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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

Corruption Plays Key Role In Nigeria’s Setback – Gowon

Yakubu Gowon, Corruption, NigeriaA former military Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, has described corruption as one of the problems that have created serious setback to Nigeria nationally and internationally.

While in a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, General Gowon encouraged the Nigerian leader to deal with the situation.

After the meeting held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, the former military leader briefed reporters.

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President Buhari and General Gowon having a meeting

General Gowon commended President Buhari’s determination and effort in the fight against corruption and called on Nigerians to give him the needed support.

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 believes that the government would soon get credible information that would lead to the rescue of the girls abducted over two years ago 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.

Chibok Girls: Army Responds To Boko Haram Prisoner Swap Request

Boko Haram new video on Chibok girlsNigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonishakin, on Monday responded to the prisoners’ swap demand made by Boko Haram in a new video of the abducted Chibok girls.

The terrorist group released the video on Sunday showing some of the over 200 girls abducted in 2014 from their school’s dormitory in Chibok, Borno State in Northeast Nigeria.

While addressing reporters after a workshop organised for top Security Chiefs in Abuja, General Olonishakin said that the demand that the Federal Government swap detained Boko Haram members for the Chibok Girls was a political decision that would not stop ongoing military operations.

The workshop was organised for top Security Chiefs on how to respond to emergency situations such as terrorism and flood inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

For the second time since their abduction two years ago, the video of the missing Chibok Girls with their captors has gone viral.

This latest release coincides with the workshop for members of the National Security Council behind closed doors.

How to respond to emergency situations is also said to be of importance to the Security Council, not just in the area of terrorism, but also in disaster management.

Also at the workshop was the Minister of Information, Mr Lai Mohammed, who reiterated his position that the government was on top of the situation.

He said efforts to rescue the girls would continue until the girls are out.

That’s an optimism many Nigerians would want to see happen in the nearest possible future.

For now, they say the Chibok girls have over stayed in the hands of Boko Haram and that is seen as a challenge for the government.


The Boko Haram had in the video claimed that the Nigerian Air Force killed some of the girls in aerial bombardments. It also released video footages showing some deceased girls.

Earlier, General said the the Nigerian military has begun analysing the new Boko Haram video posted by the terrorist.

He also said that the war against Boko Haram was a military operation that is going on appropriately.

 

President Buhari Meets Rescued Chibok Girl, Offers Scholarship

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Amina Ali in State House, Abuja to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari.

President Muhammadu Buhari has promised that the Federal Government will be responsible for the education and upkeep of Amina Ali, the Chibok girl who was rescued on Tuesday from the Boko Haram insurgents for the rest of her life.

The President made the announcement on Thursday after meeting with Amina, her mother and the Borno State Governor, Shettima Kassim, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

He said that every girl has the right to education and should not be denied access to such.

Amina_Mum
Amina Ali and her mother at the Presidential Villa.

Full Reintegration
President Buhari assured that the Federal Government would do everything possible to ensure that the rest of Amina’s life takes a completely different course.

He also promised to give the rescued Chibok girl the best medical, psychological and emotional care, amongst other things, she requires to be fully reintegrated into the society.

The President decried a situation where Amina’s education was so abruptly truncated by Boko Haram, promising to make her education a priority of the Federal Government.

Amina is the first of the 219 Chibok girls to be rescued from the den of the Boko Haram terrorists.

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A cross section of State Governors in the State House meeting between President Buhari and rescued Chibok girl, Amina Ali.

Some state governors were also at the meeting between the President and rescued mother of one.

Her rescue has been widely celebrated within the country and beyond and has raised renewed hopes about the other abducted girls.

19-year-old Amina was found by the civilian JTF with a four month old baby and a suspected Boko Haram terrorist, Mohammed Hayatu, who claims to be her husband.

Secretary of the Association of Parents of the Abducted Chibok Girls, Zanna Usman, confirmed that Amina told her rescuers that six of her colleagues died in Boko Haram’s captivity.

The acting Director Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Usman, says the alleged husband is undergoing further investigation at the Joint Intelligence Centre.

“Mohammed Hayatu is well treated in line with Operation Lafiya Dole Rules of Engagement regarding insurgents who voluntarily surrender to the military,” the Army spokesman added.

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Amina Ali handed over to Borno State Governor, Mr Kashim Shettima.

After her rescue, Amina Ali, was handed over to Borno State Governor, Kashim Shetima, at Government house, Maiduguri, the state capital.

She was handed over on Wednesday evening by the Acting General Officer Commanding, 7 Division, Brigadier General Victor Ezugwu in a brief ceremony.

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Amina’s son being examined by the military hospital personnel.

Prior to that they were examined at Air Force medical facility and were found to be stable and normal blood pressure was observed.

 

 

Forced By Hunger

Military sources in Damboa, who accompanied Amina to Maiduguri, told Channels Television that “Hayatu, one of the Boko Haram commanders also known as “Amir” reportedly escaped with his wife from the Sambisa forest and surrendered to Civilian Joint Task Force members in Balle, a village in Damboa.

The commander of the outlawed group stated hunger and ill health as reasons for his action as according to him his family would have starved to death following the blocking of supply routes by intensive military operations.

Abducted Chibok Girls: One Rescued, Six Dead In Captivity

Recovered_GirlMembers of the Civilian Joint Task Force operating in Damboa Local Government Area of Borno State have rescued one of the abducted Chibok girls, while six have died in captivity.

Amina Ali, who was rescued on Wednesday, was abducted along with over 200 of her schoolmates in the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok in the middle of the night in April 2014.

Our correspondent in Maiduguri, Blessing Tunoh, reports that a member of the Civilian JTF, involved in the rescue said “six of her classmates have died in captivity”, adding that “throughout their stay in Sambisa Forest, they were heavily guarded”.

The rescued mother of one said for now, she is not aware of the condition of the girls still in captivity.

Secretary of the Association of Parents of the Abducted Chibok Girls, Zanna Usman confirmed Amina’s return to Channels TV Correspondent via a phone call.

Usman said that Amina, who was found with a child with other women in Sambisa, following military operations told the civilian JTF members that she was taken from Chibok.

Usman said that he has met Amina, who has since been reunited tearfully with her family in Balala village.

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Suspected Boko Haram terrorist, Mohammed Hayatu, who claimed to be Amina Ali’s husband.

The Nigerian military in a statement said “troops of 25 Brigade Damboa in conjunction with Civilian JTF deployed in one of the blocking positions at Baale, near Damboa rescued one Miss Amina Ali and a suspected Boko Haram terrorist, Mohammed Hayatu, who claimed to be her husband.

“Both were brought to Headquarters 25 Task Force Brigade Damboa at about 2.30pm today (Wednesday)”.

The statement, signed by the Acting Director Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman, added that “preliminary investigation shows that she is indeed one of the abducted Chibok School girls abducted by Boko Haram terrorists on 14th April 2014 in Chibok and her name is Amina Ali as against Falmata Mbalala that was earlier stated.

“In addition, she is a nursing mother with a 4 month old baby girl who was named Safiya”, he said.

Col Usman further noted that “both the suspected Boko Haram terrorist and the nursing mother have been taken to Maiduguri for further medical attention and screening”.

Governor Kashim Shettima was in a meeting with United Nations Humanitarian Affairs officials at the Borno Government said that he had received the news of the rescue but was yet to be briefed.

Chibok Girls Rescue: Osinbajo Urges Nigerians To Exercise Patience

Yemi-OsinbajoThe Federal Government on Thursday said it cannot give a time frame for the return of over 200 school girls abducted from a Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State.

At an event to mark the second anniversary since the abduction of the school girls, Vice President Yemi Osibanjo, also refuted claims that the government is making half efforts to rescue the girls.

He urged Nigerians to “exercise some caution and patience and not sound like this can be done but it is not being done.

“I believe that everything that can be done, especially with respect to the rescue of the girls is being done, but there are challenges and we are trying to address those challenges”, he maintained.

A legal practitioner, who is a member of the Bring Back Our Girls Group, Ayo Obe, speaking at the same event noted that she will, first, want to see the abducted girls returned to their parents.

She said: “first for all I will want to see the Chibok girls have been restored to their families and we will have commenced the possibly long process of rehabilitating them in every way that we can”, she maintained.

A video appearing to show proof of life of some of the kidnapped Chibok girls was aired, along with images of tearful parents recognizing their daughters, unheard of since the mass abduction by the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram two years ago.

CNN showed the video, reported to be made in December of the girls wearing the hijab and of one mother reaching out to a computer screen as she recognizes her daughter.

CNN reported that the “proof of life” video was sent in December to negotiators trying to free the girls.
“we are all well,” one of the girls said in the video.

Two mothers and 16 fathers of the girls have died since the mass abduction, some of them victims of Boko Haram attacks.

Others died from illnesses blamed on stress, according to Yakubu Nkeki, Head of a Support Group and uncle of two abducted girls.

Ezekwesili Advocates More Attention To Girl Child Education

girl childThe federal government has been advised to reprioritise its policy on girl child education to achieve the much needed development in the country.

The advice was given by a co-convener of the Bring Back Our Girls group, Dr Oby Ezekwesili, at an event to mark the Global Week of Action for the abducted Chibok girls.

The event is part of the activities put together by the ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ campaigners to mark the two years anniversary of the abduction of 219  schoolgirls in Chibok.

The activity looked at the nation’s endangered education system following the wave of abduction and killings of school children in the northeast by members of the Boko Haram sect.

Dr Ezekwesili was of the view that government at all levels must have a strategic plan of action to remove the impediments to the ‎education of girls in Nigeria.

There were also words of encouragement from members of the international community.

The Ambassador of Netherlands to Nigeria, John Groffen and his Canadian counterpart, Perry Calderwood both expressed hope to see more enrolment of girls in school, backed by adequate security in the days ahead.

The consensus at the event was that education remains key to the socio economic development of any nation and investing in this key area should be the top priority on the minds of government and key players.