BBOG Identifies Latest Rescued Chibok Girl As School Prefect

released-chibok-girlThe Bring Back Our Girls campaign group has identified the latest Chibok girl, Maryam Ali Maiyanga, found by the military as a school prefect.

“She is from Askira Uba and was abducted along with her twin, Halima Ali (Number 197), who is yet to return,” a statement on Saturday by the spokesperson of the group, Sesugh Akume, read.

The group welcomed the news of the return of the abducted girl taken with some other girls from their schools’ dormitory in Chibok community in Borno State on April 14, 2014.

It said that preliminary investigations on their part, showed that Maryam was the number 198 on their list of the over 200 abducted girls.

“We applaud the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari, the military and other security formations working day and night to rout the terrorists and rescue all Nigerians in captivity.

“The news of the death of the Commanding Officer of the 272 Task Force Tank Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Muhammed Abu Ali, a highly-rated, young officer and four other members of his team, in a separate incident at Mallam Fatori, is unfortunate and saddening.

“We send our heartfelt condolences especially to their families, and the Nigerian military,” the statement further read.

The group also said it would update the public with more details in relation to the girl as necessary.

Reports from the spokesman for the army, Colonel Sani Usman, state that Maryam was found amongst a group of fellow escapees by troops of 121 Battalion, Nigerian Army, deployed at Pulka, Gwoza Local Government Area, Borno State.

Since the abduction of the girls by member of the Boko Haram terrorist group less than 50 of them had been rescued.

Last month, the release of 21 of the girls was secured by the Federal Government after negotiation with the terrorist group that had requested for prisoners swap.

The government said it secured the release of the girls based on trust and that no member of the terrorist group held was released  in exchange.

President Muhammadu Buhari had expressed his readiness to release the girls in a swap deal that the group had asked for.

Health Minister Blames Insecurity For Resurgence Of Polio

Isaac Adewole, Polio, BornoNigeria’s Minister of Health Professor Isaac Adewole on Wednesday attributed the resurgence of wild polio virus in the country to insecurity in the North East.

Nigeria’s hope for a polio free certification in 2017 by the World Health Organization, suffered a major setback as two new cases of wild polio virus were discovered in Borno State last week.

The Health Minister at a press conference in Abuja says the resurgence of polio was never as a result of government’s complacency as adequate funding was provided for immunization of children.

According to him, insecurity in the North East made it impossible for health workers to access some villages in Jere and Gwoza Local Government Areas of Borno State, where the recent cases were discovered.

He, however, outlined governments immediate response to the outbreak which include disbursement of funds meant for immunization in the 2016 budget.

An emergency team has been constituted to check the recent outbreak.

Professor Adewole said children in the affected LGAs would be given three rounds of immunisation to contain the situation.

He added that international organisations have also expressed their willingness to help check the spread of polio to other parts of the states.

Gwoza IDPs Protest Evacuation From Schools

IDPsInternally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Gwoza Council Area of Borno State are protesting their evacuation from public schools within the capital city where they have found temporary shelter for more than a year.

The State Government had shut down public schools within Maiduguri to accommodate the displaced persons sacked from 20 local government areas in the heat of Boko Haram insurgents attacks.

Evacuation of the displaced persons to alternative makeshift camps is part of government’s plans to reopen public schools.

Eight thousand school age children were forced out of their classes.

The Chairman of the State Emergency Management Agency, Ahmed Satomi, said that 700 tents had already been constructed at the Bakassi camp to house the IDPS from Monguno and Gwoza Local Government Areas.

Mr Satomi said that the Yerwa Secondary School and Women Teachers’ College among others, had already been evacuated. Some IDPs from Gwoza Local Council had been occupying the Government College Maiduguri.

A Borno Senator, Shehu Garbai, recently said that most local government areas in the state were partially occupied by the terrorists.

Mr Garbai claimed that out of the 12 local wards in Gwoza, six were still under the control of Boko Haram. This is contrary to claims by the Minister of Information, Mr Lai Mohammed, in December that Boko Haram insurgents had been sufficiently decimated and could no longer take away any territory from Nigerians.

The outlawed Boko Haram had overran Gwoza late 2014 in a bloody attack.

In March 2015, the Nigerian military announced the liberation of Gwoza.

Shettima Replies Okupe, Says Comments Are‘Unfair, Insensitive’

The Governor of Borno State, Kashim Ibrahim

The Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, says his statement to the fact that the Boko Haram insurgents have more superior weapons than security forces was made in good fate, stressing that, being on ground, he knows more of the situation than most of the critics; as “one who wears the shoes knows where it pinches.”

Through his special adviser on Media and Communication, Umar Gusau, the governor says the comment by presidential adviser on public affairs, Dr Doyin Okupe, concerning the governor’s comment is unfair and insensitive to the sorrowful plight of Borno people and its government.

The Governor being a leader, the statement stressed, must be bold enough to tell the truth so that solutions could be found for critical situations.

“Unless if Dr Okupe wanted Governor Shettima to tell lies or to conceal the truth by deceiving Nigerians, or perhaps he wanted the people of Borno to die in silence otherwise, the Governor did the right thing any responsible leader should do in the circumstance he found himself.

“It is an irony to realise that while Okupe didn’t find it worthy to hold a press briefing in sympathy with the people of Borno and to join in condemning the horrible serial attacks that left nearly 300 innocent citizens killed in February alone, he found it very urgent to try to take advantage of an honest opinion just to show his face on television in the name of doing his job”

The statement says: “Governor Shettima has the highest regard for the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and appreciates the President’s continued efforts in the last two and half years in tackling the Boko Haram insurgency”

It stressed that the governor equally held the security forces in high esteem and that that could be attested to by the enormous support the state had been giving to the Nigerian Army, the police and the state security.

“The Defence Headquarters in Abuja once described Governor Shettima’s support to the armed forces as extraordinary. The Army leadership in Borno once said Governor Shettima treats them as the 28th local government area in the State, just to express how much attention they get from the Governor”

“Of course, the Governor wouldn’t have accorded the armed forces such serious attention if he lacked confidence in their abilities, patriotism and commitment in the counter insurgency operations in Borno State

Dr Okupe, the statement adds “would have scored a good point if he took time to visit Borno State, interact with the Government, the people and the military, especially those on the field so he could have firsthand information, rather than sitting in the comfort on his office in Abuja and disregarding the sensitivity of highly traumatic people for no other reason but cheap goal”

The Governor assured the Presidency and the Nigerian Armed Forces of his highest respect and expressed optimism that with continued commitment through sustained deployment of the right military resources and men, the Boko Haram insurgency would come to an end and pledged his commitment to the fight against insurgency and the protection of lives and property in Borno State.

The Borno State Governor had said after a recent attack on Izge community of Gwoza Local Government Area of the state that the dreaded Boko Haram Islamists had more superior weapons and were better motivated than the security forces.

Gunmen Kill DPO, Deputy, 8 Others In Borno

Gunmen men suspected to be members of the Boko Haram sect have attacked the Gwoza Divisional Police Station in Borno State, killing the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) and his deputy, alongside a number of civilians caught in the crossfire which occurred at 9pm Monday.

A bank located near the police station in Gwoza was also attacked by the hoodlums using explosives and petrol bombs.

The attack on the police station occurred just a day after 20 suspected members of Boko Haram were killed in a foiled attack on a military site by officers of the Joint Task Force (JTF) in the state.

Witnesses said the gunmen used Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and petrol bombs in torching the police station and the Bank, before carting away undisclosed sums of money from the bank.

Gwoza is a local government area of Borno State and it lies at the border with Cameroun, and 135 kilometres south-east of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

Sources at the Gwoza General Hospital who did not want to be identified confirmed that the bodies of the DPO and seven others were brought in by the police in two Hilux patrol vehicles for deposition and subsequent identification.

The gunmen, according to the sources, got into the bank, after the bank manager was dragged from his house at gunpoint to open the bank’s vault, before they carting away undisclosed sums of money, after which they torched the bank with explosives at about 10.25pm.

The Borno State Police Command spokesman, Gideon Jibrin who confirmed the incident said no arrest has so far been made but investigation has commenced to trail the gunmen.

Many top police officers have been killed in recent times, raising concerns about the safety of the ordinary Nigerian. Over the weekend, the Kwara State Commissioner of Police was also murdered by unknown gunmen in his country home in Enugu State.