Army rescues over 250 kids and adults, going to Lagos as house helps

Officers of the Nigerian Army have apprehended some suspected human traffickers at Itobe Bridge in the Ajaokuta area of Kogi state.

Over 250 persons including children, men and women within the age range of 4 to 27yrs were being transported by the bandits in different batches, using commercial buses.

They were on the way to Lagos when they were intercepted and arrested by the soldiers.

A very distraught Commandant of Army Record, Lokoja, Major-General Alphonsus Chukwu, lamented why people will do such a thing to kids of such age grades, describing it as barbaric and criminal.

The Army Commander told Channels Television that further investigation has revealed that the suspected trafficker has being in business of shipping these children from different parts of the country to Lagos for over a decade.

“Our investigations have revealed that he has being in the business for over ten years and you know, every day is for the thief but one day is for the owner”he said.

The suspected trafficker, Sunday Agbo, an indigene of Benue state, initially explained that he was only trying to help convey six boys to their father in Ikorodu, in Lagos.

But his claim ran contrary to the narration of one of the teenage girls being trafficked as she explained in broken English incoherently, that the man-Mr Agbo- took her from her village after the closure of their school and promised to bring her back to the village in December.

When asked what she was to do in Lagos, she replied, “he is carrying me to go do work.”

Mr Agbo later recounted his claim, confessing that “what I did is that if a girl can work for N10,000 they (the employer) will give me my own (commission out of the money) and the rest they will pay it to the person (victim).”

Another suspected trafficker, told Channels Television that some of the children are orphans and they do not have money or any other way to survive, so they agree to go and work in Lagos.

The military intercepted many more victims as the days went by, with children of different age grades, mainly from Benue state being rescued.

When the drivers of buses used for the transportation were questioned, they claimed they were paid to convey the people to states in the South-West part of the country.

Major-General Chukwu later stated that the suspected traffickers would be handed over to the police for prosecution.

Army donates anti-bombing device to Churches, Mosques

The Nigerian Army, Thursday, unveiled and presented vehicle stoppers to some Churches and Mosques, as part of its corporate social responsibility in curtailing the spate of suicide bombing at worship centres across the country.

Presenting the device in Abuja, the Chief of Civil Military Affairs, Major Gen. Bitrus Kwaji said the vehicle stoppers were designed to stop any vehicle from all angle at any speed.

He added that the anti-bombing device would be distributed to the representatives of Christian and Muslim bodies, who should in turn produce it in mass for distribution, while stressing that security is everybody’s business.

His words, “it has been discovered that most attacks of suicide bombers are being carried out with vehicles loaded with Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). The mode of operation is simple as a suicide bomber drives his vehicle straight into his target and explosion occurs.

“In order to disallow bombers from reaching their targets, this invention comes in handy as it forcefully stops any vehicle that comes in contact with it at whatever speed.

“The unfolding security challenges confronting the nation amongst which is the Boko Haram terrorist menace have continued to hinder the congress of the transformation agenda of Mr President as well as the development of the nation at large.

“The terrorists over the years have continued to attack places of worship (churches and mosques) in order to destabilize the nation. This has necessitated the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) to charge all corps and services of the Nigerian Army to provide ways and means of curtailing this menace.

“This charge has yielded a lot of responses as we witnessed the commissioning of an indigenous Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) by the Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces during the recently concluded Nigerian Army Day Celebration in Kaduna.

Receiving the devices on behalf of the Religion Bodies, Very Rev. Monday Okonkwo of the Methodist Church, Nyanya and the Executive Secretary of the National Mosque Abuja, Alh. Ibrahim Jega expressed satisfaction with Military Authorities, just as they promised to be security conscious, to complement the efforts of security agents, in riding the country of terrorism”.

They also called on faithful to join hands with authorities in their various churches and mosques, to prevent any further attack, and report any suspicion to the relevant authorities, insisting that, government can not do it alone.

Nigeria gets bullet proof vest factory

President Goodluck Jonathan has commissioned the Defence Industry Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), a company that will be manufacturing bullet proof vest for the military and other security agents.  

The President at the commissioning in Kaduna, commended the Public Private Partnership (PPP) between DICON and MAROM-DOLPHIN Nigeria Limited which resulted in the domestic production of the bullet proof vests and other textile wares for security agencies in the country.

President Jonathan noted that the landmark event shows that the military establishment has effectively keyed into the federal government’s Local Content Policy which is aimed at building indigenous capacity in the petroleum and other sectors of the national economy.”

The President restated his administration’s commitment “to creating the requisite enabling environment for local manufacturing industries to grow, become major employers of labour and progressively become globally competitive.”

Noting that the Nigerian Navy has locally designed and constructed Seaward Defence Boat, just as the Nigerian Army Engineering Corps produced an Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs), the president stated that these are part of activities marking the 2012 Nigerian Army Day Celebrations (NADCEL).

He added that this year’s celebration coupled with the creation of the army and navy marks the beginning of the end of the nation’s total reliance on foreign suppliers for the country’s security needs.

While urging all Nigerians to show patriotism by buying DICON products, President Jonathan indicated that a directive would soon be issued to compel all Federal agencies to patronise DICON unless they can prove convincingly that such products are not available locally.

“That is the only way we can move as a nation,” he said, while calling on other foreign investors to emulate MAROM-DOLPHIN.

President Jonathan accompanied by the governors of Kaduna and Bayelsa States, Ministers, members of the National Assembly and the Chief of Defence Staff among other top government officials, also inspected weapons made by DICON-MAROM.

DICON was established by an Act of Parliament in 1964 to primarily “produce small arms and ammunitions for the use of the Nigerian Army, paramilitary and security agencies in the country.”



FG restates commitment to provision of security in Nigeria

The federal government has restated its commitment to the provision of adequate and effective security in the country.

The Commander of the Nigerian Army Corp of Artillery, Major General Amnon Kwaskebe made the promise in Kachia, Kaduna State at the graduation ceremony of  military officers and personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp who went on  a four weeks training in counter terrorism and counter insurgency.

General Kwaskebe said the training of security personnel will be a continuous exercise as part of the federal government’s efforts at combating terrorism and other forms of security challenges being faced by the nation.

The training was a joint training exercise for officers and men of the Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp in counter terrorism and counter insurgency at the Nigerian Army base in Kachia, Kaduna State. Commander of the Nigeria Army Corp of Artillery told the participants that the federal government remains committed to the security of all persons.

The Zonal Commander of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp expressed satisfaction with the performance of the participants saying the Corp will continue to collaborate with other security agencies towards ensuring internal security.

With the presentation of certificates to all the participants, the Director of Counter Terrorism and Counter Insurgency, Brigadier General Tijani Golau enjoined the graduands to be good examples of their organisations.

Nigerian Army trains 498 soldiers and Civil Defence on Counter Terrorism

498 soldiers and members of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps have been trained in basic anti-terrorism to curb the rising cases of insurgency and terrorist acts in the country by the Nigerian Army.

According to the commandant of the guards brigade, Brigadier General Emmanuel Atewe, the training held at the counter terrorism and counter insurgency centre in Kachia, Kaduna state, is in addition to the procurement of modern combat equipment, enhanced logistics and welfare packages.

He urged the participants to utilise their newly acquired skills when required and ensure they adhere to the rules of engagement.

Four arrested over power plant vandalisation

Four men suspected to be vandals have been arrested by men of the Nigerian Army attached to the  multi million naira Papalanto Power Station in Ogun state south west Nigeria.

The suspects were alleged to have vandalised some security cables at the power station located in Ewekoro local government area of the state.

The suspects according to investigation have been carrying out their nefarious activities which has been taking its toll on power generation at the power station whose first phase was commissioned over five years ago by the former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Although, according to some of the officials of the power station, the station activities has remained undisturbed but findings revealed that the operation may be hampered any moment from now as a result of the damage done to the installation with the incessant cutting of the copper wire by the vandals.

Speaking with Journalists after the assessment  of the level of damage done by the vandals, the Acting Principal Manager, Public Affairs, Mr.Tokunbo Peters described the situation as economic sabotage which will not only affect the people of Ogun state but the entire Nigeria  as the  damage done will affect the input of the station in to the national grid.

He put the total cost of the cable stolen by the vandals at N35 million saying with the situation, there is possibility of shutting down the station for necessary repair to be carried out in order for the station to pick up again for optimal performance.

He said the activities of the vandals remain a great disservice to the intention of the Federal Government to stabilizing power supply in the country. He said it was quite unfortunate that while the country was still grappling with severe load shedding due to inadequate generation , some criminal elements in the society could be going about vandalizing power installations ,thus adding to the sufferings and discomfort of the public. The suspects have been handed over to the Police for prosecution.

They have however been handed over to the police for proper investigation as well
as to ensure the arrest of their sponsors.

Soldiers uncover plot to bomb Kano during Easter

The Nigerian Army has issued a warning  of a possible terrorist attack in Kano during the Easter.
The warning was released on Wednesday by the General Officer Commanding 1 Mechanized Division, Kaduna, Major-General Garba Wahab, following the killing of three suspected Boko Haram members by the Joint Military Task force in Kano on Tuesda

According to Army spokesman, Lieutenant Ikediche Iweha, the three suspected Boko Haram members were killed by soldiers at a checkpoint while trying to escape after snatching a Honda Accord from its owner.

“The car was to be used possibly in the next few days for a suicide bombing mission…the JTF alerted all its units within the area to look out for a Honda Accord 2008 model with the colour and description accurately given…within 20 minutes, one of our checkpoints spotted the vehicle in question. The vehicle was flagged down for checking, but the terrorist elements on sighting the JTF opened fire in a desperate bid to get away…three of them were gunned down. An immediate search conducted on the vehicle revealed that the occupants had 2 AK 47 Riffles, one pistol, one locally manufactured pistol, 47 rounds of 7.62mm special and six rounds of 9mm.”

Still on the issue of security, the Major- General Wahab, disclosed that intelligence reports indicated that attacks might likely be carried out by suspected Boko Haram members during the Christian festivities, from Friday to Monday. He however assured that everyone would be protected during the Easter and beyond.

“If security situation in Kano is guaranteed, then we will get security situation back in Nigeria. I want to appeal to the average Nigerian, especially the good people of Kano to realize that the soldiers are out to ensure their safety and security…we all need to realize that the guys we are dealing with are living among us, they are fellow Nigerians like us. So, it takes a lot for us to be able to fish them out. If we don’t do a thorough job, the possibility of these people escaping from one point to the other will be high. And if they perpetrate what happened here in Kano second time—what happened on January 20, if it is repeated, I’m sure the average person will write the Nigerian Army off; and we don’t want that to happen.” he said.

Soldiers storm Boko Haram hideouts in Kaduna, arrests 65

No fewer than 65 Boko Haram suspects were arrested in Kaduna on Wednesday and Thursday when soldiers from the Nigerian Army raided the area.

33 of the suspects were arrested on Wednesday at the Barnawa Complex of the city while 32 others were picked up on Thursday in different parts of Kaduna metropolis.

A local newspaper learnt that 19 Nigeriens, a vendor and a fried meat (suya) seller were amongst those arrested.

However, residents have faulted the arrest, claiming the people arrested are not Boko Haram members.
A petty trader, Babangida, said “The soldiers just came to our area without any excuse… started molesting people who were doing their lawful business and others who come here regularly to buy Suya and other foods.”

Also,the District Head (Hakimi) of Barnawa, Kaduna, Alhaji Kabiru Zubairu, decried the claim of the soldiers,saying “I am telling you categorically that my people are law abiding citizens and I can vouch for them that they are innocent of the allegations levelled against them.”

The suspects are currently being detained in separate guardrooms in a military facility in Kaduna, for interrogation to establish which of them are Boko Haram members.

Nigerian Army denies complicity in Mubi killings

The 23 Armoured Brigade in Yola, Adamawa state have dissociated itself from the Monday killings of six youths from Yelwa community in Mubi area of Adamawa state.

The army, in a statement by the brigade’s Public Relations Officer, Lieutenant Victor Olukoya said they are law abiding citizens who will always uphold the constitution of the country and will not engage in extra judiciary killing that will dent the name of the institution and the nation at large.

He also dismissed speculations that the army and police formation in the state are not in good terms and insisted that the relationship between the two forces has always been collaborative and cordial.

There had been media reports as well as insinuations by residents of Mubi that soldiers said to be members of the patrol team from the 23 Armoured Brigade were responsible for the killing of six persons found in a suburb of Yelwa in Mubi.

Business activities in the state has however resumed with banks closing by 2pm just as security operatives continue to patrol major streets of the town.