Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has vowed that never again will the Boko Haram terrorists occupy any part of the Nigerian territory.
The President said this at the 2017 Small Arms Championship which held at the Sambisa forest, the former stronghold of the Boko Haram militants in northern Borno state.
The President who was represented at the event by the Minister of Defense, Mansur Dan-Ali, said that training in Sambisa forest, otherwise known as Camp Zero, was a showcase of the defeat and degradation of the insurgent group.
Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, noted that the friendly contest was last conducted seven years ago.
According to him, organising the exercise after the long break was part of efforts to restore professionalism and competency in the Nigerian Army.
Meanwhile, the government has also admitted that the leader of the Boko Haram sect, Abubakar Shekau, is not dead but alive and hiding somewhere in the Sambisa forest.
Mr Dan-Ali, however said the military has taken over the forest and will soon capture the leader of the sect.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has approved the extension of registration for the Biometric Verification Number (BVN) for men of the Armed Forces.
The Deputy Governor Operations of the CBN, Mr Suleiman Barau, gave a hint about the extention at a budget defense session in the National Assembly on Monday.
He told the Senate Committee on Appropriation that the CBN had received the request of the Defense Minister for an extension of the deadline for the BVN registration.
Mr Barau, who came along with other relevant stakeholders concerned with the proposed 465 billion Naira Supplementary Budget, said that the bank understood the plight of the military operatives.
Earlier, the Minister of Defense, Mr Dan Ali Mohammed, had asked the Senate Committee on Appropriation to intervene and urged the CBN to extend the BVN registration for military operatives.
Mr Mohammed said that the soldiers could not abandon their operations at the war front to go for the registration and requested that they should not be further punished by denying them access to their account.
The Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, has been held hostage by security agents in Odudu, Ondo State.
The Governor was said to have left Port Harcourt on Thursday morning for Ekiti to join the APC rally before the governorship elections.
The Governor was heading to Akure where his aircraft was parked but was rounded by soldiers and security personnel, who denied him entry into Ekiti, claiming they had orders to do so.
Meanwhile, the mega rally for the All Progressives Congress candidate, Governor Kayode Fayemi, at the governorship elections coming up in the state on Saturday had started in Ado Ekiti, the state capital.
According to a statement by its Commissioner of Information and Communications, Ibim Semenitari, the Rivers State Government said that it was especially worried that the Federal Government had singled out Governor Amaechi for harassment and attack.
In a similar incident, however, soldiers also prevented a chopper that was scheduled to convey Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, to the same rally from taking off from the airport in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
Another aircraft conveying the Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, was also denied landing rights at the Akure airport as soldiers reportedly told both governors that they had no clearance to attend Governor Fayemi’s campaign rally.
The House of Representatives has directed the Minister of Defense, Aliyu Gusau, and the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, to appear before its committee on national security over the recent killing of over 200 people in Maru and Zurmi Local Government areas of Zamfara State.
The House also advised the Federal Government to build military barracks in Doma Local Government Area of Nasarawa State to accommodate a battalion to boost security in the state.
These resolutions were taken after a motion under matters of urgent national importance were raised by Representatives, Ibrahim Shehu Gusau and Mohammed Onawo.
Following concerns that many residents of villages in the affected areas have fled their homes as a result of the insecurity, while those left live in persistent fear of being attacked, the House of Representatives passed a motion directing the security chiefs to appear before its Committee on National Security.
The renewed insurgent activities in Nasarawa and Benue states also came up during the proceedings, with lawmakers calling for the construction of a military barracks in Doma Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.
Representative Mohammed Onawo told the House that 150million Naira was appropriated in the 2014 budget for the construction of the barracks but the contract was yet to be awarded.
The House also directed its committees on works and army to investigate the non-implementation of the project and recommend appropriate measures to overcome the challenges and report back to the House within one month