FG Receives Repentant Niger Delta Militants 

Niger DeltaThe Federal Government will be receiving about 7,000 repentant militants in Akwa Ibom State on Saturday, January 23, 2016.

The Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Co-ordinator of the Amnesty Program, Retired Brigadier-General Paul Boroh said that the repentant militants declared their interest to disarm and join the Niger Delta Amnesty programme.

He was speaking to journalists after an inter-agency meeting to discuss the recent attack on pipelines in the Niger Delta.

General Boroh added that the ex-agitators have also declared their willingness to be involved in plans to ensure the security of pipelines and oil facilities in the region.

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Ugure, had earlier hosted an inter-agency meeting, where strategies on how to counter the attacks on oil facilities were discussed.

Warri Pipeline Explosion

Facilities belonging to the Nigeria Gas Company, Chevron Nigeria Limited and Nigeria National Petroleum Company, NNPC were blown up by suspected militants on Friday, January 15 in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State.

This has forced the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to announce the operational shutdown of the Port Harcourt and Kaduna Refineries owing to crude supply challenges arising from the attacks on vital crude oil pipelines.

Both the Nigerian Army and the Navy have described the attack as sabotage and terrorism which will not be tolerated.

The JTF Commander of Operation Pulo Shield in the Niger Delta, Major-General Alani Okunola, said that the task force had mobilised men to apprehend those who attacked the oil facilities.

He also warned community leaders that they would be held responsible for any attack on the country’s oil and gas facilities in their domains.

The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, while condemning the act, promised that no efforts would be spared in securing the lives and property of the citizens.

He also proposed the establishment of special courts and tribunals to tackle crimes in the maritime sector.

 

Warri Pipeline Vandalism Is ‘Sabotage And Terrorism’ – Navy Chief

NavyThe Chief of Naval Staff says that the recent oil pipeline vandalism in Warri, Delta State is sabotage and terrorism and will not be tolerated by the Navy.

Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas made the statement on Wednesday at a lecture with participants of Course 24 of the National Defence College in Abuja, who came from various security agencies in Nigeria.

He said that a close inspection of the explosion revealed that the intention of the saboteurs was not to steal crude oil but to damage the oil facilities which infringes on a primary mandate of the Navy and would be taken seriously.

While listing the core mandate and challenges of the Nigerian Navy, the naval boss maintained that no efforts would be spared in securing the lives and property of the citizens.

He also proposed the establishment of special courts and tribunals to tackle crimes in the maritime sector.

Also speaking on the importance of strategic information to national security, the Director General of the National Orientation Agency, Mike Omeri, observed that a continuous synergy between the people, government and security agencies was important in the fight against insurgency.

He proposed the creation of a national communication strategy to be used across national spaces, stressing that security orientation and behavioural modification must be sustained to ensure that the right impact was made on the citizens towards lasting security in Nigeria.

The attacks on the pipelines forced the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to shut down the refineries in Port Harcourt and Kaduna, a development that could further worsen the scarcity of fuel faced by many states of the oil-rich nation.

But the NNPC gave the assurance that arrangements had been made to ensure availability of petroleum products while it sought solution.

Biafra: NOA Deploys Officers To Dampen Tension In S/East Communities

Biafra-protestersThe National Orientation Agency (NOA) has concluded plans to deploy its officers to aggrieved communities in the South Eastern part of the country to sensitize youth on the need to shun Biafra and sustain a united Nigeria.

The Chief Executive of NOA, Mr Mike Omeri, told journalists in Abuja that state governments are in the process of finding solutions to concerns expressed by pro-Biafra agitators.

He urged the youth to remain committed to strengthening principles that guide national development.

Pro-Biafra supporters have been staging protests in the South East in solidarity with the Biafra Radio host, Nnamdi Kanu, who has been detained by the Department of State Service (DSS).

The protesters, who storm streets in their hundreds.

Although the protesters appeared resolute to continue their march, security operatives managed to maintain the barricade, causing many commuters to resort to trekking long distances as a result of the gridlock caused by the face-off.

Some of the protesters told Channels Television that they would not back down from pursuing the freedom of the one they call their leader.

They called on the federal government to heed their cry and that of other pro-Biafran supporters for self-determination.

Agency Plans Enlightenment On Whistle Blowing To Tackle Corruption

Mike_Omeri2The National Orientation Agency has announced plans to embark on enlightenment campaign at the grassroots to sensitise Nigerians on whistle blowing on issues of procurement processes.

The Director General of the agency, Mr Mike Omeri, who announced the plan in Abuja on Wednesday, said issues of corruption had eaten deep into the nation’s system and required more of whistle blowing than just holding talks on how to end it.

Corruption can affect every sphere of life and if allowed unchecked in any society, it could lead to under-development, Mr Omeri pointed out in a meeting between government officials, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and other stakeholders.

The meeting discussed strategies that would help ensure the eradication of the menace of corruption in the public service, especially in procurement processes.

An Assistant Commissioner with the ICPC, Sola Sodipo, stressed that while fighting corruption involved the cooperation of everyone, public servants should watch out for some early warning signals and also blow whistles.

Issues of how to combat corruption in Nigeria has taken centre stage at various meetings, showing the commitment of the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to tackling corruption in Nigeria.

President Buhari has made it clear that his mission is to stamp out corruption in Nigeria, saying he will like to be remembered as a Nigerian that fought corruption to a standstill.

Nigeria Denies Boko Haram Seized 500 Children

NigeriaThe Federal Government of Nigeria has denied that the Islamist group, Boko Haram, abducted 500 children from the town of Damasak in Borno State, north-east of the country.

The Federal Government Spokesperson, Mike Omeri, said that the figure was lower although he could not be precise.

Omeri said the militant group freed some women and children when they fled the town, except for those “they had married in the period of occupation”.

“The Boko Haram were using them as “protection” and the government had ordered “full military intervention” to secure their release,” he said.

Damasak is the head town of the Mobbar Local Government Area in Borno State, located near the merging of the Yobe River and Komadugu Gana River, adjoining the border with Niger.

The regional forces recaptured the town earlier in March.

FG Denies Presence Of ISIS Militants In Nigeria

Mike_Omeri2The Nigerian Government says there is no evidence, suggesting that the militant group, Islamic State, is operating in Nigeria.

The Coordinator of the National Information Centre, Mr Mike Omeri, told reporters on Wednesday, that the attempt by the Boko Haram insurgents to seek assistance from ISIS, was a confirmation of the kind of pressure the group was receiving from multi-national forces.

Mr Omeri appealed for support from Nigerians in the fight against the Boko Haram, noting that so far, 36 towns had been reclaimed from the insurgents.

An Act Of Desperation

Mr Omeri had on Tuesday described Boko Haram’s pledge of allegiance to the Islamic State group as a sign of weakness and a result of pressure on the Jihadist militants by the Multi National Joint Task Force (MNJTF).

Mr  Omeri said the pledge was “an act of desperation and comes at a time when Boko Haram is suffering heavy losses”.

The Islamists’ leader, Abubakar Shekau, made the announcement in an audio message on Saturday night.

“Troops from Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger have claimed a series of successes against the militants since last month, pushing them out of captured territories in northeast Nigeria”, adding that “Boko Haram is on the way to being eliminated.

“No foreign extremists can or will change this fact –- as long as the Nigerian military continues to receive cooperation and commitment from its citizens and allies.

“There will be no Islamic State in Nigeria, the only state that will exist is the united Federal Republic of Nigeria.”, he said.

Election Postponement Not In Vain – Omeri

Mike OmeriThe Coordinator of the National Information Centre, Mike Omeri on Thursday said that the victories recorded by the Nigerian army against the Boko Haram terrorist group was evidence that the postponement of the 2015 general elections was neither in vain nor a devious ploy by the government.

The general elections which had been slated for February 14 and 28 were postponed for security reasons and to buy time for the Nigerian army to sweep out Boko Haram insurgents in the north eastern region of the country.

While giving updates on security operations on Sunrise Daily, Omeri noted that there was increased collaboration and vigilance on the part of the security operatives in the fight against the insurgents.

Commenting on the postponement of the general elections, Mr Omeri noted that it was necessary to give the security agents time to restore peace in troubled areas.

“From the information coming from the North East, it is evident that successes are being recorded,” Omeri noted, adding that there were evidences that the request to postpone the general elections was not in vain and neither was it a ploy as alleged by the opposition.

Asked about the efforts at rescuing the Chibok school girls, who were abducted by members of the Boko Haram sect on April 14, 2014, Omeri said “operations are still ongoing” to free as many that were taken forcefully, including the girls.

He urged Nigerians to “please be patient”.

On comments by the Chadian President claiming to know the whereabouts of the Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau and his continued resurgence despite previous claims by the Nigerian military that he had been killed, Omeri said he had no reason to doubt the military since they were the ones in the theater of action.

Asked about citizens who were forced to abandon their homes to escape Boko Haram attacks, Omeri disclosed that some internally displaced persons in some communities within the country have started returning to their various homes.

He however noted that some communities have been advised to wait for the army to give a go-ahead before moving back into their communities.

“Where peace and stability is established, people have started coming back. Where they still need to undertake mop up operations and give necessary security advice, citizens are advised to wait and operate within the advice that would be given by the military and other appropriate authorities”.

Group Calls For Verification Of Military Operations

Bring-Back-Our-girlsThe Bring Back Our Girls Campaign group in Nigeria has asked the military to designate independent journalists as part of its contingents within the Multi-national Joint Task Force, to ensure third party independently verified accounts of the war against insurgency and terrorism in the nation’s north-east.

This call formed part of the group’s second week brief on the monitoring initiative, which they said was set to help entrench accountability and improved performance in the on-going counter insurgency operations.

The campaigners, who said they fully support the on-going offensive which is expected to quell insurgency in Nigeria, also requested that the military publish the list of towns and communities still under the control of the Boko Haram insurgents, to enhance Nigerians’ appreciation of the reclamation victories made by the soldiers.

They had earlier expressed hopes that the heightened counter-terrorism offensive by the military against the terrorist group in Nigeria’s north-east, would lead to the rescue of the over 200 schoolgirls kidnapped last year in Chibok in Borno State.

They observed that the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshall Alex Badeh had, not long after the girls were kidnapped, said that the military knew where the girls were.

The House of Representatives in Nigeria, on the other hand, had also commended the military on its recent victories that led to reclaiming of some communities in the north-east region previously under the control of the Boko Haram terrorist group.

Lawmakers, who spoke on the matter, encouraged the troops to sustain the offensive and help ensure that other areas under the control of the insurgents would also be reclaimed.

The Director, Defence Information, Major-General Chris Olukolade said in a statement that the Nigerian military backed by air strikes, recaptured the town of Baga in Borno State, north-east Nigeria from the Islamist group Boko Haram.

He also noted that Apart from the 5 anti aircraft guns and the rifles captured from the terrorists, over 34 motorcycles and 5 vehicles including trucks being used for operations by the terrorists were destroyed in the course of the fighting as troops headed for Baga.

The Defence Spokesperson further noted that “similar exercise is being carried out in over 15 locations namely Gajigana, Ngaze, Ngenzai, Marte Junction, Mile 90, Yoyo, Kekeno, Kukawa, Cross Kauwa, Kangarwa, Amirari, Kichimatari, Borokari Barati, Kauwa and other localities where troops have flushed out the terrorists in the operations preceding the entry to Baga.

“The troops are now dominating and conducting aggressive patrols in the locations”, he added, insisting that the “morale of troops remain high”.

The Nigerian Military also said it was updating tactics against the Boko Haram Sect, with the addition of 260 Aerospace Engineers that graduated from the Nigerian Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) in Kaduna State to the Air Force.

Reps Commend Military For ‘Gallant Performance’ In Nigeria’s North-east

war against Boko HaramThe House of Representatives in Nigeria has commended the military on its recent victories that have led to reclaiming of some communities in the north-east region previously under the control of the Boko Haram terrorist group.

A member of the House, Honourable Muhammad Monguno, of the All Progressive Congress, in a motion of urgent national importance on Tuesday, praised the military for its bravery and steadfastness in what he described as “the gallant performance of the Nigerian Armed Forces”.

Lawmakers, who spoke on the matter, encouraged the troops to sustain the offensive and help ensure that other areas under the control of the insurgents would also be reclaimed.

Nigerian Army Reclaim Baga

Terrorist Vehicle
A terrorists vehicle set ablaze by troops

One of the major recent victories recorded by the Nigerian Armed Forces was the reclaiming of Baga town in Borno State in Nigeria’s north-east from the Boko Haram.

The reclaiming of the town was a fallout of the the Nigerian military counter-terrorism operation, backed by air strikes.

According to the spokesman for the military, Major General Chris Olukolade, the town was reclaimed on Saturday.

He also noted that Apart from the five anti aircraft guns and the rifles captured from the terrorists, over 34 motorcycles and five vehicles including trucks being used for operations by the terrorists were destroyed in the course of the fighting as troops headed for Baga.

“A large number of terrorists have drowned in the Lake Chad as they fled the heavy bombardment by Nigerian Air force heralding the advance of Nigerian troops on mission to flush them out of Baga.

“All the landmines were skillfully cleared one after the other. Eventually, the resistance of the terrorists collapsed and the land forces finally stormed the town in the early hours of Friday.

“Many of the terrorists died while an unknown but substantial number of them fled with various degrees of injury, in the series of encounter along the routes of advance, as troops headed for Baga”, he maintained.

Major-General Chris Olukolade- military
Major-General Chris Olukolade

The Defence Spokesperson further noted that “similar exercise is being carried out in over 15 locations namely Gajigana, Ngaze, Ngenzai, Marte Junction, Mile 90, Yoyo, Kekeno, Kukawa, Cross Kauwa, Kangarwa, Amirari, Kichimatari, Borokari Barati, Kauwa and other localities where troops have flushed out the terrorists in the operations preceding the entry to Baga.

“The troops are now dominating and conducting aggressive patrols in the locations”, he added, insisting that the “morale of troops remain high”.

The Nigerian Military also said it was updating tactics against the Boko Haram Sect, with the addition of 260 Aerospace Engineers that graduated from the Nigerian Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) in Kaduna State to the Air Force.

Military Releases Video Of Boko Haram Enclaves’ Air Bombardment

Boko Haram terrorists fighting vehicles destroyed by troopsThe military in Nigeria has released a video of air bombardment of the enclaves of the members of the Boko Haram terrorist group in the north-east, as it continues operations to reclaim areas under the control of the terrorists.

The video released on Monday showed people running in different directions and the aerial bombardment of a community believed to be the hideout of members of the sect.

Spokesman for the military, Major General Chris Olukolade, said the Air Force had stepped up air operations, having identified targets in Gwoza, Bama and Sambisa forest, preparatory to other phases of the mission.

He said: “The air strikes had been successful as they achieved the aims, hitting vital targets with required precision forcing the terrorists to scamper for safety”.

Return Of Residents

Residents of communities in the area had fled the region, seeking refuge in neighbouring countries. Some are at displaced persons’ camps in Abuja, the nation’s capital and some other camps in some states in the north.

Some of the displaced persons in Abuja camp had expressed joy, over the military efforts to decimate the terrorists and reclaim the communities under their country, but they are afraid to return to their communities, saying the terrorists may return.

But Major General Olukolade said the troops were focusing on consolidation of the security of the area to pave way for return of residents.

On Sunday, a group campaigning for the rescue of the over 200 girls abducted on April 14 from their secondary school’s dormitory in Chibok asked the military to substantiate the report of its victory in the ongoing multinational counter insurgency, with video footage that will authenticate such reports.

The Bring Back Our Girls campaigners told a news conference in Abuja on that conflicting reports and lack of evidence had often trailed the claims by the military.

The group said: “while we fully supports the efforts by the military and government’s renewed commitment to decimate the insurgents through the Multinational Joint Task Force, there is the need to ensure that real progress is being made to bring back peace to the north-eastern part of Nigeria”.

While the group lauded government’s efforts, they raised issues such as the delay in commencing this offensive and the continued suggestion from some quarters that the kidnap of the girls and the campaign for their rescue were scams.

Military Arrests Terrorists Disguised As Women In Baga

One of the terrorist suspects disguised as a womanThe intensified efforts by the military in the mission to clear terrorists from all territories under their control in Nigeria’s north-east yielded positive results on Monday, as some terrorists disguised as women have been arrested.

The arrests were made after a cordon-and-search was  declared in Baga town in Borno State, north-east while the military also discovered arms, especially bombs, hidden in various locations, within the area.

A spokesman for the military, Major General Chris Olukolade, said that apart from the terrorists captured in the course of fighting, many others hiding in the town, were arrested and “troops are busy interrogating the suspects”.

Meanwhile, in furtherance of the mission to clear terrorists from all their enclaves by the military, the Nigerian Air Force had also stepped up its air bombardment of identified targets in Gwoza, Bama and Sambisa forest, preparatory to other phases of the mission.

“The air strikes had been highly successful as they achieved the aim, hitting vital targets with required precision.

A terrorists vehicle set ablaze by troops
A truck belonging to the terrorist group, Boko Haram, destroyed by the military

“Terrorists are now in disarray as they scamper to escape from the impact of air bombardment of their locations in the forest.

“Having successfully liberated Baga where the terrorists had been marauding, the troops’ attention has now been focused on consolidation of security of the area to pave way for return of citizens,” Major General Olukolade said in a statement.

After the Nigerian military, backed by air strikes, recaptured the town of Baga from the Boko Haram sect, Major General Olukolade said five anti aircraft guns and the rifles, over 34 motorcycles and five vehicles including trucks being used for operations by the terrorists were destroyed in the course of the fighting.

The Defence spokesman further noted that “counter-terrorism operations were being carried out in over 15 locations – Gajigana, Ngaze, Ngenzai, Marte Junction, Mile 90, Yoyo, Kekeno, Kukawa, Cross Kauwa, Kangarwa, Amirari, Kichimatari, Borokari Barati, Kauwa.

Baga is situated at Nigeria’s border with Chad, Niger and Cameroon and is the headquarters of a Multi National Joint Task Force comprising troops from all four countries.

cache of arms recovered
Arms recovered by the military from members of the Boko Haram terrorist group terrorising communities in Nigeria’s north-east.

The Nigerian Military had said it was updating tactics against the Boko Haram Sect, with the addition of 260 Aerospace Engineers that graduated from the Nigerian Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), Kaduna State to the Air Force.

As the onslaught against the insurgents in the northeast gathers momentum, there are indications that the Nigerian military is directing efforts towards capturing the leader of the Boko Haram sect alive.

To this end, troops are said to have been placed on high alert to apprehend Abubakar Shekau, who is reported to be desperately trying to escape from the area.

The military is believed to have resolved to take Shekau alive to put an end to insinuations of the invincibility of the militant leader, especially against past announcements of his demise by the military, which turned out not to have been accurate.

Fleeing Boko Haram Fighters Drown In Lake Chad

Boko_Haram_Gombe_AttackA large number of Boko Haram terrorists drowned in the Lake Chad as they fled the heavy bombardment by Nigerian Air force, a military official said on Sunday.

A spokesman for the military, Major General Chris Olukolade, in a statement, confirmed the incident.

He said that the insurgents had buried land mines in over 1,500 spots on the routes leading to the town.

Olukolade said all the landmines were skillfully cleared one after the other.

“The mining of the grounds could not save the terrorists from the aggressive move of advancing troops.

“A large number of terrorists have drowned in the Lake Chad as they fled the heavy bombardment by Nigerian Air force heralding the advance of Nigerian troops on mission to flush them out of Baga.

“Not even the strategy of over 1,500 spots with landmines on the routes leading to the town could save the terrorists from the aggressive move of advancing troops,” he said.

Major General Olukolade also made known, the victory of the troops, confirming that the operation left many of the Boko Haram members dead and a substantial number of them injured.

“Many of the terrorists died while an unknown but substantial number of them fled with various degrees of injury, in the series of encounter along the routes of advance of the troops headed for Baga,” Olukolade emphasised.

The Defence spokesman further said that apart from the five anti-aircraft guns and the rifles that were recovered from the Boko Haram  terrorists, over 34 motorcycles and five vehicles including trucks being used for operations by the terrorists were destroyed in the course of the fighting, as troops headed for Baga.

According to him, the troops began clearing the terrorists on arrival in the town early Saturday morning.

Olukolade said a comprehensive cordon and search phase of military operation had started to enable troops mop-up arms and ammunition and also arrest any terrorist who might be hiding in the vicinity.

The exercise would determine details of the victims inflicted or incurred in the course of the operations to clear Baga and environs of Boko Haram terrorists.

“The troops are now dominating and conducting aggressive patrols in the locations. The morale of troops remain high,” he confirmed.

The Defence spokesman stressed that similar exercise was carried out in over 15 locations namely Gajigana, Yoyo, Kekeno, Cross Kauwa, Kangarwa, Amirari, Kichimatari, Borokari Barati, Kukawa, Ngaze, Ngenzai, Marte Junction, Mile 90, Kauwa and other localities, where troops have flushed out the terrorists in the operations before the entry to Baga.