Military Will Sustain War Against Terror – Army Chief

soldiers and officersThe Nigerian military has reaffirmed its commitment to sustaining its current onslaught in the ongoing operation against insurgents particularly in the nation’s northeast.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, in his comment at the burial of the former Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, stated that the death of the army officer would not deter the army in sustaining the fight against Boko Haram elements and make the affected areas safe for the people.

Major General Yishau Abubakar’s death had thrown the Nigerian Army into a mourning mood.

Before his death in an automobile accident along Damaturu-Yobe road on Tuesday, he was the Chief of Training and Operations Army Headquarters and the Pioneer Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole in Maiduguri.

Shops and business activities were paralysed in the country home of the late military officer, in Gindi Akwati of Gashishi district of Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State in north central Nigeria.

Senior military officers led by the Chief of Army Staff paid condolence to the family of the late officer where the funeral rite was performed according to Islamic rites with the Imam of Gindi Akwati Central Mosque leading the prayers.

The Chief of Army Staff extolled the virtues of the late military officer at the funeral oration before the final interment.

A retired military officer that tutored the late officer at the Army Academy, Brigadier General John Timlong and a Senator in the upper chambers of the National Assembly, Abdul Ningi, describe the kind of officer the late Major General Abubakar was and what he would be remembered for.

In spite of the death of the officer whose position is critical in the ongoing war against terror, the military are determined to sustain the onslaught against the insurgents, a position the army chief emphasised.

The former Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole was with the General Officer Commanding Three Division of the Nigerian Army, Jos Brigadier General Mohammed Abdullahi; the driver of the vehicle and an orderly who are currently receiving treatment in the hospital.

The cause of the accident is yet unknown.

OPSH Inaugurates Strike Force Base In Plateau

OPSHThe special task force maintaining law and order in Plateau State, Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) has inaugurated a strike force base in Gashishi district of Barkin Ladi Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.

This is coming as part of efforts by the OPSH of the Nigerian Army to maintain the relative peaceful coexistence among the people within the area.

Speaking during an interactive session with concerned parties in the conflict area, the Commander of the Operation, Major General Tagbo Ude, noted that the establishment of the force was to restore confidence among the people and shorten the response time to distress calls from the residents.

He added that the strike force base has stationed 60 soldiers to assist Sector Seven Command of the operation stationed at Barkin Ladi and the Force Operation Base in Gashish, to reduce cases of isolated killings and prompt response to security challenges in the area.

Expressing gratitude, the Management Committee Chairman of Barkin Ladi LGA, Bitrus Doro, commended the OPSH officers on their professionalism and for reconciling hostile communities in the peace building process.

Some representatives of the indigenous Berom and the Fulani, Mark Danboyi, and Ibrahim Mohammed, also expressed confidence that the peace efforts of the task force has been yielding positive results which should be maintained by all the parties concerned.

The newly inaugurated OPSH strike force base is under the command of Lieutenant Bright Okoronkwo and is shouldered with the responsibility of maintaining law and order within that area as well as responding to distress calls promptly.

18 Killed In Plateau Communal Clash

Plateau State on the map of Nigeria
Plateau State on the map of Nigeria

No fewer than 18 persons were killed in an attack on Wednesday morning by yet to be identified marauders in Kadunu village of Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau State.

A statement by the Director of Press and Public Affairs, Emmanuel Nanle, said the attack emanated from bordering communities of Kadunu in Mangu Local Government Area and Fan in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of the state.

The statement added that “it is regrettable that as efforts are being made by the government to see the end of violent conflicts in Barkin Ladi, Riyom and parts of Jos South Local Government Areas, the state is faced with another communal clash.

The National Secretary of Piem Chiefdom Development Association, Usman Yakubu Idi, told Channels Television that that the dead persons have been buried so far, adding that others are still missing and over 150 houses were destroyed during the raid.

The Special Task Force Spokesman, Capt. Iweha Ikedichi, also confirmed the attack and described it as a possible reprisal following an earlier attack on another community bordering the Kadunu Community, maintaining that the attack is “selective in nature”.

No arrest has been made so far but Capt. Ikedichi said that security personnel are on the trail of the suspects.

Senate Asks Committee To Investigate Jos Killings

senateThe Senate has directed its Committee on Defence to investigate the attack on communities in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area Plateau State.

A federal lawmaker from Plateau State, Sen. Victor Lar, during plenary noted that gunmen, dressed in military uniform, stormed five villages in Plateau State over the weekend and killed about 50 people and injured over 100.

“Their operations tended to imply that they are not genuine Nigerian army personnel because they used machetes to hack down people, they shot at and killed women and children.

“They killed uniformed policemen and civil defence personnel; they burnt down every house within reach and they used petrol to burn the bodies of the victims that they killed”, he said.

Sen. Lar said as a result of the attack, nearly 20, 000 people have been displaced and are now seeking refuge in Lantang North and South Local Government Areas of Plateau State.

Mr. Lar described the attack as a crime against humanity, adding that it has violated the provisions of the Geneva Convention.

“The essence of making these explanation is that when our brothers and sisters in the North-East were under the heavy yoke of insurgency and there were operations that tended to imply that it was either the army or Boko Haram, the Senate took the wise decision of listening and sending a committee to investigate and report it,” he said.

“I plead with my colleagues to consider that the lives of Nigerians are at stake and it may happen in any other districts.

“I plead that this Senate shows the usual understanding it has been showing in attending to the plight of members of my constituency.”

The Senate asked the Committee on Defence to contact the military high command to verify the identity of those who carried out the attack.

Nigeria Police Dismisses Officer For Raping 4 Year Old Girl

Police squadA corporal of the Mobile Police Force, who was attached to the Special Task Force in Plateau State, Damadu Bzibu has been dismissed by the Nigeria Police for raping a four-year old girl.

Plateau State Police Commissioner, Chris Olakpe, during the quarterly press briefing on the activities of the command, disclosed that after the orderly room trial of the accused, Bzibu was dismissed and handed over to the criminal investigation department for further prosecution in the court.

Prior to this revelation, Bzibu’s identity was concealed, following the allegation of sexual abuse of a minor, which reportedly occurred in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State, last month.

Briefing journalists on the achievement of the command during the first quarter of the year, commissioner Olakpe explained that the Nigeria Police will not tolerate indiscipline or acts capable of bringing the police into disrepute.

According to him, the security personnel attached to his command were able to apprehend some criminals involved in various crimes across the state ranging from car theft, criminal conspiracy and culpable homicide, as well as armed robbery and cow theft with some dangerous weapons recovered from the suspects.

On Bzibu’s sexual abuse against a four year old girl, one of the concerned organisations, the Child Protection Network (CPN), represented by Tony Obemeasor, has written a petition for the transfer of the child defilement case to the Ministry of Justice in Plateau State for prosecution.

Boko Haram: Nigeria Closes Border With Cameroon

The Federal Government of Nigeria has sealed its northern border with Cameroon in an effort to shut out terrorists using its neighbour as a launchpad for attacks.

The closure extends from Borno State, by Lake Chad, to the southern end of Adamawa State, around halfway along Nigeria’s 1,500-mile border with Cameroon.

A statement issued by the Commandant 23 Armoured Brigade, Brigadier-General Rogers Ibe Nicholas said that the closure is meant to effectively curtail the activities of the insurgents.

Borno and Adamawa states are covered by a State of Emergency that President Goodluck Jonathan declared last May as part of an offensive meant to crush the Boko Haram sect.

“To effectively curtail the activities of the insurgents, the Cameroon border in the northeast has been closed indefinitely,” Brigadier-General Rogers Ibe Nicholas said in a statement.

The Islamists, whose struggle for an Islamic state in northern Nigeria has killed thousands and made them the biggest threat to security in Africa’s top oil producer, are currently based in the hilly Gwoza area next to Cameroon.

Nigerian security officials say they often launch deadly attacks then flee over the border to avoid being pursued.

They killed more than 200 people in two attacks last week on villages, prompting renewed criticisms that military action has failed to neutralize them.

Boko Haram: Northern Govs Ask FG To Implement Forum’s Recommendation

The Northern State Governors’ Forum (NSGF)  has repeated the  call on the Federal Government  to deploy more security personnel with superior military equipment as well as adopt measures to boost their morale to enable them effectively fight the insurgents and other threats to security in the region.

Chairman of the forum and, governor of Niger state, Muazu  Aliyu, who was reacting to the killing on Saturday of 29 persons by unknown gunmen in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State, also urged the military to review its counter-insurgency strategy to protect innocent citizens who are being killed daily by members of the Boko Haram.

“While we (Northern Governors) agreed in our last meeting in Kaduna to deal decisively with the fast growing security challenges being posed by the activities of cattle rearers, we call on the Federal Government to consider a national policy to settle nomads and provide adequate grazing reserves and cattle routes,” Governor Aliyu said in a statement.

The forum also reiterated its appeal to the federal government to “provide adequate funds to Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states afflicted with the problem of insurgency in order to address attendant issues.”

It hailed the military for restricting trans-border movements between Nigeria and Cameroon, urging security agencies to do all within their powers to halt the killing of innocent lives in the region.

The state governors also agreed to vigorously pursue employment and youth empowerment programmes as a way of taking idle youths off the streets.

The governors prayed God to grant repose to the souls of those who lost their lives in the fresh attack in Plateau State and also grant members of their families the fortitude to bear the loss.

Plateau ALGON Demands Review Of Revenue Allocation Formula

Participants at the sensitization programme organised by Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), want a review of the federation allocation formula to enable other tiers of government get better allocation than the current practice.

Speaking at the sensitization programme in Jos, a Federal Commissioner RMAFC, Yusufu Pam, observed that there is the need to review the revenue formula from time to time as stipulated by the constitution, hence the commission’s effort in collating and creating the awareness of the exercise across the nation.

Adding that, the Commission is set to “review allocation formula from time to time in conformity with changing realities.”

The need to review the present federal allocation formula and principles in operation to ensure conformity with changing realities as well as having a virile federation informed the RMAFC to embark on a sensitization exercise across the country as a prelude to the submission of findings from stakeholders.

Participants at the event in Jos, north central Nigeria including local government chairmen, principal officers from the public service as well as civil rights society were of the opinion that there is the need to review the current allocation formula which tend to favour the federal government at the expense of the states and local government councils across the nation.

Contributing at the exercise, some of the local government chairmen desired a change in the revenue sharing in order to meaningful impact at the grassroots where majority of the people reside.

Chairman of Barkin-Ladi Local Government Area, Emmanuel Loman said the present formula by which, all the 774 local governments across the country take less than a quarter of federal revenue was unfair to them.

Loman said the present formula ‘which gives so little’ to local councils does not accord due regard to rural development.

The Plateau State Chairman of Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) added that, “a situation in which federal Government
agencies return unused funds while people at the grassroots are suffering deprivation is not right.

Also speaking, Management Committee Chairman of Riyom Local Government Area, Sam Gyang Audu complained that, “we are suffering. 774 Local Government Areas is a huge population. The allocation formula should be reviewed to make the federal government receive 45 percent, States 30 percent, and LGAs 25 percent. We deserve more funding because we are increasingly being drawn into even security issues that are federal Ggvernment’s responsibility.”

Plateau state Finance Commissioner, Davou Mang alsosupported the clamouri for a change in the present formula.

The three tiers of government currently have their respective allocations in this order: Federal Government: 52.68 percent; state governments: 26.62 percent, and local governments: 20.06 percent.

 

Aliyu did not speak for Northern governors – Jang

The Plateau state governor, Jonah Jang said he is not aware of the position of the purported Northern Governors Forum decision credited to the Niger State governor, Babangida Aliyu over the Special Task Force military operation in Barkin Ladi and Riyom local government areas of Plateau state.

A statement by the Director of Press Affairs to the governor, James Mannok said perhaps Mr Aliyu was speaking in his capacity as governor of Niger State, stressing that the governor need to appreciate the changing internal dynamics of the current security challenges in the affected areas of the state culminating in the military operation targeted at terrorists that are still hiding in the hills and killing innocent citizens on the plateau.

The statement added that the issue on ground is beyond settler-indigenes, but acts of terrorism that is capable of tearing this nation apart.

Mr Jang cautioned against statements that convey sentiments. He said statements from national leaders should be tailored towards a nationalistic posture especially at a time when the nation is yearning for greater harmony and in search of the sponsors of the despicable acts against innocent citizens.

Mr Aliyu, who is the Chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Governor of Niger State, on Sunday reacted to the quit notice issued to residents of Mahanga, Kakuruk, Maseh and Shong II in Barkin Ladi and Riyom Local Government Areas of Plateau State by the Special Military Task Force (STF), urging them to exercise caution in carrying out their duties.

The STF had on Saturday asked inhabitants of the affected areas to vacate within 48 hours along with their property, in readiness for operations to flush out insurgents that have been attacking residents of the communities.

But Mr Aliyu warned that the 48-hour ultimatum issued by the STF could lead to a breakdown of law and order, not only in Plateau State but in other parts of the country.