Yobe Governor Shuts Down Secondary Schools After Attack

Yobe state governor Ibrahim Gaidam has visited Government Secondary School Mamudo 24 hours after unknown gunmen had attacked and killed twenty students and one teacher in the school.

The State Commissioner of Education Alhaji Mohammed Lamin informed the governor that two more students later died while on admission in the Potiskum General hospital as the death toll rose to 24, adding a resident of Mamudo who was traced to his home and killed shortly after the attack on the school.

According to the commissioner, the hoodlums assembled the students before shooting at them from different directions as the students scampered to safety.

Governor Ibrahim Gaidam who was visibly touched by the killings described it as inhumane and noted that God will expose the perpetrators and sponsors of the dastard act.

Governor Ibrahim Gaidam called on the security forces to change their modus operandi in checking the activities of the dreaded Islamists to end the ceaseless attacks in the state and the north-east zone as a whole.

He also called on the Chief of Defense Staff and the security forces to as a matter of urgency consider the restoration of GSM services in the three states under the state of emergency as residents are finding it difficult to report perpetrators of the acts to relevant authorities as residents who has information to divulge to security agents are not able to reach the JTF.

He said in the two separate attacks on schools in the state, it was reported that residents saw the hoodlums at suburb of Damaturu the state capital but JTF could not be reached because of the absence of GSM services.

Governor Ibrahim Gaidam also revealed that boarding schools in the state will be fenced as the Joint Task force will provide the needed security across all schools in the state.

Yesterday’s attack has brought the number of schools attacked by the insurgents to two.

The three states under state of emergency have been without the services of the GSM networks all with the aim of curtailing the grouping and regrouping of the insurgents.

Meanwhile, the Yobe state governor Alhaji Ibrahim Gaidam has directed that all secondary schools in the state be closed down from Monday 8th July until a new academic session begins in September.

A statement signed by the Special Adviser to the governor on Media and Information Abdullahi Bego shortly after returning from Mamudo says “the measure is to allow government in collaboration with the Military Task Force and community leaders to evaluate and evoke better and additional strategies that would ensure the safety of and security of students and their teachers”.

Army Court Martial 17 Soldiers For Unprofessional Acts In Yobe, Borno

A general court martial has been convened by the three division of the Nigerian Army placing on trial some seventeen erring military personnel for various offences.

The three division rhino officers mess Maxwell Khobe cantonment, in Jos north central Nigeria witnessed the arraignment of the soldiers charged for various offences at the general court martial inaugurated by the general officer commanding the division.

The General Officer commander of the division, Major General Ebiobowei Bonna Awala emphasised the importance of discipline and loyalty as essential requirements for soldiers and officers to succeed in professional soldiering.

Those facing the trial are from the division’s area of operation including the Joint Task Force, Operation Restore Order in Borno and Yobe states as well as the Special Task Force, Operation Safe Haven in Plateau State with charges of communicating with the enemy, cowardly behaviour, murder and manslaughter amongst others.

The challenge before the twelve member general court martial is to uphold the tenets of fairness and impartiality in the proceedings of the court and the dispensation of justice as the people that are affected in these cases of abuse are waiting for justice to be implemented.

Yobe Residents Ask Reconciliation Cmte’ To Unveil Sponsors Of Boko Haram

Residents in Yobe state at an interactive session with the presidential committee on dialogue and peaceful resolution of security challenges in the north have asked the committee to identify and unveil sponsors of Boko Haram.

An elder statesman, Khalifa Hassan Yusuf, who made the call for unveiling sponsors of the group asked why Nigerians “are still in the dark” on sponsors of the group.

According to him, apart from revealing who the sponsors are, Nigerians and the whole world are keen to know where and how sophisticated firearms are in circulation or in use by various hoodlums for their various operations across the country.

“Several arrests have been made since the commencement of the insurgency, lots of revelations have been uncovered, caches of arms have been recovered, yet Nigerians and the whole world are yet to know those behind the Boko Haram insurgency” he lamented.

The elder statesman also challenged the committee to verify and tell Nigerians which countries, groups or individuals are supplying AK47, Rapid Propel Grenade (RPG) among other weapons to the group.

Another Damaturu elder, Alhaji Mohammadu Gombe, lamented on the colossal loss of lives and property since the attacks on people in Damaturu and Maiduguri.

He process solicited assistance for groups and individuals who suffered losses as a result of the attack, while urging the federal government to bring culprits to book. He also alleged that some highly placed individuals must be involved in the dastard act.

Other speakers called on parents, religious groups and organisations to preach and inculcate good morals in the minds of their followers, warning that without it religious tolerance will continue to deteriorate and have adverse effects on the peace and progress of the country.

While commending the President for constituting the committee, participants at the session also called on the committee to be objective and to ensure that lasting peace is achieved at the end of their assignment.

The Committee Chairman and Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs; Kabiru Tanimu Turaki assured participants that the committee will be fair and diligent in the course of its assignment pointing out that tremendous progress is being made in the quest for peace.

Stakeholders and participants were drawn from the Jamatul Nasir Islam (JNI) the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) traditional rulers, various political, tribal, religious and social groups as well as trade unions among other interest groups.

 

State Of Emergency Has Yielded ‘Very Satisfactory’ Results– Expert

Mike Ejiofor, a former director of the State Security Service and Lawyer has described the result from the   state of emergency declared by President Goodluck Jonathan in some northern states as ‘very satisfactory’.

The former SSS Director who was on Sunrise Daily went further to highlight the positive impact that the declaration of the state of emergency has had on the state and its citizens as they have formed an alliance with the special forces deployed to those states tracking and handing over suspected sect members to the troops.

He commended Nigerians for their patience and understanding even though some notable Nigerians felt that the state of emergency would not achieve the much desired result and the security forces deployed for observing the rules of engagement knowing that the international community is watching and so far no issue has been raised and the troops.

He also asked that the Federal Government be given a pat on the back as it is a government that has witnessed the greatest security challenge since the end of the civil war and despite that the nation is still witnessing development and transformation.

Yobe: JTF In Five Hour Gunfight With Boko Haram

Residents of Damaturu, the Yobe state capital, have reported what they believe to have been a gun battle between security forces and members of the Boko Haram, which lasted for over 5 hours on Sunday night.

The relative peace currently being enjoyed in Damaturu the Yobe state capital suffered a setback as sound of gunshots were heard throughout the night.

Sporadic gunshots were heard within the Damaturu metropolis from 9pm and lasted for over five hours.

Although an official statement is still being expected from either the Joint Task Force (JTF) or the police on the cause of the gunshots, residents believe it was a clash between security forces and the radical Islamic sect; the Boko Haram.

Yobe State government had four days ago reviewed the restriction of movement from 9pm to 6am in Damaturu, while curfew in other towns remained 6pm to 6am daily.

The last time gunshots were heard in Damaturu was 9 months ago when a field commander of the radical sect; Bakaka was killed in a gun duel with JTF at Khandahar area of Damaturu.

 

Army Arrests Recruiter Of Terrorists In Maiduguri

A key terrorist suspect, who specialises in recruiting personnel into terror cells, has been arrested by troops in Maiduguri following a tip off.

In a press release signed by the defence spokesman, Brigadier General Christopher Olukolade, the individual is also the person that watches over the insurgents’ armoury.

He further stated that another group of five insurgents, all Nigeriens were arrested when troops stormed their hideout at Mallam Fatori as they attempted to escape in two Toyota Cruiser Jeeps.

He said the Troops continue to patrol the notorious Sambisa forest and are also cordoning the Alou forest and Gwoza Hills finding more abandoned vehicles, weapons and other items in the camps of the insurgents.

Among the recent finds are rifles, double barrel guns, various charms and amulets, machine guns as well as pairs of camouflage uniforms, bows and quiver and assorted rifle magazine.

Others are handset, walkie-talkie, car number plates and some food items.

Emergency Rule: Presidency Says Al-Jazeera’s Report On Civilian Casualties Is Misleading

The Presidency has re-affirmed that the Emergency rule currently imposed on Adamawa, Yobe and Borno states is meant to protect the civilian and the territory from the assault b on the Nigerian state by insurgents and terrorists.

This re-affirmation comes on the heels of a special report by Aljazeera (see the report here) which indicates that large numbers of civilians have been caught in the cross-fire between military forces and insurgents but reacting to the widely televised report in a statement, President Goodluck Jonathan’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati stated that the report on state of emergency and “civilian casualties” is contrived and misleading.

The statement reads:

We view with grave concern, the attempt by sections of the media, especially the foreign media to mislead the general public and the international community about the on-going State of Emergency and military operations in three states of the Federation: Adamawa, Yobe and Borno. For the avoidance of doubt, the declaration of a state of emergency and the consequential security operations are meant to protect the civilian population and the territory from the macabre and dastardly assault on the Nigerian state by insurgents and terrorists. It is not an operation against innocent citizens as Al-Jazeera and others are suggesting.

In executing this sovereign objective, President Jonathan explicitly directed that the operations be conducted in line with applicable rules of engagement and peculiar care in managing a unique situation. In an earlier statement, he had also made it clear to the military high command and received assurances that those who violate their operational orders will be disciplined accordingly. In line with this regard for the rights of the civilian population, the President Jonathan had ordered the release of women and under-aged persons in protective custody, and made arrangements for their immediate rehabilitation. Fifty eight persons in this category have been released.

The Armed Forces have also secured the release of six women and children in Boko Haram captivity. There is nothing to suggest so far any violation of operational orders by the troops operating in the North East. Their intervention has received popular support, among the civilian populace, and within two weeks of operation, the possibility of calm and normalcy resonates even as enclaves of terrorists are raided and their capacity to continue their reign of terror heavily compromised. This is a process and the Government owes it to the people of the North-East to see it through.

The Jonathan administration believes that media reporting of the reality of living in a state of emergency is needed to keep the local and international community well informed and to hold accountable those prosecuting the military operation to help build trust and sustain the public support needed to build lasting peace.

Rather curiously however, the last two weeks have witnessed mischievous attempts by a section of the media to generate negative propaganda around these operations in the North East. Most recently, a video report by Al-Jazeera yesterday titled “Civilians among dead in Nigeria offensive” (May 31) sought to put the government and the people of Nigeria in bad light. This is regrettable. While we welcome an open interrogation of government’s activities, we reject any attempt to exploit the security situation in the North East to malign, discredit or otherwise undermine the country’s efforts by other surreptitious means. There can be no doubt that the Al Jazeera report of May 31 is in very bad taste.

Two quick points will highlight the concerns here: (1) the video is that of the unfortunate incident that occurred in Bama on May 7 and has no connection with the current operation. If anything, the victims shown in the video were those the Boko Haram attacked before they launched an offensive on the Bama prison (2) the claim that the man in uniform shown in the video is a Nigerian soldier cannot be sustained, because in a war-like theater as we have on our hands, anybody could have been clad in a military fatigue; and we have seen Boko Haram members appear in military fatigues in their propaganda videos. Besides, no soldier has left the frontlines since the beginning of the operations. Surely, this type of reporting on a serious national security issue is irresponsible and should be deplored by all.

We reaffirm the Government of Nigeria’s commitment to and belief in the professionalism of the Nigerian Military, an institution that has served with distinction on many occasions across the region and outside. We deplore the effort to encourage terrorists through unverified and inaccurate reporting, and the desperation to blackmail the current peace and security process.

JTF Apprehends Sect Members While In Search Of Food

A group of Boko Haram members have been apprehended by the Special troops during their cordon and search operation in Borno State while they were going around in search of food.

The intensive cordon and search operation being conducted by the troops of the Special Forces in Borno State have received a major boost from civilian cooperation in communities close to locations being focused in the operation.

According to the Defence Spokesman; Brigadier General Chris Olukolade, a group of terrorists moving from village to village in search of large quantity of food were tracked and apprehended following a tip off from civilians.

The group which was moving around in a Toyota Land Cruiser jeep were arrested at Daban Masara with weapons such as AK 47 rifle, single barrel shotgun, double hand shotgun and various calibres of ammunition.

He further stated that in other locations, a total of 56 identified insurgents were apprehended with the help of military police dogs.  Items recovered from the arrested insurgents include, 7 packs of IEDs, 2 rocket-propelled gun chargers, a rifle magazine, 2 machetes, bomb detonators, camouflage and other military uniforms as well as medicines equipment, charms, 7 vehicles including a jeep and 8 tri-cycles.

Amnesty Committee Seeks Link With Boko Haram

The presidential committee on dialogue and peaceful resolution of security challenges in the north has appealed to Nigerians to link the panel with leadership of the Boko Haram sect.

The Chairman of the committee and Minister of Special Duties, Alhaji Kabiru Turaki, made the appeal in Kaduna when the committee visited Governor Mukhtar Yero of Kaduna State, traditional rulers and religious leaders as part of its nationwide tour.

At the Usman Hassan Katsina house, the chairman of the presidential committee on dialogue and peaceful resolution of security challenges in northern Nigeria, Alhaji Kabiru Turaki said the committee is serious about holding dialogue with members of the Boko Haram sect, with a determination to end insecurity in the northern part of the country.

Leaving Kaduna State, the committee headed straight to Sokoto State, where they met with the Sultan of Sokoto, his eminence, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar the III.

The chairman of the committee and Minister of Special Duties expressed the readiness of the committee to meet with the Boko Haram sect outside the country to ensure peaceful resolution of the conflict.

The committee is meeting with northern leaders and victims of violence linked to the Islamic sect as part of the process that will ultimately bring peace to the region.

Troops Overrun 3 Sect Camps, Rescue Women, Children In Borno

Soldiers in Borno state have dislodged three camps belonging to suspected members of Boko Haram in Sambisa forest, rescuing three women and six children  during the operation.

This was made known by the Director Defence Information;  Brigadier General Chris Olukolade in a statement on Friday.

The women and children, he said were kidnapped from the police barracks and its environs during the 7th of May attack in Bama by members of the Islamic sect.

He however said the troops are still on the look out for one woman and two of her children who are thought to be held in the forest.

General Olukolade added that the focus of the troops at the moment is to ensure that all camps and enclaves are dismantled and destroyed.

JTF Recovers Arms And Ammunitions In Yobe State, Kills One

The Joint Task Force (JTF) in Yobe state said one suspected member of the dreaded Boko Haram sect has been killed in a gun battle in the state.

In a statement made available to news men in Damaturu; the state capital, its Spokesman Lieutenant Eli Lazarus reveals that the killing followed an encounter between the JTF who were on patrol around the Gujba Area of the state and members of the Boko Haram.

Other members of the Islamic group according to the statement, escaped with various gunshot wounds during the encounter after abandoning their vehicle.

Items recovered from the suspects include five AK 47 rifles, two hundred and eleven rounds of ammunition and ten Magazines.

Other items include one Mitsubishi Canter truck, two motorcycles and Improvised Explosives Devices (IEDs) materials, medical supplies as well as Police Uniforms.

The statement adds that JTF will continue to work assiduously towards the restoration of permanent peace in the state.