Bureau De Change Facilitating Money To Terrorists – Presidency

 

The Presidency on Tuesday said it has identified Bureau De Change (BDCs) facilitating money to terrorists, insisting that people will be shocked when details of the investigation on how the sums of money were transferred to the group will be fully disclosed. 

Mister Shehu said the government will soon make public the names of those who are behind these evil acts.

“Bureaus de change are facilitating money to terrorists. We have already worked with the UAE,” a presidential media aide, Garba Shehu said during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Tuesday.

“Convictions have been achieved of Nigerians who are transferring money to Boko Haram terrorists and this also happens domestically. And I tell you that by the time we finish this investigation, the shocking details will surprise many Nigerians.”

A file photo of bundles of money.

 

He also said places of worship are used to harbour killers of security agents in the country, assuring that heads of intelligence agencies are working on it.

“It is shocking to many Nigerian that places of worship and farmland are places where killers of policemen, naval officers and military are being harboured.  This discovery will shock you. But this is going on all over the country,” the Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to the President, noted.

“The new Service chiefs are working with the Inspector General and heads of intelligence agencies and there is a clear lead.”

‘A Clear Connection’

 

The presidential aide equally said there is a link between kidnapping, banditry and terrorism, corroborating an earlier comment by the Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi who argued that proceeds of banditry are used to fund terrorism.

“There is a clear connection now established between kidnapping, banditry and the terrorism in the country, especially in terms of financing.”

President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier in the day met with the country’s security chiefs and ordered them to clear out bandits and kidnappers.

READ ALSO: Recruit 50 Million Youths Into Army To Tackle Insecurity – Tinubu Tells FG

While speaking about the meeting, Shehu explained that the president equally commended them for their efforts in tackling the nation’s security challenges.

“He really was appreciative of the positive and pragmatic approach they have brought since the assumption of office,” he added.

“He has commended their decisiveness in dealing with the security challenges of the country and he has urged them to sustain the momentum. All the problems have not been solved but we are getting somewhere.”

 

 

 

Arms Fund: Presidency Says No Money Is Missing, Explains How $1bn Was Spent

 

The controversy trailing the allegation of missing arms fund under the leadership of the former service chiefs has continued to generate mixed reactions from different parts of the country.

Major General Babagana Monguno, who is the National Security Adviser (NSA), was said to have alleged during an interview with BBC Hausa Service that the funds meant for arms procurement were missing under the former security chiefs.

While his office stated that the NSA was quoted out of context and did not categorically make such a claim, the Presidency avowed that no such money was missing.

“I imagine that you are talking about the $1 billion taken from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) with the consent of state governors and was used for military procurement.

“I want to assure you that nothing of that money is missing,” Mr Garba Shehu said on Friday when he featured as a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

He added, “The reference by it in the interview with Hausa Service of the BBC by the National Security Adviser, I think, has been misconstrued and mistranslated.”

A file photo of the National Security Adviser, Major-General Babagana Monguno
A file photo of the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno.

 

Held Up In UAE

Shehu, who is the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, clarified the controversy triggered by the claim and went further to give an insight into the procurements made by the military since the funds were withdrawn.

He noted that the procurements made have not been fully delivered and about $536 million of the money was paid directly in a government-to-government transaction with the United States government.

“In August 2018, they (the US) allowed the Nigerian Government to buy 12 Super Tucano aircraft suitable for the kind of war we are fighting in the North East. In addition to that, other arms of the military have also made procurements.

“The Nigerian Navy has done nearly 100 per cent of their procurements equipment delivered; the Nigerian Air Force has bought a number of attack helicopters – 35 i-helicopters from Ukraine,” the presidential aide outlined.

He, however, said there have been problems with the procurements made by the Nigerian Army, stressing that the equipment have been coming in bits and in pieces.

Shehu disclosed that Nigeria’s biggest procurement was coming from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“As I speak to you, it is held up in a situation which only diplomacy will resolve. The Nigerian Minister of Defence actually had a meeting with the Ambassador of the UAE to Nigeria and the idea is to resolve this so that these equipment held up will be released.

“We need them here, all these procurements are ongoing; nothing can be bought on the shelf, they are bought on order. The NSA did not make accusations of misappropriation because there is none in dealing with this matter,” he insisted.

FG Poised To Do Much More Through ESP – Presidency

Trader Moni: You Don't Need PVC For Loans, Presidency Says
Senior Special Assistant to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Media and Publicity, Mr Laolu Akande

 

The Presidency has said that Nigeria’s prompt exit from recession is a key indicator of the success of the ongoing Economic Sustainability Plan approved by the Federal Government.

This indication was given over the weekend by Mr. Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity in the Office of the Vice President while updating the media on ESP progress and reacting to the latest GDP figures for the last quarter of 2020.

Mr. Akande said Nigerians should expect more as the implementation of the Plan is gathering even greater momentum.

“The President and the Federal Executive Council had approved the Plan last June and the Vice President was asked to lead the implementation of the Plan.

“The plan is aimed, among others, at preventing a deep recession and putting cash in the hands of Nigerians after the economic fallouts of the pandemic,” Akande stated.

READ ALSO: Bitcoin Market hits $1 Trillion In Value

The VP’s spokesman noted that right from the 2020 third quarter, the economy was already on a rebound adding that the latest fourth-quarter figures show that indeed, the recovery of the Nigerian economy is a steady one.

“Like we explained late last year after the release of the third-quarter figures, the Economic Sustainability Plan, which was a calculated intervention by the Buhari Presidency, is driving the Nigerian economy in the right direction-upwards, and Nigerians can expect more because the administration is unrelenting in its determination to pursue the steady recovery and growth of our economy,” Akande noted.

The Presidential spokesperson said the Economic Sustainability Plan is entering into an even more potent phase with the revving up of plans to install 5 million solar installations across the country and the social mass housing plan that will result in hundreds of thousands of affordable houses for ordinary Nigerians. Both aspects he noted, will yield several hundreds of jobs besides giving the national economy a significant spur-like never before.

He explained that so far, the Survival Fund is making waves with MSMEs, artisans, transport workers, hundreds of thousands receiving cash stimulus, and the payroll support where an equal number of people running into hundreds of thousands employed by businesses are collecting N50,000 monthly, adding that the payroll support covers three months’ salaries for beneficiaries.

According to Mr. Akande, already about 311,000 employees have received the payroll support coming from 64,000 businesses nationwide and over 165,000 artisans have also benefited from the Survival Fund.

The spokesman further stated that in all, the Survival Fund is on course to safeguard at least a 1.3million jobs

Underway also, according to him, is the Government Off-take Scheme, GOS, where the Federal Government will pump an additional N15billion to support Nigerian-owned businesses by off-taking a number of products in a bid to keep businesses alive and create jobs.

The GOS are expected to cover products such as facemasks, liquid soaps, disinfectants, hand sanitizers, and other processed foods and spices. Altogether, the GOS will benefit 100,000 MSMEs, while an additional 100,000 Nigerians will also be benefiting from a one-off N50,000 MSME grant different from those already paid to artisans, transport workers and separate from the payroll support.

Commenting on the quarter 4 GDP figures, Akande quoting a Presidency review on the latest GDP figures, said that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 0.11% in Q4 2020 following two consecutive quarters of negative growth, “showing an exit from the pandemic induced recession. This positive quarterly growth in Q4 2020 contributed to overall GDP, which contracted by -1.92% for the full year in 2020.”

“This GDP report is important for a number of reasons. It is a reflection of the growing importance of the non-oil sector, as its contribution to GDP has increased from 92.68% in Q4 2019 to 94.13% in Q4 2020. The non-oil sector performance was mainly driven by growth in Information and Communication, as the pandemic meant greater use of ICT services.

“Growth in Agriculture, Manufacturing, Mining, Construction, and Real Estate also contributed to the improvement of the non-oil sector.

The Presidency review noted that however “in contrast, the oil sector fell by -19.76% in Q4 2020 (6.36% in Q4 2019) as average oil production declined to 1.5 million barrels per day (1.5mbpd). This can be attributed to Nigeria’s compliance with OPEC+ quotas.”

It was observed that the “report indicates that Nigeria’s response to the COVID-19 induced shocks, the Economic Sustainability plan and the timely revision of the Federal Government budget, were effective.”

Besides, Akande explained that “the Nigerian Economy outperformed various analysts’ expectations like the IMF and World Bank. In addition, Nigeria’s quarter on quarter growth of 9.7% surpassed China (2.6%), USA (4%), and Japan (3%) despite these countries having larger stimulus packages.”

In conclusion, it was stated that “the Nigerian economy performed reasonably despite the earlier lockdown, trade disruptions, #EndSars protests, and oil price volatility. There is optimism as oil prices continue to stabilize, COVID-19 cases reach a plateau, success of an imminent vaccine rollout, and continued effective implementation of the Economic Sustainability Plan.”

Killer Herdsmen: Anyone Caught With Illegal Arms Should Be Tried, says Presidency

 

President Muhammadu Buhari’s position on the issue of killer herdsmen is that anyone caught with illegal arms should be arrested and tried, spokesman Femi Adesina said on Tuesday.

Mr. Adesina, who made an appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today, was reacting to recent comments made by Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom.

Mr. Ortom had said the President was silent over the issue of armed herdsmen causing havoc across the country.

READ ALSO: Buhari Flags Off Nigeria-Niger Railway Project

“If the Governor would say he hasn’t heard the President speak on that matter, that’s what he should make clear; it’s not that the President hasn’t spoken,” Mr. Adesina said.

“Because the number of times the President has spoken on that issue . . . and his position has always been the same: anybody, whoever he is, that carries arms unlawfully should be arrested and prosecuted. The President has said it countless times.”

However, when asked how many herdsmen have been arrested in recent times, Mr. Adesina said “I don’t have that figure at my fingertips . . . but I know that a lot of people are awaiting trial.”

Ranching as solution?

Clashes between farmers and herdsmen have escalated this year, especially in the southwest where quit notices were delivered to people of Fulani extraction.

Kano State Governor, Umar Ganduje, recently suggested that ranching was the solution to the phenomenon of herdsmen moving across the country with cattle.

Reacting to the Governor’s suggestion, Mr Adesina said all suggestions should be discussed.

He also pointed to the Federal Government’s Ruga program, which was rejected by some states.

“Nigeria is a peculiar country where the federal government has no land,” he said. And if states say they have no land for ranches, then another solution has to be found.

“So we need to discuss these things and appraise them critically until we can get to what we can call ‘the’ solution.”

 

FG Can’t Appoint IGP Based On Ethnicity – Presidency

 

The Presidency on Monday said the appointment of the next Inspector-General of Police will not be based on ethnic considerations.

Current IGP Mohammed Adamu is expected to leave office today, Monday, as he attains the retirement age and speculations have emerged on who his successor will be.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, presidential spokesman Garba Shehu said it is impracticable for top security appointments to be made based on factors such as ethnicity or regions.

READ ALSO: No Known Date Yet For Announcement Of Next IGP – Presidency

“If you are going to appoint the service chiefs from every ethnic group in this country, you are going to have more than 250 Inspector-General of Police, 250 Chief of Army Staff, 250 Chief of Naval Staff,” he said. “It’s not going to work like that. And they have their own systems of producing leadership.

“If we say we are going to use ethnicity or region as the basis, then we have lost it. This is about law and order, it is not about ethnic identity. This country finished with tribalism in the 1960s, why are we back to it now?

“But if you have two, three positions – look at what happened with the service chiefs just appointed: two from the South, two from the North. If you are talking about religion, two Muslims, two Christians. So what do you want again?”

The spokesman added that the appointment will be based on who can best help to protect lives and properties across the country.

“The President will rather have an Inspector-General of Police who will make you and I safer, protect life and property than one who is more pronounced by his tribal marks,” he said.

Corruption Report

Mr. Shehu also commented on the latest Corruption Perception Index report published by Transparency International.

The report had ranked Nigeria 149 out of 180 countries surveyed, one of its worst ratings in years.

TI cited an absence of transparency, nepotism, lack of adequate anti-corruption legal frameworks, the prevalence of bribery and extortion in the Nigerian Police, corruption in the security sector, among others, as reasons for the low rating.

But Mr. Shehu said the report was not an indictment on the Buhari administration but on Nigerians.

“This one by TI is not a judgement on Buhari or his administration or its war against corruption, it is a judgement on Nigerians,” Mr. Shehu said. “Because if you look at the major indices they used in arriving at these conclusions, they used eight indices, six of which found Nigeria as being more or less at the same position, nothing has been lost.

“The two that they dwelt on, that caused this backsliding, are essentially Nigerian problems. When they look at the varieties of democracy, they are talking about the political culture of this country, vote-buying, thuggery. Is it Buhari that is a thug? We are not doing thuggery. And we know those who are doing it.

“And when they talk about the justice project – which is a big minus in that report – they are talking about perceived corruption in the judiciary. These perceptions are essentially not correct.

“Yes, there are issues in that sector, but wouldn’t it have been nice to note the reforms that are ongoing in that sector. So many changes are going on. Acknowledge it, so that you encourage those judicial officers that are upright and the system keeps getting better.”

 

No Known Date Yet For Announcement Of Next IGP – Presidency

A file photo of Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu
A file photo of Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu

 

The Presidency on Monday said there was no date set, yet, for the announcement of a new Inspector-General of Police.

Current IGP Mohammed Adamu is expected to leave office today, Monday, as he attains the retirement age.

But, speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, Presidential spokesman Garba Shehu said he is not aware of the imminent announcement of a new police chief.

READ ALSO: Corruption Index Not Accurate Portrayal Of Nigeria’s Situation – Presidency

“The President returns to Abuja on Tuesday,” he said. “He should be on his desk by Wednesday. I don’t know when he will do this. One thing I can assure you is that in places sensitive like that, there is no vacuum that will subsist, so therefore the system will take care of itself.”

Mr. Shehu also stressed that the appointment of the next IGP will not be based on ethnic considerations.

“The President will rather have an Inspector-General of Police who will make you and I safer, protect life and property than one who is more pronounced by his tribal marks,” he said.

Corruption Index Not Accurate Portrayal Of Nigeria’s Situation – Presidency

A file photo of Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu
A file photo of Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu

 

The Presidency on Thursday responded to Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index which placed Nigeria 149 out of the 180 countries surveyed.

The TI data suggested that Nigeria’s corruption situation had worsened.

However, in a statement, presidential spokesman Garba Shehu said the Muhammadu Buhari administration deserves credit for reducing corruption in the country.

According to Shehu, the TI report is not an accurate portrayal of the facts on the ground.

READ SHEHU’S FULL STATEMENT:

PRESIDENT BUHARI DESERVES CREDIT FOR DIMINISHING CORRUPTION IN PUBLIC SERVICE

The Buhari administration deserves credit for diminishing corruption in the public service and will continue to vigorously support prevention, enforcement, public education and enlightenment activities of anti-corruption agencies.

We are currently analyzing the sources of data used in arriving at the latest Transparency International (TI) report on Corruption Perceptions Index in Nigeria since by their own admission, they don’t gather their own data.

This report is not an accurate portrayal of the facts on ground.

In the coming days, the Government’s Technical Unit on Governance Research (TUGAR) will be providing more detailed information on the sources of the TI data.

While this is being awaited, the examination carried out on their 2019 report showed that 60 percent of their data was collected from businesses and other entities with issues bordering on transparency and the ease of doing business at the ports.

Although this is a government ready to learn from mistakes and make corrections, the economy of this country, in its fullness, is bigger than the sea ports we have.

We are also not unaware of the characters behind the TI in Nigeria whose opposition to the Buhari administration is not hidden.

We have repeatedly challenged TI to provide indices and statistics of its own to justify its sensational and baseless rating on Nigeria and the fight against corruption. We expect them to come clean and desist from further rehashing of old tales.

A Naira denominated review that excludes recoveries in Dollars, Pounds, Euro shows that a sum of N1.2tn was recovered by EFCC between 2009 — 2019. N939bn of that total was recovered between 2015 – 2019 with less than N300bn recovered in the first six years.

Additionally, preventative instruments deployed by this administration such as Treasury Single Account (TSA), Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) coverage expansion and the removal of 54,000 ghost workers from federal civil service saving us N200bn annually serve as evidence that perception is not reality.

Reality is based on verifiable facts and data. And any evidence-based analysis would prove that whether it is by prevention or punitive measures in recoveries and prosecution, this administration would be rising fast up these rankings rather than standing still.

Organizations should be factual in their analysis and be prepared to rely on inputs outside of sensational media reports and age-old narratives which have not been updated to reflect today’s reality in Nigeria concerning its globally-respected war on corruption.

In the existential fight against this multi-pronged malice and manifestations of corruption, President Muhammadu Buhari has avowed that he would take-no-prisoners, guided by respect for the rule of law.

We invite Nigerians to stand with an administration that has done so much on asset recovery, prosecution, legislation, political will and leadership by example in the fight against corruption.

Equally, we urge our friends in the media, development partners and the civil society organizations to continue to support efforts to strengthen accountability, transparency, ethical values and integrity in Nigeria’s public sector.

President Buhari has put his hand to the plough and will not relent in working with those passionate about the welfare, stability and prosperity of future generations to come in Nigeria.

Garba Shehu
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
January 28, 2021

‘Weaker Boko Haram, New Equipment’: Presidency Lists Security Achievements

A file photo of soldiers traveling in military trucks.

 

The Presidency on Thursday published a checklist of its security achievements to date, ahead of the Armed Forces Remembrance Day scheduled for Friday.

“January 15 every year is commemorated as Armed Forces Remembrance Day,” spokesman Femi Adesina said in a statement.

“As the milestone is marked this year, it also provides ample opportunity to chronicle current landmark achievements by our military in tackling security challenges in the land, towards fulfilling the constitutional requirement of Government guaranteeing the protection of lives and property.

READ ALSO: Sixty-Four Insurgents Killed In Borno, Yobe States – Military

Listed among the achievements were the restoration of some sanity in Borno State post-2015, the weakening of Boko Haram, the decimation of thousands of insurgents, and the purchase of new equipment for the military.

The federal government has faced criticism for the spate of insecurity across the country amid calls for the President to replace security service chiefs whose tenures have officially expired.

In November, at least 43 farmers were massacred by Boko Haram terrorists in Zabarmari, Borno State, sparking outrage nationwide.

Over 300 schoolboys were also kidnapped at a secondary school in Katsina in December, although they regained their freedom within a week.

Citing reports of widespread insecurity across the country, the main opposition party, the PDP, has repeatedly called for the resignation of President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

BELOW ARE THE PRESIDENCY’S CHECKLIST

STATE HOUSE PRESS RELEASE

SECURITY CHECKLIST, AS NIGERIA MARKS ARMED FORCES REMEMBRANCE DAY, BY PRESIDENCY

January 15 every year is commemorated as Armed Forces Remembrance Day.
As the milestone is marked this year, it also provides ample opportunity to chronicle current landmark achievements by our military in tackling security challenges in the land, towards fulfilling the constitutional requirement of Government guaranteeing the protection of lives and property.
A checklist below:
INTERNAL SECURITY:

Boko Haram is much weaker today than in 2015, as attested to by the Governor of Borno State on December 6, 2020:

“From state-wide statistics on affairs in the 27 Local Government Areas since 2011, the fact is that despite the recent happenings in Borno State, the security situation in Borno State and, indeed, that of the entire North East sub-region is still far better under Buhari, and this is based on records.
“For instance, unlike the years before Buhari when a number of local governments were no-go-areas, we now have indigenes safely back to Gwoza, Askira-Uba, Dikwa, Ngala, Monguno, Kukawa, Damboa, Konduga, Mafa and led by our traditional leaders, which no one could have visited not to talk of living there. Our Emirs were all in exile. Today, Bama is coming back to life and so is Askira-Uba, Damboa, Gwoza and others. Life is even returning to Baga. This was impossible before Buhari.
“In fact, it was not possible to move few kilometres out of Maiduguri.  Insurgents were so bold to attack and take over military facilities, like the Army Barracks at Monguno, Bama, Giwa Barrack and Multinational Joint Task Force Headquarters at Baga, to mention just a few. There were daily bomb blast attacks in many parts of Maiduguri, the most populated part of the state but all these have stopped under President Buhari. These are the records and no one can dispute them.”

HIGHLIGHTS OF DEFENCE HEADQUARTERS-COORDINATED OPERATIONS, 18 MARCH TO 30 DECEMBER, 2020:

• The Armed Forces of Nigeria from 18 March to 30 December, 2020 neutralized 2,403 criminal elements (terrorists, bandits, kidnappers, cattle rustlers, etc.) across the country.

• This is in addition to scores of other terrorists and armed bandits killed during air strikes.

• Troops also rescued a total of 864 kidnapped victims across the country.

• In addition, a total of 9,684,797 litres of stolen AGO and 33,516,000 litres of DPK were recovered.

• Equally, 1,910 criminal elements were arrested and large cache of arms, ammunition and equipment were recovered during the period.

• Furthermore, a total of 46,581.8 barrels of stolen crude oil and 22,881,257 litres of stolen PMS were recovered by the troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.

Sectoral Breakdown of March to December 2020 Military Successes:

North-West:

5,281 livestock, 6,951 rounds of ammunition and 120 assorted rifles were recovered from the armed bandits by the gallant troops in the Zone, 455 kidnapped victims were rescued and 473 armed bandits killed. 461 arrests were made in the Zone including high profile armed bandits, gun runners and bandits’ collaborators, while a total cash of N6,365,550 was recovered from armed bandits and their informants in the Zone.

North-East:

200 kidnapped victims rescued by troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE. A total of 1,385 rounds of ammunition, 45 grenades as well as 95 assorted rifles were recovered from BHT/ISWAP fighters. In addition, several gun trucks were captured, while some others were destroyed during air strikes. 1,805 insurgents/terrorists including commanders were killed by the troops aside scores killed by air raids/attacks. Additionally, within the period, a total of 79 arrests were made including high value targets.

North-Central:

Troops of Operations SAFE HAVEN, WHIRL STROKE and THUNDER STRIKE rescued a total of 130 kidnapped victims, and 105 assorted rifles as well as 513 rounds of ammunition and 1,055 rustled cattle were recovered from armed bandits and other criminal elements in the Zone. 1,250 criminals including family members of the Darul Salam sect were arrested within the period. Furthermore, troops neutralized a total of 125 armed bandits including militia gang leaders.

South-South:

A total of 8,890,300 litres of stolen AGO and 33,516,00 litres of DPK were impounded by troops of Operation DELTA SAFE. Troops immobilized a total of 185 illegal refining sites, 85 dugout pits and 163 metal storage tanks within the period. Additionally, troops impounded a cumulative total of 31,236.8 barrels of stolen crude oil as well as 12,272,652 litres of stolen PMS from oil thieves in the Zone. Also, a total of 47 kidnapped victims were rescued, while 72 vandals and criminals were arrested. A total of 4,250 bags of 50kg foreign parboiled smuggled rice were impounded and 45 boats engaged in illegal activities were arrested. Troops also arrested a total of 53 pirates and 25 trucks as well as recovered 23 rifles, 65,330 rounds of ammunition and destroyed 23 sea pirate camps.

South-West:

Troops of Operation AWATSE in the South-West Zone between 18 March and 30 December 2020 impounded a total of 10,458,600 litres of PMS; 15,345 barrels of stolen crude oil and 345,000 litres of stolen AGO. Additionally, troops recovered a total of 3,594 rounds of ammunition and 14 assorted rifles. Also, within the period, a total of 23 illegal refining sites were immobilized, while 15 boats and 23 trucks engaged in illegal activities were arrested. In the same vein, within the period 35 kidnapped victims were rescued, while 48 arrests were made.

NORTH-EAST SECURITY ACHIEVEMENTS, 2015-2020

Specifically, in the North East, the Armed Forces have since 2015 recorded significant achievements in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria. The first actions of the Buhari Administration in that regard were:

·      Revitalization of the Multi-National Joint Task Force comprising Nigeria and her neighbours;
·      Relocation of the Military Command and Control Center to Maiduguri    in June 2015;
·     Launch of Operation Lafiya Dole in July 2015.

Since then, several towns and villages have been reclaimed from Boko Haram, thousands of hostages have been freed from terrorist enclaves, and tens of thousands of displaced persons have been resettled. Several Boko Haram leaders have been killed or arrested, and the arrest of Khalid al-Barnawi of the Ansaru splinter cell brought an end to the terrorists’ tight grip on North Central Nigeria.

The Federal Government is investing heavily in military hardware, including 23 new aircraft that have already been delivered and inducted into service, while another 18 manned aircraft and 8 Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAVs) are being awaited, in 2021/2022. This is in addition to attack boats, patrol vessels, armoured tanks and so on.

The Army established ‘Special Mobile Strike Teams’ in the Northeast, while the Air Force has established or is establishing new bases in various parts of the Northwest and North Central (Benue, Nasarawa, Taraba, Zamfara, Kaduna, Katsina).

Here is a selection of significant developments that show the progress in Borno State and the Northeast:

• El-Kanemi Warriors Football Club returned to their home base in Maiduguri in April 2016, two years after relocating to Katsina State because of the insurgency

• Public Secondary Schools resumed in Borno State on Monday September 26, 2016, after two years of closure

• Capture of Boko Haram’s operational and spiritual headquarters, “Camp Zero”, in Sambisa Forest, in December 2016. Following this, the Nigerian Army conducted its Small Arms Championship from 26th to 31st March 2017, a measure aimed at enabling the Armed forces to dominate the area, and avoid regrouping by the terrorists.

• Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Borno State Chapter declared the 2017 Easter Celebrations as the best and safest since 2009.

• Arik Air resumed flights to Maiduguri in May 2017, three years after suspending operations to the city.

• Nigerian Military reopened Maiduguri-Bama-Banki Road in March 2018, four years after it was seized by Boko Haram.

• Hundreds of thousands of displaced persons have returned to their homes and communities across the Northeast, since 2015.

• Tens of thousands of hostages have been freed from Boko Haram captivity, including 106 of the Chibok Girls abducted in April 2014, and 105 of the Dapchi Girls abducted in February 2018.

HIGHLIGHTS OF OPERATION SWIFT RESPONSE (PARTIAL BORDER CLOSURE) AUGUST 2019 TO DECEMBER 2020:

Operation SWIFT RESPONSE (OSR) which was launched in August 2019 and coordinated by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) has now transformed into Nigeria’s Joint Border Patrol Team (JBPT) as part of a Tripartite Operation, comprising Benin, Niger and Nigeria.

• 1,401 irregular migrants arrested

Total seizures:

• 159,506.7 (50kg) bags of parboiled foreign rice;
• 10,447 bags of NPK fertilizer used for making explosives;
• 1,974 Vehicles;
• 895 motorcycles;
• 18,690.3 Jerry cans of Vegetable Oil, among other seized items.

• The total monetary value of the apprehended items is about Twelve Billion, Five Hundred and Thirty Eight Million, Three Hundred and Thirty Three Thousand, Five Hundred and Forty Five Naira Fifty Kobo (₦12,538,333,545.50).

2021:

NEW NAF BASES COMING TO KATSINA AND GOMBE

•       Nigerian Air Force has acquired land to be used for an Operational Base in Gwauruwa Village, Funtua in Katsina State. The new base will translate into increased security coverage and reduced response times for effective air operations against bandits in the area.

•       Nigerian Air Force has commenced construction of a Base for its newly-established Unit, the 203 Combat Renaissance Group (203 CRG), in Gombe State. The Base will host some of the NAF’s newly-acquired armed drones (UCAVs).

LAUNCH OF OPERATION TURA TAKAIBANGO IN YOBE STATE IN JANUARY 2021:

·      Operation TURA TAKAIBANGO was launched by the Military as a subsidiary Operation of Operation LAFIYA DOLE on January 7, 2021. On January 9, 2021, Troops of Operation TURA TAKAIBANGO identified and encircled a Boko Haram ambush site in Gujba LGA of Yobe State, killing 28 Boko Haram Terrorists, destroying one Boko Haram Gun Truck with its occupants while capturing another Gun Truck. Also captured were 2 Anti-Aircraft Guns, 13 AK 47 Rifles, 4 extra magazines and a Vulcanizing Machine.

LAUNCH OF EXERCISE “TAIMAKO YAZO”:

• The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) on 2 January, 2021, conducted a Joint Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR), Special Forces (SF) and Air Police K-9 Simulation Exercise (JCSAEX) at Rijana Village along Kaduna-Abuja Highway.

• The Exercise, code named “TAIMAKO YAZO”, was aimed at simulating tactics, doctrine and synergy amongst first responders for effective CSAR operations of downed aircrew or other NAF personnel who have had to eject or abandon their aircraft in emergency situations.

• The ability to rescue crew from hostile environments is particularly important as it can be adapted for anti-kidnapping operations as was recently done by the NAF in concert with other security agencies in the rescue of all the 344 kidnapped boys of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State.

• The Air Force will conduct a total of six of these Exercises between January and June 2021, mostly in the Northwest, particularly in Zamfara and Katsina States.

Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media and Publicity)
January 14, 2021

Buhari’s Invitation: Reps Deny Apologising To Presidency

A combination of file photos of President Muhammadu Buhari and lawmakers at the House of Representatives chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.

 

The House of Representatives has denied apologising to President Muhammadu Buhari for inviting him to brief the nation on the security challenges in the country.

Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mr Benjamin Kalu, made the position of the House known in a statement on Sunday.

“It has come to the knowledge of the House that few sections of the media reported that the House apologised to the Presidency over the resolution of the House which arose from the motion sponsored by members from Borno State, requesting for the invitation of the President to brief the nation on the state of insecurity in the country.

“The President or the Presidency as the case may be, never sought for an apology from the House of Representatives for carrying out her constitutional responsibility to the Nigerian electorate,” he said.

Kalu’s statement was in reaction to a purported report that the lawmakers had apologised to the President for inviting him.

This comes on the heels of an invitation extended to President Buhari by the House to brief them on the security situation in the country.

The lawmakers had invited him following the killing of over 40 farmers by Boko Haram insurgents in Borno State.

Two days before he was expected to appear before the lawmakers, President Buhari said he would honour the invitation but did not show up.

Thereafter, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) called for the impeachment of the President but the House distanced itself from it.

Reacting to the claim that the House apologised to the President, Kalu insisted that nothing of such happened.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the House never apologised to anyone for exercising her constitutional mandate and the 9th Assembly of the House of Representatives under the leadership of Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, will not do anything to desecrate or destroy the critical institution of democracy – the Legislature.

“We strongly believe that President Muhammadu Buhari subscribes to these democratic ethos and ideals as well,” he said.

Nigeria Needs Security, Restructuring Not Necessarily Yoruba Presidency — Makinde

A file photo of Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde.

 

Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde has said Nigeria needs adequate security and restructuring of the country much more than the ethnicity of the person who occupies the presidency.

The governor maintained that the need to restructure the country has become more imperative in the face of security challenges and only time will tell on which one is more desirable for Nigeria between a restructured Nigeria and a Yoruba presidency.

Makinde said this on Tuesday while handing over 33 operational vehicles and 396 motorcycles to the Oyo State Security Network, codenamed Amotekun Corps, for its take-off.

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“I have heard some of our political leaders jostling around and saying they want to become the president of Nigeria in 2023. I think what we need at this stage is to secure our people and restructure Nigeria.

“It does not matter who is the president in Abuja. In a restructured Nigeria, every corner of the country will feel the impact of government. That is what we need.

“May God protect those running around for presidency till 2022. By that time, we will meet and, by then, we will get to know whether it is restructured Nigeria or Yoruba presidency that we really need,” Makinde said.

The governor stressed that the time has come for Nigeria to secure its people and restructure its system to checkmate the growing insecurity in the country.

He maintained that if restructured, every corner of Nigeria will be impacted positively, stating that no matter who is president in Abuja, the system would run effectively in a way that will be beneficial to all and sundry.

He also expressed satisfaction with the establishment of the Amotekun Corps, saying the corps will play a major role in ensuring security.

Restructuring: We Will Not Succumb To Threats, Presidency Insists

The Presidency has insisted that it will not respond to comments suggesting Nigeria is on the brink of disintegration if President Muhammadu Buhari does not “do one thing or another.”

The Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, in a series of tweets on Friday described as ‘unpatriotic outbursts’ comments suggesting that Nigeria will break up.

He said these comments are both “unhelpful and unwarranted” and the Federal Government will not succumb to threats.

“Repeat: this administration will not take any decision against the interests of 200 million Nigerians, who are the President’s first responsibility under the constitution, out of fear or threats especially in this hour of a health crisis,” Shehu said.

 

See his full statement below…

The Presidency responds to the recurring threats to the corporate existence of the country with factions giving specific timelines for the President to do one thing or another or else, in their language, “the nation will break up.”

This is to warn that such unpatriotic outbursts are both unhelpful and unwarranted as this government will not succumb to threats and take any decision out of pressure at a time when the nation’s full attention is needed to deal with the security challenges facing it at a time of the Covid-19 health crisis.

Repeat: this administration will not take any decision against the interests of 200 million Nigerians, who are the President’s first responsibility under the constitution, out of fear or threats especially in this hour of a health crisis.

The President as an elected leader under this constitution will continue to work with patriotic Nigerians, through and in line with the Parliamentary processes to finding solutions to structural and other impediments to the growth and wellbeing of the nation and its people.

 

Presidency Welcomes Bye-Election Results, Vows Not To Fail Nigerians

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, speaks on the security challenges in the country on August 25, 2020.

 

The Presidency has said that results coming from the states of the long list of the bye-elections show definitely that our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), remains the chosen party of Nigerians.

Speaking on behalf of the presidency, Mr. Garba Shehu, said We the confidence of the people will not be taken for granted.

The special media aide to President Muhammadu Buhari, in a statement on Sunday, assured that the present administration will not fail Nigerians.

“Nigerians who appreciate the efforts of the administration in making life better for all citizens, especially under an economy facing the severest test from the global Coronavirus pandemic will not be disappointed.

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“We thank them immensely for their trust in the party and government.

“We equally thank the Interim Management Committee of the party under the capable leadership of His Excellency Mai Mala Buni, the Governor of Yobe State, the Progressive Governors Forum under Governor Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi State, all our governors, parliamentarians, state, local government and ward level APC chapters and the entire ranks of the membership for this brave and impressionable performance,” the spokesman stated in his communique.

While congratulating the successful candidates, Mr. Shehu noted that President Muhammadu Buhari in particular is very pleased with the election outcomes and has urged the party to uphold the spirit of hard work, unity, progress, cooperation that forms the bedrock of the victories.