Airstrikes Kill ‘Key’ ISWAP Leaders In Borno – Defence Headquarters

A NAF shows air bombardments in Lake Cad area of Borno State. Credit: Air Force

 

The airstrikes of the Nigerian Air Force have killed key leaders of the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) in Borno State.

This was disclosed in a statement issued on Tuesday by the Coordinator of Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche.

The defence spokesman explained that the terrorists operating around the Lake Chad in the northern part of Borno were neutralised on August 24.

According to him, “prominent terrorists’ leaders, including Abu Imraana, ISWAP Naval Commander, as well as Mallam Ibrahim and Mallam Abba, are believed to be among the many ISWAP casualties.”

READ ALSO: Patient Dies In Kwara After Striking Workers Switch Off Ventilator

“The Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation LAFIYA DOLE has taken another major scalp off the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) elements operating in the Island settlements of the Lake Chad in the Northern part of Borno State.

“This occurred yesterday, 24 August 2020, in massive simultaneous air strikes executed under the subsidiary Operation HAIL STORM at Kirta Wulgo and Sabon Tumbun, 2 settlements on the fringes of the Lake, where several key ISWAP leaders and scores of their fighters were killed.

“The missions were conducted on the heels of credible Human Intelligence (HUMINT) reports indicating that some ISWAP leaders and fighters had relocated to Sabon Tumbun due to the impact of the recent air strikes at the nearby Island settlement of Tumbuma Baba.

“Similarly, up to 15 high ranking ISWAP Commanders along with scores of their fighters were harboured at Kirta Wulgo, which serves as Administrative Headquarters and training camp for ISWAP,” the statement partly read.

Borno Govt Allocates N18.3bn To Fight COVID-19

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

 

The Borno State Government has allocated 18.3bn to COVID-19 response in its revised budget.

The Commissioner of Finance, Adamu Lawan, disclosed when he presented a breakdown of the revised budget to journalists on Tuesday.

He explained that the reduction in non-essential overheads and capital expenditures proportionate to the amount of the revenue reduction and the additional COVID-19 responsive expenditures.

The amount represents 17.5 of the total expenditure of the revised budget which includes grants and supports the state government expects in its coffers from donors.

The commissioner further noted that the allocation of expenditures to COVID-19 programs for crisis and recovery amounts to N18,342,000,000 representing 17.5 percent of the total amended budget expenditures.

Grants and support for an effective response to the pandemic in the revised budget is estimated at N8,910,000,000.”

According to him, the revised budget is to reshape the priorities of the government for effective and efficient implementation and good governance in the face of the COVID 19 pandemic.

“The Original budget is tagged “budget of recovery and stabilization” Wedged on rebuilding of infrastructure and resettlement of IDPS, restoration of peace, agricultural transformation and job creation.”.

The expenditure performance achieved for capital projects in which the rebuilding thrust of the initial budget falls at only 8% in the first half of the year.

NAF Airstrikes Kill 20 Terrorists, Destroy Logistics In Borno

A screen grab of the NAF video showing the bombardment on the terrorists’building in Borno State. Credit: NAF

 

The Nigeria Air Force says its airstrikes have killed no fewer than 20 Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists in Borno State.

This was confirmed in a statement issued on Wednesday by the Coordinator Defence Media operations, Major General John Enenche.

According to him, the attack was carried out at Bukar Meram on the fringes of the Lake Chad, a settlement in the southern part of Borno State following intelligence information.

He explained that Bukar Meram, is a major ISWAP logistics hub linking other island settlements of the Lake Chad, which also houses several of their fighters and some of their key leaders.

The defence spokeman said that the attack was carried out by an enhanced force package of Nigerian Air Force  fighter jets and helicopter gunships which hit designated targets in the area.

“In continuation of air strikes being conducted under subsidiary Operation HAIL STORM, the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation LAFIYA DOLE has successfully neutralized some Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) Commanders and knocked out logistics facilities at Bukar Meram on the fringes of the Lake Chad in Borno State, while also neutralizing several terrorists at Dole, a settlement in the Southern part of Borno State.

“The air interdiction missions were executed on 17 August 2020 on the heels of credible intelligence reports indicating a resurgence of terrorists’ activities in the 2 settlements.

“The attack at Dole was carried out after Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions showed a build-up of activities in the area after the relocation of some terrorists from nearby settlements of Kokiwa and Yale.

“Overhead the area the ISR aircraft spotted no fewer than 20 terrorists in the area, which were taken out by the NAF attack aircraft,” the statement partly read.

Following the recent spate of attacks by the terrorists, the Air Force has launched serious offensive against the insurgents.

READ ALSO: Boko Haram Attacks Military Base, Abducts IDPs In Borno

The recent of such was five days ago when the Air Force destroyed ISWAP camp in Borno State.

In a statement on August 14, Enenche said the terrorists’ camp, located at Tongule in the Lake Chad area of Northern Borno, was knocked out by the Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole, adding that the airstrikes were conducted on Wednesday following credible Human Intelligence (HUMINT) reports indicating terrorists’ activities in the village.

He revealed that the operation, which was in continuation of the air offensive against terrorist elements in the North East, resulted in the death of scores of the ISWAP fighters at the camp.

Stray Bullet Kills Nursing Mother In Borno Attack

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

 

A stray bullet from bandits suspected to be Boko Haram members have killed a nursing woman in Magumeri Local Government Area of the state.

Eyewitnesses told Channels Television on Wednesday that the insurgents stormed the town on Monday evening leaving in their trail destruction of public facilities.

A recently equipped general hospital renovated by the Borno State Government was brought down to ashes during the attack.

The irate criminals also destroyed a telecom mast, the only functional one in the town, and seized a tractor provided for farmers by the state government.

The insurgents are said to have engaged in a gun battle with the military at the location which lasted for at least two hours before they were forced to retreat.

The terrorists also reportedly attacked Kukawa Local Government, a town in the State.

According to sources, a military base was targeted during the attack and an unspecified number of civilians may have been abducted.

Details of the casualty are still unclear.

Borno State has been among some of the states in the northeast that have been under attack by the insurgents.

Thousands of people have been displaced despite claims by the military that the terrorists have been decimated.

Buhari, Northeast Governors Meet

President Muhammadu Buhari at a meeting with the north-east governors and others in Abuja on August 10, 2020.

Recently, three flashpoints were identified as the strongholds of the insurgents in the Northeast, following a week-long engagement with the service chiefs and other stakeholders in the region.

The areas are Lake Chad fringes, Sambisa Forest, and the Mandara mountains – all located in Borno State.

The engagement which took place on the instance of President Muhammadu Buhari also had the north-east governors in attendance.

Chairman of the Northeast Governors Forum, Governor Babagana Zulum while briefing journalists on the outcome of the meeting said, “The President has assured the people of Borno State and indeed the north-eastern subregion that he will do everything possible within his reach to ensure that lives and property of people living in Borno State are secured.

“We have discussed, especially the issue of strengthening security in the fringes of the Lake Chad and Mandara mountains, as well as in the Sambisa Forest and I think my meeting with the Chief of Air Staff, as well as Chief of Naval Staff and also General (Tukur) Buratai is very promising.”

The governor said Buratai, who is the Chief of Army Staff, promised to look into the issue of clearing the enclaves of the insurgency in the three flashpoints identified.

He was confident that with the renewed commitment of the President and service chiefs, peace would reign again in Borno State.

 

Boko Haram Attacks Military Base, Abducts IDPs In Borno

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

 

Boko Haram terrorists have reportedly attacked Kukawa Local Government, a town in Northern Borno State.

According to sources, a military base was targeted during the attack and an unspecified number of civilians may have been abducted.

The attack which occurred on Tuesday comes barely a week after the first set of villagers who have been displaced for many years were returned home to be resettled.

Kukawa, a border town on the fringes of Lake Chad has been a military zone, until the recent return of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

The controversial Baga town where Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum was attacked is in Kukawa local government-barely 40 kilometers apart.

Zulum during that visit had personally inspected infrastructure and the security ambience before giving approval for the return of civilians.

Community leaders were said to have conducted a head count in order to present an official report with the correct number of missing persons.

Two hundred households consisting of an estimated 1,200 persons were recently returned to the local council by the state government.

Details of the incident are still sketchy, and the military is yet to give an official position on the attack.

Boko Haram has launched series of attacks in the northeast, particularly Borno State killing many and displacing thousands of people despite claims by the military that the terrorists have been decimated.

On July 22, a video surfaced online showing the execution of five persons by masked men in military camouflage, suspected to be Boko Haram fighters.

A voice was heard speaking in Hausa before the execution, saying that the five persons were working for infidels.

The slain persons are believed to be aid workers captured during a raid in Monguno Local Government of Borno State on June 13, 2020.

They include staff of the Borno State Emergency Management Agency, Action Against Hunger, Rich International, International Rescue Committee and a security guard.

The execution came after the insurgents demanded the sum of 500,000 dollars to release them.

Following their gruesome murder, the United States and United Nations condemned the incidents, expressing sadness.

In a statement issued on July 23, the US Embassy in Nigeria said the five aid workers were working tirelessly to ease the sufferings of millions of Nigerians in the Northeastern part of the country.

“We are deeply saddened by the execution of five humanitarian workers by terrorists in Northeast Nigeria,” the Embassy tweeted on its handle.

 

ISWAP Camp Destroyed, Many Fighters Killed In NAF Air Strikes

A photo grab of a video released by the Nigerian Air Force shows the ‘first bomb drop’ during the air strikes conducted in the northern part of Borno State on August 12, 2020.

 

A camp of Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) fighters in Borno State has been destroyed, the military has said.

The Coordinator of Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, confirmed this in a statement on Friday.

He noted that the terrorists’ camp, located at Tongule in the Lake Chad area of Northern Borno, was knocked out by the Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole.

Enenche added that the airstrikes were conducted on Wednesday following credible Human Intelligence (HUMINT) reports indicating terrorists’ activities in the village.

He revealed that the operation, which was in continuation of the air offensive against terrorist elements in the North East, resulted in the death of scores of the ISWAP fighters at the camp.

 

“Accordingly, following confirmatory Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions, which showed the presence of a sizable number of the ISWAP elements at designated locations in the settlement, the Air Task Force dispatched a force package of Nigerian Air Force (NAF) fighter jets to attack the location.

“The NAF jets took turns in engaging the location scoring devastating hits on the designated targets leading to the destruction of the structures, as well as the neutralisation of several ISWAP fighters,” the statement said.

On his part, the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, commended the Air Task Force for their dedication and professionalism.

He also urged them to intensify the air offensive against the terrorists and all other criminal elements in the country.

Borno Police Parade Self-Confessed Boko Haram Supplier, 44 Others

 

The Borno State Police Command has paraded forty-five criminals arrested in different parts of the state for various offences.

One of those arrested is one Goni Mallum, a Boko Haram logistics supplier who confessed to running errands for the insurgents citing hunger and poverty as justification for his actions.

Mallum said the insurgents captured him on his farm but decided to spare his life if he accepts to be running errands for them for a fee, an offer he couldn’t resist.

Many farmers in Borno State have faced similar threats from insurgents with many being killed in their farms during attacks, while others are now living in the IDP camps.

Mallum described to the authorities how he operates and how security operatives apprehended him.  The self-professed Boko Haram supplier said he was arrested when he went to buy drugs for the terrorists.

“They wrote me a list of all they wanted and gave it to me, I didn’t know the items on the list, I just went and showed those at the store, I didn’t know it was risky,” Mallum told journalists during an interview.

He added, “The shop owner went and reported me to the Civilian JTF and the market union then they came and arrested me. I knew it was wrong but hunger forced me to do it, I used to sell grains in Muna Garage but I lost my capital and I have been jobless.”

A spokesman for the Borno State Police Command, DSP Edet Okon, said Mallum was arrested on a tip-off and would be charged to court as having committed “Acts of Terrorism” for aiding and abetting the crime.

“The suspect confessed that he was saddled with the responsibility of supplying essentials and other logistics to the sect.” The PPRO said.

Other criminals were arrested for various crimes including armed robbery, animal rustling, fraud and extortion, criminal breach of trust, kidnapping, and theft.

DSP Edet said all suspects would have their day in court.

Changing Service Chiefs Won’t Solve Security Challenges, Says Rtd Air Vice Marshal

 

 

Air Vice Marshal Adebola Adekunle (Rtd), believes changing the country’s service chiefs may not be enough to tackle insecurity in Nigeria. 

The security consultant while admitting that there have been calls for the reshuffling of Nigeria’s security apparatus, said President Muhammadu Buhari’s unwillingness to change the service chiefs could be because he (Buhari) knows more about the country’s security challenges.

He said this on Tuesday during his appearance on Channels Television’s News At 10.

READ ALSO: #RevolutionNow: DSS, Police Disperse Protesters In Abuja

“With the benefit of hindsight, I know that the president gets briefings on a regular basis which all of us who are not directly involved in running the Armed Forces are not privy to, ” the former Chief of Training and Operations, Nigerian Air Force, said.

“If the President has been hearing all this hue and cry about changing the service chiefs and he has refused to change them, he must know something that we don’t know.”

President Buhari is not convinced that changing the security chiefs will make a difference in taming insecurity in Nigeria even though Nigerians want a more secured nation, he explained.

According to him, “If the President feels that changing the service chiefs will make the difference, I am sure he will effect a change. But he is not convinced as we speak that changing them will make the difference that is why he has not effected a change.”

Mr Adebola said since tackling insecurity is one of the cardinal points of the Buhari government, there would have been a change of service chiefs if that will make a difference.

He said while changing the service chiefs may be part of plans to re-engineer the nation’s security apparatus, it will not make the country an “Eldorado.”

“The impression is being created that the moment will change the service chiefs, everything will be resolved over night and Nigeria will become an Eldorado,” he added.

“I’m just concerned that we will be preparing ourselves for disappointment again. Let’s not create the impression that the service chiefs are the problem right now.”

Presidential Order

On Tuesday, Buhari ordered the re-engineering of the nation’s entire security apparatus.

This was according to the National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno who briefed journalists after the third National Security Council meeting in 2020 chaired by President Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

The nation’s security adviser called for calm, promising that the President along with the Service Chiefs is doing a lot to handle the insecurity in the northwest and north-central states.

Insurgency: Zulum Alleges Sabotage, Says Buhari Needs To Know The Truth

Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, has insisted that there is sabotage in the system that will not allow insurgency to end in the North East.

He said this on Sunday when he met with the Governors of Kebbi and Jigawa States, Atiku Bagudu and Badaru Abubakar, who paid him a solidarity visit over the recent attack in Baga – a town in Borno.

Governor Zulum believes some elements are trying to frustrate the effort of the government in ending the insurgency and President Muhammadu Buhari needs to know the truth.

He said, “Let me also re-echo my previous position with respect to the level of insurgency in Borno State, I earlier said that the gravity of the insurgency cannot be compared with what has happened between 2011 to 2015, and 2015 to date. Yes, it’s true. The President has done well.

“But there’s sabotage in the system that will not allow insurgency to end; the President has to know this very important point.”

READ ALSO: Borno Governor’s Convoy Escapes Attack In Baga

“When he came to Maiduguri two months ago, I said so because between 2011 to 2015, at a time, almost about 22 LGAs were under the insurgents.

“Out of the four main roads that lead to Maiduguri. only one was functional,” the governor added.

 

‘Why Is Insurgency Not Ending?’

He, therefore, called on the President to examine the security situation in the region critically, to ensure the effort of his administration was not in vain.

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

 

Recounting his experience during his recent trip to Baga town, Governor Zulum said it was a terrible one.

He insisted that there was no justification for what he described as preventing residents displaced by insurgency from returning to their ancestral homes.

“There’s one very important question that we need to ask, why is the insurgency not ending? There’s sabotage in the system and there’s a need for the President to examine the current situation with a view to resolving it.

The meeting, which was also attended by the state Deputy Governor, Umar Kadafur, held at the Government House in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

Also present was the immediate past Governor of Borno, Senator Kashim Shettima, as well as Senator Ali Ndume and members of the State Executive Council.

Father, Son, Three Others Killed In Borno Bomb Blasts

Borno is situated in northeast Nigeria.
Borno is situated in northeast Nigeria.

 

At least five people have been killed in triple explosions that rocked Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

The explosions occurred on Thursday evening in Custom Area, a densely populated part of the town.

Mr Mohammed Ndatsu, who is the Commissioner of Police in the state, confirmed the attack and the casualty figure to Channels Television.

Although it was not clear what explosive was used for the attack, the police commissioner said only a bomb specialist could explain that.

He added that the attack was carried out by insurgents.

The General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Khalifa Ibrahim, has visited the scenes of the blasts for an on the spot assessment.

While the explosives were not person-borne, the first reportedly landed at a shop in the commercial area, killing a furniture maker and his son.

Another explosive was also reported to have landed in a house at Gwange area while a child and a goat were killed.

Two other people were struck in a blast at the third location, bringing the number of those killed to five.

Officials of the Borno State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) have evacuated the bodies of the victims from the scenes of the blasts.

Over the years, members of the Boko Haram terrorist group and Islamic State’s West Africa Province have carried out such attacks in the state, killing thousands of people in the process.

The terrorist groups have continued to operate in different parts of the North-East, although in recent times, they have come under intense airstrikes from the Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole.

The onslaught against the insurgents by military personnel has forced them to the fringes of the Sambisa forest and the Lake Chad area in the region.

Wednesday’s bomb blasts in Maiduguri came a day after the convoy of the Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, was attacked in Baga.

Following a fierce gun battle, the governor has been confronting the Nigerian Army over the incident.

He said he was disappointed with the inability of the military to rid Baga and environs of insurgents, accusing the Nigerian Army of sabotaging the government’s counter-terrorism and rebuilding efforts.

The governor who seemed convinced, alleged that the attack was carried out by the military in an attempt to dissuade him from gaining entrance into the fishing town.

Borno Governor Blasts Army Over Convoy Attack

 

The Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum has confronted the army over an attack on his convoy in Baga, a town in Kukawa local government.

Governor Zulum had departed Maiduguri, the state capital on Monday afternoon for the northern part of the state in continuation of the food distribution programme which he started earlier in July.

On Wednesday, he was scheduled to visit Baga, a fishing town on the shores of the Lake Chad region which has been under the control of insurgents for many years until the military declared its liberation, insisting no Nigerian territory is under the control of Boko Haram.

But, few kilometers to Baga, gunmen opened fire on the Governor and his entourage.

The Governor was forced to retreat as security operatives on escort duties repelled the attackers.

READ ALSO: Borno Governor’s Convoy Escapes Attack In Baga

A furious Zulum confronted the Commanding Officer in Mile 4, mincing no words in expressing his disappointment at the inability of the military to rid Baga and environs of insurgents.

“You have been here for over one year now, there are 1,181 soldiers here; if you cannot take over Baga which is less than 5 km from your base, then we should forget about Baga. I will inform the Chief of Army Staff to redeploy the men to other places that they can be useful,” Zulum said.

“You people said there’s no Boko Haram here, then who attacked us?”

The Governor has since returned safely with his entourage to Monguno where the distribution of palliatives continues.

Bodies Of Two Teenagers Recovered In Chibok Attack

Borno is situated in northeast Nigeria.
Borno is situated in north-east Nigeria.

 

The lifeless bodies of two teenagers have been found in Kuburmbula, a village in Chibok Local Government Area of Borno State.

According to residents, the teenage boys simply identified as James and Tuksa aged 14 and 15 respectively met their death at the farm on Saturday.

They were said to have gone to assist their parents to spray insecticides at the farm before the incident.

Boko Haram insurgents hibernating on the fringes of the Sambisa Forest bordering Chibok are suspected to have perpetrated the ‘hit and run’ attack.

Local sources in Chibok local government confirmed that villages have been targeted for flash attacks such as this in recent times by the insurgents.

The raiding of food barns and stores are usually part of the attacks, a villager who preferred to be anonymous told Channels Television.

Chibok became famous in 2014 when over 270 final year schoolgirls were abducted from their dormitories at the local government headquarters.

Six years later, villages in the local government have continued to struggle with pockets of attacks.

In the North-West, tragedy also struck in Katsina where five children of the same father died in a bomb blast at Yammama, a village in Malumfashi Local Government Area of the state.

According to an investigation conducted by the police, the kids were said to have picked a military grenade and were fiddling with it before the device exploded.

The investigation was conducted by detectives from the police Explosive Ordinance Department (EOD) and the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

The police also noted that six other children, who were at a farm where the explosion occurred, were seriously injured, and taken to the hospital.

While residents told Channels Television that six people were feared killed in the explosion, the police insisted that the death figure was five.