FG’s Move To Proscribe IMN Is Absurd, Says Shiites Spokesman

Shiites Continue Protest, Call For El-Zakzaky’s Release
Shiites protest in Abuja on July 19, 2019.

 

Spokesman of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Ibrahim Musa, has said that it is absurd for the Federal Government to proscribe the group and leading members and lawyers are currently studying the court order.

The Federal Government had obtained an order from the Federal High Court, Abuja, proscribing the movement after series of protests by members of IMN, popularly known as Shiites which claimed lives and destruction of properties.

The IMN have been demanding the release of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakyzaky and his wife Zinat, who has been in detention since 2015.

Elzkazaky and his wife are facing trial over allegations of culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, and disruption of the public peace, among other charges filed against them by the Kaduna state government.

RELATED: FG Moves To Proscribe IMN

Mr Musa told Channels TV that a decision has not been reached and the IMN cannot be described as a terrorist group.

“As regards the court orders proscribing the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, for now, the movement hasn’t reached a decision.

“The leading members and lawyers are studying the court order and very soon, they will issue a way out for the movement.

“But we believe we are the victims of all that has been happening so it is very unfortunate that a group that has not retaliated, all the killings it has suffered under the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, it will now be accused of being a terrorist group.”

He claimed that the group and its members, despite the attack on them, have not killed anybody.

“Have you ever seen a terrorist group that one-third of its members have been killed and they haven’t killed anybody?

“So it is absurd we believe, for the Federal Government to take this step of proscribing the IMN. “

The IMN Spokesman added that if their leader and his wife are released to take adequate medical care, their agitation will reduce.

“We hope the international community will put more pressure on the government. Our major demand is for them to release our leader to go and look after his health.

“If they do this; all our agitations, especially on the streets of Abuja, will meltdown.”

Court Fixes Date To Rule On IPOB’s Application Against Ban

A Federal High Court in Abuja has fixed January 17, 2018, to decide if it will set aside the order of proscription against Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist group.

IPOB had earlier asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to reverse its orders proscribing it and labelling it as a terrorist group.

In September 2017, IPOB made the request in a motion filed by its lawyer, Mr Ifeanyi Ejiofor, before the Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdu Kafarati.

The group made this application barely 48 hours after Justice Kafarati had granted an ex-parte application by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, for the proscription of the group and its categorisation as a terrorist group.

IPOB had insisted that it is a non-violent movement, based its motion on 13 grounds one of which was that the court did not have the jurisdiction to proscribe the group as it is “an entity unknown to law.”

Justice Abdul Kafarati during the court sitting today, November 14, fixed the ruling for January 17, 2018, after listening to the counsel to IPOB, Mr Ifeanyi Ejiofor and the Solicitor General of the Federation, Mr Dayo Apata.

Ejiofor told the court that it is speculation and hearsay for the solicitor general to link IPOB to the seized arms at the Lagos port.

The Solicitor general said that prior to the arrival of the arms the IPOB leader had hosted a Turkish visitor and that all actions preceding the proscription pointed to the fact that the group had assumed the posture of a terrorist group.

UNICEF: Boko Haram Recruited Over 2,000 Child Soldiers In 2016

UNICEF, Boko Haram, Child SoldiersOver 2000 child soldiers were recruited and used in combat by the terrorist group, Boko Haram in 2016.

These statistics were provided on Tuesday by the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF), on the anniversary of the Paris commitments to end the use of children in conflict.

UNICEF Executive Director, Anthony Lake, said the exact data on the number of children used in armed conflict was difficult to ascertain because of the unlawful nature of the exercise.

“For instance, since 2013 an estimated 17,000 children have been recruited in South Sudan and up to 10,000 have been recruited in the Central African Republic (CAR).

“Similarly, nearly 2,000 children were recruited by Boko Haram in Nigeria and neighbouring countries last year alone, and there have been nearly 1,500 cases of child recruitment in Yemen since the conflict escalated in March 2015.

“We cannot give up the fight to end child recruitment,” the UNICEF chief said.

Lake offered estimates that tens of thousands under the age of 18 were being used in conflicts worldwide.

“It is not only about looking back at what has been accomplished; but looking forward to the work that remains to be done to support the children of war,” he said.

End To Child Recruitment

Adopted 10 years ago, the Paris commitments, together with the Paris Principles and Guidelines, lay out guidance for protecting children from recruitment and use by armed forces or armed groups.

The Paris Agreement also assists the release of child soldiers and their reintegration, with other vulnerable children affected by armed conflict in their communities.

“There has also been progress: since it was adopted, the number of countries endorsing the Paris commitments has nearly doubled from 58 countries in 2007 to 105 at present, signalling an increasing global commitment to end the use of children in conflict.

“Globally, more than 65,000 children have been released from armed forces and armed groups, including 20,000 in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“Nearly 9,000 in the Central African Republic; and over 1,600 children in Chad. But more needs to be done,” the UNICEF chief said.

According to him, seeking to build on the current momentum, the Paris International Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Children in Armed Conflicts has appealed for unconditional release of all children without exception, and putting an end to child recruitment.

“It is also calling for increased resources to help reintegrate and educate children who have been released, and urgent action to protect internally displaced children, child refugees and migrants.

“As long as children are still affected by the fighting, we cannot give up the fight for the children,” Lake added.

Danjuma Seeks Nigerians’ Support For IDPs In Northeast

Theophilus-DanjumaThe Chairman of Victims Support Fund, General Theophilus Danjuma, has appealed to well-meaning Nigerians and donor agencies to assist the Federal Government in re-building the northeast devastated by the activities of the terrorist group, Boko Haram.

Speaking at the 6th Annual National Security Seminar organised by the Alumni Association of the National Defence College, General Danjuma said that rebuilding the northeast would require over two trillion Naira.

He advised the Federal Government to focus on structural systems that would de-radicalise and ensure the protection of youths from being indoctrinated by extremists.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Danjuma Sheni, advocated the need for a quick resettlement of the victims of Boko Haram.

President and Commandant of the Alumni Association of the College, Brigadier General Jonathan Temlong and Rear Admiral Samuel Alade respectively, expressed concerns about the increasing number of displaced persons.

With over one million displaced persons said to be taking refuge in neighbouring countries of Cameroon, Chad and Niger under dehumanising conditions, an urgent steps to resolve the issue of IDPs would be a welcome development by many Nigerians.

US Air Strike Kills Libya Islamic State Head

Islamic State-2Air strike by the US has killed the leader of the Islamic State (IS) group in Libya, the Pentagon said on Saturday.

Iraqi national Abu Nabil, also known as Wissam Najm Abd Zayd al-Zubaydi, was a “long-time al-Qaeda operative and the senior Isil leader in Libya”, it said, using another acronym for IS.

There was no word on the location of the strike that took place on Friday night.

The Pentagon said the strike demonstrated that it would “go after Isil leaders wherever they operate”.

Pentagon spokesman, Peter Cook, said the operation had been authorised and taken place before terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday evening.

According to a BBC report, Mr Cook stated that Nabil may have been the IS spokesman pictured in a February 2015 video showing the apparent execution of Coptic Christians in Libya.

“Nabil’s death will degrade Isil’s ability to meet the group’s objectives in Libya, including recruiting new Isil members, establishing bases in Libya, and planning external attacks on the United States,” he said.

It has been four years after the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi, but Libya has remained in chaos and the growth of Islamic State there has become a source of worry for Western governments.

Medical Health Workers Visit IDP Camp In Edo

idp by the Boko haram sectGood spirited Nigerians have been visiting the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp run by the International Christian Centre for Missions in Uhogua, Edo State, to show their love and solidarity with the victims of the Boko Haram insurgency in the north-east who are taking refuge at the camp.

The latest of these visits is by the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, led by its National President, Mr Joel Josiah, who on behalf of the union donated food items and cash sums to the displaced persons and also called on other well meaning Nigerians to follow suit.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), had recently signed an agreement with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, in order to reduce the hardship facing the IDPs and protect their fundamental rights.

Also, the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) campaign group has urged the government to render more help to the displaced persons.

There are 27 IDPs camps in the Federal Capital Territory (Abuja) alone, housing over 16,000 displaced persons and some others in the north-eastern part of the oil-rich nation.

The increasing number was triggered by the activities of the Boko Haram terrorist group in the north-east region.

The group has carried out series of attacks on communities in the north-east, forcing people to flee their homes for safety.

IDPs: Borno Government’s MoU With NEMA Begins To Yield Results

BornoThe National Emergency Management Agency is partnering with the Borno State Government in dealing with the humanitarian crisis that has devastated the state.

Director-General of the Emergency Agency, Mohammed Sidi, has been evaluating the extent of devastation with a view to intervening.

The Borno State Government had repeatedly groaned under the burden of housing and catering for the displaced unaided and this led to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with NEMA for coordination and partnership.

It is in furtherance to the MoU previously signed that Mr Mohammed Sidi has been visiting camps, health facilities and stakeholders in the capital city to evaluate areas requiring the agency’s intervention.

The Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, has now said that NEMA’s intervention has helped stabilize the dwindling fortunes of the state.

Some of the displaced persons have also confirmed that their basic needs are being catered for with food items expected to supply the Internally Displaced Persons for the next two months arriving the state.

Over 900,000 people displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency have been living in the 23 make shift camps spread across the capital city, Maiduguri.

Most families in the host community have also opened their doors to displaced friends and relatives sacked from their homes in less safer parts of the state.

The University of Maiduguri has also been officially identified as the 23rd make-shift camp as the management is now stuck with many students who have lost their hometowns to the insurgency.

Officials say Borno State is home to 70% of Internally Displaced Persons in Nigeria.

NEMA Close To Completing Evacuation Of Returnees From Niger Republic

NEMA -on Evacuation of Niger Republic ReturneesThe National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in Nigeria says it has nearly completed the evacuation of over 6,000 returnees from Niger Republic.

Giving an update of the activities of the agency, official said some of them are unable to go home as they are still recuperating in the hospital.

The Agency also added that many of them were tired, hungry and sick, including women who gave birth in transit.

Speaking to Channels Television, the rescued persons recounted their ordeal in the hands of members of the Boko Haram sect and the Nigerian military.

The Zonal Co-ordinator of North-east NEMA, Mohammed Kanar, said the state of health of some of the children, who have only managed to escape being killed, drew emotions, as NEMA had evacuated over 4,500 people from the transit camps.

Halima Ali, a mother of two in an interview with Channels Television also narrated her experience in an encounter with the Islamist Group.

While some of the rescued persons remain in the hospital in Geidam, Yobe State, the locals around and their vigilante group said they were not unmindful of the strategies of the terrorist group and would face them head-on.

Obama Commends Buhari, Jonathan

obamaThe U.S. President, Barack Obama, on Wednesday commended President-elect Muhammadu Buhari, and current President, Goodluck Jonathan, following the outcome of the presidential election.

In a statement, the U.S. President, who praised Nigeria’s commitment to democracy said: “I urge President-elect Buhari and President Jonathan to repeat their calls to their supporters to continue to respect the election outcomes, focus on unifying the country, and together lead Nigeria through a peaceful transition.”

Ahead of the general elections, President Barack Obama, had sent a special message to Nigerians, urging a credible and peaceful polls.

In the message sent directly to Nigerians, President Obama reminded the nation about its struggle for independence from colonialism, the struggle against military dictatorship and the need to turn the country’s diversity into a source of strength.

Positive reactions have continued to trail Nigeria’s conduct of its 2015 general elections with the South African President, Jacob Zuma, also commending Nigeria’s successful and peaceful conduct of the presidential election.

The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, says the way the presidential election in Nigeria was conducted is “a testament” to Nigeria’s “democratic spirit”.

Mr Ban Ki-Moon also commended President Jonathan for “his statesmanship in upholding the democratic process”.

General Muhammadu Buhari was declared the winner of the Presidential election in the early hours of Wednesday and has received his Certificate of Return from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

He defeated Nigeria’s incumbent President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, by over 2 million votes, in a keenly contested election which held on Saturday, March 28, 2015.

This is the first time an opposition party is winning the presidential election in Nigeria.

Before handing over the certificate to General Buhari, the Chairman of INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega, pledged that the commission would continue to do its best, under all circumstances, to ensure free, fair and credible elections.

Full Text: Obama Delivers A Message To Nigerians On Peaceful Election

obamaU.S President, Barack Obama, has called on Nigerians to shun violence and express their views peacefully during the upcoming elections.

President Obama’s message to the people of Nigeria, as posted online by the White House, is to highlight the opportunity that the upcoming elections present for all Nigerians to stand together in rejecting violence and extremism and instead show their support for a more peaceful, secure, and prosperous future.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will be conducting Nigeria’s presidential election on Saturday March 28, after it was re-scheduled due to security reasons.

Full Text of President Obama’s Message to the Nigerian People

Hello, today I want to speak directly to you the people of Nigeria. Nigeria is a great nation and you can be proud of the progress you’ve made.

Together, you won your independence, emerged from military rule and strengthened democratic institutions. You’ve strived to overcome division and to turn Nigeria’s diversity into a source of strength. You’ve worked hard to improve the lives of your families and to build the largest economy in Africa.

Now you have a historic opportunity to help write the next chapter of Nigeria’s progress by voting in the upcoming elections.

For elections to be credible, they must be free, fair and peaceful. All Nigerians must be able to cast their votes without intimidation or fear.

So, I call on all leaders and candidates to make it clear to their supporters that violence has no place in democratic elections—and that they will not incite, support or engage in any kind of violence before, during, or after the votes are counted.

I call on all Nigerians to peacefully express your views and to reject the voices of those who call for violence.

When elections are free and fair, it is the responsibility of all citizens to help keep the peace, no matter who wins. Successful elections and democratic progress will help Nigeria meet the urgent challenges you face today.

Boko Haram, a brutal terrorist group that kills innocent men, women and children must be stopped. Hundreds of kidnapped children deserve to be returned to their families. Nigerians who have been forced to flee deserve to return to their homes.

Boko Haram wants to destroy Nigeria and all that you have worked to build. By casting your ballot, you can help secure your nation’s progress. I’m told that there is a saying in your country: to keep Nigeria one is a task that must be done.

Today, I urge all Nigerians, from all religions, all ethnic groups, and all regions, to come together and keep Nigeria one. And in this task of advancing the security, prosperity, and human rights of all Nigerians, you will continue to have a friend and partner in the United States of America.

 

Boko Haram: Bodies Found In Mass Grave At Damasak

boko haramA mass grave containing at least 70 bodies has been found in a town recently recaptured from Boko Haram, Niger and Chad soldier report.

The soldiers said the bodies were found in Damasak in Mobbar Local Government Area of Borno State in north-eastern Nigeria, a town they entered on Saturday.

Nigeria’s troops had renewed their onslaught against the Boko Haram terrorist after the nation’ general elections were shifted by six weeks to March 28 and April 11.

In an interview with the BBC, Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Jonathan, predicted that all territories would be taken back from the Boko Haram within a month.

“They are getting weaker and weaker by the day,” he said.

The victims, many with their throats slits and some decapitated, may have been killed some time ago, reports suggest.

Chadian army Colonel, Azem Bermandoa Agouna, said he had visited the grave and seen “about 100 bodies spread under a bridge just outside the town”.

Together with the Nigerian Army, forces from Chad, Niger and Cameroon are involved in an offensive against the Islamic militants who are controlling parts of north-eastern Nigeria.

In the renewed offensive, two out of three states, where the Boko Haram terrorists have been trying to establish an Islamic State, have been reclaimed from the Boko Haram terrorists.

Nigeria is preparing to hold presidential elections on 28 March and the Armed Forces, including the Multi Natonal Joint Task Force (MJTF) have reclaimed many towns that have been captured by the terrorist group.

Jonathan Reiterates Commitment To Boko Haram Defeat

Jonathan-Boko HaramThe Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, has re-emphasised the government’s commitment to fighting the Boko Haram terrorist group, in what may be described as a ray of hope in the fight against insurgency in the nation’s north-east.

President Jonathan, who spoke to BBC in Abuja on Thursday, maintained that the Islamic sect was getting weaker and weaker by the day.

He expressed hopes that all territory seized by the terrorist group would be retaken within a month.

The Nigerian President admitted that the security forces had been slow in their response to the advance of the terrorists in the north-east Nigeria.

President Jonathan also admitted that the authorities “never expected that Boko Haram group would build up that kind of capacity”.

Earlier this week, the Nigerian military said the militants no longer control any urban centres in Yobe and Adamawa, two out of the three worst-affected states in the north-east.

The military also pledged that Borno State, the birthplace of the Boko Haram, would soon be freed.