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.

Economic Activities Pick Up In Buniyadi As FG Provides Succour

Buniyadi
Representative of the Chief of Air Staff, Air Commodore Paul Dimfwina

Life seems to be picking up in Buniyadi town, a major commercial area along the Damaturu-Biu road in Yobe State northeast Nigeria.

This normalcy is due to the re-opening of the trade route which had been under the control of the Boko Har
am militants for almost three years.

The Nigerian military removed all barriers put in place by the insurgents after recapturing the town.

With the commissioning of the road six days earlier by the military, the situation in the town changed rapidly from what used to be a ghost town to one bubbling with life as commercial activities have started picking up appreciably.

The residents who have been taken refuge across Damaturu, Maiduguri, Gombe among other major towns in the northeast have continued to return to their ancestral home to assess the level of damage done to the town.

Commercial activities
Commercial activities have started picking up appreciably

As residents returned to the town, the presidential committee on the distribution of relief materials to the Internally Displaced Persons swiftly responded with the provision of food and non-food items with a view to providing succour to the returnees.

The returnees gathered in front of the Local Government secretariat to welcome the state and the federal government delegation who visited the town with the relief materials.

Buniyadi
Relief materials courtesy of the presidential committee

The representative of the Chief of Air Staff, Air Commodore Paul Dimfwina, while addressing the returnees, said that the presidential committee brought rice, vegetable oil, soap, clothes, footwear, mosquito coil and sugar to be shared to the returnees.

He noted that the relocation of the IDPs to their ancestral homes and the immediate intervention showed that Nigeria was winning the war on terrorism and laying a solid foundation for full relocation of the IDPs to their communities.

Buniyadi
Yobe State Deputy Governor, Abubakar Aliyu

The Yobe State Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, who was represented at the ceremony by his deputy, Abubakar Aliyu, appealed to the federal government to assist the state to effectively fund the return and resettlement of the returnees which is estimated at 14.3 billion Naira.

While thanking the Nigerian President for the release of the relief materials, he gave the assurance that the state distribution committee would ensure effective distribution of the items to the affected persons.

Some of the residents who spoke to Channels Television, expressed appreciation for the provision of food and non-food items to the community but called on government to consider the resuscitation of their power and water supply as well as health care facilities and schools destroyed by the insurgents.

They also pleaded for the provision of means of livelihoods as well as funds to help them reconstruct their destroyed homes.

Boko Haram
The returnees want help to reconstruct their destroyed homes

Buniyadi has reportedly suffered more Boko Haram attacks than any local government area in Yobe State.

Apart from taking over the control of the area for nearly three years, Federal Government College Buniyadi and the College of Agriculture were both attacked at different times with not less than 80 lives lost.

Several security personnel and civilians were also killed during the reign of terror in the area.

Military Reopens Damaturu-Biu Road, Welcomes Displaced Persons

InsurgencyThe Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai on Saturday reopened the 132-kilometre Damaturu-Biu road with assurance that other roads in the northeast affected by insurgency would soon be open up for socioeconomic activities.

The reopening comes as security forces continue to take control of the northeast zone of Nigeria from the hands of the Boko Haram insurgents.

A symbolic cutting of the tape marked the commencement of vehicular movement along the road which had been inactive for close to three years.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, who led the military hierarchy to Buniyadi town for the exercise, also marked the return of the displaced persons to the community.

He said that the reopening of the road would, asides impacting positively on the socioeconomic activities of communities along the route, also stimulate peace and the current military operation going on in the area.

The road which passes through some major Yobe/Borno communities provides easy access to Adamawa and Gombe states.

With the recent improvement in the troubled northeast, residents have long expected the reopening of the road which will cut short their travelling woes from Maiduguri or Damaturu to Biu, Gombe and Adamawa states.

The State Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, who was represented by the State Commissioner of Works, Sirajo Wakil, showered praises on the military for the restoration of peace and the reopening of the road.

He called on the returning communities to always seek military clearance before returning to their ancestral homes.

On the deplorable condition of the road, the Governor recalled that his administration had awarded the Yobe portion of the road covering a distance of 77km at the cost of 6.7 billion Naira but progress of work was thwarted shortly by the intensity of the insurgency.

He gave the assurance that with the improved peace, the construction company would be mobilised to resume work.

He thanked the military for deploying security to ensure the construction work does not stop.

Gwoza Is Completely Damaged – Council Boss

Gwoza_LGBossThe Vice Chairman of Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno State, Mr Ibrahim Adamu, on Wednesday said the town is “completely damaged” and called for help from the Federal Government.

The Council Boss further noted that the Southern Borno town is “completely damaged”, maintaining that “there is no road, the main bridge we use to go to Adamawa destroyed, houses burnt and people living under trees”.

“From the Emir’s Palace, the Central Mosque to the whole of Gwoza, it will be difficult to find a house, except the one the Amir lives in”, he said.

Mr Adamu noted that no form of repair is going on in the town because no one has gone to assess the damage done.

He maintained that Gwoza is the local government most hit by the Boko Haram insurgents, having endured the assault for over 15 months.

He called on the Federal Government to go and assess the damage and come up with a rebuilding plan so that residents of the town scattered around IDP camps can return home.

Neglected By Representative

He called on the Senator Representing Borno South Senatorial District, Mr Ali Ndume to do more in alleviating the pains of victims of Boko Haram.

“We are waiting for our representative from the National Assembly, especially Sen. Ali Ndume to come and intervene in this matter.

“It is unfortunate that since this incident happened, Sen Ndume has not come to Gwoza to condole the people in Gwoza. Sen Ndume did not go to Gwoza and assess the damage in Gwoza” wondering how others will have concern for them if there representative allegedly doesn’t.

Speaking as a guest on Sunrise Daily, Mr Adamu, expressed worry over the alleged inability of Sen. Ndume, who according to him lives not more than 2 kilometres from an IDP camp in Abuja, to “go there (IDP camp)”.

While listing camps that house IDPs from Borno South Senatorial District and Borno State in general, Mr Adamu noted that “we are expecting the man we voted for to go there (Senate) and represent our interest, but it is unfortunate because it seems we don’t have anybody there”, adding that “people are dying in Gwoza”.

The Council Boss further alleged that Sen. Ndume, instead of showing concern for what is going on with IDPs from his constituency, channels his energy to debates of power, budget and leadership positions in the Red Chamber.

He however commended the efforts of the Borno State Governor, Mr Kashim Shettima, who “gave them accommodation and feeding for over 15 months”.

Borno South Senatorial District comprises of 9 Local Government Areas namely Chibok, Hawul Gwoza, Kwaya Kusar, Damboa, Biu, Bayo, Shani and Askira Uba.

Boko Haram Kills Soldier, 6 Others In Fresh Borno Attacks

Boko HaramAbout seven persons including a soldier, have been killed in both Bam and Gajigana villages of Biu and Magumeri local government areas of Borno State.

While unspecified numbers of teenage girls were abducted in Bam village, scores of people were injured in Gajigana village after insurgents set ablaze shops and houses without confrontation.

Bam is about 7 kilometres away from Buratai village the home town of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai.

Buratai’s village has suffered series of Boko Haram attacks including the razing down of a mansion owned by the Army General.

 

Troops Clear Nine Boko Haram Strongholds In Borno

Troops of 115 Task Force Battallion under 28 Task Force Brigade have, in a major boost, cleared nine more Boko Haram terrorists strongholds around Lassa axis of Borno State. 

A statement by a military spokesman, Colonel Tukur Gusau, said the troops cleared Lassa, Muthavo, Dagu Kumabza, Isge, Unworo Zangore, Kilekasa And Pumpum while on clearance operations between November 3 and 5.

During the offensive, four Boko Haram terrorists met their waterloo in the hands of gallant troops of the Nigerian Army.

Some of the terrorists fled, abandoning their weapons. The military spokesman said they left seven den guns.

In a related development on Thursday, Troops of 25 TF Bde, conducted another offensive operations along Korede axis in Damboa Local Government Area of the state.

In the operations, three motorcycles, suspected to be used during the last Sunday’s attack on Azir village, were recovered along with stolen food stuffs from the village.

Terrorists observation posts were destroyed in a high ground in Korede.

“While the fighting spirit of the troops remain very high, they have continued to dominate roads leading to Azir, Wajikoro, Damboa and Biu towns to deny Boko Haram Terrorists any possible freedom of activities in the area,” the statement added.

 

 

37 Die In Gun Battle In Biu

Bomb-Explosion_CarA gun battle between security forces and suspected members of the Boko Haram insurgency at an entry “stop and search point” at the northern axis of Biu along Maiduguri highway has left 37 people dead, residents said.

Witnesses told Channels Television that suspected members of the Boko Haram insurgents from Mirnga area, in an attempt to smuggle the Improvised Explosive Devises (IED) into Biu town, were trapped at a military check point and a gun battle with security forces led to the detonation of the IED, killing scores of people.

The entry check point is being manned by the military and some members of the youth volunteer popularly called “Civilian JTF”.

A member of the Biu Youth Volunteer involved in the rescue of those affected in the clash who pleaded anonymity said “17 members of the insurgents were killed in the gun battle while 20 other innocent civilians mostly hawkers, travellers, some members of the civilian JTF and farmers returning home were affected at the scene”.

He said 23 others who sustained injuries are being treated at the Biu General Hospital.

He said, “Two members of the Boko Haram insurgents were transporting the IED to Biu town from Mirnga area with the aim of wreaking havoc on innocent people when security men at the entry point were promptly alerted leading to the combat in efforts to protect entering the town with the explosive devices.”

In the process according to him, other members of the insurgents stormed the scene with a view to fighting the security men manning the check point.

A hospital soured told Channels Television that “37 corpses were brought to the hospital after the explosion and subsequent clashed between security forces and the Boko Haram militants”.

Biu is the largest commercial and administrative town located in the southern part of Borno State, north east Nigeria some 187 KM away from Maiduguri the state capital.

Tuesday’s blast is coming five days after a suicide bomber hit Biu central market killing 15 civilians and injuring several others.

Authorities are yet to confirm the incident which occurred around 1:00 in the afternoon.

Soldiers, Hunters Fight As Boko Haram Hits Azare, Biu

Nigeria_ArmySuspected members of the Boko Haram sect on Wednesday carried out an attack on Azare town, headquarters of Hawul local government area, Borno state.

The chairman of Hawul LG council, Dr. Andrew Usman Malgwe told Channels Television that the insurgents attacked around 5:50 am and in the process set the divisional police station ablaze.

Dr. Malgwe also revealed that, following the attack on Azare, the terrorists proceeded to Biu town through Yimirshika, but a combined team of soldiers and hunters blocked their entrance few kilometers to the town.

According to him, the attack on Biu was thwarted.

Residents told Channels Television that normal activities are currently going on in Biu as the insurgents did not have access to the town.

Azare is 28 kilometers east of Biu, which is almost 180 kilometers south of Maiduguri, the Borno state capital.

JTF Kills 17 Boko Haram Members In Borno

The Joint Task Force (JTF) in Borno State has launched attacks on two separate camps allegedly belonging to Boko Haram members in the state, killing 17 of the sect members.

A statement issued on Friday in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital by the JTF spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa, revealed that the two special operations supported by the Nigerian Air force Helicopter gunship were aimed at dislodging Boko Haram members from their hideouts.

The operations were carried out in Sambisa Game Reserve of Bama Local Government Area and the Farin-Ruwa forest in the south-west/east of Demboa Local Government Areas of the state.

A member of the JTF was reportedly killed during the operations which lasted between Wednesday and Thursday 30th and 31st of January 2013.

According to the statement, the fundamentalists had training facilities, armoury, accommodation, drug/medical store, kitchen, vehicle holding area, and latrine as well as water point on the camps.

The camps were said to have been used to conduct trainings before carrying out recent attacks, killings and bombings in Maiduguri, Musari, Konduga, Biu, Bama, and Demboa communities.

Efforts by JTF troops to destroy the camps led to the death of the 18 people as the camps were completely destroyed and are now being monitored by the troops.

The statement also reveals that six AK 47 rifles, two G3 rifles, three pistols, one Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) and 20 RPG charges were recovered from the areas.

Others items recovered include:  two double barrel rifles, 2,543 assorted rounds of ammunition, 33 assorted magazines, three laptops, 10 assorted Motorola walker talkies, 20 telephone handsets , 40 assorted prime IED canisters as well as a generator set.

The statement urged the public to continue to partner with the JTF by giving useful and timely information in the search for lasting peace in the state and the country at large.

JTF claimed it can be reached on 08064174066, 08154429346 and 07064174066.

The operation is coming two days after the some Boko Haram members called for a ceasefire that will end the hardship faced by women and children in its insurgency.

They also asked for the reconstruction of the destroyed mosque of their former leader, Mohammed Yusuf as well as the release of detained members of the sect in various prisons across the country.

FG lifts state of emergency on troubled local governments

The Federal Government has lifted the state of emergencies imposed on 15 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the northern part of the country following unabated violence and terror attacks.

President Goodluck Jonathan in December 2011 imposed the state of emergency on the LGAs in Borno, Niger, Plateau and Yobe states.

The affected LGAs in Borno were Maiduguri Metropolitan, Gamboru Ngala, Banki Bama, Biu and Jere, while those in Yobe were Damaturu, Geidam, Potiskum, Buniyadi-Gujba and Gasua-Bade.

Those affected in Plateau were Jos North, Jos South, Barkin-Ladi and Riyom, while only Suleja LGA was affected in Niger.

The directive was contained in a statement issued by Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Mohammed Adoke on Wednesday.

According to the statement, the Federal Government decided to end the emergency rule, with immediate effect, following a careful review of the security situation in the affected areas.

The AGF stated that the move will also enable government to put in place appropriate confidence building measures to improve security in the affected areas.

Mr Adoke said that with the end of emergency rule, the appropriate authorities at the local and state government levels should be responsible for the maintenance of security, law and order in the affected areas.

The Minister also noted that the President directed an end to the emergency powers on restriction order, reporting of persons, detention of persons, processions, meetings and curfew.