Military Reopens Maiduguri-Bama-Banki Road

Military Reopens Maiduguri-Bama-Banki Road

 

The Nigerian Military has reopened the Maiduguri-Bama-Banki Road, about four years after it was captured by Boko Haram terrorists.

The Deputy Governor of Borno State, Mr Usman Durkwa, cut the tape to reopen the road on Saturday.

He believes the development has proven the success in the collective fight against insurgency in the North East.

Durkwa, who praised the President for his relentless effort in ridding the country of terrorism, was also optimistic that the reopened road would enable the people to pick up the pieces of their past lives.

He said, “We thank President Muhammadu Buhari and the military leaders for standing by the people of Borno state. May God continue to assist us to see that we return Borno State to its former status as the home of peace.”

 

The deputy governor further assured the security agencies that the state government would continue to provide them with all the necessary machinery to succeed until they get a lasting solution.

He added that the government would provide necessary support to ensure that all displaced persons from various communities return to their original homes.

The Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Rogers Nicholas, revealed that Cameroonian troops were part of the successful clearance operations which resulted in the re-opening of the once dangerous road.

He was also hopeful that the reopening of the road would not only enhance the commencement of economic activities but also encourage insurgents to surrender.

The road leading to border town Banki was unceremoniously shut down in September 2014 when insurgents dislodged Bama and its environs.

The crisis had crippled the booming trans-border activities in Banki and Gwoza, one of the economic hubs in the state.

Bama LGA is one of the biggest city in the state with tertiary institutions and the closure of the Maiduguri-Bama-Banki Road has left more than 20,000 locals displaced and living in makeshift camps with many others living in the host community.

The reopening of the road for civilian is expected to see to the resumption of trade across borders for residents who suffered setbacks for years.

One of the residents, Mohammadu Auwal, told Channels Television in Hausa that peace has returned to the community.

He said: “There are people near the border like the Cameroonians; they will cross over and buy from us and since the border has been reopened, we’ll continue our business like we used to do by God’s grace.”

While some residents are concerned about how safe the 75-kilometre road is, others noted that they are more interested to return to their ancestral homes.

FG Committee Donates Seized Bags Of Rice To Borno IDPs

female-idp-cookingThe National Logistics Committee on Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), has donated seized bags of rice to the Borno state government, for onward distribution to victims of insurgency.

The exercise was carried out by the Nigerian Customs, as part of government’s plan to cushion the effect of the insurgency on citizens.

The donation consisted of 11,517 bags of rice, seized and declared contraband by law.

The Assistant Comptroller General, Umar Sanusi, explaining the source of the donation said: “This rice did not come from heaven – actually these were seized at the border and any other place where there was infraction against the federal government.

“So these are products caught by the Nigerian Customs and condemned by the court of law and forfeited to the government for distribution to people affected by insurgency.”

Mr Umar furthermore said that more items including clothing, should be expected in the coming weeks as the harmattan and yuletide approaches.

In his acceptance remarks, Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, explained that the state is overwhelmed by the alarming number of IDPs, especially those living in the host communities.

“IDP camps in Maiduguri consists only 158,000 people. In the satellite camps across the state in Pulka, Dikwa, Gamboru Ngala, Bama, Banki, Biu and Monguno the total number of people may not exceed 300,000.

“But within the host community here in Maiduguri we have over a million people on the verge of extinction.

“The food security challenge being faced by the IDPs living within the host community is more precarious than those living in camps.

“To me, they are the VIPs, at least they are getting two meals per day but those living in the host community are in far worse shape than we could imagine,” Shettima stated.

He called for more support to make life easier for the displaced.

Troops Repel Boko Haram Attack In Borno

Troops on Operation Lafia Dole repel Boko Haram attack in BornoTroops on ‘Operation Lafiya Dole’ have successfully repelled an attempted attack on their location by remnants of Boko Haram terrorists.

The thwarted attack was targeted at personnel of the Nigerian Army stationed at Darul Jamel, on the fringes of the Sambisa forest in northern part of Borno State in northeast Nigeria.

According to the military, the terrorists attempted to storm the troops’ location at about 10:00pm on Monday, but paid dearly, as the troops killed several of them, including two senior commanders that led the attack.

The troops recovered one Light Machine Gun (LMG) with Registration number 56M-1101229, an AK-47 rifle magazine, Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) bomb and a top cover of an AK-47 rifle.

Other items recovered were 395 rounds of 7.62mm (NATO) ammunition and 15 rounds of 5.5mm by 45 ammunition.

Prior to the attack, the troops of the same unit, who were on routine patrol, had cleared an ambush staged by suspected remnants of the terrorist group desperate for food near Banki Junction.

The army believes that the attack and ambush might not be unconnected to the fact that the terrorists were desperately targeting over 890 rescued herdsmen with their 5,000 livestock, who were earlier held captives by the insurgents along the Nigerian borders with Cameroon.

The troops’ success was contained in a statement on Tuesday by a spokesman for the Army, Colonel Sani Usman.

Bama IDPs Get Relief Materials

IDPs, Bama, Humanitarians, BornoInternally Displaced Persons (IDPs) living in makeshift camps in Bama Local Government have taken delivery of food and none food items from various humanitarians.

The Chairman of the Borno State Emergency Maintenance Agency (SEMA), Ahmed Sotomi, disclosed this to reporters on Thursday in Borno State, northeast Nigeria.

He lamented that at least 28,000 IDPs living in makeshift camps across liberated towns in the state have been dealing with hunger and ill health besides their homelessness.

Mr Sotomi noted that this was regardless of the relief items being donated by individuals, humanitarian organisations as well as government’s effort.

He added that 1,200 malnourished children and sick adults from the area had already been moved to the capital city of Maiduguri for proper diet and medication.

Commending the gesture, the Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, said that with 156 trailers load of assorted commodities, the Dangote Foundation had so far made the highest donation to the state.

One of the IDPs in Bama, Bunu Tela, urged the government to improve the feeding situation in the camps with consideration for special needs of inmates.

“What we want right now is food. The food they give us is not enough and there is no condiments.

“We just eat boiled rice with salt and seasoning sometimes, (but) we need more food. We need the government to help us to provide condiments for our meals,” Tela said.

Some of the beneficiaries of the items distributed in were orphaned children who have been forced by circumstances of the Boko Haram insurgency to head their families.

Officials say there are other 21,000 IDPs in Banki town, few kilometers away from Bama.

Boko Haram Attacks ‘Operation Crack Down’ Troops At Izza

Boko HaramBoko Haram terrorists on Wednesday evening attacked Nigerian troops involved in the clearance and rescue operations in Sambisa forest nicknamed ‘Operation Crack Down’, while on harbour.

According to Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Usman, the terrorists came in five Toyota Hilux vehicles mounted with Anti-Aircraft guns which they fired along with 81mm mortar.

The battle ready troops rose to the occasion and repelled the attack and pursued the terrorists as they withdrew in disarray towards the river line of Izza-Mainyakare axis.

The attack lasted for about 40 minutes without any casualty on Nigerian troops while an unconfirmed number of Boko Haram terrorists were killed. The troops recovered an 81mm mortar tube from the terrorists.

The Army says its troops have maintained highest level alertness and vigilance at the harbour area and they would further exploit and continue with the clearance operation.

COAS Visits ‘Operation Crack Down’ Troops

Crack DownThe Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai has commended the 151 Battalion soldiers fighting insurgency under the ‘Operation Crack Down’.

The recently introduced Operation Crack Down is a component of the mother operation “Lafiya Dole”, designed to chase out the outlawed Boko Haram elements from the notorious Sambisa forest believed to be their stronghold.

General Officer Commanding the 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Victor Ezugwu, is leading the “Crack Down” troop in the Bama and Banki axis where the Army Chief.

The GOC engaged the COAS in a strategic meeting that lasted 30 minutes at the Division’s tactical headquarters in Bama before proceeding to Banki to address the troops.

“We are already inside the Sambisa forest and so far so good from the brief I have received from your GOC. This operation is very crucial and we need to continue to press hard to conclude the operation,” Buratai said.

According to Buratai, this is in the overall plan of the Operation Lafiya Dole and also part of the federal government’s plan to end the insurgency in northeast Nigeria.

“We are here today to say well done, Mr President is quite pleased with our operations (and) with what you’re doing, I want to tell you also that Nigerians are happy with you; we must crack them down and continue to push them until they are completely down.” Buratai told the soldiers.

The Army chief says Banki is tactically strategic and operationally important as it borders both the Cameroun and Chad republic and is also a major route for the insurgents linking to the northern and southern part of the state.

MNJTF Set For Counter Insurgency Trans-border War

MNJTFThe Multi National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) has collected 10,000 men from the four member countries to fight the counter insurgency trans-border war.

The MNJTF Commander, Major General Lamidi Adeosun, told reporters on Thursday that the collaboration was already yielding positive results.

The Commander cited the recent defeat of insurgents around Banki area of Nigeria, where two Cameroonian soldiers got killed and the mop up of Ndjamena/Gamboru axis as part of the successes recorded.

The task force consists of Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger as components of the trans-border operations.

The MNJTF Commander is presently in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital with a team from the member countries, as part of an assessment tour of the various sectors.

The group has demarcated its area of operations into four sectors across the member states for operational purposes.

Sector one is located in Cameroon, sector two in Bagasola of Chad while Baga in Nigeria is identified as sector three, as well as Diffa in Niger Republic is sub sector 3, according to the commander.

Major General Adeosun also told reporters in Maiduguri that the MNJTF consisted of professionals, with regards for human rights and the Rules Of Engagement in line with best practices.

Nigerian Troops Clear More Boko Haram Camps

Boko HaramThe Nigerian Army says that troops advancing to clear all known Boko Haram terrorists camps towards Banki, Kumshe axis and Bama axis have cleared four more camps.

The Acting Director of Information, Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman, revealed this in a statement on Monday.

He said that they were able to clear the terrorists camp at Bolungu 1 and 2, Bula Doye and Cheehi Dare and also secured a very important bridge linking the towns of Miyanti and Banki in Borno State.

“The gallant troops also rescued dozen of kidnapped women and children held captive by Boko Haram terrorists.

“The clearance by ground troops and aerial bombardments by the Nigerian Air Force continues till we reach the desired objective of defeating the terrorists,” he said.

The Defence Headquarters further confirmed this via their Twitter account.