Troops Kill Nine Suspected Boko Haram Terrorists In Borno

Military-Militants-ArepoTroops of Operation Lafiya Dole on patrol in Borno State engaged some suspected members of Boko Haram terrorist group in a gun battle in Bulabulin, killing nine of them.

A statement by a spokesman for the army, Colonel Sani Usman, said the attack occurred on Wednesday morning.

“They engaged them in a fire fight that lasted for an hour.

“The troops killed nine Boko Haram terrorists and wounded several others,” the statement read.

Colonel Usman further stated that the troops captured two AK-47 Rifles, two Hand Grenades, one Improvised Explosive Device, five Jerrycans of Premium Motor Spirit and nine motorcycles.

Some of the items recovered from the suspected terrorists

He, however, said that troops hand-held radio was badly damaged during the encounter.

The spokesman for the army further reassured Nigerians that troops would continue the clearance operation of the remnants of the Boko Haram in all the nooks and crannies of their areas of operation with renewed vigour and determination.

This attack came a day after reports said at least eight people were killed after members of the terrorist group, Boko Haram, attacked three villages in Borno state, north-east Nigeria and hoisted their flag there.

According to the BBC, the villages which are said to be near Chibok town, from where the militants captured more than 200 schoolgirls in April 2014, are Kubirivour, Boftari and Kuburmbalah.

However, the Nigerian Army has debunked the report.

The Multi-National Joint Task Force had on September 24 said it was conducting series of military operations aimed at closing down the Boko Haram insurgents in the Lake Chad Basin.

Speaking to Channels Television in Abuja on Saturday, the force Commander, Major General Lamidi Adeosun, explained that the forces from the four states – Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republic – were working together to ensure that peace returned to the region.

General Adeosun further stated that the force was fully equipped by the Lake Chad Basin countries, with Nigeria fulfilling her pledge of $100 million to the mission.

He said: “Multi-National Joint Task Force is conducting serious military operations in conjunction with all the countries that contributed troops for the force.

“Initially the operation has been on sectoral basis but now it is joint.

“The operation is a kind of final onslaught to actually clear the free corridor of movement of Boko Haram because initially there were not foothold in Damasak Gashiga and other areas.

“As it is now, troops are in Gudunbari”.

Military operations against Boko Haram terrorists received impetus few weeks before Nigeria’s 2015 general election, with the current administration sustaining the tempo to fulfil its campaign promise of ending the over six years insurgency.

Boko Haram terrorists have attacked communities in northeast Nigeria, as they push for an Islamic State and an end to Western education in the region.

Military onslaught against the group has forced them to fall back to suicide attacks on softspots in the area.

On Friday troops of the Joint Task Force clashed with suspected terrorists, killing 15 of the them.

Two soldiers died in that gun battle.

Nigeria Signs Agreement On Trade Cooperation With Cameroun

Trade CooperationNigeria and Cameroun have signed agreement on trade cooperation and conservation of the Benue River.

This is the outcome of the bilateral talks between President Muhammadu Buhari and Paul Biya of Cameroun, who is on a state visit to Nigeria.

Other areas covered in the bilateral talks include security, agriculture and immigration issues.

The visiting Camerounian president is in Nigeria at the invitation of President Mohammadu Buhari.

Trade Cooperation
President Buhari with L-R: Wife of the President Mrs Aisha Buhari, President of Cameroon Paul Biya and his spouse Mrs Chantal Biya

The agreements signed cover trade cooperation, between nigeria and cameroun, conservation of the benue river, security, agriculture, infrastructure and immigration issues among others.

Both countries also have military agreements – the Multi National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) – that is aimed at ending the free movement of Boko Haram terrorists along their borders.

Buhari Holds Bilateral Talks With Camerounian President, Biya

pAUL BIYANigeria’s President, Muhammadu has received the President of Cameroun, Paul Biya, who is on a two-day working visit to Nigeria.

Accompanied by his wife, the Cameroonian President, who entered the Presidential Villa at about 2:00pm local time on Tuesday  inspected a guard of honour mounted by the Presidential Guards before retiring into President Buhari’s office for bilateral talks.

Reports indicate that both countries will sign new agreements to strengthen existing ties, as well as trade and economic relations between Nigeria and Cameroun.

President Biya was in Nigeria in 1983 and 1991.

In 2007, he attended the swearing in of late President Yar’Adua and also attended the ceremonies marking Nigeria’s 50th independence anniversary in 2010.

One of the issues affecting both countries that the Presidents are likely to discuss is the insurgency in the north-east of Nigeria and the region of Cameroun on border.

Both countries have military agreements – the Multi National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) – that is aimed at ending the free movement of Boko Haram terrorists along their borders.

Nigerian Troops Are Better Equipped For War Against Terror – Buratai

armyNigeria’s Chief of Army staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, on Wednesday assured Nigerians that the troops on the front line are now better equipped for the counter-terrorism war.

The army chief gave the assurance while assessing the equipment recently acquired to prosecute the war against terror in Nigeria’s north east region.

Buratai further told journalists that despite pockets of desperate attacks by the insurgents, troops have been making progress.

Buratai has also said the collaboration between Nigerian army and neighbouring countries under the Multi National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) arrangement is paying off.

He listed Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC), unmanned camera drones and desert motorbikes as part of the equipment acquired.

Buratai said that the Nigerian Army is effectively using satellite and communication facilities for proper coordination, maintaining that the war is now technology driven.

MNJTF Set For Counter Insurgency Trans-border War

MNJTFThe Multi National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) has collected 10,000 men from the four member countries to fight the counter insurgency trans-border war.

The MNJTF Commander, Major General Lamidi Adeosun, told reporters on Thursday that the collaboration was already yielding positive results.

The Commander cited the recent defeat of insurgents around Banki area of Nigeria, where two Cameroonian soldiers got killed and the mop up of Ndjamena/Gamboru axis as part of the successes recorded.

The task force consists of Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger as components of the trans-border operations.

The MNJTF Commander is presently in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital with a team from the member countries, as part of an assessment tour of the various sectors.

The group has demarcated its area of operations into four sectors across the member states for operational purposes.

Sector one is located in Cameroon, sector two in Bagasola of Chad while Baga in Nigeria is identified as sector three, as well as Diffa in Niger Republic is sub sector 3, according to the commander.

Major General Adeosun also told reporters in Maiduguri that the MNJTF consisted of professionals, with regards for human rights and the Rules Of Engagement in line with best practices.

Boko Haram Will Be Ended In A Couple Of Days – Jonathan

 JonathanPresident Goodluck Jonathan has given a strong assurance that Boko Haram will be defeated in the north eastern states of Yobe, Borno and Adamawa in the next couple of days.

President Jonathan told the Voice of America (VOA) in an interview that the military is doing its best to clear the insurgents from occupied areas by Boko Haram.

The President said that the government was aware of an arrangement where some Boko Haram fighters are being trained abroad, expressing optimism that the insurgents would soon be destroyed.

He further noted that there is an agreement with foreign technicians to train Nigerian soldiers on the use of the newly acquired military hardware.

The French Defence Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, had on Wednesday assured that France will increase its West African counter insurgency forces to support the Multi National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) fighting Boko Haram in West Africa.

“We will slightly increase the numbers on Barkhane to give us the means to support and accompany the tensions that are taking place around Lake Chad,” he said, without giving details.

Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Benin have mobilised forces this year to help Nigeria defeat Boko Haram after it seized large amounts of territory and staged cross-border attacks.

France already has about 3,000 troops, excluding special forces, spanning from Mauritania in the West to southern Libya in the East tasked with hunting down al Qaeda-linked groups.

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.

Boko Haram Kills Over 40 Fishermen In Chad

BokoHaram-WIT-GUNS 1Islamist militants from Nigeria’s Boko Haram have reportedly killed 48 people in an attack on fish sellers near the border with Chad.

A fish traders’ group said some victims had their throats slit whilst others were tied up and drowned in Lake Chad.

The attack took place on Thursday, but the news took several days to come to light because Boko Haram has destroyed mobile phone masts in the area.

It was the second major attack in two days by Boko Haram.

In Thursday’s attack, the traders were on their way to Chad to buy fish when militants blocked their path near the village of Doron Baga, some 180km (112 miles) north of Maiduguri in Borno state.

Abubakar Gamandi, the head of the fish sellers’ association, said the militants had used no guns.

“The attackers killed their victims silently without the use of the gun to avoid attracting attention from the multi-national troops,” he told AFP news agency.

On Wednesday, Boko Haram gunmen attacked the village of Azaya Kura, also in Borno State, killing at least 45 people.

In this attack too, victims’ hands were tied behind their backs and their throats were slit. The attack was apparently aimed at punishing the community after four insurgents were pointed out to soldiers and were shot dead.

Boko Haram has been waging an insurgency in Nigeria since 2009.

It has stepped up attacks against civilian targets since the Nigerian military launched an offensive against the group last year.

Op-Ed: Strange Bedfellows Merge To Fight Insurgency In Nigeria

Mere connection with what is known as a superior race will not permanently carry an individual forward unless he has individual worth- Booker T Washington.

Nigeria’s political history is replete with failed alliances and mergers. While the first and second republics had their own share of unsuccessful mergers, the return to democracy in 1999 saw the Alliance for Democracy (AD), which had swept the South-west in earlier polls, align with the All Peoples Party, APP, that dominated elections in the North with the intention of beating PDP at the presidential poll. It gave the PDP a good fight but failed to win the election.

Similarly in 2007, about 15 parties came together and formed the Action Congress, AC, but the party made little or no impact in the presidential election.

Before the 2011 elections, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) attempted to join forces in order to field a joint presidential candidate to challenge President Goodluck Jonathan of the PDP. The move fell like a pack of badly arranged cards when the parties could not reach an agreement on who to field.

After the 2011 elections, leaders of the merging parties kick-started another move and set up various committees. The highlight of the move was the formation of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

However, recent goings on in the country has led to another ‘merger’, this time around in the security apparatchik of the country to capture and return peace to Nigeria. The formation of the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) to protect borders of Niger, Chad and Nigeria from the growing influence of Boko Haram insurgents was the first step taken in that direction. How that has fared is left for you to ponder upon.

Despite this effort, insurgents have burnt schools, killed students and attacked military formations numerous times without been confronted by either the Nigerian Army or MNJTF when they fled Nigeria to seek safety in neighbouring countries. That is not to say they have never been repelled by the forces, they have, just not as much as they have been successful in carrying out their attacks.

The last straw that drew global attention was the abduction of over 200 girls from a secondary school in the north eastern town of Chibok in Borno state. This incident gave birth to another merger, with due respect to all parties involved, bound to fail, unless the modus operandi is changed.

Following the #BringBackOurGirls protests in and outside Nigeria, world powers- United States, United Kingdom, France, China and Israel- offered to ‘merge’ with Nigerian military officers and combine efforts in fighting Boko Haram and rescuing the abducted girls, whose number now stands at 219, from their abductors.

It is imperative to state that weeks into this ‘merger’ no head way has been made, rather high hopes dashed by the day as officers release conflicting situation reports.

First, it was alleged that satellite images failed to show movement of such a number (274) of people moving out of Nigeria, alleging that if indeed it happened, local material must have been used to cover the girls, making it impossible for modern technology to detect the movement.

Then there was the claim that a deal to swap the girls with detained suspected Boko Haram members was called off at the eleventh hour and the most bizarre and conflicting report on the location of the girls by the Nigerian and United States security officials.

Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshall Alex Badeh had told some protesters at the Defence Headquarters in Abuja, that the military has information on the location of the girls but would tread softly to get the students out by not using force to rescue them.

“We know what we are doing; we can’t go and kill our girls in the name of trying to get them back.

“If we are fighting an external war, they would have been begging us to withdraw”, he said, adding that the Nigerian Military has shown its abilities in civil war situations, making reference to its role in restoring democracy in Liberia and Sierra-Leone.

The CDS refused to give details of his statement that the military would not use force in its efforts to secure the release of the abducted girls but gave assurances that the war on terror would be won by the Nigerian military. “The President has empowered us to do the work”, he said.

However in a swift reaction, the United States said it does not have information that would support Nigeria’s claim that it knows the whereabouts of the kidnapped schoolgirls.

“We don’t have independent information from the United States to support that statement”, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters.

“We, as a matter of policy and for the girls’ safety and well-being, would not discuss publicly this sort of information regardless.” She added.

Some Europeans also noted that as far as they knew, technical intelligence systems had not produced precise or credible information establishing the girls’ location.

The officials said that if the Nigerians had obtained such information from informants on the ground, it has not been shared with U.S. and allied agencies.

Badeh’s action reminds one of the struggle by merging political parties to outwit the others in the fight for the control and soul of the party they have merged to form. That might have worked out for political parties, but for the rescue effort, it is a fatal blow that will be celebrated in the enemy camp. It will give them more confidence to orchestrate more attacks as the (security) house is not in order.

Worthy of note is the fact that since world powers offered to help Nigeria in its fight against terror and the quest to rescue abducted school girls from the clutches of Boko Haram, there is no structure put in place (only if they have not made it public) by Nigeria, China, U.S, UK, France and Israel on how to go about engaging the insurgents.

Simply put, a five-pronged attack was launched against the insurgents without proper coordination amongst the attackers and a proper channel of sharing intel gathered.

This means the countries involved report to their countries and not to the established (if one exists) chain of command, just to outwit one another to claim the ultimate glory of who would find and successfully rescue the girls.

All parties involved must note that this is a very important mission that has drawn global attention and personal interests must be put aside to fight the common enemy, bring them to justice and rescue the abducted school girls

But most importantly, parties involved in this mission must display individual and collective worth or else their alliance will not move them out of the security quagmire they are fighting at the moment and could liken the situation to that of strange bedfellows coming together to retrieve what has been taken away by the identified opposition.

Despite the foregoing, I must thank the President of the United States of America, President Barack Obama and other national governments like United Kingdom, France, China, Israel, among others, currently assisting Nigeria to #BringBackOurGirls.

Victor Mathias writes from Lagos and tweets @victor_mbidi




11 Killed As JTF Launches Assault On Border Communities Near Cameroon

Chris OlukoladeA group of terrorists attempting to escape into Cameroon through Taraba and Gumti in Adamawa State have come under heavy fire from troops on patrol of the area in the ongoing counter-terrorism campaign.

The Director, Defence Information, Major General Chris Olukolade, noted that the terrorists had been trapped as a result of ongoing offensive  by troops along the borders, were given out when some of them could no longer bear the hunger in their make shift camps in the forest.

He added that “those who were apprehended led troops to other hideouts where fierce fighting ensued” and revealed that “seven terrorists died, while a large number of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and rifles were recovered including over 70 motorcycles”.

He further stated that a similar encounter in Gombi also led to the death of 4 other terrorists.

Meanwhile, sustained patrols and searches by the Multi National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) have led to the arrest of more terrorists including a heavily armed suspect who is claiming dual nationalities of Chad and Burkina-Faso.

He was arrested with different calibre of arms and ammunition along the Chad borders and is currently helping in ongoing investigation by the Special Forces.

Patrols are still ongoing around the Lake Chad including Kwatan, Kanwa, Kwatan Yobe and other Islands.

The army supremo was speaking through a statement he released in Abuja on Thursday.

18 Insurgents Killed As MNJTF Dislodges Terrorists In Bama

MNJTFTroops on patrol during the weekend dislodged a band of terrorists who were about to attack some settlements in the outskirt of Bama and Ngurosoye.

A statement released in Abuja by the Director, Defence Information, Major General Chris Olukolade said.

The statement also added that “about 18 terrorists died in the encounter.  16 burnt AK 47 rifles were found in the debris while 5 Pickup vehicles, 7 Gulf cars and one Hilux truck were destroyed.

“A total of 75 villagers were screened and released in the course of cordon and search in the adjoining communities.

“The purported bomb attack on a market in the vicinity as widely reported in the media is however yet to be verified” it said.

The statement further revealed that “a total of sixteen AK47 rifles were recovered in the course of cordon and search of communities, while mop up operations are ongoing on Mandara Mountains and Haraza hills.

Troops, according to the statement, eventually overran camps in the outskirts of Gombole, Mele, Kecheri, Dufrfada, Yuwe, and others around Mandara Mountains and Sambisa forests after stiff resistance, insisting that “many terrorists died in the encounter, while a soldier lost his life and five others were wounded”.

The Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) has also stepped up patrols of the banks of Lake Chad as well as surrounding communities in addition to air surveillance and patrols designed to smoke out the remnants of the terrorists.

“The air raids on some camps cited on Islands have also recorded successes in dislodging the terrorists located there.

“Cordon and search for the terrorists have been focused on thorough screening of the villagers in surrounding communities.  Many terrorists have been identified and subsequently apprehended by troops in the process” Olukolade said.

Meanwhile, the statement further maintains that “troops’ morale and fighting spirit have remained noticeably high while some of the terrorists camps falling to the forces in the ongoing counter terrorist campaign have been found deserted”.

Food items earlier seized by terrorists from the villagers are often found stockpiled along with other items such as electronics and power generators.  The camps were swiftly razed by the troops.

NBA Condmens Baga Killings

The dust has not yet settled on the confrontation between men of the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) and militants in Baga a border town in Borno state, North-East Nigeria.

President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Mr Okey Wali noted that even though Nigeria is going through difficult security challenges, it is not enough for the security agencies to turn their weapons on innocent citizens.

He further added that the NBA will give all the necessary support to victims of the incidence to ensure they get justice.