Army Reopens Dikwa-Mafa-Gamboru Road

Nigerian ArmyThe Nigerian Army is celebrating successful counter insurgency operations by reopening the Dikwa-Mafa-Gamboru road in Borno State.

Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, in a ceremony marking the end of the 2016 Army Day celebration with the State Governor, Kashim Shettima in attendance has declared the road safe for civilian passage.

The 138km road was unceremoniously shut down over two years ago following terror acts by the outlawed Boko Haram sect in the area.

The newly reopened Maiduguri-Mafa-Dikwa-Gamboru/Ngala road connects Nigeria to Central and North Africa from the North-eastern region.

The road is considered strategic as it leads to towns believed to be the economic life wire of Borno State.

On assumption of office in 2015, the Chief of Army Staff, on his way to an operational visit to troops in Gamboru had been ambushed by Boko Haram elements operating in the axis.

Re-opening of the road for civilian use follows successful mop up operations in the area since then.

Government officials say closure of the road had almost crippled the commercial prowess of Borno State.

Theatre Commander of the counter insurgency war tagged “Operation Lafiya Dole”, Major General Lucky Irabor, believes that reopening of the road for commercial activities amidst security presence would encourage people to return home.

Medical outreach for sick Internally Displaced Persons in the Dikwa camp, home to over 58,000 people as well as the launch of a solar powered borehole was part of the Army Day celebrations.

The Army Chief also hosted the displaced to a lunch to celebrate the Eid El Fitri and the achievements of troops on the frontlines.

Governor Kashim Shettima commended the gallantry of the Nigerian armed forces and the civilian joint task force for their contributions towards peace building.

Damboa-Biu road linking Adamawa and Gombe states had earlier been reopened while troubled Buni Yadi in Gujba area of Yobe State had also been reopened all within the last four months.

IDPs’ Relocation: NEMA Conducts Strategy Analysis In Borno

NEMA on Borno IDPsThe National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) is conducting a needs assessment tour in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in Borno State.

The assessment is coming on the heels of recent victories recorded by the Nigerian Army and outcry by the displaced persons insisting on returning to their original localities.

The Director General of NEMA, Mohammed Sidi, made the disclosure on Thursday during a two-day working visit to Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

He said that Borno State accounted for 90% of the total number of displaced persons in northeast Nigeria.

Mr Sidi explained that the number of displaced persons in Maiduguri has been on the rise with an average of 20 new births recorded in a camp accommodating 12,000 people.

He also stressed that the recent victories recorded by the Nigerian Army have changed the face of humanitarian efforts which resulted to rehabilitation and resettlement of the IDPs.

Sharing their experience on camp, one of the IDPs, Maryam Mohammed, who is a widow said, “The problem is measles, seven out of my nine kids are down with measles right now.

“The truth is sometimes they attend to us and give us drugs when we visit the camp hospital, but other times they are not available.”

Another displaced person, Hamsatu Umar, said, “I need clothes and a sleeping mat with some money. I am old and I feel very sick that is why I need them to attend to me quickly so I can go back to my tent.”

The insurgency victim added that the harsh weather has been responsible for the illnesses in the camp, stressing that she went for some relief materials the previous day but could not get anything.

In furtherance to this, NEMA has called for deployment of medical personnel to IDPs camps within Maiduguri, the host communities and satellite camps in liberated communities with emphasis on children, maternal care and vulnerable persons.

The new satellite camps are located in Dikwa, Mafa, Damboa, Baga, Bama, Gwoza, Askira Uba, Damboa, Beneishek, Gamboru, Mongunu and Konduga.

Frontline Troops Brace Up For Showdown With Boko Haram

Boko HaramMop up operations in parts of Borno State have continued to yield results with the liberation of more towns taken by insurgents.

A collaboration between men of the 7 Division and the special task force along Gamboru area of the state has led to the recapture of Bosheshe among other towns in Gamboru.

Aerial bombardment by the 79 Strike Group is also paving way for the foot soldiers in their operations.

Theatre Commander of the Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Yusha’u Abubakar, has asked the soldiers to keep up the fighting spirit.

Civilians trapped in villages cut off by the insurgents are finally free after several months of captivity.

Recaptured towns are being assessed under an inter-agency arrangement to return displaced civilians to their original homes.

Troops on the front line are in high spirits over recent victories recorded as they brace up for a showdown with the Boko Haram insurgents at the notorious Sambisa forest.

‘Waste No Time In Ending Attacks’, Borno Residents Tell Buhari

Military in Borno StateThe residents of Borno State are appealing to the government of Muhammadu Buhari to waste no time in ending the incessant attacks in the state by the Boko Haram terrorists.

The members of the terrorist group on Sunday carried out an attack on Moru-Moru market in the Gamboru area near Maiduguri, the state capital, killing at least one person.

For three consecutive days, there have been attacks at different locations in the state.

Although, no group claimed responsibility for the attacks, the Boko Haram sect is largely suspected.

Despite the strong statements of President Muhammadu Buhari about his resolve to end the activities of the group, the terrorists have sustained attacks on communities in Borno State, where they have been confined by Nigerian troops.

Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, bears the marks of fierce fighting and the scars from the senseless killings still remains. A reason the residents want the new administration to address the challenge of insecurity in the state.

They also mentioned other areas they want the new administration to give priority attention, with great expectations from the State Governor, which he is mindful of.

And being the first time that the north-east Nigerian state would be having the same political affiliation with the central government, the people are optimistic that President Muhammadu Buhari would deal decisively with the insurgents.

 

Explosion Rips Through Borno Market, Four Injured

Borno Four people have been seriously injured in a bomb blast at the Moru-Moru market in the Gamboru area near Maiduguri the Borno State capital.

The bomb attack comes barely 24 hours after a suicide bomb attack on a mosque in Maiduguri.

Our correspondent in Maiduguri, Blessing Tunoh reports that the explosion is believed to have been caused by a concealed improvised explosive device.

The explosion reportedly emanated from a bagful of coal where where an IED was planted by an unknown person.

All four victims are traders in the market where the blast occurred and they were rushed to a hospital where they are said to be receiving treatment.

Normalcy has since returned to the area and other traders in the market have been carrying on with their normal activities.

Parts of the town have also been deserted as residents have kept off the streets for fears of further attacks.

Some residents have, however, expressed hope that President Buhari’s pronouncement concerning the security of Borno State would start yielding results within few days.

This is the fourth incident in three days. The first one happened in Hawul LGA in the early hours of May 29  – Democracy Day – and another in the night of the same day.

Early on Saturday soldiers had repelled an attack by the Boko Haram sect as they attempted to invade Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

The insurgents are reported to have approached Maiduguri through Dala, a suburb of the town but could not gain entrance because of the military troops stationed there.

 

Group Calls For Verification Of Military Operations

Bring-Back-Our-girlsThe Bring Back Our Girls Campaign group in Nigeria has asked the military to designate independent journalists as part of its contingents within the Multi-national Joint Task Force, to ensure third party independently verified accounts of the war against insurgency and terrorism in the nation’s north-east.

This call formed part of the group’s second week brief on the monitoring initiative, which they said was set to help entrench accountability and improved performance in the on-going counter insurgency operations.

The campaigners, who said they fully support the on-going offensive which is expected to quell insurgency in Nigeria, also requested that the military publish the list of towns and communities still under the control of the Boko Haram insurgents, to enhance Nigerians’ appreciation of the reclamation victories made by the soldiers.

They had earlier expressed hopes that the heightened counter-terrorism offensive by the military against the terrorist group in Nigeria’s north-east, would lead to the rescue of the over 200 schoolgirls kidnapped last year in Chibok in Borno State.

They observed that the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshall Alex Badeh had, not long after the girls were kidnapped, said that the military knew where the girls were.

The House of Representatives in Nigeria, on the other hand, had also commended the military on its recent victories that led to reclaiming of some communities in the north-east region previously under the control of the Boko Haram terrorist group.

Lawmakers, who spoke on the matter, encouraged the troops to sustain the offensive and help ensure that other areas under the control of the insurgents would also be reclaimed.

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

He also noted that Apart from the 5 anti aircraft 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.

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”.

The Nigerian Military also 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.

Reps Commend Military For ‘Gallant Performance’ In Nigeria’s North-east

war against Boko HaramThe House of Representatives in Nigeria has commended the military on its recent victories that have led to reclaiming of some communities in the north-east region previously under the control of the Boko Haram terrorist group.

A member of the House, Honourable Muhammad Monguno, of the All Progressive Congress, in a motion of urgent national importance on Tuesday, praised the military for its bravery and steadfastness in what he described as “the gallant performance of the Nigerian Armed Forces”.

Lawmakers, who spoke on the matter, encouraged the troops to sustain the offensive and help ensure that other areas under the control of the insurgents would also be reclaimed.

Nigerian Army Reclaim Baga

Terrorist Vehicle
A terrorists vehicle set ablaze by troops

One of the major recent victories recorded by the Nigerian Armed Forces was the reclaiming of Baga town in Borno State in Nigeria’s north-east from the Boko Haram.

The reclaiming of the town was a fallout of the the Nigerian military counter-terrorism operation, backed by air strikes.

According to the spokesman for the military, Major General Chris Olukolade, the town was reclaimed on Saturday.

He also noted that Apart from the five anti aircraft guns and the rifles captured from the terrorists, over 34 motorcycles and five 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.

“All the landmines 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.

Major-General Chris Olukolade- military
Major-General Chris Olukolade

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”.

The Nigerian Military also 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.

Military Releases Video Of Boko Haram Enclaves’ Air Bombardment

Boko Haram terrorists fighting vehicles destroyed by troopsThe military in Nigeria has released a video of air bombardment of the enclaves of the members of the Boko Haram terrorist group in the north-east, as it continues operations to reclaim areas under the control of the terrorists.

The video released on Monday showed people running in different directions and the aerial bombardment of a community believed to be the hideout of members of the sect.

Spokesman for the military, Major General Chris Olukolade, said the Air Force had stepped up air operations, having identified targets in Gwoza, Bama and Sambisa forest, preparatory to other phases of the mission.

He said: “The air strikes had been successful as they achieved the aims, hitting vital targets with required precision forcing the terrorists to scamper for safety”.

Return Of Residents

Residents of communities in the area had fled the region, seeking refuge in neighbouring countries. Some are at displaced persons’ camps in Abuja, the nation’s capital and some other camps in some states in the north.

Some of the displaced persons in Abuja camp had expressed joy, over the military efforts to decimate the terrorists and reclaim the communities under their country, but they are afraid to return to their communities, saying the terrorists may return.

But Major General Olukolade said the troops were focusing on consolidation of the security of the area to pave way for return of residents.

On Sunday, a group campaigning for the rescue of the over 200 girls abducted on April 14 from their secondary school’s dormitory in Chibok asked the military to substantiate the report of its victory in the ongoing multinational counter insurgency, with video footage that will authenticate such reports.

The Bring Back Our Girls campaigners told a news conference in Abuja on that conflicting reports and lack of evidence had often trailed the claims by the military.

The group said: “while we fully supports the efforts by the military and government’s renewed commitment to decimate the insurgents through the Multinational Joint Task Force, there is the need to ensure that real progress is being made to bring back peace to the north-eastern part of Nigeria”.

While the group lauded government’s efforts, they raised issues such as the delay in commencing this offensive and the continued suggestion from some quarters that the kidnap of the girls and the campaign for their rescue were scams.

Military Arrests Terrorists Disguised As Women In Baga

One of the terrorist suspects disguised as a womanThe intensified efforts by the military in the mission to clear terrorists from all territories under their control in Nigeria’s north-east yielded positive results on Monday, as some terrorists disguised as women have been arrested.

The arrests were made after a cordon-and-search was  declared in Baga town in Borno State, north-east while the military also discovered arms, especially bombs, hidden in various locations, within the area.

A spokesman for the military, Major General Chris Olukolade, said that apart from the terrorists captured in the course of fighting, many others hiding in the town, were arrested and “troops are busy interrogating the suspects”.

Meanwhile, in furtherance of the mission to clear terrorists from all their enclaves by the military, the Nigerian Air Force had also stepped up its air bombardment of identified targets in Gwoza, Bama and Sambisa forest, preparatory to other phases of the mission.

“The air strikes had been highly successful as they achieved the aim, hitting vital targets with required precision.

A terrorists vehicle set ablaze by troops
A truck belonging to the terrorist group, Boko Haram, destroyed by the military

“Terrorists are now in disarray as they scamper to escape from the impact of air bombardment of their locations in the forest.

“Having successfully liberated Baga where the terrorists had been marauding, the troops’ attention has now been focused on consolidation of security of the area to pave way for return of citizens,” Major General Olukolade said in a statement.

After the Nigerian military, backed by air strikes, recaptured the town of Baga from the Boko Haram sect, Major General Olukolade said five anti aircraft guns and the rifles, over 34 motorcycles and five vehicles including trucks being used for operations by the terrorists were destroyed in the course of the fighting.

The Defence spokesman further noted that “counter-terrorism operations were being carried out in over 15 locations – Gajigana, Ngaze, Ngenzai, Marte Junction, Mile 90, Yoyo, Kekeno, Kukawa, Cross Kauwa, Kangarwa, Amirari, Kichimatari, Borokari Barati, Kauwa.

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

cache of arms recovered
Arms recovered by the military from members of the Boko Haram terrorist group terrorising communities in Nigeria’s north-east.

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), Kaduna State to the Air Force.

As the onslaught against the insurgents in the northeast gathers momentum, there are indications that the Nigerian military is directing efforts towards capturing the leader of the Boko Haram sect alive.

To this end, troops are said to have been placed on high alert to apprehend Abubakar Shekau, who is reported to be desperately trying to escape from the area.

The military is believed to have resolved to take Shekau alive to put an end to insinuations of the invincibility of the militant leader, especially against past announcements of his demise by the military, which turned out not to have been accurate.

Fleeing Boko Haram Fighters Drown In Lake Chad

Boko_Haram_Gombe_AttackA large number of Boko Haram terrorists drowned in the Lake Chad as they fled the heavy bombardment by Nigerian Air force, a military official said on Sunday.

A spokesman for the military, Major General Chris Olukolade, in a statement, confirmed the incident.

He said that the insurgents had buried land mines in over 1,500 spots on the routes leading to the town.

Olukolade said all the landmines were skillfully cleared one after the other.

“The mining of the grounds could not save the terrorists from the aggressive move of advancing troops.

“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 over 1,500 spots with landmines on the routes leading to the town could save the terrorists from the aggressive move of advancing troops,” he said.

Major General Olukolade also made known, the victory of the troops, confirming that the operation left many of the Boko Haram members dead and a substantial number of them injured.

“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 of the troops headed for Baga,” Olukolade emphasised.

The Defence spokesman further said that apart from the five anti-aircraft guns and the rifles that were recovered from the Boko Haram  terrorists, over 34 motorcycles and five vehicles including trucks being used for operations by the terrorists were destroyed in the course of the fighting, as troops headed for Baga.

According to him, the troops began clearing the terrorists on arrival in the town early Saturday morning.

Olukolade said a comprehensive cordon and search phase of military operation had started to enable troops mop-up arms and ammunition and also arrest any terrorist who might be hiding in the vicinity.

The exercise would determine details of the victims inflicted or incurred in the course of the operations to clear Baga and environs of Boko Haram terrorists.

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

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

Operations In Northeast Nigeria Yielding Results – Military

NigeriaDefence Spokesman, Major-General Chris Olukolade, says ongoing operations are beginning to yield the desired results from communities in Adamawa and Mongonu in Borno State.

Speaking on the ongoing operations in northeast Nigeria, he told Channels Television that coordinated assaults and counter operations are going on from all sides in collaboration with the Joint Task Force to ensure that normal sociopolitical and economy activities are restored in the country.

He said that this has been the focus before the polls and will continue during the polls and after, to ensure that the enemies of the state do not interfere with state activities.

Gombe Attack

The Defence Headquarters also says security forces have repelled an attack by Boko Haram militants on Gombe, the capital of Gombe State, in north eastern Nigeria.

Heavily armed members of the sect were said to have overwhelmed a security checkpoint at the outskirts of the city, before moving in to attack an Army barracks there.

The Police Spokesman in Gombe State, Fwaji Atajiri, told Channels Television that the militants threw grenade into the Army facility, which exploded and set off an inferno, but no casualty figure was reported.

Residents were said to have fled the area to escape the violence after they heard sound of heavily artillery.

However, Defence Spokesman, Major-General Chris Olukolade, said troops have successfully beat back the terrorists and pursuit has continued to ensure that they are effectively removed from the state.

Olukolade confirmed that the attacks were used to distribute materials aimed at causing voter apathy amongst Nigerians resident in the state.

Boko Haram militants have launched several attacks on Gombe city in recent times but has not been able to establish any foothold in the state.

West African Allied Forces

The West African Allied Forces led by the Nigerian military, supported by Chad, Niger and Cameroon, on Thursday stormed the Sambisa Forest in Borno State, which has been said to be the base of the Boko Haram insurgents, killing a good number of them.

The forest is widely believed to host some of the training camps and facilities of Boko Haram in the North-East.

It was learnt that the military high command decided to invade the vast forest in order to make the North-West safe for the general elections.

Nigeria’s electoral body, the National Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) had postponed the country’s general elections, originally scheduled for February 2015, by six weeks at the request of the military to enable it improve the security situation in the northeast region before elections are conducted.

The President of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, on Friday reassured the international community of his determination to recover all the territories in the hand of Boko Haram as this was important for the presidential elections to be conducted peacefully in those areas.

According to the President, the military’s request was not an indication that Boko Haram would be completely wiped out but all the states in the north-east still in the hands of the Boko Haram terror group would be cleaned up to enable people in those areas to exercise their democratic rights.

Jonathan Gives Assurance Boko Haram Will Be Defeated

Boko HaramPresident Goodluck Jonathan has reassured the international community of his determination to recover all the territories in the hand of Boko Haram.

He said that this was important so that the presidential elections could be conducted peacefully in those areas.

The President, who was speaking at a cocktail in honour of diplomats and high commissioners in Nigeria, commended the collaboration with other countries in the fight against terror, promising to win the war decisively.

He also spoke on the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to postpone the general elections by six weeks.

The President said that what has happened was an adjustment in dates within the constitution which would not in any way affect the inauguration of a new government.

According to the President, the issue is not that Boko Haram would be completely wiped out but all those states in the north-east still in the hands of the Boko Haram terror group would be cleaned up to enable people in those areas to exercise their democratic rights.

“The security people are not saying that they must wipe out Boko Haram before election could be conducted.

“There are Boko Haram related security issues and there other security issues that were noticed over the period of campaign which if we don’t prepare properly and modify the security architecture we normally use for elections the country may go into flames.

“For now about three states are in the enclave of Boko Haram where conducting elections may be difficult but this period will give them the opportunity to clean up the three states,” the President said.

He added, “Elections will be conducted as scheduled and on the 29th of May there will be an inauguration of a President for this country.”

The West African Allied Forces led by the Nigerian military, supported by Chad, Niger and Cameroon, on Thursday stormed the Sambisa Forest in Borno State, killing a good number of the Boko Haram insurgents.

Coordinator of the National Information Centre (NIC), Mr Mike Omeri, had revealed that the Nigerian military forces have been fully mobilised and deployed against the insurgents, who are being chased and roundly subdued.

Addressing a news conference in Abuja on Thursday, Omeri advised members of the public to exercise a high level of vigilance and also support the effort of the military to ensure hitch-free elections and a return to normalcy in the North East.