US Kills Senior Al-Shabaab Commander, Mahamoud In Air Strike

al shabaab
Al Shabaab soldiers patrol in formation along the streets of Dayniile district in Southern Mogadishu, March 5, 2012. REUTERS/Feisal Omar


A senior Al-Shabaab commander was killed in a recent US airstrike in Somalia, the director of US African Command (Africom) said Sunday.

“Bashir Mohamed Mahamoud was a senior operational leader responsible for exporting terror in Somalia as well as attacks into Kenya,” said Africom director Colonel Christopher Karns.

“He has been a senior al-Shabaab member for more than a decade.”

Bashir was killed in a February 22 airstrike, said Karns, describing him as an “individual (who) had a role in planning and directing terrorist operations in Somalia and on the Kenya border region”.

Bashir also was suspected of having had a role in a January attack on a US-Kenyan military base in southeastern Kenya in which three Americans were killed, he added.

General Roger Cloutier, commander of US land forces in Africa, recently declared al-Shabaab to be “one of the biggest threats on the continent”.

Some analysts have questioned the effectiveness of the US campaign in Africa.

Amnesty International said in a 2019 report that US airstrikes sometimes hit civilians as well as Shebab fighters, killing farmers, workers and children.

The US military has generally denied the charge, though it did admit responsibility for civilian casualties in one attack that killed a woman and a child near the central town of El Buur in April 2018.

Colonel Karns described al-Shabaab as “the largest and most kinetically active al-Qaeda network in the world”.

“What we are doing in Somalia, as part of an international effort, is meaningful basic security insurance for Africa and the longer-term security of America, the continent, and our international partners,” he added.


Amaechi-Wike Faceoff: Rivers PDP Demands Transfer Of SARS Commander

Saturday’s Scene in Rivers

The Rivers state chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has demanded the immediate transfer of the state Commander of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) out of the state for allegedly attempting to assassinate the state’s Chief Executive.

The Head of Publicity, Mrs. Chinwe Nnorom, said Wike’s convoy was allegedly ambushed by a contingent of security apparatus led by the SARS’ Commader, Mr. Akin Fakorede and supervised by Amaechi’s ADC, Mr. Debewari.

Their demand comes barely 24 hours after the security aides of the Rivers State Governor, Mr Nyesom Wike and that of the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaech reportedly clashed in Nwanja junction in Trans Amadi area of the state.

The tension was, however, heightened when some of the SARS operatives allegedly cocked the guns, resulting in the chief security detail to the governor physically chasing the men away.

The drama lasted for over 30 minutes before Governor Wike proceeded on the inspection of some ongoing projects in the state.

But reacting through a press statement, Mrs Nnorom described the unfortunate incident as “an open invitation to anarchy and another plan of the APC to ignite crisis against the state.”

“We condemn this attack in very strong terms and call on President Buhari to order the immediate transfer of Mr. Fakorede of SARS out of Rivers State.

“Any delay in effecting this change will be taken that President Buhari is fully in charge of these ugly activities in the state,” she added.

The opposition party further called on the international community to be aware of the development, stressing that should anything happen to the governor, or his immediate family and aides, the APC and Mr. Amaechi should be held responsible.

Army Offers 500,000 Naira For Information On Suicide Bombers

Nigeria, Army, Suicide BombersThe Nigerian Army has promised to reward anyone with useful information on suicide bombers, particularly in northeast Nigeria.

The Army says that the offer is to further encourage law abiding citizens to actively join the war against terrorist.

A statement by the force’s spokesman, Brigadier General Sani Usman, noted that the spate of suicide bombings in the northeast, particularly in Maiduguri and Madagali metropolis were assuming disturbing proportion.

To this end, the Army said it would offer 500,000 Naira for any information that leads to the arrest of a suicide bomber, the guide to the suicide bomber, or discovery of the transit house or factory of the suicide bombers.

Be More Vigilant

“We would like to reassure that all information received would be treated with utmost confidentiality and acted upon with despatch.

“While we appreciate the cooperation of the members of the general public so far, there is the need to be more vigilant and security conscious to save lives and apprehend Boko Haram terrorists and their sponsors.

Villagers "Catch" Suicide Bomber Near UNIMAID
The military has continued operations to push terrorists out of the region, but the dissidents have resorted to suicide bombing, with focus on soft targets

“Once again we call on all law abiding citizens to provide useful information to security agencies towards a quicker apprehension of remnants of terrorists still bent on unleashing mayhem on Nigerians,” the statement read.

According to the Army, “The following numbers are available for immediate response:

1. Theatre Commander, Operations LAFIYA DOLE, Maiduguri- 09064823221.

2. General Officer Commanding 7 Division Maiduguri- 09078599985.

3. Commander, 7 Division Garrison Maiduguri- 08022375305.

4. Commander, 28 Brigade, Mubi- 08065504576.

5. Commander, 26 Brigade, Gwoza- +234 809 721 1700 (WhatsApp)

6. Director, Army Public Relations, Abuja- 07080217992.

7. Commander, 7 Division Military Intelligence Brigade Maiduguri-09021668444.”

Nigerian Air Force Explores Agriculture To Empower Barracks Youths

Air Chief empowers barrack youths through agricultureNigerian military is not left out in the nation’s search for a solution to the economic recession the oil-rich nation slid into few weeks ago, as the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, is exploring agriculture to empower youths in barracks.

He is confident that further involvement of youths in agriculture will deepen the economic diversification drive of the government.

Economy In Recession

Nigeria is battling to get out of its present economic recession made obvious when the National Bureau of Statistics released a second quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) report.

The report showed a contract in the GDP by 2.06% in the second quarter of 2016.

According to the report, the decline has caused the Naira to get weaker while lower oil prices dragged the oil sector down.

The output shrunk by 0.36 in the first quarter.

During the quarter, nominal GDP was 2.73% higher at 23.48 million Naira at basic prices.

This growth was lower than the rate recorded in the second quarter of 2015 by 2.44% points.

Empowerment Through Agriculture

While launching a scheme tagged ‘Barracks Youth Empowerment Through Agriculture (BYETA)’ held at the Air Force Base in Kaduna State, Air Marshal Abubakar said the initiative would empower youths and create jobs.

The Air Chief was represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans, Nigerian Air Force headquarters, Air Vice Marshal James Gbum.

He explained that the inauguration of the youth empowerment programme was a testimony and determination of the Nigerian Air Force to key into the Federal Government’s policy on diversification of the economy to other non-oil sectors especially agriculture.

Message Of Self-reliance

The programme, according to the organisers, is designed to engage the youths, particularly those living in the barracks in productive ventures such as poultry, fishery and crops farming that would enable them live meaningful lives independent of their parents or guidance.

While urging the youth to make good use of the opportunity to empower themselves and contribute to the economic development of the nation, the representative of the Chief of Air Staff, enjoined parents and guidance to regularly monitor the progress of their wards in order to achieve the maximum success rate of the programme.

On his part, the Commander, 335 Base Service Group, Air Commodore Bello Garba, said the initiative was launched to further drive home the message of self-reliance and the directive given by the Chief of Air Staff for all secondary schools in the barracks to establish a demonstration farm which he also noted would prepare the youth to be self-reliant.

He told the gathering that in compliance with the directive, the 335 Base Service Group had established a BYETA association with an initial membership of 25 youths at its inception on August 30.

At the moment it has 98 registered members, including 35 engaged in fish farming, 25 in poultry, 26 in livestock and 12 in crop farming.

Some of the beneficiaries said they were pleased with the initiative they believe would empower them, help them feed Nigerians and ensure food security.

The Barrack Youth Empowerment Through Agriculture Programme is open to relatives of Air Force personnel and residents of host communities.

Army Tasks Personnel On Efficiency

ArmyThe Nigerian Army has asked its personnel to be above board in conduct and proficiency in the discharge of their duties.

The Commander, Training and Doctrine Command of the Nigerian Army, Major General Mobolaji Koleoso, made the demand while addressing 143 lieutenants who were about to write promotion exams to the rank of captain.

General Koleoso told the officers that the exams were to test the ability of officers at administering human resources at various formations.

He admonished the officers to ensure that Army protocols and discipline were strictly adhered to at all times before, during and after the exams.

According to him, those in the war front would also be included at their various posts.

In his address, the Grand Officer Commanding Two Mechanised Division, Adekunle Fajuyi Cantonment Ojoo, Major General Laz Ilo, also described the examination as pivotal to the platoon commanders, as it would build their competence to meet contemporary challenges including those in the northeast where military personnel are fighting insurgency.

A total of 246 candidates from all the Army formations in Nigeria would be examined to proceed from lieutenants to the rank of captain.

While 143 of them were present at the officers mess of Two Mechanised Division, Agodi in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, the remaining 103 would be tested at their various posts in Yobe, Borno and Adamawa States, as they fight insurgents.

FG Receives Repentant Niger Delta Militants 

Niger DeltaThe Federal Government will be receiving about 7,000 repentant militants in Akwa Ibom State on Saturday, January 23, 2016.

The Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Co-ordinator of the Amnesty Program, Retired Brigadier-General Paul Boroh said that the repentant militants declared their interest to disarm and join the Niger Delta Amnesty programme.

He was speaking to journalists after an inter-agency meeting to discuss the recent attack on pipelines in the Niger Delta.

General Boroh added that the ex-agitators have also declared their willingness to be involved in plans to ensure the security of pipelines and oil facilities in the region.

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Ugure, had earlier hosted an inter-agency meeting, where strategies on how to counter the attacks on oil facilities were discussed.

Warri Pipeline Explosion

Facilities belonging to the Nigeria Gas Company, Chevron Nigeria Limited and Nigeria National Petroleum Company, NNPC were blown up by suspected militants on Friday, January 15 in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State.

This has forced the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to announce the operational shutdown of the Port Harcourt and Kaduna Refineries owing to crude supply challenges arising from the attacks on vital crude oil pipelines.

Both the Nigerian Army and the Navy have described the attack as sabotage and terrorism which will not be tolerated.

The JTF Commander of Operation Pulo Shield in the Niger Delta, Major-General Alani Okunola, said that the task force had mobilised men to apprehend those who attacked the oil facilities.

He also warned community leaders that they would be held responsible for any attack on the country’s oil and gas facilities in their domains.

The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, while condemning the act, promised that no efforts would be spared in securing the lives and property of the citizens.

He also proposed the establishment of special courts and tribunals to tackle crimes in the maritime sector.


Defence Minister Arrives Warri To Inspect Pipeline Explosion Site

pipeline explosionThe Minister of Defence, Brigadier-General Mansur Dan-Ali (Rtd) has arrived at the Osubi Airport in Warri, Delta State for an on-the-spot assessment of oil facilities which exploded a few days ago.

On arrival, he moved to the 3 Battalion, Nigerian Army barracks for the guard of honour and a brief interaction with the troop.

On hand to receive the Minister was the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin; the Commander, Operation Pulo Shield, Major General Alani Gafar Okunola; Brigade Sector 1 Commander, Brigadier General Fanola Yahaya and the Flag Officer Commanding, Central Naval Command, Rear Admiral A.O Sulaiman.

Representing the State Governor was the Secretary to the State Government, Ovie Agas, amongst other high ranking military officers and top government functionaries.

The JTF Commander of Operation Pulo Shield in the Niger Delta, Major-General Alani Okunola, had earlier inspected the site of the pipeline explosion.

He said that the task force was closing in on those responsible for blowing up oil pipeline and other facilities belonging to some oil companies and the Nigeria National Petroleum Company, NNPC.

He described the Friday attack in Warri South-West local government area of Delta State as economic sabotage which the military would not tolerate.

Warri Pipeline Explosion: Army Vows To Arrest Perpetrators

PipelineThe military says it has begun the deployment of troops in Delta State to apprehend those who attacked oil facilities in the state recently.

The Joint Task Force (JTF) described the Friday attack in Warri South-West local government area of Delta State as economic sabotage.

The JTF Commander of Operation Pulo Shield in the Niger Delta, Major-General Alani Okunola, said that the task force is closing in on those blowing up oil pipelines belonging to the Nigeria Gas Company, Chevron Nigeria Limited and Nigeria National Petroleum Company, NNPC.

While inspecting the site of the pipeline explosion, Major-General Okunola also warned community leaders that they would be held responsible for any attack on the country’s oil and gas facilities in their domains.

“There is no way we will fold our hands and allow the criminals to get away with it.

“It is a massive sabotage and critical to national assets; we must fish out those responsible for it.”

He described the act as not only criminal but capable of undermining the national security of Nigeria, adding that the pipeline vandals were able to carry out the act only because there were no men of the JTF on ground in the area.

The JTF boss visited the explosion site in company of the Brigade Commander, Farouk Yahaya and the Commander, 3 Battalion, Igwe Omoke.

Other top ranking officers of the Police, Navy, Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) and Air Force were part of the inspection team.


Navy Arrest Ship, Crew In Delta State

Navy Arrest Ship Laden With Suspected Crude OilThe Nigerian Navy has arrested a ship loaded with 670 metric tonnes of product suspected to be crude oil on the Forcados River in Delta State.

The detention of the 106 meters long boat named Eyuwa was made by men of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Delta on December 14.

The Flag Officers Commanding Central Naval Command, Rear Admiral Apochi Suleiman, made the disclosure while conducting reporters round the detained ship.

The Commander, NNS Delta, Commodore Rahimi Muhammed, also expressed joy that the Nigerian Navy is relentlessly winning the war against criminal elements sabotaging the nation’s economy.

Men of the Nigerian Navy Ship, Beecroft, had during a routine patrol, intercepted a vessel, MT Asteris, and its crew in Lagos on March 26 while trying to export the stolen product.

They were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on June 18 before the Federal High Court on a four count charge of conspiracy and illegal dealing in petroleum products.

In his ruling, Justice Ibrahim Buba sentenced the five Filipinos and four Bangladeshi nationals to a jail term of five years each on the four counts with an option of a five million Naira fine for each count.

The sentences were to run concurrently as the convicts could either choose to spend five years each in prison or pay the fine of 20 million Naira each.