The Senior Special Assistant to the President, Garba Shehu, in a statement, said Buhari thanked the Nigerian military for their brave services in securing the release of the hostages from Boko Haram terrorists.
According to him, Buhari detoured to the hospital before boarding NAF 001 back to Abuja from the Kaduna International Airport.
Members of the Chief of Defence Staff Action Committee led by Major General Usman Abdulkadir (rtd), who facilitated the release of the train victims, were present at the hospital.
Others are Major General Adamu Jalingo (rtd), Brig.-Gen. Abubakar Saad (rtd), Dr. Murtala Ahmed Rufai, Ibrahim Abdulllahi, Ambassador Ahmed Magaji and Prof Yusuf Usman, Secretary.
The Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor, had earlier introduced the Committee members and briefed the President.
Troops of the Nigerian Army have killed several bandits during a clearance operation in the Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna state.
During the operation, a notorious bandit, Boderi Isiya, narrowly escaped being neutralized, while his deadly second in command, Musti, and several other fighters were gunned down by the troops.
A statement by the Kaduna state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, said Musti and Boderi were responsible for the security breach at the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Kaduna, kidnapping of students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, and the Emir of Bungudu and several other citizens last year.
He explained that a painstaking check with credible human intelligence sources further confirmed that Boderi and his terror group had a bad day in the hands of the combat-ready troops.
According to the report, the troops engaged the bandits around the Tollgate General Area of Chikun local government, and while the bandits scrambled in retreat, they ran into another ambush laid by the troops in Sabon Gida General Area.
Aruwan said that corpses and weapons were recovered at the scene, while some of the terrorists eventually died from bullet wounds.
The Commissioner further disclosed that Boderi’s deadly second in command, one Musti, was among those identified to have been eliminated, alongside one Yellow Mai-Madrid and one Dan-Katsinawa, with others yet to be identified. While some of the terrorists are battling life-threatening wounds.
Meanwhile, Governor Nasir El-Rufai has praised the troops for the commendable feat under the leadership of the General Officer Commanding, One Division, Major General T.A. Lagbaja, being the latest notable breakthroughs recorded since he took command.
Three months after the incident, authorities of the Nigerian Air Force have now linked one of its officers with the incident.
A source confirmed the arrest of the suspect to Channels Television on Monday.
The suspect – Sergeant Torsabo Solomon – was reportedly arrested on the order of the Base Commander as requested by the NDA Commander.
Channels Television gathered that the suspect has been moved to Kaduna for further interrogation.
Meanwhile, the NDA has said Solomon is not in their custody and has no connection with the academy in Kaduna.
In a statement signed by Major Bashir Muhammed Jajira, the NDA said the perpetrators of the attack will be apprehended soon.
“The attention of the Nigerian Defence Academy has been drawn to a viral publication on social media regarding the arrest of one Sgt Torsabo Solomon for his involvement on the security breach in Nigerian Defence Academy and was conveyed to the Academy for investigation,” the statement read.
“This is to inform the general public that the above-named person is not in the Nigerian Defence Academy’s custody as alleged and has no connection with the Academy.
“The Nigerian Defence Academy is a Military Training Institution and not an Investigative Security Agency. The general public is hereby advised to disregard this misinformation and refer to relevant Investigative Security Agencies for clarification.
“The Nigerian Defence Academy wishes to reassure the general public that the perpetrators of the security breach on the Nigerian Defence Academy architecture will sooner rather than later be apprehended.”
Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, has said that he was embarrassed that the army did not foresee the attack on the Nigerian Defence Academy.
“Nigerian Defence Academy is not a place where we could think that we should fortify to such a level that liberty that is required to be able to emplace the level of leadership learning and skills will be lost,” he said during a programme – RadioNow’s Urgent Conversations – aired on Channels Television on Friday.
“But that, of course, is a lesson we have factored, and it does not in any way dampen the preparedness of the Armed Forces of Nigeria to what it should. And it does not in any way speak to our weakness and our inability to defend the nation”.
The academy was attacked by bandits in August, resulting in the abduction of one officer and the death of two others.
The bandits, who came in a vehicle, were said to have passed through the security gate into the academy, disguised in military uniforms, after which they proceeded to the officers’ quarters.
On arrival, they began shooting sporadically and in the process, killed two officers (a Major and a Squadron Leader), and later on, took another Major away through the nearby bush inside the academy.
The sound of the gunfire, however, alerted the troops of the NDA Quick Response Team, who arrived at the scene, but were unable to rescue the kidnapped officer as the bandits were already gone with the victim
The interim Chairman, Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond (ASCAB), Femi Falana, has asked the Federal Government to secure the release of the officer abducted during an attack on the Nigerian Defence Academy.
In a statement issued on Sunday, Falana asked President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to unmask the killers and bring the perpetrators to book to serve as a deterrent to others.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria noted that by choosing to invade the military institution, the criminal elements have proven that nowhere is safe in Nigeria.
“The Alliance on Surviving Covid-19 and Beyond (ASCAB) strongly condemns the last week’s invasion of the Nigerian Defence Academy in Kaduna, the brutal killing of two officers and the abduction of another officer by a group of terrorists,” he said in the statement.
“By attacking the military institution, the dangerous criminal elements had wanted to prove that nowhere is safe in Nigeria.
“To prove the criminals wrong the Federal Government should ensure the immediate release of the abducted officer and proceed to arrest the criminal elements who committed the heinous crimes.”
He recalled that the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami had in April revealed that the government had concluded arrangements to arraign 400 sponsors of terrorists as well as 800 suspected terrorists at the Federal High Court.
Four months down the line, Falana knocked the current administration for allegedly failing to prosecute the terrorists’ sponsors.
He added, “ASCAB is sad to note that the Federal Government has refused to prosecute the sponsors of terrorists who were recently arrested and interrogated by the State Security Service.
“In particular, the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation announced in April this year that arrangements had been concluded for the arraignment of 400 sponsors of terrorists and 800 terror suspects at the Federal High Court.
“But for reasons best known to the Federal Government, the arrested sponsors of terrorism and terror suspects have not been charged with terrorism and allied offences before any Court. Other sponsors of terrorism including a few traditional rulers indicted by some state governments have not been brought to book for their alleged involvement in the nefarious enterprise.”
Falana’s comments come five days after gunmen stormed the NDA Permanent Headquarters in Kaduna State, killing two officers and abducting one other officer, a situation that drew criticism with the military authorities vowing to apprehend the attackers.
Security issues continue to dominate the news in Nigeria and across the world. The passing week had its fair share of security-related matters making the rounds, with the attack on Nigeria’s Defence Academy stirring many questions.
Having examined the stories published in the course of the passing week, here are the top quotes that best relay the tone and mood of most of what transpired within the week in focus.
1. “The security architecture of the Nigerian Defence Academy was compromised early this morning by unknown gunmen.”
4. “Today, based on our dialogue and reconciliation, we used the repentant bandits to secure the release of these students.”
Governor Bello Matawalle, speaks on how students released from the den of their captors were released through the help of some repentant bandits.
5. “He sorely will be missed”
Buhari condoles the family and friends of the legendary musician, Sir Victor Uwaifo.
6.“One thing I know is that the intelligence community is solid in this country but what impedes them in carrying out some of the jobs they want to do is politics, politicians because when you mix with politics security, then it becomes a big problem.”
9. “Despite the divisive rhetoric of demagogues and the utterances of those who profit from disharmony, Nigerians do not hate each other.”
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says despite the activities of those with a divisive agenda, Nigeria will prevail over her tribulations due to the resilience, faith, hope, and strength of its people.
10. “Everyone at the club looks forward to welcoming Cristiano back to Manchester.”
Manchester United announce they have reached a deal to re-sign Cristiano Ronaldo from Juventus, 12 years after he left Old Trafford for Real Madrid.
11. “To those who carried out this attack as well as anyone who wishes America harm, know this: We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay.”
US President Joe Biden pledges to hunt down the perpetrators of the suicide bombings that killed 12 American troops in Kabul and said the United States will not be deterred from its mission to evacuate thousands of civilians from Afghanistan.
12. “Unfortunately, we have recorded severe recalcitrance on the part of the public, which has led to the higher infection rates that we are now recording.”
A dismayed Lagos State Governor reveals that the emergence of the third wave in the metropolis is based on the non-adherence to the laid-down health protocols designed to mitigate the pandemic.
13. “PDP and Secondus are not afraid of court; this party is a child of history, owned by Nigerians, bigger than any individual or group, including desperadoes.”
He said the attack on the military institution was bad in itself, and worst of it all was the killing and abduction involved.
“This is the worst form of human rights violation of our time,” said Ojukwu. “Military officers like other security personnel are entitled to carry out their duties in relative safety and security.
“They are fathers and mothers of their families who entitled go to work and come back alive.”
He called on the military to leave no stone unturned in its efforts to rescue the abducted officer and fish out the abductors to face the wrath of the law.
By doing so, the NHRC chief believes this will discourage further attacks on other national critical assets and infrastructure.
He also commiserated with the families of the military men – Lieutenant Wulah and Flight Lieutenant Okoronkwo, saying they have paid the supreme price of serving their fatherland and their sacrifice would not go in vain.
Ojukwu, however, called on the government to put adequate measures in place to tighten and improve the security situation in Kaduna State and other parts of the country.
Kaduna state, he noted, is fast becoming the epicentre of banditry and kidnappings in recent times and these have implications on the protection of the rights of the people.
The NHRC chief recalled that students in their numbers had been abducted and attacked in schools at various levels in the state, adding that at the moment, children in primary and secondary schools have been ordered by the state government to stay at home.
“The few ones that are allowed to go and write exams in school are ordered to go in mufti with fear that they can be abducted if they adorn themselves in their uniforms; for how long will this continue?” he queried.
“Our children must be allowed to enjoy their rights to education in a secured environment. We must all rise up and support the government to put an end to this menace of insecurity.”
A former Nigerian Navy Commodore, Kunle Olawunmi, says the bandits who attacked the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) on Tuesday did so with help of at least one insider.
While appearing as a guest on Wednesday’s edition of Sunrise Daily, the former military officer believes the attack had “insiders’ collaboration”.
Commodore Olawunmi who said he had handled cases of such nature during his 35 years in service was certain that at least 60 per cent of the time, there were sell-outs conniving with the enemy.
“We do operations like this too and there is no way we can succeed without somebody inside,” he stated during the Channels Television breakfast programme while drawing parallels between the element of surprise as used by the military and the brazing assault on the NDA.
“We must compromise somebody, either through blackmail or through incentives – maybe we give money; or we try to indoctrinate that person. We can’t succeed without an inside person.”
The intelligence expert explained that nothing evil can happen to a nation without the insider within that country collaborating with external assailants.
‘They Are Terrorists’
Commodore Olawunmi’s comments are among the most recent takes on the rather brash onslaught on the NDA by bandits – a strike that led to the death of two officers and the abduction of one other.
While frowning at the term ‘unknown gunmen’ and ‘bandits’ used to label those who besieged the academy, the retired military officer emphatically stressed that the brigands were none other than members of the same Boko Haram sect which has plagued the country’s north-east for many years.
According to him, all other terms used to describe the gunmen are words used in a bid to avoid reprimand from the higher authorities.
“I was the Commandant of Defence Intelligence College and I know that at that time, there are things I cannot say,” he said. “If you term them terrorists, it carries a lot of weight, and you can be reprimanded for that.
“The Commandant of NDA is going to be very careful to keep on using that same term that is safe to use because there are legal and other implications when you term a group terrorist. But I want to say on this channel, that those people are terrorists.”
Sponsors Of Boko Haram
In line with his terrorist rhetoric, the former naval officer was of the viewpoint that if “the government of Buhari is serious about putting an end to what we are seeing, then he must pronounce them (bandits/unknown gunmen) terrorist organisation”.
Olawunmi explained that once Buhari makes the pronouncement, it carries a lot of weight and the reaction of the armed forces will be completely different.
He hinted that the Nigerian government knows those behind the decade-long Boko Haram insurgency in the country.
“In April this year, the government said they had arrested 400 Bureau De Change (BDCs)-related people that were sponsoring Boko Haram. They told us,” said the commodore.
The Presidency had threatened to publish names of those behind the Boko Haram war, but this generated heated controversy across the country.
Months down the line, the long-awaited list is yet to be made public, a situation which the retired military officer says does not bode well for the government who he accused of shielding criminals.
“Try them, we know them. Why can’t this government, if not that they are partisan, bring those people out for trial?” he asked, corroborating calls from several quarters for the Federal Government to make good its promise.
The senior naval officer claimed that the government has developed cold feet in fighting the insurgency because some of those backing Boko Haram were now top-ranking government officials.
“I can’t come on air and start mentioning names of people that are presently in government that the boys we arrested mentioned,” he said, referencing his time as a member of the military intelligence team in 2017.
The Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor on Wednesday visited the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) in Kaduna State for an on-the-spot assessment of the attack on the military institution by bandits.
General Irabor’s visit is to get first-hand information on the incident for further actions.
He was briefed on arrival by the NDA Commandant, Major General IM Yusuf before he was taken to the scene of the incident.
Bandits disguised as military officers invaded the academy on Tuesday, went straight to the officers’ quarters inside the school, and killed two officers.
The marauders, after the assault, also whisked another officer away.
Eyewitnesses at the NDA explained that the gunmen broke down doors, and destroyed windows to gain access into the officers’ apartments after which they opened fire on them.
The bandits after kidnapping the officer escaped through the breaching barbwire fence of the academy along the Kaduna Airport Road in Afaka which is surrounded by a forest.
A security source told Channels Television that the bandits successfully broke into five different apartments in the same officers’ quarters, and escaped with the abducted officer before the arrival of the NDA Quick Response Team.
Presently, a joint team of security operatives in Kaduna State are making frantic efforts to rescue the abducted officer.
The NDA Commandant also held a meeting with the institution’s top management on Wednesday morning with a view to overhauling the academy’s security architecture to avert future recurrences.
President Muhammadu Buhari says Tuesday’s attack on the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), rather than dampen the morale of the Armed Forces, will buoy them to end criminality in the country.
In a statement by his special media aide Femi Adesina on Wednesday, President Buhari noted that the attack, which led to the loss of lives, came when the military had put insurgents, bandits, kidnappers, and other criminals on the retreat.
The President added that the heinous action would accelerate the total uprooting of evil in the polity, which members of the Armed Forces are solidly resolved to accomplish in the shortest possible time.
He commiserated with the families of those who died during the incident, asking God to comfort them, and assured them that the deceased would not die in vain.
The President noted the degenerate act would have consequences that will eventually clean the country of vermin and emancipate the polity from deliberate, targeted, and contrived atrocious acts.
Buhari thanked Nigerians who appreciate the military’s efforts and urged those playing hateful politics with the dastardly act to desist from such.
According to him, rather than recriminations, this is the time for patriots and “people of goodwill to support and encourage those who are in the vanguard of the battle against wickedness in the land”.
The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor, has condemned the attack on the permanent site of the Nigerian Defence Academy in Kaduna State.
Addressing reporters on Tuesday in Yola, he described the attack carried out by bandits as madness that must be stopped as soon as possible.
“The incident in Kaduna, of course, has been undertaken by bandits, but it is more of an armed robber coming to your house,” said General Irabor who was in Adamawa State to meet with retired senior military officers in the north-east region.
“The infiltration did not come by virtue of the normal banditry action, but these are things we are already looking at and in due course, you will get the details.
“Any form of insecurity is a cause for worry for anyone and that is why for us, we are more determined that this madness must be brought to an end very speedily.”
Speaking about the insurgency in the North East, the CDS thanked the residents for genuinely supporting the ongoing intensive clearance operations by troops towards the restoration of permanent peace in the zone.
He said the solutions to the security challenges in the North East lie in the region, with hopes that the situation will get better in the days ahead.
General Irabor equally allayed the fears of Nigerians on the ongoing mass surrendering of Boko Haram and Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) ex-fighters to the military.
He asked residents and Nigerians to trust the relevant agencies that have been tasked with the responsibilities of planning the rehabilitation of repented insurgents.
According to the defence chief, the military will deal with the matter for the good of the region as there will be no loose ends.
He urged the military veterans to take full advantage of the security parley in evaluating the various military operations, saying their patriotic and constructive assessment of the general security situation would add value to the ongoing clearance operations.
“What remains very clear is the desire and will of the AFN to speedily turn around the fortune of the North East to a state where everyone will be happy again,” the CDS said.