Schoolgirls Abduction: Unlike Jonathan’s Administration, We’re Leaving No Stone Unturned – Buhari

President Buhari addressing parents and students of Government Girls Science and Technical College (GGSTC) in Dapchi during his visit to Yobe State on Wednesday, March 14, 2018.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has defended his administration’s response to the abduction of the Dapchi schoolgirls, rating it better than the reaction of the Goodluck Jonathan administration to the abduction of the Chibok girls in 2014.

The President took a swipe at the previous administration on Wednesday when he visited Yobe State, close to a month after Boko Haram terrorists abducted 110 schoolgirls from a secondary school – the Government Girls Secondary School, Dapchi – in the state.

“The Federal Government’s response to the unfortunate abduction of the schoolgirls is a clear departure from the insensitivity of the past administration which looked the other way while the Chibok girls were taken away in 2014 and held in captivity for over three years,’’ he said in Damaturu, the state capital.

President Buhari said this during a meeting in the Government House, attended by security and intelligence chiefs, community and religious leaders.

Although security agencies and the government has come under criticism for the Dapchi abduction and the response to it, the President insisted that his administration’s reaction was “the best in the given circumstances”.

He said after receiving the news of the abduction, he ordered the Service Chiefs and the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to take direct charge and brief him on a daily basis on the efforts to bring back the girls.

He added, “Within four days of the incident, the Minister of Information visited Dapchi and the next day, the Minister of Interior who was accompanied by the Minister of Information re-visited the school for on the spot assessment.

READ ALSO: Buhari Visits Dapchi, Meets Parents, Teachers Of Missing Schoolgirls

“I have ordered the re-strengthening of a Joint Operational Base involving relevant agencies and Services to coordinate the rescue mission. Consequently, the Service Commanders have not only established a unified Command Centre in Maiduguri, the Military has raised several rescue teams to comb the forests in the North East Theatre of Operation.”

Recounting the recent successes recorded by his administration in rescuing Boko Haram hostages and securing the release of many of the Chibok schoolgirls, the President gave the assurance that the schoolgirls will regain their freedom.

“I have no doubt that the Dapchi girls will be rescued or released. I want to reassure parents, Nigerians and the international community that we will do all that is within our power to make sure that the girls are brought back safely to their families,” he said.

According to the President, all options are on the table to ensure the girls are brought back.

“On 19th February 2018, we woke up to the painful news of the abduction of 110 students of Government Girls’ Science and Technical College, Dapchi. Since this ugly incident happened, I have not left any stone unturned in making sure that the girls are rescued,” he said.

The steps being taken by the government include partnering with partnering with the international community including Nigeria’s immediate neighbours and holding talks with the terrorists.

‘‘Just recently, I reiterated our resolve to negotiate for the unconditional release of the girls,” the President said.

‘‘This is borne out of this administration’s conviction that doing so is safer devoid of risks and will not endanger the lives of our young girls who are in harm’s way.

‘‘There will be no rest till the last girl, whether from Chibok and Dapchi, is released. The girls, like all our citizens, must enjoy unhindered freedom and pursue their legitimate aspirations.

‘‘The Dapchi and Chibok students are our girls and must enjoy our protection. They must live to achieve their individual ambitions, to be great women of tomorrow. It is our duty to protect them.”

Beyond rescuing the schoolgirls and Boko Haram hostages, President Buhari said his administration would remain resolute in fighting terrorism.

He called on Nigerians to remember the level of terror Boko Haram was unleashing in the North East before he came to power.

He said, “Nigerians will recall that prior to our coming in 2015, the situation was chaotic with violent terrorist attacks being the order of the day. Terrorists had made life very unbearable for the people in Yobe, Kano, Kaduna, Borno, Niger, and even the FCT, Abuja.

“Our mosques and churches witnessed daily suicide bomb attacks. Parts of Adamawa and Borno States were helplessly ceded to the terrorists.

“But today, we have so far shown clear determination in tackling terrorism which is a worldwide phenomenon. We have not only degraded the power and dominance of the criminal elements, our security forces have patriotically exhibited an uncommon zeal in executing their assignment.”

 

Military Begins Investigation Into Chibok Shooting

Director, Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Sani Usman,

The Military authorities have launched an investigation into a fatal shooting involving an Army captain and a non-commissioned officer deployed to Chibok, Borno State.

Reports say the Army unit had received a distress call at about 12.50 pm Sunday that a staff sergeant, under the influence of alcohol, was assaulting civilians at a nearby location.

The Director of Army Relations, Brig-Gen Sani Usman, in a press statement, said its 26 Brigade received a report today of the soldier, who was reported to be drunk.

The statement read in part, “At about 12.50pm  the unit received a report that a Staff was seen to be drunk and misbehaving to civilians.

“An officer was dispatched to the scene with a view to bringing him back to base. The officer did his best but the SNCO refused several entreaties to calm him and be disarmed by the superior officer.

“Unfortunately, the Staff Sergeant shot the officer dead and then killed himself. Their remains have since been evacuated to a military facility.”

Although Usman said a board of inquiry has been put up to unravel the circumstance surrounding the unfortunate shooting, he, however, noted that the board had been given a week to submit its report.

It was said that the deceased soldier was until his death, a Senior Non-Commission Officer who allegedly killed an officer said to disarm him, owing to his drunken state.

Boko Haram: 75 NSCDC Personnel Killed In Borno In 2016 – Officials

Boko Haram: 75 NSCDC Personnel Killed In Borno In 2016 – Civil Defence OfficialsThe Borno Command of the Nigeria Civil Defence Corps says 75 personnel of the command were killed while 15 were declared missing in action in the year 2016.

The Commandant of the Corps, Ibrahim Abdullahi, told journalists in a news conference that the officers were killed in separate attacks in Gwoza and Gamboru Ngala in the Boko Haram insurgency.

“We have alerted our sister agencies on the issues while the NSCDC national headquarters have assisted the families of the bereaved.” he said.

Abdullah noted that about 19 area offices belonging to the NSCDC across the state were completely destroyed by Boko Haram.

His words: “We will deploy additional 500 personnel in liberated LGA’s. We have already deployed 100 to Dikwa; we are preparing 30 for Monguno, while 20 of our men were drafted for Nganzai local government area.”

“Some of them are already in Chibok and Askira Uba local government areas.” Abdullahi stated.

Abdullahi said those deployed include the Anti-riot Squad, Bomb Detection and Disposal Unit as well as Intelligence and Detective Unit of the command.

Reps To Investigate 500m Naira Fund For Chibok Secondary School

Reps To Investigate 500m Naira Fund For Chibok Secondary SchoolThe House of Representatives is to investigate why the Girls’ Secondary School, Chibok, Borno state has not being reconstructed despite 500 million naira being earmarked for the project in the 2016 budget.

This resolution followed a motion sponsored by Rep Raphael Igbokwe who reminded the House that the former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had flagged off the reconstruction project.

Lawmakers wondered if the funds have been diverted and called for a proper investigation to be done in the matter.

The House also resolved that all schools destroyed in the course of fighting insurgency should also be reconstructed.

Army Clears Air On Video Clip Of Alleged Maltreatment Of Soldiers

Army, Video Clip, Maltreatment of SoldiersThe attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to a video clip which went viral on social media of soldiers alleging lack of food and water.

In a statement signed by the Acting Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka Usman, the force said:

“We wish to state that the video clip was shot more than six months ago by some mischievous and disgruntled elements when 29 Task Force Brigade captured Alagarno Forest and environs in Borno State.

“It is disheartening that some mischievous elements have decided to circulate it now, creating the false impression that it is a recent occurrence.

“We wish to state further that the matter was conclusively investigated at the time, several months ago. The Board of Inquiry actually showed that, as at the time of the incident, the unit’s water tanker still contained water, but a soldier mischievously concealed it. That soldier was charged and punished accordingly.

“In addition to the unit’s water tanker, a borehole was subsequently drilled at the location and it is still serving both the military and adjoining communities.

“We wish to restate with utmost concern the continued commitment of the Nigerian Army to the total welfare of all its personnel,” the statement read.

 

Twin Explosion Leaves At Least Five Dead In Maiduguri

maiduguri blastsAt least nine people have died and 24 others injured after two loud explosions rocked Maiduguri around 7:10am on Saturday.

A blast occurred at the Bakassi camp for Internally Displaced Persons while the second went off at the NNPC station along Damboa road in Borno State, northeast Nigeria.

Unconfirmed sources say two female suicide bombers detonated the explosives in a gathering of women who were going to the farm.

The injured have been evacuated to hospitals for treatment.

Explosion At Muna Garage

The blasts came barely three weeks after an explosion killed eight with 15 persons injured in Muna garage, Borno State capital, where a suicide bomber was said to have joined a cab before detonating the IED, killing herself and other occupants.

The Police said the ill-fated cab was about joining the convoy of hundreds of vehicles to be escorted by security operatives to the border town of Gamboru Ngala when the explosion occurred.

A witness, Adamu Garbam, said the vehicle had already made moves to join the convoy when the explosion occurred.

The number of casualties was confirmed by the spokesman, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Sani Datti.

No group has claimed responsibility for the Saturday morning twin explosion yet.

 

 

President Buhari Meets With Gowon

Buhari GowonPresident Muhammadu Buhari has met behind closed doors with a former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (Rtd) at the Presidential Villa.

The meeting was held inside the President’s office for about 30 minutes.

The former military leader did not speak to reporters after the meeting.

The meeting of the two leaders was the second one in two months. The first was in August, just before the former head of state travelled abroad.

Among other matters, the August meeting focused on the Buhari administration’s anti-corruption campaign, which the former leader expressed support for.

In a chat with newsmen after the meeting, he encouraged the Nigerian leader to deal with the situation which he said had created serious setback to Nigeria nationally and internationally.

He also expressed delight at the Federal Government’s determination so far in the fight against Boko Haram insurgents and efforts to rescue the missing Chibok girls.

General Gowon said at the time that the government would soon get credible information that would lead to the rescue of the girls abducted in April 2014 from their school’s dormitory in Borno State.

He urged Nigerians to be patient with the President who he said took over power at a time Nigeria was witnessing dwindling crude oil price.

It was the same month that President Buhari agreed to the idea of swapping Boko Haram prisoners for the Chibok girls and just as Gowon predicted, the government went on to secure the release of 21 of the abducted Chibok girls.

The release was the outcome of negotiations between the Nigerian government and the Boko Haram, brokered by the International Red Cross and the Swiss Government.

President Muhammadu Buhari has also said his government would sustain efforts to free the remaining girls, kidnapped by the jihadist group.

 “About 100 more (girls) are still in the hands of the terrorists,” Buhari told reporters in Berlin after a meeting with German Chancellor, Angela Merkel. “We hope we’ll get some … intelligence to go about securing the balance.”

Chibok Girls: Presidency Labels Release ‘A Show Of Faith’

Chibok Girls, Boko Haram, PresidencyNigeria’s Presidency has described the release of 21 out of the over 200 Chibok girls kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists as ‘a show of faith’ on the part of the insurgents.

Mr Femi Adesina, who is a spokesman for President Muhammadu Buhari, clears the air on the release which had triggered rumours that it was a swap deal between the Nigerian government and the terrorist group.

He told Channels Television on Friday that the development was a confidence building step that would lead to bigger things.

“I have heard and read so much about what we gave and what we didn’t give.

“This is just a confidence building step that will lead to bigger things.

“In the past, there have been many of such meetings that would have led to releases but along the line, discussions broke down.

“Maybe they (the terrorists) trust the (new) process and they believe that they do this as a show of their trust and faith and believe.

“For now, what we have been told is that there was no swap and the girls were released just as a show of faith, a confidence building measure and I think it is good enough for us to believe,” he said.

“Many More Releases”

Mr Adesina asserted that there would be more releases, describing the freedom of the 21 girls as a giant leap for humanity.

“As we have been told, this is just one step which I will also call a giant leap for humanity.

“You can be sure that there will be many more releases and as many of the girls that are alive would definitely return to their parents,” he said.

chibok-girls-released1
Some of the rescued Chibok girls

End Of Insurgency

The President’s spokesman says the government is winning the war against the dreaded insurgents, stressing that they have been largely degraded.

“They used to attack army formations, police formations, schools (and) different types of target but they don’t do that anymore because their capacity to do that has been largely degraded.

“I think a lot of progress has been made (and) we can simply say we are at the end of this insurgency and this is just the mopping up process,” said Adesina on Sunrise Daily.

At least 200 girls were abducted by the Boko Haram terrorists from their hostels at the Government Secondary School, Chibok in Borno State on April 14, 2014.

In the heat of the over six-year insurgency, Borno State, in northeast Nigeria became a strong hold of the dreaded insurgents.

Since the abduction of the girls, pressure has been mounted on the Federal Government to rescue them, including demands for a swap with members of Boko Haram in detention.

After much push for the girls’ release, 21 of them were freed on Thursday.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, confirmed the release of the 21 girls.

recession
Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, confirmed the release of 21 Chibok girls

He stated categorically that the release was not a swap, but was achieved through the collaborative efforts of the security agencies, a friendly European country and a renowned International Humanitarian Organisation.

In their reaction, the #BringBackBackOurGirls Campaign Group welcomed news of the release of the Chibok girls while praising the military for the efforts so far.

The group said in a statement that the “wonderful development” confirmed what was known about the effort of the government to rescue the Chibok girls.

They added that while they await further details, they salute the work of Nigeria’s security services at the front lines and the tireless efforts of members of the Multi-National Joint Task Force and the Civilian JTF.

NEMA Confirms Eight Killed In Maiduguri Blast

Maiduguri, NEMA, Military escort
Remains of Burnt Vehicle At Gambarou, Maiduguri

The National Emergency Management Agency, (NEMA) has confirmed that eight people were killed in Wednesday morning’s bomb blast in Muna garage, Maiduguri.

The Public Relations Officer for NEMA, Sani Datti said in a statement that “Eight persons lost their lives, while 15 others who sustained injuries have been taken to specialist and teaching hospitals”.

The suicide bomber reportedly joined a cab before detonating the IED killing herself and other occupants.

Maiduguri, NEMA, Military escort
Remains of Burnt Vehicle At Gambarou, Maiduguri

According to the Police Public Relations Officer in Borno State, Victor Isuku, the ill-fated cab was about joining the convoy of hundreds of vehicles to be escorted by security operatives to the border town of Gamboru Ngala when the explosion occurred.

A witness at the Muna garage area, Adamu Garba said the vehicle had already made moves to join the convoy when the explosion occurred.

Maiduguri, NEMA, Military escort
eye-witness

“The car appeared to be coming from custom area towards the garage,” he said

Describing the scene, he said he was trying to park his vehicle when he heard a loud bang.

“We all went flat on the ground. When we got up, we just saw pieces of human parts everywhere and a newborn baby whose mother had obviously died so we picked the child and sought help for the injured”.

Gamboru is an economically strategic town as it borders Central and North Africa from the northeast region of the country.

Previous Attacks

In 2015, the Islamist terrorist group, Boko Haram, had killed at least 10 people in a town in northeast Nigeria, two security sources confirmed to Reuters.

The sources said Boko Haram attacked a settlement on the way into the centre of Gamboru, on the border with Cameroon.

The nearby village of Ngala was also attacked.

However, later in the year 2015, the Nigerian Army appeared to have gained substantial victory in the fight against insurgents in Gamboru-Ngala, Borno state

A statement by the spokesman for the military, Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman, said the troops had reclaimed and started clearing and mopping up patrols in the town.

Fresh Attacks

The attack is coming shortly after the Maiduguri/ Gamboru road was re-opened for civilian passage in July 2016, after nearly three years of closure due to the activities of the insurgents in the area.

The Nigerian Army marked the successful counter insurgency operations by reopening the Dikwa-Mafa-Gamboru road in Borno State.

During this occasion, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, declared the road safe for civilian passage.

 

 

Gov. Shettima Cuts Tour Short, As Borno Cabinet Member Passes On

Shettima_BornoThe Borno State Commissioner for ‎Environment, Alhaji Waziri Imam, has died at the age of 54.

This development has made Governor Kashim Shettima to end his temporary relocation to Bama and tour of destroyed communities after visiting Chibok, Gwoza, Askira-Uba and Damboa local government areas, all in southern parts of Borno State.

The death of the Commissioner was confirmed in a statement by the Secretary to Borno State Government, Usman Jidda Shuwa.

The Commissioner, who is a younger brother to an APC national chieftain, Alhaji Kashim Imam, died after a brief illness in Maiduguri on Wednesday morning.

He is survived by a wife and six children.

The Governor left Bama on Tuesday after nearly one wee‎k of Relocation to mobilize major reconstruction works.

Shettima visited Pulka, a populated village in Gwoza Local Government Area and also assessed destruction and ongoing reconstruction works in Gwoza town during which he interacted with thousands of residents that have since returned to their communities.

The Governor proceeded to Lassa for assessment before passing the night in Uba, another community in Askira-Uba Local Government Area, which was liberated from Boko Haram.

The Governor was also in Askira town, headquarters of Askira-Uba Local Government Area and met with the Emir.

The Governor left for Chibok to assess reconstruction works and interacted with some stakeholders before cutting his trip back to Maiduguri following the demise of his cabinet member.

The late commissioner was buried on Wednesday evening in Maiduguri in accordance to Islamic rites.

Boko Haram Kills Six Civilians In Borno – Army

Boko Haram, Nigerian Army, BornoSuspected Boko Haram terrorists foraging for food, ambushed troops of Operation Lafiya Dole escorting commercial vehicles from Damboa to Maiduguri, the Nigerian Army said.

The army added that five civilians lost their lives during the incident while another died on the way to the hospital.

A statement by the military on Monday said the mishap happened on Monday afternoon at Sanda general area of Borno State in northeast Nigeria.

The Army spokesman, Colonel Sani Usman, disclosed that three soldiers were injured and they have been evacuated to Maiduguri, the state’s capital.

He said that another robust patrol team had been consequently dispatched to reinforce the troops, clear the general area and pursue the terrorists.

More Vigilance And Cooperation

“This unfortunate incident has brought to the fore the need for more vigilance and cooperation amongst all.

“We would like to assure the public that we would not allow this isolated incident to thwart the peace and security commuters enjoy along the route and all other opened routes in the North East.

“Troops are on the heels of the attackers and would not relent till they are apprehended or killed.

“Additional security measures have also been placed to avert re-occurrence,” Usman stated.

Attack At Chibok

Meanwhile, the Theatre Command, Operation Lafiya Dole, has said that alleged suspected Boko Haram terrorists attack at Chibok was not correct.

“What happened was that, two persons were murdered at Kwamjilari village, (which is over 30 kilometres from Chibok and very close to Sambisa forest), by suspected remnants of Boko Haram terrorists looking for food.

“We wish to reiterate that they weren’t killed outside or near a church as being bandied around.

“The people from the said village are all in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in Chibok.

“Those who went back to the village without authorisation were moved back to Chibok two weeks ago,” Colonel Usman explained in a statement.

However, the army noted that those killed went back on their own contrary to security advice.

They said a patrol team had been sent from Chibok to the village on Monday morning.

The Nigerian Army assured the citizenry that adequate measures would be taken to ensure no one goes back to the village in the meantime.

Nigerian Government Launches Fresh Bid To Free Chibok Girls

Boko Haram video on chibok girlsA fresh bid has been launched by the Nigerian government to rescue the missing Chibok schoolgirls two years after they were taken from their school’s dormitory.

The Minister of Information, Mr Lai Mohammed, gave a hint about the fresh bid to rescue the Chibok girls abducted by members of the Boko Haram terrorists group on April 14, 2014.

Infighting Among Boko Haram

Mr Mohammed said that previous efforts to rescue the girls were frustrated by infighting among Boko Haram terrorists and middle men, who according to the minister exploited the process for pecuniary gains.

Over 200 female students were kidnapped from the Government Secondary School in the town of Chibok in Borno State, in northeast Nigeria, a strong hold of the terrorist group in the heat of the over six-year insurgency.

Since the abduction of the girls, pressure has been mounted on the Federal Government to rescue them, including demands for a swap with members of Boko Haram in detention.

Their abduction at that time triggered protests in different countries, making popular a slogan #BringBackOurGirls.

Prisoners Swap Request

Recently, the terrorist group released a video of the girls still in their custody and requested for prisoners swap.

After that video was released, some parents of the girls asked the government to swap the girls with the members of the sect in detention as requested.

Weeks after they made the request, President Muhammadu Buhari said the government was willing to swap the girls.

But he said the swap would be on a condition that the terrorist group would list those they wanted released and then come out to discuss with the Federal Government.

He stressed that the Federal Government would want the girls out safe without any harm done to them.

For over six years, Boko Haram has pushed for the establishment of Islamic State in the northeast and an end to Western education.

Recent military onslaught against the group has sacked them from most communities they had taken hold of within Nigeria’s territory and border towns between Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republic.

Rescued Girl

Members of the Bring Back Our Girls group, have continued to push for the rescue of the Chibok girls and increase military counter-terrorism operations in the region to rescue the girls that have been missing since two years.

Amina_State_House
Amina Ali rescued from Boko Haram with a child recently said she was missing her husband

One of the girls, Amina Ali, who was rescued some months back, had been married off to one of the terrorists, that had settled at a haven – Sambisa Forest. She had a baby for him.

Her husband had told the military that they had been forced out of the forest by hunger.

While the government is launching a new bid for the rescue of the military is heightening operations to clear the remnants of terrorists in the northeast and ensure safety of residents that have started to return to their communities from their Internally Displaced Persons camps.