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.

Shehu of Borno, Deputy Governor escape bomb explosion

The Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Umar Garba El-Kanemi and the Deputy Governor of the State, Alhaji Zannah Umar Mustapha escaped an attack by a suicide bomber suspected to be a member of the Boko Haram sect.

The incident happened around 2:15pm, immediately after Friday Jumat prayers at the Mosque in front of the Shehu’s palace.

Eye witness account claim a teenager of about 15 years old was noticed walking towards the two dignitaries outside the Shehu’s mosque where they just had the Jumat prayers.

However, the suspicious manner in which the boy was approaching the Shehu and deputy governor, drew the attention of the security men guarding the Shehu who quickly tried to shield him.

The bomb went off in the process, killing at least 10 other people in the vicinity, wounding two of the soldiers according to eye witness.

Men of the Joint Task Force (JTF) and other security operatives immediately rushed the traditional ruler and the deputy governor to the Government House while the mosque and the palace were condoned off by soldiers and policemen to prevent further attacks.

Spokesman for the Joint Task Force, Lieutenant Col. Sagir Musa confirmed to Channels Television correspondent, Jonathan Gopep that five People were killed in the attack.

The area around the Shehu’s palace has been cordoned off and more soldiers have been deployed to the scene.

Gunmen kill 5 policemen in Adamawa

Five policemen have been reportedly killed by unidentified gunmen in Gulak, a town in Madagali local government area of Adamawa state.

The five policemen were attacked at their duty post in the early hours of Friday in Gulak, which is the home town of the special adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on political matters, Ahmadu Ali Gulak.

Reports from Madagali, a border local government between Adamawa and Borno states indicated that the gunmen numbering about 30, over powered the Madagali Police Divisional headquarters and carted away some arms before setting the station ablaze.

The assailants killed the three policemen on duty.

It was gathered that the unidentified gunmen later attacked two banks in the area where two policemen attached to the banks were also killed during the attack.

Confirming the attacks, police spokesperson, ASP Yoila Nemuel said three policemen were killed in the attack and no arrest has been made as at the time of this report.

According to ASP Nemuel, some policemen were killed in a robbery attempt on First Bank in Gulak, stressing that the bank was the target of the attackers.

Gunmen kill Yobe Assembly’s deputy leader

Unidentified gunmen on Tuesday killed the Deputy Leader of the Yobe State House of Assembly,  Adamu Degubi.

The Public Relations Officer of the Yobe State Police Command, Mr Adamu Salihu, confirmed the killing of the legislator.

“We have not ascertained those behind the killing and their motive” he stated, adding that “investigation is going on to establish those who killed him and why he was killed.”

The late legislator was elected into the state’s assembly in 2011, to represent Nangere Constituency.

Yobe state in north east Nigeria has been a flash point of Boko Haram violence,  along side neighboring Borno state.

Bomb explosion rocks Maiduguri police station

A bomb blast at the entrance of the police headquarters of Borno state has killed a number of people mostly police, witnesses said.

A suspected suicide bomber who could not pass the gate of the police headquarters detonated the explosives in his car, killing, yet to be confirmed number of people.

The explosion shattered windows at the police headquarters building along the Damaturu road, opposite Government Secondary school.

Several vehicles within the police headquarters building and outside were damaged.

“Many people, mostly members of the police which include men and women were killed in the explosion,” an eyewitness Ali Alhaji told Reuters.

A police officer at the scene, who could not be named, also confirmed the bomb blast, saying five police vans had been loaded with dead bodies.

This attack on the police is coming less than 24 hours after the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar decried the increasing killings of security operatives, particularly, police officers in the country. The police boss expressed his worry over the killings and disclosed that policies have been put in place to reposition the force towards combating all forms of crimes and criminality.

Earlier in the day, the commander of the Joint Task force (JTF),  Victor Ebhaleme, confirmed that another suspected suicide bomber was killed by the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) he was trying to plant at Gidan Dambe area of the city at about 6:00am.

Mr. Ebhaleme said that when his officers  arrived the Gidan Dambe explosion scene, “they found a man we believe to be a member of Boko Haram, dismembered by the explosion.”

He added that preliminary investigation has shown that he was killed when he was trying to plant the device.

The explosion damaged several cars and buildings around the offices of Mansur Motors around Gida Ganje.

Borno state has been the focal point of the insurgency by fundamentalist sect Boko Haram which has staged several attacks against police stations, prisons and a number of government institutions across states in northern Nigeria.


JTF kills 16 Boko Haram members in Maiduguri

Officers of the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) in Borno state, shot dead 16 suspected militants in a gun duel with Islamist sect Boko Haram on Tuesday, the military said.

“Some suspected Boko Haram terrorists attempted to open fire on (security) operatives but could not succeed. We have so far shot dead 16 of the terrorists during a shoot-out,” field operations officer for the state, Colonel Victor Ebhaleme, told Reuters news agency.

He also confirmed that the JTF officers had seized weapons and ammunition from the suspects and destroyed some of their home-made bombs in controlled explosions.

“We were able to achieve this feat based on information from the public,” he said. “There were no casualties on our side”.

There was no immediate comment from Boko Haram.

The sect claimed responsibility for a suicide car bombing of a Church in Bauchi state on Sunday, which killed at least 12 people, continuing a growing pattern of attacks on Christian worshippers.

Several attempts to end the sect’s insurgency militarily have failed. Although officials say they have been weakened in recent months by the killing and arrest of some senior commanders, they remain capable of lethal attacks.

Meanwhile, gunmen shot dead a retired police officer, his driver and two aides in the city of Kano on Tuesday.


Boko Haram attacks wedding ceremony in Maiduguri

JTF officers on patrol in Maiduguri

There was another attack in Nigeria’s northeast town of Maiduguri, the Borno state capital as suspected members of Boko Haram sect shot dead three people at a wedding ceremony while four others including two soldiers were injured

Spokesperson of the Joint Task Force (JTF) in Maiduguri, Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa, said the sect members fired shots sporadically when they sensed that the wedding venue was under surveillance

Two of the sect members were arrested while arms and ammunition used by the attackers were recovered from their vehicle

The JTF operated on intelligence that two top Boko Haram members were going to sneak into the city of Maiduguri to attend a wedding of one of their own when the troops mounted surveillance on the venue

The sect members on realising that the JTF were on surveillance, opened fire sporadically, leading to the death of three persons.


Shettima blames past governments for Boko Haram insurgence

The governor of Borno state, Kashim Shettima, has blamed past administrations for neglecting the north east geo-political zone over years, and this he claim has led to the Boko Haram insurgence.

He lamented the poor attention given to the region and urged the federal government to come up with a road-map for development of the region.

The governor made this known while addressing a security summit on terrorism and other related crimes in Abuja on Tuesday, and he noted that  job creation for youths must be taken seriously to stem the tide of crimes.

Governor Shettima also restated his belief in tackling terrorism through dialogue and economic empowerment.

He called on government officials and the political elite to shun acts of enriching themselves alone and take affirmative steps towards empowering and improving the living conditions of the poor as a panacea to checkmating growing insecurity in the country.

Government officials, security experts and diplomats were also at the gathering to discuss how to resolve the security problem that has bedeviled the country.

A lawyer and public analyst Professor Akin Oyebode expressed reservations about the recently passed Anti-terrorism Act of 2011 but argued on the stiffness of the punishment tied to the offenses.

Security experts call for a new approach in fighting terrorism, urging the government to do away with the use of force.

They called for the use of  intelligence based approach, training of forensics experts and major improvement in the use of high tech equipment.


FG launches task force to eradicate polio in Borno

The federal government has assured residents of Borno state that it is committed to maintaining peace and well-being of the entire society.

At the launch of the national polio free torch campaign in the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, the Minister of state for health, Dr. Muhammad Pate said the inauguration of the presidential taskforce on polio eradication is a sign that President Goodluck Jonathan is committed to reducing the disease before the end of his mandate in 2015 as pledged.

According to the minister who doubles as the chairman of the taskforce, the team is mandated by the president to place the eradication of polio in the country on fast track as well as ensure an upshot of the nation’s health indices particularly on the primary health care system.

The state governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima expressed optimism that polio would be completely wiped out of the country in the nearest future.

The governor donated a Toyota Hiace bus to the association of polio victims in the state and a sum of N1 million to a local government immunization officer, Hajiya Ramatu Sani for her personal resources to keep the campaign going.

2 killed, primary school bombed in northern Nigeria

Authorities say suspected members of a radical Islamist sect have shot and killed an Islamic cleric and another man, while also planting a bomb at a local primary school in northeast Nigeria.

The military said the bomb detonated early Friday morning before pupils arrived at the school in Maiduguri, the spiritual home of the sect known as Boko Haram. No one was wounded in the blast.

Borno state police spokesman Samuel Tizhie said the cleric and a shoe cobbler died in the city in a Thursday night shooting blamed on the sect.

Boko Haram has been targeting government institutions, police and military formations in the country but lately turned their attention to conventional schools, an institution it condemns and terms a sacrilege.

Borno state Speaker impeached

The Speaker of the Borno State House of Assembly, Goni Ali Modu was on Thursday impeached.

Court Gavel

The 22 member state parliament said the move was because the Speaker was too subservient to the governor of the state, Kashim Shettima and that he made himself inaccessible to other members of the House.

The motion for impeachment was sponsored by a member representing Damboa constituency, Ayemu Lawal Gwosha. Abdulkareem Adam Lawan representing Guzamala was subsequently elected to replace the impeached speaker.

Six Killed in Fresh Boko Haram Attacks in Borno State

Police say suspected members of the Boko Haram sect have killed six people in two attacks in northeast Nigeria.

They added that gunmen attacked a military vehicle on Sunday afternoon in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state.

Military spokesman Lt. Col. Hassan Ifijeh Mohammed says the attack killed three civilians and wounded six civilians and one soldier.

According to the Borno State police commissioner, Mr. Simeon Midenda another attack on a tea shop on Saturday night in Biu in Borno state killed three people.

At least 52 people have been killed in recent days by Boko Haram.