A statement by the Nigerian Army Operations Media Coordinator, Colonel Aminu Iliyasu, troops mobilised to carry out the mop-up operation.
“In a clear case that can be best described as a tactical boomerang, on Friday, 18 October 2019, some marauding Boko Haram criminals elements who were escaping the unbearable battle heat turned on them by NA troops met their waterloo as one of their vehicles, a Toyota Sam Sahara Model, stepped on an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) laid by them against NA troops at Lamba’a Forest along Jakana – Mainok Road in Borno State.
“The self-inflicted destruction consumed 7 Boko Haram criminals while 8 others suffered severe injuries. Consequently, troops have mobilised to the general area for route clearance and mop-up operation.”
The statement added that troops deployed at a Check Point along Baga Road in Borno State while on ‘Operation Positive Identification’, arrested one Musa Ishaku while in possession of a fake Nigeria Customs ID card which he had been using to deceive security agencies.
The General Officer Commanding (7 Division) of the Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Victor Ezugwu, has presented cash awards to NSCDC operatives who foiled a suicide attack in Maiduguri on Tuesday.
Operatives of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps had tried to stop and later fired at a female suicide bomber who forced herself into a crowd of motorists around the NNPC mega station of the city.
Her accomplice had lost the nerve to detonate her Improvised Explosive Device (IED), leading to her arrest until she was subsequently handed over to the army.
The Garrison Commander of the 7 Division, Brigadier General JD Mohammed presented the cash gifts on behalf of the GOC in a quiet ceremony at the NSCDC headquarters in Maiduguri.
He applauded the courage and gallantry of the officers and urged others to emulate their patriotism and commitment to duty.
Suicide bombing has claimed several lives in Nigeria’s northeast, in the heat of insurgency by Boko Haram terrorists.
Heightened counter-terrorism operations in the northeast have reduced the insurgents’ activities that have been on in the area in the last seven years.
Forced out of their enclaves, last bastion in Sambisa forest and territories they have occupied, the terrorists have taken to attacking soft targets, mostly with suicide bombers who are more of young females.
The challenge for most victims have been the inability to identify a suicide bomber or persons suspected to be having Improvised Explosive Device (IED) strapped to their body, waiting to be detonated.
In the midst of the counter-terrorism operations, the Nigerian Army is making attempts to sensitise the public on how to identify a suicide bomber or their accomplice.
The spokesman for the Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Sani Usman, stressed the need for residents of different communities in Nigeria’s northeast and other cities to be wary of fleeing Boko Haram members that could infiltrate their settlements and carry out attacks on soft targets.
He hinted that the process of coupling an IED would require inputs from different persons, making it possible for observant persons to know that crisis was imminent.
“Terrorists are normal human beings that mingle with the public. Whenever you are coupling an IED about 10 other persons will be in the chain of it. If the public are more vigilant they will notice something amiss,” he said.
Giving further hint on how to identify a suicide bomber, Brigadier General Usman said: “When you see somebody buying bells of nails and you know for sure he does not have the capacity to buy that quantity of nails and you know him full well to the point that he is not embarking on a building project.
“Sometimes you will see somebody in the night moving about when every other normal human being is sleeping or somebody, wearing a winter coat when actually it is so hot. His mode of dressing is so awkward that you will think that you are in a winter society. In most cases they are odd”.
He urged Nigerians to report suspected persons to security agencies within their locality to save lives, stressing that the war on terror could not be won by the military alone.
According to him, one strategy that the military had employed that is yielding result, is the establishment of Joint Task Force (JTF) with residents of communities in the northeast, whom he said aided the ousting of terrorists from territories they occupied.
“The JTF has been operating in the locality and they are familiar with the culture.
“They know the mode of dressing of people within a locality and that, a soldier posted to the area, may not know. They can identify when there is something strange about a person’s dress.
“It is very important that we involve the people that are on ground,” he said.
International community providing support to the Nigerian military had advised the forces to involve locals in the war against terror to enable them quickly differentiate terrorists from other residents.
Germany has donated some military equipment to Nigeria to support the fight against terrorists in the oil-rich nation’s northeast.
The equipment – two mobile medical units, several metal detectors and counter-Improvised Explosive Device and Explosive Ordinance Disposal – were provided through Germany’s Ministry of Defence.
They were donated under the German Technical Advisory Group Agreement signed years ago to run from 2012 to 2016.
The agreement, according to the Nigerian Minister of Defence, Colonel Mansur Mohammed Dan-Ali (rtd), has been extended to run from 2017 through to 2020.
The handing over of the equipment were performed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.
German Minister of Defence Ursla Von Der Leyen, who led the German team, was received at the airport by the management team of Nigeria’s Ministry of Defence.
After inspecting a guard of honour mounted for her, she took the Nigerian Minister around the two mobile medical units her nation was giving to Africa’s most populous nation that has been battling Boko Haram terrorist group, which has made several attempts to establish an Islamic State in the northeast.
She said that the gesture was Germany’s way of providing a sustainable support to Nigeria in the war on terror.
Colonel Dan-Ali outlined the support received from the German government and promised that they would be put to good use.
Nigeria has called for support from the international community to aid its fight against Boko Haram terrorists that have attacked communities in the nation’s northeast.
For over seven years the terrorist group have pushed for an Islamic State and an end to Western education in the northeast region.
Troops of Operation Lafiya Dole have rescued 85 persons comprising of mostly women and children held hostage by the Boko Haram insurgents.
The feat was achieved during a decisive clearance operation into the remnants of the terrorists’ strategic hub town of Chukungudu on the southern fringes of the Lake Chad region.
Troops of 7 Division Nigerian Army, led by the General Officer Commanding of the division, Brigadier General Victor Ezugwu, wiped out the terrorists’ camps in the northern parts of Borno State between Friday and Saturday.
The manoeuvring brigade, led by 3 Battalion of 22 Brigade, successfully cleared Geram, Bulankassa and Chukungudu believed to be the Boko Haram terrorists’ strongholds in the area in northeast Nigeria.
A statement by Army spokesman, Colonel Sani Usman, however, said they lost a soldier during the encounter.
“The troops neutralised five Boko Haram terrorist fighters in a fierce encounter that made several of the terrorists running into the Lake Chad waters.
“The troops recovered four rounds of Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) bombs, one double barrel gun, 349 packets containing various rounds of ammunition, three magazines, a link belt of machine gun ammunition and one AK-47 rifle magazine.
“During the clearance operations, the troops made spectacular discovery of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) making factory at Geram.
“In the factory, they found several already primed suicide bombers’ vests (while) they also discovered a well-equipped motor vehicles and motorcycles’ workshop (as well as) spare parts warehouse at Chukungudu village,” Colonel Usman said.
The Army spokesman added that they recovered three vehicles and several newly acquired motorcycles.
Colonel Usman said that the IED factory, vehicles and motorcycles were destroyed in line with the Rules of Engagement.
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, on Thursday, read the riot act to those calling for the exit of Nigeria’s south-east and parts of the south-south to form an independent nation of Biafra; an indication that the Nigerian military appears to be losing its cool with young pro-Biafra agitators.
Relying on the military Rule of Engagement for internal security operations, Abubakar warned that the armed forces is empowered by the constitution to suppress what he described as insurrection or civil disobedience.
He added that the military has the responsibility to restore order when called upon to do so by the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces.
The implication of this, according to him, is that troops have to use necessary force to quell crisis of this sort.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the military’s Rule of Engagement sets out the circumstances and limitations under which the military can enforce laws under situations of unrest, agitations and civil disobedience,” he said.
Air Marshal Abubakar added that should the military be provoked, it will definitely protect the sovereignty of the country, warning the Biafran agitators to stay advised.
The acting Director of Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Usman, while addressing newsmen in Damaturu in company of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, also reminded Nigerians of the Rule of Engagement for internal security operations.
General Buratai was in the Yobe State capital as part of efforts aimed at subduing the dreaded Boko Haram sect in Nigeria’s north-east region.
The Nigerian Army has cautioned citizens in the country, be it group, community or individual, against any attempt seeking disintegration from the one indivisible entity called Nigeria.
Addressing newsmen in Damaturu in company of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, the acting Director of Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Usman, reminded Nigerians of Army Rule Of Engagement (ROE) for internal security operations.
General Buratai was in the Yobe State capital as part of efforts aimed at subduing the dreaded Boko Haram sect in Nigeria’s north-east region.
“We Shall Apply ROE to the Fullest”
Colonel Usman said, “The Nigerian Army would like to send an unequivocal warning to all and sundry, more specifically to all those threatening and agitating for the dismemberment of the country, committing treasonable felony and arson, as well as wanton destruction of lives and properties that once deployed, we shall apply the ROE to the letter.
“It is however, hoped that such circumstances would not arise that we should be deployed on such operations, because let nobody make any mistake, within the ambit of the law, we shall apply the ROE to the fullest,” Colonel Usman said.
He also informed the public that officers and men of the Nigeria Army had equally been cautioned not to take sides in any conflict, but should work objectively in the interest of the country.
“The public is hereby informed that officers and soldiers have been warned not to take sides in any conflict and if found wanting would face the consequences of their actions. Any officer or soldier found aiding or abetting any act of arson, vandalism or unprofessional conduct, would be severely dealt with according to the extant laws,” the Army spokesman said.
The ROE, according to him sets out the circumstances and limitations under which force may be applied to achieve military objectives in furtherance of government policy and once deployed on any internal security, it is the duty of an officer or soldier to ensure the enforcement of law and order in conjunction with other security agencies for the restoration of peace.
The troops, he says “are duty bound to intervene in any situation to avoid a breakdown in peace, stability or law and order of an area where they are deployed”, pointing out that it is inexcusable for troops to stand aside and watch the security situation deteriorate leading to loss of lives or damage to property without intervening.
Colonel Usman also said “Such intervention should be strictly based on sound judgement and within the ambit of the code of conduct for Internal Security Operations while exhibiting good professional ethics”.
He listed the Rule Of Engagement to include; the application of the Principle of Minimum Force and Proportionality at all times, while every reasonable effort would be made to control the situation through measures short of using force, including personal contact and negotiations whenever operational situation permits.
Colonel Usman also maintained that the use of lethal force would only be resorted to if all other means to control the situation had failed, or in case of unexpected attack or suspected Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attack during which a delay could lead to loss of life or serious injury to personnel among others.
He warned the people to comply, reiterating that fire would only be opened as a last resort as a measure to avoid collateral damage.
One of the masterminds of the October 2, 2015 twin bomb blasts in Kuje and Nyanya, two satellite towns in Abuja has pleaded guilty to one out of the five-count charges preferred against him by the Police.
The suspect, Abdulwaheed Nasiru pleaded guilty of illegal possession of items used for manufacturing improvised explosive devices.
The other suspects who pleaded not guilty to all the charges are Abdulazeez Muhazab, Ishaka Salihu, Mohammed Jimoh and Abdullahi Nasiru.
Having pleaded not guilty to the charges, the prosecutor asked for a date to commence trial and November 17, 2015 was fixed for the commencement of the trial.
Lawyer to the accused persons, Nureni Sulyman, who did not oppose the application for an early date to commence trial, however, pleaded with the court to remand the accused persons in prison custody.
He told the court that he had not gotten enough time to discuss with the accused persons.
The five suspects, who were arrested at various locations in Abuja on October 6, are alleged to have participated in acts of terrorism, contrary to sections two and 17 of the Terrorism Prevention (Amendment) Act, 2013.
The Nigerian Police has announced the arrest of two persons suspected to have participated in the multiple bomb blasts that rocked two satellite towns of Kuje and Nyanya in Abuja.
The Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, made the pronouncement at a meeting with senior police officers in Nigeria’s capital.
Mr Arase noted that the arrest of the suspects foiled another attempt by the suspected terrorists to undertake another attack in the Federal Capital Territory.
He revealed that items recovered from the terror suspects were 12 already prepared and primed Home Made Explosives concealed in 12 soft drink cans, 28 pieces of electronic detonators and large quantity of Improvised Explosive Device-making materials.
The Police boss also hinted that the five out of the eight-man gang responsible for the kidnap of Mr Olu Falae that were earlier arrested would be arraigned in Akure, the Ondo State capital.
The Abuja Zonal Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency, Ishayah Chonoko, had confirmed that 59 people were affected in the October 2 multiple blasts.
He said that 20 persons lost their lives while 41 persons were injured.
Governor Gaidam’s solemnity was revealed in a statement issued by his spokesman, Abdullahi Bego.
“It has been another sad day in our State in which innocent people were again the target of blood-thirsty terrorists,” he said.
The Governor also commiserated with families of the victims of the horrific bomb attack, which left at least 15 dead and scores injured.
According the statement, his “thoughts and prayers are with the families of victims and those who sustained injuries”.
Governor Gaidam further called on “security agencies in the State to step up surveillance and the people to remain very vigilant about happenings in their areas and report any suspicious persons or movements to the nearest security point or jurisdiction”.
He directed hospital authorities at the Sani Abatcha Specialist Hospital, Damaturu, where the injured have been taken for medical attention, to provide immediate and free medical services to victims.
The Governor then urged the people to pray that peace and security would be restored in Yobe State and the country at large.