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.
The Nigerian Army on Tuesday explained how Boko Haram terrorists attempted to attack Dikwa town in the Dikwa Local Government Area of Borno State.
According to a statement issued by the Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima, the terrorists stormed the town in an unconfirmed number of gun trucks and motorcycles.
The army spokesman said the military was able to repeal the attack with “heavy bombardment and overwhelming firepower by troops of 81 Task Force Battalion with reinforcement from other formations of the Nigerian Army and aided by air support of Air Task Force Operation LAFIYA DOLE.”
The terrorists, Yerima said, had “attempted to invade the town to loot food items and other logistics having got wind of the recent food distribution to residents of the town by the state governor, Professor Babagana Zulum.”
They were said to have come through the Marte axis, adding that they could not gain access to the town due to the combat readiness of troops who were positioned there.
“The terrorists subsequently lost initiative as they were cut off completely following the recent successful recapture of Marte town by the gallant troops.
“In desperation and to scare off residents from returning to their homes, they planted series of landmines on the roads which were also detected and successfully detonated by troops,” he added.
The army spokesman decried some media reports suggesting that the terrorists attacked a United Nations base in the north-eastern state.
While noting that such reports were aimed at stirring up tension in the country, he said 25 aid workers were not trapped.
He also explained that the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Ibrahim Attahiru, has commended the efforts of the gallant troops’ and the prompt response of the Air Task Force in providing air interdictions throughout the operation.
The United Nations on Tuesday said an attack by Boko Haram insurgents on the northeastern Nigerian town of Dikwa in Borno State had “directly targeted” aid facilities.
“The attack started last night and, as information is still coming through, I am outraged to hear the premises of several aid agencies and a hospital were reportedly set ablaze or sustained damage,” the UN’s humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, said in a statement.
“This violent attack will affect the support provided to nearly 100,000 people who are desperately in need of humanitarian assistance and protection,” he said.
The Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) group, which split from mainstream Boko Haram in 2016, is suspected to be behind the attack.
The government and the army have yet to comment.
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.
Boko Haram insurgents on Tuesday attacked Dikwa Local Government Area of Borno State and abducted at least seven aid workers.
The insurgents during the attack also burnt the offices of the aid workers, destroyed government facilities, and hospitals belonging to NGOs.
An eyewitness told Channels Television that the insurgents stormed the town at 5:30 pm on Monday evening, and have since been in control of the town.
The eyewitness said troops have been battling to dislodge the town throughout the night.
Reinforcement from Ajiri town was ambushed by the insurgents in the early hours of Tuesday which slowed every attempt to engage the Boko Haram insurgents when they struck.
Some aid workers who spoke to Channels Television from the town narrated how the insurgents set ablaze buildings and health facilities belonging to humanitarian workers.
The attack is coming 24 hours after the state governor Babagana Zulum returned from a trip after spending three nights in Dikwa.
Zulum left Maiduguri on Wednesday, a day after Marte was liberated, and proceeded to Dikwa where he stayed till Saturday, proceeded to Ngala, and returned to Maiduguri on Sunday.
Channels Television gathered from sources stuck in Dikwa that the insurgents are currently moving freely in the town, and have mounted a checkpoint at the exit preventing people from fleeing to Maiduguri.
The Chief of Army staff had recently visited the headquarters of the Army Super Camp 9 located in Dikwa, where he gave troops a 48-hour ultimatum to clear insurgents from neighboring Marte local government.
At least 35,000 people had fled Marte to Dikwa when the insurgents attacked.
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately order the military to rescue Pastor Bulud Yakuru from the Boko Haram terrorists before it is too late.
Pastor Yakuru of EYN Church of the Brethren was reportedly abducted on December 24, 2020, when the terrorists attacked Pemi Village in Borno State and killed no fewer than seven people.
The Pastor who has been in the custody of the Abubakar Shekau-led faction of Boko Haram since last year was on Wednesday reportedly given a one-week ultimatum for their demands to be met by the government or Pastor Yakuru will be killed.
In a statement issued on Saturday, CAN President, Samson Ayokunle, said although the association is not aware of the demand, it, however, appealed to the Federal Government to secure the cleric’s release.
“Our appeal is to the President, the military and the Borno State government to ensure that Pastor Yakuru is not murdered like the district chairman of the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria (EYN) and CAN Chairman of Michika Local Government in Adamawa State, Rev Lawan Andimi,” the statement partly read.
“The leadership of CAN believes that the freedom of Pastor Yakuru is a litmus test for the new Service Chiefs and the whole world is watching whether they will live up to the expectations of or not.
“If the then American President, Donald Trump could put his acts together from far away America and ordered his military to rescue one kidnapped American in Nigeria, then our President has no excuse or whatsoever not to act decisively and rescue Pastor Yakuru.
“Why should the government leave the citizens of this country at the mercy of insurgents, bandits and kidnappers? What then is the essence of having a government in place?”
CAN recalled that the recent abductions of schoolchildren, describing the most kidnap of over 300 schoolgirls in Zamfara State as shocking.
See statement here:
The most recent case of kidnapping is that of about three hundred school girls in Kangere, Zamfara State. This serial incident of mass abduction of our school children and citizens is shocking beyond words and must be stopped by this government immediately. The ease with which the bandits and insurgents are carrying out their nefarious activities is totally embarrassing and a cause for concern. When will this government give the citizens of this country cause to breathe a sigh of relief with assurance that their lives and property are safe and secured?
Mr. President, where shall we go from here? Have the criminals taken over where there is legitimate government? Though we are praying earnestly continuously, we know faith without hard work from the side of government is vain. While we are aware that you may be doing your best, your best is not the best yet going by the current negative outcomes. The bitter truth is that, no place is presently safe in this country.
We, once again, advise that all public secondary schools – boarding or otherwise – in the Northern part of the country should be closed henceforth until the security situation improves. The Police should be directed to recruit more personnel with a view to assigning effective and well armed standby force to every secondary school in the North and other parts of the country. From all indications, it is high time the government declared a state of emergency in the security sector of the country. We also call for adequate funding, training, equipping and morale boosting of our security forces in order to enhance their performances nationwide. It seems the banditry is more dangerous than COVID-19. While individuals can protect themselves from the pandemic, the same cannot be said of the security challenges. Let the government stop every frivolous spending and focus more on ending the menace of insecurity challenges.
May God intervene for us in this nation where human efforts have failed in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Rev Dr Samson Ayokunle, the President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN)
We are leading with a deadly attack on Maiduguri, a peace mission by State Governors to Niger State, and Akinwumi Adesina’s eloquent take on how to restructure Nigeria.
Boko Haram Attacks Maiduguri
At least 10 persons were killed on Monday after Boko Haram attacked Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
Residents reported hearing multiple gunshots and explosions in the Gomari area. Later, survivors said rocket launchers had been used in the attack.
The military has deployed gun trucks to the area and air surveillance has since commenced.
The terrorists have not launched an attack in Maiduguri for some time and Monday’s incident may not be unconnected with the military’s sustained onslaught on insurgents in the Sambisa forest and other strongholds.
In the past, such aggressive campaigns by the military have forced the insurgents to regroup, sometimes filtering into the state capital, where they launch attacks on soft targets.
Comment: The attack is a distraction from the ongoing military operation, Dikwa Khalifa, a Professor of socio-linguistics and international relations at the University of Maiduguri said.
Marte: The Nigerian Army said it has recovered the Borno state town from the grip of Boko Haram terrorists. The Chief of Army Staff, Major-General Ibrahim Attahiru, had on Sunday given the troops a 48-hour ultimatum to effect the recovery.
Service Chiefs: The House of Representatives has confirmed the appointment of the newly appointed military heads. The Senate is also screening the officials.
Senate: Lawmakers at the red chamber have confirmed the nomination of the immediate past service chiefs as non-career ambassadors, despite criticisms in some quarters.
Governors Visit Niger State
The Nigeria Governors Forum has paid a visit to Minna, the Niger State capital, to sympathise with their colleague, Abubakar Bello.
The Governors are seeking a lasting solution to the state’s recent security woes after 41 students and staff of a secondary school were kidnapped by gunmen in Kagara.
“What we are witnessing is terrorism,” NGF Chairman, Kayode Fayemi, said. “Yes, we may call it banditry, kidnapping; these are the remnants of the actors in the North-East that have found themselves in other parts of the country.
“Our security institutions need to come together. There needs to be better coordination, better sharing of intelligence, and a concerted arrangement and synergy that will enable us to defeat this menace.”
Related: The Governors also paid a visit to former military Presidents, Ibrahim Babangida and Abdulsalami Abubakar, who commented on the country’s security situation.
Adesina Defines Restructuring
Renowned for his bold ideas, President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina has suggested that Nigeria’s restructuring should be based on economics, not politics.
Adesina, who was speaking virtually at a public lecture in Akure, the Ondo State capital, argued that economic and financial viability is necessary for political viability.
He advocated for states to control their resources while paying a federal tax and harped on the need to diversify revenue sources.
Quote: “Instead of a federal government of Nigeria, we could easily think of the United States of Nigeria or the Commonwealth of Nigeria,” Adesina said. “The old would pass away for the new. We would change the relational mindset between the states and Abuja. The fulcrum will be the states, while the centre will support them, not lord over them.”
Related: President Muhammadu Buhari said his administration’s plan to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty was not an accident. “We didn’t just bump into this, we believe it is something we can deliver on,” he said.
What else is happening?
Amina Mohammed: The UN Deputy Secretary-General has asked the Federal Government to increase investments in young people as a means to ending the insecurity in the country.
Shasha market: Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, has ordered the market’s reopening after it was shut down due to a violent clash between traders.
Hope Uzodinnma: The Imo State Governor, after meeting with President Buhari on Tuesday, said he invited the military to Orlu to curb a nascent crisis. He also denied any personal involvement in the arrest of his predecessor Rochas Okorocha over a property dispute.
House of Representatives: A bill seeking to allow states the jurisdiction to set their own minimum wage has passed second reading in the blue chamber.
#EndSARS: The Lagos State Judicial Panel has summoned the Inspector-General of Police after a petitioner alleged the police forcefully took over his N800m property in 2013.
Abia State: A police station in Aba came under attack on Tuesday by yet-to-be-identified persons who reportedly carted away arms and ammunition. They also set the station and vehicle in the premises on fire.
Cryptocurrency: Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, appeared before a Senate Committee to defend the bank’s decision to ban all accounts used for cryptocurrency transactions.
And that’s it for this morning. Let’s do this again tomorrow.
The Borno state governor, Babagana Zulum says he will not join the bandwagon of states that have asked herdsmen to vacate their spaces.
Zulum, a professor of Agriculture Engineering said in Maiduguri on Monday that the northeast region can instead harness the potential in livestock production to its advantage.
The governor was speaking at an event organised by the North East Development Commission to graduate local people that acquired skills under the NEDC’s Rapid Response Intervention Program being implemented across the region.
Zulum, who is also the chairman of the Northeast governors’ forum, appealed to the NEDC to, among other things, invest in value chain agriculture and livestock production.
“Establishing livestock breeding centers in the state as well as in the entire northeast sub-region will definitely reduce the problem of farmers-herders conflict,” Zulum said.
“Borno state alone has a total landmass of 76,000 square kilometers, together with others in the North East this region will provide arable land for greater parts of the livestock farmers in Nigeria to stay in the northeast.”
“While other regions of the country are trying to drive away herders, there’s a need for us to transform the sector. I am also advocating for the development of pasture production centers in the Northeast; this is also very important and we can do it, it is not difficult we can procure pasture seeds, each state can produce nothing less than 5,000 hectares for the establishment of pasture production centers and these centers will no doubt provide grazing venues for not fewer than 2-3m livestock.”
He added that with the provision of ranching facilities and deliberate pasture management, the northeast region can conveniently breed livestock that would be supplied to other parts of the country for consumption.
Borno Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum alongside officials of Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, has arrived Marwa in Cameroon for the repatriation of 9,800 Nigerians of Borno origin.
The 9,800 Nigerians constitute the first batch of 46,000 citizens taking refuge in Minawao camp and who have shown willingness to be evacuated to resettlement houses built by Borno Government in Bama and Banki towns.
According to a statement issued on Wednesday by the governor’s spokesman, Isa Gusau, the Borno leader arrived Cameroon on Tuesday evening.
On Wednesday, he led a Nigerian delegation to a meeting on the tripartite (repatriation) agreement signed between Nigeria, Cameroon and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, which is to hold in Marwa in far north Cameroon. Governor of Cameroon’s far north, Mijinyawa Bakare is to host the meeting.
Before travelling to Cameroon, Zulum has had series of meetings with Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq, the federal commission, National Commission and with relevant ambassadors with all meetings aimed at following all established procedures towards lawful repatriation.
Today’s meeting is in line with provisions of the tripartite agreement which has spelt out international best practices on humanitarian issues involving movements of persons between two or more countries as well as roles and limitations of all parties, and the protection of the rights of refugees who can only be repatriated at their own will.
Majority of refugees at the Minawao refugee camp, who are mostly from Borno State, have regularly appealed to Governor Babagana Umara Zulum to spearhead their repatriation to safe and rebuilt communities in Borno in order to return to decent living.
In September 2019, Zulum during his trip to the camp, promised citizens that he would in response to their appeal, work with stakeholders towards their successful reparation and dignified resettlement.
Three politicians accompanying Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, have died in an auto crash on their way back from Mafa, the governor’s hometown.
The governor had returned to his local ward in Mafa on Tuesday from where he flagged off the membership revalidation exercise of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The former governor of the state, Senator Kashim Shettima, the Party’s caretaker chairman, Speaker of Borno State House of Assembly and other party faithful were among those in Zulum’s motorcade from Maiduguri to Mafa for the event.
The event was successfully conducted and the convoy had headed back to Maiduguri where the former governor was scheduled to revalidate his membership in his local ward of Lamisula, when the ill-fated politicians driving in one of the pilot jeeps met their death.
Witnesses told Channels Television that the vehicle lost a tire, swerved off the road and began to somersault, killing three occupants, one of whom was the Chief of Kanuri people in Lagos, Mai Masa Mohammed.
His title was Mai Kanuribe and he was also the Sarkin Hausa of Ijora.
The governor accompanied the corpse of the late chieftain to his family compound in Bulumkutu area of Maiduguri where he is being prepared for burial later today.