Governor Gaidam Re-opens Katarko Bridge In Yobe

Governor Gaidam Re-opens Katarko Bridge In YobeYobe State Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, has re-opened the Katarko Bridge in Gujba Local Government Area of the state, four years after it was blown up by the Boko Haram sect.

The bridge is a major infrastructure that connects the state to neighbouring states in Nigeria’s North-east.

It lies 22 kilometres away from Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, and served as a link to the strongholds of the insurgents.

Governor Gaidam, who officially opened the reconstructed bridge on Thursday, emphasised its economic importance, saying his administration will continue to do all it can to develop the state.

He added that his administration will extend the olive branch to other major towns of the state.

“It was in our plan to beautify Damaturu metropolis, it has to look like a state capital before our term ends in 2019 and this does not mean that we will overlook some other urban cities,” the Governor said.

He further inspected the Yobe State Fire Service Headquarters under remodeling, where he tasked the contractors to redouble their efforts to ensure completion as schedule.

Governor Gaidam also inspected ongoing urban road renewal projects across the state capital and praised the the contractors for a job well done.

Speaking at one of the sites of inspection, the Commissioner of Works and Transport, Lawan Shettima, gave a breakdown of the level of work at the Damaturu-Makza road, which he said was 50 per cent completed.

Governor Gaidam expressed delight at the level of work done and promised to construct more roads, schools and other infrastructure, in order to revive various communities in the state.

He, however, urged the contractors to maintain speed and quality of work, in line with the contract specification.

Military Begins Rehabilitation Of Repentant Insurgents

Military, Insurgents, Boko Haram MilitantsThe Military has begun the process of reintegrating repentant members of the Boko Haram sect into the society.

The rehabilitation is part of the ongoing efforts by the Federal Government to rebuild Nigeria’s Northeast region, following terrorists’ attacks that have caused devastating damage in the region.

The National Security Council has mandated the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, to receive the repentant terrorists with a view to rehabilitating them.

The Director of Production, Defence Headquarters, Air Vice Marshal Emmanuel Anebi, who represented General Olonisakin, received various items for usage in the camp situated in Gombe, northeast Nigeria.

He said the programme, Operation Safe Corridor, was designed to receive surrendering Boko Haram members and take them through a process that would reintegrate them back to the society.

The Chairman of Operation Safe Corridor, Brigadier General Bamidele Shafa and the Executive Secretary of NHRC, Professor Bem Angwe, hinted that series of programmes have been earmarked for the process.

They reeled out different vocations and skill acquisition programmes to be held on camp towards reintegrating the repentant combatants into the society.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said that it has contributed its quota to the programme to make the camp conducive for the repentant militants.

Director General of NEMA, Mr Sani Sidi, disclosed that the agency has donated several items ranging from food and edibles to bedding materials as well as resource persons and camp officials required to carter for them.

The repentant terrorists now have a chance to begin normal life again, even as the military is currently conducting mop-up operations to clear the remnants of the terrorists.

Army Denies Rumours Of Communities Recaptured By Boko Haram

Tukur Buratai, Army, Boko HaramThe Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, has dismissed media reports that some communities were being recaptured by members of the Boko Haram sect in Nigeria’s northeast.

Speaking shortly after a visit to the Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, in Abeokuta, the state’s capital on Thursday, General Buratai noted that the Army is in full control of affairs in the areas.

He promised to maintain the tempo of victory being recorded in the north eastern states being ravaged by the insurgency.

The Army Chief asked Nigerians to be more security conscious and continue to cooperate with the security agencies in the onerous task of protecting the territorial integrity of the country.

Addressing his guest and his entourage, Governor Amosun commended the Army and other security agencies for restoring hope to the disturbed northeast.

The courtesy call was part of the visit of the Chief of Army Staff to military units and formations in Ogun State.

His visit is expected to boost the morale of officers and other rankings of the Nigerian Army towards professionalism and patriotism.

34 Women, 28 Children Rescued From Boko Haram

Boko HaramThirty four women and girls with 28 children have been rescued by Nigerian troops and are currently being interrogated and profiled at the 7 Division headquarters Maiduguri.

Federal troops on a long range rescue mission in the theatre of operation rescued the women and young girls including children held hostage by the outlawed Boko Haram in a village called Walasa.

Two among those rescued, are Cameroonians while the other women were snatched from different villages around Borno and forcefully married off to their captors.

Some of thechildren rescued along with the women were sired by their Boko Haram husbands.

Theatre Commander of the Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Lucky Irabor, who presented the abducted women to journalists with their identities concealed said that the plan is to reunite them with their families.

The Army has already set up a post-trauma and psycho-social centre for the traumatised women in addition to general medical check-up.

One of the rescued women, Aisha Walasa, recounted how she was abducted from her hometown and married off to one of her abductors.

“They took us from home and married us off forcefully. Today I am very happy the soldiers have rescued us,” she said.

Hundreds of women and girls, including the Chibok school girls are still in Boko Haram captivity.

Interactions with some of those rescued have shown that abductees might have been brainwashed and indoctrinated, hence stalling rescue efforts.

According to Commander Irabor, since the commencement of the ‘Operation Crack Down’, all formations and units in ‘Operation Lafiya Dole’ have been making efforts to degrade the combat capability of Boko Haram within the Sambisa Forest and other enclaves in the North East.

Army Rescues 11, 595 Civilians Held By Boko Haram

Boko HaramThe Nigerian Army says that it has rescued over 11,000 civilians held at various enclaves by the Boko Haram sect .

The Army clarifies that the rescue operations were carried out within the past six weeks.

This comes as troops say that they have intensified efforts to clear and mop up all insurgent activities in the north east.

The military further explained that the rescue operations were carried out by different outposts across the region and that a significant number of them were received from Cameroonian authorities.

Yobe Boko Haram Victims: Families Get Tricycle From Government

Boko-Haram-YobeYobe State government on Wednesday distributed 350 tricycles to some families of those killed by the Boko Haram insurgents.

The materials were sent to the State by President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration as reliefs, to reduce hardships faced by families of those killed by the radical religious fundamentalists.

Governor Ibrahim Gaidam appreciated the gesture while distributing the materials to 350 selected beneficiaries in the Nigeria’s northeast state.

The Governor also appealed to the beneficiaries to utilise the materials for the purpose intended and not sell it to some ‘few well to do’, who he said could be hanging by with some token.

Governor Gaidam, who was represented at the event by the Yobe State Deputy Governor, Abubakar Aliyu, said that although all inhabitants of the state were either directly or indirectly victims of the insurgency, some were more victims than others, as the number supplied to the state could not go round.

He said that the state government had expended 20 million Naira to transport the tricycles from Lagos State to Damaturu, and to assemble them for use.

In his remark, the Secretary to the Yobe State Government, Baba Wali, stressed the importance of the distribution to alleviate the sufferings poised by the Boko Haram militants.

He called on other well to do individuals, philanthropists and spirited individuals to contribute their quota towards assisting the affected persons.

Some of the beneficiaries, Bukar Sheriff and Useini Ya’u, appreciated the gesture while expressing hope that it would go a long in reducing the hardships on their families.

FG Urged To Pardon Forcefully Recruited Boko Haram Members

Boko Haram - Insurgency - COWAAA civil society organisation has appealed to the Federal Government to grant amnesty to members of the Boko Haram sect who were forcefully recruited into the group.

The Coalition of Women Advancement in Africa (COWAA) said that the reprieve would enable government to further decimate the population of the dreaded group.

The Executive Vice President of COWAA, Mrs Jummai Pukat, made the call while addressing a news conference in Abuja on Monday.

According to Mrs Pukat, granting amnesty to such members of the group would assist the military in sustaining the onslaught against the leadership of the sect.

Commending the efforts of the military in the fight against terror, COWAA called on the Nigerian Armed Forces to intensify efforts aimed at ensuring that innocent lives are not wasted by the insurgents.

Meanwhile, the Chief of Air Staff has reassured Nigerians that the war against the terrorist in the northeast would soon be won.

Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar made the statement on Monday during his Easter visit to the troops in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

While describing as unfortunate the insurgents’ insistence on destroying the peace of Borno State and the entire Nigeria’s northeast, he applauded the commitment of officers and men of the Armed Forces.

Western Governments Knew Where 80 Abducted Chibok Girls Were, British Envoy says

chibok girlsA report by the U.K Sunday Times is alleging that the US and British governments knew where at least 80 of the Nigerian girls kidnapped by the Boko Haram sect where but failed to launch a rescue mission.

The former British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Dr Andrew Pocock, told the Sunday Times that a large group of the missing girls were spotted by British and American surveillance officials shortly after their disappearance on April 14, 2014, but experts felt nothing could be done.

‘Too High Risk’

Dr Pocock was quoted by the Sunday Times as saying that Western governments felt ‘powerless’ to help, as any rescue attempt would have been too high risk – with the Boko Haram terrorists using the girls as human shield.

He said: “A couple of months after the kidnapping, fly-bys and an American eye in the sky spotted a group of up to 80 girls in a particular spot in the Sambisa forest, around a very large tree, called locally the Tree of Life, along with evidence of vehicular movement and a large encampment”.

He told Sunday Times that the girls were there for at least four weeks but authorities were ‘powerless’ to intervene – and the Nigerian government did not ask for help anyway.

“A land-based attack would have been seen coming miles away and the girls killed, an air-based rescue, such as flying in helicopters or Hercules, would have required large numbers and meant a significant risk to the rescuers and even more so to the girls.’

“You might have rescued a few but many would have been killed. My personal fear was always about the girls not in that encampment – 80 were there, but 250 were taken, so the bulk were not there. What would have happened to them? You were damned if you do and damned if you don’t,” he added.

He further told the Sunday Times Magazine that the information was passed to the Nigerian government but it made no request for help.

Terrorists stormed a secondary boarding school in the remote town of Chibok in Borno state, northern Nigeria in April 14, 2014, and seized over 200 girls who were preparing for their final-year exams.

Although 57 of the girls managed to escape the rest have remained missing and have not been heard from or seen since.

The abduction triggered solidarity protests in different countries with protesters carrying placards mostly written, “Bring Back Our Girls”.

In different intervals, top military officials said they were aware of the girls’ location, but could not launch an attack on the terrorists, fearing it could lead to civilian casualties.

Forget About Finding Chibok Girls, Obasanjo Tells Nigerians

ObasanjoFormer President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, has called on Nigerians to jettison the thoughts that the 276 girls abducted by the Boko Haram sect in Chibok town of Borno State in 2014 ‎could ever be rescued.

The former President said this while addressing a crowd of the students, lecturers and the Vice Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Professor Bamitale Omole, at the university’s Staff Club in Ile-Ife, Osun State, in southwest Nigeria.

In his speech on the “Reflections of an Elder Statesman”, he stressed that the major problem affecting the development of the nation was lack of continuity.

Mr Obasanjo also pointed out that if the fight against corruption must be entrenched, it has to start from the top government functionaries down the ladder.

He noted that the present organs that was being used to fight corruption – the Economic Financial Crimes Commission – was put in place because of the prevailing existence of corruption when he was in power.

Before his arrival at the venue of the lecture, the former President had visited the palace of the Ooni of Ife‎, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Ogunmuko, Ojaja II, to pay homage to the monarch.

FG To Set Up 100 Primary Healthcare Centres In 3 Months

Health workers- yobe-herfonThe Federal Government of Nigeria has concluded plans to set up one hundred Primary Health Care Centres across the country within the next three months, a government official said on Tuesday.

Addressing reporters during an assessment tour of healthcare facilities in war torn northeast Nigeria, the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, gave the figures.

Professor Adewole said that the plan was to provide each ward in the country with self-sufficient healthcare centres in line with global best practices.

In Borno State, the state worst hit by the insurgents, the State Governor, Kashim Shettima, was excited about the Federal Government’s interest in parts of the country ravaged by insurgency.

Shettima told the Minister that health facilities in Maiduguri the state capital were now overstretched because of the burden of insurgency victims and Persons dislodged from at least 20 local governments of the state.

Over two million persons have been displaced from the region in the over six years’ insurgency by members of the Boko Haram sect.

The government had last week inaugurated a committee to map out all the Primary Healthcare Centres across the nation.

Professor Adewole, inaugurated the committee on January 19.

According to him, the government, through the committee, will ascertain the number and locations of Primary Healthcare Centres available in the country and also to determine how many are functional or otherwise.

Police Arrest 114 Boko Haram Suspects In Ondo

police on boko haram suspectsThe Ondo State Police Command says it is interrogating 114 people who were arrested after detectives intercepted a truck conveying them in the state.

The people were said to be coming from Kebbi State and heading towards Ore town in Odigbo Local Government Area of the state before they were intercepted by the Police at Lipakala junction in Ondo town.

Speaking to Channels Television in Akure, Ondo State capital on Friday, the Public Relations Officer of the Ondo State Police Command, Mr Femi Joseph, said that 114 men were accosted in Ondo town travelling in a large truck on their way from Kebbi State.

“Our findings so far had not indicated that the men had any link with the dreaded Boko Haram sect, but be that as it may, we decided to keep them yesterday (Thursday) in our custody to further work on their claims in order to verify their claims.

“Some of them claimed to be farmers, some hunters, while few of them claimed to be traders.

“Actually, for real, we saw about eight dane guns in the vehicle, we saw a good number of hoes, we also saw substantial number of cutlasses, there was no record of ammunition,” he said.

The Ondo Police PRO further said, “These people said it is a seasonal thing – every season, they do come from the north most especially during the dry season to do some menial jobs down south here, after which they would go back to the north during the raining season.

“In the course of our investigation, we had to invite some Hausa community leaders, who testified to their claims.”

Okorocha Commends Military Efforts In Fighting Terror

OkorochaThe Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has praised the efforts of the Nigerian soldiers especially in the fight against the Boko Haram sect.

The Governor gave the commendation on Sunday at an interdenominational thanksgiving service organized by the Imo State government to mark the Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration.

He extolled the soldiers for their courage and commitment in keeping the flag of the nation flying amidst all terrorism attacks and security challenges.

Governor Okorocha urged them to always remember that they have a great nation like Nigeria and her citizens to protect.

He encouraged all Nigerians not to be dismayed by the present state of the nation’s economy as the set time for Nigeria to rise to an enviable height in the world was near, especially with the change administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Also speaking at the gathering in Owerri, the Imo State capital, the Army Commander, 34 Artillery Brigade Obinze, who was represented by the Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Taiwo Durojaiye, enjoined Nigerians take advantage of the Arm Forces Remembrance Day celebration to remember the families of fallen heroes in order to encourage active soldiers.