Nigerian Government Rallies Support For Troops

Nigerian Government Rallies Support For Troops The Nigerian Government has congratulated the gallant troops of the Nigerian military for finally seizing the Sambisa Forest from the Boko Haram terrorists and securing the Northeast, paving the way for Sunday’s re-opening of two strategic roads in Borno State.

In a statement issued in Lagos on Monday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, appealed to Nigerians to continue to support the troops as they clear the remnants of the terrorists who are now on the run.

He also called for increased vigilance among Nigerians, as Boko Haram escapees seek to integrate themselves into communities far and near, saying eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.

“We urge Nigerians to keep our gallant and victorious troops in their prayers, and to also imbibe the mantra of ‘if you see something, say something’ as a way of ensuring that no escaped terrorist is able to wreak havoc in their communities.

“It is also important to know that now that they have been dispossessed of their fortress, the Boko Haram escapees will intensify their cowardly attacks on vulnerable targets if only to maintain an illusion of terror.

“But there should be no panic because the worst is over,” Mr Mohammed said.

The Minister commended the military for the re-opening of the Maiduguri-Gubio-Damasak road and the Maiduguri-Mungono-Baga road, which link Nigeria with neighbouring countries.

He hailed Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima for his unwavering support for the military and his administration’s determination to quickly restore normalcy across the state.

The Minister said it was in recognition and celebration of the great feat performed by the military that he decided to lead over 30 Nigerian and international journalists to join the Hon. Minister of Defence, retired Brig.-Gen. Mansur Dan Ali, the Service Chiefs and the Governor of Borno State, at the opening of the two strategic roads in Borno on Sunday.

“Unfortunately, due to bad weather, our flight to Maiduguri from Abuja was cancelled after several hours of waiting at the airport in Abuja.

“However, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, accompanied by the top brass of the military, re-opened the two arterial roads.

“This is very significant because the two major roads, which were closed due to the activities of the terrorists in the area, are of strategic importance to the economy of the Lake Chad Region,” he said.

Mr Mohammed said overall, the leadership provided by President Muhammadu Buhari provided the much-needed impetus for the military’s victory in the Northeast.

He urged Nigerians to continue to give their unalloyed support to the President in his “untiring efforts to restore peace and security across the country and also revamp the economy”.

Boko Haram Attacks ‘Operation Crack Down’ Troops At Izza

Boko HaramBoko Haram terrorists on Wednesday evening attacked Nigerian troops involved in the clearance and rescue operations in Sambisa forest nicknamed ‘Operation Crack Down’, while on harbour.

According to Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Usman, the terrorists came in five Toyota Hilux vehicles mounted with Anti-Aircraft guns which they fired along with 81mm mortar.

The battle ready troops rose to the occasion and repelled the attack and pursued the terrorists as they withdrew in disarray towards the river line of Izza-Mainyakare axis.

The attack lasted for about 40 minutes without any casualty on Nigerian troops while an unconfirmed number of Boko Haram terrorists were killed. The troops recovered an 81mm mortar tube from the terrorists.

The Army says its troops have maintained highest level alertness and vigilance at the harbour area and they would further exploit and continue with the clearance operation.

Nigerian Troops Ambush Escaping Boko Haram Terrorists

Boko HaramNigerian Troops from 81 Battalion and some elements of 251 Task Force Battalion, 25 Brigade, on Sunday ambushed suspected Boko Haram terrorists escaping from Sambisa forest to Fulawani village.

According to a statement by the Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Usman, the ambushed terrorists were trying to link up with other terrorists or members of their families to relocate to other places.

“It will be recalled that the troops intercepted a group of women and children yesterday who claimed to have escaped from the terrorists’ enclave in Sambisa forest.

“However, during screening and interrogation, it was confirmed that they were the terrorists’ advance party relocating to a new safe haven following intense tactical operations by troops.

“The troops sprang a surprise ambush on the group of escaping terrorists from Sambisa forest crossing towards Alagarno mounted on motorcycles and bicycles, killing five of them and recovering a number items.

“These include five motorcycles, nine bicycles, 80 new pairs of bathroom slippers, assorted laundry items, polythene bags and mats. From all indication, the terrorists intended to link up with their wives and children earlier mentioned, who were obviously despatched to wait for them close to Fulawani for onward movement to other locations.”

The Army also said that based on its assessment, the recovered items were for sale in other locations where remnants of the terrorists were hiding but in dire need of logistics.

“Further investigation also revealed that the terrorists were fleeing Sambisa forest to other areas for safety as they could no longer withstand the continued bombardment by both Nigerian Air Force and the ground troops,” The Army explained.

About 200 Boko Haram Fighters Surrender

boko haramCall it the biggest Boko Haram surrender to the Nigerian Army and you may not be wrong as some 200 members of the Boko Haram Islamist militant group have given themselves up to the Nigerian Army.

The fighters are said to have handed themselves over in the town of Banki on the border with Cameroon.

The military earlier said that the town had been recaptured from Boko Haram but there is no independent confirmation.

Some 17,000 people are said to have been killed in the six-year insurgency, mainly in northern Nigeria.

Nigerian Troops Capture Banki Town

Boko Haram-bankiNigerian troops says they have captured the economic and strategic town of Banki town in Borno State.

A statement issued by the Acting Director Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Usman, said the soldiers also destroyed seven Boko Haram camps and successfully diffused seven Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).

According to Colonel Usman, several Boko Haram terrorists were killed, and others captured alive between Banki junction and Ngorosoye.

Banki is a said to be a town where major economic and trading activities between Nigeria, Cameroon and Central African countries take place.

On Wednesday, the Nigerian Army said it had arrested a Boko Haram Commander, alongside 42 other suspected members.

The troops also revealed that 241 women and children were rescued during the operation.

16 Boko Haram Suspects, Stimulant Suppliers Arrested In Yobe

soldiers and officers arrest Boko Haram SuspectsAt least 16 Boko Haram suspects, their collaborators and stimulant suppliers have been arrested by the 27th Military Task Force Brigade in Damaturu, the capital of Yobe state in north-east Nigeria. 

Parading the suspects at the military base in Damaturu on Wednesday, the Acting Commander of the Task Force, Colonel Dahiru Bako, said the suspects were arrested at different locations across the state.

The Acting Commander said some of the Boko Haram suspects were arrested shortly after carrying out an operation at the outskirt of Damaturu, killing two villagers while others that were nabbed are suspected to be collaborators and informants of the insurgents.

The suspected collaborators, according to him, were involved in supply of logistics such as; foodstuff, fuel and cigarettes among other intoxicants.

Items recovered from the suspects and their collaborators include; 16 jerry can, containing 25 litres of Premium Motor Spirit [Petrol], 8 jerry can of cooking oil and two bags of cannabis among large quantity of assorted drugs.

Other items are 10 bags of Rice, two Bags of sugar, 12 bags of millet, six bags of potash and 12 bags of fertiliser believed to be used in the production of Improvised Explosive Devices.

While reiterating the military and other security agents’ resolve to tackle the activities of the insurgents, Colonel Bako called for the support of well-meaning people of the state and beyond towards ending the crisis.

Security forces have of recent been carrying out severe aerial and land assaults on the insurgents’ hideouts across the north-east region, in an effort to end the insurgency before the end of 2015, in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s ultimatum.

The activities of the terrorists have crippled various socio-economic activities in the north-east region and have left over 1.5 million persons displaced, according to United Nations High Commission For Refugees.

Recent breakthroughs that have been recorded by the troops in various operations have brought relative peace in some states in the region, reducing the spate of attacks by the terrorist group.

Nigeria’s Presidency To Restore U.S. Military Programme

US-Nigeria-ArmyNigeria’s Presidency seems set to reverse the decision by the immediate past administration of Goodluck Jonathan on the cancellation of the military training of Nigerian Armed Forces in the United States.

Latest report indicates that President Muhammadu Buhari is now ready to restore the United States military program to train Nigerian troops.

The training has become necessary because of what government calls ‘growing aggression in the north-east’. The military has been tackling a terrorist group, the Boko Haram, in the region for over five years now.

The terrorists are trying to establish an Islamic State and end western education in the region.

The U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr James Entwistle, insists that Nigeria and the U.S. have military training agreement.

Mr Entwistle said:”We had at Nigeria’s request agreed to train some battalion. Some of the trainers in the world have been provided by the United States”.

Former President Jonathan on December 14, 2014, ended the US government’s training programme for Nigerian soldiers.

The Nigerian government requested for the suspension of the programme less than a month after Washington said it refused to sell the country Cobra attack helicopters.

“At the request of the Nigerian government, the United States will discontinue its training of a Nigerian Army battalion,” the US Embassy in the capital, Abuja, said in an e-mailed statement.

Troops Rescue At Least 30 Boko Haram Captives In Dikwa

Boko-Haram-Captives-2Nigerian troops have rescued at least 30 persons from the insurgents in Kwayabe and Wufe wards in Dikwa Local Council Area of Borno State in Nigeria’s north-east.

The rescue by the Seven Division of the Nigerian Army is coming after last Friday’s liberation of the area after a fierce battle with the dreaded terrorists in the ongoing ‘Operation Lafiya Dole’ onslaughts.

The feat was revealed by the Deputy Director of Army Public Relations, Seven Division, Colonel Tukur Gusau, on Monday.

He explained that the rescued were 21 children, a six-day old infant, seven women, including three nursing mothers and two elderly male adults.

“Troops also discovered a training shed inside the vandalised and looted Palace of the Shehu of Dikwa, where weapon handling and engagement of Aircraft were being thought to new Boko Haram recruits”, Gusau said.

Twin Explosion Kills 7, Injures Dozens In Borno

bomb-explosionA twin explosion has killed seven people and left dozens injured on Friday morning, at Tashan Alade in Hawul Local Government of Borno State, North-east Nigeria.

According to report, the incident occurred at about six in the morning during a wedding ceremony.

Tashan Alade has come under severe attack from insurgents in recent time.

The Director of Defence Information, Major General Chris Olukolade, had said in a statement on Thursday, that  a cordon and search operations conducted by troops in Gombe State, also in the North-east, yielded the arrest of 3 bomb making experts.

He said that the cordon and search is continuing in certain localities and would be intensified along with mopping up operations in locations where offensive operations are being conducted.

A youth vigilante in Tashan Alade, Ibrahim Saleh, said a suspect has been arrested in connection with the incident.

Nigerian Troops Nab Three Bomb Makers In Gombe

TroopsThe Nigerian troops have arrested three suspected bomb producers in Gombe State, North-eastern part of the country.

The Director of Defence Information, Major General Chris Olukolade, said in a statement on Thursday, that “A cordon and search operations conducted by troops in Gombe yielded the arrest of 3 bomb making experts”.

He explained further that “the arrested persons are suspected to be members of the terrorist group in search of soft targets for attack after being dislodged from the stronghold in Sambisa forest and other enclaves”.

On items recovered from the suspects, the military Spokesman revealed that “Items recovered from the apprehended include a tricycle and materials for making Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). The suspects are currently undergoing interrogation”.

Reassuring Nigerians of safety, Olukolade stressed that “Cordon and search is continuing in certain localities and will be intensified along with mopping up operations in locations where offensive operations are being conducted. The essence is to apprehend the terrorists who have been dislodged from their sanctuaries and in search of escape routes or resorting to attacking soft targets.

“In line with this development, the public is enjoined to be extra vigilant and to report suspicious movements or activities within their environs, as the military is poised to ensuring that the ongoing operations are duly aligned with security arrangement nationwide.”

Boko Haram Insurgency: ICRC Increases Aid In Lake Chad Region

Boko HaramThe International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has stepped up its aid in the Lake Chad region, where at least a million people have been forced out of their homes by the Boko Haram insurgency.

ICRC President, Mr Peter Maurer, revealed that the Red Cross programmes in Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, and Niger, the countries adjoining the Lake Chad, would be expanded.

He was quoted on Reuters as saying that “whole communities have fled their villages and endured unimaginable suffering … even if the fighting stopped tomorrow, it will take years of investment and painstaking work to rebuild livelihoods and services”.

“The combined volume of those activities in Lake Chad are today 110 million Swiss francs ($118 million), which makes this region the third most important humanitarian activity of the ICRC worldwide. Just after Syria and South Sudan,” Mr Maurer said.

The six-year insurgency, waged by Boko Haram to carve out an Islamic state in Nigeria’s north-east, has displaced around 1.5 million people.

Rescued From Boko Haram

In the meantime, some 260 women and children rescued from the Boko Haram terrorists’ stronghold, Sambisa Forest, have been relocated from a camp in the North-eastern city of Yola the Adamawa State capital, to an unspecified military facility.

Their movement on Thursday, came after camp officials said they suspected that some of the captives had been communicating with the militants.

The Nigerian troops fighting terrorists in the north-east region of the country, had earlier inflicted another crushing defeat on the Boko Haram militants at the Sambisa Forest, in a major offensive against insurgency.

Military authorities, however, revealed that a large number of the terrorists were killed by ground troops and fighter pilots in an operation described as ‘merciless’.

Military Wipes Out Boko Haram From Sambisa Forest

Military fighting terrorists in Sambisa ForestThe Nigerian troops fighting terrorists in the north-east have inflicted another crushing defeat on Boko Haram militants at the Sambisa Forest, in a major offensive against insurgency.

Military authorities said ground troops and fighter pilots on Sunday, killed a large number of the terrorists in an operation described as ‘merciless’.

Thousands of people have been killed and millions displaced by the militant group in the last six years, which at its height, saw the terrorists control some towns in Nigeria’s North-east region.

Meanwhile, the troops overran 10 camps used by the Islamist terrorists in the Sambisa Forest on Saturday, prior to the Sunday offensive.

Speaking in an interview with media in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, the Director of Defence Information, Major General Chris Olukolade, revealed that four of the camps were located at Izad, within the Sambisa Forest, while three others were being established by the terrorists, before the military assault began.

“The Nigerian Air force is maintaining an active air surveillance to track the movement of terrorists for appropriate action as the operation continues,” the army spokesman said in a statement.

A soldier was said to have died in the encounter, while two others sustained serious injuries.

However, the military’s renewed offensive in the area is in line with the government’s promise of cleaning up the Sambisa Forest before the handover date of May 29.