Tinubu Visits Buhari In Abuja

File photo: President Muhammadu Buhari and Bola Tinubu

 

The national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has arrived the Presidential Villa in Abuja to visit President Muhammadu Buhari.

He was seen arriving at the Villa just as the Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima was leaving.

 

National leader of the APC Bola Tinubu and Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima exchange pleasantries at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

 

Details of both meetings are yet to be disclosed.

Ali Modu Sheriff Moves Into PDP Secretariat

PDP Secretariat, Ali Modu SheriffThe National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, has moved into the national secretariat of the party, nine months after it was sealed by the Police in May 2016.

Senator Sheriff said the reopening of the party’s secretariat would enable him and the National Working Committee to work towards returning the party to its status in 1999.

He also assured PDP faithful that none of them would be victimised, noting that his goal was to reunite the party and make it stronger once more.

Sheriff had earlier told journalists in Abuja that he had perfected all legal documents required for the reopening of the secretariat.

He added that the PDP convention committee was working towards conducting a national convention that would elect principal officers soon.

The former Borno State Governor was reinstated as the PDP National Chairman on February 17, after a long leadership tussle that shook the party.

A Federal High Court in Port Harcourt ruled that the caretaker committee headed by Senator Ahmed Makarfi was illegal and cannot act on behalf of the party.

Justice Sanga said that due process was not followed in the decision by the PDP convention to dissolve the Ali Modu Sheriff-led chairmanship and hence, should be disregarded.

Shettima Holds Emergency Meeting With Security Heads

Shettima Holds Emergency Meeting With Security Heads In BornoFollowing resurgence of attacks by remnants of the ‎Boko Haram insurgents in some parts of Borno State, Governor Kashim Shettima, has held an emergency security meeting with security operatives.

The meeting was attended by heads of the Nigerian Army, Air Force, Police and the Department of State Services (DSS), with proactive measures taken on how to increase surveillance and forestall unanticipated security breach.

Governor Shettima began with a three-hour closed door meeting with the Theater Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Leo Irabor, on Friday at the Government House in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

‎During the meeting, he was briefed on recent attacks and ongoing military operations while discussions were held with assurances that the remnants of the insurgents were on suicidal mission, given their displacement from their former headquarters at the Sambisa forest.

Spokesman to the governor, Mr Isa Gusau, said in a statement issued on Sunday that after meeting with the Theater Commander who is not a member of the State Security Council, Governor Shettima presided over an emergency meeting of the State Security Council that involved core armed forces.

At the end of meeting, new guard locations were established in some routes across the state to curtail the movement of the Boko Haram fighters.

The number of security personnel deployed to various locations were also increased with more members of the Civilian JTF (youth volunteers) involved.

Governor Shettima also gave approval for the release of additional patrol vehicles to security agencies for increased surveillance in the state.

He also approved logistics to compliment efforts of the Federal Government in strengthening the armed forces, while measures were adopted to strengthen the Civilian JTF and hunters.

The Council also reviewed the synergy between formal armed forces and volunteers, with steps adopted to increase collaboration and clamp down on cattle rustling used by insurgents to raise funds.

The meeting, which lasted for over three hours at the council chambers of the Government House, had in attendance ‎the General Officer Commanding, Seven Division of the Army, Brigadier General Victor Ezugwu; the Commander, 79 Composite group of the Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Charles Ohwo; the Borno State Commissioner of Police, Damian Chukwu, and the Garrison Commander, Seven Division of the Army, Brigadier General Jibrin Mohammed.

Others at the meeting are the State Director of the DSS, Suleiman Kankia, Commandant of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Ibrahim Abdullahi, the Secretary to the State Government, Usman Shuwa, the Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Kaka Lawan and the Permanent Secretary in charge of Security.

Shettima: Boko Haram Killed Over 100,000 People In Seven Years

Shettima: Over 100,000 Killed In Boko Haram InsurgencyBorno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, says at least 100,000 persons have been killed in the seven years of the Boko Haram insurgency in Northeast Nigeria.

The governor added that over two million people were displaced by the violence, noting that most of those affected were women and children.

He stated this on Monday at the Murtala Muhammed Memorial Lecture in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

“While it took South Africa’s apartheid 42 years to take 21,000 lives, it took Boko Haram only seven years to cause the murders of 100,000 lives of innocent people, he said.

Governor Shettima noted that the conflict was fueled in its early stages by official laxity and the initial willingness of the former administration to believe the terror campaign was supported by the Muslim-majority in the northeast.

He also defended the decision of his administration to close all IDPs’ camps in Borno State by May 2017, stressing that their continuous existence poses threat to the state.

“The IDP camps that we have right now are pregnant with lots of challenges.

“Early child marriages, child prostitution, drug abuse (and) gangsterism are very common in those IDP camps.

“If we allow them to pester (and) to continue existing for the next two years, we might have bigger problems at hand.

“This is why we are determined to restore the dignity of our people by rebuilding their communities and taking them back home,” the governor said.

 

 

Maiduguri Blasts: Shettima Calls For Emergency Security Meeting

Kashim Shettima, Maiduguri, Borno StateBorno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, has summoned officials of all markets, motor parks and other places of public gatherings in Maiduguri, for an emergency security meeting with heads of security agencies and the civilian JTF.

The meeting, which is expected to take place on Monday at the Government House, is in response to the attacks on the Maiduguri Monday market, which resulted in the death of one person while 17 others sustained various degrees of injuries.

Governor Shettima visited the scene of ‎the suicide attacks around the market and was at the Accident and Emergency Ward of the Maiduguri Specialist Hospital, where he met each of the survivors.

maiduguri

Three out of the injured victims were said to be undergoing emergency surgery at the hospital’s theater.

“Tomorrow, we will be having an emergency security meeting involving management of all the markets, motor parks, shopping centers, football fields and other attack prone areas and the we will invite the Civilian JTF and of course our security officials, so that we cross pollinate ideas and come up with some new measures that will strengthen our existing security structure around markets.

“We have been taking different steps as the insurgents change their ways. We will all meet and come with measures that will not be made public,” he said.

The Borno State Commissioner of Police, Damian Chukwu, who received the governor at the scene, said the suicide attacks were carried out by two women in two close spots, both outside the market at about 8:48 on Sunday morning.

maiduguri2

One of the witnesses at the scene of the blast, Adamu Haruna, said the suicide bombers pretended to be customers buying groceries before detonating their improvised explosives.

“What I saw is an explosion; a woman came to buy onions (but) she was holding a sack. As soon as she moved away, we heard the explosion.

“The impact of the blast flung me aside and the metal from the bomb missed me. I was still on the ground in pains when the second explosion went off,” he said.

In December 2014, Governor Shettima had ordered the barricade of most markets while youth volunteers under the civilian JTF ‎were posted to man security around markets in Maiduguri.

The Boko Haram insurgents have continued to target the Maiduguri Monday market, using persons who conceal bombs and pretend to be customers.

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.

Sexual Harassment: Shettima To Request Detectives In IDPs’ Camps

Kashim Shettima, Borno, IDPs, Sexual HarassmentBorno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, says he plans to request for the deployment of female and male undercover detectives to all Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in the state.

Following recent report of the Human Rights Watch that some government officials sexually harass female IDPs in camps, Governor Shettima believes the detectives can spy on the culprits and bring them to book.

He made the disclosure on Tuesday during at a meeting with a delegation from the National University Commission on tour of ongoing infrastructure at the proposed Borno State University in Maduguri, in northeastern
Nigeria.

The governor plans to write to the Inspector General of Police, the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

He was hopeful that deployment of undercover agents would be a permanent measure in addition to the urgent need for investigation of the report by the Human Rights Watch.

IDPs
Female internally displaced persons

The agency, in its report ‎released days ago, claimed some female IDPs it interviewed said they were sexually harassed by some security officials, to the extent of getting them pregnant.

“Today, as Governor of Borno State, there is no issue that gives me headache like the unfortunate bye-products of IDP camps. Our citizens were violently sent out of their houses and communities. It is their fundamental rights to be provided alternative accommodation with their food and health catered for.

“Sadly and very sadly indeed, the IDPs’ camps have become avenues that horrible stories of sexual slavery, prostitution rings, drug peddling and other social vices are emanating from. Only yesterday (Monday) there was a report by a Human Rights group alleging incidences of sexual abuses by some Federal and State workers in some of the IDP camps. This is highly condemnable.

Wield The Big Stick

“Apart from investigating these claims and arresting culprits which is absolutely necessary, I am going to write letters to the Inspector General of Police, the Director General of the DSS, the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency and may be the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, requesting all of them to deploy female and male undercover detectives to all our camps to permanently spy on anyone involved in sexual harassment, any form of prostitution, drugs trafficking, possible child trafficking and even the allegations of diversion of food items meant for IDPs.

“I would want these detectives to report their findings to their security establishments and whoever is found wanting should be picked up without notifying me so long as there is verifiable evidence to prosecute him or her. Ladies and gentlemen, I am tired of applying the element of persuasion in handling the issues of IDPs, we need to wield the big stick.

DSS, arrested judges,

Consenting To Sexual Advances

“The problem with managing the IDP camp is that you are dealing with a population of two or more local government areas in one location and you cannot imprison them by restricting or stopping them from leaving the IDP camp in the day time.

“When a female IDP leaves the camp in the morning, you cannot be in control of where she goes and who she sees. If she leaves the camp and returns the following day, she may claim to have visited a family member and little can be done. I strongly believe there are cases of sexual harassment but some of the women may be consenting to sexual advances largely due to extreme poverty and loss of value system.

Desperate Situations

“We have to instil sanity into the IDPs’ camps and I hope we will not end up having human rights activists telling us we cannot deploy undercover detectives into IDP camps due to one form of rights violation or the other.

“Desperate situations call for desperate measures. Sexual harassment of female IDPs is a desperate situation. None of us here is beyond becoming an IDP if Allah decrees and none of us would fold arms if his or her daughter is in position to be sexually harassed, so we must act now,” the Governor said.

Shettima added that ‎the history of Borno State had been tainted by the Boko Haram insurgency and lamented that the state was tired of counting deaths and destructions.

Herdsmen, Kaduna, Gunmen

“The Borno story has been painted very badly by the Boko Haram.

“We are even tired of counting the number of deaths, number of those injured, value of private institutions and private property destroyed and the huge number of persons internally displaced,” he said.

List: Names Of 21 Released Chibok Girls

Chibok GirlsThe Office of the Vice President of Nigeria has released the names of the 21 Chibok girls released by Boko Haram on Thursday.

This was after Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and his wife visited the girls at the Department Of State Services (DSS) hospital in Abuja where they have been recuperating.

The Vice President also shared pictures of his visit to the girls in a tweet, with the caption: “Dawn, dusk, almost a 1000 days. Twenty-one of our girls are back. It is my joy to welcome you home. The nation has been waiting for you.”

His Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande later shared the names of the girls with the media in a press release.

Below is the list.

chibok-girls-names

Nigerian Government Promises To Rehabilitate Released Chibok Girls

chibok-girls-release3Nigeria’s Vice President has promised the immediate rehabilitation of the 21 Chibok girls who were released by the Boko Haram sect on Thursday.

Professor Yemi Osinbajo said this after seeing the girls at the Department Of State Services (DSS) office in Abuja.

Instead of waiting for them at the Presidential Villa, Vice President Yemi Osibanjo found his way to the SSS hospital where the girls are recuperating.

He arrived about 6.30pm with his wife and started by offering prayers for the released girls.

He said that the whole country had been waiting for them to be released and that he came to ensure that they were in good hands to start with.

The Director-General of the SSS, Lawal Daura and the chief medical officer of the hospital, Dr Ann Okoroafor, told the Vice President that a special arrangement has been put in place to ensure that the girls get back to life.

The DSS called them out one after the other beginning with Mary Usman. All of them looked frail, with one of them clutching her baby.

The Vice President, who promised to get the girls back to school as soon as possible said that the federal government would also explore all avenues to ensure that the rest of the girls still in Boko Haram camps were released.

He pledged the readiness of the government to rehabilitate the girls physically and mentally while waiting for their parents to join them.

chibok-girls-release

The Spokesman for the President, Garba Shehu, earlier on Thursday, confirmed that 21 out of the Chibok girls kidnapped by the Boko Haram militants, had been released.

According to Mr Shehu, the release of the girls, in a limited number, is the outcome of negotiations between the administration and the Boko Haram, brokered by the International Red Cross and the Swiss Government.

President Muhammadu Buhari, speaking at the airport just before takeoff to Germany on an official visit, described the release of the 21 Chibok girls as a confirmation of his determination to secure all Nigerians where ever they are.

There had been reports in the media that four Boko Haram members were released in exchange for the girls’ release but the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has since debunked the reports.

chibok-girls-release2

He told journalists in Abuja that the release secured by the government is based on confidence and not a swap arrangement with the terrorists group.

“This is not a swap. This was a release which was effected because over time, we succeeded in confidence building.

“This particular release is significant because it’s just a first step in what we believe will lead to the eventual release of all our girls in custody. It is significant also because we have been able to establish more than ever before a confidence in both the leadership of Boko Haram and Nigerians.

“I am not aware of any monetary transaction,” he said.

Chibok Girls’ Release Confirms Our Determination – Buhari

Buhari, Saudi, Suicide BombingPresident Muhammadu Buhari says the release of the 21 Chibok girls is a confirmation of his determination to secure all Nigerians where ever they are.

The President spoke at the airport just before takeoff to Germany on an official visit.

He said that the Vice President would work out the details of how to receive the girls.

“I believe you will be duly briefed by the President. He will give you the details. I have just been briefed about it and I think the Vice President and the Minister of Information will give you the details.

“To Nigerians all over, our responsibility is to continue to secure them wherever they are,” the President said.

On his part, the Borno State Governor, Kashim Shetima, described the rescue of the 21 Chibok girls as a sign of better days ahead.

He expressed gratitude to the President for the efforts made so far, hoping that the rest of the girls would also be rescued alive.

The Spokesman for the President, Garba Shehu, earlier on Thursday, confirmed that 21 out of the Chibok girls kidnapped by the Boko Haram militants, had been released.

According to Mr Shehu, the release of the girls, in a limited number, is the outcome of negotiations between the administration and the Boko Haram, brokered by the International Red Cross and the Swiss Government.

Not A Swap

There had been reports in the media that four Boko Haram members were released in exchange for the girls’ release but the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has since debunked the reports.

He told journalists in Abuja that the release secured by the government is based on confidence and not a swap arrangement with the terrorists group.

“This is not a swap. This was a release which was effected because over time, we succeeded in confidence building.

“This particular release is significant because it’s just a first step in what we believe will lead to the eventual release of all our girls in custody. It is significant also because we have been able to establish more than ever before a confidence in both the leadership of Boko Haram and Nigerians.

“I am not aware of any monetary transaction,” he said.

 

Army Rescues Bama Emir’s Wife From Boko Haram Insurgents

Army, Bama, Boko HaramThe Nigerian Army has rescued the abducted wife of the Emir of Bama, a town overran by the Boko Haram insurgents in Borno State, northeast Nigeria.

The mother of five was forcefully snatched from her husband’s domain in September 2014 with two of her kids, a teenage boy and his baby sister.

General Officer Commanding, 7th Division, Major General Victor Ezugwu, handed over the rescued woman to the Emir, Kyari Umar Ibn Elkanemi, in a private family ceremony.

The Borno State Deputy Governor, Usman Durkwa, and wife of Governor Kashim Shettima, Nana were also there to witness the presentation.

However, journalists were barred from covering proceedings at the family compound of the Emir along the old GRA in Maiduguri, where the monarch has been taking refuge ever since Bama was dislodged.

Family sources said that the rescued woman who is in her forties was rescued along Damboa road, following ongoing military operations in the area.

The rescued woman who returned with only one of the kids she was abducted with, reportedly told family members that her teenage son was gruesomely murdered by the insurgents.

It was a tearful reunion as the abductee reunited with her other kids and family members.

Army Reopens Dikwa-Mafa-Gamboru Road

Nigerian ArmyThe Nigerian Army is celebrating successful counter insurgency operations by reopening the Dikwa-Mafa-Gamboru road in Borno State.

Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, in a ceremony marking the end of the 2016 Army Day celebration with the State Governor, Kashim Shettima in attendance has declared the road safe for civilian passage.

The 138km road was unceremoniously shut down over two years ago following terror acts by the outlawed Boko Haram sect in the area.

The newly reopened Maiduguri-Mafa-Dikwa-Gamboru/Ngala road connects Nigeria to Central and North Africa from the North-eastern region.

The road is considered strategic as it leads to towns believed to be the economic life wire of Borno State.

On assumption of office in 2015, the Chief of Army Staff, on his way to an operational visit to troops in Gamboru had been ambushed by Boko Haram elements operating in the axis.

Re-opening of the road for civilian use follows successful mop up operations in the area since then.

Government officials say closure of the road had almost crippled the commercial prowess of Borno State.

Theatre Commander of the counter insurgency war tagged “Operation Lafiya Dole”, Major General Lucky Irabor, believes that reopening of the road for commercial activities amidst security presence would encourage people to return home.

Medical outreach for sick Internally Displaced Persons in the Dikwa camp, home to over 58,000 people as well as the launch of a solar powered borehole was part of the Army Day celebrations.

The Army Chief also hosted the displaced to a lunch to celebrate the Eid El Fitri and the achievements of troops on the frontlines.

Governor Kashim Shettima commended the gallantry of the Nigerian armed forces and the civilian joint task force for their contributions towards peace building.

Damboa-Biu road linking Adamawa and Gombe states had earlier been reopened while troubled Buni Yadi in Gujba area of Yobe State had also been reopened all within the last four months.