At least four people have been killed and several houses torched in an attack on Mile One and Paskori villages in Tafan District, in Jemaa Local Government Area of southern Kaduna State.
Although the state Police command said it was not aware of the fresh attack, an indigene of the community, however, told Channels Television that the gunmen invaded the village on Friday night.
The source said they were shooting sporadically and burning down houses.
He explained that the gunmen later blocked the Jos-Abuja highway, preventing travellers from making use of the road.
Reports say the latest attack has forced residents of the neighbouring villages of Gidan Waya, Ungwuan Ninzo and Ungwuan Kagoro to flee from their homes for fear of possible attacks.
The number of displaced persons in the area is increasing at a time the nation is battling to cater for over two million persons that have been displaced by insurgency in the northeast perpetrated by members of the Boko Haram terrorist group.
It is the latest in series of attacks on communities in the area in the last few months.
The Nigerian Army has released a list of the third batch of 55 persons, declared wanted for their supposed connection with Boko Haram.
The Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, unveiled the list at the Military Command and Control Centre of Operation Lafiya Dole in the Seven Division Headquarters, Maiduguri in Borno State.
“With this launching of additional list of most wanted insurgents, it is hoped that the public will collaborate to identify the 55 wanted Boko Haram suspects. Wherever they are, I urge all of you to participate in tracking them down for the good and development of this country,” Olonisakin noted.
The Defence Chief, however, told Nigerians that the military had provided a soft landing platform for repentant Boko Haram fighters through its “Operation Safe Corridors”.
Also at the unveiling was the Chief Of Army Staff Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai.
He told the gathering that since the release of the first list in 2015 many of the suspects had been arrested.
“It is very clear that Boko Haram has been defeated but to think otherwise is to encourage the terrorists to evolve, to get them to feel they are around with their wrong ideology,” Buratai stated.
He urged the people to provide useful information to the Military concerning the whereabouts of the wanted persons, promising that the information would be treated with utmost secrecy.
In all, 253 men have been declared wanted while the number of those arrested remains unspecified.
The list is coming at a time that suicide bombing is beginning to recur again in the northeast.
The wife of Nigeria’s President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, has stressed the need for leaders to keep to their campaign promises, as she flagged off the distribution of relief items for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Benisheikh, a liberated town in Borno State.
Mrs Buhari told reporters that the distribution of the relief materials to the IDPs was a fulfilment of a promise she made.
Some of the items distributed were nutritional food supplements and some food items collected by the “Get Involved”’ programme, a component of her pet project tagged “Future Assured”’.
Benisheikh is one of the liberated towns in Kaga Local Government Area of Borno State where IDPs have already returned to pick up their lives from where they left off.
Mrs Buhari’s programme is a campaign for well-meaning Nigerians to support victims of over six years Boko Haram insurgency and the vulnerable in the northeast.
Aisha Buhari was recently criticised for her comments on the composition of her husband’s appointments, insisted that leaders must keep to their promises.
“We thank almighty Allah for the opportunity to start fulfilling the promises we have made that’s the essence of having a leader. When you promise you make sure that you fulfil your promise and that is what we are all after and that is what I am after in particular.
She pointed out that she was after the success of my husband’s administration, stressing that “he can’t do it alone except with the help of the governors, their wives and all members of our progressive party.
“I am here today to flag-off the distribution of food items donated by well-meaning Nigerians from south, west, east and north. I thank our donors on behalf of Borno people and the entire northeast people of Nigeria,” Mrs Buhari told beneficiaries of the relief materials.
Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima says contributions are welcome from all quarters to fasten the resettlement process among IDPs.
He says the gathering was made possible by the remarkable progress in the counter-insurgency war.
At least 350 families represented by the women benefited from Mrs Buhari’s intervention in Benisheikh.
A former Head of State in Nigeria, Mr Abdulsalami Abubakar, has highlighted the role of dialogue in crisis situation, saying it could be used to resolve Niger Delta militants’ crisis.
The former leader’s statement is coming a day after 21 of the over 200 girls abducted from Chibok community in Borno State in northeast Nigeria were released amidst dialogue between the government and the Boko Haram terrorist group.
He commended the government’s effort to secure the release of the girls that have been in the custody of the terrorists since April 14, 2014.
General Abubakar was speaking on Friday in Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State in south-west Nigeria after a courtesy call by him and his wife, Justice Fati Abubakar, on the Alake and paramount ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo.
“The release of the girls is a testimony to the need for dialogue in crisis situation, even in the Niger Delta where militants have continued to attack critical infrastructure in the region,” the former leader stressed.
He further acknowledged God’s intervention in the release of the girls.
“We give glory to God for saving those children and we congratulate everyone who is involved in bringing these girls back.
“We pray that the rest will come back.
“I congratulate the parents who have been organised for the one year plus or so.
“We pray that never will such occurrence happen in our lives,” Mr Abubakar said.
‘A Show Of Faith’
After the release of the girls was announced, many feared it must have been secured through a prisoner swap.
The Boko Haram terrorists had in a video of the girls released few months ago, requested for a swap with some of the group members held at different detention centres in Nigeria.
A government official, however, said that the girls were not released in swap deal.
The spokesman for President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr Femi Adesina, described the release of 21 the Chibok girls as ‘a show of faith’ on the part of the insurgents.
He told Channels Television on Friday that the development was a confidence building step that would lead to bigger things.
“I have heard and read so much about what we gave and what we didn’t give.
“This is just a confidence building step that will lead to bigger things.
“In the past, there have been many of such meetings that would have led to releases but along the line, discussions broke down.
“Maybe they (the terrorists) trust the (new) process and they believe that they do this as a show of their trust and faith and believe.
“For now, what we have been told is that there was no swap and the girls were released just as a show of faith, a confidence building measure and I think it is good enough for us to believe,” he said.
Announcing the release of the girls on Thursday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, stated categorically that the release was not a swap, but was achieved through the collaborative efforts of the security agencies, a friendly European country and a renowned International Humanitarian Organisation.
The military in Nigeria says it has commenced a total crackdown of the operations of the Boko Haram sect in the Sambisa forest, with complete levelling of all the group’s camps, as they search for the missing Chibok girls.
Giving updates on the rescue operations two days after the video was released, the Director of Defence Information, Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar, said that the three persons declared wanted by the military over the fresh video of the abducted girls were only invited for questioning.
“We only inviting them to shed light on pending issues that will support current military efforts and not to arrest them, he said, stressing that was strictly for national interest.
on the ongoing counter-terrorism operations in the northeast, the military spokesman insisted that “the Armed Forces can do it without any help.
“We are getting to where we are going. We have decimated them [Boko Haram] without any help. It is the Nigerian Armed Forces that is doing it and we will continue doing that.
“The feat that we have attained will be accelerated as the day passes by.
“We are in Sambisa now and all those Boko Haram camps have been completely destroyed,” he told reporters.
The defence spokesman also told reporters that a rehabilitation camp in Gombe state currently houses over 800 insurgents who voluntarily surrendered to the military from 2015 and will be deradicalised and rehabilitated.
“we are employing services of Imams, pastors and other government agencies to help in reforming them,” he added.
Over 200 of the girls were abducted from their school’s dormitory in Chibok, Borno State, on April 14, 2014 by members of the Boko Haram sect.
The Minister of Interior, Abba Moro, says Nigeria will be making a robust presentation at the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on the issue of terrorism and control of small arms and light weapons.
Mr Moro spoke in Abuja on Tuesday while addressing reporters in after attending the final inter-ministerial meeting in preparation for the general assembly.
He said that the issue of terrorism had become global phenomenon that required global commitment to tackling it.
“Terrorism, which specifically deals with the internal security of Nigeria today, is a global affair and a more global attitude has been developed and Nigeria is part of that global development.
“Right now, like I said, the Federal Government set up a presidential committee on the control of small arms and light weapons and the report of that certainly is incorporated here.
“The whole fight against terrorism, which occupies a very significant side event in the UNGA will be attended by Nigeria and Nigeria with first hand experience of what is happening now will make a robust presentation on the need for global community to intervene urgently, not just in Nigeria but wherever terrorism and insurgency is rearing its head,” Mr Moro said.
He also told reporters that the government was not shying away from naming the sponsors and importers on the weapons into the country.
Member of the Boko Haram terrorist group have carried out two cross-border attacks into Cameroon since Friday, killing at least four soldiers and prompting the Cameroonian army to send reinforcements to the area, army sources said on Saturday.
Cameroon beefed up border security after the Nigerian government stressed the need for Cameroon to do more to counter Islamist insurgents, deploying over 1,000 soldiers along its remote jungle border.
The Nigerian government believes Boko Haram wants to use Cameroon as a rear base as it strives to carve out an Islamic state.
The group has killed thousands in its five-year insurgency.
Cameroonian regional military commander, Colonel Felix Nji Formekong, told Reuters that four soldiers had been killed in clashes with Boko Haram fighters at the village of Bargaram, without giving further detail.
A soldier based in the area, who requested anonymity as he is not authorized to speak to the media, said another 13 of his comrades were missing after the attack, which took place late at night.
He said that Boko Haram had attacked again in the night from Friday to Saturday but that the Cameroonian army had succeeded in pushing them back.
“We are currently in a real battle front and more of our soldiers have been sent in from Maroua to assist us,” he added, referring to the regional headquarters.
The attack at Bargaram came barely two weeks after Boko Haram attacked the same locality, kidnapping a 20-year old civilian.
Meanwhile, some 22 suspected Boko Haram militants who were held in Maroua since March, were on Friday sentenced to prison sentences ranging from 10 to 20 years.
According to the regional state radio station CRTV in Maroua, they were found guilty of illegal possession of firearms and plotting a regional insurrection.
The Nigeria Police have signed a memorandum of understanding with the United States Department of State on counter terrorism training.
At the meeting between representatives of the police and those of the American government on Wednesday, the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr James Entwistle, said that “the agreement represents the mutual commitment of the two countries to engaging in institutional reforms of the Nigeria Police Force through the provision of modernised enhancement to the police training curriculum”.
Mr Entwistle said that the agreement would result in well-trained law enforcement officials, emphasising that a stronger police is key to the security needs of not just Nigeria but Africa as a whole.
Part of the agreement the two parties entered into is to train officers and men of the Nigeria Police to enable them meet contemporary security challenges.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, also received the report of the counter-terrorism strategy developed by the Police and the Department for International Development (DFID). The DFID promised to continue to work with the police in its fight against terrorism.
The IGP assured Nigerians that the police would continue to work towards ending insurgency in conjunction with other security agencies and the reduction of crime in Nigeria.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has stressed the need for Nigerians to collectively fight terrorism in order to end the daunting insurgency in the northeast.
At an action review meeting on bomb explosions in the Federal Capital Territory held on Monday, the Director General of the NEMA, Mr Muhammad Sani-Sidi, said Nigeria’s quest for development and nationhood could only be achieved in an atmosphere of peace and respect for human dignity.
He emphasised that drawing lessons from the experiences of other countries would better prepare Nigerians to confront the menace of terrorism which had become a global phenomenon.
In April, the members of a terrorist group, Boko Haram, detonated a bomb at a Motor Park in Nyanya, a town on the outskirt of Abuja.
Few weeks later, another bomb attack occurred close to the park. Both explosions left at least 70 persons dead with several injured.
On June 25, at least 21 persons were kill and 17 others injured when a bomb exploded at the Emab Plaza premises in Abuja.
The bomb, concealed in an Abuja Taxi, went off at the popular shopping centre after it was dropped by an Okada rider.
There have been several messages by security agencies calling for information from Nigeria to aid the fight against the insurgents and NEMA’s call for collective fight against insurgency is the latest, as the agencies continue to fight the terrorist group.
Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Jonathan, has directed the armed forces to comb the Rugu forest and rid it of insurgents launching attacks in some parts of the north.
At a dinner reception, organised for him by the Katsina State government on Thursday, as part of a two-day visit to the state, President Jonathan pointed out that the forest meant for economic purposes had turned to a hide-out and haven for insurgents who are launching attacks on the states.
The president’s trip to Katsina coincided with recent attacks by Fulani gunmen in Maigora village in the Faskari Sabuwa Local Government Area of Katsina State.
The attacks led to the death of dozens of people.
The Rugu forest borders the four states of Katsina, Zamfara, Niger and Kaduna, and the neighbouring Niger republic.
The president also directed the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to immediately swing into action in the delivery of relief materials to the affected communities.
Some of the projects the president inspected while in Katsina include the Songhai Farms, the New PDP Secretariat and the Nigerian Youth Service Corps’quarters in the state.
He also visited the family of his predecessor, late Umaru Musa Yaradua, to see the mother and the members of the family.