The project which is implemented by the UNOPS is primarily aimed at scaling up oxygen supply and expand vaccine storage capacity in 139 healthcare centers and nine hospitals across Borno State.
The rollout phase for the oxygen plants is expected to commence by March 2022 and is expected to benefit 7.1million residents and Internally Displaced Persons IDPs across Borno State.
Through the construction of oxygen systems in the state, the project launched virtually by Governor Zulum, fills critical gaps in clinical response to respiratory illnesses among residents of the state.
Borno State is one of the worst hit by the Boko Haram insurgency with many residents displaced and leaving in camps.
Islamic State-linked jihadists in Nigeria attacked humanitarian facilities in the restive northeastern town of Damasak, aid workers told AFP on Saturday.
The attack, ongoing late on Saturday, is the second in two months affecting one of the United Nations nine hubs in the country.
Fighters from the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) stormed Damasak, in Borno state, setting fire to facilities of international aid organisations.
“ISWAP fighters are still inside Damasak, moving on the streets, firing guns and setting humanitarian facilities on fire,” said an aid worker who asked not to be identified.
The UN hub was gutted after fire set on the nearby office of an international charity spread to the UN facility, said a second aid worker.
The offices of three other international NGOs were also burnt by the insurgents who took over the town, the second aid worker added.
Ongoing fire burning in the vicinity of an NGO warehouse has escalated into humanitarian hub facilities, read a UN memo seen by AFP.
A military source confirmed the Saturday attack on Damasak but said militants failed to overrun the town.
“They came through the town towards the Brigade but they were repelled,” the military officer said, speaking on condition of anonymity, without providing details.
Some residents were reported to be fleeing from the town towards neighbouring Niger.
Damasak has repeatedly been targeted by ISWAP militants who have made several failed attempts to overrun a military outpost outside the town.
ISWAP, which split from the jihadist group Boko Haram in 2016, has become a dominant threat in Nigeria, attacking soldiers and bases while killing and kidnapping passengers at bogus checkpoints.
On March 1, ISWAP jihadists overran a UN hub in Dikwa, killing six civilians and forcing aid workers to temporarily retreat from the town despite urgent humanitarian needs.
Due to worsening security, humanitarian workers in Nigeria are struggling to provide aid, with the number of people requiring urgent assistance forecast to rise to 8.7 million this year.
President Muhammadu Buhari reshuffled the military command this year, raising hopes of a shift in strategy to end a 12-year-old conflict that has killed 36,000 people and forced around two million to flee their homes.
“Although the video is still being thoroughly analysed, it is evident that most parts of the video were deliberately doctored to give a false impression that the aircraft was shot down.
“For instance, the video clip failed to show the correlation between the sporadic shooting, which even from casual observation was obviously aimed at ground targets, and the sudden mid-air aircraft explosion,” the NAF statement read in part.
The airforce added that the situation is an air accident, not an attack by Boko Haram as claimed.
“It is obvious that the Boko Haram Sect, in its characteristic manner of employing false propaganda, is seeking to claim credit for what was obviously an air accident that could have been caused by several other reasons; particularly at a time when the capability of the group to inflict mayhem has been significantly degraded by the Armed Forces of Nigeria,” the statement added.
The air force had earlier on Wednesday declared the jet missing during an operation against the terrorists in Borno.
Then, on Thursday the air force said the jet may have crashed but the cause of the crash was yet to be ascertained. It also named the two pilots in the jet who were still missing.
See below the full NAF statement dismissing Boko Haram’s claim:
CRASHED NAF ALPHA JET AIRCRAFT WAS NOT SHOT DOWN BY BOKO HARAM
The attention of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has been drawn to some videos being circulated on Social Media, as well as media reports drawn therefrom, alleging that the NAF Alpha Jet aircraft, which was reported missing in Borno State on 31 March 2021 after losing radar contact, was shot down by terrorists. One of such videos, in particular, began with sporadic shooting by several terrorists, including underaged children on motorcycles and vehicles. It later skipped abruptly to a scene depicting an aircraft exploding mid-air, supposedly as a result of enemy action. Another part of the video showed a terrorist, who, while standing by the wreckage, claimed that they had shot down the NAF aircraft.
Although the video is still being thoroughly analysed, it is evident that most parts of the video were deliberately doctored to give the false impression that the aircraft was shot down. For instance, the video clip failed to show the correlation between the sporadic shooting, which even from casual observation was obviously aimed at ground targets, and the sudden mid-air aircraft explosion. In addition, it is almost impossible for an aircraft to have exploded mid-air, in the manner depicted in the video, and still have a good part of its fuselage, including its tail, intact. Indeed, an explosive impact of that nature would have scattered the debris of the aircraft across several miles.
It is obvious that the Boko Haram Sect, in its characteristic manner of employing false propaganda, is seeking to claim credit for what was obviously an air accident that could have been caused by several other reasons; particularly at a time when the capability of the group to inflict mayhem has been significantly degraded by the Armed Forces of Nigeria.
Consequently, Nigerians are please advised to ignore the contents of the videos making the rounds until all investigations as to how the aircraft crashed are completed. The NAF, on its part, remains resolute and will continue to work assiduously, in synergy with sister Services and other security agencies, to rid the North East of all terrorist elements.
You are please requested to disseminate this information through your medium for the awareness of the general public. Thank you for your usual support and cooperation.
There are indications that the wreckage of the missing Alpha jet belonging to the Nigerian Air Force has been found in Konduga Local Government Area of Borno State which is about 30 kilometres outside of Maiduguri, the state capital.
Although the Air Force authorities are yet to confirm this development, sources on Friday said the fighter jet was seen flying around Goni Kurmiri and Njimia villages after attacking terrorist locations at the Sambisa axis.
The sources, however, did not give any information about the whereabouts of the pilot and the co-pilot.
Air Force authorities had announced that the plane lost contact with the radar on Wednesday evening while on an interdiction mission in support of ground troops as part of the ongoing counterinsurgency operations in the northeast.
According to a statement issued by the NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, the aircraft marked – NAF475 – had two crew members on board when it went missing on Wednesday in Borno State.
While the cause of the crash and the whereabouts of the crew members who are NAF personnel remain unknown, the pilots were identified as Flight Lieutenant John Abolarinwa and Flight Lieutenant Ebiakpo Chapele.
Meanwhile, a faction of Boko Haram has claimed that it shot down the plane with some of the pictures showing the wreckage of a plane now being circulated on social media.
According to a video released on Friday, the terrorists claimed responsibility for shooting down a Nigerian fighter jet.
The video, which could not be verified by Channels Television, was released on a Boko Haram social media channel showing a militant standing on what the group claims are the wreckage of the jet. It shows the Nigerian flag and number NAF 475 on its fuselage.
“Nigeria air force jet fighter… was sent to Sambisa to fight the Mujahideen,” the militant said.
Nigeria’s military have been battling jihadists in the northeast of the country for more than a decade and have recently been fighting them in their stronghold in Sambisa forest in Borno state.
In 2014, Boko Haram said it shot down another Nigerian air force jet and showed a video claiming to have beheaded its pilot.
Since the Islamist insurgency broke out in 2009, the conflict has killed around 36,000 people in the region and displaced some two million from their homes.
The violence has also spread to neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
The Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) split from Boko Haram in 2016 and has since become a prominent threat, attacking soldiers and bases while killing and kidnapping civilians.
At the start of the year, President Muhammadu Buhari appointed new military commanders after coming under pressure to better tackle insecurity and inject new life into the armed forces.
Troops of Operation Lafiya Dole have killed 48 Boko Haram terrorists and rescued 11 kidnap victims in Borno State.
In a statement issued on Saturday, the Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier-General Mohammed Yerima, said nine terrorists were gunned down in an ambush along the Chibok -Damboa axis of the state.
The troops achieved the feat while acting on credible intelligence that some remnants of insurgents were fleeing due to the intensity of troops’ operations in the Sambisa forest.
“The gallant troops laid an ambush, engaged and overwhelmed the criminals with aggressive firepower, neutralising 9 terrorists in the process while several others escaped with fatal gunshot wounds. The troops also recovered 7 AK 47 Rifles and freed 3 kidnapped victims,” the statement partly read.
“Similarly in another encounter, troops of 28 Task Force Brigade located in Askira equally laid a successful ambush along Askira – Chibok Main Supply Route (MSR) and neutralised 39 terrorists.”
Soldiers of an unidentified battalion in Operation Lafiya Dole have protested their posting to a location in the Theatre of Operation.
The aggrieved soldiers, according to sources at the Maimalari barracks besieged the headquarters of the Theatre Command in Borno State, shooting sporadically into the air on Thursday night following their deployment.
They cited non-payment of allowances and poor equipment as reasons for their rebellion.
Some of the soldiers who spoke under anonymity recall how a whole unit that went for reinforcement when Marte was captured last month, perished under superior firepower of the enemy forces.
When contacted on Friday via a text message, the Media Coordinator for Operation Lafiya Dole, Colonel Ado Isa, confirmed that there was a minor issue involving troops welfare and admin issues which was promptly addressed.
But the Director, Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima was yet to respond to a WhatsApp message sent seeking an explanation.
This protest is coming on the heels of arms procurements mystery recently exposed by the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, where both the outgoing and incoming service chiefs said they are in the dark on the whereabouts of the funds or equipment.
No less than ₦1 billion was released for the procurement according to Monguno, a retired Major General.
Monguno had on March 12 denied that funds for arms procurement have gone missing under the former Service Chiefs.
The BBC’s Hausa Service had earlier reported that the NSA, Major-General Babagana Monguno, hinted at the missing funds during an interview.
“No one knows what happened to the money, but by God’s grace, the president will investigate to find out where it went or where the goods went,” the General reportedly said in Hausa.
Troops of Operation Lafiya Dole have killed no fewer than six Boko Haram terrorists along the Dikwa – Ajiri axis in the Dikwa Local Government Area of Borno State.
The Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima, who disclosed this in a statement issued on Tuesday, said the troops encountered the insurgents on Monday evening.
Yerima noted that the gunmen mounted motorcycles and a gun truck, adding that troops swiftly engaged them in a fierce firefight.
“The troops on patrol came in contact with terrorists mounted on motorcycles and a gun truck, swiftly engaged them in a fierce firefight, killing 6 of them and recovered several weapons, ammunitions and sundry items,” the statement read.
Items recovered from the insurgents include one PKM, two AK-47 rifles, one FN rifle, three FN rifle magazines, two AK-47 rifle magazines, 36 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 19 rounds of 7.62mm special and 67 PKM linked rounds.
“Others include two motorcycles, one magazine pouch, two mobile handsets and a tube of adhesive solution.”
SEE FULL STATEMENT HERE:
TROOPS SUSTAIN OFFENSIVE ONSLAUGHT, KILL MORE BOKO HARAM/ISWAP TERRORISTS, CAPTURE ARMS, AMMUNITION IN DIKWA – AJIRI AXIS, BORNO STATE
The sustained offensive onslaught on Boko Haram terrorists and their ISWAP ilk by the Nigerian Army has continued to gain traction as troops of 81Task Force Battalion in conjunction with Civilian Joint Task Force and Vigilante on the evening of Monday, 15 March 2021 neutralized more terrorists in Dikwa axis, Borno State.
In an aggressive fighting patrol and concealed picketing conducted by troops in continuation of the ongoing subsidiary Operation in the Theatre of Operation LAFIYA DOLE code-named operation “TURA TAKAIBANGO”, troops took out scores of Boko Haram fighters along Dikwa – Ajiri axis in Dikwa Local Government Area of the state.
The troops on patrol came in contact with terrorists mounted on motorcycles and a gun truck, swiftly engaged them in a fierce firefight, killing 6 of them and recovered several weapons, ammunition and sundry items. Items captured in the encounter include 1 PKM, 2 AK 47 rifles, 1 FN rifle, 3 FN rifle magazines, 2 AK 47 rifle magazines, 36 rounds of 7.62mm NATO,19 rounds of 7.62mm special and 67 PKM linked rounds. Others include 2 motorcycles, 1 magazine pouch, 2 mobile handsets and a tube of adhesive solution.
Similarly, troops of Bravo Company while on similar routine perimeter patrol on the same 15 March, recovered a mobile handset phone suspected to been abandoned by the fleeing members of the terrorists who came under troops heavy fire during the attempt to infiltrate the camp on 14 March 2021. The handset has been handed over to 7 Military Intelligence Brigade for scrutiny.
In line with the directive of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Ibrahim Attahiru, troops will remain resolute and determined to ensure that the general area is completely cleared and protected while aggressively dominating every route where terrorists are suspected to move around in order to smoke them out.
No fewer than 41 terrorists have been killed in a fighting patrol along Gulwa and Musuri Musuri in Gamboru Ngala Local Government Area of Borno State.
The Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima, who disclosed this in a statement issued on Monday, said the operation occurred in the early hours of today.
“At Musuri, troops encountered elements of the terrorist group and swiftly engaged them in a firefight which lasted for about 45 minutes,” the army spokesman said.
“With superior firepower, troops ultimately dominated the area after neutralizing 41 of the terrorists. They also recovered sophisticated weapons and rescued 60 elderly women and children who were in the terrorists’ captivity.”
Items recovered from the insurgents include: 12 AK47 rifles, 8 Fabric Nationale (FN) rifles, a motorcycle, 6 bicycles, mechanic tool boxes, a sewing machine, large quantity of batteries used for making of Improvise Explosive Devices and sex enhancement drugs amongst others
The Army spokesman also reiterated the commitment of the troops in ridding the entire country of the terrorists.
Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru, has commended the troops, asking them to keep up the tempo.
Four security operatives and many insurgents were killed in a firefight on Saturday in Borno State, the Nigerian Army has said.
In a statement shared on social media on Monday, the Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima, noted that the combined troops of Sector 3 Operation Lafiya Dole were on clearance patrol along the fringes of the Lake Chad before the incident occurred.
He explained that the security operatives had advanced and cleared Daban Massara and Ali Sherifti villages, among other settlements before they harboured for replenishment and retrofitting.
As they commenced the second phase of their operations and advance along the Kukawa – Monguno Road which was about 14 kilometres to their base, Yerima said the troops sighted some gun trucks of the Boko Haram terrorist group and Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) in the area.
He added that the soldiers swiftly commenced pursuit of the insurgents with heavy fire and deft manoeuvre.
“In the course of the hot pursuit which was aided by air cover provided by the Air Task Team of Operation Lafia Dole, several terrorists were neutralised and their gun trucks destroyed.
“Unfortunately, however, one officer and three gallant soldiers paid the supreme sacrifices while those wounded in action are currently receiving medical attention at 7 Division Medical Services and Hospital in Maimalari Cantonment,” the statement said.
According to the army spokesman, the report was an on-the-spot account of the encounter between the troops and the insurgents in the Monguno area and its environment.
He assured residents in the area and other parts of the country that the troops were on top of the situation and working assiduously to end insurgency in the country.
Yerima explained that this was in line with the directives of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru.
Four members of the civilian Joint Task Force, including two of their leaders and some ISWAP members, were killed during an ambush on Nigerian soldiers in Gudumbali, a village in the Kukawa Local Government Area of Borno State.
Sources who spoke to Channels Television said the military also recorded some casualties in the attack but it is still not clear how many soldiers were affected as the military authorities are yet to confirm.
The military convoy was on ten gun trucks and on a patrol around Kauwa village heading towards Kukawa when they were ambushed by suspected Boko Haram insurgents.
According to sources, the ambush which left scores injured happened on Friday.
Although it is unclear how many troops were killed, AFP reported that no fewer than 15 soldiers and four militia fighters in the state lost their lives.
The attack was the latest in a jihadist conflict which has killed 36,000 people and displaced hundreds of thousands in northeast Nigeria since it began more than a decade ago.
“We lost 15 soldiers and four civilian JTF (militia) in the terrorists’ ambush in the forest near Gudumbali,” the source was quoted as saying.
He said 13 government fighters, including 10 troops, were wounded in the ambush.
The 10-vehicle convoy was on its way to Gudumbali from the town of Kukawa for a military operation against the insurgents when it came under fire, said another military source, who gave the same toll.
Militia leader Umar Ari said a vigilante leader in the area was among those killed.
Nigeria’s army works with local militia forces as part of its battle against jihadists.
“Four of our comrades were among the dead, including, Yusuf Baba-Idris, the head of Civilian JTF in Kukawa,” Ari said.
On Saturday, ISWAP issued a statement, claiming responsibility for the ambush, according to the SITE jihadist monitoring agency.
The Islamist group said its ambush “led to killing 33 elements and wounding nearly 20 others and taking one of them prisoner, while the survivors fled.”
The group said its fighters also destroyed military vehicles, captured more and seized weapons and ammunition.
President Muhammadu Buhari has come under increasing pressure to deal with Nigeria’s security challenges, including the jihadist uprising, herder-farmer clashes as well as banditry and mass kidnappings in the northwest.
Nigerian security forces on Saturday were seeking to rescue dozens of students who were abducted in northwestern Kaduna state in the latest attack on a school.
Gunmen stormed the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation in Mando at the outskirts of the state capital, Kaduna city, late Thursday and took more than 30 students away while the military rescued 180 after a battle.
Kidnap gangs are largely driven by ransom payments and have no known ideological leanings. Victims are often released shortly after negotiations.
ISWAP split from the jihadist group Boko Haram in 2016, and has since become a dominant threat in Nigeria, attacking troops and bases while killing and kidnapping passengers at bogus checkpoints.
On March 1, jihadist fighters burnt down a United Nations humanitarian compound in the town of Dikwa after dislodging troops, killing six civilians.
Nigeria’s jihadist violence has spread to neighbouring Chad, Cameroon and Niger, prompting a regional military coalition to fight the insurgents.
The Chief of Defense Staff General Lucky Irabor on Saturday visited the headquarters of the Theatre Command accompanied by the service chiefs.
He asked soldiers to be more resilient in their duties, pushing beyond setbacks and put an end to the counter-insurgency war.
“The theatre commander and his officers have been giving us a thorough brief beyond the report that we received at the headquarters,” General Irabor said.
“And we can only commend you for the resilience you have shown in this past month. The various successes that you have recorded inspire a few drawbacks that did not deter you you remain resilient and commitment.”
On the vulnerability of towns and villages in and around the lake chad areas especially Guzamala and Kukawa almost a year after its liberation, Irabor said: “It’s a work in progress, peace is a work in progress, counter-terrorism is a work in progress it is not an end state itself, the end state is peace but it’s not the product. So we will keep working on it and at the end of the day every space of land including the Timbus will be controlled by the civil authorities.”
This comes amid reports of an ambush on Nigerian soldiers in Gudumbali, a village in Kukawa local government of Borno state.
Suspected Boko haram insurgents laid ambush as a military convoy drove past on a routine patrol around Kauwa village on Thursday.
The military is being supported by members of the Civilian Joint Task Force, volunteers extracted from the community leveraging on their knowledge of the terrain.
The ambush left scores injured and an unspecified number of military personnel killed, the military is silent about the attack.
But from the civilian side the CJTF Commander of Kukawa local government, identified as Yusuf Baba is one of the casualties of the ambush. Some of his members have still not been accounted for 48 hours after the ambush.
“There was an ambush against troops who left cross Kauwa and heading towards Kukawa. The troops were on ten gun trucks when they were attacked. There were casualties from both sides,” a military source who pleaded anonymity told Channels Television.
“Both soldiers/CJTF and ISWAP. Four civilian JTF including two of their leaders were killed. Bodies were recovered and buried yesterday.”
However, it is still not clear how many soldiers were affected, as the Media Coordinator Operation Lafiya Dole Colonel Ado Isa is yet to reply a message sent to him seeking details of the ambush.
The army has reportedly instituted a search party to comb the forests in search of those they kidnapped after the raid.