No time for rest until Boko Haram is defeated – Brig-Gen. Victor Ezugwu

The Acting General Officer Commanding (GOC) of 7 Division of the Nigerian Army,Brig-Gen. Victor Ezugwu, has said there would be “no enjoyment for soldiers” in the Theatre Command until Boko Haram is defeated and peace restored to the Northeast region of the country.

Ezugwu gave the charges yesterday while decorating four promoted Colonels and three Brigadier Generals at the Officers’ Mess of Maimalari Cantonment, Maiduguri.

The GOC also denied that troops protested yesterday in Bama, as reported by online media, saying he returned in a helicopter yesterday morning from the 212 Armoured Brigade in Bama.

He said if there were any protests by the troops, he would be the first person or the military commanding officer on ground (Bama) from Maiduguri to meet the protesting soldiers.

He stated that the spread of such rumours in the ongoing fight against Boko Haram insurgency are the makings of sympathizers of the terrorists, who do not want the war to end.

Ezugwu said the officers’ promotions by the Nigerian Army was a reward of excellence and their performances in the Theatre Command in fighting insurgency to the finish.

“This is a big day for you, and you should ensure that the remnants of insurgents in the Sambisa Forest and Northern Borno State are cleared, so as to restore peace in the affected region,” he told the affected troops.

He said that to achieve this, the soldiers in the frontlines and Sambisa Forest should double their efforts in clearing the remnants of all Boko Haram insurgents, adding: “Clear all the remnants of these insurgents before you commence enjoying your promotions in the Nigerian Armed Forces.”

Dignitaries, including heads and representatives of the Nigeria Police, Nigerian Customs Services (NCS), Nigeria Immigration Services (NIS), Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and Nigerian Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), state Ministry of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (MRRR) and decorated military
officers donated N2.86 million at the occasion.

JUST IN: Gunshots, confusion in Borno as soldiers fighting Boko Haram go on rampage

There is a complete breakdown of order and discipline at the 21 Brigade of the Nigerian Army with soldiers deployed to rout Boko Haram from the dreaded Sambisa Forest in Borno State turning against their officers and firing gunshots in all directions.

People familiar with the matter said the troops complained of mistreatment and then began to shoot indiscriminately, threatening to kill any officer who stands on their way.

“The brigade is based in Bama but is currently deployed at Bula Bello in Sambisa for Operation Rescue Final,” a military insider told PREMIUM TIMES.

“But suddenly soldiers started mutinying at 6AM today, firing in all directions and threatening to pull out of the operation.

“As some of them fire gunshots, some started preparing vehicles to move out of location. They also warned officers to steer clear or they would be shot dead.

“They are saying their commanders have been treating them badly and telling them lies. As I speak to you, the firing is still going on, and there is confusion everywhere.”

The commander of the Brigade, Col AG Laka, could not immediately be reached to comment for this story.

The Nigerian Army is yet to issue a statement on the incident.

Contacted, the spokesperson for the Army, Sani Usman, a brigadier general, declined comment on the development.

There have been repeated cases of mutiny by Nigerian soldiers since the war against Boko Haram began, and the Army has tried over 100 soldiers for the offence.

The worst case occurred in May 2014 when troops of 7 Division, angered by the death of 12 of their colleagues in a Boko Haram ambush, opened fire on the vehicle of their General Officer Commanding (GOC), Major General Ahmadu Mohammed.

The soldiers were later arrested, tried and jailed.

How I was captured, forced to marry Boko Haram terrorist – Cameroonian

It was a few minutes after midday, and the sun was already blazing at the Dalori-1 camp for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

At this time of the day, usually, only the trees can provide the much-needed cool to wade off dehydration.

The displaced children had to shift their play from the burning grounds to the cool shades of the cascading Neem trees. So was the case for the elderly inmates who had to also move out of their tarpaulin shelters.

Young men were spotted in various locations chatting away; some had already dozed off, apparently helped by the coolness of the trees.

Some women, mostly mothers, were seen from time to time bending out of their make shift homes to check on the foodstuff they had spread to dry in the perfect sun.

Most of the young girls, especially those in their teens and early 20s, also had their different spots under the foliage or at the common hall built by officials of the camp. The girls, usually, at this time of the day, would be busy chatting away their boring time.

Some of them with knack for making money, legitimately, were seen busy knitting designs on native caps, which they would sell off to merchants.

Very naturally, the atmosphere around the girls’ spot was more exciting and attractive. The young females could be heard interjecting their gossips and chitchats with occasional laughter, and teases.


Boko Haram new
                                                                      Boko Haram

But Fati Salilhu, one of the young women in the camp, was not a party to the hilarity of the girls’ company.

A reporter sighted her sitting in a withdrawn mode under a Neem tree outside the camp tent she shares with other females. Her mind seemed to have travelled far away from the noisy happenings around her.

She was not looking shabby, despite being an IDP. Her slightly made up face had really done a great job at beaming up her natural beauty.  But it had not hidden the telltale of a young woman who had passed through difficult times.

She was 22 years old and mother of a deceased child.

Fati was one of the females rescued from the captivity of Boko Haram insurgents by soldiers of the Nigerian army about two years ago. Though she speaks flawless Hausa, a major language in northern Nigeria, Fati said she is not a Nigerian.

“I am from Cameroon”, she told reporters.

She was brought to the IDP camp about a year ago, after she was rescued from the captivity of Boko Haram insurgents who had snatched her and many other women from Kolofata in the Republic of Cameroon.

“I am from Mozogore village in Cameroon. I am the last child of the 9 kids from my mother”, she told reporters in Hausa, a major Nigerian language also spoken in northern part of Cameroon near the Nigerian border.

Fati, was abducted in Kolofata town of Cameroon on July 28, 2014. It was the very day the wife of a deputy minister in Cameroon, Ali Amodu, was abducted by Boko Haram.

While the deputy minister’s wife (now freed) was taken from her home, Fati said she was flocked away, alongside other women, into the jungle from a hospital in Kolofata where she was watching over her sick aged mother.

It was the last time she knew freedom.

“I was abducted when I took my sick mother to the hospital in Kolofata”, she said with sobered voice.

“Boko Haram fighters came in and abducted some other women and me”.

Coming out of a forced marriage, after she was forced to abandon her secondary school education midway because her parents could not afford her fees, Fati became a wife at the age of 19.

The road to captivity

Like many others, Fati said the road to Boko Haram’s captivity was harrowing.

“After they had forced us to follow them at gun point, we were taken for a long walk through the jungles of Buni Yadi (in Yobe State) where we were camped”, she recalled.

“After some days, soldiers came and we had to flee to another location, which name I could not recall. From there, we were taken to a place called Tumbuktu, where we spent about five weeks. The soldiers came again, and they had to move us to a place called Kafela and we were kept there for about 7 months.

Painful loss of child

When Boko Haram captured her, the Cameroonian girl was nursing a baby – the product of her failed marriage. It was with that baby girl strapped to her back that she was made to traverse the jungles, mostly on foot.

Fati said she lost the baby while they were being forced by the Boko Haram members to flee during an attack on their location by soldiers.

“I lost my baby when we had to run towards Izza village”, she said.

“The attack on our location was massive, and as we were running with the Boko Haram people, we all feared for our lives; so we ran through the thick bushes. My little daughter, who was strapped to my back, fell off and was badly injured. She eventually died. Some men amongst our abductors collected the child and buried her somewhere in a shallow grave; I was not given a chance to mourn her, we had to move on.

The rescue

After about a year under the captivity of Boko Haram, a miraculous rescue came to them when the Nigerian soldiers eventually raided Izza, one of the largest camps of the Boko Haram, located somewhere between Gwoza and Bama local government areas of Borno state.

“We did not stay long in Izza, when the soldiers arrived attacking from the sky and on ground”, she said.

“We kept on running towards Izza amidst bombardment from air force jets.  Many of us, including some Boko Haram members were killed. We made it to Izza, a big village where many abducted girls were kept but we did not stay there for long before the soldiers raided the place and rescued some of us.

“The soldiers took us to Bama, and from there we were taken to Giwa barracks. We spent about two months in Giwa barracks before they brought us here to stay in Dalori-1 IDP camp. Now I have spent about a year here in the camp.

Forced Marriage

Like most of the females taken into captivity, Fati had to become a wife to one of her abductors. A situation she had to accept, lest she suffered more torture or abuse by those who appropriated her liberty.

“I was forced to marry a Boko Haram member, named Abba Kaka. He said he was from Benishek town of Borno State. But the marriage lasted only two months because soldiers killed him.

“I was actually forced to marry him. In fact, the Boko Haram members threw me in jail for weeks when I refused to accept Abba Kaka’s hand in marriage”, she said.

Like many other girls, Fati said she was left with limited but cruel options. She just had to give in.

“We were made to undergo several punishments and torture when we were resisting to abide by their ways of doing things; they said we must accept their creed and belief that any other person that is not an adherent of Izalatul Ahlil sunna liddawati wal jihad (Boko Haram) is an infidel whose blood was legitimate to be shed.

“We were not hungry because there was food in abundance, but we had to live in a very difficult condition in which we sometimes found it difficult to change clothes or wash properly; some of us that menstruate would sometimes go without sanitary pads; we only used them if the Boko Haram fighters returned with loots and we were lucky to find such things like sanitary pads, and diapers for children.

“They kept telling us that they wanted to make us true Muslims, and there was no way they would allow us to see our infidel parents or relatives again.

“You know we were abducted at Kolofata, on the same night the wife of Cameroon minister, Ali Amodu, was kidnapped. And I could recall when the deputy minister’s wife, who was kept in different way from ours, was rescued after a shootout. They came to tell us that ‘your people in Cameroon are killing our members, so you too would not be freed; you would rather die in our custody’”.

“They said they would rather continue to move about in the bush with us, and that we too had to taste the bitterness of the pains they suffered each time their members were killed by soldiers in Nigeria and Cameroon. They kept threatening us daily; sometimes we cried and called for help; but they kept on telling us that crying was a waste of time. We went on like that for weeks and months until we became tired of crying. Yes, it was useless crying, so we decided to take our plight as our fate and began to live with it”.

Lonely and stranded in IDP camp

Unlike most of the rescued abductees who are Nigerians, Fati had not been able to link up with her family in Cameroon for over a year since her rescue.

“We were many that were abducted; but they split us up in the jungles and those of us that were brought to Dalori-1 IDP camp were four in number; they had all been joined with their families; it was only me that was left behind because I could not link up with my family in Cameroon”, she mourned.

“I have not heard from my parents, including my sick mother. I am not happy; each time I worried about leaving, I was told that it was not safe going to Cameroon”.


                                                                      Fati Salilhu

“Since my rescue and arrival to Maiduguri, I have been well taken care of by the Nigerian military and camp officials till date, we get enough medication, toiletries and apartment to lay our heads at night. But of late, things have begun to get difficult in terms of feeding. The foods are not enough; it hardly comes in square.”

Life after camp

For the first time during the interview, the Cameroonian girl’s eyes lit up when this reporter asked about her life before the abduction on July 28, 2014. She recalled her dream of being a working class lady. But she fears a future of stigma as a lady who had once been married to a “terrorist”.

“When I was a free girl back in our village in Cameroon, I used to sell soft drinks and cold water. I do not have much education; after my primary education, I enrolled into secondary school. But along the line, I had to drop out to get married on the orders of my parents who said they could no longer sustain my education.

“I wanted to be a government worker, just like some of my friends that were able to advance their studies and are now working as nurses; while some are currently employees of government. I wanted to be a nurse too.

“Even if I return home now, I have no concrete plans for the future, because I have no education to qualify me for employment. I have to embrace whatever God puts in my way. If another husband comes, I get married, that is if you don’t show my photograph as a woman who had once married a Boko Haram (smiles). If I have resources, I will continue with my petty trade.

Her ultimate desire

“All I want now is to be allowed to return home so that I can reunite with my family members. Most of my siblings are working; some are soldiers in the Cameroonian military; some are doing government work in Marwa, others are doing business there. But I have no relatives here on the side of Nigeria. I know my mother weeps every day for me. May be she may even be mourning, thinking I am no longer alive. I just need to go home.”

Police Defuses 67 Landmines Buried By Boko Haram In Bama Army Barracks

The Commissioner of police in Borno State, Damian Chukwu, has said that operatives of the Explosive Ordnance Department (EOD) under his command defused 67 Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) buried by Boko Haram insurgents at the military barracks in Bama.

Mr. Chukwu, who spoke to journalists on Sunday evening, said the explosives which have since been evacuated, may have been planted in the barracks shortly before troops of the Nigeria military liberated Bama town.

He said the defused bombs had enabled reconstruction workers to carry on with their work without any hitch.

The CP noted that Bama town, which now temporarily serves as the seat of the Borno government, following the relocation of the governor from Maiduguri last Wednesday, has been beefed up with more police to ensure the adequate safety for the visitors and workers alike.

“As the governor and his team were going to Bama to monitor reconstruction work, we put together various components of my operational units, the Police Mobile Force, the Counter-Terrorist Unit, the Special Protection Unit, the EOD i.e. the bomb disposal unit, the intelligence group as well as the conventional police, to go with them,” said Mr. Damian.

“In the process of doing reconstruction work in the military barracks, the soldiers and other people there saw some buried IEDs — about 67 of them — and called the attention of my men.

“It is believed that the insurgents buried those bombs while they were there, especially when the military came back to displace them.

“We had to deploy the EOD unit who brought out the bombs and destroyed them and then gave way for reconstruction work to continue.’’

 The CP added that more police personnel have been deployed all the liberated local government headquarters with a view to protect the returnees and prevent the return of the insurgents.

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Danish Delegation Visits Borno Gov In Reclaimed Bama

The Governor of Borno state, Kashim Shettima, on Thursday received a delegation from the Danish refugee council in his Bama office where he relocated to on Wednesday.

Governor Shettima had said that he temporarily moved his office 75km away from Maiduguri, the state capital, in order to monitor the ongoing reconstruction of the town that was completely destroyed by Boko Haram.

On Thursday, Mr. Shettima hosted a six-member delegation from the Danish Refugee Council in Bama to discussion a partnership strategy with the state in ongoing reconstruction works.

The Country Director of the Danish Refugee Council in Nigeria, Shah Liton, had to fly into Bama in a helicopter that conveyed them from Maiduguri to meet the governor.

“The Governor had said any meeting requiring his presence would only be held in Bama town unless where he is summoned by the Presidency or where unforeseen emergencies come up,” Isa Gusau, the governor’s spokesperson, said.

The visiting Danish Group met Mr. Shettima at the 21 Armoured Brigade reception tent in Bama.

The delegation, amongst others, offered to assist Nigeria by removing mines planted by insurgents in farmlands in order to encourage the returnee IDPs resume their farm works.

The Danish delegation said they were impressed with the way the returnees were trying to settle down despite what they went through.

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Army Loses Two Soldiers In Bama Ambush

The Nigerian Army says it lost two personnel on Thursday  in an ambush staged by fleeing Boko Haram members in operational areas in Borno state.

A military official said the ambush occurred along Konduga-Bama axis of the state recently visited by a Federal Government delegation led by the Minister of Information, Mr Lai Mohammed.

The Commanding Officer, a Lieutenant Colonel and a private soldier were killed in the attack, the theatre commander of the Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Yusha’u Abubakar, told reporters in Maiduguri.

Major General Abubakar also said that the advancing troops, in an offensive operation, dislodged insurgents around Jakana and Alagarno axis of the state.

On Wednesday, Nigerian troops and the Borno Youths Empowerment, otherwise known as Civilian JTF on Wednesday foiled planned attacks by four suicide bombers in the outskirt of Maiduguri.

A military source said that at about 7.30am on Wednesday, four female suicide bombers were intercepted by troops and the Civilian JTF, ahead of a checkpoint about 25km away from Maiduguri the capital of Borno State.

Credit: ChannelsTV

Troops Destroy More Boko Haram Camps, Frees 31 Hostages

Troops operating in Bama, Borno state yesterday cleared Boko Haram terrorists out of Aulari general area located within the Sambisa forest, clearing 4 camps located within the area that includes Faldan, Kidiziromari, Kuroshini, Kurumari and Ngulda.

According to a statement from the Acting Director Army Public Relations Col. Sani Usman, one Boko Haram terrorist was killed while trying to escape and about 31 persons were rescued from the terrorists.

During the attack, the troops discovered stockpile of farm produce in metal drums, sacks and underground storage facilities. Other items recovered included several bicycles and motorcycles.
Some of the farmlands yet to be harvested were also set ablaze by the terrorists. A wooden rifle used for training and practice by the terrorists was also retrieved.

In a related development, troops of 7 Division Garrison conducted 8 fighting patrols along Leje Axis. The troops cleared the area and about 15 other villages around Leje. They include Khadadamamari, Ladin Buta, Hilmari, Kashauri, Keshan Ngala, Aiwa, Masu Kura, Mabirni, Grza 1 and 2, Mashuari, Dubenge, Tauba and Majande.

The troops also pursued and destroyed 2 Boko Haram terrorists on motor cycles. Troops have also blocked all known routes to prevent Boko Haram Terrorists from transporting livestock across borders. All these are with a view to stopping the Boko Haram from fueling their terror machines through cattle rustling and illegal trading.

Nigerian Army Uncovers, Destroys Boko Haram’s Rocket, IED Factory In Bama

The Nigerian Army on Monday said it has uncovered a factory in Bama, Borno state, where the extremist Boko Haram sect manufactures rockets and Improvised Explosives Devices.

The spokesperson for the Army, Sani Usman, who make the disclosure in a statement, also said “troops of the Seventh Division Garrison of the Nigerian Army engaged in Operation Lafiya Dole on Sunday made remarkable progress by arresting a Boko Haram terrorist kingpin, John Trankil, at Kasuwar Shanu in Maiduguri metropolis”.

Mr. Usman, a colonel, also said by arresting Mr. Trankil, the troops averted what would have been multiple bombings in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital.

The statement said, “Preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect said that nine of them were sneaked into the Maiduguri armed with AK 47 assault rifle each and a Hilux vehicle laden with 20 Improvised Explosive Devices meant to be detonated at some selected targets in the city.

“The Theatre Commander operation LAFIYA DOLE, Major General Yusha’u Mahmood Abubakar, commended the efforts of the troops and renewed calls for troops and the public to be more vigilant and security conscious particularly at all check points, markets, worship centres, motor parks and schools.

“In a related development, troops of 21 Brigade Nigerian Army, while on offensive operations on Boko Haram terrorists location, with the support from the Nigerian Airforce discovered and destroyed the terrorists’ Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and Rocket making factory along Bama-Gonin Kurmi within the outskirts of Bama town, Borno State.

“The items recovered includes gas cylinders, welding machine, pipes and poles. Others include locally made rocket shells, large quantity of assorted chemicals, unprimed IEDs and various technical and laboratory equipment suspected to be stolen from schools’ laboratories around Bama before they were dislodged from the area.”

Credit: PremiumTimes

Beware! Boko Haram Sympathizers Are Fabricating Stories To Encourage Them – Nigerian Military

Press statement by the Defence Headquarters

The reports by some media outfits claiming that terrorists are now in control of Mafa in Borno State are false. The truth is that an attempt by a group of fleeing terrorists who strayed towards the town and engaged in their typical suicide attack was duly repelled by troops. Similarly, the claim by some media organisations that terrorists chased out troops and took over Marte cannot be verified as troops were busy elsewhere during the said attack.

However, all efforts to track the terrorists who were reported to have attacked the town have not indicated their presence as claimed. Surveillance activities are however ongoing although there has been no indication of the large number of terrorists as being claimed in some reports attributed to anonymous sources. The terrorist are certainly no longer capable of that level of coordinated action by thousands of terrorists as reported.

 Also, troops have not retreated from Sambisa forest as claimed by same sources. Rather, the operation is progressing and gaining increasing momentum towards clearing all terrorists hideouts in the forest.

It is noteworthy that it is becoming common for stories of attacks on some remote settlements to be fabricated and attributed to anonymous or unidentifiable source in remote places. This is apparently the work of terrorists sympathisers or propagandists.

Military operations to eliminate all terrorists hideouts are going on well and the terrorists are being seriously decimated. They will continue to be pursued and prevented from constituting danger to civilian population in their desperation for survival, suicide or publicity.

The media is advised to ignore fabrication being churned out by some terrorists sympathizers trying to encourage the terrorists who are in disarray. The truth is that the operation to decimate them from Nigerian territories is progressing well. The military will not be dissuaded by the resurgence of false reports on the operations. The progress will be prosecuted as necessary.

Chibok Girls May Have Been Slaughtered in Bama – UNHCR #BringBackOurGirls

An official of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Mr. Raad Zeid al Hussein, believes that the over 200 Chibok schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram a year ago may have had a sad ending.

He premised his verdict on the fact that the girls may have been part of the women who were murdered by the insurgents before they fled from Bama and other towns in Borno State just before the Nigerian military and allied forces from Chad and Niger recovered the territories.

Scores of abducted women who had been forcibly married by Boko Haram fighters were slaughtered last month as the military advanced towards Bama and other towns to recapture the territories.

Eyewitnesses said that the women were killed by the insurgents to prevent them from getting remarried to what they termed “infidels” after their release.

Aligning with the report on the murder of scores of women, Al Hussein said last week that Boko Haram murdered people who were captives, including women and girls who were taken as “wives” in their flight against the advancing forces.

According to the senior official with the UNHCR, various reports which arrived at his department in Geneva showed that the recent recovery of territories in northeastern Nigeria “has brought to light macabre scenes of mass graves and more obvious signs of killings by Boko Haram”.

These reports include the “…murder of the wives of combatants, women and girls actually held in slavery,” he said without elaborating.

The use of children by Boko Haram as “expendable cannon meat” and human bombs could, if confirmed, constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity, the official added.

Al Hussein also said there are “persistent and credible reports” of serious violations by the Nigerian security forces and other countries in their fight against Boko Haram, and called for “complete and fully transparent investigations” by the authorities.

The report by UNHRC may explain the mystery surrounding the whereabouts of the Chibok girls despite the recapture of Gwoza, the de facto headquarters of the terrorists’ caliphate, as well as the disappearance of the sect’s leader Abubakar Shekau.

Military sources, who spoke to THISDAY at the weekend in Maiduguri, said neither the girls nor Shekau had been sighted since the liberation of Gwoza, which was the epicentre of the sect’s operations.

The Nigerian military on the eve of the presidential and National Assembly elections had announced the recapture of the strategic town but was silent on the abducted Chibok girls and seemingly elusive Shekau.

The Director of Defence Information (DDI), Maj-Gen. Chris Olukolade, had in a joint press conference with the spokespersons of the Nigerian Army, Navy and Air Force, confirmed the recapture of the former terrorist stronghold.

Many were however disappointed to find out that contrary to expectations before the liberation of Gwoza, there was no mention of the girls or Shekau who is believed to be on the run.

Military sources, who spoke to THISDAY, said the mystery surrounding the Chibok girls was yet to be unraveled.

However, the strongest lead now is that the girls might have been amongst the unfortunate women who were slaughtered and dumped inside wells in Bama.

“As for Shekau, you are aware that the man suspected to have been killed or fatally wounded two years ago and his double was confirmed killed a year later, and this current impostor is yet to be fully unmasked.

“Unfortunately, on the Chibok girls, there is a strong lead that they might be among the women who were slaughtered by the fleeing terrorists and dumped into those wells in Bama.

“Remember the girls were said to have been forcibly converted to Islam and married off as trophies to those terrorists. We have a strong suspicion that they are part of those women butchered in Bama and other parts of the territories, which were under their captivity.

“Also, some of these terrorists are currently retreating to the border towns and some have successfully mingled into various towns and villages,” the source said.

Another senior military officer also informed THISDAY that while the troops had freed some women from Gwoza and other surrounding towns, they could not however ascertain if any of the Chibok girls were among them.

He said interrogations were ongoing, as there were other women who were released from the towns recaptured from the Boko Haram terrorists other than the Chibok girls.

He also explained that it is proving difficult to ascertain if the women massacred and dumped in the wells were actually the Chibok girls because the bodies were in various states of decomposition by the time they were discovered.

“Even other communities whose women and girls were kidnapped are not comfortable with the attention being given to the Chibok girls, while leaving their cases in the dark,” he said.

Last week, the Nigerian military confirmed the rescue of a large number of vulnerable women and elderly locked up by the retreating Boko Haram terrorists in the liberated town of Gwoza.

Similarly, THISDAY learnt that sustained aerial surveillance of Gwoza and other liberated areas, as well as intensive mop-up operations to clear out the remnants of Boko Haram insurgents was ongoing.

On Sunday, there were several aerial operations in support of the ground troops to consolidate the liberated towns and villages.

In this regard, Sambisa forest which straddles four liberated local government areas of Bama, Mongonu, Konduga and Gwoza, was being bombarded from the air to knock out any terrorist camp and installations.

“What I can tell you is that there is very little presence of the terrorists in those areas but we have intensified the bombardments,” a military source revealed.

Despite the bombardment of Sambisa forest, at least four people were killed Saturday when suspected Boko Haram fighters raided a local market in a village near Maiduguri, security sources said.

Scores of Boko Haram gunmen stormed Kayamla village, 20 kilometres (12.5 miles) from Maiduguri, capital of restive Borno State, and opened fire on a weekly market, killing four traders, a senior security official in Maiduguri told AFP.

“It was obvious they were looking for food to replenish their supplies because they didn’t target residents as they normally would,” the official said.

The attack on the village was the sixth in as many months, according to vigilantes in the area.

Troops and vigilantes mobilised from the nearby town of Konduga to the village but the attackers left before the troops arrived, said Abubakar Sani, who was among the vigilantes that accompanied troops to the village.

“When we reached Kayamla the gunmen had left,” Sani said.

“We found four dead traders in the deserted market and we were told by residents that the attackers took away food supplies and livestock,” he said.

This was the first Boko Haram raid in a few days, although an explosion outside a bus station in Gombe State on Thursday that killed 10 people was blamed on the Islamists.

Sweeping offensives against the Islamists by a regional coalition involving troops from Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroun appear to have substantially weakened Boko Haram’s capabilities.

Meanwhile, leaders of Central and West African states will hold a summit on April 8 to try to draw up a joint strategy against the threat posed by Boko Haram, a statement from the organisers said on Sunday.

It will be the first meeting of its kind since Nigeria’s election a week ago which was won by Muhammadu Buhari, a former military leader who has vowed to rid his country of the “terror” of Boko Haram.

The meeting in Malabo, capital of Equatorial Guinea, is being jointly organised by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS).

“In the face of the mounting and increasingly bloody attacks by the fundamentalists against Nigeria, Niger, Cameroun and Chad and the serious consequences for these countries, and the real risk of destabilising Western and Central Africa, the two organisations have decided to take action,” the ECOWAS statement said

Source –

At Least 7000 Persons Flee Bama Town

At least 7000 persons have been evacuated from Bama town of Borno State in north-east Nigeria.

The evacuees, mostly women and children fled from the Boko Haram after months of torture and near death experiences.

They have now found temporary shelter in make shift camps few kilometers away from Maiduguri, the capital city.

Bama was taken over by the militant jihadist group Boko Haram six months ago and locals held hostage by the terrorists.

Many fell victims of jungle justice by the insurgents who ruled the town with iron hands for months, until Nigeria’s military launched an offensive against the onslaught.

Villagers were lucky to successfully flee the town to give way for likely showdown between federal troops and the terrorists.

The State Emergency Management Agency has been evacuating people from Bama town.

With casualty figure of villagers still vague, survivors recounted their ordeal in the hands of their captors.

Bintu Idrissa said, “Our captors sent us away from our homes so we escaped to the hills and took refuge there. We Were there for Six days until we were brought here by the State Government”.

“For six months,they tormented and ruled over us harshly, killing and maiming at will. The terrorists banned us from traveling to Maiduguri and they made new laws each week. The penalty for every single offence is death by slaughtering but if you are lucky they shoot you with a gun” Musa Ahmed said.

Women and children, the old and young all bruised and traumatized, the villagers have come to terms with the new life terrorism has put them in.

The burden of catering and rehabilitation of the rescued locals now falls on the shoulder of the state government.

Boko Haram Burns Houses In Bama As Troops Advance

Boko Haram Islamists have set fire to homes in Nigeria’s northeast town of Bama that are under their control, forcing residents to flee as troops advance to recapture it, witnesses said Sunday.

The Islamists on Saturday told residents of Bama, 70 kilometres (37.5 miles) southeast of Maiduguri, to evacuate before setting fire to many homes as Nigerian troops inched closer in a bid to retake the town, residents told AFP.

The blaze forced hundreds of residents to flee towards Maiduguri, capital of Borno state, the group’s hometown and stronghold.

“They came into the town around 12:00 pm (1100 GMT) warning that anyone who wanted to leave should leave the town and soon after they began torching homes,” resident ?Umar Kaka said.

“Not all residents could leave because some are too sick or old to leave and we are afraid they were burnt in the homes?,” Kaka said.

The arson followed the sacking of the Islamists from nearby Boboshe and Yale villages by troops as they marched towards Bama?, said Kaka who arrived in Maiduguri on foot on Sunday.

“We learnt soldiers were coming. They advanced on Bama on two fronts and met some resistance at Boboshe and Yale but succeeded in crushing the Boko Haram gunmen,” said Bama resident Ibrahim? Kyari.

“They asked residents to leave which came to us as a surprise because they kept us captives all these seven months and would not allow us to leave,” Kyari said.

Bama, a strategic and historic town in the state, has been under the control of Boko Haram since early September.

“I left large groups of people including women and children on the way trekking towards Maiduguri while soldiers moved towards Bama,” said Kyari, who rode to Maiduguri on his bicycle?.

Boko Haram seized Bama, the state’s second main city, during the rapid capture of several towns and villages in northeastern Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states on the border with Chad, Cameroon and Niger.

The Islamists carried out mass killings in the town, forcing hundreds of residents to flee while others remained trapped there.

Nigerian soldiers aided by? troops from Chad, Niger and Cameroon have in recent weeks reclaimed most of the areas under Boko Haram control.

In Borno state, Bama and Gwoza towns were the only remaining towns still under Boko Haram control.

Nigeria vowed to reclaim all of its territory occupied by Boko Haram before the general elections which commence on March 28.

Boko Haram Shifting Base To Bama – Hunters

Some local hunters and Vigilante officials have confirmed that Boko Haram members are shifting their operational base from Gwoza area to Bama, less than 70km away from Maiduguri, Borno State capital.

They said local hunters saw several insurgents relocating their war hardware to Bama town, with some on motorcycle and Hilux trucks.

The news of the relocation has fueled speculations that the insurgents want to lunch onslaughts on Maiduguri in a bid to capture the city.

Muhammed Abbas Gava, a spokesman of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria, said some fleeing Bama residents reported that the presence of the insurgents in Bama is swelling by the day.

Gava said the insurgents were led by an ex- grains merchant in Baga market called Bakura, who is now the Amir of Gwoza and Bama axis.

“Some of the residents of Bama that fled into Maiduguri said they saw and recognised Bakura, who used to be a corn merchant at the popular Baga Park market before he disappeared some years back to join the Boko Haram,” he said.

Boko Haram Slaughters Civilians in Bama

Report just reaching us provides that Boko Haram just slaughtered some civilians and threw them in a river. Sources confirm that the people were carried in a vehicle and slaughtered on a bridge.

“I can confirm that Bama is still very much under the control of Boko Haram”, sources say, adding that “I just hope they didn’t think the military had actually taken over the town and thought it was safe to return”.


FG Sends in Warplanes Against Boko Haram


Nigerian warplanes are carrying out air strikes against Boko Haram militant bases in northeast Borno state, a senior official said on Friday, in a government counter-attack against the group’s apparent drive to create an Islamist enclave.

The official, who asked not to be named, told Reuters that Nigeria’s military was battling Boko Haram fighters at Bama, 70 km (45 miles) southeast of the Borno state capital Maiduguri.

Air strikes have been carried out “on all the Boko Haram bases”, the official said, adding this reflected President Goodluck Jonathan’s order for a “fully-fledged war” against the group which has waged a bloody insurgency since 2009.

He said that, “Bama today is the center of the military battle with the terrorists … Boko Haram is being repelled by the Nigerian troops as we are talking now.”

Nigeria’s air force and defense headquarters did not respond to requests for comment and it was not immediately possible to obtain independent confirmation of the fighting.

“I’m Begging the Government to Send More Troops and Armoury to Maiduguri”- Zanna Ahmed


In reaction to the recent capture of Bama town, Ahmed Zanna, a senator in Borno said, the humanitarian situation in Bama was “terrible” and there had been a “lot of killings” in the town. He said bodies are still littered on the streets of Bama, while Boko Haram fighters are patrolling, preventing people from burying the dead.

Mr Zanna said it would be “catastrophic” if Boko Haram launched an assault on Maiduguri, which has a population of more than two million people. Pleading to the Nigerian Government he said,”I’m begging the government to send more troops and armoury to Maiduguri.”

Bama: Over 26,300 Displaced/ U.S Concerned


The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in Borno state said on Wednesday, that 26,391 displaced persons had so far been registered. NEMA spokesman Abdulkadir Ibrahim said, “the number is growing by the hour.”

The United States on Thursday said, it is concerned by increasing Boko Haram violence and territorial gains in Nigeria. US Assistant Secretary of State, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said on a visit to Abuja, “We are very troubled by the apparent capture of Bama and the prospects for an attack on and in Maiduguri, which would impose a tremendous toll on the civilian population.” Thomas-Greenfield, who leads Washington’s African Affairs team, told delegates at a bilateral meeting on regional security that the upsurge in violence “constitutes a serious threat” to Nigeria.

Fears that Maiduguri could be the next target led the government to extend an overnight curfew there.

Boko Haram “Seizes Banki Town Near Cameroon”


Reports provides that Boko Haram has captured Banki, a town which boarders Cameroon. Residents say, this was achieved after government troops fled on Tuesday, while the Nigerian military is yet to release any comment regarding the capture of Bama.

Most of the people remaining in the town were women and children, as many of the men had fled, one man who was hiding in the bush nearby told the BBC Hausa service. They also added  that the militants have not harmed anyone in the town.

Earlier this week, Boko Haram seized Bama, the biggest town in Borno after Maiduguri, which is about 70km (45 miles) away.

On the other hand, Nigerian soldiers say they do not have enough resources to curb the insurgency.


Boko Haram Seizes Bama?

The key North- Eastern town of Bama has been reported to be seized by Boko Haram.

Reports say that a fierce battle transpired between the Nigerian Army and Boko Haram on Sunday and Monday, after which the Islamic militants claim ownership of Bama. Residents say that thousands of civilians have deserted their homes, including soldiers, even though the Nigerian Military is yet to release an official comment on this report.

Raising concerns are focused on the fact that Bama is about 70 km away from Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, implying that it could be the next target for the terrorists, if their claim is true.


The Nigerian military had initially chased Boko Haram away from that area, but the group returned with reinforcements to seize the town, a residents said. Residents added that the militants traveled in armoured trucks and first took control of the military barracks.

Although there are no clear record of casualties, reports also say that both sides experienced serious casualties.

More so, an overnight curfew has been imposed in Maiduguri to prevent “infiltration” by militants.