War Against Insurgents: Air Chief Urges Troops To Sustain Tempo

Nigerian Air Force attacks Boko Haram insurgentsOfficials of the Nigerian Air Force involved in the fight against insurgency in the northeast have been asked to sustain the fight in order to reduce the activities of the insurgents to the barest minimum.

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who was represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans, James Gbum, made the demand in Maiduguri and Yola while observing the Sallah holiday with the troops.

He told the troops that the Federal Government was backing them with the provision of modern equipment of warfare and improved welfare services.

The Air Officer Commanding, Tactical Air Command, Air Vice Marshal Muhammad Mohammed, acknowledged the visit as a morale booster to the troops.

He reassured the Federal Government and the Chief of Air Staff of their unflinching loyalty and commitment to continuously tackling the insurgents and other criminals.

Boko Haram activities in the last six years have left several communities in the northeast devastate, with over two million persons displaced.

Heightened counter-terrorism operations in the region had sacked the terrorists from communities they had occupied, restoring relative peace.

In the heat of insurgency, the terrorists had taken over 200 girls hostage, an act that triggered worldwide protest for the release or rescue of the girls, with a #BringBackOurGirls slogan.

The girls were abducted from their school’s dormitory in Chibok, Borno State over two years ago.

Recently, the terrorist group released a video showing some of the abducted girls and said that some of them had been killed in air raids by the Nigerian Air Force at Sambisa Forest, a haven for terrorists in Borno State.

In a recent video released by Boko Haram few weeks ago, the terrorist group claimed that air strikes killed 40 of the over 200 girls abducted from their dormitory in a secondary school in Chibok on April 14, 2014.

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, denied the claims of the terrorist group, describing it as false and a complete propaganda.

Cameroun Will Support Nigeria Until War On Terror Is Won – Biya

CameroonThe Camerounian President, Paul Biya, has reassured Nigeria that his nation would support the war against the Boko Haram terrorist group till the end.

Mr Biya made the promise at a press conference held in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital on Wednesday after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.

He is in Nigeria on a state visit.

The Camerounian leader also denied reports that his country had harboured terrorists and wanted to withdraw from the fight against Boko Haram.

On his part, President Buhari told reporters that he was grateful to the Chad Basin Commission, the Multi-National Joint Task Force and the G7 countries for the support they gave Nigeria in the fight against Boko Haram.

In a communique at the end of their meeting, they reaffirmed their continuous commitment to the fight against Boko Haram until they were finally exterminated from their countries.

They appraised the success recorded so far and pledged their readiness to work with each other in economic and infrastructural development.

The joint communique was presented by the Foreign Affairs Ministers of Nigeria, Mr Geofrey Onyeama and his Camerounian counterpart.

Cameroun like Nigeria is fighting the Boko Haram group which had infiltrated the nation from Nigeria’s northeast region, making both countries increase collaboration in tacking a common enemy.

Nigeria and Cameroun had on Tuesday signed an agreement on trade cooperation and conservation of the Benue River.

The agreement was the outcome of the bilateral talks between President Buhari and Mr Biya.

Nigerian Military Says Amnesty International Report Is A Blackmail

Chris-OlukoladeThe Nigerian military says the claims of military involvement in extra-judicial killings by an international human rights group, Amnesty International, is a continuation of blackmail against the military hierarchy.

The group had asked the new President, Muhammadu Buhari, to investigate Senior Military officials for complicity in the extra judicial killing of over 8,000 people in the north-east.

But the Defence Headquarters in a statement on Wednesday denied the allegation, expressing disappointment in what it called gruesome allegations made by the Amnesty International against some senior officers of the Nigerian Armed Forces both serving and retired.

Continuation Of Blackmail

“It is unfortunate that all effort made in the allegation was geared towards continuation of blackmail against the military hierarchy in which the organisation had embarked upon as far back as the inception of military’s action against terrorist in the North East.

“The officers mentioned in the report have no reason, whatsoever, to indulge in the allegation made against them.

“It is unfortunate that the organisation just went out to gather names of specified senior officers, in a calculated attempt to rubbish their reputation as well as the image of the military,” the statement issued by military spokesman, Major General Chris Olukolade read.

The military said the action, no doubt, depicts more of a premeditated indictment aimed at discrediting the country for whatever purpose.

Each of the previous allegations by the rights group had been responded to by the military, with outright denial of the claims.

“The title down to the body of the allegation smacks of the extreme bias, which is disturbing coming from an otherwise reputable organisation that is expected to be Just and fair to all.

“Unfortunately in this case, has taken a premeditated position, which is far from noble.

“It is curious that a body that has never been able to seriously condemn terror in Nigeria now claims to have done an extensive research with the aim of discrediting the nation’s effort at curtailing terror.

“It is clear that Amnesty International (AI) becomes more active in presenting distractive allegations whenever the terrorists are losing ground in the battle.

“It is very unfortunate that Amnesty International has used this report to further confirm its questionable interest in the counter-terrorism effort in Nigeria,” the military stated.

After such claims were made months ago, a Joint Investigation Team was set up by the Defence Headquarters as part of efforts to ensure that no detainee suffered unjustly.

According to the military, the detention facilities were thrown open for visits and inspections by independent bodies such as International Committee of the Red Cross and other reputable international organisations and personalities.

“Biased And Concocted Report”

The Defence Headquarters further urged Amnesty International to stop playing “the role of an irritant coming up loudly only when the terrorists are losing out and remaining silent or complacent whenever the terrorist heightens its atrocities”.

“It is unfair to persist in effort to discredit Nigerian military by seeking all avenues to stigmatise individual officers of the nation’s military purely to satisfy an agenda against the security agencies and image of Nigeria before the international community.

“The Nigerian Armed Forces is quite conscious of the fact that the operation has prompted the need to save citizens from abuse of their rights by mindless terrorists,” the statement further read.

The military also described as unfortunate the decision by Amnesty International to ignore all the responses and clarifications provided to its enquires by the authorities and rejected what it called “the biased and concocted report provided by Amnesty International”.

Egypt Pledges To Support Nigeria In Fight Against Boko Haram

boko haramThe Egyptian government has promised to collaborate with the administration of President Muhamadu Buhari in the fight against the Boko Haram terrorists and to strengthen business relationship between the two countries.

Addressing reporters in Abuja during a press conference on Saturday, the Egyptian Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr Shoukri Sameh, who also represented his President during the Nigeria’s Presidential inauguration, said that he was convinced that the new government would respond to the needs of Nigeria and also project African interest.

According to Mr Sameh, both Nigeria and Egypt have common challenges and interests which stronger relationship between both countries could address.

Egypt is one of the countries that have declared their support for the new administration in the fight against the Boko Haram.

Shortly after the inauguration of the Nigerian President on Friday, the UK Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, said his country was ready and willing to help in the fight against the terrorist group.

Nevertheless, President Buhari in his inauguration speech said: ”Boko Haram is a typical example of small fires causing large fires,” reiterating his commitment to ending the over five years insurgency in the oil-rich nation’s north-east.



Military To Liberate Sambisa Forest Before May 29 – Dasuki

DasukiThe National Security Adviser in Nigeria (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd), has expressed optimism that the military would reclaim Sambisa Forest from the Boko Haram terrorist group before the May 29 presidential hand-over date.

Colonel Dasuki’s comment is coming on the first year anniversary of the abduction of over 200 secondary school girls from Government Girls Secondary School Chibok, in Borno State.

The schoolgirls were abducted by members of the Boko Haram terrorist group.

He also told reporters on Tuesday that the Federal Government was making every effort to ensure that the girls along with every other Nigerian abducted by terrorists are rescued.

“Right now, all Boko Haram camps, except Sambisa Forest have been destroyed,” the NSA said.

According to him, the forest would have since been liberated but for the unfavourable weather condition prevailing in the area as all needed reconnaissance activity and necessary deployment of troops have been made for the operation.

“Every movement of the terrorists is being monitored and every necessary detail is being taken care of to rid the country of the last bastion of terrorists’ infestation,” Sambo Dasuki disclosed.

A Little More Time

He insisted that the government is concerned about the welfare of every single Nigerian including the girls.

“Aside the Chibok girls, other Nigerian girls, boys, men and women were abducted by the terrorists and all efforts are being made to rescue them all.”

While appealing for a little more time to complete the routing of terrorists, Dasuki recalled that before elections were postponed in February, over 20 local governments were occupied by Boko Haram and that most Nigerians were pleasantly surprised that so much was achieved in the fight against the insurgents within six weeks.

While commending President Goodluck Jonathan on the successful conduct of the 2015 round of elections, the security adviser, however, stressed that nobody pressured the President into conceding defeat in the presidential election.

“President Jonathan had already given his words to all the security and service chiefs before the election that he would abide by the decision of Nigerians. At the meeting, he also told them to perform their duties professionally during the polls.

“While we anticipated that he would congratulate his opponent if the result is announced in favour of opposition candidate, he gratuitously without prompting of anyone conceded defeat to the surprise of all.

“By that singular gesture he had saved the security agencies and the nation of unnecessary tension and stress in maintaining law and order and curtailing excesses of likely protesters,” Colonel Dasuki said.

While commending the fairness of media in the coverage of elections, he nevertheless urged them to be conscious of malicious reports being sponsored by vested interest.

He denied a report that he was at any polling units during the last governorship election and said he was never involved in any meeting with judicial officers to truncate any democratic process.

Immediately after the postponement of elections in February this year, Sambo Dasuki had assured Nigerians and international community that all known terrorists’ camps would be destroyed while most of the occupied communities under Boko Haram in three states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe would be liberated to allow for peaceful conduct of elections and collection of more voters cards by the electorates.

He said: “All known Boko Haram camps will be taken out. They won’t be there. They will be dismantled. In addition to the acquisition of more sophisticated armaments and training of our troops in guerrilla warfare the new military co-operation agreed to between Nigeria and its neighbours will prove decisive against Boko Haram”.

After the elections were postponed on February 7, troops have cleared terrorists from Adamawa and Yobe State.

Chibok Community Accuses Borno State Government Of Falsehood

Chibok-girlsThe Kibaku Area Development Union, an umbrella body for the Chibok community in Borno State, says claims by the Borno State Governor Kasim Shettima, that the community insisted that their wards take their final exams in Chibok, rather than in Maiduguri, the state capital, are false.

The chairman of the association, Mr Hosea Tsambido, asked the government and his aides to desist from blaming the parents and families of the abducted girls for the incidence.

Mr Tsambido urged the government to channel its energy at ensuring that the girls returned home safely.

He further stressed that making such allegations and statements would only further traumatise the community.

The association urged government at all levels to avoid wiping unnecessary sentiments with the issues.

It has been more than 11 months since the over 200 girls were abducted from the Government Girls Secondary School Chibok in Borno State by members of the terrorist group the Boko Haram.

Last week, a spokesman for the military said the chances of getting back the Chibok girls were within the totality of ongoing operations against the terrorist group.

The military has increased offensive against the Boko Haram sect in the last few weeks after Nigeria’s general elections dates were postponed by six weeks. The elections will hold on March 28 and April 11.



War On Terror: Military Official Advocates Adequate Personnel Training

Nigeria_ArmyContinuous training and effective capacity building of Nigerian military personnel and officials of other security forces must be considered to enable them tackle the current security challenges in the north-eastern region, a senior military official has said.

The General Officer Commanding (GOC) One Division, Nigerian Army, Major General Kenneth Osuji, made the statement while delivering a speech at the graduation ceremony of Basic Infantry Course and Skill at Arms officers and men at the One Division Training School, Ribadu Military Cantonment in Kaduna, North West Nigeria.

The GOC while addressing the graduating officers and soldiers emphasised that the increasing attacks by the Boko Haram insurgents required a continuous physical and mental training for security personnel to be able to win the war against the terrorist group and restore peace in the region.

He told the graduating officials that the entire country looked up to them to eliminate the insurgents in the north-east and restore peace in the affected areas, stating that nothing less than that would be acceptable.

While commending the soldiers and officers for their good conduct during the training exercise, Major General Osuji urged them to make good use of the knowledge they have acquired for the betterment of the Nigerian Army and the country in general.

Earlier, the Division’s Training Officer, Colonel Umar Ibrahim, highlighted the process that led to the graduation of the officers and Soldiers.

The training is a routine annual event aimed at upgrading the intellectual and physical capacity of officers and men of the Nigerian Army.

During their nine weeks stay at the school, the soldiers were subjected to rigorous training on field and academic exercises.

It is aimed at physically and mentally empowering them and making them ready to face any responsibilities that may be assigned to them from time to time.

42 Boko Haram Suspects Regain Freedom In Borno

Captured-Suspected-Boko-Haram-MembersThe 7 division of the Nigeria Army, Maiduguri, Borno state on Thursday freed 42 Boko Haram suspects and handed them to the state Governor, Kashim Shettima.

Three of the suspects released were Chad, Burkina Faso and Cameroon nationals and will be repatriated immediately by the Nigerian Immigration Services (NIS) to their various countries.

Handing over the freed suspects in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, north-east Nigeria, the Deputy Director Public Army Relations Officer, Col. Sani Usman, said it had been established that the suspects were innocent.

The Deputy Director said “out of the 42 cleared suspects by the military this month; three are from the neighboring countries of Burkina Faso, Chad and Cameroon”.

He called on Borno residents to continue to accord the needed support to security agencies in the search for lasting peace in the state and the country as a whole.

The state governor, Kashim Shettima, while receiving the released suspects encouraged them to be engaged in various occupations noting that “an idle mind is a devils workshop”.

To the students in their midst, the governor said he will assist them “to go back and complete your studies while others will also be taken care of appropriately”.

He then cautioned them not to take vengeance against the military that detained them during the investigation and urged them not to engage in any anti-social activities.

The governor further thanked the army for their commitment to the fight against insurgency and their show of transparency by freeing the suspects.

A student of the Department of Chemistry, University of Maiduguri, who spoke on behalf of the freed suspects, thanked Shettima for his gesture towards them.

Those freed were given the sum of N100, 000 to resettle themselves.

Th student said he plans to complete his education with the cash.

Nigerian Military Refutes Defection Claims

Officers of the Nigerian ArmyThe Nigerian Defence headquarters on Monday clarified issues concerning Nigerian troops who found themselves in Cameroon during fierce battle with terrorists.

Earlier today, the BBC, quoting Cameroon’s army, said that about 480 Nigerian soldiers have fled into Cameroon following fierce fighting with Boko Haram militants.

Cameroon’s Army spokesman, Lt Col Didier Badjek, is reported to have said that the soldiers had been disarmed and were now being accommodated in schools.

The Nigerian soldiers are currently in the Cameroonian town of Maroua, about 80km (50 miles) from the Nigerian border, Lt Col Badjek told the BBC.

However, in a post on its website on Monday, the Defence headquarters said: “The Nigerian troops that were found in Cameroun was as a result of a sustained battle between the troops and the terrorists around the borders with Cameroun which saw the Nigerian troops charging through the borders in a tactical maneuver.

“Eventually they found themselves on Cameroonian soil.  Being allies the normal protocol of managing such incident demanded that the troops submit their weapons in order to assure the friendly country that they were not on a hostile mission.

“Following necessary discussions between Nigerian and Cameroonian military authorities, the issues have been sorted out.  Subsequently, the troops are on their way back to join their unit in Nigeria”.

The Defence headquarters further stressed that the reference to the incidence as a defection was not appropriate considering the discussion between the two countries’ military leadership and the series of contacts with the soldiers who had confirmed that they were safe.

“Meanwhile, troops are repelling a group of terrorists who are trying to enter the country through Gamborou Ngala.  A group of them who fizzled into the town are being pursued,”  the Defence headquarters said.

Nigeria’s Defence Chief Promises End To Insurgency In April

The new Chief of Defence Staff in Nigeria, Air Marshall Alex Badeh, has promised to end the Boko Haram insurgency in the northern part of Nigeria by April.

Speaking at the handover ceremony at the Defence Headquarters in Abuja, Air Marshall Badeh urged the new Service Chiefs to end the activities of the sect within three months.

“The security situation in the north-east must be brought to a stop by April so that we do not have constitutional problems on our hands. If we do our work cohesively, I can tell you, we will finish that thing in no time,” Air Marshall Badeh said.

He warned the militants in the north that the military would come after them no matter where they were hiding.

During the ceremony, the outgoing Chief of Defence Staff, Rtd Admiral Ola Ibrahim, performed his last official function, inspecting a guard of honour.

Rtd Admiral Ibrahim urged his successor, Air Marshall Badeh, to ensure that the activities of the force would help deepen Nigeria’s democracy.

The new Service Chiefs received the symbols of authority from their predecessors.

Apart from receiving the mantles of leadership, each of the new Service Chiefs is expected to be decorated with new ranks by President Goodluck Jonathan.

Air Marshal Alex Badeh was made  the Chief of Defence Staff  on January 16, replacing Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim.