Channels TV Loses Yobe Correspondent, Jonathan Gopep


The Management and Staff of Channels Television wish to announce the passing away of Jonathan Gopep, our Yobe State correspondent.

He died on Thursday, after battling with a brief illness.

Gopep joined Channels Television in 2012 and has since then shown great passion for his job.

In the wake of the insurgency that ravaged the northeast region, he covered several reports of attacks in the state, with the most recent being the abduction of schoolgirls from the Government Science and Technical College in Dapchi, by Boko Haram.

An excellent reporter, Gopep graduated from the University of Maiduguri, Borno State.

He died at the age of 45.

May his gentle soul rest in peace

Normalcy Returns To Geidam After Army/Police Clash

Yobe-RoadSecurity forces in Yobe State on Thursday said normalcy has been restored in Geidam town of Yobe State after a clash between the Nigeria Army and the Nigeria Police Force.

A gun duel between the two forces on Wednesday caused serious pandemonium in the troubled north east town.

The Yobe State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Sunmonu Abdulmalik, who briefed Channels Television on Thursday said normalcy has since been restored.

A police personnel according to him was injured in the clash but is being treated and will soon be discharged.

The CP also said the cause of the clash is still being investigated as efforts are also being made to curtail future occurrence.

In the same vein, the Military Spokesman, Lieutenant George Okupe, in a telephone conversation with our Yobe State correspondent, Jonathan Gopep, corroborated the CP’s story.

He further noted that an investigative team has been set up to identify the cause of the clash with a view to forestall future occurrence.

The Military Spokesman appealed to residents to always cooperate with security agents in the maintenance of law and order.

This clash between security forces is the first since the commencement of the Boko Haram insurgency in Yobe State.

Geidam is 184 KMs away from Damaturu, the Yobe State capital and shares common border with Yunusari Local Government Area, close to Niger Republic.

Minister Promises 1,350 Metric Tonnes Of Maize To IDPs

IDPsThe Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Khadijat Ibrahim, has promised to provide 1350 metric Tonnes of maize for newly situated IDPs in Yobe State.

The Minister made the promise during a visit to the troubled north eastern state.

She also gave assurance that more will be done to rehabilitate schools health facilities and other infrastructure, which were destroyed during Boko Haram occupation in the state.

Following the recovery of towns in north eastern states, previously occupied by the Boko Haram insurgents, many rejoiced to see the return of displaced persons to their ancestral homes from the camps where they received temporary succour.

Since then, different aid items have been donated to help their resettlement, but more needs to be done.

For the first time in a long while, normal activities have returned to Yobe State.

Channels Television’s Jonathan Gopep reports that Yobe State is gradually recovering, but it is evident that a lot of effort is needed to solve the problems of infrastructure, hunger and drought.

Policeman Kills Two Inspectors, Self In Yobe

policeA Police Constable, Ibrahim Musa, on Friday, fatally shot two Police Inspectors before shooting himself at the Nangere Division in Yobe State, north east Nigeria.

Confirming the incident to Channels Television through its Yobe State Correspondent, Jonathan Gopep on phone, the State Commissioner of Police (CP), Mohammed Zanah Ibramim said that “the Police Constable who was being booked for insubordination, seized a rifle at the counter and shot the two Inspectors at close range, before shooting himself”.

The CP said that the Constable first shot Inspector Muhammed Musa, before firing Inspector Ishaku Allen, who was making the entry in the defaulter’s registry, after which he shot himself.

The subject, he revealed, who was taken to the Potiskum General Hospital, later died while receiving treatment.

During the press briefing, the CP said he had in company of the Emir of Nangere, Alhaji Muhammed Ibn Abubakar Grema, attended the burial of the two Inspectors, as well as paid condolence visits to the bereaved families on behalf of the Inspector General of Police (IGP).

The CP also revealed that while the case is currently being investigated, the subject will be tried posthumously as machinery are being put in place to prevent future occurrence.

Nangere is 118 kilometres north of Potiskum, the commercial nerve centre of Yobe State and west of Damaturu, the state capital.

Security In Top Gear Ahead Of Jonathan’s Visit To Yobe

As Yobe State gets set to host President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday on a one-day official visit, one area of concern is the safety of the President and members of his entourage, sequel to the wave of attacks by members of the fundamentalist sect, Boko Haram.

The state Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Sanusi Rufai, told our correspondent, Jonathan Gopep, in Damaturu the state capital, that all security arrangements had been completed.

He said more enforcement had been received and the security operatives would be strategically located across the state.

Mr. Rufai urged law abiding residents of the state to go about their normal businesses as there would be no place for any law breakers.

Yobe State in North East Nigeria has been a major flashpoint of the Boko Haram insurgency, with series of bomb attacks, killings and attack on government establishments reported in recent weeks.

The Secretary to the state government, Alhaji Babagoni Machina who inspected the projects expected to be commissioned by the President, said the state university, the Damaturu inner ring road as well as some projects within the state capital have been lined up for the President’s inspection.

He added, however, that final touches were being still carried out on some of the projects.


Borno Residents In Talks With Security Forces On Insurgency

The Defence Headquarters in collaboration with the Joint Task Force (JTF) in Borno State has held an interactive session with some residents in the state capital, Maiduguri, with the aim of ending the insurgency by Boko Haram in the state.

The meeting which was held at the popular Ramat Square in Maiduguri, was attended by women as well as youths who subjected themselves to the rigorous search by security forces to make their own contribution on the best way to handle the menace of Boko Haram.

Various contributors at the session called on the military authorities to release the people that have been detained for no reason as well as reduce stringent security measures that have hinedered free flow of vehicles within the metropolis and thereby negatively affecting the state’s economy.

Our correspondent, Jonathan Gopep, reports that at the Government House in Maiduguri, traditional rulers, religious and opinion leaders held another session where they also demanded tolerance and cordial relationship between the military and the civil society, saying that the absence of this has hampered the willing disclosure of relevant information that would help address the situation.

They also called on the JTF to allow the residents within areas worse hit by the insurgency go back to their homes and the quick dispensation of justice for those arrested, while promising to partner with the JTF to ensure lasting peace in the state.

The Deputy Director Civil-Military Relations at the Defence Headquarters, Air Commodore Ademola Onitiju who represented the Chief of Defence Staff at the forum said the military chief is keen to see the resolution of the crisis. He gave the assurance that all the issues raised at the session would be forwarded to him for his consideration.

Air Commodore Onitiju appealed to the insurgents to reconsider their position and give peace a chance, while calling for more collaboration and partnership between the military and the populace to ensure the amicable resolution of the insurgency.

Borno State in the north eastern part of Nigeria is the base of the fundamentalist sect, Boko Haram, which has taken up insurgency against the Nigerian government. The state has witnessed a number of suicide bomb attacks in the last three years, resulting in the loss of many lives.

Gaidam inspects destroyed buildings, promises to re-build

Four days after destruction of telecommunication facilities and state government’s buildings in Yobe state, Governor Ibrahim Gaidam (Monday) inspected some of the destroyed buildings in Damaturu the state capital and accused political enemies of aiding the spread of violence in the state.

Places visited by the governor include the state Ministry of Religious Affairs, the Pilgrims Commission and the Hajj Camp.

Governor Ibrahim Gaidam expressed sadness over the continuous violence in the state and accused political enemies whom he said are hell bent on destabilizing the progress of his administration.

Gaidam said he has recorded 50 to 60 per cent of his campaign promises to the people of the state and hope to achieve over 100 per cent before 2015.

“The political enemies have been giving the hoodlums some money to destroy the structures we have put in place for the betterment of the state, they are happy that this crisis is hampering progress we are making in all spheres of life but that will not deter us from improving the lives of our people” Gaidam said.

The governor said he has left a legacy that people of the state will continue to remember him for and will use the rest of his tenure to improve the lots of the people, calling on all to forget the past and join him in the quest for peace in the state without which no progress can be achieved.

The governor, who said he will reconstruct the destroyed structures, expressed sadness that money meant for other developmental projects, will now be channeled into the reconstruction of the burnt buildings.

He called on the insurgents to listen to the cry of the northern elders and the masses which this continuous violence has destroyed their livelihood to embrace the peace option given to them by the federal and the state government for peace to reign across the country.

Although the report of destroyed property has not been presented to government, thirteen vehicles were at the premises of the ministry while travelling documents of intending pilgrims from the state were all destroyed during the inferno a situation that will affect air lift of pilgrims from the state in the 2012 Hajj operation due to commence in two weeks’ time

The latest inspection is the second embarked upon by Governor Ibrahim Gaidam, the first being during the destruction of Schools and churches three months ago by the hoodlums in Damaturu the state capital.


Gunmen set government vehicle ablaze in Yobe

Destruction of Government property continued today in Damaturu, the Yobe state capital, as hoodlums suspected to be members of the Boko Haram sect set fire on a bus belonging to the state transport service, Yobe Line.

Witnesses say the incident occurred around 3PM today at the Gwange junction of Damaturu metropolis as the hoodlums used highly inflammable substances in setting the bus ablaze.

Confirming the incident to our Damaturu correspondent, Jonathan Gopep, the state commissioner of police, Mister Patrick Egbuniwe said no life was lost in the attack

The police are however yet to identify the identity of the driver and the manner in which the bus was burnt.

The sect has after launching attack on telecommunication facilities across the north three days ago commenced destruction of government property in the state.

Structures affected within the period include; the state Ministry of Religious Affairs, the State Pilgrims Commission, the Hajj Camp, Government Secondary School Damaturu, and a Hilux jeep belonging to the state government.

The INEC Local Government  Office was also not left out among others.




JTF reassures Damaturu residents of their safety

The Joint Task Force JTF in Yobe state today (Monday) reassured residents of Damaturu, the state capital that they will continue to take adequate measures towards the safety of lives and property in the state despite the security challenges in the recent past.

The JTF statement is coming at the heel of a mass exodus of people from the state capital in anticipation of more attacks by the radical Islamic sect the Boko Haram.

JTF in a statement made available to journalists in Damaturu said their primary responsibility is to ensure the safety of every body and urged the people to remain calm and go about their legitimate businesses.

The statement urged those who have left the town to return and go about their legitimate business and to disregard the rumours and speculation of further attacks by the radical Islamic sect.

The JTF assures members of the public that its officers and men will continue to take every necessary measure to ensure the safety and security of all law abiding citizens.

Our Damaturu Correspondent, Jonathan Gopep, reports that there has been mass movement of people out of Damaturu in anticipation of more attacks by the radical Islamic Sect Boko Haram.


JTF kills 20 Boko Haram members in Maiduguri

Officers of the Joint Task Force (JTF) in Maiduguri on Sunday killed 20 suspected members of  fundamentalist sect, Boko Haram, in a shoot-out in the troubled capital of Borno state.

A JTF source who does not want his name mentioned, confirmed to Channels Television in Maiduguri, that security forces got an intelligence report that the sect members were having a meeting at a particular location in the metropolis.

He disclosed that as the JTF officers approached the venue, the sect members opened fire; killing one soldier while two others sustained injuries.

But according to the source, the military officers fought back and the gun duel led to the killing of all the sect members in the meeting. .

The source also revealed that a 2001 Toyota Camry car, allegedly stolen for a planned bombing mission by a suicide bomber, was recovered in Maiduguri metropolis.

The Camry, according to him, was abandoned by the suspects and in the vehicle, were explosive devices which revealed the driver was on a suicide bombing mission.

On sighting the security forces on his trail, the suspected bomber abandoned the car and ran away.

Channels Television correspondent in Maiduguri, Jonathan Gopep, reports that some roads were blocked within the metropolis on Sunday as severe searches were being carried out by the JTF on all vehicles.

Earlier in the day, a similar gun battle, occurred between security forces and suspected Boko Haram members at the Bundigari-Powari ward of Damaturu, the Yobe state capital.


Shehu of Borno, Deputy Governor escape bomb explosion

The Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Umar Garba El-Kanemi and the Deputy Governor of the State, Alhaji Zannah Umar Mustapha escaped an attack by a suicide bomber suspected to be a member of the Boko Haram sect.

The incident happened around 2:15pm, immediately after Friday Jumat prayers at the Mosque in front of the Shehu’s palace.

Eye witness account claim a teenager of about 15 years old was noticed walking towards the two dignitaries outside the Shehu’s mosque where they just had the Jumat prayers.

However, the suspicious manner in which the boy was approaching the Shehu and deputy governor, drew the attention of the security men guarding the Shehu who quickly tried to shield him.

The bomb went off in the process, killing at least 10 other people in the vicinity, wounding two of the soldiers according to eye witness.

Men of the Joint Task Force (JTF) and other security operatives immediately rushed the traditional ruler and the deputy governor to the Government House while the mosque and the palace were condoned off by soldiers and policemen to prevent further attacks.

Spokesman for the Joint Task Force, Lieutenant Col. Sagir Musa confirmed to Channels Television correspondent, Jonathan Gopep that five People were killed in the attack.

The area around the Shehu’s palace has been cordoned off and more soldiers have been deployed to the scene.