my lawyers during my trials,” he said.

Mr. Na’Allah condoled Mr. Bamaiyi, his family, the people of Zuru and Kebbi State over the loss.

“I have made it a duty that whoever has a hand in making me what I am today will always be remembered and carried along,” he said.

Late Habila Andrew Nama, Mr. Bamaiyi’s relation, died in Port Harcourt after a protracted illness. He is survived by a wife and three children.

UNICEF Commends Army For Adequate Security Cover

A representative of the United Nations International Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF), Mohammed Fall, has said a more secure environment provided by the Nigerian Army, has helped them in no small measure to achieve their mandate.

This was revealed in a statement signed by the Deputy Director, Army Public Relations (7 Division), Lieutenant Colonel Kingsley Samuel.

Mr Fall made the position known when he led some officials of the UNICEF on a “thank you” visit to the Acting General Officer Commanding 7 Division, Brigadier General Victor Ezugwu.

The UNICEF representative noted that the secured environment provided by the military had paved way for them and other humanitarian agencies to fulfil their mandate.

He then reiterated their commitment to providing critical assistance to children caught up in the conflict in northeast Nigeria.

Meanwhile, the GOC applauded the level of synergy existing between the Nigerian Army and the UNICEF, and indeed other agencies.

He went on to inform the visiting team that a school that caters for over 5,000 pupils in Bakassi IDP Camp was built by the Division with the provision of educational and clothing materials.

Furthermore, he assured them of safety, protection and continuous collaboration in the discharge of their duties.

Man brutalised by 2 soldiers gets cash gift from army

The Nigerian Army has offered clothing and undisclosed amount of money as succour to Chijioke Orakwu, a physically challenged man, who was assaulted by two military police officers in Onitsha, Anambra state.

The officers had manhandled Orakwu at New Market Road in the cosmopolitan city for allegedly wearing army camouflage.

Sagir Musa, deputy director, public relations, 82 division of the Nigerian srmy, presented the item and cash on Friday.

Musa said the army would not condone acts of indiscipline or gross misconduct by any member.

He said the action of the officers did not reflect the attitude of “today’s soldiers under the leadership of Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai”.

“Already, those who perpetrated the act have been arrested and tried, and because of the seriousness of the offence, they have been referred to higher authorities for further action,” he said.

“The Nigerian Army is seriously concerned about the incident.

“We want to assure Nigerians, particularly the international community that the Nigerian Army has core values and respect for the rights of people.”

Musa said the army volunteered to take Orakwu to hospital but that he refused orthodox medication.

He added that the doctors, who examined him confirmed that he is fit.

The army spokesman emphasised that the items given to Orakwu were not to compensate him but to show that the Nigerian Army cares and respect rights of individuals.

“All we did was not an issue of compensation but to show Nigerians and the international public that the Nigerian Army is disciplined, responsive and responsible, and that we care,” he said.

The army, he said, had warned against the abuse of military uniforms, saying it remain its policy which it holds in high esteem.

West African force in Gambia to be reduced to 500 from 7,000.

The Gambian government on Friday said the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) multinational force will be cut to 500 troops from 7,000.

The troop had been in The Gambia, from where long-time leader Yahya Jammeh was forced to flee in January, paving the way for new President Adama Barrow to take office.

Mr. Jammeh, who had ruled since seizing power in a 1994 coup, refused to accepted Barrow’s victory in a Dec. 1, 2016 election.

A statement from Mr. Barrow’s office read on state television said that the gradual scaling down of the force would begin no later than February 19.

Troops from Gambia’s neighbour Senegal as well as from Ghana and Nigeria will make up the smaller operation, whose mandate begins on February 21 and will last for three months.

Their mission will include protecting Mr. Barrow and other government members and institutions as trust is established between the new authorities and Gambia’s military, which was a pillar of Mr. Jammeh’s authoritarian regime.

Mr. Barrow had initially requested that the ECOWAS force’s mission be extended by six months, a senior United Nations official said late in January.


Source: Reuters

Rise in cost of food blamed on extortion by Police, Army, Customs personnel at ports, checkpoints.

The Federal Government has blamed the rise in the cost of food prices on what he called extortionist practices of men of the Nigerian Police, Army, and Nigerian Customs Services at the nations various checkpoints and ports.

Members of the joint committee on Agriculture were stunned when the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh made the allegation
yesterday during a budget defence session at the National Assembly.

Ogbeh lamented that despite having written formally to the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, Comptroller General of Customs, Hameed Ali and other heads of security agencies over their officials’ fraudulent practices, the practice had not stopped.

According to him, the high cost of diesel, which now sells for N300 per litre is another factor responsible for the skyrocketing prices of food items, explaining that trucks and vehicles transporting farm produce are powered by diesel.

Ogheh further stated that other factors responsible for high prices of food items include the treaty on free movement of goods and services put in place by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) among member states, which he said gives room for movement of not less than 300,000 trucks of grains outside Nigeria on a daily basis, which the ministry cannot check.

The minister however, assured the committee that the Federal Government would soon ensure a reduction in prices of the food items via the committee set up to that effect, but expressed surprise that farmers were already kicking against the move.

According to him, farmers were angry with him over the move because they see the situation on ground as very favourable economically to them.

The minister said one of such farmers tackled him in Katsina recently, urging him not to tamper with the present price of food items by claiming that he made N4 million from the sales of sorghum, which had catapulted him from the realm of poverty to that of affluence.

Another farmer in Anambra state also claimed to have reaped N1 million profit from the sale of rice as a result of the current market price.

Sambisa forest to host 2017 Army Championship

The Nigerian Army has disclosed that the captured Sambisa Forest in Borno State will host the 2017 Nigerian Army Small Arms Championship, NASAC 2017.

This disclosure was made known by Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka Usman, in a statement made available to newsmen on Wednesday.

Usman said the Nigerian Army Engineers, NAE Corps has mobilized to site and commenced access roads clearance and construction of range and other facilities.

This is coming after the forest, which has served as the fortress of the dreaded Boko Haram sect for several years was reportedly captured by the Nigerian Army.

The convener of the Bring Back Our Girls, BBOG group, Oby Ezekwesili, has, however, said that the capture of Boko Haram’s stronghold, Camp Zairo by the military in December last year, was not equal to capturing the dreaded Sambisa forest.



Sambisa forest to host 2017 Army Championship

PHOTOS: Army to hold Weapons Championship in Sambisa Forest.

The Nigerian Army has begun preparations to hold the 2017 edition of its Weapons Championship inside the once dreaded Sambisa Forest.


In a statement on Wednesday by its spokesman, Brigadier General Sani Usman, the Army has begun construction of the range and  other facilities.

The statement said, “The Nigerian Army Engineers (NAE) Corps in a bid to actualize the directive of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai, of holding this year’s Nigerian Army Small Arms Championship (NASAC 2017), in Sambisa Forest, Borno State, has mobilised to site and commenced access roads clearance and construction of range and other facilities.”


See photos below:




Nigerian Army Apprehends Soldiers That Molested Physically Challenged Person

The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to a video clip in which two soldiers were seen maltreating a physically challenged person for allegedly wearing a camouflage shirt.


Army spokesman SK Usman said “we wish to inform the public that the incident took place on Tuesday 7th February 2017, at Onitsha, Anambra State.”


Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka USman who is the Director Nigeria Army Public Relation added “in line with our zero tolerance for acts of indiscipline and unprofessional conducts especially in relation to violation of human rights, we wish to further state that the soldiers involved have since been identified and apprehended.”


“They have also been charged for assault by their Commanding Officer,” SK Usman.


Similarly, troops have been warned to desist from such acts that infringe on human rights and cast serious aspersions on the good image of the Nigerian Army.


The public should please regard this ugly incident as an isolated case which is not true reflection of the Nigerian Army.


See Video of the barbaric act below:


Nigerian Army alerts public as fraudsters drop Buratai’s name.

The Nigerian Army has said it has noted with serious concern the activities of some fraudsters using the name of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, to defraud innocent citizens.

The army spokesman, Brigadier General Sani Usman, said in a statement on Thursday that the fraudsters were employing various means and techniques through the use of the internet and social media to perpetrate the criminal acts.

Usman said: “These includes name-dropping, claiming that they were sent to solicit for assistance or patronage, using the name and photographs of the Chief of Army Staff Lt.-Gen. T.Y. Buratai to create various social media accounts with the intent of currying favours and financial assistance, amongst other tricks.

“The Nigerian Army wishes to make it emphatically clear that at no time has Lt.-Gen. T.Y. Buratai solicited for funds and assistance through individuals, groups and any of the social media platforms.

“In view of this, members of the general public are therefore enjoined to be wary of such persons or groups and social media accounts in the name of the Chief of Army Staff.

“Efforts are ongoing to track and apprehend such persons.

“All are please requested to be vigilant and to report such suspected persons to the nearest Police Station, Nigerian Army formations or units and other security agencies.”

Repentant Boko Haram terrorist recounts 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 recognised 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 amputated 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 Nigeriens.


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

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.”

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.

Recruitment into Nigerian Army is free – Official

The Nigerian Army has said recruitment into the army is free and no one is expected to pay for it.

The Army said this in a statement by its spokesperson, Sani Usman.
Read Mr. Usman’s full statement below:

The attention of the Nigerian Army  has been drawn to activities of fraudsters demanding money from applicants of the 76 Regular Recruits Intake for trades/non trades men and women. The fraudsters posing as army officers with the names, Lieutenant Femi and Lieutenant Gbenga Danjuma respectively, operate with the GSM number 08165007425.

The Army wishes to state that the processing of application forms into the Army is free of charge. Applicants are advised to log on towww.narecruitment.org to process their application forms or if in doubts, call the following phone numbers: 08038575725 or 08061541440.

While effort is ongoing to track and apprehend the fraudulent syndicates, the general public should note that the NA does not charge applicants money or gratification for whatever reasons. The public is therefore encouraged to report any person or group parading himself or herself as an agent of the NA for the ongoing recruitment exercise.

The general public is also advised to be wary of dubious offers of recruitment especially through the internet and report such offers or person to the nearest Nigerian Army unit or formation and police stations.


Gambia army chief says troops will not fight intervention

Gambia’s army chief said Wednesday he would not order his men to fight other African troops if they enter Gambian territory, speaking as Senegalese and other troops massed on his nation’s borders.

The Senegalese troops backed by other African forces are on standby to move into The Gambia as President Yahya Jammeh approaches a midnight deadline to stand down or face military action after refusing to leave at the end of his term.

“We are not going to involve ourselves militarily. This is a political dispute,” Chief of Defence Staff Ousman Badjie said, after eating dinner in a tourist district close to the capital, Banjul, eyewitnesses told AFP.

“If they (Senegalese) come in, we are here like this,” Badjie said, making a hands up to surrender gesture.

Badjie is no stranger to controversy after appearing to declare support for president-elect Adama Barrow and then switching back to Jammeh.

He was recently barred from visiting Gambian peacekeepers in Darfur due to the sensitivity of The Gambia’s ongoing political crisis, which has seen Jammeh repeatedly refuse to step down despite losing a December 1 election to opponent Barrow.

“Our troops are on alert… The ultimatum takes effect at midnight,” when Jammeh’s mandate is due to expire, Senegal army spokesman Colonel Abdou Ndiaye told AFP ahead of the deadline.


Source: Guardian

Nigerian Army to give N500,000 reward for information on suicide bombers

The Nigerian Army says it is offering N500,000 reward for credible information that leads to the arrest of would-be suicide bombers or their hideouts.

The Army spokesperson, Sani Usman, disclosed this via a press statement on Tuesday.

The army had about three years ago promised a N50 million reward for any information that would lead to the arrest of Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau.

Mr. Usman, a brigadier general, said the army is worried by the disturbing proportion of suicide bombings in the north-east; particularly in Maiduguri and Madagali areas.

Dozens of people have been killed in the past few months by suicide bombers as the military continues the offensive against Boko Haram. The latest of such incident led to the death of the at least four people on Monday at the University of Maiduguri.

“Consequently, the Nigerian Army is offering a reward of the sum of N500,000 for any information that leads to the arrest of a suicide bomber, the guide to the suicide bomber, or discovery of the transit house or factory of the suicide bombers,” the statement reads.

He said the cash offer by the Nigerian Army “is to further encourage law abiding citizens to actively join the war against terrorists and our collective security”.

Mr. Usman assured prospective informants that “all information received would be treated with utmost confidentiality and acted upon with despatch.”

He gave the following numbers and officers to be contacted in case of any vital information:-

1. Theatre Commander, Operations LAFIYA DOLE, Maiduguri- 09064823221.

2. General Officer Commanding 7 Division Maiduguri- 09078599985.

3. Commander, 7 Division Garrison Maiduguri-08022375305

4. Commander, 28 Brigade, Mubi-08065504576.

5. Commander, 26 Brigade, Gwoza-+234 809 721 1700 (WhatsApp)

6. Director, Army Public Relations, Abuja-07080217992.

7. Commander, 7 Division Military Intelligence Brigade Maiduguri-09021668444.

Ex-soldiers allege funds’ misuse as government remembers fallen heroes

Amid allegations of embezzlement of emblem funds and non-payment of pension arrears, the grand finale of the 2017 Armed Forces Remembrance Day was celebrated across the country yesterday.At the celebration in Abuja, President Muhammadu Buhari who led Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and other top government officials to the Eagle Square, venue of the event commended the armed forces for their contribution to the survival and development of the country.

These allegations have thrown up the need for the government to pay more attention to the welfare of its former military personnel. This would boost the morale of those who are currently in service and are faced with risks in a bid to protect the country or as peacekeepers outside the nation.

He particularly expressed satisfaction with the performance of Nigerian troops ?in foreign missions, and commended them for the honour their various adventures have brought to the country, even as he urged them to maintain the standard.Buhari, through a satellite video-conferencing medium, interacted with Nigerian troops of Operation Lafiya Dole fighting in Sambisa forest, the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) as well as the Air Force base in Yola as part of activities for the event.

The president spoke through Major General Victor Ezugwu, Acting GOC, 7 Division, Nigerian Army (Sambisa Forest); Major General Salihu Uba, Force Commander for the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL); and Air Commodore Charles Owoh, Air Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Air Force Base Yola. Buhari lauded the courage and gallantry of the troops, and said Nigerians were proud of them.

Also present at the event were the Senate President, Bukola Saraki; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen; service chiefs; and the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris.

The president laid the traditional wreath at the foot of the statue of the unknown soldier, followed by the vice president and other top government officials.Other activities included the inspection parade carried out by the president, traditional 21-gun salute, signing of anniversary register, and release of white pigeons.

At the celebration in Kano, retired soldiers expressed displeasure with the management of monies being generated on armed forces emblem and accused the leadership of the Nigerian Legion in the state of embezzling the annual donation.The ex-service men who spoke at Mallam Kato Square, venue of the celebration, expressed regret that those primarily meant to benefit from the emblem funds never had the opportunity.

The Spokesman of the Retired Army, Navy and Air forces Association (RANAO), Captain Abdulmaliq Yusuf, called for the abolition of the yearly ritual, describing the celebration as a waste of resources which ought to have been deployed to take care of retired soldiers.

The call came after Governor Abdullahi Ganduje applauded the patriotism, commitment and sacrifice of Nigerian Armed Forces in tackling internal and external threats.One of the retired soldiers, Abubakar Aminu told journalists that he never benefitted from the yearly donations just as he questioned the credibility of those entrusted to manage the funds.

“We only hear millions of naira every year, we don’t know where the money goes. Nobody, not even the leadership of the legion would tell us where the money is going and when you ask the chairman, no serious response,” Abubakar explained.

Another ex-service man, Iliasu Tsoho said: “ The purpose of the money being generated we were told is to be used to assist families of the late soldiers. Many children who lost their fathers on active service don’t have any source of finance now. If you go to the state secretariat of the legion you will see how many of the retired soldiers who cannot feed themselves left alone send their children to school. Honestly so many soldiers are suffering because they were unable to receive their pension for several years.”

In Plateau State, the Chairman of the Nigerian Legion, Col. Danladi Rwang (rtd) appealed to the Federal Government to pay them their nine-month pension arrears.Speaking yesterday at the wreath laying ceremony at the J.D. Gomwalk Secretariat Round About Cenotaph, Jos , Rwang commended Governor Simon Bako Lalong for donating N3million to the legionaries.

The governor had earlier in the week given them a new bus to convey them to wherever they want to go. He also donated a tractor to the ex-service men to help them engage in farming.Former Vice President and chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC), Atiku Abubakar charged the armed forces to emulate their counterparts abroad by inventing arms required to defend the nation.In a statement, Atiku said he was looking forward to the day Nigerian military personnel would join the list of military inventors and designers such as Mikhail Kalashnikov of Russia, the designer of the famous AK-47 assault rifles.

While congratulating the armed forces, the former vice president advised the military leadership to create special units for research to help Nigeria produce its weapons, among others, locally to reduce the dependence on foreign countries for arms.He expressed optimism that the Defence Industries Corporation (DIC), Kaduna would one day showcase the inventiveness, and technical acumen of the Nigerian military.

Source: Guardian

Boko Haram’s market discovered, 13 insurgents killed.

The Nigerian Army on Sunday said a night market belonging to Boko Haram members was discovered, while 13 insurgents were killed.

Sani Usman, director of army public relations, disclosed this in a statement issued on Sunday.

He added that some captives were rescued, and that some fighting equipment were seized.

“The army troop also rescued 58 persons comprising 35 women and 23 children held in captive by the terrorists,” he said in a statement.

“During the operations, the troops met stiff resistance from suspected terrorists, eight of whom were neutralised around Sinbaya.

“As part of the clearance operations of remnants and fleeing Boko Haram terrorists in the north-east, troops have continually carried out raids, patrols and cordon operations.

“It is in that regards that troops of 112 Task force battalion, 22 Brigade, Nigerian Army on Operation Lafiya Dole, conducted joint operations with vigilantes and civilian JTF in suspected terrorists hide outs.

“In the last two days, the troops have carried out patrols and clearance operations in various villages and towns in Dikwa local government area.

“On Thursday, January 13, with the assistance of some local vigilantes and civilian JTF, the troops carried out fighting patrols and clearance operations in Awada and Sinbaya villages.

“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.

“Yesterday (Saturday), they also carried out a joint patrol to Agulari, Kirinari, Gubdori and Yale villages, including Talwari village, which served as harbour for the terrorists.

“Although the terrorists have abandoned the locations, the troops observed traces of their activities such as hoisted Boko Haram flags in the area.

“Troops also arrested the terrorists’ food store keeper and recovered two Isuzu vehicles, grinding machines and vehicles workshop tools.

“They 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 patrol recovered one Toyota truck at Kajeri and arrested one Boko Haram terrorist in Boskoro village.

“However, one soldier sustained injury during the operation and is receiving medical attention,’’ the statement stated.”

Usman reminded members of the public to always pass information on suspicious persons in their environment to security agencies.

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.

JUST IN: Nigerian, Senegalese troops on standby as President Buhari jets out to the Gambia

There is apprehension in The Gambia as the Information Ministry yesterday said President Yayah Jammeh would not step down when his mandate ends on January 18, in spite of his electoral defeat.

The autocrat, who ruled the small West African nation for 22 years, will remain in office until the Supreme Court decides on a petition filed by Jammeh. According to a report by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Jammeh is challenging the result of the December 1 presidential election. But the President-elect, Adama Barrow reiterated he was planning to take office on January 19, as scheduled.

Observers fear that the refusal of Jammeh to accept the outcome of the election, which is causing delays to the planned handover of power, could lead to violence that will cripple social and economic development of the country.The Gambia’s ‘current dysfunctional’ Supreme Court had adjourned hearing Jammeh’s petition till January 16 since only one of a required minimum of five judges was present.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari will today jet out to Banjul, the capital of The Gambia and thereafter proceed to Bamako, the Malian capital to attend the 27th Africa-France summit holding from January 13 to 14, 2017.

In Banjul, President Buhari, as the mediator in The Gambia, is scheduled to meet with Jammeh and Barrow to continue dialogue on the political impasse in the West African country. Buhari will be joined by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia and Chairperson of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government; President Ernest Koroma of Sierra Leone; and the immediate past President of Ghana, John Mahama, who is the co-meditator of The Gambian mission.

A statement from the Presidential Villa, Abuja yesterday said the Summit for Partnership, Peace and Emergence, convened by French President Francois Hollande is aimed at strengthening cooperation between France and African countries in the areas of peace and security, economic partnership and development.

Recognising the role played by France in the successes so far recorded in the implementation of the regional initiative against terrorism, President Buhari will reaffirm Nigeria’s commitment to global efforts on the war against terror and underline the need for improved collaboration to address the menace of terrorism in the region.

It was learnt yesterday that the Nigerian Army had raised an army battalion that would be deployed in troubled The Gambia to forcefully remove Jammeh from power if he failed to step down on January 19.A report by an online publication, PREMIUM TIMES indicated that the battalion, christened ECOMOG NIBATT 1, was drawn from the Army’s 19th Battalion based in Okitipupa, Ondo State.

Personnel were also drawn from other formations and units across the country due to shortage of men at 19 Battalion which has a significant chunk of its troops deployed for internal security task force, Operation Delta Safe.

According to the report, the Army Headquarters has instructed the nominated officers and men, put at over 800, to immediately report at the Nigerian Army School of Infantry, Jaji, for a crashed course on counter-terrorism and counter insurgency.

The Army Headquarters has also instructed the directorates of policy and plans; finance; and logistics to get ready funds, arms, ammunition and other logistics for the operation. The Armoured Corps is also working hard to get ready armoured vehicles needed for the task, the online publication said, quoting official sources.

There were suggestions by some of the sources that the Nigerian Air Force and the Navy might deploy men and equipment for the operation as well.Top military officers said the Nigerian Battalion would be deployed in The Gambia anytime after January 19 if Jammeh makes real his threat not to step down after the expiration of his tenure.

“This is an emergency operation, but we are ready,” one officer said. “The Nigerian Army is a strong, professional fighting force battle ready at anytime. We are so well structured that we can deploy at the touch of a button.

“We did it in Liberia, Sierra Leone and elsewhere. And Jammeh should know that we are not a joking force. Once we get it all clear from ECOWAS, the AU and the UN to move in, we can pick him up.”

The regional bloc, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), had on December 23 put standby military forces on alert.The ECOWAS Commission President, Marcel de Souza, said Senegal, The Gambia’s only territorial neighbour, would lead any military operation in the country. Other West African countries will be mandated to provide troops as well, Mr. De Souza reportedly said.

However, at President Buhari’s meeting with security chiefs at the Presidential Villa in Abuja yesterday on the prevailing insecurity in southern Kaduna, the Niger Delta and other parts of the countr, the Minister of Defence, Mohammed Dan-Ali clarified that no conclusion had been reached on the issue of standby force to be deployed to The Gambia.

He added that the matter of forceful removal of Jammeh would be handled by ECOWAS.Jammeh lost the December 1, 2016 The Gambia presidential election to opposition candidate, Barrow. He initially accepted defeat and congratulated Barrow but changed his mind and decided to challenge the outcome of the election. He also vowed not to hand over to the winner as expected on January 19.


Source: Guardian

Finally, Army to launch special offensive to end southern Kaduna killings

Tukur Buratai, chief of army staff, says the military will commence a special operation in the southern part of Kaduna to end the persistent killings.

Fulani herdsmen have been accused of carrying out killings in southern Kaduna, which led to the declaring of a 24-hour curfew in three local governments areas of the state.

The curfew has since been relaxed by 12 hours in Zangon-Kataf and Kaura, but Jema’a’s is still in full force.

Speaking with journalists on Thursday at the state house after a five-hour meeting with security chiefs and President Muhammadu Buhari, Buratai said the operation would cover parts of Plateau and Kano states.

He said that the military operation — operation Lafiya Dole — would continue in the Sambisa Forest where troops ?recently flushed out remnants of Boko Haram insurgents.

“Our troops are already in southern Kaduna. We have our special forces operating there along with all other security agencies and we intend also to have an exercise very soon in Southern Kaduna to cover some parts of Plateau and parts of Kano states.,” he said.

?”So, it is part of our strategy for this year to continue all the exercises we have had before. We will be having ‘Exercise Kunama 2?, which will come to Southern Kaduna state and parts of Plateau and Kano states.

“Crocodile smile in the Niger Delta and indeed the ‘Python Dance’ [will continue], but we are going to rename the ‘Python Dance’ for the South East? this year also.”?
Also speaking with journalists, Mansur Dan Ali, minister of defence, said they were “able to come to conclusion on almost all the crises that are going on across the country.”

“The southern Kaduna, the Niger Delta issues and other major crisis areas were discussed and resolutions were passed,” Ali said.

“In southern Kaduna, we have our troops being moved and ?they have already taken places, operations are going on and I believe that very soon it will come to an end.”

The meeting was also attended by Ibrahim Idris, inspector-general of police (IGP), Lawan Daura; director-general of the department of state service (DSS) amongst others.

Army ‘recovers’ camouflage of Shekau’s security guards

The Nigerian Army says it recovered more items of suspected Boko Haram insurgents during a mop-up operation around Camp Zairo in Sambisa forest.


Lucky Irabor, theater commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, said this while briefing reporters in Maiduguri, Borno state capital.


Irabor said the items included a pair of black uniform with camouflage design often used by security guards of Abubakar Shekau in his videos.


“On January 5, at about 1000hrs, our troops conducted a mop-up operation around Camp Zairo general area and recovered additional Boko Haram terrorists’ items,” he said.


“They included a pair of black uniform with camouflage design on the edges, a précis on motar operation written in Arabic, one big size of the Qur’an, and 4 notebooks containing names of terrorists.


“The items also include a list of the terrorists locs, a list of IED materials and method of preparation and breakdown of quantities of arms and ammunition issued to their members.


“There were also some instructions written in Arabic and a small Boko Haram flag with Arabic inscription.”

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.

“We didn’t kill over 2000 Igbo youths”, Nigerian Army denies CD’s allegations.

The Nigerian Army has refuted the allegation by the Campaign for Democracy (CD) that no fewer than 2000 Igbo youths were killed under the guise of rules of engagement between August 2015 and August 2016.

The Deputy Director Army Public Relations of the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Enugu, Col. Sagir Musa, denied the allegation in a statement in Awka yesterday.

The military said it has investigated these allegations of rights violations and the results showed that the claim was false, malicious and should therefore, be ignored.

According to Musa: “It is the same position that this rejoinder has soundly adopted.”

The statement said in part: “The attention of Headquarters 82 Division Nigerian Army has again been drawn to an unjustified and over flogged accusation, this time, by the Campaign for Democracy (CD) of “Mass killings of Igbo Youths by the Nigerian Army.

“For emphasis and clarity, the Nigerian Army as an accountable, morally and professionally sound organisation had variously through its human rights desk at the army headquarters, painstakingly investigated allegations of rights violations and the results indicated specifically that this claim is false, malicious and should therefore, be ignored for the sake of Nigeria.

Army kills 5 ‘cultists’ in Rivers community where policemen were murdered

Troops of 6 Division, Nigerian Army on Wednesday shot dead five suspected cultists during a gun battle in Omoku, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni local government area of Rivers state.

Mohammed Alkali, a deputy superintendent of police (DSP), and his orderly were beheaded in the community during the legislative rerun election in the state.

Kasimu Abdulkarim, general officer commanding (GOC) 6 Division, Port Harcourt, confirmed the killings of the suspects, saying the battle was part of ‘Operation Cleanup’ of cultists and militants “terrorizing” residents.

Abdulkarim said this year, troops have recovered five AK 47 assault rifles from cultists in the area.

“Army 6 Division has recorded appreciable successes in its bid to rid the local government of cultists and brigands,” Abdulkarim added.

Quoting sources, NAN said troops stormed the area after receiving distress call over the cultists’ activities.

A witness said the suspects invaded Omoku town on Tuesday night and shot dead two unidentified young men before making attempt to escape.

“After killing the men, they shot sporadically before soldiers closed in on them”, a witness said.

Army bars soldiers on duty from posting pictures, videos on social media

The Nigerian army has barred its men from uploading pictures and videos of their operations on social media.

According to Daily Trust, Adeniyi Oyebade, a lieutenant-general and general officer commanding (GOC) 1 Division Mechanized Army, Kaduna, gave the directive on Tuesday.

Oyebade said this when he represented Tukur Buratai, chief of army staff, at the graduation ceremony of Men of Nigerian Battalion (NIBBAT) 46, which held at the Nigerian Army Peace Keeping Centre (NAPKC), Jaji in Kaduna.

“It is prohibited to upload any picture with your uniforms while in operation,” he was quoted as saying.

“Specifically, I want to warn you on the use of social media. While you are on operation, you may want to take photo shot of some good moment but you should be very careful while doing that.

“Avoid any picture or video that has to do with your colleague or operation. You are barred not to upload such information. It is prohibited to upload any picture with your uniforms while in operation because it will become a pragmatic problems for the Nigerian Army.”

Soldiers participating in the fight against insurgency are fond of posting pictures and videos on social media, especially after victories over insurgents.

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.

Nigerian Army Arrests 40 Foreigners After Fall Of Sambisa Forest

More than 40 foreigners have been arrested in the last one week, following the fall of the dreaded Sambisa Forest, The Nation has learnt.

The profiling of the foreigners has started to determine whether or not they were working in cahoots with Boko Haram insurgents, who are fleeing their former stronghold.

The military has blocked all known entry and exit points to Sambisa Forest to hem in the remnants of the insurgents.

According to a military source, the identities of the foreigners and their missions in Sambisa Forest will not be revealed until after a thorough screening has been completed.

Intelligence officers are profiling the foreigners, who are suspected to be providing “back-up” for Boko Haram.

The source said: “”In the last one week since we launched massive operations in Sambisa Forest,  we have arrested over 40 foreigners.

“We will come up with the details later after the profiling of these suspects. They are all being debriefed. But we discovered that there were so many foreigners in the midst of Boko Haram.

“We have also rescued  a lot of people who are being screened too.”

Responding to a question, the source explained the significance of the military routing of the insurgents in Sambisa.

He said the troops’ success was no fluke.

He added: “As for the operations in Sambisa Forest, our gallant troops have successfully taken over Camp Zero and Camp S (Shape) which are the headquarters of Boko Haram.

“The success of the operations is significant because there is no habitation beyond these areas in Sambisa Forest. The area is about 66,000 sq kilometres and there are so many parts uninhabited.

“Many insurgents, including their leaders, were killed and many were captured. Many insurgents are now fleeing. The situation now is that Boko Haram insurgents have been dispersed and dislocated.”

On the fate of the remaining Chibok girls, the source said: “The fleeing Boko Haram insurgents must have relocated them from Sambisa Forest but we are already hunting for them.”

Director of Defence Information Brig-Gen. Rabe Abubakar, said: “The operation in Sambisa Forest is still ongoing. Troops are not relenting. We are now all over the place. We’ll ensure no entry to Sambisa Forest; no exit.”

“We have advised Nigerians to be wary of fleeing insurgents who may likely disguise.”

A source in the Department of State Services (DSS) yesterday said the invasion of Sambisa Forest had entered the second phase, which is the pursuit of the fleeing insurgents.

The source, who admitted that the operations in Sambisa were both intelligence-driven and military onslaughts, said the elimination of the insurgents from the forest was 90 per cent completed.

The security chief added: “We have finished almost 90 per cent of the job with Boko Haram. We are now in the second phase which is the most difficult. We are pursuing the fleeing Boko Haram insurgents.

“The good thing is that we prepared for this fallout (the fleeing of the insurgents) long before the takeover of Sambisa Forest. We are trained professionals to curtail the effects of Boko Haram insurgency, especially the fallout of routing them out.

“We are apprehending the fleeing insurgents. Even yesterday, we took some of them in.”

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.

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.”

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.”

Army: We’ve addressed the complaints of soldiers begging Buhari for food, water.

The Nigerian army says the complaints raised by soldiers who released a video to draw the attention of President Muhammadu Buhari to their plight, have been resolved.

In the video, which was uploaded on Youtube on Tuesday, angry soldiers were seen lamenting that they had been abandoned at a location without food and water for three days.

One of the officers even said 70 of his colleagues fainted as a result of the situation.

But in a swift response, Sani Usman, army spokesman, said the issues raised had been addressed.

He said the video was shot when troops captured Alagarno forest in Borno state some six months ago, blaming some “mischievous elements” for the recent circulation.

“The attention of Nigerian army has been drawn to a video clip circulating on social media of soldiers alleging lack of food and water,” he said in a statement.

“We wish to state that the video clip was shot more than six months ago by some mischievous and disgruntled elements when 29 task force brigade captured Alagarno Forest and environs in Borno state.

“It is disheartening that some mischievous elements have decided to circulate it now, creating the false impression that it is a recent occurrence.

“We wish to state further that the matter was conclusively investigated at the time, several months ago. The board of inquiry actually showed that, as at the time of the incident, the unit’s water tanker still contained water, but a soldier mischievously concealed it. That soldier was charged and punished accordingly.

“In addition to the unit’s water tanker, a borehole was subsequently drilled at the location and it is still serving both the military and adjoining communities.

“We wish to restate with utmost concern the continued commitment of the Nigerian Army to the total welfare of all its personnel.”

Army sends officers to Argentina to learn cattle rearing.

Tukur  Buratai, chief of army staff, says some army officers have been sent to Argentina to learn cattle rearing.

Speaking at the launch of Mogadishu cantonment mammy market in Abuja on Tuesday, Buratai, who was represented by Patrick Akem, chief of army logistics, said the army would set up cattle ranches in all its divisions.

A statement issued by PRNigeria quoted Buratai as saying that in keeping with modern cattle-rearing tradition, he sent “officers of the army to Argentina to look at how cattle are reared”.

“Argentina has a population of 41 million people, but it feeds about 400 million people around the world with its beef,” he said.

“To take it to the next level, we want to adopt a system where the cattle are not just free ranging coming from Sokoto to Port Harcourt, thereby making their meat tough to eat; the products will soon be coming from our own farms and ranches.”

He said he created the Barrack Investment Initiative as a platform to give families of staff the opportunity to create fishing ponds, fruit and vegetable gardens, keep livestock, and poultry.

According to Buratai, the intention of the army is not only to secure the country but also to contribute in growing the economy.

“We want to tell our wives that they can live beyond the salaries of their husbands, so we are trying to empower the women in the barracks to be able to form co-operatives, so as to access loans and to a large extent be able to fend for themselves and their families, even without the salaries of their husbands,” he added.

Buhari Celebrates 74th Birthday, Salutes Army For Colourful Parade (PHOTOS)

President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday marked his 74th birthday anniversary with a special birthday parade and inspection of the Guard of Honour mounted by the Nigerian Army.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event, which took place at the fore-court of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, witnessed the Inspection of Guard by the president.

The Guard Brigade, headed by the Commander, Brigade of Guards, Musa Yusuf, also performed a Special Birthday Silent Drills, accompanied with special military birthday song in honour of the president.

Happy Birthday to President Buhari. Picture taken this morning at the Special 74th Birthday Parade for President Buhari at the State House

President Buhari also cut a birthday cake and released 74 pigeons from a cage as part of the activities marking the anniversary.

NAN reported that President Buhari also signed birthday anniversary register where he wrote: “I am impressed with the special drills presented by the Guard Brigade.’’

NAN further reported that service chiefs, Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris; some ministers, including Lai Mohammed and Muhammad Bello of the FCT; Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari; Presidential spokesmen, Femi Adesina and Garba Shehu attended the event.

The Chief of Defence Staff, Gabriel Olonishakin, who briefly spoke with State House correspondents, congratulated the president on his 74th anniversary.

He said: “We are celebrating the birthday of the president and we wish him well and good health…”

Read More:


12 soldiers killed in jihadist attack on Burkina Faso army

Authorities say at least 12 soldiers are dead after dozens of Islamic extremists attacked an army barracks in northern Burkina Faso.


The jihadists stormed the barracks early on Friday in Nassoungou, a town near the Malian border that is about 260km from Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou.


The assailants also set fires to the premises, including tents and military vehicles, a security official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to journalists.


There was no immediate claim of responsibility.


This West African country has seen a number of assaults since al-Qaeda-linked extremists attacked in Ouagadougou in January, killing 30 people.


Burkina Faso’s president was set to travel to Nigeria for a meeting on the Gambia crisis but has canceled his trip.

Army decorates spokesman as Brigadier-General

The spokesman of the Nigeria Army, Sani Usman, has, been decorated with his new rank of Brigadier-General.


Mr. Usman was decorated by the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai.


Mr. Usman was among the officers promoted last week by the Army.


The Chief of Army Staff, Mr. Buratai, said 227 senior officers had been promoted to their next ranks.


Of the number, 21 were promoted from the rank of Brigadier General to Major General; while 93 of them were elevated from the rank of Colonel to Brigadier General.

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”.

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…

Army commandant killed in front of Ibadan residence

Anthony Okeyim, commandant, Command Secondary School, Ibadan, was on Monday found dead at his apartment located within the school’s premises.

Adekunle Ajisebutu, Oyo state police public relations officer, confirmed the incident to reporters, saying the force was treating the issue as a suspected case of murder.

“I can confirm to you that the deceased was found dead in front of his apartment around 6:30am on Monday,” he said.

“We are treating it as a case of suspected murder.”

According to NAN, the deceased was reportedly strangled to death by suspected assassins who attacked him in front of his official quarters.

“The state Commissioner of Police, Samuel Adegbuyi, had visited the school immediately the case was reported,” he said.

“Police investigation had begun and the investigating team is working with the military police investigating team.

“We have also beefed up security around the area.”

A friend of the deceased, who preferred to remain anonymous, said Okeyim was promoted three weeks ago and was waiting to be decorated with his new rank.

#RiversRerun: Army denies killing, ballot snatching during election.

The Nigerian Army has described as false the allegation that it was involved in alleged killings, ballot snatching and mass arrest during Saturday’s legislative rerun election.

The General Officer Commanding, 6 Division, Maj.-Gen. Kasimu Abdulkarim, explained that though soldiers provided security during the exercise, the claims by “some respected politicians” they were involved in unwholesome practices were targeted at tarnishing the image of the Army.

Abdulkarim, in a statement made available to our correspondent on Sunday via electronic mail, maintained that soldiers only provided perimeter defence to ward off hoodlums and miscreants.

He pointed out that the Nigerian Army had acted swiftly by providing aid to the Nigeria Police during the rerun election in response to security breaches in some areas.

“The alleged killing and mass arrest by soldiers in Tai and Gokana LGAs of Rivers State was false.

“These people allegedly accused soldiers of ballot box snatching, illegal escorts of some politicians, arrest and detention of voters during the general conduct of the elections.

“The weighty nature of these allegations could cause members of the public to view soldiers negatively, hence the need to adequately inform the general public on the true perspective.

The public thus need to consider them as mere farce to garner public sympathy.

“The 6 Division, Nigerian Army, remains apolitical in the conduct of the election. Its soldiers provided perimeter defence to ward off hoodlums and miscreants. Nigerian Army troops were in no way involved in any form of ballot box snatching, neither were they involved in the escort of politicians as alleged.

“They (soldiers) acted swiftly in response to security breaches in order to enforce the law, provide aid to the Nigeria Police and other security agencies especially in areas like Abonema, Etche, Gokana, Ikwere, Eleme, Tai, Khana and Omoku amongst others,” the statement read.

Army: How we rescued 16 kidnapped corps members, policemen in Rivers

Kasimu Abdulkarim, general officer commanding of the 6 division of the Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, has denied the allegation that his men were partisan in Saturday’s election.

He narrated how soldiers rescued 16 abducted corps members and some policemen who were ambushed.

Abdulkarim said those behind the reports of partisanship were bent on tarnishing the image of the army.

Nyesom Wike, governor of the state, and other bigwigs in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had accused security operatives of collaborating with the All Progressives Congress (APC) to rig the election.

But Abdulkarim insisted that his men acted to prevent security breach.

“They acted swiftly in response to security breaches in order to enforce the law, provide aid to the police and other security agencies especially in areas like Abonema, Etche, Gokhana, Ikwere, Eleme, Tai, Khana and Omoku amongst others,” he said in a statement.

“Susceptibility of mentioned areas warranted providing security for the electoral officials, voters, international and local observers, in conjunction with other security agencies by soldiers for a peaceful election to thrive in the environment.

“In Gokhana, armed hoodlums engaged the soldiers providing outer perimeter defence for the electorate.

“In Abonema there were three explosions that created bedlam. Subsequently, 11 NYSC members were abducted along with electoral materials.

“However, 10 of them were rescued two hours later by the soldiers while one was rescued about eight hours later.

“At Emouha five NYSC members were abducted with election materials in a Siena bus. The corps members were rescued while the suspect was handed over to the police.

“Several shooting were recorded in some communities such as Bodo, the home town of the secretary to the state government, and Mogho in Gokhana local government area, including snatching of ballot boxes.

“The most brutal incidence occurred at Ujju Community near Omoku in Onelga where police patrol team was ambushed. In the ambush, 10 policemen scampered into the bush.

“These attacks are reasonable evidence of violations of breach of law and order which portray the area as a flash point.

“In spite these  barbarism,  soldiers acted with civility and professionalism in guaranteeing peaceful election.

“Some people allegedly accused soldiers of ballot box snatching, illegal escorts of some politicians, arrest and detention of voters during the general conduct of the elections.

“The weighty nature of these allegations could cause members of the public to view soldiers negatively, hence the need to adequately inform the general public on the true perspective.  The public thus need to consider them as mere farce to garner public sympathy.”

Judicial commission of inquiry has exposed the ‘true nature’ and status of Shi’ites – GGI

The Good Governance Initiative (GGI) has described the release of Kaduna state government’s White Paper on the judicial commission of inquiry that investigated the clash between the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) and the Nigerian Army as a welcome development.


The group also said Nigerians never doubted the fact that the army acted within its mandate of protecting the territorial integrity of the country.


According to a statement signed by Uche John, coordinator of GGI, Nigerians will continue to support the army in its quest to protect the law abiding citizens from any form of aggressor.


He urged the federal government to act on recommendations against IMN, emphasising that anyone caught committing a crime under the guise of religion should be tried under the relevant anti-terror legislations.


The document, which was released on Monday, said the army acted within its rules of engagement.


“We laud the exoneration of the Nigerian Army, which was cleared of any wrongdoing as an institution and we see this as the removal of obstacles that terrorist sponsors had tried to place in the way of the army to reduce its ability to protect Nigerians,” he said in a statement.


“The White Paper has laid to rest the true nature and status of IMN as an insurgent group whose members bear arms and had refused to evacuate Gyallesu area of Zaria, Kaduna state ahead of the referenced military operation in the report.


“We hope that those that have been mounting propaganda on behalf of IMN would now accept the position stated in the document that the Nigerian army abided by its rules of engagement in dealing with the organisation.”


He further urged judicial officers to familiarise themselves with this document “especially since more IMN members could soon be charged to court over their role in the group’s decades of insurgency against the Nigerian state”.

Nigeria Military Troops Kill Three Suspected Kidnappers In Bayelsa.

Troops from Operation Delta Safe, the Nigeria Military Task Force in the Niger Delta, killed three suspected kidnappers in a shootout with some suspected sea pirates and kidnappers in the waterways of Bayelsa and Rivers States.


The notorious gang, which had been terrorizing the waterways of both States, was intercepted by IRT operatives on Azikiwe Road in Port-Harcourt on their way to an operation.


One James Peters, from Southern Ijaw, was arrested, and he is currently telling security agencies about other members of the gang and the location of their weapons.


“The gang members, on sighting the IRT Teams, opened fire and engaged the operatives. Hence, three of the hoodlums were fatally wounded while one James Peter, a 30-year-old from Southern Ijaw, was arrested alive,” the statement continued.


The troops recovered one General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) with bridge number 132/095 and a chain of bullets, as well as one AK47 rifle with bridge number 0231, and two AK47 magazine fully loaded.

Court fixes date to hear appeals by unjustly dismissed soldiers.

The National Industrial Court has finally assigned the cases between Army officers and the Nigerian military to judges, months after the military authorities refused to enter appearance to defend their action.

The army officers were unjustly dismissed from service without query or indictment.

The assignment to judges, authoritatively confirmed by PREMIUM TIMES, followed our report of November 22 on the failure of the military to file for defence before the court and the consequent accusations of deliberately shunning the court and frustrating the applicants’ push for justice.

Under the procedures and rules of Nigeria’s industrial court, respondents are obligated to file defence within 14 days of receiving originating processes. In this particular case, court records revealed, military authorities, including the Defence Minister, Chief of Army Staff and the Chief of Defence Staff, were served on August 15, over three months ago.

One of the affected officers, Abdulfatai Mohammed, had on October 18, over two months after he approached the court for redress, filed a fresh motion seeking accelerated hearing, relying on Order 8 rule 5(1) of the Court, because “clearly the intention of the defendants is to delay the hearing of this case by dilatory tactics.”

“Where a defendant or respondent fails to file a Memorandum of Appearance within the stipulated time, or fails to file appropriate processes in defence of the action within the prescribed time, and fails to file a declaration of intention not to defend an action, the court may proceed and hear the matter and give judgement,” the referenced court rule states.

Over a month after the fresh application – and more than three months after the original suit was filed – the NIC has now assigned Mr. Mohammed’s case and those of other affected officers who approached the court.

Others whose cases have been assigned to different judges are Abubakar Mohammed, D.B. Dazang, O. Nwankwo, T. Minimah and M.A. Suleiman, with hearing fixed to commence on January 16 and 17.

“No Response from President Buhari after Five Months”

Apart from approaching the industrial court for redress, 22 of the 38 officers compulsorily retired in June also relied on the Paragraph 09.02(e) of the Harmonised Terms and Conditions of Service for Officers to petition President Muhammadu Buhari, asking for reinstatement.

The Armed Forces rules provide that such petition be forwarded to the President through the Chief of Defence Staff within the thirty days prescribed by the rules.

But about five months after the 22 officers turned in their appeals to the President through the Chief of Defence Staff, there has not been any response, leaving them uncertain of their fates.

As some of them suspected the Chief of Defence Staff may not have transmitted their appeals to the President, they approached the National Industrial Court, seeking mandamus that the military authorities be compelled to show evidence of delivery to the President.

Although PREMIUM TIMES saw a July letter by the Chief of Defence Staff conveying the appeals of the 22 officers to the President, Mr. Mohammed, one of the affected officers, insisted it was not enough evidence of transmission and asked the military for a received copy.

As the president keeps mum and the Army continues to ignore the court, the officers will now turn their attention to the industrial court where hearing continues on January 16 and 17. The matter is to heard by three judges including Babatunde Adejumo, who is the president of the court, and Rakiya Hastruup.

Biafra and the business of killing – Okey Ndibe

Except in extremely isolated cases — for example, as an act of self-defense — it is morally indefensible for individuals to engage in extra-judicial killing. When a government makes it its business to slaughter unarmed citizens that government reveals itself as criminally thuggish and the state in whose behalf that government kills loses its moral legitimacy.


That, I am afraid, is the burden that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has placed on itself.


Last week, Amnesty International (AI), a human rights group, released a chilling report on the Buhari administration’s excessively brutal response to members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) who have been agitating for the rebirth of Biafra. The AI report is a thorough job, based on interviews of 193 people (most of them eyewitnesses), analysis of 87 videos and 122 photographs “showing IPOB assemblies, members of the security forces in the process of committing violations and victims of these violations.” Much of the 60-page report is devoted to offering painstaking accounts of how Nigeria’s security agencies, including the military, killed, maimed, and tortured pro-Biafra agitators.


For those who can’t stomach much gore and horror, I would recommend AI’s executive summary, which highlights the sad, sobering facts. That summary begins, “Since August 2015, the security forces have killed at least 150 members and supporters of the pro-Biafran organisation IPOB (Indigenous Peoples of Biafra) and injured hundreds during non-violent meetings, marches and other gatherings. Hundreds were also arbitrarily arrested.”


According to Amnesty International, “Video footage and eyewitness testimony consistently show that the military, which has been deployed instead of police to control pro-Biafran events, has dispersed peaceful gatherings by firing live ammunition with little or no warning. This report documents extra-judicial executions and the use of excessive force by military, police and other security agencies. It also shows a worrying pattern of arbitrary arrests and detentions, including soldiers arresting wounded victims in hospital, and of torture and other ill-treatment of detainees.”


As the head of the Nigerian state, President Buhari bears ultimate responsibility for the carnage committed by Nigeria’s security agents. He is not the first Nigerian ruler to oversee mindless mass killing. Under former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Nigerian troops went on a homicidal rampage in Odi, Bayelsa State, and Zaki Biam, in Benue State. The late President Umaru Yar’Adua was in control when Nigerian soldiers swept through Maiduguri and other cities in Borno State, killing hordes of men on mere suspicion that they belonged to the Islamist group, Boko Haram.


President Buhari has earned a place in the bloodlust. Under his watch, troops slashed and burned their way through a Shiite neighbourhood near Zaria, Kaduna State. His inflexible stance on the vexed issue of Biafra, marked by a dismissive tone, has helped to create a violent climate. Perhaps encouraged by the President’s hectoring style, heavily armed soldiers and other security personnel have gleefully mowed down agitators who dared hoist up IPOB banners.


The President it was who, in a televised interview, defended the illegal detention of IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, despite two court orders granting him bail. Amnesty International’s report cited instances when Mr. Buhari used intemperate language to voice his opposition to Biafra. “For example, in May 2016 he said: ‘We will not let that [division of Nigeria] happen. For Nigeria to divide now, it is better for all of us to jump into the sea and get drowned.’ Similarly, in September 2016, he said: ‘Tell your colleagues who want Biafra to forget about it.’”


In late September, AI investigators wrote to Nigerian authorities, including the security agencies, to share their findings. The human rights group received responses only from Nigeria’s Attorney-General and Minister of Justice as well as Inspector-General of Police. But, according to Amnesty International, “neither answered the questions raised in the [AI’s] letter.”

Even so, once AI prepared its final report, the Nigerian Army trotted out an effete reaction. The military response was a rather familiar mélange of clichéd assertions bereft of evidence. Signed by military spokesman, Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman, the statement claimed that AI’s report was “an outright attempt to tarnish the reputation of the security forces in general and the Nigerian Army in particular, for whatever inexplicable parochial reasons. For the umpteenth time, the Nigerian Army has informed the public about the heinous intent of this non-governmental organisation, which is never relenting in dabbling into our national security in manners that obliterate objectivity, fairness and simple logic.”


Colonel Usman went on: “The evidence of MASSOB/IPOB violent secessionist agitations is widely known across the national and international domains. Their modus operandi has continued to relish violence that threatens national security. Indeed, between August 2015 and August 2016, the groups’ violent protests have manifested unimaginable atrocities to unhinge the reign of peace, security and stability in several parts of the South East Nigeria.


“A number of persons from the settler communities that hailed from other parts of the country were selected for attack, killed and burnt. Such reign of hate, terror and ethnoreligious controversies that portend grave consequences for national security have been averted severally through the responsiveness of the Nigerian Army and members of the security agencies.


“These security agencies are always targeted for attack by the MASSOB/IPOB instruments of barbarism and cruelty. For instance, in the protests of 30 – 31 May 2016, more than five personnel of the Nigeria Police were killed, while several soldiers were wounded, Nigeria Police vehicles were burnt down, same as several others of the Nigerian Army that were vandalised.”


Reading through AI’s report, one had the impression that the investigative process was rigorous and painstaking. By contrast, the military’s notion of a refutation struck one as shamefully infantile.


What exactly does “reign of hate, terror and ethnoreligious controversies” mean? Far from exonerating the military, Colonel Usman’s stilted and strained language had the ring of unwitting admission of the Army’s complicity in the massacre of innocent protesters. According to Colonel Usman, the agitations for Biafra “portend grave consequences for national security [that] have been averted severally [sic] through the responsiveness of the Nigerian Army and members of the security agencies.”


That response begs the central question: How exactly have Nigerian troops “averted” the “grave consequences” posed to “national security” by men and women who peacefully demand secession? Was it by shooting 150 of the protesters? Or by invading hospitals to seize injured agitators and haul them into detention?


It is up to the military to decode their own language here. The Nigerian Army ought to explain the nature of what its spokesman described as “the responsiveness of the Nigerian Army and members of the security agencies.”


It is immaterial whether one supports or opposes the agitation for Biafra. The Nigerian state’s deployment of excessive force against placard-carrying agitators is a crime, and wholly unwarranted. In the end, that militaristic approach is counter-intuitive and counter-productive. You don’t achieve a nation by militarising a space. A government that shoots disaffected agitators aspires to create a republic of the graveyard. And such a republic — a space inhabited by corpses — is self-contradictory and hollow.


One would demand that President Buhari investigate the gruesome murder of unarmed Biafra agitators as well as other such grave violations, but that’s will-o-the wisp. Amnesty International called it right: “Hardly any allegations of crimes under international law and human rights violations by the Nigerian security forces, and in particular the military, are investigated. If an investigation is carried out, there is no follow-up. Because no one has been seen to be held to account for serious human rights violations, an already pervasive culture of impunity within the military has been further strengthened.”

Military begins ‘Operation Python Dance’ Against Secessionist Groups in South-East

The Nigerian Army on Monday launched ‘Operation Python Dance’ in the South-East part of the country.

It, therefore, warned secessionist groups against acts capable of threatening the nation’s sovereignty.

It said it would not hesitate to apply the Rule of Engagement to deploy troops and deal with secessionists as appropriate.

According to the military, the exercise became imperative in anticipation of rise in violent crimes during the Yuletide.

In a statement made available to newsmen in Awka, the Anambra State capital, the Deputy Director of Army Public Relations, Col. Sagir Musa, said the operation would last from November 27 to December 27.

The statement read in part, “It would be recalled that the Chief of Army Staff, having painstakingly appraised the myriad of security challenges and scenarios across the country, directed on the conduct of both command post and field training exercises as a way of enhancing troops’ preparedness across the spectrum of contemporary challenges.

“Similarly, Exercise Python Dance has been planned for the South East Region from 27 November to 27 December, 2016.

“The prevalent security issues such as armed robbery, kidnapping, abduction, herdsmen-farmers clashes, communal clashes and violent secessionist attacks, among others, would be targeted.

“In this wise, the exercise would be multi-agency in nature, whereby the Nigerian Army and other security agency are expected to synergise and collaborate extensively.”

The statement said that within the period under review, an elaborate civil-military cooperation line of operation had been planned.

“Nigerian Army Corps and Services would conduct activities such as medical outreach, repairs of roads, schools, and other infrastructure across the South East region.

“The Chief of Army Staff has therefore directed that a contingent of durable mechanism be imbued in the overall planning as well as execution of the exercise to achieve a hitch-free Yuletide for the entire region”, the statement added.

Army, Militant Group Disagree Over Attack On NPDC Pipeline In Delta

There are conflicting claims by the Army and the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate (NDGJM) over an attack on a delivery line operated by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) at Otu-Jeremi, in Delta State.

The NDGJM, through its spokesman Gen. Aldo Agbalaja yesterday claimed the attack on the 42-inch NPDC delivery line, while the military joint force in the Niger Delta code-named Operation Delta Safe based in Bayelsa State debunked the militants’ statement.

The acting spokesman for the force, with headquarters at Yenagoa, Lt. Cmdr. Thomas Otuji, said there was no truth in the NDGJM claim. He said: “It was a case of bush burning, which ignited the old pipeline,” urging the public to disregard the statement.

Otuji, who spoke on phone with The Guardian said: “Gentleman, it was a case of bush burning that ignited an old pipeline, no such attacks.”

NDGJM, however, insisted it would not be deterred by military offensive in the region to halt its pipeline attacks, threatening to fight on “till the last man is alive.”

Meanwhile, indigenes of Okpai and neighbouring communities in Ndokwa East Local Government Area, Delta State have protested against what they alleged as illegal oil prospecting by Sterling Global Oil.

The protest followed an attempt by the company to lay pipes right under their doorsteps, allegedly with the help of the 222 Battalion of the Nigerian Army.Speaking through the Secretary of Okpai National Union, John Nwanosike, they said yesterday that they had resolved to stop the company until it respected the rights of the local people.

Lamenting that the oil firm had been operating in the last 10 years without environmental impact assessment, Nwanosike urged the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and Nigerian Petroleum Investment and Management Service (NAPIMS) to call the Indian firm and its Nigerian collaborators to order.

Efforts to get the company’s response to these allegations however proved abortive. The Public Relations Officer of Sterling Global Oil, Mr. Emeka Nwachukwu, who earlier promised to speak with The Guardian after a meeting with the company, refused to either pick his calls or reply to text messages sent to his mobile phone.



Army hands over 316 rustled cows to Borno government.

The Nigerian Army on Wednesday handed over 316 cows suspected to have been rustled by the Boko Haram terrorists to the Borno Government for upkeep.

Col. Mustapha Anka, the Deputy Director, Army Public Relations Department, handed over the cows to Alhaji Kakashehu Lawan, the Commissioner for Justice at a ceremony in Maiduguri.

Anka explained that the cows were arrested as part of investigation into alleged large scale rustling by the Boko Haram terrorists.

He said that the hand over followed a directive from the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 division of the Nigerian Army, Brig.-Gen. Victor Ezugwu.

He added that Ezugwu was concerned about the condition of the cows and asked that they should be handed over to government for proper upkeep.

He said “on behalf of the 7 division of the Nigerian Army, Maiduguri, I hereby hand over the cows to you for proper upkeep.

“The 316 cows were arrested in collaboration with some individuals in the society as part of an ongoing investigation into large scale rustling by suspected Boko Haram terrorists, ” Anka said.

He lamented that the army had challenges taking care of the cows, a development he said necessitated the need to hand the cows over to the state government for care.

“We observed that the cows were getting sick and dying due to lack of proper care, since the suspected rustlers have been taken to Abuja for investigation.

“It is based on this premise that the GOC directed that the cows be handed over to the state government for upkeep, pending the conclusion of the case.”

Receiving the cows, Lawan thanked the army for the gesture.

He said that the state government was already in possession of 150 cows, suspected to have been rustled by the terrorists.

He said “I think that today’s ceremony can be traced to a resolution of the State Security Council meeting last month which approved the taking over of 150 cows earlier arrested from suspected Boko Haram terrorists collaborators.

“The cows were kept by the 195 Battalion of the Nigerian Army before the council directed their handover to the state for proper care.”

He promised that the state government would take proper care of the cows, pending the completion of the case.

Army Denies Killing 150 Pro-Biafra Protesters

The Nigerian Army yesterday said it did not kill 150 pro-Biafran protesters, as alleged in a statement by the global human rights watchdog, Amnesty International (AI).

It said the global rights group appeared determined to wage a campaign of calumny against Nigeria’s military, especially the Army, with a planned release of a report on the alleged mass killing of members of the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) by the Army.

A statement by Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman, said the allegation is an “outright attempt to tarnish the reputation of the security forces in general and the Nigerian Army in particular, for whatever inexplicable parochial reasons”.

The Army accused AI for its sustained dabbling into Nigeria’s national security matters in manners that “obliterate objectivity, fairness and simple logic”.

The statement said: “We wish to debunk the insinuation that our troops perpetrated the killing of defenceless agitators. This is an outright attempt to tarnish the reputation of the security forces in general and the Army in particular, for whatever inexplicable parochial reasons. For the umpteenth time, the Army has informed the public about the heinous intent of this non-governmental organisation (NGO), which is never relenting in dabbling into our national security in manners that obliterate objectivity, fairness and simple logic.

“The evidence of MASSOB/IPOB violent secessionist agitations is widely known across the national and international domains. Their modus operandi has continued to relish violence that threatens national security. Indeed, between August 2015 and August 2016, the groups’ violent protests have manifested unimaginable atrocities to unleash the reign of peace, security and stability in several parts of the Southeast.

“A number of persons from the settler communities, who hailed from other parts of the country, were selected for attacks – killed and burnt. Such a reign of hate, terror and ethno-religious controversies that portend grave consequences for national security have been averted severally through the responsiveness of the Army and members of the security agencies.”

Boko Haram Terrorists’ Days Are Numbered, Army Says.

At a press briefing in Maiduguri held on Wednesday, Major General Leo Irabor lauded the Nigerian Army for the progress it has made in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgency.


“The troops of Operation Lafiya Dole have continued with the ongoing operations to clear the remnants of Boko Haram terrorists,” Mr. Irabor told reporters. “Since our last interaction, our troops have conducted many operations with immense successes.”


In his address to the press, Mr. Irabor summarized the past two months of the counterterrorist operation.


From 28 October to 1 November 2016, the military killed 37 Boko Haram terrorists during clearance operations in Golgore, Doksa, Ajigin, and the surrounding areas. Seven troops sustained injuries.


In Mallam Fatori, alongside the Nigeria-Niger border, troops killed 14 terrorists in a two-hour gun battle on 4 November. Unfortunately, 7 soldiers died while 3 others were wounded.


On 6 November in Kangarwa, 13 insurgents were killed. One Nigerian troop was killed in the battle, while 4 others were injured.


The major general also announced that in total, troops have rescued 5,235 people from Boko Haram insurgents.


On 5 November, soldiers dispatched to Chukungudu in the Lake Chad region rescued 85 captives and killed 5 terrorists. Troops observed that several Boko Haram fighters fled into Lake Chad.


On 19 November, troops in Ngoshe and Gara rescued 63 Boko Haram hostages, 40 of whom were women.


While Mr. Irabor said recent suicide bombings in Maiduguri were “sad and unfortunate,” he said the attacks demonstrated Boko Haram’s weakness, as only 2 CJTF personnel were killed in the attacks.


“The incidents are only indicative of a weakened and defeated Boko Haram. Their ignoble failure is destined to fail totally,” he said.


Mr. Irabor concluded the conference by calling upon civilians to remain “alert and security conscious.” He commemorated those who lost their lives to the terrorists, but assured Nigerians that Boko Haram’s “miserable days are numbered.”

Army, Amnesty International, Trade Words Over Alleged Killing Of 150 Pro-Biafra Activists

Amnesty International, yesterday, came out with a report stating that the Nigerian security forces led by the military, embarked on a chilling campaign of extrajudicial executions and violence resulting in the deaths of at least 150 peaceful pro-Biafra protesters in the South Eastern part of the country.

Attributing their findings to an indepth investigation it carried out, the international body stated that analysis of 87 videos, 122 photographs and 146 eyewitness testimonies relating to demonstrations and other gatherings between August 2015 and August 2016, consistently showed that the military fired live ammunition with little or no warning to disperse crowds. It also finds evidence of mass extrajudicial executions by security forces, including at least 60 people shot dead in the space of two days in connection with events to mark Biafra Remembrance Day.

“This deadly repression of pro-Biafra activists is further stoking tensions in the South East of Nigeria. This reckless and trigger-happy approach to crowd control has caused at least 150 deaths and we fear the actual total might be far higher. The Nigerian government’s decision to send in the military to respond to pro-Biafra events seems to be in large part to blame for this excessive bloodshed. The authorities must immediately launch an impartial investigation and bring the perpetrators to book,” said Makmid Kamara, Interim Director of Amnesty International Nigeria.

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Suicide Bombings Will End Soon– Army

The Nigerian Army on Wednesday assured that the recent spate of suicide bombings in Maiduguri would soon be a thing of the past.

Maj.-Gen. Lucky Irabor, the Theater Commander of the Operation Lafiya Dole stated this while briefing newsmen in Maiduguri.

Irabor stated that the army had put in place mechanism to end the bombings.

“I am delighted to be with you again this afternoon to acquaint you with developments within the theater of operation. The troops of Operation Lafiya Dole have continued with the ongoing operations to clear the remnants of Boko Haram Terrorists.

“Since our last interaction, our troops have conducted many operations with immense successes,’’ he said.

Irabor said that the army had been able to minimise  impact of the bombings on the public.

“The impact of recent bombings in Maiduguri, though sad and unfortunate, was minimal due to the alertness of troops and other security agencies.

“Apart from the one wherein two Civilian JTF personnel were killed and some others wounded, only the terrorists died, while one was captured alive.

“The captured suicide bomber is assisting in the investigation into cases of suicide bombings.’’

He said that the continued bombings by the terrorists were a sign of weakness.

According to him, the incidents are only indicative of a weakened and defeated Boko Haram terrorists, their ignoble adventure is destined to fail totally,’’ Irabor said.

He advised members of the public to be more conscious and alert to their environment.

“I wish to remind the general public to be more alert and security conscious with their environment, especially when a strange face comes around.

“I also commiserate with all the victims of the recent suicide bombings by terrorists within the theatre. We shall continue to work to ensure the safety of lives of every citizen, ” Irabor said.

He urged Boko Haram remnants to take advantage of a window of opportunity by surrendering their arms.

“Let me once again use this medium to remind the remnants of Boko Haram that their miserable days are numbered because their future is going to be disastrous if they fail to surrender and lay down their arms.

“Let me therefore, encourage them to take advantage of this window of opportunity now to surrender as failure to do so would be hugely regretted,” Irabor said.


Suicide bombings will end soon – Army

Unjust dismissal: Nigerian Army boycotts court.

More than three months after a top Army officer – who was dismissed from service without query or indictment – filed suit for redress at the National Industrial Court, Nigerian military has refused to enter appearance to defend its action.

This has opened the Army to accusations of deliberately shunning the court and frustrating the applicant’s push for justice, court documents reviewed by PREMIUM TIMES showed.

Under the procedures and rules of Nigeria’s industrial court, respondents are obligated to file defence within 14 days of receiving originating processes; and in this particular case, court records revealed military authorities, including the Defence Minister, Chief of Army Staff and the Chief of Defence Staff, were served on August 15, 2016, over three months ago.

Abdulfatai Mohammed, a retired lieutenant colonel, was one of the 38 senior officers compulsorily retired by the Nigerian Army on June 9, 2016, citing professional misconduct during the 2015 general elections and involvement in the arms procurement fraud.

But PREMIUM TIMES’ extensive investigations of the controversial exercise – prompted by “service exigencies” according to Army spokesperson, Sani Usman, a colonel – showed the Nigerian Army abruptly ended the careers of some of the officers, including Mr. Mohammed’s, without query, indictment by any panel or even informing them of what their offences were, thereby raising question of arbitrariness.

So, while a few were queried, asked to face panel and indicted, others had their careers abruptly cut short for reasons that smack of high-level arbitrariness, pettiness, witch-hunting and partisanship by authorities of the Army.

Apart from relying on Paragraph 09.02(e) of the Harmonised Terms and Conditions of Service for Officers to petition President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr. Mohammed like other affected officers, who feel arbitrarily forced out of service, also approached, on August 12, the National Industrial Court to seek reinstatement.

He asked the court to declare that his compulsory retirement “constituted an unfair dismissal and punishment without factual basis at all and is as a result of wrongful, unconstitutional, illegal and invalid.”

In the June 9 letters – seen by PREMIUM TIMES – to the affected officers, including Mr. Mohammed, their compulsory retirement was hinged on “provisions of Paragraph 09.02c (4) of the Harmonised Terms and Conditions of Service for Officers (HTACOS) 2012 (Revised)”.

The referenced section – 09.02c (4) – of the Harmonised Terms and Conditions of Service for Officers 2012 (Revised), shows the officers were laid off “on disciplinary grounds i.e. serious offence(s)” but the actual “serious offence” was not stated.

However, in a July letter conveying the appeals of 22 of the affected officers to President Buhari in line with military rules, the Chief of Defence Staff, Gabriel Olonisakin, a General, gave formal reason why the Army terminated Mr. Mohammed’s career prematurely as “involvement in election matters”.

Yet, the military authorities have not been in court to defend their action and the reason the officer was sent out of service.

On September 7,  Ibrahim Etsu, counsel to the Army Council, Armed Forces Council, Chief of Defence Staff and the Defence Minister, approached the court, acknowledging the military did fail to enter appearance within the stipulated time, citing administrative bureaucracy; and asking to file memorandum appearance out of time.

Even so, court records revealed, as at Monday, October 21, Mr. Etsu, a staff in the legal department of the Ministry of Defence, has not returned to the court for the military’s statement of defence.

Consequently, Mr. Mohammed, on October 18, filed a fresh motion before the industrial court, seeking accelerated hearing and that judgement be given, relying on Order 8 rule 5(1) of the National Industrial Court, because “clearly the intention of the defendants is to delay the hearing of this case by dilatory tactics.”

“Where a defendant or respondent fails to file a Memorandum of Appearance within the stipulated time, or fails to file appropriate processes in defence of the action within the prescribed time, and fails to file a declaration of intention not to defend an action, the court may proceed and hear the matter and give judgement,” the referenced court rule states

Narrating his ordeal, Mr. Mohammed told PREMIUM TIMES that even after his application for accelerated hearing – over a month now, the case had not been assigned to any judge.

“They (military authorities) have used their offices and they have exploited my vulnerability and acted to dress me in the dirty garb of a criminal … I have been greatly traumatized by the news of my compulsory retirement based on the allegations of non-existent serious offences I never knew about or took part in.”

His lawyer, Abdul Muhammed, disclosed to this newspaper he would meet with the President of the NIC later this week to ask that the case be assigned.

Mr. Etsu, the defence counsel, told PREMIUM TIMES he was not going to comment on this report, citing “no authority to do so”.

Also the Minister of Defence, through his spokesperson, Tukur Gusau, a colonel, claimed ignorance of the court process or that the Minister had been served. But PREMIUM TIMES obtained court document filed by Mr. Etsu, stating the Minister and others had been served.

Nigerian Army releases fresh list of wanted Boko Haram suspects.

Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, on Monday in Maiduguri unveiled the poster carrying photographs of 55 most wanted Boko Haram members, including their supposed leader, Abubakar Shekau.


The poster, with the inscription, written in English, Hausa and Kanuri languages, is the third edition of such posters, it has telephone numbers which the public could easily call or send text messages to, to indicate which of the characters they know or have information on.


Displaying the posters at the headquarters of Operation Lafiya Dole, Lt. Gen. Buratai said many terrorists whose names were on the list of 202 terrorists released last year had either been identified and arrested or killed.

Nigerian Army Begins Operation Crack Down in Sambisa forest

Counter-insurgency operations are ongoing in the notorious Sambisa Forest in northeast Nigeria, to clear remaining Boko Haram terrorists in the area, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, said on Sunday.

He says the army is not relenting in its counter-insurgency war.

General Olonisakin gave the assurance during an operational visit to the Theatre Command and headquarters of the Operation Lafiya Dole in Maiduguri, Borno State.

The Chief of Defence Staff told journalists in Maiduguri that even though the “Operation Safe Corridor” initiative was open for repentant insurgents to surrender, it would not in any way suspend operations.

“There’s always a room for them to surrender. We put up Operation Safe Corridor initiative to have them surrender. That is the corridor for them to surrender and that corridor is always open.

“However, we would not wait until they surrender. That is why the “Operation Crack Down” now leading to rescue finale is in place to ensure that we take over Sambisa, clear the Boko Haram terrorists in those places and make the place safe for development,” the Defence Chief stated.B

Southern Kaduna killings: Stakeholders say Army, Police bias as Kaninkon victims get N5m

The Interim Management Committee Chairman (IMC) Jema’a local government area of Kaduna State, Dr. Bege Katuka, has reiterated his council’s readiness to nip the security challenges bedeviling the area.

He gave the assurance at a Town hall meeting on the need for security in the area.

The Chairman noted that the crises which started in Ninte community between a Fulani herdsman and a native farmer, could have been avoided through communal effort without government interference if only the people had been patient to allow the law to take its course.

He however assured the people that the state government and local government in collaboration with the security agencies were doing everything possible to bring the warring parties together for dialogue geared toward finding a lasting solution.

He disclosed that the curfew imposed in Kafanchan metropolis helped to avoid the spread of the crises.

Katuka appealed to the people to mend fences and live peacefully with one another irrespective of any difference.

He also appealed to the government to deploy more security personnel to the area.

In their separate remarks, the representatives of the Emir of Jema’a, the Chief of Kaninkon and the Chief of Fantswam appealed to the youth in the area to live in mutual respect and understanding amongst themselves for the progress of the society.

Meanwhile, natives of the affected areas have raised N5 million and assorted relief materials for the victims.

The funds and materials were generated through the effort of Kaninkon Elders’ Forum, living within and in diaspora.

The distribution which took place at the Goska Public Primary School, Goska, near Kafanchan, in Jema’a LGA, had in attendance, the Interim Management Chairman of Jema’a LGA, Dr Humble Katuka and a large number of natives from Kaninkon District.

At the occasion, Katuka decried the attitude of soldiers and police deployed to the various communities.

“They have failed in securing us and they have failed to uphold the oath they took when joining their various organisations,” he lamented.

Speaking at the occasion, the National Chairman, Kaninkon Development Association, Mr. Waje Goska William, decried the continued detention of the District Head of Goska, Mr Moses Barde, saying it was against the law.

He said: “After the attacks occurred in our four communities, five more people were attacked and killed in their farms. Government on their own side have shown that all people are not equal before the law.

“This is evident in the sense that, after the attack in Misisi, our traditional leaders were arrested and no Fulani Ardo was arrested even when the attack was against our people and it took place in our community.

“Imagine a community that have being ravaged by suspected Fulani herdsmen but the traditional leader is currently remanded on false allegation of kidnapping of 2 Policemen, conspiracy and terrorism.

“This is injustice against a people and we equally view the arrest of our leaders and their illegal detention in Kaduna Central Prison as an agenda when put into consideration that Barde was held for 21 days and the Police in Kaduna refused to accept the bail application brought forward by his legal counsel.

“Again, after the High Court 3 Kaduna granted our royal father bail, the Police disrespected the bail Order and charged him to court 5 Barnawa, Kaduna and that court remanded him.”

Army ‘arrests’ 37 Boko Haram suspects in Lagos, Ogun.

The 81 Division of the Nigerian Army on Thursday says it arrested 37 suspected Boko Haram terrorists in Lagos and Ogun States within the last 15 months.

The outgone General Officer Commanding (GOC) 81 Division, Maj.-Gen. Isidore Edet, disclosed this in Lagos while handing over to his successor, Maj.-Gen. Ebenezer Oyefolu.

Edet said the Division, under his watch, arrested the terrorists in different parts of the two states.

“As Boko Haram is being defeated, the terrorists run to other parts of the country. From the period I took over in August 2015 till date, we arrested 37 Boko Haram suspects.

“We will continue to arrest them and hand them over to the appropriate authorities,’’ he said.

Edet said his most challenging moment as GOC 81 Division was the abduction of three of his operatives by militants in Ijagemo Area of Lagos.

“I had to work round-the-clock to secure their release,’’ he said.

On pipeline vandals at Arepo area of Ikorodu, the outgone GOC said the Army worked collaboratively and cooperatively with other security agencies to rout the vandals from the area.

In his remark, the new GOC, Maj.-Gen. Oyefolu, said he would key into the successes of his predecessor to move the Division forward.

Until his appointment as GOC 81 Division, Oyefolu was the Deputy Director at Defence Intelligence Agency, Abuja.

Wounded soldier urges Nigerians to pay attention to troops’ welfare.

Ibrahim Usman, one of wounded soldiers in the fight against the Boko Haram terrorists in the North East, has called on Nigerians to pay more attention to troops’ welfare.

Usman made the appeal in an interview with newsmen on Monday when the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, visited wounded soldiers at hospitals in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

The soldier, who was admitted to the military hospital in Maimalari Cantonment, about three weeks ago, urged Nigerians to pay attention to soldiers’ well being in the frontline, just as they were doing for the missing Chibok girls.

According to Usman, his two legs broke during an explosion when a vehicle conveying him and nine other soldiers to Monguno in Borno North during an operation stepped on mine planted by the terrorists.

Usman said: “We need Nigerians to take care of us.

“Like this my injury, broken legs, they ought to take me to a specialist hospital or abroad for a good treatment.

“If it is these girls, Chibok school girls, they will take them abroad.

“We are the ones fighting in the bush.”

Although Usman revealed he was responding to treatment, he said would retire from the military when he gets well due to the injury.

He said: “I cannot fight again because I do not have that strength any more.

“My legs are broken.

“If I get well, I will retire because my legs are broken.

“I can no longer go and fight the insurgents.”

Another soldier, Ahmed Musa, however, thanked the army chief for visiting wounded soldiers in the hospital.

Musa, of 119 Battalion Task Force, Mallam Fatori, said: “My situation when I got here was worse but thank God I am getting healed.

“I have injury in one of my hands.

“When he (Buratai) came here, we were happy because when we came here we did not see anybody.

“We appreciate the way he comes here.”

According to Innocent Gabriel, a nurse attending to one of the wounded soldiers at the time of the visit, the common cases of injury are fractures resulting from explosions and gunshots.

Gabriel said most of wounded soldiers were responding to treatment, adding that some of them may be taken to the theatre.

The doctor in charge of the hospital, Lieutenant Colonel Ndidi Onuchukwu, a Consultant Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgeon, said 97 wounded soldiers were being treated in the facility which had capacity for 105 patients.

Onuchukwu said that the worst cases come from combat injuries, adding that the hospital was collaborating with the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital to give the best to them.

Speaking after the visit, Buratai described it as “operation and welfare visit” to encourage the wounded soldiers.

He said most of them would soon be discharged and commended troops for efforts in the war against the insurgents.

Prof. Abdurrahman Tahir, the Chief Medical Director of UMTH, lauded the army for the prompt settlement of its personnel medical bills.

#NigeriansHonorOurHeroes: BBOG holds event to celebrate Nigeria’s Fallen Heroes tomorrow.

As earlier announced, tomorrow 12 November 2016 between 5 and 7 pm there shall be a special event to honour the patriotism and sacrifice of Nigerian troops who have passed on, most especially those fighting the counter-insurgency war in Northeast Nigeria. This is to demonstrate how much we Nigerians appreciate them and their families, for effort and sacrifice to keep us protected.

This event shall hold at Unity Fountain Abuja. Formal invitations have gone out to the Ministry of Defence, the Defence, Army, Navy, Air force, and Police headquarters, as well as their respective officers’ wives associations. We are also working with the various associations of ex-servicemen, and non-governmental and civil society organisations (NGOs/CSOs) involved with activities of honouring our heroes.
The key features of tomorrow‘s event include tributes to our heroes by families, friends, colleagues, and citizens. There shall also be prayers, and close with a candlelight procession within the venue.

Kindly make arrangements to attend and invite others. Please share as many images along with names of our departed heroes with the hashtag #NigeriansHonorOurHeroes to show appreciation and honour their memory.

Sesugh Akume
#BringBackOurGirls Spokesperson

Army kill 3 female suicide bombers in Maiduguri.

The Nigerian Army has neutralised three female suicide bombers in the early hours of Friday in Maiduguri, Channels Television reports.


The suicide bombers were spotted by the military patrol team along Maiduguri/Damboa road, near Mulai, by the military patrol team at about 5:30am, according to the Police Public Relations Officer in Borno, Victor Isuku.


The women who were sighted in Umulari village strapped Improvised Explosive Device (IEDs) to their bodies.


The patrol team shot at the women as two of the IEDs exploded, killing all three of them.


The unexploded IED was detonated by the Police bomb disposal unit who were promptly mobilised to the scene.

Niger Delta Militant Group Surrenders Weapons To Accept Amnesty.

Members of the Bakassi Strike Force (BSF), a militant group in the Niger Delta, Nigeria’s oil-producing hub, have surrendered some of their weapons to demonstrate their readiness to lay down arms if the Federal Government addressed their concerns.

Lieutenant Colonel Olaolu Daudu, the spokesman of the Joint Military Force in the Niger Delta, confirmed the development in a statement issued on Wednesday in Yenagoa.

Colonel Daudu revealed that the Cross River Command of the Department of State Services (DSS) and the government of Cross River were involved in working out the terms of the surrender. He disclosed that the militant group had turned in one General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) and an AK 47 rifle as a show of good faith towards the peace deal.

“Available information from Sector 4 in Cross River State indicates that Bakassi Strike Force (BSF) militants led by one Mr. Benjamin Ene have expressed unreserved willingness to lay down their arms. They have contacted the Department of State Service in Cross River State through the state government’s appointed rapporteur on amnesty to signify their readiness to hold talks on amnesty with the relevant authorities.

“To buttress this demonstration of goodwill, BSF turned in one General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) and an AK 47 rifle.”

Colonel Daudu continued: “The Department of State Service representatives and representatives of the rapporteur have since recovered the arms as talks are ongoing on modalities to surrender their remaining arms.”

The militant group’s leader, Mr. Ene, also known as Humble Lion G1, had on November 1 expressed the desire to surrender in a video message where he listed conditions for surrendering his stockpile of ammunition. The militant leader said his group was not out to vandalize national assets but for the wellbeing of his people who resided in Bakassi, a former region of Nigeria that was ceded to Cameroon.

The leader, who spoke from his camp in the creeks of southern Cross River, said that unlike other militant groups, his group had not participated in the destruction of oil installations or molestation of citizens.

Colonel Daudu said that Brigadier General Kevin Aligbe, the acting Commander of Operation Delta Safe, the joint military force deployed to the Niger Delta, had applauded the militant group’s gesture to surrender and embrace peace.

General Aligbe stated that the military has zero tolerance for militancy and related crimes in the joint operations area and urged other aggrieved groups to emulate the BSF by laying down their arms.

According to Colonel Daudu, the commander advised the other Niger Delta militants groups to embrace the reconciliatory channels open at both state and federal levels.

The military spokesman also said that troops of Sector 3, following a tipoff on Wednesday, reacted swiftly and rounded up suspected sea robbers around Kumfari community near Idama in Rivers State.  He said that one suspected sea robber was killed, two wounded and seven others arrested. He disclosed that the troops recovered one locally made pistol and machete. He said that the suspects were undergoing investigation.

Army foils Avengers’ attempt to bomb gas facility, kills two.

The Joint Military Force deployed to the Niger Delta, Operation Delta Safe, says it successfully repelled an attack by Niger Delta Avengers at a gas facility in Delta State and killed two pirates in ongoing operations in the region.

A statement by Lieutenant Colonel Olaolu Daudu, the spokesman of the Joint Force, made this known in Bayelsa State on Tuesday.

Daudu said the operations were carried out between Saturday and Tuesday.

He said: “Troops deployed at Delta State while on watch at the Nigeria Gas Company Outpost in Batan/Egwa Area of Warri South West Local Government of Delta encountered suspected militants who claimed to be members of Niger Delta Avengers.

“They came in two 200 Horsepower Speed capacity boats but were subsequently engaged and repelled. Effort is ongoing to apprehend the criminals.

“Troops also rescued a Passenger boat from sea robbers at Idoro River in Ozobo Community, Bomadi Local Government Area of Delta State.

“While trying to escape, the sea robbers’ boat collided with that of the passenger boat and capsized.

“Four of the suspected sea robbers were arrested however, four locally made double barrel guns belonging to the suspects fell into the river.

“Efforts are ongoing to recover the guns while suspects are in custody for further investigation. They are presently in custody for further investigation.”

Daudu also said that troops on patrol at Asugbo Tibigbene and Beneth River Warri South Local Government Area impounded a wooden boat carrying 53 drums of illegally refined substance at Asugbo.

Also, troops, while on clearance operation at Yorkiri, Obotobo, Chamomi Creek Okerenkoko and Open River, arrested a Cotonou boat conveying Jerrycans for possible loading of substance.

The Spokesman said that in another development troops arrested a 21-year-old man, Usman Jafar, an indigene of Adamawa State, who had been parading himself as a serving soldier.

The suspect allegedly robbed Atima Aghogho along Ajanuga Road and the following items were also recovered from him: one fake Nigerian Army Identity Card, one First Bank of Nigeria ATM Card and an iPhone belonging to one of his victims.

Daudu said: “Following a tip off, troops in conjunction with members of Petroleum Task Force conducted a raid at Ifieporo community in Warri South Local Government and discovered an area used or storage of stolen petroleum products

“Other items discovered are several rubber drums and Jerricans containing substance suspected to be illegal oil bunkering mats.

“Troops also recovered a black coloured Audi vehicles loaded with several water proof bags containing substance suspected to be products of illegal bunkering.

“Following another tip off troops discovered four identified hideouts used for storing substance suspected to be illegally refined Automated Gas Oil around Ohoro junction, Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State.

“No arrests were made while troops are on the trail of the perpetrators.”

Daudu also said that on Tuesday the troops arrested one suspected bugler, while on routine check, with N136,000 cash, one Infinix Note II handset and one other handset.

He said the items and the suspect would be handed over to the Nigeria Police.

He said: “Troops at Batan reported a loud sound suspected to be an explosion.

“Further findings revealed that a Barge carrying equipment used for the repairs of the Trans Forcados Pipeline at the repair site in Eweregbene community was blown by suspected Niger Delta Avengers militants who retreated after troops repelled the attack.

“However, two un-exploded dynamites were found at the scene on a branch and swamp buggy were successfully detonated by troops.”

Zahra Buhari, mother shed tears as Col. Abu-Ali is laid to rest.

Zahra Buhari, one of the daughters of President Muhammadu Buhari, has revealed that she never attended a burial ceremony until Monday when the remains of Abu Ali, the brave soldier killed by Boko Haram, were interred.

Ali, alongside six officers brought down in the line of duty, was buried at the National Cemetery, Abuja, on Monday.

The other soldiers who died in the attack were Muazu Ibrahim, Hussani Jafaru, Bassey Okon, Chukwu Simon, Salisu Lawal, and Patrick Paul.

Even, Tukur Buratai, chief of army staff, could not fight back tears when he read the funeral oration at the gravesides of the heroes.

The first daughter showered encomiums on the deceased, and narrated her experience at the event.

“I experienced a burial for the first time in my life. Right before my eyes I saw our 7 heroes laid to rest, I couldn’t hold back my tears,” she said in a statement posted on social media.

“I looked up and saw my mother wiping away her tears and then Lt. Gen. Buratai’s voice shaking as he gave his touching speech to bid good bye for the last time. Lt Gen Buratai listed town after town, village after village that were recaptured by the army led by our 7 fallen soldiers.

“Tears rolled down as though I had known them all my life. They sacrificed everything they had for us and gave it their all in every battle. I thought to myself “This is the epitome of patriotism!”.

“All our fallen heroes shall not be forgotten. The patriotism I had in my heart before the burial was very much but by the end of the event it had doubled!!

“The bravery, courage and patriotism of our soldiers is an example to every Nigerian, it is the true definition of leading by example.”

Army Releases 1,271 Boko Haram Detainees

The Nigerian Army said on Monday that it had so far released about 1,271 detainees after clearing them of any link with the Boko Haram terrorists group.

The General Officer Commanding 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Maiduguri, Brig.-Gen. Victor Ezugwu, disclosed this while speaking at a forum for the reintegration of children associated with armed forces or armed groups in Maiduguri.

Ezugwu, who was represented by Col. Yusuf Ali, said that most of those released were women and children.

He said, “The Nigerian Army gives utmost priority to the rights of detainees especially women and children.

“We always try to fast track investigation to determine their fate, while those found innocent were released with out delay.

“Consequently, between February and October this year we have had five releases.

“In February 135 persons comprising mainly women and children were released, 204 were released in May, while the remaining three releases were carried out in September and October”.

He said that the army had also improved on the provision of welfare for the detainees.

“As part of the military high command care for the vulnerable persons under our protective custody.

“We have identified areas needing attention including feeding, health care, decongestion of cells, respect for detainees rights, sanitation and personal hygiene.”

He said children and vulnerable persons were fed three times daily with balanced diet.

He said, “We always provide meat or fish in every meal and drinks every Sunday for them.

“If fact, some of those released would have preferred to remain with us if they had the choice rather than move to IDPs camps.”

Ezugwu commended the organisers of the forum, saying the event was timely.

“We have to intensify our onslaught against insurgents” – Buratai

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai has urged the army to intensify attacks against Boko Haram fighters in the North Eastern part of the country.

Buratai said this while speaking with journalists shortly after declaring open a seminar with the theme ‘Assessing the threats of Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria’ at the Nigerian Army Resource Centre, Abuja on Monday.

The COAS was reacting to the death of Army hero, Lt. Colonel Muhammed Abu Ali.

Buratai said it was time to find a permanent solution to the menace of insurgency in the country.

He said, “It is incumbent on  all of us to really reflect, to understand that we are really in a situation where need to ensure that the fight against insurgency received total support from everybody. 

“This a loss too many that we just have to find a collective effort by all Nigerians and indeed globally to ensure that terrorism is seriously fought to the end. It is a situation where we really need to work together, to synergise together.”

Boko Haram: Defence Minister mourns gallant army commander

The Minister of Defence, retired Brig.-Gen. Mansur Dan-Ali, has described the death of Lt-Col. Muhammad Abu-Ali as tragic and unfortunate development in the theatre of operations in the North East.

Abu-Ali was killed by the Boko Haram terrorists in their failed attack to capture Malam Fatori in northern Borno on Friday.

The minister in a statement issued by his Public Relations Officer, Col. Tukur Gusau, on Sunday also described the late Abu-Ali as a major pillar in the war against terrorism and insurgency in the region.

Dan-Ali, who said he received the death of officer with sadness, prayed to Almighty Allah to grant the “war hero an eternal rest”.

The minister also commiserated with the father of the deceased officer, Etsu of Bassa-Nge Kingdom in Kogi, retired Brig-Gen Abu-Ali, his family and the Nigerian Army.

Until his death Abu-Ali was the Commanding Officer of 272 Task Force Battalion at Malam Fatori.

He was nicknamed “Sarkin Yaki” in Hausa language (literally war chief) and led the army unit that recaptured Gamboru-Ngala, Baga and several communities from the terrorists in 2014.

Army Arrests 2 Officers, 2 Soldiers For Conniving With Boko Haram

The Nigerian Army has arrested two officers and two soldiers for conniving with the Boko Haram sect in the war against insurgency.

The army disclosed this in a statement issued by its spokesperson, Sani Usman, yesterday.

According to him, two policemen and 24 civilians were also arrested for the alleged offence, adding that more suspects would be arrested.

“Please be informed that the ongoing investigation on suspected Boko Haram terrorists, collaborators and saboteurs in the fight against terrorism and insurgency has led to the arrest of nine more persons over the last 24 hours, thus bringing the number to 30.

“This comprises two officers, two soldiers, two policemen and 24 civilians. Many more suspects would be arrested and prosecuted based on evidences against them and level of culpability,” he said.



BBOG: Official Position on the Negotiated Release of 21 #ChibokGirls

We welcome reports from the Presidential Spokesperson, Garba Shehu, of the negotiated release of 21 of our abducted #ChibokGirls today. This wonderful development confirms what we have always known about the capacity of our goverment to rescue our #ChibokGirls.

While awaiting further details, we take this opportunity to salute the work of our security services at the front lines – the commitment, resilience and tireless efforts of our members of the Multi-national Joint Task Force and the civilian JTF. We also thank the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Swiss government and all negotiators involved in securing the release.

Following this development, we trust that our government will continue to work to keep the safety, security, and well-being of the other girls a high priority. We further urge the international community to continue to support our government’s effort to rescue all other abducted Nigerians, so that parents, the Chibok community, the nation, and the world can finally put an end to this nightmare once and for all.

Military arrests militants, kidnappers, destroys illegal refineries

The military operating in the Niger Delta under ‘Operation Delta Safe’ yesterday said more suspected militants had been apprehend.

The military also disclosed that a kidnap attempt was foiled and some illegal refineries were destroyed in separate operations across the region.

Three armed men suspected to be members of the Bakers Strike Force (BSF) including one Moses Okokon, were apprehended at Okon Mkpa community of Efut Esighi, Bakassi local council of Cross River State while troops stationed in Delta State foiled an attempt by kidnappers to kidnap two women.

A statement by army spokesperson, Lt. Cmdr. Thomas Otuji, said the women were rescued by troops after receiving distress calls.

He said the troops immediately swung into action and rescued the victims who were abducted at gunpoint, while a suspect was arrested. Two others escaped.

A local single barrel gun was recovered from the suspect.

According to the statement: “In another development, while on routine patrol, troops of Sector 1 Operation Delta Safe raided and destroyed illegal refineries at Opumami and Okogho creeks in Warri South and Warri North local council. The suspects abandoned the site and fled on sighting the patrol boats.”

Also a detachment of Operation Delta Safe of Sector 3 (Rivers State) on October 4 discovered and destroyed illegal bunkering sites along Bille creek during a routine patrol.

While no arrest was made, the statement said various items including five oil dumps with five drums of stolen crude, 1 x 85 HPW speedboat, and pumping machine were seized from the illegal bunkers.

Meanwhile, the army has killed a suicide bomber while attempting to attack troops on the outskirts of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

A statement said the suspected male suicide bomber was sighted by vigilant troops who asked him to stop for clearance, but he refused and attempted to get closer. He was however shot dead by a soldier.

The statement said: “The terrorist who attempted to infiltrate the troops forward defences at Jidari Polo general area came in through Alidawari village about four kilometres ahead of Jidari strapped with heavy Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) vest.

Boko Haram: Troops kill three female suicide bombers

At about 12.25pm, three female suicide bombers attempted to attack a military location at Gwoza, Gwoza Local Government Area, Borno State one Thursday.

The suicide bombers came through Pulka axis.

They were sighted by members of the vigilante group from a distance and alerted the troops about the impending catastrophe.

The very observant vigilante also noted that the women looked suspicious, walking awkwardly, with bulging hijab and distinct from other female farmers.

When the suicide bombers noticed that they were being observed, they hurriedly ran towards troops, aiming to detonate their explosives on them.

The troops immediately killed two of the female suicide bombers, while the other ran back into the bush but was pursued.

Unfortunately, a soldier sustained injuries due to the impact of the explosion.

The wounded soldier is currently receiving treatment at a military medical centre and he is in stable condition.

Army Destroys 143 Illegal Refineries In Niger Delta

The Nigerian Army destroyed 143 illegal refineries during its Operation Crocodile Smile in the Niger Delta region, Brigadier-General Hassan Hamisu has said.

Similarly, the Nigerian Navy said that it has arrested four crude oil thieves who specialize in illegally refining crude oil into automotive gas oil, AGO, while 85 large drums of AGOs were destroyed by the operatives of the Navy and Operation Delta Safe.

Speaking in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Brig-General Hassan, who is the Brigade Commander, 2 Brigade, Port Harcourt, made the disclosure while fielding questions from newsmen after a Jumat service at the barracks to mark the nation’s 56 independence anniversary.

Commending the gallantry of soldiers during the Crocodile Smile operation which has ended in the region, he said that it was carried out by soldiers of 2 and 4 Brigades. “I conducted the Crocodile Smile operation in some states in the South-South. Success was recorded in the area of destruction of criminal camps and illegal refineries. We have not rested since the operation. We shall continue to partner with other security agencies to ensure a safer environment,” he said.

On his part, Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ibas, weekend, commended youths of Ataba Community in Akwa Ibom State for providing timely information on the activities of oil thieves which led to their arrests and destruction of the illegal AGO.

A statement from Naval Headquarters by Commodore Christian Ezekobe, Director of Information, said, “In continuation of the clampdown on crude oil thieves and illegal bunkerers, the Chief of the Naval Staff has expressed the appreciation of the Nigerian Navy to the gallant youths of Ataba Community in Akwa Ibom State for their exemplary conduct.”

Read More:


Putin Signs Decree To Draft 152,000 Men Into Army By Year-end

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree to draft 152,000 young Russians into the Russian army before the end of the year.

Government spokesman said on Friday in Kremlin that the military draft would be carried out from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31 concerning Russian citizens aged 18-27 who are not in reserve and are subject to the military draft under the law.

He said that in accordance with the law, Putin also ordered to carry out a dismissal of current conscripts from the military service.

The spokesman said further that “On military duty and military service,” the decree includes soldiers, sailors, sergeants and sergeant majors, whose term of service had expired.

Credit: dailytrust

Army Kills Seven Militants In Bakassi, Recover Arms

Troops from the 13 Brigade Nigerian Army Calabar, at the early hours of Friday, repelled an attack on its soldiers by killing seven armed militants at Efut Esighi in Bakassi local government area of Cross River State.

Capt. Kayode Owolabi, Army Public Relations Officer who disclosed this to newsmen on Friday in Calabar, said the militants attacked the Army post in Efut Esighi.

Owolabi linked the militants to be `boys’ of the most wanted militant leader, Benjamin Ene a.k.a `G1’, who has been on the wanted list of security agencies in the state.

“The very determined troops from the 13 Brigade and Operation Delta Safe, repelled an attack from armed militants at Efut Esighi in Bakassi local government area this morning.

“The militants tried to attack the Army post in Efut Esighi. Some of them were wearing Nigerian military camouflage.

“We recovered 250 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, rocket propelled gun luncher, GPMG belt links and various charms on their bodies. Other militants escaped with very serious gun shots injuries.

“There was no casualty on the side of the military. Our men were in full combatant during the attack.

“We have also destroyed their camps and shrines in the creeks,’’ he said.

The APRO said the 13 Brigade Commander, Brig. Gen. Bulama Biu, had warned that no militant group or criminal under any guise would be spared.

Read More:


3 Boko Haram Terrorists Arrested By Soldiers At Cattle Market, Maiduguri

On Wednesday morning at the cattle market, Maiduguri, Borno State, troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE with assistance of Civilian JTF, arrested 3 suspected members of the Boko Haram terrorists group.

The suspects include Abba Go Dallagio, Abba Fanned and Alhaji Nwariye. During preliminary investigation they claimed that they entered into Maiduguri through Mafa with about 200 cows for sale at Maiduguri cattle market.

The suspects further stated that they are part of logistics elements of the Boko Haram terrorists group that assist in selling cows for the insurgents.

They further added that proceeds are remitted to the terrorists to fund their nefarious activities. So far, troops have identified and isolated 23 cows at the cattle market.

Similarly, one of their agent and spy at the market, Alhaji Ajid Umar, has also been arrested. A total of 170 cows were isolated in connection with him. All the suspects are in undergoing preliminary investigation.

Thank you for your kind cooperation.

Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman
Acting Director Army Public Relations

Army denies Boko Haram hoisted flags near Chibok

The Nigerian Army has refuted the report that Boko Haram insurgents have hoisted flags in some communities near Chibok, Borno State.

A statement by the army spokesman, Col. Sani Usman, said the troops of the Operations Lafiya Dole are maintaining a high level of vigilance in and around the area to forestall infiltration by the terrorists.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) had yesterday reported that the insurgents hoisted their flags in three villages in northern Borno, after over-running the area.

The report said the attack followed another one on Monday evening in three villages of Kubirivour, Boftari and Kuburmbalah.
According to the report, it led to the death of eight people, including a village elder.

The elder was said to have been slaughtered by the terrorists, as other villagers scampered into the near by bushes for safety.

Usman said there was no presence of the sect near the reported location.

According to the army spokesman, “At about 4.35pm, suspected remnants of the sect attacked Boftari, which is about 15 kilometres from Chibok town.

“On receipt of the information, troops of Operation Lafiya Dole stationed in Forward Operation Base Chibok, mobilised to the area. The troops encountered the terrorists’ ambush site shortly before Kuburmbula village. They quickly cleared the ambush and proceeded to Boftari.

“Unfortunately, the terrorists had set some houses on fire and fled. The troops put out the fire and are currently on the hunt for the terrorists.”

Army Confirms Boko Haram Attack On Another Borno Village

The Nigerian Army, yesterday, confirmed a Boko Haram attack on Kwang and Boftari villages in Borno State, on Monday.

One member of the vigilante group in the area was said to have been shot during the attack while the terrorists fled with gunshot wounds.

Acting Director of Army/Public Relations, Colonel Sani Usman, who made this known in a statement, yesterday, said “suspected elements of Boko Haram terrorists, scavenging for food, attacked Kwang village and vigilantes from Dagu (which is about 4 kilometres from Kwang), responded and repelled the attack.”

Usman, who said soldiers have since been deployed to the area with clear orders to pursue and deal with the insurgents, disclosed another group attacked Boftari, which is about 15 kilometres from Chibok town.

“On receipt of the information, troops of Operation Lafiya Dole, stationed in Forward Operation Base Chibok, mobilised to the area. The troops encountered Boko Haram’s ambush site shortly before Kuburmbula village. They quickly cleared the ambush and proceeded to Boftari.

“Unfortunately, the insurgents had set some houses on fire and fled. The troops put out the fire and are currently on the hunt for them.

“It is imperative to state that contrary to rumours flying around, no life was lost. Additionally, there is no presence of the insurgents in any of the villages, talk less of hoisting flags as alleged.

“The troops have continued to  maintain high level of vigilance,” said Usman.



No Boko Haram Flag Hoisted Near Chibok- Army

The Nigerian Army has refuted the report that Boko Haram insurgents have hoisted flags in some communities near Chibok, Borno State.

A statement by the army spokesman, Col. Sani Usman, said the troops of the Operations Lafiya Dole are maintaining a high level of vigilance in and around the area to forestall infiltration by the terrorists.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) had yesterday reported that the insurgents hoisted their flags in three villages in northern Borno, after over-running the area.The report said the attack followed another one on Monday evening in three villages of Kubirivour, Boftari and Kuburmbalah.

According to the report, it led to the death of eight people, including a village elder.

The elder was said to have been slaughtered by the terrorists, as other villagers scampered into the near by bushes for safety.

Usman said there was no presence of the sect near the reported location.

According to the army spokesman, “At about 4.35pm, suspected remnants of the sect attacked Boftari, which is about 15 kilometres from Chibok town.

“On receipt of the information, troops of Operation Lafiya Dole stationed in Forward Operation Base Chibok, mobilised to the area. The troops encountered the terrorists’ ambush site shortly before Kuburmbula village. They quickly cleared the ambush and proceeded to Boftari.

“Unfortunately, the terrorists had set some houses on fire and fled. The troops put out the fire and are currently on the hunt for the terrorists.”



Boko Haram Leader Shekau Mentally Ill – Army

The Nigerian Army has described the embattled leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, as mentally ill following the release of the latest video in which the terror group leader denied claims made by the army that he was seriously injured.

“The video has shown beyond all reasonable doubt the earlier suspicion that the purported factional terrorist group leader is mentally sick and unstable,” the spokesman for the Nigerian Army, Sani Usman, said in a statement on Sunday.

“The ranting is also another sign that the end is near for him which is part of the signs of all wicked people.”

Usman insisted that Shekau was indeed wounded in an air strike in August and the troops in the northeast were doing enough to check the activities of the terror group.

Nigerian authorities have reported him dead several times before, but the army’s latest claim was bolstered when Boko Haram — which pledged allegiance last year to the Islamic State (IS) group — released a video on September 13 without Shekau in it.

However, in the video released Sunday, Shekau points to a date on an Islamic calendar corresponding to September 25, 2016.

Speaking in Hausa, Arabic and English and in dialects spoken in northeast Nigeria, he appears to be in good physical health.

He uses the video to issue threats against President Muhammadu Buhari, who appealed to the United Nations this week for help in negotiating the release of the Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by the militants more than two years ago.

“If you want your girls, bring back our brethren,” Shekau said.

But Usman said Nigerian Army was intent on clearing “the remnants of the terrorists and rescue all persons held hostage by them especially the abducted Chibok Secondary School girls.”

Insane Shekau must release Chibok girls unconditionally – Army

The Nigerian Army has described the controversial factional leader of Boko Haram terrorists, as mentally ill and unstable person whose end is near, despite issuing threats in the latest video.

The Director of Army Public Relations (DAPR), Col. Sani Usman, in a statement yesterday, said the video clip is a mere propaganda and sign of desperation for a man who was reported to have been “Fatally wounded” in military air strike.

“The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to a video clip released by the so-called Abubakar Shekau faction of the remnants of the Boko Haram terrorists group this morning.

“In it, the purported leader of the group in his usual insane manner made all sorts of assertions to the point of threatening various towns, groups and individuals.

“He also tried albeit failingly to deny the air raid by the Nigerian Air Force in which he was wounded,” Usman stated.

He said: “The video has shown beyond all reasonable doubt the earlier suspicion that the purported factional terrorists group leader is mentally sick and unstable.”

According to him, “The ranting is also another sign that the end is near for him which is part of the signs of all wicked people.”

Usman urged members of the public not to be bothered by the contents of the video clip, saying “the facts on the ground speak for themselves.”

The army spokesman said the video had further shown that Shekau has derailed and no longer believes and practices the Islam he professes to follow; as he was absent at the last Eid prayers video.

“It is equally reported that he could not even lead prayers. The public should not be fooled by this individual,” he advised.

Usman said no nation or society would believe him or any Boko Haram terrorist based on antecedents and as he has shown over times to be irrational and therefore unreliable especially when it comes to negotiations on the release of the abducted girls.

To this end, he said Shekau must release the Chibok girls unconditionally.

“We want to assure Nigerians especially the residents of Maiduguri, Kano, Kaduna and Zaria not to panic as we have more than what it takes to defend them and deal decisively with the remnants of the terrorists group,” he declared.

Usman further stated that Boko Haram terrorism as it was known, is gone for good.

According to him, the military is just counting down to the day when all the few remnants would be totally wiped out or brought to justice.

However, he said a window still existed for the repentant ones among them to lay down their arms and surrender to justice.

Also, the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has said it is not interested in whether Shekau is alive or dead but to continue with elimination of all forms of terrorism in the country.

The Director of Defence Information (DDI), Brig-Gen. Rabe Abubakar, stated this in response to inquiries about the latest Shekau video clip.

Abubakar said the military has made tremendous gains in the counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations in the North-east, and would not be distracted by the antics of the terrorists.

He said: “The DHQ’s position has always been clear that whether Shekau is alive or not doesn’t in anyway matter to us. What is important and pre-occupies mind is to consolidate on the unprecedented gains and successes recorded to terminate the remnants of the sect in order to free completely the North-east.

“Indeed, we are set to free our dear nation from their unholy activities and mindless propaganda and show of shame. They are very much aware that their end is near as our coordinated operations are continuing.”

The Defence spokesman said the Boko Haram terrorists have been defeated except the few remnants who are in disarray and using social media to stay afloat.

According to him, Boko Haram members are surrendering in droves to the military and warned those that have failed to do so to either surrender or be exterminated.

“We have been heating them hard and so the only soft ground for them is the non traditional media where all cock and bull stories can be fashioned to serve their evil and inglorious acts.

“They know what we have done to them and what we are up to. They are losing by the day and their members are surrendering on daily basis,” Abubakar said.

He urged: “The remnant terrorist groups and their followers to turn up yourself for your own good before it is late.”

In a related development, the Nigerian troops have repelled the renewed Boko Haram attacks in Logomani, Borno State, killing 22 terrorists and lost four soldiers in the gun battle.

Usman, in a statement said some suspected remnants of Boko Haram fighters at 10a.m. yesterday, attacked the troops location of at Logomani along Dikwa-Gambarou road.

Usman said the terrorists came in a three waves attack using 36 hand grenades and rocket propelled launchers.

“Our troops fought gallantly and repelled the attack which lasted for about one hour. At the end of the fierce encounter, the troops counted 22 dead bodies of Boko Haram fighter. They also recovered two AK-47 rifles, FN rifle, G3 rifle and some 36 Hand grenades,” he stated.

Unfortunately, he said, the troops lost four soldiers and their rifles as a result of the effect of Boko Haram use of Rocket Propelled Grenades, while two others were wounded in action.

The DAPR said the wounded in action have been evacuated for further medical management.

He also disclosed that the location has been reinforced and replenished, while the troops have continued their clearance operations.

Army To Deploy 1,900 Personnel, 6 Drones, 6 Gunboats

A total of 1,900 military personnel would participate in the governorship election rescheduled for Wednesday, September 28.
In addition, two drones are to be deployed  in each of the three senatorial districts and six gunboats for the riverine areas.
The Commander, 4 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Brigadier-General
Benbela Raji disclosed this yesterday evening while briefing journalists shortly after a combined security meeting with the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) and other sister agencies in Benin.
He explained that the military personnel would not be found at either the voting or collation centres but would cordon off adjoining routes to the polling units to ensure that untoward elements, criminals or people who want to cause confusion are not allowed into those areas primarily.
“?The Nigerian Army is there to play a supportive role to the security agencies. Should there be issues or security challenges beyond the control of the security agencies, the military will, of course, be activated to take care of such situations?”?, he said.
Also speaking, the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris announced that the enforcement of the restriction of movement in and out of the state would ?commence at 1am on Wednesday.
Idris, who spoke through the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of oprations, Joshak Habila said the restriction would include a lock down of all highways within the state and inroads, adding that the police would also conduct “semi-temporary checks” on vehicles and persons plying such roads.
“I want members of the public to know that at 1am on September 28, the highways, the in-ways and the out roads, roads that are leading into Edo and those ones going out, will be locked down.
“There will be semi-temporary checks on vehicles and personalities using the roads”?, the IGP explained, disclosing that the crime-mapping of flash points had been done to ensure adequate policing and arrest of electoral offenders.
He ?also explained that in addition to the provision of 25,000 personnel and patrol vehicles for the poll, the air wing of the police had also deployed helicopters to provide aerial surveillance in the three senatorial districts, just as he announced that? four gunboats would also be deployed in the riverine areas.
“ As I as speak to you, we have a large number of men from the special anti-robbery squad, ?men from the police mobile force, tactical operations squad and men from the force intelligence bureau, who are here.
“They have their vehicles. From now, they will go into the three senatorial districts and carry out aggressive patrol and look out for would-be troublemakers, some of whom we have captured their behaviour when we did what we call crime analysis.
“We have shared information with other security agencies and we are ready to make sure that we do not allow anybody to truncate the system, “the police boss said.

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Edo guber: Army confirms arrest of miscreants with election materials

Amid the controversy over the arrest of some persons alleged to be in possession of sensitive election materials, the Nigerian Army has confirmed holding some miscreants but denied that they were journalists.

Soldiers of the 4 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, with operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) were alleged to have raided a hotel where some people alleged to be journalists were arrested.

An online publication was said to have made the allegation. But, a statement by the Acting Director of Army Public Relations (DAPR, Col. Sani Usman refuted the report.

The statement explained that none of those arrested explained that they were journalists, neither did they show any means of identification to that effect.

On the contrary, the army said: “A number of incriminating items including the Independent National Electoral Commission’s sensitive materials were recovered from them.”

Usman confirmed that the troops actually arrested a deserted soldier and other suspected miscreants in possession of some election materials.

The statement titled “Re: Edo Elections: Soldiers, DSS Molest and Arrests 10 Journalist in Edo” reads in part: “It is important to state that sequel to the prevailing security situation in the state, which led to the postponement of the earlier scheduled gubernatorial election, there were credible security reports that some unpatriotic persons have hired hoodlums with the intention of causing mayhem during the forthcoming election.

“The reports further showed that the suspected hoodlums have been lodged in some hotels within Benin City and its environs. Acting on this, the DSS, in conjunction with troops of 4 Brigade Nigerian Army carried out cordon and search operations in the suspected areas.

“This led to the arrest of 10 suspected persons in one of the hotels. Among the suspects arrested was a deserted soldier. It is pertinent to state that none of the arrested suspects identified himself as a journalist or mentioned the media he reports for, contrary to the allegations of the online media.”

However, the statement added that the arrested persons were well handled, in line with the operational codes of the services and the tradition of dignified human treatment.

It stated that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Yusuf Buratai, has zero tolerance for unprofessional and unethical conduct such as harassing and molesting innocent citizens.

Reports said those arrested have been handed over to the DSS for further investigation.

The state chairman of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr. Roland Osakwe, said he was aware that some arrests had been made.

He, however, said he could not confirm their identity as they did not register their presence at the NUJ state secretariat.

Meanwhile, as part of the activities to check the reported security challenges, the Nigerian Army has promised to deploy drones during the governorship election.

Army To Deploy Drones During Edo Governorship Election

To ensure fair, free and credible governorship election on September 28 in Edo State, the Nigerian Army said it would deploy drones to monitor strategic location during the conduct of the election.

The Commander of 4 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Brigadier-General Raji Benbela, who spoke to journalists in Benin during operation show of force staged by a combined team of security agencies in the state, said the deployment of the drones will support the aerial view of strategic locations across the state and also help to check activities of hoodlums.

He said the show of force was not to intimidate the people but to assure them to come out en masse
and vote on Election Day, adding that security agents would be deployed to strategic locations to stop unwanted elements from disrupting the process.

Benbela disclosed that the Army had arrested some persons and that they would be made to face trial after the election. He appealed to the electorate and political gladiators to conduct themselves in such a manner that would not jeopardize the process.

Army Wants ATM For Frontline Soldiers In Maiduguri

The Nigerian Army on Sunday called on commercial banks to deploy Automated Teller Machines (ATM) to the military barracks in Maiduguri for the use of front line soldiers involved in the ongoing counter-insurgency operation in Borno.


Brig.Gen. Victor Ezugwu, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 Division, made the call while speaking at a Civil-Military Forum organised by the Nigerian Army in Maiduguri.


Ezugwu was reacting to criticisms by residents that soldiers often refused to join queues at the ATM points in the town.


He said that the army had written several letters to the banks for the deployment of ATM machines to the barracks without much success.


“We have been battling with the issue of lack of ATM in the barracks for the use of soldiers in the front line zone.


“I wrote letters to the banks over seven months ago for them to deploy the ATM at the Maimalari Cantonment for soldiers use, but there is no response yet,” he said.


Ezugwu said that the military was concerned about the development and urged the residents to intervene.
“I want to urge everybody here, especially traditional rulers, to help put pressure on the banks so that they can give us ATM at the barracks and allow you to use the ones in town.


“We are aware of the fact that everybody needs the ATM at one point or another,” he said.


“ A soldier carrying 12 ATM cards at a time must have brought his colleagues’ cards from the frontline to take money and send to their families all over Nigeria.


“We have areas where there is no network, it is only through the ATM that the soldiers can send money home to their families’ he said.


Ezugwu appealed for more understanding from the residents pending when the ATM would be provided by the banks at the barracks.

FG To Use Local Textile For Military, Paramilitary Uniforms

The federal government says plans are underway for Nigerian military and para-military personnel to use made in Nigeria textile for their uniforms.


The Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment, Hajiya A’isha Abubakar, said this, yesterday, in Benin at the 28th Annual National Education Conference of the National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN) and the Nigerian Textile, Garment and Tailoring Employers Association (NTGTEA).

Represented by a director in the ministry, Barnabas Jattau, Hajiya A’isha said: “The government is presently discussion with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on how to stop smuggling of textiles materials into the country through the nation’s border posts.”


“The other plan is to reduce production cost, especially the cost of gas. We are working out ways to change gas pricing from dollar to naira.”


She said that the government, worried by the state of textile industry in the country, would revive the sector by ensuring that made in Nigeria textile was patronised by Nigerians.


Earlier, the President of the NUTGTWN, John Adaji, urged the federal government officials to wear clothing from fabrics made in Nigeria to encourage local textile manufacturers.


He advised President Muhamadu Buhari to shift from rhetoric to practical actions on the nation’s textile industry, saying that his achievement would be measured by the success he recorded in reviving the textile sector.


Also speaking, the Director General of the NTGTEA, Hamman Kwajjaffa, said that poor electricity supply remained major challenge in reviving the ailing textile sector.


He condemned smuggling of textile goods from Asia and other parts of Europe into Nigeria.


On his part, the General Secretary of NUTGTWN and National Vice President, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Isa Aremu, said that the recent re-orientation campaign launched by Buhari should be embraced by especially members of his cabinet.


“The new change mantra must start from the textile industry with the president, vice president and ministers wearing made in Nigeria textiles,” he said.


“Our school uniforms, military and para-military uniforms, uniforms of the NYSC should be made in Nigeria with Nigerian fabrics, we must patronise our produce at home.”

Army Rescues 43 People From Boko Haram, 500 Cows

The Nigerian military has rescued 43 abducted persons and recovered 500 cows from fleeing Boko Haram terrorists in Mafa.

The military operation for the mission occurred Sunday morning after eight suspected Boko Haram terrorists abducted some cattle rearers and livestock at gunpoint at Dalakalari general area, Mafa Local Government Area.

Some well meaning people informed the military who swung into action and pursued the terrorists.

The terrorists, sensing danger, ran and abandoned the livestock just before Panamri village.

The troops were able to rescue 43 persons and 500 cows taken by the terrorists.

The victims and the recovered cows have been handed over to the local authorities.

Army Describes Boko Haram Threat to Capture President Buhari As An Empty Joke

Director Defence Information, Brig. Gen. Rabe Abubakar, has described the threat by Boko Haram members to capture President Buhari as empty, lacking in substance and a joke. The sect in a video released on Youtube on Tuesday September 13th, threatened to capture President Buhari.

Reacting to the threat, Brig. Gen. Abubakar said the military had dealt with the sect members that they had migrated to the cyberspace to make empty threats. He called on Nigerians to ignore the threats.


“We don’t have any comment. We know what we have done, and what we are planning to do. The only place they have agenda for now is the social media. The only ground the Boko Haram can go to hide and pretend to be alive is the social media because it is everybody’s home. The so-called video is an attempt by the remnants to remind us that there were once some Boko Haram elements. The issue of the threat to capture PMB is a complete joke and a dream of the century. Therefore, the entire clip should be ignored as everybody is appreciative of our feat against Boko Haram. It is not just an empty threat; it is a threat that has no substance at all. It is a senseless threat from their imagination. Nigeria should simply ignore it.”.he said

Seven Niger Soldiers Killed By Boko Haram

 Seven Niger soldiers were killed and eight others wounded in two separate attacks by Boko Haram Islamists over the past week, the army has said.

The two attacks took place in the southeastern Diffa region near the border with Nigeria, according to a military statement released late on Tuesday.

Five of them were killed in an ambush on Monday morning carried out by “members of the Boko Haram terrorist group” which also left six others wounded.

In an earlier incident on September 8, two soldiers were killed and another two wounded when their patrol vehicle went over “an improvised explosive device”, the statement said.

Earlier this month, five villagers were killed and two others wounded in the same area in another attack by the Nigeria-based jihadist group in the first such incident since early June.

Boko Haram’s seven-year insurgency has left at least 20,000 people dead in Nigeria and border areas of neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, and made more than 2.6 million homeless.

Credit: AFP

Nigerian Army confirms death of ‘Charlie Boy’ in Imo State

The Nigerian Army 34 artillery has confirmed the death of a notorious cult leader Charles Ojeoru a.k.a Charlie boy.


This was after a gun battle between Army and cultists in Ohaji Egbema area of Imo State.


The Army, who described Charles Ojeoru as a cultist, said he was the gang leader of a notorious group that mainly operated In Awara, Imodube and Ogwewe communities of the oil producing Ohaji Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State.


In a statement by the Assistant Director Army Public Relations, Imo state, Lieutenant Haruna Tagwai, he said the cultist died during a gun battle between the strike Force of 34 Artillery Brigade Obinze, and cultists in the area.

The Ohaji Egbema Local Government and the environs appear to be a regular attraction to cultists and other miscreants due to its oil rich nature.


However, the Army says a clearance operation was being carried out to cleanse the area, as well as Imo state in general.


Lieutenant Tagwai stated that some other members of the notorious gang had also sustained various degrees of injuries while some are still on the run. Nevertheless, they would not rest on their laurels until the criminals are apprehended.


He urged the general public to report to security agencies or any relevant information on sighting anyone or group of persons with gunshot wounds.

Operation Crocodile Smile: Army destroys bunkering site, tanker in Delta

As part of the exercise to free the Niger-Delta region of the menace of militancy, bunkering, kidnapping and other related vices, the men of the Nigeria Army, 19 Battalion, Koko, Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State have destroyed an illegal bunkering site and a tanker.


The exercise, which the military said is still ongoing in the region, is meant to send a red alert to the militants to retreat and desist from their nefarious act or be ready to face the wrought of the Nigeria military.

The 19 Battalion, under Lt. Col. Anthony Ozemhoya, has assured residents of the area of relative peace, adding that the purpose for the ‘Operation Crocodile Smile’ is to provide adequate security for the residents and government facilities, mostly in the Niger Delta region.


Ozemhoya stressed the need to keep the country and its people safe and ensure that its economy is protected from miscreants that are bent on destroying and bombing of pipelines, thus sabotaging the economy of the nation.

Boko Haram: Army Can Declare Civilians Wanted – Buratai Tells Falana

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, has said that with the arrest of a journalist, Ahmed Salkida, over links with Boko Haram sect, he has been vindicated that the Nigerian military can declare a civilian wanted.

He was reacting to reports credited to a legal practitioner, Mr. Femi Falana that the military lacks power to declare civilians wanted.

According to him, in the course of securing the country from terrorism, the military has the power to summon any person to assist them with this task.

Buratai, in a statement issued by his lawyer and human rights activist, Ugochukwu Osuagwu, obtained by journalists in Abuja, added that in the course of questioning any person who is suspected to have links with terrorists, the Army may refer the person to appropriate agencies for further investigation and prosecution, especially where the facts were available.

The statement reads…

“It was Judy Biggert who said “No one ever said that fighting the war against terrorism and defending our homeland would be easy. So let’s support our troops, law enforcement workers, and our mission to keep our nation and our children safe in the days and years to come”

“My attention has been drawn to an article appearing in several newspapers and online media credited to Learned Silk FEMI FALANA (SAN) with the caption  “Army Lacks Power To Declare Civilians ‘Wanted’” .

“I disagree with this view. The Nigerian Military or Army has both Constitutional and Statutory mandate to fight terrorism and in the course of securing the country from terrorism have the power to summon any person to assist them with this task. And if in the course of questioning any person who is suspected to have links with Terrorists, the Army or Nigerian Military where the facts warrants, may refer the person to appropriate Agencies for further investigation and prosecution.

“I do not see how any person would suggest that the Nigerian Army or Military would allow any person they suspect may interfere with the war against terrorism to go scot free simply because the person wears a civilian garb or is a civilian? Certainly Public safety and National Security would not encourage such. Rather than condemn the Nigerian Army for declaring certain persons wanted or summoning any person ,we should commend them for their sound intelligence gathering.

“On October 28 2015 the Nigerian Army declared 100 Boko Haram terrorists suspects wanted in Borno. There was no write up condemning this declaration even where the photos of these persons were published. So why would declaring three persons wanted now generate controversy.

“Nigerian Army has full powers under Section 217 of the Nigerian Constitution to summon or declare any suspected person wanted in the course of defending Nigeria’s territorial space from terrorists and rebels.They do not need to wait for the IGP or AGF or SSS to act swiftly.

“1999 Constitution of Nigeria Section 217 provides . (1) There shall be an armed forces for the Federation which shall consist of an army, a navy, an Air Force and such other branches of the armed forces of the Federation as may be established by an Act of the National Assembly.

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Operation Crocodile Smile will address Niger Delta crisis – Buratai

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, has said that the ‘Operation Crocodile Smile’ will address the security challenges facing the Niger Delta and enhance peace in the region.

This is as Rivers State governor, Chief Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike, declared his support for the Operation Crocodile Smile by the Nigerian Army.

Buratai, who spoke yesterday when he led other senior military officers to pay a courtesy call on Wike at Government House, Port Harcourt, explained that the Operation Crocodile Smile was introduced to train army personnel on the techniques of operating in the Niger Delta.

The Chief of Army Staff said, “The Operation Crocodile Smile is an exercise to train our troops on amphibious operations.”

He stated that the exercise seeks to provide the civil authorities with the right environment to carry out governance.

Buratai further stated that the exercise will ensure that the troops are professional with the required training to conduct operations within the law.

The Army Chief said, “Our waters are generally porous. The Nigerian Army has amphibious capabilities in conjunction with the Nigerian Navy to carry out limited operations within the creeks.”

He noted that another aspect of the Operation Crocodile Smile will witness the Army intervening in critical areas of need for the communities, pointing out that already, the Army has embarked on medical outreach in Bille in Rivers State and Nembe in Bayelsa State.

Responding, Governor Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike, stated that he will do everything to ensure peace and security in the Niger Delta.

Wike said, “The Rivers State Government is fully in support of the Operation Crocodile Smile. I was fully briefed by the Brigade Commander and we associate ourselves with the programme because it will make the Niger Delta safer.”

Wike Expresses Support For ‘Operation Crocodile Smile’

Rivers State Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has declared his support for the Operation Crocodile Smile by the Nigerian Army, saying that he will do everything to ensure peace and security in the Niger Delta.

Governor Wike spoke on Monday when he granted audience to the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai and Senior Army Officers at the Government House, Port Harcourt.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai explained that the Operation Crocodile Smile was introduced to train army personnel on the techniques of operating in the Niger Delta.

The governor said: “The Rivers State Government is fully in support of the Operation Crocodile Smile. I was fully briefed by the Brigade Commander and we associate ourselves with the programme because it will make the Niger Delta safer.

“One of the advantages of the programme is that hoodlums in the creeks are being uprooted for a safer Niger Delta. I support the programme insofar as it is done with the constitution “.

According to the governor, the Rivers State Government will sustain its support for security agencies to create the right atmosphere for democratic governance.

He said that the State Government has procured 6 New Armoured Personnel Carriers for the Police and in the process of concluding the acquisition of 10 gunboats for the Nigerian Navy.

Earlier, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai said that the Operation Crocodile Smile will ensure that the security challenges in the Niger Delta are addressed and peace enhanced.

He said: “The Operation Crocodile Smile is an exercise to train our troops on amphibious operations “.

The Army Chief said that the exercise seeks to provide the civil authorities with the right environment to carry out governance.

He said the exercise will ensure that the troops are professional with the required training to conduct operations within the law.

He said: “Our waters are generally porous. The Nigerian Army has amphibious capabilities in conjunction with the Nigerian Navy to carry out limited operations within the creeks”.

General Buratai added that another aspect of the Operation Crocodile Smile will witness the Army intervening in critical areas of need for the communities. He said that the Army has already embarked on medical outreach in Bille (Rivers State) and Nembe (Bayelsa State).

Why We Took Over Jonathan Cousin’s Firm – Army

The Nigerian Army has explained why the men of the Army Headquarters Garrison, Mogadishu Cantonment, Abuja, took over the premises of a company belonging to Mr. Robert Azibaola, a cousin of former President Goodluck Jonathan on Saturday.

The Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman, said that the land in question belonged to the Army.

Usman said the Army decided to take over the property because the service did not want any further encroachment on the property.

He stressed that the Nigerian Army would not tolerate any encroachment on its land.

“The said property is on Nigerian Army’s land and the Army will not allow anybody to encroach on its land.

“Consequently, the property has to be sealed to prevent further encroachment,” he stated.

Soldiers had taken over the premises of Kakarta Civil Engineering Limited, owned by the former President’s cousin, located along the Kubwa/Asokoro Expressway on Saturday.

The company shares boundary with the Luigi Barracks of the Nigerian Army.

Meanwhile, a Lagos-based lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), on Sunday, called on President Muhammadu Buhari, to caution the Nigerian Army for alleged arbitrary use of its powers and use of brute force on innocent citizens. Falana made this call in a statement, which he made on the heel of the invasion of the premises of Kakarta Civil Engineering Limited on Saturday.

The lawyer said the Army took possession of the property, owned by Azibaola, without a court order.

He said, “Sequel to the illegal action of the Army of occupation, the innocent workers in the company have been sent to the unemployment market. Although the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has charged Mr. Azibaola to court for alleged criminal diversion of $40m from the office of the National Security Adviser, he pleaded not guilty to the charge and has been granted bail.

“The implication of the plea is that he is presumed innocent until the contrary is proved by the prosecution.

“Therefore, if the Nigerian military authorities had wanted to dispossess him of the property in question, they ought to have applied for a court order. But by taking over the property under the pretext that it constitutes a threat to a nearby military barracks, the military authorities took the law into their hands.

“The forceful seizure of the property should not be tolerated in a civilised society which operates under the rule of law.”

Both Original & Fake Shekau Are Dead- Army

The Nigerian Army has described as “a façade” videos of Abubakar Shekau released by Boko Haram.
Theatre commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Lucky Irabor, reiterated in Adamawa state yesterday that Shekau was dead.
He said the military killed the individual originally identified as Shekau, as well as his impostor.
“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 said.
“They released videos to prove that they are still active, but, that’s just a facade.” Irabor said Boko Haram is currently divided as a result of military operations.
This is not the first time the army would pronounce Shekau dead, but the militant leader has been known for releasing videos to debunk the claims.
Last week, Col. Sani Usman, army spokesman, issued a statement and said Shekau was “fatally” injured in an air raid.
“In what one could describe as the most unprecedented and spectacular air raid, we confirmed that, as a result of the interdiction efforts of the Nigerian Air Force, some key leaders of the Boko Haram terrorists have been killed while others were fatally wounded.
“Those confirmed dead were Abubakar Mubi, Malam Nuhu and Malam Hamman, amongst others, while their leader, the so-called ‘Abubakar Shekau’, is believed to be fatally wounded on his shoulders. Several other terrorists were also wounded,” Usman said.
Former Education minister, Mrs. Obiageli Ezekwesili, leader of the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) movement, taunted the military for “triumphantly” announcing the death of Shekau on four occasions, while unable to rescue the abducted Chibok girls.
On April 14, 2014, Boko Haram abducted over 260 grils from a secondary school in Chibok, Borno State and subsequently, married off some of them to their members.
Early this year, Amina Ali-Nkeki, one of the abducted girls, was rescued with a baby, alongside her Boko Haram husband.
Recently, Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar said the Airforce did not know the location of the girls. There is no credible  intelligence that will specifically tell you their that these girls are here,” he said