President Buhari Meets With Gowon

Buhari GowonPresident Muhammadu Buhari has met behind closed doors with a former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (Rtd) at the Presidential Villa.

The meeting was held inside the President’s office for about 30 minutes.

The former military leader did not speak to reporters after the meeting.

The meeting of the two leaders was the second one in two months. The first was in August, just before the former head of state travelled abroad.

Among other matters, the August meeting focused on the Buhari administration’s anti-corruption campaign, which the former leader expressed support for.

In a chat with newsmen after the meeting, he encouraged the Nigerian leader to deal with the situation which he said had created serious setback to Nigeria nationally and internationally.

He also expressed delight at the Federal Government’s determination so far in the fight against Boko Haram insurgents and efforts to rescue the missing Chibok girls.

General Gowon said at the time that the government would soon get credible information that would lead to the rescue of the girls abducted in April 2014 from their school’s dormitory in Borno State.

He urged Nigerians to be patient with the President who he said took over power at a time Nigeria was witnessing dwindling crude oil price.

It was the same month that President Buhari agreed to the idea of swapping Boko Haram prisoners for the Chibok girls and just as Gowon predicted, the government went on to secure the release of 21 of the abducted Chibok girls.

The release was the outcome of negotiations between the Nigerian government and the Boko Haram, brokered by the International Red Cross and the Swiss Government.

President Muhammadu Buhari has also said his government would sustain efforts to free the remaining girls, kidnapped by the jihadist group.

 “About 100 more (girls) are still in the hands of the terrorists,” Buhari told reporters in Berlin after a meeting with German Chancellor, Angela Merkel. “We hope we’ll get some … intelligence to go about securing the balance.”

Chibok Girls: Presidency Labels Release ‘A Show Of Faith’

Chibok Girls, Boko Haram, PresidencyNigeria’s Presidency has described the release of 21 out of the over 200 Chibok girls kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists as ‘a show of faith’ on the part of the insurgents.

Mr Femi Adesina, who is a spokesman for President Muhammadu Buhari, clears the air on the release which had triggered rumours that it was a swap deal between the Nigerian government and the terrorist group.

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.

“Many More Releases”

Mr Adesina asserted that there would be more releases, describing the freedom of the 21 girls as a giant leap for humanity.

“As we have been told, this is just one step which I will also call a giant leap for humanity.

“You can be sure that there will be many more releases and as many of the girls that are alive would definitely return to their parents,” he said.

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Some of the rescued Chibok girls

End Of Insurgency

The President’s spokesman says the government is winning the war against the dreaded insurgents, stressing that they have been largely degraded.

“They used to attack army formations, police formations, schools (and) different types of target but they don’t do that anymore because their capacity to do that has been largely degraded.

“I think a lot of progress has been made (and) we can simply say we are at the end of this insurgency and this is just the mopping up process,” said Adesina on Sunrise Daily.

At least 200 girls were abducted by the Boko Haram terrorists from their hostels at the Government Secondary School, Chibok in Borno State on April 14, 2014.

In the heat of the over six-year insurgency, Borno State, in northeast Nigeria became a strong hold of the dreaded insurgents.

Since the abduction of the girls, pressure has been mounted on the Federal Government to rescue them, including demands for a swap with members of Boko Haram in detention.

After much push for the girls’ release, 21 of them were freed on Thursday.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, confirmed the release of the 21 girls.

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Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, confirmed the release of 21 Chibok girls

He 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.

In their reaction, the #BringBackBackOurGirls Campaign Group welcomed news of the release of the Chibok girls while praising the military for the efforts so far.

The group said in a statement that the “wonderful development” confirmed what was known about the effort of the government to rescue the Chibok girls.

They added that while they await further details, they salute the work of Nigeria’s security services at the front lines and the tireless efforts of members of the Multi-National Joint Task Force and the Civilian JTF.

Post-insurgency: Yobe Private Schools Seek Revival

education, Private schools,Proprietors of private schools in Yobe State have sought the partnership of governments at all level to re-position education in the state.

The appeal comes as part of the post-insurgency activities to revive the state after facing serious threat during the Boko Haram insurgency in northeast Nigeria.

Chairman of the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools in Yobe State, Mr John Onyeama, made the call in a chat with Channels Television.

He was speaking on Thursday after a forum of schools represented by pupils of nursery and primary schools as well as secondary school students organised by the association in Damaturu, the state’s capital.

The forum is aimed at bringing the pupils and students together with a view to inculcating the usual academic interactions among school age children.

Mr Onyeama observed with admiration, the return of peace across the state and the northeast region and stated that the association would work assiduously towards revamping the education sector.

He recalled that four public schools were attacked with at least 100 lives lost, while eight other private schools in the state were burnt by the Boko Haram insurgents.

The proprietor pointed out that insurgency had caused major setback for educational development in Yobe State and the region.

In his response, the Director of Schools at the State Primary Education Board, Mr Bukar Dapchi, commended the roles of private schools in the development of education in the state.

He said that modern education is above the scope of government and called on private bodies and other stakeholders to compliment the efforts of government in revamping the sector.

Chibok Girls’ Release Not A Swap Deal – FG

Boko Haram, Swap Deal, Chibok GirlsThe Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has confirmed the release of 21 girls out of the over 200 school girls abducted from the Government Secondary School, Chibok in April 2014.

The Minister, at a press conference in Abuja stated that the Federal Government secured the release of girls through the collaborative efforts of the security agencies, a friendly European country and a renowned international humanitarian organisation.

The Minister also debunked the reports that four Boko Haram members were released in exchange for the girls’ release.

He said that the release secured by the government was based on confidence and not a swap arrangement with the terrorists group.

“This is not a swap. This was a release which was effected because over time, we succeeded in confidence building.

“This particular release is significant because it’s just a first step in what we believe will lead to the eventual release of all our girls in custody. It is significant also because we have been able to establish more than ever before a confidence in both the leadership of Boko Haram and Nigerians.

“I am not aware of any monetary transaction,” he said.

The names of the girls has been release by the Office of the Vice President, after his visit to the girls at the SSS hospital in Abuja.

Carrot and Stick

The Minister also clarified if the military action against the Boko Haram would seize owing to the release of the girls.

“When you are fighting insurgency, it’s a combination of carrot and stick.‎ The release of these girls does not mean the end to military operations. But it could mean a new phase in the conduct of the war against terror,” he said.

Presidential Spokesman, Garba Shehu, on Thursday, confirmed the release of the 21 Chibok girls.

He said that the release of the girls, in a limited number, was the outcome of negotiations between the Nigerian government and the Boko Haram, brokered by the International Red Cross and the Swiss Government.

The Federal Government had since the abduction of the over 200 school girls in 2014 tried several options to secure their release, including the use of military force and negotiations with the Boko Haram group.

President Buhari had in August agreed to the idea of swapping Boko Haram prisoners for the Chibok girls.

However, that was on the condition that the group should be able to list those they wanted released and then come out to discuss with the Federal Government.

 

#BBOG Group Praises Military Over Release Of 21 Chibok Girls

BBOG, Military, Ezekwesili, #BBOG, Oby Ezekwesili, Chibok GirlsThe #BringBackBackOurGirls Campaign Group has welcomed news of the release of the Chibok girls while praising the military for the efforts so far.

In a statement jointly signed by co-conveners of the movement, Oby Ezekwesili and Aisha Yesufu, the group said that the “wonderful development” confirms what it has always known about the activity of the government to rescue the Chibok girls.

The group said that while it awaits further details, it salutes the work of the nation’s security services at the front lines: its commitment, resilience and tireless efforts of the members of the Multi-National Joint Task Force and the Civilian JTF.

The group also thanked the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Swiss government and all negotiators involved in securing the release.

It, however, urged the international community to continue to support the government’s effort to rescue all other abducted Nigerians, so that parents, the Chibok community, the nation, and the world at large can finally put an end to the nightmare once and for all.

The Spokesman for the President on Thursday, confirmed that 21 out of the Chibok girls kidnapped by the Boko Haram militants, have been released.

 

21 Chibok Girls Released From Boko Haram Clutches

chibok girls, boko haramThe Spokesman for Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, has confirmed that 21 out of the Chibok girls kidnapped by the Boko Haram militants, have been released.

According to a statement by Garba Shehu, (the President’s Spokesman), the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Lawal Daura, has already briefed President Muhammadu Buhari on the development.

He said that the release of the girls, in a limited number, is the outcome of negotiations between the administration and the Boko Haram, brokered by the International Red Cross and the Swiss Government.

Chibok girls,
Boko Haram Leader carrying out a mock interview with one of the girls in a third video

The statement added that the President welcomes the release of the girls but cautioned Nigerians to be mindful of the fact that more than 30,000 fellow citizens were killed via terrorism.

The DSS DG told the President that he wanted the girls to have some rest, as all of them have returned very tired as a result of the rescue process, before he hands them over to the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

Sources close to the Borno state government told Channels Television that some girls were brought to the Air Force Hospital in Maiduguri.

The girls are said to be undergoing screening to determine their state of health as well as their profile.

Incident Occurred 

On April 14, 2014, over 200 girls were abducted from their hostels at Government Secondary School, Chibok in Borno state.

In the heat of the over six-year insurgency, Borno State, in northeast Nigeria became a strong hold of the Boko Haram.

Since the abduction of the girls, pressure has been mounted on the Federal Government to rescue them, including demands for a swap with members of Boko Haram in detention.

UNGA

Although it is yet to be confirmed if an actual swap took place, the news is coming shortly after President Buhari agreed to the idea of swapping Boko Haram prisoners for the Chibok girls in August.

However, that was on the condition that the group should be able to list those they wanted released and then come out to discuss with the Federal Government.

At the recently concluded 70th United Nations General Assembly in New York, the President reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to rescuing the girls.

In his address, he stated that “one of our major aims is to rescue the Chibok girls alive and unharmed”.

The girls’ abduction had raised a world-wide condemnation including the UN Secretary General Ban ki Moon and U.S First Lady Michelle Obama, culminating in the formation of the group, #BringBackOurGirls, that have been at the forefront of pushing for the release of the girls.

Amina_State_HouseOne of the abducted girls, Aminat Ali Nkeki was rescued in May 2016 during a raid on Sambisa forest by the military.

 

 

Proof of Life

Also in August, the terrorist group Boko Haram released a ‘proof of life’ video of the girls.

This was the third in a series of videos released by the group.

The Video showed a gun-toting insurgent, carrying out a mock interview with one of the girls, who is being prompted to ask the government to release imprisoned Boko Haram fighters in return for the girls’ freedom.

Another scene in the video also showed bodies on the ground, which in attempts to spur government reaction, the group claimed were bodies of girls killed by military airstrikes.

The military in reaction to this, countered the claims of the group that about 40 of the girls had been killed in airstrikes during a bombardment by the Air-Force.

Commander of the counter-insurgency war, Major General Lucky Irabor said “It’s only a matter of common sense that those dead bodies shown on the ground there do not even give indication as to the claim which Boko Haram gave,”

The military then warned the outlawed Boko Haram group that they would be punished for killing the girl.

 

NEMA Confirms Eight Killed In Maiduguri Blast

Maiduguri, NEMA, Military escort
Remains of Burnt Vehicle At Gambarou, Maiduguri

The National Emergency Management Agency, (NEMA) has confirmed that eight people were killed in Wednesday morning’s bomb blast in Muna garage, Maiduguri.

The Public Relations Officer for NEMA, Sani Datti said in a statement that “Eight persons lost their lives, while 15 others who sustained injuries have been taken to specialist and teaching hospitals”.

The suicide bomber reportedly joined a cab before detonating the IED killing herself and other occupants.

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Remains of Burnt Vehicle At Gambarou, Maiduguri

According to the Police Public Relations Officer in Borno State, Victor Isuku, the ill-fated cab was about joining the convoy of hundreds of vehicles to be escorted by security operatives to the border town of Gamboru Ngala when the explosion occurred.

A witness at the Muna garage area, Adamu Garba said the vehicle had already made moves to join the convoy when the explosion occurred.

Maiduguri, NEMA, Military escort
eye-witness

“The car appeared to be coming from custom area towards the garage,” he said

Describing the scene, he said he was trying to park his vehicle when he heard a loud bang.

“We all went flat on the ground. When we got up, we just saw pieces of human parts everywhere and a newborn baby whose mother had obviously died so we picked the child and sought help for the injured”.

Gamboru is an economically strategic town as it borders Central and North Africa from the northeast region of the country.

Previous Attacks

In 2015, the Islamist terrorist group, Boko Haram, had killed at least 10 people in a town in northeast Nigeria, two security sources confirmed to Reuters.

The sources said Boko Haram attacked a settlement on the way into the centre of Gamboru, on the border with Cameroon.

The nearby village of Ngala was also attacked.

However, later in the year 2015, the Nigerian Army appeared to have gained substantial victory in the fight against insurgents in Gamboru-Ngala, Borno state

A statement by the spokesman for the military, Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman, said the troops had reclaimed and started clearing and mopping up patrols in the town.

Fresh Attacks

The attack is coming shortly after the Maiduguri/ Gamboru road was re-opened for civilian passage in July 2016, after nearly three years of closure due to the activities of the insurgents in the area.

The Nigerian Army marked the successful counter insurgency operations by reopening the Dikwa-Mafa-Gamboru road in Borno State.

During this occasion, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, declared the road safe for civilian passage.

 

 

Air Force Targets Identified Boko Haram Terrorists In Sambisa

Air Force, Sambisa, Boko Haram, Operation Forest StormThe Nigerian Air Force says it will embark on “Operation Forest Storm”, targeted at the Boko Haram insurgents identified in the Sambisa Forest.

The force expressed delight at the great results recorded in its current battle of wiping out the insurgents in Nigeria’s Northeast region.

As the war against the dreaded terrorists rages on, the Air Force said its officials have recorded tremendous success, especially in the Sambisa Forest in Borno State.

Air Force Chief of Training and Operations, Air Vice Marshall Ahmed Iya, made the disclosure on Wednesday during an interview with reporters at the Air Force Base in Yola, the Adamawa State capital.

Nigeria Air Force
Nigerian Air Force reconfigured alpha jet for combat role

He said the operations followed investigations indicating that recent Boko Haram activities had been noticed in some places in Nigeria’s Northeast region.

Air Vice Marshall Iya asked Nigerians not to panic as a result of the operation, saying it was aimed at curtailing the Boko Haram menace in the region.

He further revealed that the special operation would last for few days and would not only be conducted in the north, but extended to the south considering the activities of the militants of the Niger Delta region.

Iya also pledged that the Air Force would do everything possible to bring an end to the activities of insurgence in Nigeria.

Recently, the Nigerian Air Force successfully reconfigured another alpha jet for combat role.

The alpha jet has been reconfigured to carry both rockets and bombs during combat missions.

The alpha jet has been reconfigured to carry both rockets and bombs during combat missions.

Boko Haram terrorist group has attacked communities in the northeast in its over six years campaign for an Islamic State and an end to Western education in the region.

Malnutrition-in-northeast-Nigeria-Unicef
UNICEF official said children with ‘skin over bone’ need nutritious foods to survive

The group that has retreated from communities it had taken control of due to heightened counter-terrorism operation now sees Sambisa forest as a safe haven.

Activities of the group in the past years have led to the death of thousands and displaced over two million persons in the region.

Its aftermath, according to UNICEF, is severe humanitarian crisis.

The United Nations’ agency said not fewer than 49,000 persons, including children, nursing mothers and breastfeeding mothers are severely malnourished  and are risk of death.

UNICEF has stressed the need for aid to come to the region in form of nutritious foods that could turn the tide for the malnourished.

Aftermath Of Insurgency: 12bn Naira Required To Rebuild Yobe – Geidam

Yobe Governor Gaidam on InsurgencyThe Yobe State Governor, Ibrahim Geidam, says the state will require 12 billion Naira to rebuild structures destroyed by insurgent group, Boko Haram.

The Governor gave the figure on Saturday, when he received the Minister Of Women Affairs, Senator Aisha Alhassan, who was on an advocacy visit to the state.

With the return of peace in the state, the Governor said majority of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have returned to their ancestral homes while 3,000 were still being catered for at the official camp in the state.

The Minister of Women Affairs said she was in the state to ensure the well-being of the IDPs, as well as fact finding on the social protection programme of the Buhari administration.

She also highlighted that in the course of her visit, she would interact with the IDPs, with a view to discovering if there were issues of violation against women and children in the camps.

On the funds required for the rehabilitation, Governor Gaidam told the Minister that the process had gone beyond the financial capacity of the state.

He called on the Federal Government to assist the state in actualising the rehabilitation of the insurgency ravaged areas.

The Governor, however, praised the macro finance scheme policy of the Buhari administration; saying it would go a long way in benefiting the women folk and the less privileged.

Senator Aisha further stated that it was one of the priorities under the administration, to provide a macro finance scheme to the tune of 1.6 billion Naira.

This according to her, would be shared among benefiting women in the state while benefiting states would receive 200 million Naira.

 

Army Insists Boko Haram Leader Is Dead

Army, Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, Major General Lucky Irabor has dismissed doubts over claims that Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau is dead.

He insisted that the individual originally identified as Shekau has indeed been killed.

He said this during a tour of Adamawa State as part of the formations under his command.

“I can confirm to you that the original Shekau was killed, the second Shekau was killed, and the man presenting himself as Shekau, I can also confirm to you that few days ago, he was wounded. We are yet to confirm whether he is dead or not”.

He further said that the Army does not make statements that are not based on facts.

The General, who is also the commander of the ‘Operation Lafiya dole’, said the Nigerian troops fighting insurgency in the northeast, will continue the military operations until the last terrorist is taken out.

He also mentioned that there had been division amongst the Boko Haram as a result of the constant pressure put on them by the Army.

According to him, “They released videos to prove that they are still active, but that’s just a facade”

Nigerian Air Force Pilots Urged To Sustain Attacks On Boko Haram

NAF-2Pilots of the Nigerian Air Force have been urged to sustain intensive air operations and cooperate with land army in the battle to rid Nigeria of Boko Haram insurgents.

Commending Air Force personnel for their counter-terrorism operations in the nation’s northeast, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, said he was pleased with the outcome of air operations carried out in the last one week.

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) few days ago recorded another major success in the on-going counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations against the Boko Haram terrorists.

According to him, the current phase of intensified air operations in northern Borno State paid-off on the night of August 19, when the NAF killed about 300 terrorists during an air attack.

The insurgents had gathered to hold a meeting at a location between Malam Fatori and own troops location at Kangarwa, the Air Force said.

Prior to the operations, the Air Force had on August 16 commenced series of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions to corroborate human intelligence that key Boko Haram commanders had gathered at the said location to hold meeting at night.

Sadique Abubakar, Bello Abubakar, Niger, Military
Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar

The NAF revealed the achievements on Tuesday in a statement by its Director of Public Relations and Information, Group Captain Ayodele Famuyiwa.

He said that the objective of the ongoing operation was to degrade the capability of the insurgents, particularly those who had fled to the northern part of Borno State.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Air Force said it had killed some key leaders of Boko Haram and wounded many others, including the leader of the sect, Abubakar Shekau, during an airstrike on Friday in Taye Village, Borno State.

A statement by the Acting Director Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Usman, said: “We have just confirmed that as a result of the interdiction efforts of the Nigerian Air Force, some key leaders of the Boko Haram terrorists have been killed while others were fatally wounded”.

Colonel Usman said that the Boko Haram terrorists commanders confirmed dead include “Abubakar Mubi, Malam Nuhu and Malam Hamman, amongst others.

Corruption Plays Key Role In Nigeria’s Setback – Gowon

Yakubu Gowon, Corruption, NigeriaA former military Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, has described corruption as one of the problems that have created serious setback to Nigeria nationally and internationally.

While in a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, General Gowon encouraged the Nigerian leader to deal with the situation.

After the meeting held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, the former military leader briefed reporters.

Muhammadu-Buhari-and-Yakubu-Gowon2
President Buhari and General Gowon having a meeting

General Gowon commended President Buhari’s determination and effort in the fight against corruption and called on Nigerians to give him the needed support.

He also expressed delight at the Federal Government’s determination so far in the fight against Boko Haram insurgents and efforts to rescue the missing Chibok girls.

General Gowon believes that the government would soon get credible information that would lead to the rescue of the girls abducted over two years ago from their school’s dormitory in Borno State.

He urged Nigerians to be patient with the President who he said took over power at a time Nigeria was witnessing dwindling crude oil price.