Another Set Of 234 Women And Children Rescued From Sambisa Forest

Sambisa forestThe Nigerian military says it has rescued another set of 234 women and children from Sambisa Forest.

The Defence Headquarters announced this via the official Twitter of the Nigerian Armed Forces on Friday.

The latest hostages were rescued on Thursday through the Kawuri and Konduga end of the Sambisa Forest.

This follows an announcement by the Nigerian Army on Thursday, which confirmed the rescue of more women and children from Sambisa Forest.

The previous announcement was made via  the Nigerian Army Twitter handle.

Barely 48 hours earlier, some 200 girls and 93 women held hostage in Sambisa forest by members of the Boko Haram terrorists group had been rescued by Nigerian troops.

The rescued females were confirmed to be indigenes of Bumsiri Village of Damboa Local Government in Borno State, dousing hopes that some of them could be the Chibok girls abducted on April 14, 2014.

Expectation are high that the girls would be among those rescued by the military as the Director of Defence Information, Major-General Chris Olukolade, had said that all hope was not lost in the search and rescue of hostages held in the Sambisa forest by Boko Haram insurgents as the counter terrorism operation continues.

Boko Haram Hostages: Defence Headquarters Says Hope Not Lost

HostagesThe Director of Defence Information, Major-General Chris Olukolade, says the true identities of some of the women and children recently rescued from the Sambisa forest following military operations are yet to be ascertained.

He said that until a comprehensive profiling is done, nobody can confirm whether they are among the abducted Chibok girls or not.

He, however, added that all hope is not lost in the search and rescue of hostages held in the Sambisa forest by Boko Haram insurgents as the counter terrorism operation continues.

According to Olukolade, while the first batch of the rescued women and children are being profiled and given the necessary medical attention, more hostages are still being rescued while others are finding their way out of the forest on their own.

As such, he added, it would be hasty to conclude on the outcome of the operations when the entire forest has not been fully combed.

Some 200 girls and 93 women held hostage in Sambisa forest by members of the Boko Haram terrorists group were rescued by Nigerian troops on Tuesday.

The Borno State government later revealed that the 293 rescued hostages are indigenes of Bumsiri Village of Damboa Local Government in the state, dousing hopes that some could be the Chibok girls abducted on April 14, 2014.

The state’s Commissioner of Information, Mohammed Bulama, has confirmed this while briefing reporters on the development.

Mr. Bulama said that that the rescued persons would be reunited with their parents soon.

Channels Television’s correspondent in Borno State, Blessing Tunoh, said that the people of the state received the news with mixed feelings. They are asking the military to give them more evidence in form of images.

“For now there are no pictures and some of the people I spoke to were having doubts, saying that they expected that the military should have posted some pictures for the parents and others to begin to identify some of the women.

“Right now, there is nothing to hold on to, to identify who these women are,” she said.

The women were found at Tokumbere camp, inside Sambisa Forest, according to the Defence Headquarters.

200 Girls, 93 Women Rescued From Terrorists In Sambisa Forest

Nigerian troops in North-east Joint Task Force Sambisa Forest rescueSome 200 girls and 93 women held hostage in Sambisa forest by members of the Boko Haram terrorists group have been rescued by Nigerian troops.

In its Twitter handle, the Defence Headquarters said it could not confirm if the Chibok girls abducted by the terrorists group on April 2014 were among the rescued.

“Troops captured and destroyed three terrorists’ camps, including the notorious Tokumbere Camp in the Sambisa Forest Operation,” another tweet read.

According to the tweet, the freed persons are now been profiled and details would be released later.

Defence spokesperson, Major General Chris olukolade, further confirmed the information in a phone conversation.

“When we are through with the screening, we can say categorically what their background is.

“The operation is to clear the entire forest and all the hideouts of terrorists.

“The troops have been advancing to the forest from different angles.  Three camps have been cleared and in the process these children and women were rescued,” he said.

According to the military spokesman, the troops have been doing everything to either scale obstacles in the path or remove them.

He stressed that the entire mission was concentrating on the whole forest, to clear all terrorists’ camps and that it would continue.

“It is not yet over until all the identified terrorists camps in that forest are cleared. So far we have taken out only three,” the military spokesman stated.

He further clarified the involvement of foreign troops in the counter-terrorism operation, saying: “The involvement of the foreign troops is to watch their own side of the border to ensure that the terrorists do not run into their countries unnoticed”.

 

Nigerian Military Says Efforts To Invade Sambisa Forest Still Ongoing

SambisaThe Nigerian Military has said that there is no truth in the reports that it has stopped efforts to invade the Sambisa forest.

Sambisa forest is believed to be the last stronghold of Boko Haram militants.

It is also believed to be the place where the missing Chibok girls might have been held hostage.

Reports have it that the military backed off owing to landmines planted by the terrorists on the roads leading to the Sambisa forest.

According to the Director, Defence Information, Major Gen. Chris Olukolade, the terrorists have run out of sophisticated arms and ammunition as they now roam around the bushes on the fringe of the forest with crude weapons.

Nigerian, Cameroon, Chadian and Nigerien armies have in the past two months launched combined operations to crush the Boko Haram insurgents, who have killed thousands and kidnapped hundreds in the past few years in their course to establish an Islamic state.

The Sambisa forest is a vast former colonial game reserve in the north eastern region of Nigeria, which is about 100 km (60 miles) from the Chibok village where the terrorists group kidnapped more than 200 secondary school girls on April 14th, 2014.

Security: Olukolade Says No Cause For Alarm

Major-General Chris Olukolade
Major-General Chris Olukolade

Spokesman of the Defence Headquarters, Major General Chris Olukolade, has assured Nigerians of adequate security across the nation during and after the general elections.

He told Channels Television on Sunday that “there is no cause for alarm”, as his men were vigilant and “fully on ground”.

He stressed that the military was not deployed in Nigerian streets to threaten any law abiding citizen, but to watch out for any attempt that will disturb the peace of the nation.

In a telephone interview on #Nigeria2015, Major General Olukolade explained that the movement of his men had not been very visible but they remained very vigilant to respond, as the need arises.

On the recapture of a major terrorists enclave, Gwoza, on the eve of the General elections, he said that the counter-terrorism operation was not fully over in the town. “There are still a few searches and deployment all over the country in respond to any challenge,” Major General Olukolade said.

He further stated that the duty of the military in securing the nation was not just for the election but also after, to ensure peace and order are maintained.

“We are being vigilant to do our duty and it has not constituted any threat to any law abiding citizen of the nation.”

As the elections still continue, he urged Nigerians to feel secured, saying “there is no cause for alarm”.

Nigeria, British Military Collaborating To End Insurgency

trainingThe Nigerian army in conjunction with the British Military Advisory and Training Team has been brainstorming on ways to bring an end to the Boko  Haram insurgency in the country.

Even as the fuel scarcity bites, the war against the Boko Haram terrorists in the north east continues.

At a session held at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College Jaji, Kaduna State, Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Kenneth Minimah stressed the need for continuous training and re-training of army personnel to tackle the current security challenges facing the nation.

The Nigerian Army has recorded a lot of success in recent weeks against the insurgents, capturing more towns from the terrorists.

The Defence Headquarters last week said troops flushed out Boko Haram terrorists from Gulag, Madagali Local Government Area in Adamawa State and Bara in Gulani LGA in neighbouring Yobe State.

“Troops have finally routed terrorists from Bara, the Headquarters of Gulani Local Government Area of Yobe State and Gulag, the Headquarters of Madagali Local Government Area of Adamawa State in the early hours of today, Friday”.

“The fierce fighting that preceded the clearing of towns and other communities resulted in appreciable casualties on the terrorists, the capture of some of them, the recovery and destruction of arms, thousands of assorted rounds ammunition as well as vehicles and other equipment including; Anti-Aircraft Guns, General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMGs), Grenades, Multi-barrel bombs, Multi-barrel Grenade Launchers, rifles and mortar guns,” a spokesman for the military, Major General, Chris Olukolade, said in a statement.

Other locations also cleared in the course of the two days operation include, Shikah, Fikayel, Tetebah, Buza, Kamla and Bumsa.

IPCR Supports Use Of Military During Elections

NIGERIA-ELECTIONS-PRESIDENTIAL-RELIGION-VIOLENCEThe Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution has endorsed the use of military during Nigeria’s forthcoming general elections, saying it will ensure peaceful conduct of the polls.

The Director General of the Institute, Professor Oshita Oshita, gave the Institute’s support at a meeting with Civil Society groups and security personnel, ahead of the general elections scheduled to hold on March 28 and April 11.

Professor Oshita said: “It will be impossible to conduct peaceful elections especially in the north-east without the support of the military”.

The meeting with the Civil Society organisations and security personnel was aimed at identifying possible challenges that could be witnessed during the general elections.

Some of the discussants believed that the elections could be marred by violence, if excesses of youths on the social media were not managed properly by both the government and political parties.

Another discussant from the north-east raised concerns about the way politicians were engaging the civilian JTF, questioning what would become of them after the elections and after Boko Haram crisis had been contained.

Concerns and agitations over the peaceful conduct of the general elections had died down with the postponement of the elections date, but the plan to deploy the military to support other security agencies in ensuring that voters and voting materials are safe had been greeted with divergent views.

The conveners on the other hand, said activities of politicians and their supporters within the last week of postponement, further called for concern.

Nigeria Will Be Safe For Elections

Prior to the meeting, the Nigerian military gave the assurance that it was committed to securing the country on the days of the general elections.

Chris Olukolade-elections
Major General Chris Olukolade

This came from the Director Of Defense Information, Major-General Chris Olukolade, in an interview with the Voice of America.

Major General Olukolade is optimistic that this goal is achievable, given the increased regional cooperation that Nigeria is receiving at the moment.

“We have committed ourselves to working to ensure that we achieve the result of making the whole place secured and every effort is being made towards that end in the sense that we are improving our fire power, and improving on collaboration with other forces.

“We believe that every hand will be on deck. Not just the military but everyone involved in securing our country will put in their best to ensure that we have adequate atmosphere for elections to be conducted.

“The military is equally a stakeholder in the promotion of our nation’s democracy and anything that is done now is in good faith,” Olukolade said.

 

Nigerian Army Reclaims Baga From Boko Haram

Nigeria military Fighting Boko HaramThe Nigerian military on Saturday, backed by air strikes, recaptured the town of Baga in Borno State, north east Nigeria from Islamist group Boko Haram, the Director, Defence Information, Major-General Chris Olukolade said in a statement.

He also noted that Apart from the 5 anti air craft guns and the rifles captured from the terrorists, over 34 motorcycles and 5 vehicles including trucks being used for operations by the terrorists were destroyed in the course of the fighting as troops headed for Baga.

“A large number of terrorists have drowned in the Lake Chad as they fled the heavy bombardment by Nigerian Air force heralding the advance of Nigerian troops on mission to flush them out of Baga.

“Not even the strategy of mining over 1,500 spots with land mines on the routes leading to the town could save the terrorists from the aggressive move of advancing troops.

“All the land mines were skillfully cleared one after the other. Eventually, the resistance of the terrorists collapsed and the land forces finally stormed the town in the early hours of Friday.

“Many of the terrorists died while an unknown but substantial number of them fled with various degrees of injury, in the series of encounter along the routes of advance, as troops headed for Baga”, he maintained.

The Defence Spokesperson further noted that “similar exercise is being carried out in over 15 locations namely Gajigana, Ngaze, Ngenzai, Marte Junction, Mile 90, Yoyo, Kekeno, Kukawa, Cross Kauwa, Kangarwa, Amirari, Kichimatari, Borokari Barati, Kauwa and other localities where troops have flushed out the terrorists in the operations preceding the entry to Baga.

“The troops are now dominating and conducting aggressive patrols in the locations”, he added, insisting that the “morale of troops remain high”.

Baga is situated at Nigeria’s border with Chad, Niger and Cameroon and it was the headquarters of a Multi National Joint Task Force comprising troops from all four countries.

The Nigerian Military had said it was updating tactics against the Boko Haram Sect, with the addition of 260 Aerospace Engineers that graduated from the Nigerian Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) in Kaduna State to the Air Force.

Our Capacity To Rout Boko Haram Has Increased Sufficiently – Jonathan

Boko HaramPresident Goodluck Jonathan, on Thursday reassured Nigerians of his administration’s commitment to ending Boko Haram insurgency in the north eastern part of Nigeria and going ahead with the 2015 general elections as re-scheduled by INEC.

The President made this promise at the Naval Dockyard in Lagos, where he commissioned 4 Naval ships.

“Let me use this opportunity to promise my good country men and women that we will rout Boko Harm. Our capacity has increased sufficiently and our men are doing wonderfully well in the north,” he said.

He further noted, “We are leaving no stone unturned to equip our armed forces, not just the Navy- today we are here for a Naval ceremony- but also the Army and Air Force will have sufficient capacity.”

The President also commended the military for their efforts at tackling the Boko Haram insurgents, saying that his administration is fully committed to restoring peace to the crisis ridden north eastern states of the country.

President Jonathan also gave an assurance that nothing would stop the polls from going ahead on March 28 and April 11.

“We must conduct our elections as scheduled by INEC, because within this period, we are convinced that we will return the North to the level where the activities of extremists will not affect our elections,” he maintained. “We are working towards that day and night,” he added.

The President also said that he has given directives that Nigerians should be briefed daily on the successes recorded in the fight against insurgency.

The leader of the Islamist group, Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, had threatened mayhem during Nigeria’s presidential election scheduled to hold on March 28.

Shekau, in a new video purportedly released by the group on Tuesday, February 17, issued a warning to Goodluck Jonathan’s government that next month’s elections would be disrupted with violence.

“Allah will not leave you to proceed with these elections even after us, because you are saying that authority is from people to people, which means that people should rule each other, but Allah says that the authority is only to him, only his rule is the one which applies on this land.

“And finally we say that these elections that you are planning to do, will not happen in peace, even if that costs us our lives,” Shekau said.boko haram

However, in a swift reaction, the Director, Defence Information, Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade  told Channels Television that no amount of threat will deter the military’s operations from taking place in the North East or anywhere in the country.

He also said a lot of success had been achieved in the past week, in the fight against insurgency, adding that Mongunu and other towns hitherto controlled by Boko Haram had been recovered by the Nigerian military.

Olukolade Dismisses Shekau’s Threat, Assures Nigerians of Security

mongunoThe Director of Defence Information, Major General Chris Olukolade has dismissed Abubakar Shekau’s threat of causing mayhem during the 2015 general elections, giving strong assurances that the military will be able to secure Nigeria during and after the elections.

General Olukolade on Wednesday told Channels Television that no amount of threat will deter the military’s operations from taking place in the North East or anywhere in the country.

He also said a lot of success has been achieved in the past week, in the fight against insurgence adding that Mongunu and other towns hitherto controlled by Boko Haram have been recovered by the Nigerian Military.

Recently, the Nigerian Military took delivery of some military hardware to enable it fight the terrorist to a standstill.

In a video posted on Reuters, Abubakar Shekau condemned states government for not following sharia law, and threatened to stop the elections from holding.

The presidential election has already been postponed from its initial date of February 14 due to security concerns.

According to the video, Abubakar Shekau said “you are claiming that we don’t know how to fight, but we forced your forces to flee from their bases and we freed our imprisoned brothers from the prisons that you oppressed them in, only praise be to Allah”.

Shekau’s who titled the video “A Message to the Leaders of the Disbelievers”, also threatened to attack neighbouring countries who are contributing troops to the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) like Chad and Niger.

Military Says Nigeria Will Be Safe For Elections

ElectionsThe Nigerian military has given the assurance that it is committed to securing the country in time for the new dates of the general elections.

This is coming from the Director Of Defense Information, Major-General Chris Olukolade, in an interview with the Voice of America.

Maj. Gen. Olukolade is optimistic that this goal is achievable, given the increased regional cooperation that Nigeria is receiving at the moment.

“We have committed ourselves to working to ensure that we achieve the result of making the whole place secured and every effort is being made towards that end in the sense that we are improving our fire power, and improving on collaboration with other forces.

“What should interest you is what is now different about it. For the period we have said it has passed through different stages.

“You will recall that when the State of Emergency was initially declared, we were able to curtail them and they simply left our shores and went elsewhere to improve on their mischief.

“Now we are enlisting the support of other nations around us and hopefully that should make it difficult for them to have any other place to escape to after this mission.

“We believe that every hand will be on deck. Not just the military but everyone involved in securing our country will put in their best to ensure that we have adequate atmosphere for elections to be conducted.

“The military is equally a stakeholder in the promotion of our nation’s democracy and anything that is done now is in good faith,” Olukolade said.

Army Seizes Armoured Vehicles And Artillery Guns From Boko Haram

Nigerian ArmyThe Nigerian Army says it has captured several armoured vehicles and artillery guns in a battle which repelled another attempt by members of Boko Haram to seize Maiduguri, the Borno State in north east Nigeria.

In a statement by the Defence Spokesman, Major-General Chris Olukolade, the Operation is part of Comprehensive Mission Supported by the Allied Neighbours.

He adds that the terrorists, who in their disarray strayed towards Bama, Ngom, Alou, Delwa and Mafa in the night have now been effectively contained. While Mop-up operation is ongoing.

Several weapons, arms and ammunition including two armoured vehicles and two artillery guns as well as 17 Hilux vehicles have been captured from them.

While Several terrorists have also died.

The defence spokesman also said that the affected locations have been secured and patrols and pursuit of fleeing terrorists is continuing in coordination with the allied forces.

Suspected Boko Haram insurgents had laid siege on Maiduguri, capital of Borno, north east Nigeria in an early Sunday attack which eye witnesses claim was carried out from different entry points.

Thousands of residents were said to have fled the city to neighbouring states as troops belonging to the Sector 6 Battalion of the Nigerian Army engaged the insurgents who have now attacked the town for the second Sunday in a row.

Eye witnesses say the troops engaged the insurgents in a heavy gun battle as the terrorists carried out a second attempt to take control of the barracks in the city.

A curfew had been placed on Maiduguri, following an attack by the terrorists on both Maiduguri and Monguno towns, last week Sunday.