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.

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.

Turkey Launches Attacks On IS, Kurds in Syria

Turkey, Attacks On IS, Kurds, Syria Turkey has begun attacking Islamic state (IS) targets, in Northern Syria amid reports that Syrian rebels are also set to launch an offensive against the group.

Artillery positioned inside Turkey, fired on ISIS as well as Kurdish militia targets in the towns of Jarablus and Manbij.

The attack follows from the blast which occurred on Saturday at a Kurdish wedding in the Northern area of Gaziantep, killing at least 50 people and leaving many injured.

Some 1,500 Turkish-backed Syrian rebels, are thought to be in the Turkish town of Gaziantep waiting to attack.

Analysts say the imminent offensive may have spurred the suicide bombing believed to have been carried out by Isis.

However, Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildirim says, the identity of the bomber, initially thought to be a child, has not yet been established.

Kurds accuse Turkey of using the US-led coalition against IS as a cover to attack the PKK in both Turkey and Iraq, and now against the YPG in northern Syria.

The Kurds also say Turkey’s bombardment of their positions is helping IS to attack Kurdish-held frontline areas in Syria and Iraq.


Air Force Kills Over 300 Boko Haram Terrorists

Air Force, Sadique Abubakar, Boko HaramThe Nigerian Air Force says it has killed at least 300 members of the outlawed Boko Haram terrorists during air operations in some parts of Borno State.

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, gave the figure on Monday while briefing pilots of fighter jets in Maiduguri, the state’s capital in northeast Nigeria.

Air Marshal Abubakar said he was impressed with the outcome of air operations carried out in the last one week.

In the attacks insurgents were killed where they had gathered, most probably to plan their next attack, he said.

He urged the pilots to sustain intensive air operations and cooperate with land army in the battle to rid Nigeria of the insurgents.

The feat comes after the Air Force said it had successfully reconfigured another alpha jet for combat role.

The achievement followed relentless efforts by the NAF Technical Response Team (TRT).

The latest conversion makes it the third alpha jet to be reconfigured under the leadership of Air Marshal Abubakar.

Nigerian Army To Relax Movement Restriction In Northeast

Nigeria Army on movement restriction in NortheastThe Nigerian Army has announced plans to relax movement restriction in the north eastern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.

The plan was disclosed on Monday by the Director In Charge of Operations of the Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Bassey Etuk, during a public hearing organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Army.

Brigadier General Etuk told the lawmakers that with the current success over the Boko Haram insurgents, it was possible to review and relax some restrictions placed on human and vehicular movements in some parts of the region.

The Chairman of the Committee, Riman Shawulu, in his opening remarks said that the meeting was convened to address issues raised by farmers in Yobe State on their inability to access Premium Motor Spirit ( PMS ) to power generating plants used in their farms.

Earlier The House of Representatives and the Nigerian Army disagreed over the continued closure of roads in some liberated towns in the nation’s northeast.

The lawmakers voiced their displeasure with the restriction during a meeting with the Theatre Commander of the counter-insurgency war tagged “Operation Lafiya Dole”, Major General Lucky Irabor.

The House Defence Committee had visited the theatre command in Maiduguri, Borno State’s capital.

The seven-man committee led by Honourable Aliyu Isa said that their visit was part of a resolution of the House to investigate repeated complaints and petitions by members of the public in the region.

Russia Backs Syrian Forces In Major Assault On Insurgents

syriaSyrian troops and militia backed by Russian warplanes mounted what appeared to be their first major coordinated assault on Syrian insurgents on Wednesday and Moscow said its warships fired a barrage of missiles at them from the Caspian Sea, a sign of its new military reach.

The combined operation hit towns close to the main north-south highway that runs through major cities in the mainly government-held west of Syria, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based group which tracks the conflict via a network of sources within the country.

Ground attacks by Syrian government forces and their militia allies using heavy surface-to-surface missile bombardments hit at least four insurgent positions and there were heavy clashes, the head of the Observatory, Rami Abdulrahman, said.

The Iranian-backed Hezbollah militia took part in the fight, according to a regional source who is familiar with the military situation in Syria.

Abdulrahman said later there was no sign that Syrian troops and their allies had made any tangible advances on the ground.

They briefly entered one town, but were forced to pull back, he said, and around 15 of their tanks or armored vehicles had been either destroyed or disabled.

Islamic State militants have seized much from Syria since civil war grew out of anti-government protests in 2011, but the areas targeted in Wednesday’s combined assault are held by other rebels, some U.S.-backed, fueling accusations by Russia’s critics that its real aim is to help the government.

Moscow says it shares the West’s aim of preventing the spread of Islamic State, and Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu told President Vladimir Putin during a televised meeting that four Russian warships in the Caspian Sea had launched 26 missiles at Islamic State in Syria earlier in the day.

The missiles would have passed over Iran and Iraq to reach their targets, covering what Shoigu described as a distance of almost 1,500 km (900 miles), the latest display of Russian military power at a time when relations with the West are at a post-Cold War low over Ukraine.

The terrain-hugging Kalibr cruise missiles, known by NATO by the codename Sizzler, fly at an altitude of 50 meters and are accurate to within three meters, the Russian defense ministry said.

The air campaign in Syria has caught Washington and its allies on the back foot and alarmed Syria’s northern neighbor Turkey, which says its air space has been repeatedly violated by Russian jets.

Ankara summoned Russia’s ambassador for the third time in four days over the reported violations, which NATO has said appeared to be deliberate and were “extremely dangerous”.

Insurgents Kill 29 In Borno Village

Boko HaramAt least 29 people are feared dead in Dille village of Askira Uba in Borno State following an attack by suspected Boko Haram insurgents.

Many villagers have sustained gunshot wounds.

The insurgents reportedly invaded Dille and neighbouring villages at about 1pm on Monday, armed with AK47 rifles and petrol bombs.

Fleeing residents said that the insurgents invaded Dille with sophisticated weapons in a convoy of 5 Hilux vehicles and motorcycles and carried out their attack unchallenged.

Federal lawmaker representing the area, Jubrin Satumari, has confirmed the incident which he blamed on the lack of security presence in the area.

Satumari has made a passionate appeal to the new service chiefs to step up their counter insurgency efforts.

Monday’s attack in Dille village is the third in two weeks, according to the residents.

Suspected Terrorists Kill 24 In Adamawa State

Boko HaramSuspected Boko Haram terrorists have attacked communities in Madagali Local Government Area of Adamawa State, killing about 24 persons.

The attack occurred on Monday night, two days after a suicide bomber carried out an attack at a market in Damaturu, Yobe State.

Eyewitness said the insurgents killed about 24 people in the attack on communities in Madagali local council before taking away women and children.

The residents of Sabogari area fled for safety, as the terrorist shot sporadically, wreaking havoc in the area.

Nigeria military had in March said terrorists have been cleared from Adamawa and Yobe State, but the terrorists have attack communities in the states recently.

Counter-terrorism operations aimed at clearing terrorists from their Sambisa Forest stronghold have forced the terrorists to mass in communities in the three north-east states – Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.

Over 800 women and children had been rescued in the operations, but the terrorists are taking more as hostages despite heightened assaults by Multi-National Joint Task Force.

Terrorism in the north-east is one of the problems the incoming government will have to handle, as the terrorists have threatened to sustain the attacks even after the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration takes over governance on May 29.

The President-elect had promised to tackle the Boko Haram terrorist group and force them out of the communities in the oil-reach nation’s north-east states.

Emir Of Mubi Urges Residents To Return

mubi emirThe Emir of Mubi, in Adamawa state, Abubakar Ahmadu, has appealed to residents who fled the town as a result of Boko Haram invasion to return as the military continues to recapture more territories in the northeast.

The Emir also stated that his palace is open 24 hours and residents no longer need to book an appointment before they see him, maintaining that “I’m available 24 hours, so anybody who wants to see me, I’m for him, no need for booking. I plead with the people of Mubi to come back home so we can develop Mubi, it is now in peace, so everyone should come back”, he said.

The Emir was speaking during a meeting with military officials who were monitoring some of the recaptured territories in the state.

On his part, the Commanding Officer, Task Force Battalion, Lt. Col. Asuquo Eka, said the town had been a ghost town until it was recaptured from the insurgents and reaffirmed that the town was safe for residents to return.

Boko Haram: Yobe Governor Asks Police To Be Extra Vigilant

Niger RepublicThe Yobe State Governor, Mr Ibrahim Gaidam, has reminded security forces in Yobe State of the need to be extra vigilant, as the dreaded Boko Haram sect members also have an intelligence unit.

The Governor was speaking on Wednesday after inspecting places destroyed recently by the terrorists group in Damaturu, the state capital.

The Governor said the tracing of strategic places burnt by the insurgents’ shows that they have been moving in and out of the formation with a view to strategising the attack carried out in Damaturu.

While praising the security forces for their gallantry, he advised them to be extra vigilant and take note of who goes in and out of the command to avoid surveillance by the sect members.

The Governor thanked Damaturu residents for their consistent prayers and urged them not to leave the town as the insurgency would soon become a thing of the past. He assured them that more troops would be deployed to the north-east to counter the terrorist activities.

He promised that all the burnt structures would be rebuilt and assured the affected persons of the government support, after it had received and reviewed the assessment report from the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).

Places destroyed during the attack were; the ‘A’ division, the Area command, the police officers mess, the Izala mosque and some shopping centres located at the Damaturu motor park.

Official vehicles of the Nigeria Police Force and some cars belonging to the officers and men of the command were also burnt by the terrorists.

The Damaturu attack was carried out by suspected members of the Boko Haram insurgents on Friday, January 9.

State Government Expends N669m On Scholarships

Meanwhile, the Yobe State Government has expended N669 million in sponsoring 15, 745 students in various institutions of learning within and outside the country for the 2014 academic session.

A statement issued by the Special Adviser to the Yobe State Governor on Press Affairs and Information, Abdullahi Bego said “Governor Ibrahim Gaidam gave the approval for the release of the funds to the State Scholarship Board for the payment of the student bursaries as part of his drive to ensure that Yobe students get the best possible education, skills and training as they need to play a part in moving the state forward”

Of the 15, 745 beneficiaries of the government’s scholarship payments in 2014 according to the statement, 15, 649 students enrolled in institutions of learning in Maiduguri, Kano, Kaduna and the Nigerian Law School, among others and were paid a total of N309.13 million.

The statement also said other beneficiaries include 17 PhD, 39 MSc and 40 medical students enrolled in overseas universities who received a total of N360 million.

It revealed that the Gaidam administration is committed to supporting Yobe students in every way possible to make it easier for them to enrol in and graduate from universities and other institutions of higher learning which will help the state in the near future.

“The Yobe State Government will also continue to pursue an all-hands-on-deck approach to revitalising and retrofitting its primary and secondary schools to enable them provide quality education to Yobe pupils and students” the statement concluded.

Aftermath Of Boko Haram Attack On Damaturu

Niger RepublicSecurity formations and properties were on Friday left destroyed following a coordinated attack by gunmen believed to be Boko Haram members on Damaturu, Yobe.

Heavy artillery sounds and sporadic gunshots were heard throughout the night with the continuation of isolated shooting Saturday morning, in the troubled north-east state.

Although authorities are yet to confirm the level of destruction inflicted on the town, residents said the Police “A” division, the state Area Command and the Police officers mess all located in the heart of the town were burnt down by the terrorists.

It was also confirmed that Izala mosque and some shopping complex at the Damaturu motor park were also set ablaze during the invasion.

Residents told Channels Television that Friday’s attack may have been prompted by an initial invasion by the security forces on Gujba and Gulani areas, believed to be strongholds of the insurgents.

They also recovered of some arms and ammunitions.

The reprisal attack by Boko Haram started late Friday evening as residents scrambled for safety after gun shots were heard. It is believed that some armed security personnel who were keeping vigilance on the town engaged in a battle with the insurgents, around the southern part of the town.

Although security forces have not confirmed the casualty figure, hospital sources said only one corpse was brought to the hospital morgue this morning.

However, normalcy is said to have been restored in the town, and no pronouncement has been made concerning the imposition of curfew.

Residents have remained apprehensive and have also stayed indoors for fear of further attack or be mistaken for the insurgents by armed security personnel keeping surveillance on the town.

They have now urged government and security forces to be more proactive in their fight against the insurgents as Maiduguri might become a landlocked area if the insurgents get grip of Damaturu among other towns in Yobe state.

Insurgents Paid N3,000 To Rain Terror In Nasarawa – Army

more Troops“Insurgents operating among the warring tribes of Nasarawa state get mobilisation fee of N3,000 naira to rain terror across communities in the state.”

Commanding officer of the 177 guards brigade, Keffi, Colonel Musa Ibrahim, revealed the intelligence report when he led the governor of Nasarawa state and other security agencies through 13 communities affected in the on-going killings in the state.

In recent times, rural communities of Adogi, Ashangwa, Gidan Gambo and Assakio, all along the lafia shendam road have been attacked by militia forces.

During an impact assessment by Governor Al-makura, Colonel Ibrahim while filling in the governor on the strategies adopted by the insurgents, also noted that looting, killing and rape had also been employed by the assailants in their destruction and vendetta.

Governor Al-makura who arrived Assakio through several villages that had been burnt to the ground in company of security agents.

The impact assessment tour saw the governor and his team move through rural path used by the insurgents to cross from Assakio to Obi where communities like Sabo Gida, Lega-Obi, Tudun Adabu and Daddere were also troubled.

Mister Al-makura proffered the solution of rationalized security structure to protect affected communities.

One of the concerns raised was the near security absence in some of the communities which the governor admitted, that there was inadequate personnel to provide security services round the clock.

Ajimobi Advocates Better Civil-Military Collaboration

The Oyo state Governor Abiola Ajimobi has stressed the need for better civil-military relations even as he canvasses for more nationalistic depth to media reports on the current insurgency as it affects the territorial integrity of the country.

Governor Ajimobi made the call at the week-long interactive session on Civil – Military relations in Nigeria with the theme “Consolidating Civil-Military relations for Improved National Security” held at the 2 division auditorium in Ibadan.

The governor stated during his submission at the interactive session that the relationship between the media and military must be strong enough to make nationalism the major consideration in reporting of the insurgency ravaging some states in the Northern part of the country.

Ajimobi expressed concern over what he called unfavourable and unpleasant media opinions and news reporting which he said had affected military morale and operations and said that a partnership between the two would change this tone of reporting.

Governor Ajimobi recalled that during the long years of military rule, the relationship between the civil and military was mutually hostile and full of suspicion against each other. This, he said, was worsened by the fact that the civil society had little or no knowledge about the military institution or even security matters.

He, however, added that the civil rule of the last 14 years had redrawn the map of that relationship, adding that more has to be done in enlightening the civil populace on the readiness of the military to partner well with the society.

At the end of the 5-day programme, the Chief of Army Staff, General Azubuike Ihejirika who was represented by the Chief of Army Standards and evaluation, Major General John Ewansiha described the interactive session as unique as it would provide a veritable platform for the military to interface with Nigerians to foster better understanding and help the Nigerian army to fulfil its constitutional role.

He also assured Nigerians that the Army is up to the task of defeating the insurgency in the north east and any other part of Nigeria, but called for greater collaboration between the media and the entire civil populace to achieve success.

The Chief of Civil-Military Affairs, Army headquarters Major General Bola Koleoso also stated in his remarks that the forum was the maiden edition targeted solely to interface with the civil society to know what needs to be done to achieve a safer and better Nigeria.