Army Nabs Another Wanted Boko Haram Suspect Of Cameroonian Descent

wanted Boko Haram terroristsThe Nigerian Army says it has arrested another wanted Boko Haram suspect of Cameroonian descent.

According to a spokesman for the army, Colonel Sani Usman, the suspect, Ishaku Wardifen, was nabbed by vigilant troops of 23 Brigade Special Battalion at a check point in Maiha, Adamawa State.

He said that preliminary interrogation revealed that “the suspected terrorist is a Cameroonian citizen”.

He also explained that a visual matching with photographs on the poster of the 100 wanted Boko Haram terrorists released by the Nigerian Army last month, showed that he clearly resembles the suspect on serial number 22 on the list.

The suspect has been handed over to military intelligence for further investigation and possible prosecution.

War On Terror: Buhari Seeks More Regional Coalition With Cameroon

Muhammadu-Buhari-of-Nigeria-and-Paul-Biya-of-CameroonPresident Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria will continue his ongoing effort to build a more effective regional coalition against the Boko Haram terrorist group with a visit to Yaounde on Wednesday for talks with President Paul Biya and senior Cameroonian Government officials.

The talks between President Buhari and his Cameroonian counterpart are expected to focus on the full activation and deployment of the Multinational Joint Task Force against the Boko Haram, which has been established under the auspices of the Lake Chad Basin Commission.

Joint Measures To Curb Terrorism

In a statement, a spokesman for the President Buhari, Mr Femi Adesina, said that the President would be accompanied on the two-day trip by six state governors and the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Defence and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency.

He will also discuss further joint measures to curb terrorism, violent extremism and other cross-border crimes with President Biya and Cameroonian government officials.

The State Governors on the President’s entourage are Mr Mohammed Bindow of Adamawa State, Mr Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom State, Mr Samuel Ortom of Benue State, Mr Kashim Shettima of Borno State, Mr Ben Ayade of Cross River State and Mr Darius Ishaku of Taraba State.

President Buhari will also meet with Nigerians living in Cameroon during the visit.

The President will return to Nigeria on Thursday and will undertake a one-day trip to Benin Republic on Saturday for talks with President Boni Yayi to round-off the diplomatic shuttles to neighbouring countries, which he embarked upon on assumption of office.

The visits are efforts of the Nigerian government to strengthen regional cooperation against terrorism and make it much harder for Boko Haram terrorists to operate across national boundaries.

In his inaugural speech on May 29, 2015, President Buhari made a strong statement against the activities of the Boko Haram sect in the north, promising to end the terror attacks.

But over a thousand persons have been killed in different suicide bomb attacks in the north-east, north-central and north-west regions since President Buhari took over office.

Nigerian troops have raised operations against the terrorist group, chasing them out of some areas they were gaining more grounds.

Military Locates 260 Women, Children In Adamawa

Rescued From Boko HaramNigerian troops have located 260 women and children in the outskirts of Chalawa village in Adamawa State where they had been held up while trying to escape from terrorists.

Some of them told the military that they had to abandon their homes to escape from the terrorists when Madagali came under attack, while others were abducted, but left in the area by fleeing terrorists.

In a statement on Sunday, the military said: “They have now been conveyed back to their various communities in Madagali after undergoing the normal security profiling.

Military spokesman, Major General Chris Olukolade, confirmed the development. He said they were located on Saturday.

According to him, a number of terrorists died in an encounter with troops who caught up with them as they fled prior to the recovery of the women and children.

“Some of the terrorists still managed to escape with varying degrees of gunshot wounds. Others who were captured are now being interrogated by intelligence officers.

“A machine gun, some rounds of ammunition, as well as some motorcycles and bicycles were also captured from the terrorists. A member of the vigilante group serving as ģuide to the troops was however wounded,” the military said in a statement.

The Boko Haram terrorists were sacked from Madagali recently.

Meanwhile the operation in Sambisa forest is continuing as troops are searching every aspect of the expansive terrain.

The Military had earlier released a video of the counter-terrorism aerial operations in Sambisa Forest, with terrorists seen fleeing the forest.

Boko Haram Food And Fuel Supplier Arrested In Borno

Vehicle recovered from Boko Haram Fuel supplier Nigerian troops on Sunday nabbed a man who supplies fuel and food to terrorists in Daban Shata in the suburbs of Baga in Borno State.

Spokesman for the military, Major General Chris Olukolade, confirmed the arrest on his Twitter handle.

He said a military intelligence had been trailing him till he was eventually trapped in the early hours of Sunday.

“He is presently undergoing interrogation,” the military spokesman said, without giving further details about his identity.

It is the latest development in the counter-terrorism operations in the north-east.

Escape From Terrorists

In another development, troops on patrol on Saturday located 260 women and children in the outskirts of Chalawa village in Adamawa State where they had been held up while trying to escape from terrorists.

“They have now been conveyed back to their various communities in Madagali after undergoing the normal security profiling,” Major General Olukolade said.

Some of them disclosed that they had to abandon their homes to escape from the terrorists when Madagali came under attack, while others were actually abducted.

The Boko Haram terrorists were sacked from Madagali recently.

A number of terrorists died in an encounter with troops who caught up with them as they fled prior to the recovery of the women and children.

“Some of the terrorists still managed to escape with varying degrees of gunshot wounds. Others who were captured are now being interrogated by intelligence officers.

“A machine gun, some rounds of ammunition, as well as some motorcycles and bicycles were also captured from the terrorists. A member of the vigilante group serving as guide to the troops was however wounded,” the military said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the operation in Sambisa forest is continuing, as troops are searching every aspect of the expansive terrain.

The Military had earlier released a video of the counter-terrorism aerial operations in Sambisa Forest, with terrorists seen fleeing the forest.

Military Releases Videos Of Assault On Boko Haram In Sambisa Forest

Soldier battling Boko Haram in Sambisa ForestNigeria’s military has released videos of its ongoing counter-terrorism operations to dislodge Boko Haram terrorists inside the notorious Sambisa Forest.

The video showed the dexterity of Nigerian Air Force pilots, as they taunt the terrorists, with hundreds of them running helter-skelter and fleeing into different directions.

In another footage, vulnerable women and children were seen cautiously and deliberately guided to safety by the Nigerian pilots.

An officer involved in the operation, who requested not to be named, said the essence of the operation was not to kill everybody in sight

“The Air Force pilots deployed their skills in herding both terrorists and their captives in different directions so that those conscripted and abducted were guided to safety zone while the armed terrorists met their waterloo,” the officer said.

Since the Nigerian troops invaded the notorious forest, they have rescued over 500 females. In the first daring and precise operation, the troops rescued 293 women and girls while many terrorists camps, including Tokumbere, were destroyed.

In another operation on Thursday that involved Special Forces, another set of 234 women and children were rescued through the Kawuri and Konduga end of Sambisa Forest.

The sustained operations deep into the Sambisa Forest is being spearheaded by the Air Force through “tactical aerial bombardments and guided reconnaissance,” with the main objective of decimating and clearing the terrorists from the forest which is their last bastion.

The spokesman for the military Dr. Chris Olukolade, said that the troops would continue the Sambisa Forest operations ‘until all terrorists’ enclaves are cleared’.

Since the operation commenced, several field commanders and foot soldiers of the terrorist group have lost their lives with some armoured personnel carriers, vehicles mounted with Anti-Aircraft guns, and several trucks also destroyed by the military.

NEMA Receives Women And Children Rescued From Sambisa Forest

Rescued women and cildren from Boko Haram
A truck of the Nigerian Army carrying rescued persons.

Women and children rescued from the Boko Haram sect have been handed over to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) by the Nigerian Army in Yola, the Adamawa State capital.

The agency, which now takes full responsibility of the first batch released within days after the army found hundreds of other hostages, have given assurance that the  rescued persons would be taken care of under tight security.

Many of the children looked severely malnourished while some of the women held in captivity for almost 12 months were unable to walk nor talk audibly on arrival.

Fourteen trucks from the Nigerian Army fully loaded with 275 women and children, with hunger, uncertainty and deep sorrow clearly written on their faces, arrived in Yola at about 6.30pm local time. They disembark to meet caretakers of NEMA.

Most of the rescued persons handed over to the agency by the Commander, 23 Armoured Brigade, Aba Popoola, were children.

The NEMA officials immediately began documentation, as cries of malnourished children rend the air.

Sixty-nine women and 206 children were each given a cup of tea and bread to quell hunger and thirst, as they were moved to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp.

A week old baby delivered in Sambisa Forest was among 21 other injured people instantly taken to the Federal Medical Centre, Yola for treatment.

After the rescued persons were handed over to the agency, it took several hours into the night to fully sort them out.

This is the first batch of rescued women and children that the military has handed over to NEMA.

NEMA IDP Co-ordinator, Sahad Bello, said the agency would ensure they would be given the right treatment they deserved as Nigeria.

The clearly traumatised victims would in the days ahead undergo intense trauma counselling and social training to help them bounce back to their normal life before the Sambisa abduction.

‘Rescued 293 Girls, Women Are Indigenes Of Bumsiri Village’

Military rescues 200 girls and 93 womenThe Borno State government says all 293 rescued women and girls from Sambisa Forest are indigenes of Bumsiri Village of Damboa Local Government in the state, dousing hopes that some could be the Chibok girls abducted on April 14, 2014.

The state’s commissioner of Information, Mohammed Bulama, has confirmed the latest discovery on Tuesday while briefing reporters on the development.

Some 200 girls and 93 women held hostage in Sambisa Forest, a major stronghold of the Boko Haram terrorists group, were rescued by troops in a mission to clear the Forest of all terrorists.

Mr Bulama said that that the rescued persons would be reunited with their parents soon.

Channels Television’s correspondent in Borno State, Blessing Tunoh, said the people of the state received the news with mixed feelings. They are asking the military to give them more evidence in form of images.

“For now there are no pictures and some of the people I spoke to were having doubts, saying that they expected that the military should have posted some pictures for the parents and others to begin to identify some of the women.

“Right now, there is nothing to hold on to to identify who these women are,” she said.

Also, a front runner of the Bring Back Our Girls campaign, Professor Hauwa Biu, doubts the sincerity of the military authorities and faults their failure to reveal the identity of those rescued.

However, the people are happy that some persons held captive have found freedom, whether or not they are the Chibok girls.

The State government commended the Nigerian Army for rescuing the girls and women from Sambisa forest.

According to the Defence Headquarters, the women were found at Tokumbere camp, inside Sambisa Forest.

Those rescued are still being profiled, the military headquarters said.

 

135 Terrorists Surrender To Nigerian Military

Boko-Haram-suspectsA total of 135 members of a terrorist group, Boko haram, have surrendered to troops around Biu Local Government Area in Borno State.

The spokesman for the military, Major General Chris Olukolade, told reporters on Wednesday that the terrorist also surrendered equipment to the military.

According to him, a group of 88 submitted themselves at Mairiga/Bun-Yadi while another group of 45 terrorists were taken in around Mubi-Michika on Tuesday evening.

They are all being interrogated and processed in conformity with the dictates of standard best practices

He also said that, the Nigerian military, in a counter-terrorism operation, killed one Mohammed Bashir, who has been acting or posing on videos as the deceased Abubakar Shekau, the eccentric character known as the leader of the Boko Haram sect, was killed in a counter-terrorism operation in the north-east.

Major General Olukolade, with the aid of video images, explained that Mr Bashir was killed after members of the terrorist group made not less than four attempts between September 12 and 17 to violate the security strategy and enter Konduga to attack citizens in the area.

“Air and land forces were subsequently deployed to handle the situation.

“The convoy of combat vehicles typical of terrorists’ mission that involves their top commanders, were fiercely engaged by the land and air forces. Several of the terrorists including some of their commanders lost their lives in the encounters which lasted an average of about four hours each, leading to the death of the man claiming to be Mr Shekau,” he said read.

In a statement, the Defence Headquarters warned that “since the name Shekau had become a brand name for the terrorists’ leader, it would remain resolute to serve justice to anyone who assumes that designation or title as well as all terrorists that seek to violate the freedom and territory of Nigeria”.

The Defence Headquarters also applauded the gallantry of the Nigerian troops who had remained undaunted and professional in prosecuting the campaign against terror.

It also mentioned that the keen interest exhibited by Nigeria’s neighbours and allies had been commendable, reassuring all allies in the war against terrorism of the Nigerian military’s resolve to maintain momentum in the efforts to decimate and defeat terrorists.

The military further stressed the need for all Nigerians to be alert, vigilant and cooperate with security forces in the war on terror campaign.

Jonathan Returns From South Africa After Zuma’s Inauguration

jonathan-and-zumaPresident Goodluck Jonathan has returned from South Africa after attending the inauguration of President Jacob Zuma for another term as president.

The President said attending President Zuma’s inauguration was meant to discuss ways of tackling militancy across the continent with African heads of state there.

Those expectant of an open discussion were however disappointed as the African leaders kept a sealed lip throughout the event.

President Jonathan was among more than 20 heads of state gathered for the event.

The South African government had said on Saturday that African leaders in Pretoria for President Jacob Zuma’s inauguration would hold informal talks on the security situation in Nigeria.

Government spokesman, Clayson Monyela, said they would meet to discuss security in Nigeria, where the kidnapping of over 270 schoolgirls had laid bare the government’s inability to tackle an insurgency by the Islamist group Boko Haram.

The talks follow a spate of attacks in Nigeria, which is under growing international pressure to tackle the increasingly bloody uprising.

Some West African leaders had held a meeting in France sponsored by French President Francois Hollande last week to seek collaboration in the fight against terrorism seen as a threat to countries  in West Africa.

President Jonathan was also at the meeting where the leaders concluded that an attack on one is an attack on others. They pledged to work together to end the increasing attacks in Nigeria, Cameroon and Nigeria Republic.

Jonathan Requests For State Of Emergency Extension

jonathan_goodluckPresident Goodluck Jonathan has sent a request to the National Assembly seeking an extension of the state of emergency in Nigeria’s north eastern states of Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe by six months.

The request was read at Tuesday’s plenary on the floor of the Senate.

The emergency rule was first introduced in the three states in May 2013, before it was extended by another six months in November.

If the request is approved by the lawmakers, the state of emergency will continue till November.

The possible extension was part of the issues that was raised at the Presidential Media Chat held on May 4 and President Jonathan said that the government was considering the chances of extended the rule but that there was no decision on it yet.

He said the emergency rule was necessary for soldiers to effectively tackle the insurgency in the region, as it empowers the military to search houses suspected as harbour for terrorists without search warrant.

The terrorists have carried out series of attacks on villages, Churches and schools in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe.

Critics of the emergency rule have stated that it had not reduced or stopped the killings by the Boko Haram insurgent group in the state.

Thousands have been killed in various attacks by the sect, with an attack on Chibok, a village in Borno State, resulting in the abduction of over 200 girls. Nigeria has sought the support of the international community in the rescue effort to bring back the girls.

Britain, France, the US and Israel say they are willing to help the Nigerian government rescue the girls that were taken on April 14.

The abduction had triggered protest in different parts of the country and outside Nigeria, making a twitter hash tag ‘#BringBackOurGirls’ popular.

Insurgency: Nigeria Calls For International Partnership

Aminu-WaliNigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Aminu Wali, has described the challenge of northern insurgency as a global phenomenon which requires international partnership.

In an interview with Channels Television’s correspondent, Gbenga Ashiru, at the United Nations headquarter in New York, Ambassador Wali, said that the Federal Government was doing its best to fight insurgency.

Several villages have been attacked in Nigeria’s north east, with some schools and churches burnt down by the members of the Boko Haram sect.

The Nigerian government had ordered military operations to counter the insurgency but there seems to be limits to what the military can do, as they have to ensure there are no civilian casualties in the cause of their operations.

On Monday, a former President of Ghana, Jerry Rawlings, warned Nigeria over the use of military in an attempt to end the insurgency being perpetrated by the Boko Haram sect in an attempt to.

The former Ghanaian leader told the BBC in an interview that the military alone could not combat the insurgency.

Mr Rawlings also expressed regrets at the security situation in Nigeria and advised that Nigeria must not succumb to the temptation of seeking the assistance of foreign powers in solving its problems.

But the Mr Wali told the UN Assembly in New York on Monday that the Nigerian government was certainly not leaving anything to chance in its fight against terror.

“We have requested for assistance from those countries that have had experience in this matter to assist us in the efforts  we are making to contain the situation. I believe that in the very near future we will see a change in our security situation,” the Minister said.

He also stressed that steps were being taken in collaboration with neighbouring countries to stop the killings in the north east region.

 

Zamfara/Keana Killings: Islamic Group Alleges Persecution Of Innocent Muslims

Troops interrogatingThe Jamatu Nasril Islam, JNI, an organisation that represents Islamic groups in Nigeria, have alleged that there is a grand agenda to destabilize the Muslim Ummah in Nigeria.

In a statement by its Secretary-General, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, the organisation said that the dimension of extra judicial killing of Muslims by the Military on a mere whim of unsubstantiated suspicion leaves much to be desired, which “clearly depicts that Muslims have become endangered species, murdered and maimed indiscriminately in the guise of fighting terrorism.”

The statement read: “The sad incident of Keana 15 is another scenario where innocent Muslims were mercilessly massacred. These are people who have been exonerated by the State Governor as being peace loving people and law abiding. It is questionable that an operation of this magnitude would be carried-out without the knowledge of the Chief Security Officer of the State, nor other relevant security bodies.”

The group argued that the Benue State Governor and his deputy had recently exonerated the Fulani of Benue for the long outstanding relationship and social cohesion between them. It wondered how this could have suddenly changed and the next neighbour is accused because of his simplicity and unsophistication.

It also noted as painful and unacceptable, the various reports of human rights abuses and massacre of hundreds of Muslims in Maiduguri by the Military, as reported by human rights groups.

“We have found the usage of the term Fulani herdsmen, hiding their religious identity an attempt to wipe out Muslims in the guise of fighting terrorism, as it suits the situation and using Muslim terrorist as it suits the other situation as absurd. Why is it when a Christian commits a crime it is not called a Christian crime or terrorism? The fact remains, crime is crime; it is colourless, tribe less and religious less.”

“It is sad to note that a Muslim milk maid, a mother of five, was raped and killed by a military man around Dei-Dei area of the Federal Capital Territory. We are not aware of any step taken by the military authority on the matter. As usual they will buy time and the case will die naturally.

“We can say without any fear of contradiction that there is a grand agenda to destabilize the Muslim Ummah in Nigeria. If any Nigerian is in doubt regarding the hidden grand agenda to destabilize Muslims in Nigeria, and cautiously reduce their rising human capital, then the Zamfara State incidence should have removed this doubt.

“An event where vigilante personnel working to restore peace would be the subject of a grand massacre, tells much about the chaos and insecurity some enemies want to push our states into. We call on all our Governors, politicians and indeed every well-meaning citizen to do something before it gets out of hand.

The group warned the military that it was extremely dangerous to polarize security agencies along religious line as this would have far reaching negative effect in the country, especially at a time where the efforts of all are required to cushion the effect of the pains the people are passing through.

The group demanded the bringing to justice of the perpetrators of all crimes against innocent citizens who have the right to practice the religion they choose.

No Faith Or Ethnic Group Is Target Of Counter-Terrorism Campaign

Meanwhile, the military has referred to the statement issued by the Secretary-General of Jama’atul Nasril Islam (JNI), Dr Khalid Abubakar Aliyu as spurious and inflammatory.

The Director, Defence Information, Major-General Chris Olukolade, said in a statement that it was imperative to set the records straight, much as the military was reluctant to join issues with a respectable religious organisation like JNI.

The statement read: “The Nigerian military remains non-partisan, non-sectarian and will continue to be the symbol of patriotism and a unifying factor in the face of threats to national sovereignty.  If this wild allegation was meant to cause disaffection or brew disharmony within the military, then it has woefully failed as the Nigerian military does not operate along religious or ethnic lines.

“Contrary to the false claims, no law abiding individual, faith, ethnic group or organisation is being targeted as alleged by JNI. It is unfortunate that the unjust imputation is coming from a respectable and responsible organisation like JNI.  We urge the body not to join in the fray of propagandists bent on discrediting genuine efforts at finding solutions to the nation’s security challenges”, the statement read.

The military promised that it would continue to be driven by patriotism and commitment to the cause of the nation and its law abiding citizens.

It called on all responsible organisations to cooperate in the efforts at addressing the nation’s security challenges rather than compound the problem, advising that individuals with similar prejudices should abandon such biases as the challenges at hand call for prayers and support of all well-meaning organisations and groups.

It added that the Armed Forces comprises Nigerians from all religious persuasions and could not be used against any particular religion as purported, as the military would not be distracted by unfair imputations from any quarter.

The statement concluded: “Individuals apprehended in the course of counter-terrorism campaign will continue to have access to justice as provided by law.“