Military Denies Mass Burial For Nigerian Soldiers

MutinyThe Nigerian military has denied claims that officers who died in the course of the fight against insurgency have been discreetly buried in mass graves.

The Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, and the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Kenneth Minimah, denied the claim while fielding questions from journalists at a press briefing organised by the Minister of Defence, Lt. Gen Aliyu Gusau, on the 2015 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration in Abuja on Tuesday.

He also explained that the dead soldiers are given full military burial rites with their next of kin in attendance.

However, the Minister of Defence, refused to comment on the state of the counter terrorism operations as well as the controversial seizure of cash from Nigerians in South Africa.

Lt. Gen. Gusau (rtd) said the Armed Forces Remembrance Day is an opportunity to appreciate the efforts of the Nigerian soldiers, who have paid the ultimate price for the nation.

The military hierarchy also promised to address the non-payment of pension arrears of retired military officers, who recently staged a protest in the nation’s capital over the non-payment of their outstanding pension.

Jonathan Meets With Security Chiefs, Governors

FEC_nigeriaThe President’s meeting with security chiefs and PDP governors has ended at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

The meeting examined recent security events and developments in the country.

Although, the outcome of the meeting was not made public, those present include the governors of Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Benue, Delta, Abia, Enugu, Anambra and Jigawa states.

Others were the Plateau, Kogi, Bauchi, Ebonyi, Kaduna, Gombe, Katsina and Niger State governors as well as Taraba State’s Acting Governor, and the deputy governors of Bayelsa and Kebbi states.

They were joined by Vice President Namadi Sambo, the Minister of Defence, Lt.-Gen Aliyu Gusau, the National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (Rtd.), the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, the Service Chiefs, the Inspector-General of Police, the Director-General of the State Security Services and the Director-General Of National Intelligence Agency.

Also present was the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the Minister of Police Affairs, and the Minister for the Interior.

No APC governor was present at the expanded meeting.

However, another Security Council meeting would hold next Wednesday with all governors, irrespective of political party expected to attend.

Northern Govs Call Emergency Meeting To Discuss Security Situation

northern_governorsAn emergency meeting of Northern States Governors’ Forum (NSGF) has been scheduled for Tuesday, 22nd April, 2014 at the Niger State Governor’s Lodge, Jose Marti Crescent, Asokoro, Abuja at 4:00 p.m.

A statement made available to Channels  Television said that the meeting was called out of concern to address the incessant attacks and systematic killings of innocent people going on in the region, which has become a source of embarrassment and great concern to the Forum.

The statement explained that the meeting would discuss the increasing incidences of clashes between Fulani herdsmen and local communities, as well as reckless massacre and kidnapping of people across the Northern States.

Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan has been in a meeting with members of the  National Security Council in the Presidential Villa to review recent  security events and developments in the country.

Those present  at the meeting include Vice President Namadi Sambo, the Minister of Defence, Lt.-Gen Aliyu Gusau, the National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (Rtd.), the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, the Service Chiefs, the Inspector-General of Police, the Director-General of the State Security Services and the Director-General of National Intelligence Agency.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Minister of Police Affairs, and the Minister for the Interior are also present at the meeting.

The meeting of the National Security Council would be followed by an enlarged meeting on security developments in the country to which President Jonathan has invited State Governors.

Jonathan Summons Governors, Others To Security Meeting

jonathan_gesticulationFollowing an attack on Nyanya Motor Park on Monday morning and the abduction of 200 school girls in Borno on Tuesday, the Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, on Wednesday summoned all 36 governors and others to a security meeting.

In a statement, the President’s aide on media and publicity, Reuben Abaati, disclosed that the meeting would hold on Thursday at the Presidential Villa.

According to the statement, “the Vice President, Namadi Sambo, the Minister of Defence, Lt.-Gen Aliyu Gusau, the National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.), the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, the Service Chiefs, the Inspector-General of Police, the Director-General of the State Security Services and the Director-General of National Intelligence Agency” would be at the National Security Council meeting.

The security meeting “will be followed at 13:00 Hours by an enlarged meeting on security developments in the country to which President Jonathan has invited State Governors” to review the security situation in the country as well as ongoing national security measures and operations with a view to determining the best way forward.

Although there have been criticisms against President Jonathan, Abati said the President wanted all Nigerians and persons living in the country to know that “the Federal Government remains very mindful of its responsibility for the safety of their lives and property in all parts of Nigeria and will continue to do everything possible to protect them from the scourge of terrorism and insecurity”.

Abati further stated that “the President is particularly concerned about the plight of the young Senior Secondary School girls who were reportedly abducted from their school in Borno State on Monday night and has ordered the military and national security agencies to deploy maximum efforts towards rescuing all of the girls and returning them safely to their parents. He welcomes reports that the military and security agencies have already rescued some of the girls.”

The President further expressed regrets over the “pain, sorrow and anguish brought upon many Nigerian families in recent days” but insisted on his conviction “that with the patriotic commitment and support of all Nigerians, the country would ultimately overcome its present challenges and move forward in unity and strength”.

“In this regard, President Jonathan will be pleased to see all politicians in the country exhibiting greater responsibility and patriotism by doing more to support his administration’s sincere efforts to enhance national security rather than trying to build political capital out of the pain and misery of their compatriots,” the statement read.