Over 5,000 Borno Refugees Return Home

Movements of refugee returnees from the Republic of Cameroon have continued en-route Banki through Pulka towns of Borno State in North-East Nigeria.

So far, over 5,000 persons have returned to Pulka, their ancestral town which is one of the seven wards in Gwoza Local Government Area of the state while many others are still being expected.

Over 5,000 Borno Refugees Return Home

Humanitarian groups operating in Borno State have also continued to provide life-saving assistance to the returnees and other displaced persons already living in the town.

Thousands of residents were forced out of their homes by the Boko Haram insurgents in 2014 when they seized Gwoza, declaring it one of their caliphates.

While some of the locals escaped to the mountains, some others in their thousands crossed the border to neighbouring Cameroon where they found shelter.

In one of the camps visited by Channels Television crew, one of the displaced persons Maimuna Mohammed, who was kidnapped twice by the insurgents, said she was lucky to have escaped twice as many others from her town were still in captivity.

“God brought soldiers to the room where we were locked and when they chased out our abductors, they freed us and we ran after them and came back home,” she said.

The latest arrivals in Pulka are those who fled to Cameroon, bringing the number of displaced persons in Pulka town to about 24,000 as they depend on handouts from humanitarian groups to survive, having lost their homes and possessions to the insurgency.

Another returnee, Theresa Bitrus, said: “We contributed money and paid for our transport fare from Cameroon to Banki and from there, the government conveyed us to Pulka. The truth is right now we cannot go to our farms in the bushes, we are just here waiting for whatever they offer us, there are still many Boko Haram around our farms”.

The World Food Programme has been providing food items to the affected population in Pulka since October 2016 when the displaced persons began to return home.

According to an official of the agency, Emmanuel Osemeka, over 60,000 people were registered under the free feeding providing, including returnees living in their personal homes and the homeless in camps.

FG Committee Donates Seized Bags Of Rice To Borno IDPs

female-idp-cookingThe National Logistics Committee on Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), has donated seized bags of rice to the Borno state government, for onward distribution to victims of insurgency.

The exercise was carried out by the Nigerian Customs, as part of government’s plan to cushion the effect of the insurgency on citizens.

The donation consisted of 11,517 bags of rice, seized and declared contraband by law.

The Assistant Comptroller General, Umar Sanusi, explaining the source of the donation said: “This rice did not come from heaven – actually these were seized at the border and any other place where there was infraction against the federal government.

“So these are products caught by the Nigerian Customs and condemned by the court of law and forfeited to the government for distribution to people affected by insurgency.”

Mr Umar furthermore said that more items including clothing, should be expected in the coming weeks as the harmattan and yuletide approaches.

In his acceptance remarks, Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, explained that the state is overwhelmed by the alarming number of IDPs, especially those living in the host communities.

“IDP camps in Maiduguri consists only 158,000 people. In the satellite camps across the state in Pulka, Dikwa, Gamboru Ngala, Bama, Banki, Biu and Monguno the total number of people may not exceed 300,000.

“But within the host community here in Maiduguri we have over a million people on the verge of extinction.

“The food security challenge being faced by the IDPs living within the host community is more precarious than those living in camps.

“To me, they are the VIPs, at least they are getting two meals per day but those living in the host community are in far worse shape than we could imagine,” Shettima stated.

He called for more support to make life easier for the displaced.

BBOG Identifies Latest Rescued Chibok Girl As School Prefect

released-chibok-girlThe Bring Back Our Girls campaign group has identified the latest Chibok girl, Maryam Ali Maiyanga, found by the military as a school prefect.

“She is from Askira Uba and was abducted along with her twin, Halima Ali (Number 197), who is yet to return,” a statement on Saturday by the spokesperson of the group, Sesugh Akume, read.

The group welcomed the news of the return of the abducted girl taken with some other girls from their schools’ dormitory in Chibok community in Borno State on April 14, 2014.

It said that preliminary investigations on their part, showed that Maryam was the number 198 on their list of the over 200 abducted girls.

“We applaud the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari, the military and other security formations working day and night to rout the terrorists and rescue all Nigerians in captivity.

“The news of the death of the Commanding Officer of the 272 Task Force Tank Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Muhammed Abu Ali, a highly-rated, young officer and four other members of his team, in a separate incident at Mallam Fatori, is unfortunate and saddening.

“We send our heartfelt condolences especially to their families, and the Nigerian military,” the statement further read.

The group also said it would update the public with more details in relation to the girl as necessary.

Reports from the spokesman for the army, Colonel Sani Usman, state that Maryam was found amongst a group of fellow escapees by troops of 121 Battalion, Nigerian Army, deployed at Pulka, Gwoza Local Government Area, Borno State.

Since the abduction of the girls by member of the Boko Haram terrorist group less than 50 of them had been rescued.

Last month, the release of 21 of the girls was secured by the Federal Government after negotiation with the terrorist group that had requested for prisoners swap.

The government said it secured the release of the girls based on trust and that no member of the terrorist group held was released  in exchange.

President Muhammadu Buhari had expressed his readiness to release the girls in a swap deal that the group had asked for.

Five Soldiers, Three Others Killed As Terrorists Ambush Troops

Military, Troops, Boko Haram, YobeFive soldiers, three vigilantes and one Civilian JTF member have been killed in an ambush on troops in Ugundiri village, Damboa Local Government Area, Borno State.

The Operation Lafiya Dole troops, who were carrying out clearance operations on suspected Boko Haram terrorists’ hideouts in Talala and Ajigin, southern part of the state were ambushed while returning to base after clearance operations on Saturday.

The attack also left 19 soldiers and one Civilian JTF member with various degrees of injuries.

According to Army spokesman, Colonel Sani Usman, the bodies of the dead soldiers and civilians have been evacuated to Maiduguri while the injured are receiving appropriate medical care and are in stable condition.

He stated further that the troops were able to destroy the terrorists’ gun truck and recovered two anti-aircraft guns, two spare gun barrels, one general purpose machine gun, one rocket propelled grenade, one AK-47 rifle and 320 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition.

Troops have also been mobilized into blocking positions to further neutralize fleeing Boko Haram terrorists.

He added that another set of troops had earlier cleared Zira, Abulam, Dusula, and Buk villages before returning to base in Bulabulin.

“In a related development, based on information received about gathering of some suspected Boko Haram terrorists around Bori village, which is 16 kilometres away from Mainok, outskirts of Maiduguri, troops swung into action and neutralized them.

“The troops recovered three motorcycles, one hand grenade, one round of 7.62mm ammunition, solar panel, a pair of Niger Republic military camouflage uniform, one mobile telephone handset, one wet cell battery and half bag of groundnut,” he said.

Troops Intercept Suspected Boko Haram Drugs, Logistics Suppliers In Borno

suspeceted-boko-haram-drug-supplierTroops of Operation Lafiya Dole on patrol from Bama to Pulka, intercepted suspected Boko Haram terrorists’ drugs and other logistics suppliers in Bama Local Government Area of Borno State.

The suppliers were arrested at a suspected Boko Haram terrorists crossing point within Firgi and Zawan axis while trying to cross into Sambisa forest on Sunday.

A statement by the spokesman for the army, Colonel Sani Usman, said that the troops pursued them but were only able to apprehend two of them while others fled into the bush.

Items recovered from Kadiri Umate, 35, were packets of 500ml of Glocose Intravenous infusion (Drip), assorted analgenics and pain killer drugs, clothes, bathroom slippers, insecticides, salt, kola nuts and a bicycle.

The suspect is undergoing preliminary investigations.

In another operation at Muna garage, a suspected Boko Haram terrorists’ logistics and fuel supplier, Fantoma Lasani, was arrested by troops in conjunction with Civilian JTF at Muna garage when he came to pick his wife to finally relocate out of Maiduguri.

“The suspect, from Flatari village, Bama Local Government Area, is among some unpatriotic elements in the society that had been supplying Boko Haram terrorists with Premium Motor Spirit and Automative Gas Oil in Bama, Gwoza and Sambisa general area,” the statement added.

They were arrested hours after troops of the Operation Lafiya Dole on Sunday morning averted the plans of a suicide bomber along Damboa road in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

Eyewitnesses say the suicide bomber was sighted along Damboa road, the same place where an explosion occurred barely 24 hours ago.

Frightened motorists travelling to Damboa-Biu were forced to turn back due to confusion.

Channels Television’s reporter who was at the Bakassi IDP camp reports that the suspect fled towards the back fence of the camp, where five people were killed on Saturday, with men of the sector Nine and civilian JTF in hot pursuit of the assailant.

Clearance Operations Against Boko Haram Terrorists Heat Up

Troops-clear-Boko-HaramThe clearance operations of the remnants of Boko Haram terrorists is gaining momentum in the various axis of the theatre especially in Seven Division area of responsibility, the military said on Saturday.

A spokesman for the Army, Colonel Sani Usman, said within the last 48 hours, the troops were able to clear Boko Haram camps, killed several of the terrorists, recovered vehicles, weapons, equipment and also rescued some persons.

The troops of 151 Task Force Battalion cleared terrorists hideouts in Izza and eight surrounding other villages while troops of 121 Task Force Battalion deployed at Pulka came under attack from suspected Boko Haram terrorists fanning out of Sambisa forest to escape sustained aerial bombardment by the Nigerian Air Force pilots.

The troops successfully repelled the attack, killing 17 suspected Boko Haram terrorists.

They also recovered 12 AK-47 rifles, six AK-47 rifle magazines, one General Purpose Machine Gun, one Browning Machine Gun, one Toyota Hilux vehicle, a 60mm mortar tube, six pieces of 60mm mortar bombs, one belt of 12.5mm ammunition and nine belts of 12.7mm (NATO) ammunition.

Others were three hand grenades and seven boxes of .50mm ammunition.

Troops of 114 Task Force Battalion while on patrol along Bitta-Pridang-Manawashe axis rescued 95 persons suspected to have escaped from Madube and Shuwari general area.

The rescued persons are being screened and profiled.

Also, troops of 115 Task Force Battalion accompanied by some members of the vigilante group in their area also conducted patrol to Dogwaba, Dutse, Mayolarde, Musa A, B and C villages without any contact with terrorists. They have, however, continued to dominate the area and make it secure.

Colonel Usman also said that troops of 117 Task Force Battalion also conducted another patrol around Mildo, Vapura, Mildo, Shelmi, Gubla, Dar and Hyambula settlements in

In the process, 27 persons, who escaped from Mayo Ali village, were also rescued. One of the female rescued persons gave birth to a baby boy few minutes after the rescue.

Both mother and child are being cared for at the unit’s Regimental Aid Post and are doing fine.

On their part, Seven Division Garrison in conjunction with Civilian Joint Task Force, arrested one Mallam Ashiru Zarami at Mainok, a suspected Boko Haram terrorists logistic officer at Mainok with food items.

The suspect has been handed over to the Joint Intelligence Processing Centre.

In a related development, another suspected Boko Haram terrorist, Mallam Abubakar Kime voluntarily handed over himself to troops and Civilian JTF at Benisheikh, Borno State. On interrogation, he claimed to have escaped from Kalmari village close to Alagarno forest.

The troops of 81 Battalion also laid an ambush for Boko Haram terrorists at their crossing point from Sambisa forest near Komala and Musafanari villages.

Sensing danger, the approaching terrorists disembarked, abandoned their vehicles and fled into the bush leading back to Sambisa forest shortly before approaching the killing zone.

Nevertheless, the troops opened fire and wounded several of the terrorists.

The troops recovered the abandoned Toyota pickup vehicle and 28 Bags of groundnuts.

The Seven Division Strike Group also encountered an ambush by suspected Boko Haram terrorists on their way to Banki.

Colonel Usman said they successfully fought it out, killed four terrorists and recovered AK-47 rifles, two mobile telephone handsets and a Shilka shell loaded with explosives.