Buhari Backs Setting Up Of African Standby Force On Terrorism

President Muhammadu Buhari participates in the African Union Extra-ordinary Session of Assembly of Heads of State and Government in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea on May 28, 2022. Credit: State House

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday backed the planned creation of the African Standby Force on Terrorism, saying the move would help tackle criminal activities on the continent.

Buhari had on Thursday departed Abuja for the African Union Extra-ordinary Session of Assembly of Heads of State and Government in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, with a special focus on security.

The three-day summit, which will hold on May 26th-28th, will also focus on Humanitarian Challenges in Africa, with related issues on migration, refugees, returnees, and Internally Displaced Persons.

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In his speech, President Buhari said resources meant for the development of countries had been channelled into fighting violent crimes, leaving many governments with fewer options for investing in people to meet the targets of Sustainable Development Goals.

According to a statement issued by his media aide, Garba Shehu, President Buhari highlighted four items on the recommendation for immediate action based on the presentation of a report on Terrorism and Violent Extremism in Africa at the meeting.

He said, “It is for this reason, Mr. Chairperson, that we endorse the key recommendations contained in your report. Some of the recommendations which we believe should be implemented immediately include;

“Increasing troop levels in situations of combating terrorism, and enhancing intelligence capabilities of deployed troops, including improving the operational cooperation of contingents in the operation areas;

“Ensuring the readiness of the African Standby Force for immediate response when a Member State is under terrorist threat;

“Strengthening the fight against cybercrime, money laundering, drugs and arms trafficking, smuggling of persons and counterfeit goods, which facilitate terrorist financing; and

“Ensuring that specialized institutions like the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism and AFRIPOL, are adequately resourced in order for them to effectively discharge their mandate.”

The President underscored the need for political will to forge a “Coordinated Continental Approach to tackling insecurity.”

He said the recommendations if implemented, will go a long way in increasing the capacity of affected States to respond to the threats posed by terrorists and violent extremists in their respective countries.

Dozens Killed In Burkina Faso Attacks

Burkina Faso’s armed forces, pictured during training, have carried out security sweeps in an attempt to stem jihadist violence.  Issouf Sanogo/AFP

 

Around 40 people, many of them civilian volunteers with the army, have been killed in jihadist attacks in northern and eastern Burkina Faso, local sources and security officials said on Monday.

In the northern region of Sahel on Saturday, around 25 people were killed, including 13 members of the VDP volunteer force, while in the southeast, about 15 civilians were killed when their convoy was attacked while it was under escort, the sources said.

AFP

Terrorism: US Blacklists Six Nigerians For Supporting Boko Haram

US President Joe Biden speaks about the counterterrorism operation in Syria from the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on February 3, 2022. SAUL LOEB / AFP
US President Joe Biden speaks about the counterterrorism operation in Syria from the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on February 3, 2022. SAUL LOEB / AFP

 

The United States on Friday said it was designating six Nigerians for their support of the terrorist group, Boko Haram.

This is according to a statement signed by US Department of State spokesperson, Ned Price.

“The United States is designating six individuals for their support of the terrorist group Boko Haram,” the statement said.

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“The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has added Nigerian nationals Abdurrahman Ado Musa, Salihu Yusuf Adamu, Bashir Ali Yusuf, Muhammed Ibrahim Isa, Ibrahim Ali Alhassan, and Surajo Abubakar Muhammad to the List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons, pursuant to Executive Order 13224, as amended, for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, Boko Haram.

“Today’s action follows the United Arab Emirates’ prosecutions, convictions, and designations of these individuals for supporting terrorism.

“The Department of State designated Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and Specially Designated Global Terrorist organization on November 14, 2013.

“The Nigeria-based group is responsible for numerous attacks in the northern and northeastern regions of the country as well as in the Lake Chad Basin in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger that have killed thousands of people since 2009.”

Global Terrorism Index: Nigeria’s Ranking Improves As Boko Haram Killings Dip By 72% – Report

Soldiers Rescue 84 Persons From Boko Haram
A file picture of a battle tank recovered by soldiers from Boko Haram

 

Nigeria has moved to sixth in the latest Global Terrorism Index (GTI), following successes in the fight against Boko Haram insurgents. 

The country dropped two places from fourth, a position it has occupied since 2017.

The GTI, published by an independent and non-profit think tank, the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP) indicated that Nigeria, Syria, and Somalia are the only nations, among the 10 most affected by terrorism, to get an improved score from 2020 to 2021.

According to the report, there was a decline in the number of terrorism-related deaths in Nigeria. It attributed this to the death of Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, and the Federal Government’s efforts at defeating the group.

READ ALSO: MNJTF Troops Neutralise Several Boko Haram/ISWAP Insurgents At Nigeria-Cameroon Borders

“Total deaths from terrorism in Nigeria fell to 448 in 2021, the lowest level since 2011. Terror-related casualties dropped by almost half compared with the previous year. However, the number of terrorist attacks increased by 49 per cent between 2020 and 2021. 36 percent of attacks were claimed by ISWA, Boko Haram being responsible for eight per cent and 44 percent not attributed to any group.

“In 2020, ISWA became the deadliest terrorist group in Nigeria. The decline of Boko Haram continued into 2021, with Boko Haram responsible for only 69 deaths, a decrease of 77 percent from the previous year. This is the lowest number of deaths by the group for a decade. Boko Haram’s decline has resulted in a substantial improvement in terrorism in Borno State, which experienced a decrease of 71 percent in terrorism deaths when compared with the prior year,” the report said, which was published on Wednesday, read.

“Attacks in the state also decreased from 121 to 86 respectively, a decrease of 30 percent. The state, however, remains the hardest-hit region in Nigeria for terrorism, accounting for half of all terror-related deaths in 2021. Boko Haram’s decline coincides with a number of factors, most significantly the death of the group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau. Shekau, who committed suicide by detonating an explosives vest during a confrontation with ISWA in May 2021.

“Given the demise of their leader, Shekau’s followers were faced with the decision to either continue Shekau’s ideology or join ISWA. It has been reported that as many as former Boko Haram commanders have joined ISWA after Shekau’s death. Attacks by ISWA as well as counter-terrorism efforts by the Nigerian government and foreign military forces have significantly weakened Boko Haram’s impact in Nigeria.”

Katsina Govt Urges FG To Deploy More Troops, Equipment To Tackle Terrorism

Katsina State is in northwest Nigeria.

 

The Katsina State Government has urged the Federal Government to deploy more troops and supply them with more sophisticated equipment to boost the terrorism fight in the state.

The Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Mustapha Muhammad Inuwa made the call on Tuesday when the newly posted Katsina Commissioner of Police, CP Idrisu Dauda Dabban, paid a visit to him.

Dr. Inuwa restated the commitment of the Katsina State Government to providing the necessary logistics support to the security agencies in order to win the fight against terrorism and other heinous crimes in all parts of the state.

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In a statement issued by Dr. Inuwa’s Director Press, Abdullahi Aliyu Yar’Adua, Inuwa said the Masari-led administration would not relent until peace prevails in all nooks and crannies of the state before the end of their tenure.

While commending the efforts of the security agencies in tackling the lingering challenges, Inuwa, however, charged them to do more, noting that many rural areas are still under severe threat by terrorists.

He reiterated his call for coordinated and simultaneous attacks on the terrorists’ dens rather than waiting for them to attack the innocent communities.

Speaking further, he congratulated the Commissioner on his new assignment and assured him of the government’s support to help him succeed.

Inuwa also urged the new police boss to put on his wealth of experience in the service, to curtail the activities of the terrorists, especially in the front line local government areas of the state.

Earlier in his address, CP Idrisu Dauda Dabban informed the SSG that he was in his office to solicit the state government’s continued support and cooperation in discharging his duties.

CP Dabban said he was aware of the level of insecurity in the state and had been adequately briefed by his predecessor on the efforts to end the crisis.

The Commissioner pledged to do his best and expressed his readiness to synergise with other security agencies in tackling the menace.

He appreciated the warm reception accorded to him at all the important instructions he had so far visited.

Residents Flee As Terrorists Attack Zamfara Community, Kill Six

A photo showing the map of Zamfara, a state in north-west Nigeria.

 

Six persons have been reportedly killed following a fresh attack by suspected terrorists at Rogoji community in Bakura Local Government Area of Zamfara State.

The police on Friday said an assessment of the development is ongoing.

Rogoji community is about two kilometers to Bakura town, headquarters of Bakura Local Government.

Police spokesman SP Muhammed Shehu told Channels Television in a telephone conversation that confidence building patrols are currently ongoing to boost the confidence of the residents.

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Abdullahi, a resident of Bakura town, said the suspected terrorists stormed Rogoji community and started firing sporadic gunshots, killing five vigilante operatives instantly and injured one who later died at the hospital.

The casualties are said to have been buried in accordance with religious rites.

“They invaded the Rogoji community about 11pm on Thursday, they came to the community on motorcycles in large numbers with sophisticated weapons, shooting to scare the people away,” the witness said.

He added that “the terrorists went into houses ransacked from one house to the other, carting away valuables and rustling an unspecified number of animals in the troubled community.

The eyewitness further stated that the suspected terrorists have displaced many within Bakura town where individuals are currently seeking refuge and might not return to their community soon for fear that the terrorists might return to launch another attack.

Abdullahi said the military responded promptly to repel the attack though when they got into the community the terrorists had already left.

“Honestly, the military officers and the civilian JTF tried, there are some vigilantes stationed in that village, so they called their members in Bakura town but considering the type of weapons the terrorists were using, they had to call the military and I saw them when they were coming,” Abdullahi said.

“Before the troops could reach the village, the terrorists had left the place but honestly they responded to the distress call.”

The resident urged the government to provide security operatives with sophisticated weapons to fight the terrorists to a standstill and oust them from the state so that citizens can enjoy peace.

Terrorism Financiers: Nigerians Will Get Something Tangible In Few Weeks – Malami


The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, on Monday, urged Nigerians to be patient with regards to the issue naming financiers of terrorism in Nigeria.

While appearing as a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today, the Justice Minister assured Nigerians that in a couple of weeks, the citizens will get something tangible to hold on to.

“You will be happy with what we are doing as a government in a couple of weeks. Perhaps these people will be charged and arraigned before the court of law,” the AGF stated.

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The minister explained that the prosecution of those involved is a work in progress, one that cannot be categorized as to the time of conclusion.

“Proof of evidence will have to be developed, and then the prosecution will take place,” he stressed, adding that “there is nothing hidden; as far as prosecution is concerned, it is traditionally a public prosecution, nothing will be hidden both in terms of names, associated facts, and circumstances”.

Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, made an appearance on Channels Television on June 30, 2020.
File photo: Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, made an appearance on Channels Television on June 30, 2020.

 

The Attorney General further assured that processed have been consummated in line with the dictates of the law.

Malami’s comments on the burning issues come a few days after the Federal Government said it has uncovered 96 financiers of terrorism across the country, especially those backing Boko Haram and the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP).

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who disclosed this during a press conference on the administration’s fight against corruption, said between 2020 and 2021, about 424 associates and supporters of the financiers were also uncovered by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU).

Speaking further about the government’s stride in the battle against insurgency, the Information Minister revealed that 123 companies and 33 bureau de change, were linked to terrorists in addition to 26 suspected bandits/kidnappers and seven co-conspirators who have now been identified.

According to the minister, the analysis has resulted in the arrest of 45 suspects who will soon face prosecution and seizure of assets.

Intensify Efforts In Battle Against Terrorism, Niger Governor Tells Military

Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, briefs State House correspondents at the Aso Villa in Abuja on January 18, 2022.

 

Niger State Governor and Chairman North Central States Governors’ Forum (NCSGF), Abubakar Sani Bello has urged the military to intensify efforts in their operations in the fight against terrorism in the state as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Governor’s statement followed the incessant and sporadic increase in attacks by the terrorists in Shiroro, Munya, Rafi, and Paikoro Local Government Areas of the state recently.

In a statement, the Governor decried and lamented the constant attacks on many communities and consequential loss of lives and property, including military bases in Allawa and Galadiman Kogo.

He expressed displeasure over the heightened nefarious activities of the terrorists, noting that the criminality is carried out with reckless abandon in a manner that undermines the efforts of the security agencies drafted to the area.

“With these recent attacks, the terrorists are daring the capability and capacity of the military, hence we must demonstrate our military might through the approved coordinated Air and ground assault to flush out the miscreants from our forests, their hideout”, he said.

Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari had recently directed to the military to carry out an extensive, coordinated military onslaught against the terrorists in Niger State.

“If we must win this battle against the terrorists, which we will; we must increase and sustain military operations to comb the forests. This is expedient because our people are dying and the living is becoming more agitated and hopeless”, the Governor added.

While appreciating the efforts of the Joint Security Taskforce stationed in the embattled communities, the Governor renewed his call to the people to assist the security agencies with credible intelligence that will enhance effective operations against the terrorists.

Terrorism Sponsors: Nigerian Officials Have Been Compromised – Ojukwu

 

A former Commissioner of Police, Emmanuel Ojukwu, says the Nigerian authorities must do more than just talk when comes to the issue of those financing terrorism in the country.

Ojukwu, who on Thursday, was a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today, said there is a compromise by government officials when it comes to the prosecution of terrorism financiers.

“They are trying to keep the names for political reasons, because their allies and colleagues are involved, so they want to hide themselves. There’s a lot of compromise here,” Ojukwu asserted.

The former commissioner’s comment comes a few hours after the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed stated that the federal government had uncovered 96 financiers of terrorism in the country.

Reacting further to the minister’s disclosure, the former police commissioner said beyond talking, the government must “activate legal processes and get the individuals involved arrested”.

“This is not the first time government both federal and state have told us that they know the financiers of terrorists, but there is too much talk and no action” the former police officer lamented.

While tagging the unnamed citizens and government officials benefitting from the insurgency as “disaster merchants,” Ojukwu Nigerians do not even need to know the names of these individuals, adding that what the people need is justice.

“We don’t need to hear the names; get them (terrorism sponsors) arrested, prosecute them and put them behind bars. That is where they belong,” the retired police officer stressed.

Mr Ojukwu said it is not enough to tell Nigerians that a certain number of terrorism financiers have been uncovered.

He buttressed that there should be nothing stopping the government from releasing the names and prosecuting the people who have caused so much hardships on Nigerians.

FG Assures Nigerians Peace Will Return To All Terrorism-Affected Communities

 

The Federal Government has reassured Nigerians of the quick return of peace to all terrorism-affected villages and communities across the country.

Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo disclosed this on Sunday at the Katsina Emir’s Palace when he paid a condolence visit to the government and people of the state over the death of the mother of Katsina’s richest man, Dahiru Bara’u Mangal.

He urged Nigerians to continue to expect significant changes and improvement in the security architecture of the country, saying some measures are being put in place by the Federal Government.

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“I am sure that your Royal Highness will remember that only recently, the President has ordered that bandits should be classified as terrorists. And this is to enable security agencies to take more stringent actions against them,” the VP said.

On his part, the Emir, HRH Abdulmumini Kabir Usman commended the Vice President for the visit which he described as historic and important especially as the problem of insecurity has become a source of concern to many.

Emir Usman further commended the Federal Government for classifying bandits as terrorists for the security agencies to deal with them decisively.

“You coming here for the first time since when you were campaigning, is highly historic for us. You are now home and you have talked about security which is indeed our major concern.

“I have just come back from Kaduna only to be surprised to receive over 100 telephone calls on planned terrorist attacks which is the order of the day. I and the state governor, don’t have any time to sleep with two eyes open but I am highly grateful that these criminals have been classified as terrorists,” he said.

Again, FG Files Amended Charges Against Nnamdi Kanu

A combination of file photos of IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, and the Federal High Court in Abuja.

 

The Nigerian Government has again filed amended charges against the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.

The amended 15-count charge bordering on acts of terrorism was filed on Friday last week at the Federal High Court in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Channels Television got a copy of the charge sheet on Monday. It was signed by the Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation, MB Abubakar, on behalf of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami.

READ ALSO: FG Files Amended Terrorism Charge Against Nnamdi Kanu

Count One of the charge read, “That you Nnamdi Kanu, Male, Adult, of Afatanukwu Ibeku, Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia State sometimes in 2021 being a member and leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, a proscribed Organisation, did commit an act in furtherance of an act of Terrorism against the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the People of Nigeria by making a broadcast received and heard in Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to intimidate the population and you threatened that people will die, the whole world will stand still and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 1(2)(b) of the Terrorism Prevention Amendment Act, 2013.”

“That you Nnamdi Kanu, Male, Adult, of Afatanukwu Ibeku, Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia State on diverse dates between the month of March and April 2015 imported into Nigeria and kept in Ubulisiuzor in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, a Radio Transmitter known as Tram 50L concealed in a container of used household items which you declared as used household items, and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 47(2)(a) of Criminal Code Act, Cap, C45 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004,” another count read.

President Muhammadu Buhari exchanges pleasantries with respected leaders from the South East at the State House in Abuja on November 19, 2021.

 

Difficult Demand

In October last year, the government had filed an amended seven-count against the detained IPOB leader, charges which bordered on treasonable felony and his alleged involvement in acts of terrorism at the same court.

Justice Binta Nyako, who was to preside over the case, later fixed Tuesday (January 18), to hear some pending applications, including the one Kanu filed to be discharged and acquitted.

Barely a day to the scheduled commencement of the accelerated hearing, the government, in the amended process it filed before the court, increased the counts in the previous charge it preferred against the detained IPOB leader.

Kanu initially faces a seven-count treasonable felony charge will now enter his fresh plea to a 15-count amended charge.

He was first arrested in 2015 on charges bordering on terrorism, treasonable felony, managing an unlawful society, publication of defamatory matter, illegal possession of firearms, and improper importation of goods, among others.


VIDEO: ‘We Cannot Release Him,’ Buhari Says Nnamdi Kanu Should Defend Himself In Court


The IPOB leader, who was initially detained and arraigned in court, fled the country in 2017 after he was granted bail for medical reasons. Although he was later sighted in Israel, he was intercepted in June 2021 and repatriated to Nigeria – about four years since he jumped bail.

Amid the calls for his release by some prominent individuals and groups in the South East, President Muhammadu Buhari hosted a group of leaders from the region under the aegis of Highly Respected Igbo Greats.

At the meeting held in November last year, the President promised to consider the request for Kanu’s release, although he said it was “an extremely difficult demand”.

The group had pleaded for a political, rather than military solution to the crisis in the region and promised to call Kanu and order agitators in the South East to order.

Barely two months after the meeting, President Buhari, in an exclusive interview with Channels Television, stated that the IPOB leader should answer for his actions over the years, especially while he was out of the country.

Tinubu Promises To Collaborate With FG To Fight Terrorism

 

A Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has offered to support the Federal Government to end terrorism and other evils in the country.

Tinubu made the pledge on Sunday when he visited Katsina State to condole with the State Government and people of the state over the gruesome murder of the State Commissioner of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Rabe Nasir as well as the recent insecurity upsurge in the state.

A file photo of APC National Leader, Mr Bola Tinubu.
A Chieftain of the APC, Bola Tinubu (File Photo)

 

Speaking further, he urged residents to share relevant information to security agencies on suspicious movements of characters urging residents to continue preaching for peace, change their attitudes and support leaders with determination to bring terrorism to its knees.

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Last Thursday, the former Governor, also paid a visit to Zamfara State to condole with families of victims of the recent killings in two Local Government Areas of the state.

He also donated the sum of N50million to the families.

At least, 58 people were reported killed last week when bandits raided some villages in Bukkuyum and Anka Local Government Areas of the state.

See the video below.