Maiduguri Church Violence: Shooter Who Reportedly Killed Pastor’s Son Arrested – Zulum

Governor Zulum speaks during the visit.

 

Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State says security operatives have apprehended the shooter who reportedly killed the son of Pastor Bitrus Tumba when violence broke out between a demolition task force of the Borno Geographic Systems (BOGIS), and worshipers at a branch of EYN church in Maiduguri on August 5, 2021. 

Zulum disclosed this on Tuesday night when he visited the cleric whose son was killed during the incident.

“So far, suspects have been quietly arrested and all those involved in that dastardly act are being detained and God willing, they will face justice, as soon as the Police complete their investigation and make appropriate recommendations.

“We shall do justice to the matter without fear or favour. We share your pains. No exercise of government is ever aimed to cause injury let alone the death of any citizen. Every person in Borno has equal rights and we have a duty to protect the rights of all persons, top of which is the security of lives.

“We are pained by what happened and we condole you and your family,” Zulum told those present.

Governor Zulum says justice will be served.

 

At the pastor’s house, Governor Zulum said his visit is proof that his government has not forgotten the issue. He assured the family of the deceased that justice will come as soon as the police complete investigations.

READ ALSO: UNICEF Condemns ‘Unacceptable’ Deaths Of Children In Borno
Zulum: Surrendered Insurgents Should Not Be Rejected To Avoid Endless War
Insecurity: The Govt Knows Sponsors Of Boko Haram, Says Former Naval Officer

While responding on his family’s behalf, Pastor Bitrus thanked the governor for the visit and said he considered Ezekiel’s death as an act of God which the family has accepted in good faith. 

Governor Zulum says his government is committed to protecting lives.

 

Pastor Bitrus added that everyone dies in a different way, and God has destined Ezekiel to die from a gunshot which no one could have stopped. 

“Whatever we do, we cannot bring the dead back to life; as true Christians, we have accepted it in good faith. Your Excellency, we express our appreciation to you for the visit, I have followed all your efforts on the death of our son, and they show your concern and the fact that you did not forget us, we really appreciate you,” he said.

The police are investigating the incident.

 

Before the visit, the governor had on the day of the incident sent Borno’s deputy governor, Umar Usman Kadafur, to meet the victims.

He also invited and met with Christian leaders, led by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) chairman in the North-East state, Bishop Mohammed  Naga, after which he directed the police to investigate the incident and report to him. 

Pastor Bitrus commended Governor Zulum for his efforts since the incident happened.

 

Governor Zulum was received on the visit by the victim’s family and some CAN officials led by Bishop Naga.

Insecurity: The Govt Knows Sponsors Of Boko Haram, Says Former Naval Officer

 

Former Navy Commodore, Kunle Olawunmi on Wednesday hinted that the Nigerian government knows those behind the decade-long Boko Haram insurgency in the country. 

He made the comment during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

“They [government] know. Of course, it is in the news,” Commodore Olawunmi said.

“In April this year, the government said they had arrested 400 Bureau De Change (BDCs)-related people that were sponsoring Boko Haram. They told us.”

The presidency had earlier said it would publish names of those behind the Boko Haram war with the development generating heated controversy across the country. 

But months down the line, the long-waited list is yet to be made public, a situation the ex-military officer says does not bode well for the government which he accused of shielding criminals. 

“Try them, we know them. Why can’t this government, if not that they are partisan, bring those people out for trial?” he asked, corroborating calls from several quarters for the Federal Government to make good its promise. 

He claimed that the government has developed cold feet in fighting the insurgency because some of those backing Boko Haram are now top-ranking government officials.

“I can’t come on air and start mentioning names of people that are presently in government that the boys we arrested mentioned,” he said, referencing his time as a member of the military intelligence team in 2017.

“Some of them are governors now. Some of them are in the Senate. Some of them are in Aso Rock.”


RELATED: Bandits Attack NDA, Kill Two Officers, Abduct One

[Boko Haram Surrender] It Should Not Be Blanket Amnesty And Pampering – Ndume

More Boko Haram Insurgents Surrender In Borno, Beg For Forgiveness

Troops Continue Humiliating Boko Haram Terrorists In Borno -Nigerian Army


‘We Can’t Use Same Strategy’

Commodore Olawunmi believes the Nigerian government is not sincere in the fight against Boko Haram.

 

Olawunmi’s remark is the latest in the continued debates about how Nigeria can end the Boko Haram war which has led to thousands of deaths and displaced millions especially in the northeast and some neighbouring countries. 

While the military says the ongoing onslaught against the terrorists has yielded results and the criminals surrendering in ‘droves’, calls for granting amnesty to some of the “repentant” members of the sect have also divided opinions among stakeholders. 

Advocates, citing the amnesty programme of the ex-President Musa Yar’Adua to ex-Niger Delta militants, say it will bring peace to the troubled North-East. 

But Olawunmi has faulted the move. 

“The challenge we have in this country cannot be solved the same way we solved the problem of the Niger Delta. I told them we can’t use the same strategy for Boko Haram,” he argued, citing when he served a security and intelligence brief at the Defence Headquarters between 2016 and 2017.

According to him, fishing out the sponsors is a major way of ending the war.

 “The centre of gravity of Boko Haram and insurgency in Nigeria are the sponsors of that programme,” the professor of Intelligence and Global Security Studies, added. 

 

Zulum: Surrendered Insurgents Should Not Be Rejected To Avoid Endless War

 

 

The Governor of Borno State, Babangana Zulum, has said that repentant insurgents should not be rejected in order to avoid worsening the insurgency war.

The Governor said this on Tuesday after he paid a visit to President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House.

He believes the price for rejecting the surrendered bandits could be far worse than the current situation.

“The report of the surrendering of the insurgents and to me in particular and to the greater people of Borno State is a very welcome development unless we want to continue with an endless war,” Zulum said.

“I see no reason why we should reject those who are willing to surrender.

“I was attacked for more than 40, 50 times. I know the magnitude of this problem.

“More than 100,000 people were killed and therefore, I am in total support of this ongoing surrender by the insurgents”.

Read Also: More Boko Haram Insurgents Surrender In Borno, Beg For Forgiveness

Governor Zulum’s comments come as more insurgents continue to embrace amnesty.

According to the governor who says he has also been attacked by insurgents more than 40 different times, 2,600 Boko Haram members have so far surrendered, inclusive of their wives and children.

The issue of amnesty has been a subject of heated debate as many believe that it could further compromise the country’s security architecture.

One of those who has been vocal against the idea is Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Ali Ndume.

He believes the provision of blanket amnesty to insurgents has the tendency to breed new forms of criminality in the country.

“I don’t think blanket amnesty is the solution because if you do that, another form of criminality may emerge (with insurgents) hoping that the government will bring them to the negotiating table,” he said when he made an appearance on Channels TV’s Politics Today in February.

Senator Ndume said the government must strive to get to the root of the situation to ascertain what the true cause of the problem is.

UNICEF Condemns ‘Unacceptable’ Deaths Of Children In Borno

UNICEF is among the most widespread and recognizable social welfare organizations in the world.
UNICEF is among the most widespread and recognizable social welfare organizations in the world.

 

UNICEF, the United Nations agency responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children worldwide, on Saturday condemned the deaths of three children in Borno state.

The children were reportedly killed by unexploded remnants of war on Friday.

“The avoidable deaths of the children – as young as 12 years – who were playing on Mblu Bridge in Ngala, is yet another sad reminder that children remain direct and indirect targets of the protracted conflict wracking north-east Nigeria,” UNICEF said in a statement.

“While three children have sadly lost their lives, three others are in critical conditions while two other children sustained mild injuries.”

UNICEF said it was deeply worried that the protracted conflict in the north-east continue to affect children in the worst ways.

“First of all, we extend our deepest and heartfelt sympathy to the families of the children killed,” UNICEF’s Nigeria Representative, Peter Hawkins, said.

“No family should have to go through this – and no child should fall victim to unexploded remnants of war while playing.”

“These deaths are unacceptable. All sides to the ongoing conflict must protect children and prioritise their wellbeing at all times. Playing fields, schoolyards and communities must be safe and habitable for children.

“Children’s lives should not be at stake in a conflict they didn’t start. We must address the shrinking safe spaces for children and ensure that children – especially those already affected by conflict – are protected and have a chance to survive and fulfill their potential.”

Five Children Killed In Grenade Blast In Borno

 

Five children were killed when a disused grenade they were playing with exploded outside Ngala, a Borno community near the border with Cameroon, militiamen told AFP Friday.

“The five children picked up the explosive while herding in a field outside the town and it exploded in their hands as they were playing with it,” anti-jihadist militiaman Umar Kachalla said.

“Two of them died on the spot while the other three died in hospital in Mada, inside Cameroon,” he said.

Another militiaman, Umar Ari, gave a similar account of the incident, which happened on Thursday.

In August 2014, the Boko Haram jihadist group seized Ngala along with the nearby trading hub of Gamboru.

The two towns were recaptured in September 2015 by Nigerian troops with the help of Chadian forces following a months-long offensive.

Ari said unexploded mines and grenades from the conflict still litter the surrounding countryside and many children had been killed or injured.

In December 2019, nine people were killed and 26 injured when an explosive device went off on a crowded bridge linking Gamboru and Fotokol.

Residents blamed the explosion on a grenade disguised as a toy that, they said, had been given to some children as a gift by a Boko Haram insurgent.

Troops Repel Dawn Attack On Borno Town – Army Spokesperson

The Nigerian army said it raided a Boko Haram logistics base in Guibja on May 29, 2021.
A file photo of troops on duty.

 

The Nigerian Army on Monday said troops of 25 Task Force Brigade have successfully quelled a dawn attack attempted on Damboa town in Borno State.

The attempted attack took place on Sunday, army spokesperson Onyema Nwachukwu said in a statement.

Damboa is about 87 kilometers by road from Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

According to the army, the criminals approached on foot and motorcycles but were forced to retreat after troops opened fire.

However, two vehicles belonging to the Civilian Joint Task Force were razed by fire.

The army said it is currently on the trail of the “fleeing terrorists”.

Nigeria is currently battling several security challenges, including but not limited to an insurgency in the North-East, banditry in the North-West, secessionist agitations in the South-East and Fulani-Herdsmen crises across the Middle-Belt and several South-West states.

 

See the army’s full statement below:

Troops of 25 Task Force Brigade, Operation HADIN KAI in the North East have quelled a dawn attack attempted on Damboa town in the early hours of Sunday 8 August 21 by Boko Haram and Islamic State of West Africa Province terrorists. The criminals made a futile effort to infiltrate the town, but were met with heavy volume of fire from the vigilant troops.

While attempting to infiltrate the town with unconfirmed numbers of foot soldiers and some mounted on motorcycles, the terrorists suffered debilitating gunshot wounds from troops’ fire, forcing them to beat the retreat in disarray. The troops are currently on the trail of the fleeing terrorists. Unfortunately, in the exchange of fire that ensued, two vehicles belonging to the Civilian Joint Task Force were razed by fire.

The troops of Operation HADIN KAI have been commended for their vigilance and swift response in quelling the attack. They are also encouraged not to allow any form of distraction from the marauding terrorists, whose ranks have suffered enormous depletion in manpower as a result of ongoing air and artillery bombardments.

Law abiding people of North East Nigeria are assured of the Chief of Army Staff’s determination to finally rout the Boko Haram/Islamic State West Africa Province criminals from their hideouts. The good people of the North East are also encouraged to continue to avail the troops with actionable information that will enhance the execution of the ongoing Counter Terrorism Counter Insurgency operations in the region.

ONYEMA NWACHUKWU
Brigadier General
Director Army Public Relations
9 Aug 21

Two Soldiers Die As Army Kills 12 Terrorists In Borno

Borno is situated in northeast Nigeria.

 

Troops of the Nigerian Army 152 Task Force Battalion in conjunction with the Air Component of Operation Hadin Kai on Sunday neutralised 12 Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists.

A statement issued on Monday by the Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, said the terrorists, who attempted to infiltrate the Forward Operational Base at Bula Yobe in Borno State came mounted on gun trucks and several motorcycles but were met with heavy volume of fire from the vigilant troops, subsequently forcing them to retreat.

The troops sustained the firefight and successfully neutralised 12 terrorists, with several others fleeing with gunshot wounds.

Two soldiers were, however, killed in the process, while five others sustained varying degrees of injury and have been evacuated by the Air component of OPHK to a medical facility, where they are currently receiving medical attention.

The troops seized some items such as one gun truck, one Self Propelled Gun-9, one Dushika gun, one mounted QJC Machine Gun, one Light Machine Gun and five AK 47 Rifles.

Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Faruk Yahaya, has lauded the land troops and the air component for their synergy and quick response.

He charged the troops to maintain the tempo and vehemently hold their ground, to deny the terrorists freedom of action.

Brigadier General Nwachukwu noted that the general area within FOB Bula Yobe is now calm and under the control of troops of the battalion as further exploitation by the resilient troops is ongoing.

Shooting Saga: Safety Of Staff Is Our Priority So We Train Them, ACTED Tells Zulum

 

 

The French international Non-Governmental Organization (iNGO), ACTED has said that it organized a shooting training for its staff in Borno state in order to get them prepared for safety emergencies they may encounter in the course of executing their duties.

In a statement on Sunday, the organization said the shooting practice put together for its staff became imperative because over the past year while providing critical humanitarian assistance to the people in the Northeast and other parts of Nigeria, staff of ACTED and its partners have found themselves in very dangerous situations where their safety and security were severely compromised.

“In May 2020, an ACTED contractor was abducted between MaiduguriMonguno road, and tragically killed while in service; in March 2021, ACTED staff faced imminent danger during an attack while providing humanitarian assistance in Dikwa; in April, the ACTED office and warehouse in Damasak were attacked by armed groups, and large stocks of humanitarian supplies meant for the people in need were destroyed,” the organization disclosed in its attempt to create context.

Speaking further about the shooting practice, the iNGO said “ACTED must exercise its duty of care for staff, and make every effort to ensure the safety and security of its staff.

“This includes regularly organizing training and simulation exercises, such as the one held on June 26, in order for them to be prepared to cope with unexpected security incidents”.

READ ALSO: Borno Govt Suspends French NGO Over Shooting Training At Maiduguri Hotel

ACTED said it complies with relevant laws in Borno and in Nigerian in carrying out its humanitarian works in the northeast, adding that these simulation exercises are standard procedures for many NGOs globally.

The organization further held that and in no way, neither during those exercises nor during the delivery of assistance, does ACTED carry weapons, in line with international standards and its dedication to upholding principled humanitarian action.

This response from ACTED is in reaction to the decision of Babagana Zulum, Borno Governor, to suspend its operations in the state after it was found to be organizing a shooting training in the capital, Maiduguri.

Following the incident, an investigation was launched while the hotel where the training held was sealed.

In further pleading their case, ACTED stated that it remains committed to cooperating with the Nigerian authorities as well as ensuring “the highest levels of transparency towards the authorities and the people we serve.”

The iNGO also presented its compliments to the Governor of Borno, His Excellency Prof. Babagana Zulum, noting that his leadership and guidance to the humanitarian community and particularly to ACTED, in providing support for the successful implementation of humanitarian activities in the Northeast over the past years, are highly appreciated.

The group said it relies on the support of the Nigerian Government and all its departments at both Federal and State levels, to facilitate the humanitarian assistance they are providing to the Nigerian people in line with humanitarian principles and government priorities.

Borno Govt Suspends French NGO Over Shooting Training At Maiduguri Hotel

Some of the toy guns seized by the Borno state government from French NGO, ACTED, on June 26, 2021.
Some of the toy guns seized by the Borno state government from French NGO, ACTED, on June 26, 2021.

 

Blessing Tunoh, Maiduguri

Borno Governor, Babagana Zulum, has directed the immediate suspension of ACTED, an international Non-Governmental Organization (iNGO) following Saturday’s discovery that the humanitarian organisation was using a hotel in Maiduguri for training some persons on shooting.

Zulum’s spokesperson, Malam Isa Gusau, who announced the Governor’s directive, said the French iNGO was found using toy guns and simulators in training exercises at a hotel located off circular road in Maiduguri.

Gusau explained that residents near the hotel had reported to officials that they were hearing sounds of gunshots from the hotel, following which government officials reported the matter to GRA Divisional Police Headquarters which oversees the hotel’s location.

The police found three toy pistols at the hotel while two trainers, both Nigerians, were at the police station with investigation ongoing.

The statement said pending the outcome of police investigation, Governor Zulum has directed sealing of the hotel and suspension of ACTED from any humanitarian activity in Borno State.

Gusau noted that Governor Zulum acknowledges and deeply appreciates the roles of credible iNGOs which have been providing critical humanitarian interventions in different parts of Borno.

He assured them of government’s continued cooperation and support while also upholding obedience to prevailing laws, policies and rules guiding all activities and actions across the state.

Borno Commissioner Queries College Provost For Suspending Students Over Buhari’s Welcome

 

Borno’s Commissioner of Health and Human Services, Juliana Bitrus, has on Friday, issued a query to the provost, College of Nursing and Midwifery, Rukaiya Shettima Mustapha, for suspending some students under the claim, that the students failed to join others, in welcoming President Muhammadu Buhari on June 17 in Maiduguri.

The commissioner, described the provost as being mischievous against Borno State Government, because she acted on her own, without recourse to any official at her supervising ministry and without any directives from anyone in the state government.

In the query with reference number MOH/PER/752 V.I and dated June 25, the commissioner demanded that the provost responds within 48 hours, to advance compelling reasons why disciplinary action should not be meted against her.

READ ALSO: PHOTOS: Buhari Receives Progress Report Of APC Caretaker Committee

The commissioner said while Borno has about eight state-owned tertiary institutions, it was curious that only at the college of nursing and midwifery, that students were suspended, including with signed letters addressed to them, in an apparent effort to embarrass the state government.

The commissioner said, even though it is a normal practice that students join in welcoming visiting Presidents all over Nigeria, such acts are voluntary. More so that students constitute far less than a thousand residents who freely trooped out to welcome the President in all parts of Maiduguri.

The commissioner explained that it was unbelievable to the ministry when news came about the action taken by the provost, and hence, the ministry took time to investigate and confirm the act before issuing a query.

The commissioner was concerned that the provost may have simply used the president’s visit to get at some students she may have had issues with.

Juliana noted that Heads of States and Presidents have been visiting Borno since 1976, and students do join in welcoming them, and no one ever expected 100% compliance in any public mobilization. The commissioner further said, that if any issue involving students was to be raised, how come it was not the Borno State University, which the President Commissioned, or schools around projects commissioned by the President?

It would be recalled that President was in Maiduguri for appraisal of the security situation, during which he commissioned first phase of 10,000 houses he approved for resettlement of IDPs in Borno State. Buhari who was widely and spontaneously welcomed by thousands of residents at all points of his visit also commissioned seven out of 556 capital projects executed by Governor Zulum in two years.

Troops Foil Boko Haram Attack In Borno Town, Kill Six

Borno is situated in northeast Nigeria.
A map of Borno, a state in north-east Nigeria.

 

Troops of the Joint Task Force North East Operation Hadin Kai (OPHK) deployed at the Forward Operational Base (FOB) of 152 Battalion, Kumshe in Borno State have on Sunday, foiled an attempted attack by of Boko Haram terrorists.

The terrorists mounted on four gun trucks and several motorcycles attempted to infiltrate and attack the camp through the northern part of the troops’ deployment but were met with fierce fire by the highly alert troops, resulting in the instant killing of six terrorists.

Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier-General Onyema Nwachukwu disclosed this in a statement on Sunday.

According to Nwachukwu, the troops, who remained dogged and sustained heavy gunfire on the terrorists during the encounter, routed and forced the terrorists to flee in total disarray, leading to the capture of six AK 47 Rifles, one handheld grenade, assorted drugs and other first aid items.

The Chief of Army Staff, Major General Faruk Yahaya has lauded the troops’ high level of alertness and fighting spirit, urging them to sustain the momentum and ensure that the remnants of terrorists hibernating in the area are completely cleared.

Most Arms Used By Insurgents Were Stolen From The Armed Forces – Senator Ndume

 

Senator Ali Ndume has said the bulk of arms and ammunition used by insurgents were carted away from the armed forces and other security agencies in the country.

Ndume who represents Borno South noted that apart from stealing arms from Nigeria’s security agencies, the criminals also get weapons from nations like Libya and Chad.

“Most of the arms and ammunition they use are the ones they succeed in carting away from the Nigerian soldiers and other armed forces or security agencies,” the Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, explained on Thursday during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today. 

“I know they have some small arms coming from up there like Libya, Chad, and all that but the bulk of the equipment they use are the ones they succeeded in stealing from our armed forces.”

In this file photo taken on March 30th, 2021, President Muhammadu meets with Nigeria’s service chiefs.

 

Nigeria’s security situation appears to have worsened in recent months despite reassurances from President Muhammadu Buhari and security agencies.

Banditry and kidnaping are now rife in the West African nation, further compounding the challenges created by terrorists in the northeastern part of the nation.

‘Hit-And-Run’

But Ndume says the Nigerian Army is intensifying efforts at riding the nation of insurgents, adding that the criminals are feeling the heat from the security agents.

“Most of the insurgents, they do hit-and-run. Sometimes, they do hit on purpose” the lawmaker added. “Like now, they are trying to do that because the heat is much from the Nigerian army, the new army commander is putting heat on them, they are desperate to get arms and ammunition.”

Banditry and kidnaping are now rife in many parts of Nigeria.

 

He also believes the Nigerian Army can do better in tackling the myriad of security threats facing Nigeria if it is well-funded and equipped.

“Go and check what Nigeria is spending on militarily and compare it with that of Chad that is poorer than us, or Niger (Republic),” Ndume explained.

“Go and see the Nigerian soldiers and the Cameroonian soldiers. Their kitting is different from our own. It is superior to our own despite the fact that they are poor because they placed priority on their security.”