Why Insurgents Are Recruiting More Members – North-East Governors

President Muhammadu Buhari at a meeting with the north-east governors and others in Abuja on August 10, 2020.

 

State governors in the north-eastern part of the country have identified some of the root causes of the insurgency raving the region.

They stated this on Monday in Abuja at a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari to discuss ways to intensify the war against insurgency.

The Chairman of the North-East Governors’ Forum, Babagana Zulum of Borno State, who led the governors to the Villa, stressed the need for the Nigerian government to address the root causes of the insurgency.

According to him, the insurgents are taking advantage of endemic poverty and hunger among other challenges in the region to recruit more members into their fold.

Briefing State House correspondent at the end of the meeting, Zulum said, “One of the root causes is access to farmlands. People need to go back to their farmlands; people need to be resettled in their original homes so that they can start their means of livelihood.

“This is one of the reasons why insurgents are recruiting more (members) into their sects and creating an enabling environment for people to go about their normal activities will no doubt reduce the cases of insurgencies.”

“We also recommended that the police should be provided with state-of-the-art equipment, armoured personal carriers among others, with a view to bridging the manpower gap that we are having in the Nigerian military,” the governor added.

He also stressed the need for the Federal Government to work closely with the state and local governments with a view to providing solutions that would end the crisis in the region.

Governor Zulum, however, noted that the government was taking a bold step to ensure the best ways to tackle some of the challenges faced by people in the North East.

Other governors present included Darius Ishaku (Taraba), Umar Fintiri (Adamawa), Bala Mohammed (Bauchi), Inuwa Yahaya (Gombe), and Mai Mala Buni (Yobe).

Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State and his Yobe State counterpart, Mai Mala Buni, having a conversation with the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, and the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, after meeting with the President in Abuja on August 10, 2020.

 

Members of the Boko Haram terrorist group and the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) have carried out a series of attacks on communities in the region over the years, leading to the death of thousands of residents and forceful ejection of millions of others from their homes.

While the military said it has recorded many feats in the onslaught against the insurgents, the state governors in the region, who were apparently disturbed by the recent activities of the non-state fighters, met with the President.

 

‘Nigerians Believed Us’

Earlier, at the meeting, President Buhari gave strong assurances that security would be restored to Borno State, the North East, and the nation at large.

The President’s assurance, according to a statement by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, follows the recent adoption of new strategies and the acquisition of modern military equipment.

President Muhammadu Buhari at a meeting with the north-east governors and others in Abuja on August 10, 2020.

 

“Things will improve very soon. We are acquiring modern equipment; some are here, some are being cleared, and others still coming.

“We need patience with acquisition of equipment. You need to train the trainers for their usage ahead of their deployment to the field,” President Buhari was quoted as saying in the statement.

He added, “I assure you, the north-east governors, especially that of Borno, that we go to bed and wake up thinking about you, how to secure our country; that is the responsibility of every government.

“Our party campaigned in 2015 on three major objectives, among which is Security. We said the same thing in 2019 and Nigerians believed us. We are doing our best and we will continue to do even better.”

The President decried the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy which he said has made scarce resources even scarcer, coupled with its severe impact on the supply chain of military equipment and spare parts.

He, however, stated that his administration was doing its best on the question of equipment and the military was aware that equipment were coming from some countries.

President Buhari lamented that the acquisition of military wares and spares was not an easy task.

 

‘We Will Not Relent’

The meeting was also attended by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, as well as the Chief of Defence Staff, the Service Chiefs, the Inspector-General of Police, and the heads of intelligence agencies.

Some of the attendees promised that things would get better soon and made a strong case for strengthening ties among the military, state governments, traditional institutions, and all communities and the residents of the region.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, gave an assessment of the current efforts, stressing that Boko Haram terrorists have been flushed out of all the states in the region, leaving Borno State as the last stop.

 

“There are no Boko Haram terrorists in neighbouring states.  They have been pushed out, and now cornered in Borno State.

“We are coordinating with civil and traditional authorities, mobilising and reinforcing and all we need is patience. We will not relent,” he said.

On his part, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, briefed the meeting on the acquisition of military aircraft, stressing that the imminent arrival of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, UAVs, known as drones with more than 10 hours of flying time, would strongly reinforce the battlefront.

Briefs were also received on equipment needs of the police, as well as the changing alliances between criminal gangs and terrorist groups in the region from the intelligence community.

Army Repels Terror Attack In Monguno

Borno is situated in northeast Nigeria.
Borno is situated in northeast Nigeria.

 

The Army says it has repelled attacks by the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) in Monguno town in Borno state, northeast Nigeria.

Security forces reportedly engaged the fighters in a gun battle as the insurgents invaded the town in large numbers on Saturday, shooting sporadically.

Thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) residing in the town were said to have fled for safety.

Our correspondent in the state gathered that two other local government areas, Ganze and Gubio, also came under attack at the same time, although no casualty figures have been reported.

The attack comes amid rising cases of COVID-19 in Borno. On Friday, the state recorded 42 new cases of the disease, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

Borno has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country’s northeast region with a total of 423 cases and 26 deaths.

Troops Kill 20 Insurgents In Borno

A file photo of soldiers on a military truck.

 

 

Troops of 130 Battalion have killed at least 20 members of the Boko Haram sect and Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP) in a fierce encounter at the north-western part of Baga town in Borno State.

The Coordinator of Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, confirmed the number of terrorists killed in a statement on Sunday.

He noted the troops conducted the decisive intercept offensive operation with the support of the Nigerian Army Super Camp in Baga.

Enenche explained that the insurgents who were armed with mortars, rocket-propelled grenades, and small weapons were on their way to attack villages surrounding Baga before the gunfight took place.

“The troops attacked their convoy with overwhelming firepower, killing 20 BHT/ISWAP criminals, captured six AK 47 rifles, 520 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, and five 36 hand grenades.

“However, nine of our gallant soldiers were wounded in action with no loss of life. They were evacuated to Sector 3 hospital for treatment,” he stated.

According to the military spokesman, the Chief of Army Staff commends the soldiers for their professionalism and directs them to remain resolute towards eradicating the criminals from the North East.

Eleven ISWAP Fighters Surrender To Gallant Troops In Adamawa

 

Eleven ISWAP Fighters have surrendered to troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE in Adamawa state.

This is according to a statement from the Nigeria Defence Headquarters.

According to the communique, “On 11 May 2020, eleven ISWAP fighters surrendered to troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE in Adamawa State.

“The repentant insurgents are being profiled for further action. This number of surrendered BHT/ISWAP fighters is an indication of the heat of our operational activities on the terrorists due to the renewed impetus in the theatre to end the criminality. There are indications that more terrorists are willing to surrender.

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One of such moves, was the dropping off of 72 family members of BHTs/ISWAP at the entrance of Ngala town in Ngala Local Government Area of Borno State on 10 May 2020 around 8.30pm, comprising 33 women and 39 children. All of them are in custody of troops for further action.

“It would be recalled that the De-radicalization, Rehabilitation and Reintegration programme for ex-fighters under Operation SAFE CORRIDOR has recorded tremendous success. So far, 280 clients have successfully undergone the programme and reintegrated into the society, 25 of this number were repatriated to Niger Republic. Presently, 603 clients are due to pass out in June 2020. Other fighters are hereby encouraged to come out of the bush/hideouts to surrender.”

Meanwhile, on 9 May 2020 troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE at Uvaha High Ground Area in Limankara, Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno State neutralized 3 suicide bombers attempting to infiltrate the defence location.

Similarity, troops of 144 Battalion, 82 Division task Force Battalion, 26 Task Force Brigade and 271 Task Force Tank Battalion neutralized 18 Boko Haram Terrorists within the past one week. These operations took place at Gamboru Ngala, Firgi Mubi – Kamale Road in Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State as well as Ngoshe near the Nigeria – Cameroon border. A total of 72 persons were also rescued from the Boko Haram Terrorists.’

Also, on 9 May 2020, troops of 121 Task Force Battalion, at Pulka – Ngurosoye, near Bama town repelled BHT ambush and killed 20 terrorists, while on escort duty. Equally, on 13 May 2020, Operation LAFIYA DOLE troops killed 9 insurgents in an ambush at Mainok – Jakana axis in Kaga Local Government Area of Borno State. Two gun trucks mounted with anti aircraft gun were captured.

In all, sixty-one Boko Haram Terrorists/ISWAP criminals were neutralized in the Theatre, aside from those that escaped with gunshot wounds with narrow chances of survival.

In a swift operation, within this period, gallant Troop of Army Super Camp Mallam Fatori on 11 May 2020, conducted a clearance operation to Tumbun Fulani in Abadam Local Government Area of Borno State.

Several terrorists were killed while their vehicles and logistics bases were destroyed.

Air Force Strikes Kill ‘Several’ ISWAP Terrorists – Defence HQ

Screengrab from the NAF video.

 

The Nigerian Air Force says its Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole has killed several Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) terrorists at Kolloram on the fringes of the Lake Chad in Borno State.

The Coordinator of the Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche who confirmed the attack said the operation was conducted based on credible intelligence reports, indicating that some of the ISWAP leaders and fighters had converged in the settlement for a meeting.

He noted that the Air Force fighter jets and surveillance aircraft were scrambled to attack the location.

According to Enenche, the terrorists were seen moving towards the edges of the settlement and were engaged, leading to the neutralisation of several of them.

The Defence spokesman explained that the few survivors were taken out in subsequent passes as the jets strafed the area.

Key Boko Haram Leaders Killed In Borno Air Strikes – Military

 

The Defence Headquarters says troops have killed several key leaders of the Boko Haram and Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorist groups in Borno State.

Coordinator of Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, confirmed this in a statement on Monday.

According to him, the terrorists were killed and their structures destroyed in air strikes conducted by the Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole at Durbada.

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“The operation was executed on 17 April 2020 on the heels of credible Human Intelligence (HUMINT) reports, which were confirmed by series of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions, indicating that the settlement was one of the locations where some of the terrorists’ hierarchy often hibernate.

“Fighter jets dispatched by the Air Task Force took turns in attacking the location, scoring accurate hits within the target area which resulted in the death of some of the terrorists,” the statement said.

Major General Enenche added that others, who were seen attempting to flee the area, were taken out in follow-on attacks.

He noted that the Armed Forces of Nigeria would continue to sustain the offensive against those he described as the enemies of the nation.

The Coordinator of Defence Media Operations explained that this would be done in furtherance of the objective of restoring peace and security in the North East.

Military Destroys Terrorists’ Hideout In Borno

A file photo of a Nigerian air force airstrike
A file photo of a Nigerian air force airstrike

 

The Nigerian military says it has destroyed some structures belonging to the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) in air strikes conducted at Muktu in the Northern part of Borno State.

The airstrike was executed by the Air Component of Operation Lafiya Dole on Wednesday, March 25.

According to a statement signed on Thursday by Defence Headquarters spokesperson, Bernard Onyeuko, this is part of the ongoing subsidiary’s Operation Decisive Edge, after Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) flights which indicated that the ISWAP members were using some compounds in two locations within the settlement to store their logistics as well as train their fighters.

“Accordingly, Operation Lafiya Dole dispatched its fighter jets to engage the identified compounds, scoring accurate hits leading to the destruction of the structures as well as the neutralization of their occupants,” Onyeuko added.

He assured that the Armed Forces of Nigeria will continue to sustain the offensive against the enemies of our Nation.

Air Force Says ISWAP Logistics Facilities Destroyed By Airstrikes In Borno

 

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has said that some structures and logistics facilities used by the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) at Bukar Meram on the fringes of the Lake Chad in Borno State have been destroyed by airstrikes.

According to the Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, in a statement on Sunday, intelligence reports indicated that the terrorists had resumed using the settlement to store their logistics supplies.

He added that aircraft dispatched by the ATF provided close air support for ground troops at Gubio and destroyed one gun truck and eliminated some ISWAP fighters at the location.

In continuation of Operation DECISIVE EDGE, the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation LAFIYA DOLE has successfully knocked out some logistics facilities and other structures belonging to elements of the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) at Bukar Meram on the fringes of the Lake Chad in Borno State.

Similarly, aircraft dispatched by the ATF to provide close air support for ground troops at Gubio in the Northwestern part of Borno State also destroyed one gun truck and eliminated some ISWAP fighters at the location.

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The Air Force spokesman added that fighter jets and a helicopter gunship scrambled by the ATF to provide close air support to ground troops at Gubio neutralized an ISWAP gun truck and some of their fighters as they attempted to beat a retreat after they were roundly defeated by a combination of air and ground fire.

The Nigerian Air Force, in furtherance of the objective of restoring peace and security in the Northeast and operating in concert with surface forces, will continue to carry out air interdiction missions against the enemies of our Nation.

IGP Declares Bandits In North West As Boko Haram, ISWAP Members

 

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu, says bandits in North West are Boko Haram and ISWAP members.

He made the declaration in Kaduna on Thursday, during a meeting with top Police Commanders over recent attacks in the state.

The IGP stated that the reinforced attacks need new war strategies geared towards eliminating the bandits from their hideouts in the nook and crannies of the zone.

The police boss said it is important to ensure that peace and security are restored while imploring the officers to show commitment in the fight against criminality in the region.

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The IGP’s meeting with top police commanders follows Sunday’s attack by bandits in five villages in Giwa and Igabi local government areas of Kaduna state by where no fewer than 51 people were killed and several others injured.

Channels Television reported that during a visit to some of the affected villages, Governor Nasir El-Rufai vowed to wipe out bandits in Kaduna state.

He insisted that his administration will not succumb to granting the bandits amnesty.

Governor El-Rufai apologised to the villagers on behalf of his government for failing to protect them, while assuring them that troops of the Nigerian military will be stationed in the villages to provide adequate security.

Air Strikes Kill Key ISWAP Leaders In Borno, Says NAF

 

Some key Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) leaders have been killed by airstrikes at Jubillaram and Alinwa in the Northern part of Borno State.

A statement by the Nigerian Air Force Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola on Saturday, said the strikes were conducted by the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation Lafiya Dole, under the auspices of Operation Rattle Snake 3.

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He explained that based on credible intelligence reports indicating that some key ISWAP leaders had assembled for simultaneous meetings on Thursday; attack aircraft were dispatched to engage the locations, damaging the meeting venues and killing the terrorists.

“The latest of these was achieved on 20 February 2020 in attacks conducted at Jubillaram and Alinwa in the Northern part of Borno State, where some key Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) leaders were neutralized as they assembled for meetings at the 2 locations.

“The mission was executed on the heels of credible intelligence reports indicating that some key ISWAP leaders had assembled for meetings, which were being held simultaneously at 2 separate venues, at Jubillaram and Alinwa in Marte Local Government Area.

“Accordingly, the ATF scrambled its attack aircraft to engage the locations, damaging the meeting venues and neutralizing the terrorists,” he added.

The Air Force spokesman stated that both land and air forces will sustain its campaign against terrorists in the North East.

Two Years In Captivity: Buhari Remembers Leah Sharibu, Speaks About Her Freedom

Muhammadu Buhari                                                                                                                 Leah Sharibu

 

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday commemorated the abduction of Leah Sharibu, the remaining Dapchi schoolgirl in captivity.

Two years since the teenager was abducted by a faction of the Boko Haram sect – Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), the President said the Federal Government has redoubled its effort towards her freedom.

In a statement personally signed by him, President Buhari regretted that Leah has remained in the custody of the terrorists because she refused to renounce her Christian faith.

He stressed that Nigerians have the right to practice any religion of their choice and nobody has the power to force another to change their faith against their will.

The President, however, gave an assurance that his administration would continue to work to ensure that Leah, as well as other children and captives of terrorists, regain their freedom.

He added that the government would ensure this was done without discriminating against any religion or ethnic group.

On February 19, 2018, some insurgents stormed the Government Girls Secondary School in Dapchi, Yobe State and abducted Leah and about 100 other girls.

A group of protesters demanding Leah Sharibu’s release from captivity.

 

 

Weeks after the kidnap, the other girls were released while Leah was kept in captivity by the terrorists for refusing to renounce her faith.

Six months later, an audio clip emerged in which the abducted schoolgirl pleaded with President Buhari to help her regain freedom.

In the clip, Leah also sought help for her family and asked the government to treat her case with passion.

Last year, Leah’s family and the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) campaign group commemorated her first year in the insurgent’s custody and called on the government to secure her release.

Read President Buhari’s Message below:

WE’LL CONTINUE TO SEEK AND SECURE RELEASE OF ALL CHILDREN AND CAPTIVES OF TERRORISTS – PRESIDENT BUHARI

On the second anniversary of Dapchi, Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria makes the following statement:

Two years ago, 110 innocent children from the town of Dapchi were taken, against their will, by the terrorists of Boko Haram. 107 survived the ordeal. Today all but one – Leah Sharibu – are returned to their families.

Now aged 16, Leah remains in the hands of the terrorists – they say because she refuses to renounce her Christian faith.

We say, as the government for and of all Nigerians, that no person has the right to force another to change their faith against their will and that all life is sacred.

This government continues and seeks to secure the release of all children and captives of terrorists – and we do so regardless of their creed or the name of their creator.

As we redouble our efforts for Leah’s return, we can never allow the terrorists to divide us – Christian against Muslim, Muslim against Christian. We are all Sons of Abraham. And all Nigerians have the same worth and rights before the law, and before God.

Signed:

Muhammadu Buhari,

President and Commander-in Chief,

Federal Republic of Nigeria,

Abuja.

18-02-20

Suspected ISWAP Members Attack Communities In Niger, Kill Two And Injure Four

 

Armed men suspected to be members of the Islamic State in West Africa Province, ISWAP have attacked Gurmana, Old Gurmana and Ashirika communities of Shiroro local government area of Niger State, killing two and injuring four. 

The attack took place on Saturday, February 8, 2020.

A member of one of the adjoined communities in Erena, Alhaji Yehuza Erena said the armed men numbering over a hundred stormed the community, some on bikes and some on feet, shooting sporadically into the air.

He said they first attacked Gurmana where they killed two people and injured four persons before moving to old Gurmana where they rustled more than two hundred herds of cattle.

The Senator representing Niger East, Senator Sani Musa has also confirmed the attacks saying he also received news of the attacks early morning of Saturday.

In a statement signed by Senator Sani Musa and issued to newsmen, he said,
“My heart is heavy, and I find it really unbelievable that people could just be so ungodly to the point that the sanctity of human life no longer means anything to them. I received the report of the sad and barbaric attacks on my people this morning.

“According to the information I got, armed men dressed in black cloths with their faces covered stormed Gurmana community and other adjoining communities and started shooting sporadically. In the process, two persons were said to have been killed while four are lying in the hospital, critically injured.”

The lawmaker, while commending the Security operatives for their renewed efforts at combatting the menace of insecurity in the state, urged them not to relent.

“I call on all security agencies in the state, particularly the troops operating in the erstwhile areas of Shiroro, Munya, Rafi, Paikoro and Mashegu not to rest on their oars in their fight to squash the menace of insecurity in the state. I must also add that, I really commend their efforts,” he said.

As at the time of filing this report, the Police in Niger state is yet to confirm the incidence. Efforts to speak to the Public Relations Officer, DSP Abubakar Dan-Inna has proved abortive as he would not pick his calls or reply to the text message sent to him by our correspondent.

Meanwhile, Channels Television has gathered that the military and the police have deployed troops to the area with enforcement from the air force to condone the situation.