UN Security Council Meets With Osinbajo

UN Security Council Meets With OsinbajoNigeria’s Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has assured the visiting United Nations Security Council mission that steps are being taken to ensure that human rights culture is institutionalised in the Nigerian Military to avoid negative reports of human rights abuse.

Professor Osinbajo said this during a closed door meeting with the UN delegation at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

He, however, noted that it was time for the international community to take another look at the international legal instruments and conventions that govern warfare and conflicts in the light of the unconventional and brutal operations of terrorists and insurgents around the world.

“We must, on a global scale look again at how to deal with these new challenges.

“We need to look at the governing conventions, as well as what type of legal categories and recognition of law we should give them.

“We need to re-examine how to deal with these individuals according to law,” the Acting President said in a statement issued on Monday by his spokesman, Laolu Akande.

He also assured the UN team that the Federal Government would progressively review the Rules of Engagement by the military and across the nation’s security system while taking human rights issues into consideration.

Professor Osinbajo added that President Muhammadu Buhari’s Social Investment Programmes which include the Conditional Cash Transfer, the GEEP Micro Credit scheme and the N-Power job programme would cater to the developmental needs of the northeast.

He said “we are already disbursing the cash transfers in some Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps and host communities,” adding that the present administration was implementing a micro-credit scheme while using the Social Investment Programmes to resuscitate the local economies, including through the Anchor Borrowers’ plan for farmers.

The Acting President further urged the international community to support the Federal Government in the area of humanitarian response, describing the challenge as “massive”.

He hinted that the government was also in the process of passing a Northeast Development Commission bill that would deal with some of the long term developmental issues.

The Security Council members were led to the Presidential Villa by the UK Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Mathew Rycroft.

The team comprises of all the five permanent members and 10 non-permanent members of the Security Council.

Speaking earlier at the meeting, Ambassador Rycroft praised the Nigerian Government for its handling of the humanitarian challenge in the Northeast.

He called for a long term developmental outlook in the region to address the issues of good governance, human rights, women’s participation, economic revival, education and jobs.

The delegation is leaving Nigeria with a pledge that the United Nations Security Council would play its role well in assisting the Nigerian Government to tackle the challenges in the conflict zones.

Briefing State House correspondents after the meeting, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geofrey Onyeama, said the Federal Government is pleased with the tour of the northeast by the Council.

He assured the team that Nigeria would leverage on it to access all the funds needed for the rehabilitation of the IDPs in region.

The meeting was attended by some members of the Federal Executive Council and top government officials including the Minister of Defence, Major General Mansur Dan-Ali (rtd), and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama.

Others are the Minster of Budget and Planning, Udo Udoma; Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu; Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Jubrin; the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd), and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin.

Peacekeeping: Nigerian Army Deploys Troops To Liberia

peacekeeping, Nigerian ArmyThe Nigerian Army on Friday deployed another batch of 700 officers and soldiers to Liberia on a peacekeeping mission.

The troops received a 4-week special training in preparation for their induction into the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in Liberia.

The troops had their passing out ceremony at the Nigerian Army Peacekeeping Centre, Jaji, Kaduna State, ahead of their departure to Liberia.

While addressing his men, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai, warned them to avoid any act capable of tarnishing the image of the nation.

General Buratai, who was represented by the Chief of Training and Operations, Major General Hamza Umaru, also warned them that the Nigerian Army would not tolerate any act of cowardice or professional negligence while carrying out their operations in Liberia.

He advised the troops to abide by the Rules of Engagement, exhibit braveness as professionals and to also respect the cultural sensitivity of the people of Liberia.

He also reminded them of the United Nations’ zero tolerance for drug trafficking.

On his part, the Acting Commandant of Nigerian Army Peacekeeping Centre, Brigadier General Adamu Dauda, said that the special training received by the soldiers is meant to equip them with the requisite skills that will enable them operate effectively in Liberia.

He expressed confidence that the high level of enthusiasm and cohesion exhibited by the soldiers would reflect on their operational conduct.

The training, according to the authorities, is in line with the Nigerian Army Headquarters’ desire to ensure that troops receive the needed robust and theatre-specific pre-deployment training prior to their induction into peacekeeping missions.

The contingents are expected to depart to Liberia in a couple of days.

Troops Rescue 5,000 Boko Haram Captives, Kill 10 Terrorists

Army, Terrorists, Boko HaramThe Nigerian Army says it has rescued over 5,000 hostages held captive by the Boko Haram sect in several clearance operation in the northeast.

A statement issued by the acting Director, Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Usman, says that 10 terrorists were killed in the operation.

Colonel Usman added that one civilian JTF member was killed while a soldier, a Policeman and another civilian JTF member were wounded during the operation.

The statement noted that arms, ammunition and logistic equipment in large quantities were recovered from the terrorists.

In an earlier operation, a joint patrol team of Sector One of 27 Task Force Brigade and Army Headquarters Strike Group cleared the dreaded terrorists’ enclaves in Buhari, Matari and Kaidiri villages in Borno State.

Colonel Usman explained that the remnants of the terrorists at Kaidiri, on sighting the patrol team chickened out and withdrew in disarray into Niger Republic with gunshot wounds.

He added that the troops pursued them and got two Boko Haram terrorists while they recovered seven motorcycles and borehole equipment from them.

Troops Clear Boko Haram Terrorists’ Hideouts At Matari And Kaidiri

Troops, Boko HaramA joint patrol team of Sector 1 of 27 Task Force Brigade and Army Headquarters Strike Group has cleared Boko Haram terrorists’ enclaves in Buhari, Matari and Kaidiri villages.

The villages are located some kilometres to Damasak, Borno State.

Acting Director Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Usman, explained that the remnants of the terrorists at Kaidiri on sighting the patrol team chickened out and withdrew in disarray into Niger Republic with gunshot wounds.

The troops pursued them and got two Boko Haram terrorists. In addition, they recovered seven motorcycles and borehole equipment.

In a related development, troops of 7 Division recovered and successfully detonated Improvised Explosive Device planted by suspected Boko Haram terrorists that came in Keke NAPEP in Gomari, Maiduguri metropolis in conjunction with Nigeria Police Explosive Ordnance Device team.

“This development has necessitated the call for more vigilance and security conscious on the part of everyone especially the residents of Maiduguri and its environs.

“The fight against the menace of Boko Haram terrorists is a collective responsibility that require positive contribution from all citizenry.

“People should please be wary of suspicious persons or objects and report same to the nearest security agency or post,” he said.

Troops Intercept Fleeing Boko Haram Terrorists’ Families

Boko Haram, Troops, ArmyTroops have intercepted some family members of the Boko Haram insurgents escaping from the Sambisa forest in Borno State, northeast Nigeria.

The capture was disclosed on Wednesday in a statement by the acting Director, Public Relations of the Nigerian Army, Colonel Sani Usman.

“Today, in the early hours, troops of 81 Battalion and 251 Task Force Battalion deployed at an Observation Post sighted a group of persons approaching its Check Point at Liwanti village along Damboa-Bulabulin road, Borno State.

“On arrival, they were received and treated humanely based on International Humanitarian Laws and Rules of Engagement.

“On preliminary investigation, it was discovered that the 69 of them were indeed family members of Boko Haram terrorists escaping from Sambisa. Out of that number, seven of them are men, 18 women, seven grown up boys and 37 children,” the statement read.

At the initial state of interrogation, Colonel Usman said they claimed to have escaped from Boko Haram terrorists’ captivity at Ngwalimari village in Sambisa forest general area, but stated that further interrogation revealed otherwise.

The troops recovered 15 bicycles, five Dane Guns and other personal effects from the alleged insurgents’ relatives.

The Army spokesman said further and thorough investigation was ongoing to ascertain other information from them.

Oyo Farmers, Herdsmen Clash: CP Intervenes

policeConstant dialogue on the need for respect of rules of engagement and peaceful co-existence is a major tool for eradicating communal clashes arising from grazing on farmlands across Nigeria.

The Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Adeleye Oyebade, made the recommendation while addressing various stakeholders in at least 5 agrarian Local Government Areas in the Oke Ogun axis of Oyo State.

The Police Commissioner pointed out that the recommendation was the way forward in the bid to control and avoid incessant communal clashes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers.

He stressed the need for all concerned parties to realise and respect that there are boundaries from both sides that must be respected in the interest of peace.

Oyebade emphasised that the peace accord jointly signed by both Fulani herdsmen and farmers at the Police Headquarters in Ibadan, would be implemented and enforced to the letter as the accord spelt out individual roles for all involved.

Some traditional rulers were prominent features at all the meetings as some of them were accused of granting permit to cattle rearers without consent of farm owners.

On the side of the Fulani herdsmen, they claimed that some of the farmers have poisoned water sources for their cattle, making them suffer huge losses resulting from the death of their poisoned cattle.

Having listened to all involved, the Oyo State Police boss ordered that the agreement contained in the earlier peace accord must be obeyed.

He added that there should be no more underage boys as grazing guides during the scheduled time frame now established for grazing.

Oyebade warned that no farmer should poison or harm any cattle, but should rather report any infringement to the Police.

He also ordered the newly deployed DPOs in affected communities to ensure that they do not take sides, even as they respond promptly to distress call.

MNJTF Set For Counter Insurgency Trans-border War

MNJTFThe Multi National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) has collected 10,000 men from the four member countries to fight the counter insurgency trans-border war.

The MNJTF Commander, Major General Lamidi Adeosun, told reporters on Thursday that the collaboration was already yielding positive results.

The Commander cited the recent defeat of insurgents around Banki area of Nigeria, where two Cameroonian soldiers got killed and the mop up of Ndjamena/Gamboru axis as part of the successes recorded.

The task force consists of Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger as components of the trans-border operations.

The MNJTF Commander is presently in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital with a team from the member countries, as part of an assessment tour of the various sectors.

The group has demarcated its area of operations into four sectors across the member states for operational purposes.

Sector one is located in Cameroon, sector two in Bagasola of Chad while Baga in Nigeria is identified as sector three, as well as Diffa in Niger Republic is sub sector 3, according to the commander.

Major General Adeosun also told reporters in Maiduguri that the MNJTF consisted of professionals, with regards for human rights and the Rules Of Engagement in line with best practices.

Buhari Assures EU Of Commitment To Human Rights Protection

Muhammadu-Buhari-in-France The President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday told the European Union that his administration was doing its utmost best to protect the fundamental human rights of persons in the ongoing counter-terrorism operations against Boko Haram insurgents.

The President gave the assurance on Wednesday while addressing a special session of the parliament in Strasbourg, France.

President Buhari said that his government shared the European Union’s commitment to peace and security, respect for human rights, democracy and good governance as well as equality and tolerance as ways of developing prosperous and strong societies.

On our part, we have updated our Rules Of Engagement in fighting terrorism and pay very close attention during operations to the treatment of captured terrorists, civilians caught up in the conflict and in general, safeguarding property.

“Our aim is to use minimum force necessary in our fight against terrorists,” the President told members of the parliament and the European Union commission.

Economic Partnership Agreement

President Buhari also spoke of Nigeria’s concerns about the Economic Partnership Agreement between the European Union (EU), African, Caribbean and Pacific group of states (ACP), collectively endorsed by the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS).

He said that Nigeria was yet to sign the agreement because pertinent technical issues raised by the Federal Government have not been satisfactorily addressed.

“Giving due consideration to the mismatch of the two regions (Europe-ECOWAS) in terms of technology and manufacturing experience, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria and Associated Trade Unions raised concerns over the negative impact of the agreement on Nigeria’s industrialisation programme.

Muhammadu-Buhari-in-France-meeting
Muhammadu Buhari addressing parliament in Strasbourg, France

“Nigeria is working towards addressing her own side of the issues and I therefore, urge our European Union partners to also address our own concerns to allow for an economic partnership agreement that is mutually beneficial and can contribute to the prosperity of our people, in the context of our shared values and interest at promoting cordial bilateral trade relations,” he said.

Oil-theft And Illegal Bunkering

The President also sought greater support from the European Union for Nigeria’s efforts to curb the theft of its crude oil and corruption in its oil and gas sector.

“Nigeria is facing the challenges of oil-theft and illegal bunkering in the Niger delta as well as recovery of illicit funds. In this regard, Nigeria solicits the cooperation of the European Parliament to support the efforts aimed at stemming these vices.

“Our attempt to restore security, curb corruption and fight crime will result not only in improving social stability in Nigeria but will re-open the doors for full economic relations with Europe and the rest of the world.

“Those who wish to invest in our country have immense opportunities and we intend to guarantee the security of people and investments brought to Nigeria,” he said.

Illegal Migration To Europe

President Buhari also assured the parliament that Nigeria would collaborate with the European Union to address illegal migration to Europe.

“Our government is making concerted efforts to address the push-factor that propel migration, especially from Nigeria, as both destination and transit country.

“In this year’s budget, the government has provided for over 500,000 graduate employment in the teaching profession alone. We are equally collaborating with the states and local governments to strengthen skills acquisition centres in order to train the teeming youth in various vocational skills, so that they can be self-employed and eventually become employers of labour,” he stated.

The Nigerian leader further said that his government was also making efforts to diversify the economy, giving impetus to agriculture and solid minerals exploitation, to create wealth and employments.

“Nigeria welcomes the outcome of the Valletta EU-Africa summit on migration, including the launching of 1.8 billion Euros Emergency Trust Fund to address the root causes of migration from Africa to Europe.

“Nigeria will work with the countries of the Sahel and Central Africa to submit to the board of the Emergency Trust Fund, our identified projects for funding in due course.

“The Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility (CAMM), which Nigeria was the first African country to sign on March 12, 2015, is a demonstration of the positive spirit of our cooperation with the European Union in the field of migration and development,” President Buhari further told the gathering.

He also proposed a reciprocal visa waivers for holders of Nigerian diplomatic and official passports attending official meetings and conferences in Europe.

 

Police Read Riot Act In Ogun Ahead Of Elections

policeThe Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) in charge of Ogun State, Lawal Tanko, has read the riot act to would-be intruders who may want to truncate the electoral process to stay clear of polling units across the state.

The AIG spoke during a meeting with senior Police officers, security chiefs and representatives of political parties at the state headquarters of the Nigerian Police in Abeokuta, ahead of Saturday’s governorship and House of Assembly elections.

The AIG also challenged men and officers to abide by the rules of engagement and ensure professionalism in the discharge of their duties.

He assured residents of adequate security of lives and property.

Meanwhile, the Inspector-General of Police, Suleiman Abba, has ordered the restriction of vehicular movement as part of plans to ensure a violence-free election throughout the nation.

Several Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) have also been redeployed to different states to supervise the governorship and state assembly elections.