260 Persons Rescued From Boko Haram Moved To Military Facility

Rescued women and cildren from Boko HaramSome 260 women and children rescued from the Boko Haram terrorists’ stronghold, Sambisa Forest, have been relocated from a camp in the north-eastern city of Yola to an unspecified military facility.

The movement of the rescued persons on Thursday came after camp officials said they suspected that some of them have been communicating with the militants.

Rescued from the dissident group terrorising communities in Nigeria’s north-east, they have become refugees in their own country, but there seems to be no guarantee of a permanent abode, at least for now.

Government authorities said the rescued women and children would be housed in the military facility under the Countering Violent Extremist (CVE) programme, a government’s soft approach to combating terrorism.

The 260 women and children were brought to Mal Kohi Camp in Yola, on May 2 after their rescue from the Boko Haram terrorists in Sambisa Forest in Borno State.

The military has continued counter-terrorism operations in the forest to clear the insurgents from their camps in the region.

Some terrorists have fled their camps and had massed in some communities within the state, attacking residents.

Rescue of persons held captive by the Boko Haram sect started last month and so far over 800 persons have been rescued.

Military Locates 260 Women, Children In Adamawa

Rescued From Boko HaramNigerian troops have located 260 women and children in the outskirts of Chalawa village in Adamawa State where they had been held up while trying to escape from terrorists.

Some of them told the military that they had to abandon their homes to escape from the terrorists when Madagali came under attack, while others were abducted, but left in the area by fleeing terrorists.

In a statement on Sunday, the military said: “They have now been conveyed back to their various communities in Madagali after undergoing the normal security profiling.

Military spokesman, Major General Chris Olukolade, confirmed the development. He said they were located on Saturday.

According to him, a number of terrorists died in an encounter with troops who caught up with them as they fled prior to the recovery of the women and children.

“Some of the terrorists still managed to escape with varying degrees of gunshot wounds. Others who were captured are now being interrogated by intelligence officers.

“A machine gun, some rounds of ammunition, as well as some motorcycles and bicycles were also captured from the terrorists. A member of the vigilante group serving as ģuide to the troops was however wounded,” the military said in a statement.

The Boko Haram terrorists were sacked from Madagali recently.

Meanwhile the operation in Sambisa forest is continuing as troops are searching every aspect of the expansive terrain.

The Military had earlier released a video of the counter-terrorism aerial operations in Sambisa Forest, with terrorists seen fleeing the forest.

Boko Haram Food And Fuel Supplier Arrested In Borno

Vehicle recovered from Boko Haram Fuel supplier Nigerian troops on Sunday nabbed a man who supplies fuel and food to terrorists in Daban Shata in the suburbs of Baga in Borno State.

Spokesman for the military, Major General Chris Olukolade, confirmed the arrest on his Twitter handle.

He said a military intelligence had been trailing him till he was eventually trapped in the early hours of Sunday.

“He is presently undergoing interrogation,” the military spokesman said, without giving further details about his identity.

It is the latest development in the counter-terrorism operations in the north-east.

Escape From Terrorists

In another development, troops on patrol on Saturday located 260 women and children in the outskirts of Chalawa village in Adamawa State where they had been held up while trying to escape from terrorists.

“They have now been conveyed back to their various communities in Madagali after undergoing the normal security profiling,” Major General Olukolade said.

Some of them disclosed that they had to abandon their homes to escape from the terrorists when Madagali came under attack, while others were actually abducted.

The Boko Haram terrorists were sacked from Madagali recently.

A number of terrorists died in an encounter with troops who caught up with them as they fled prior to the recovery of the women and children.

“Some of the terrorists still managed to escape with varying degrees of gunshot wounds. Others who were captured are now being interrogated by intelligence officers.

“A machine gun, some rounds of ammunition, as well as some motorcycles and bicycles were also captured from the terrorists. A member of the vigilante group serving as guide to the troops was however wounded,” the military said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the operation in Sambisa forest is continuing, as troops are searching every aspect of the expansive terrain.

The Military had earlier released a video of the counter-terrorism aerial operations in Sambisa Forest, with terrorists seen fleeing the forest.

Military Releases Videos Of Assault On Boko Haram In Sambisa Forest

Soldier battling Boko Haram in Sambisa ForestNigeria’s military has released videos of its ongoing counter-terrorism operations to dislodge Boko Haram terrorists inside the notorious Sambisa Forest.

The video showed the dexterity of Nigerian Air Force pilots, as they taunt the terrorists, with hundreds of them running helter-skelter and fleeing into different directions.

In another footage, vulnerable women and children were seen cautiously and deliberately guided to safety by the Nigerian pilots.

An officer involved in the operation, who requested not to be named, said the essence of the operation was not to kill everybody in sight

“The Air Force pilots deployed their skills in herding both terrorists and their captives in different directions so that those conscripted and abducted were guided to safety zone while the armed terrorists met their waterloo,” the officer said.

Since the Nigerian troops invaded the notorious forest, they have rescued over 500 females. In the first daring and precise operation, the troops rescued 293 women and girls while many terrorists camps, including Tokumbere, were destroyed.

In another operation on Thursday that involved Special Forces, another set of 234 women and children were rescued through the Kawuri and Konduga end of Sambisa Forest.

The sustained operations deep into the Sambisa Forest is being spearheaded by the Air Force through “tactical aerial bombardments and guided reconnaissance,” with the main objective of decimating and clearing the terrorists from the forest which is their last bastion.

The spokesman for the military Dr. Chris Olukolade, said that the troops would continue the Sambisa Forest operations ‘until all terrorists’ enclaves are cleared’.

Since the operation commenced, several field commanders and foot soldiers of the terrorist group have lost their lives with some armoured personnel carriers, vehicles mounted with Anti-Aircraft guns, and several trucks also destroyed by the military.

NEMA Receives Women And Children Rescued From Sambisa Forest

Rescued women and cildren from Boko Haram
A truck of the Nigerian Army carrying rescued persons.

Women and children rescued from the Boko Haram sect have been handed over to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) by the Nigerian Army in Yola, the Adamawa State capital.

The agency, which now takes full responsibility of the first batch released within days after the army found hundreds of other hostages, have given assurance that the  rescued persons would be taken care of under tight security.

Many of the children looked severely malnourished while some of the women held in captivity for almost 12 months were unable to walk nor talk audibly on arrival.

Fourteen trucks from the Nigerian Army fully loaded with 275 women and children, with hunger, uncertainty and deep sorrow clearly written on their faces, arrived in Yola at about 6.30pm local time. They disembark to meet caretakers of NEMA.

Most of the rescued persons handed over to the agency by the Commander, 23 Armoured Brigade, Aba Popoola, were children.

The NEMA officials immediately began documentation, as cries of malnourished children rend the air.

Sixty-nine women and 206 children were each given a cup of tea and bread to quell hunger and thirst, as they were moved to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp.

A week old baby delivered in Sambisa Forest was among 21 other injured people instantly taken to the Federal Medical Centre, Yola for treatment.

After the rescued persons were handed over to the agency, it took several hours into the night to fully sort them out.

This is the first batch of rescued women and children that the military has handed over to NEMA.

NEMA IDP Co-ordinator, Sahad Bello, said the agency would ensure they would be given the right treatment they deserved as Nigeria.

The clearly traumatised victims would in the days ahead undergo intense trauma counselling and social training to help them bounce back to their normal life before the Sambisa abduction.

‘Rescued 293 Girls, Women Are Indigenes Of Bumsiri Village’

Military rescues 200 girls and 93 womenThe Borno State government says all 293 rescued women and girls from Sambisa Forest are indigenes of Bumsiri Village of Damboa Local Government in the state, dousing hopes that some could be the Chibok girls abducted on April 14, 2014.

The state’s commissioner of Information, Mohammed Bulama, has confirmed the latest discovery on Tuesday while briefing reporters on the development.

Some 200 girls and 93 women held hostage in Sambisa Forest, a major stronghold of the Boko Haram terrorists group, were rescued by troops in a mission to clear the Forest of all terrorists.

Mr Bulama said that that the rescued persons would be reunited with their parents soon.

Channels Television’s correspondent in Borno State, Blessing Tunoh, said the people of the state received the news with mixed feelings. They are asking the military to give them more evidence in form of images.

“For now there are no pictures and some of the people I spoke to were having doubts, saying that they expected that the military should have posted some pictures for the parents and others to begin to identify some of the women.

“Right now, there is nothing to hold on to to identify who these women are,” she said.

Also, a front runner of the Bring Back Our Girls campaign, Professor Hauwa Biu, doubts the sincerity of the military authorities and faults their failure to reveal the identity of those rescued.

However, the people are happy that some persons held captive have found freedom, whether or not they are the Chibok girls.

The State government commended the Nigerian Army for rescuing the girls and women from Sambisa forest.

According to the Defence Headquarters, the women were found at Tokumbere camp, inside Sambisa Forest.

Those rescued are still being profiled, the military headquarters said.

 

Lawmakers Task Executive On Rescue Of Chibok Girls

House of Representatives in Nigeria On Chibok GirlsThe House of Representatives in Nigeria has urged the Executive Arm of Government to do everything possible to rescue the over 200 school girls abducted from Chibok exactly one year ago.

Debating a motion on the matter on Tuesday, lawmakers said it was not enough to just remember the abducted girls and stressed the need for both the legislators and the executive to do everything possible to rescue the girls.

The House also commended the armed forces for their recent efforts at fighting the insurgents and also the Bring Back Our Girls Campaigners who have continued to remind Nigerians of the need to demand for the release of the abducted girls.

The girls were abducted from their school’s dormitory on April 14, 2014 by members of the Boko Haram sect.

Although remarkable breakthroughs have been recorded in the counter-terrorism operations in the north-east, the girls have not been seen by the troops fighting the insurgents.

The government is, however, hopeful that the girls would be rescued, as troops are making efforts to clear terrorists from Borno State.

In the last seven weeks the military had been able to clear terrorists from Adamawa And Yobe States, reclaiming communities held by the dissident group trying to set up an Islamic State in the region.

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, has pledged that his administration would do all possible to rescue the schoolgirls.

The promise comes on the first year anniversary of the abduction of the girls from their dormitory at the Government Girls College, Chibok, Borno State, by Boko Haram militants.

The Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, had in a video released months after the girls were abducted said that the girls had been married off.

Terrorists Fleeing Gwoza Will Not Sneak Into Communities Un-noticed – Olukolade

Major-General Chris Olukolade on Gwoza reclaiming
Major-General Chris Olukolade says troops will continue combing Gwoza until all terrorists are arrested

After the retake of Gwoza in Nigeria’s north-east state of Borno, the military says it has put strategies in place to ensure that fleeing terrorists do not sneak into neighbouring communities un-noticed.

The spokesman for the military, Major General Chris Olukolade, told Channels Television on Friday that the troops in Gwoza were combing the community and surroundings to arrest terrorists that may be hiding within the area.

“The retake of Gwoza by troops on Friday morning is the climax of series of operational activities of the troops on ground and the Air Force in the north-east.

“Gwoza was stormed from every direction.

“At the moment, we are mopping up the town and the surrounding with a view to arresting any terrorist that is still within the area,” he said.

Screen Everyone Found

On the strategy that the military had put in place to ensure that the fleeing terrorists do not mix with residents of the neighbouring communities, Major General Olukolade said that the renewed counter-terrorism operation was holistic and would take care of such issues.

“We are in contact with colleagues in the neighbouring countries and the Multi-National Joint Task Force has been alerted to monitor the border for terrorists.

“The cordon and search is covering the neighbourhood. We will screen everyone we find to determine their status. Anyone found would be made to answer some questions.

“The terrorists fleeing to the border area will be tackled by the troops of the joint task force.

“The porosity of the border will be addressed by the joint operations,” he said.

According to him, weapons taken from the terrorists would be assessed by experts to understand or trace their origin.

He also stressed that finding the sponsors of the terrorists was a task within the purview of the intelligence unit of the operation.

“Anyone found culpable will be handed over to be tried. Once profiled, further actions would be taken against them,” Major General Olukode said.

The military spokesman also expressed confidence that the society was sufficiently mobilised now, with everybody on the lookout for the terrorists. “Any of them who sneaks into any community will surely be identified.”

On the sustenance of the joint task force’s efforts against terrorists’ activities in the West African region, Major General Olukolade said political authorities would determine if there would be a structure that would constantly check the activities of terrorists in the region.

Chibok Girls Rescue

Despite the renewed counter-terrorism efforts, some over 200 girls that were abducted on April 14, 2014 by terrorists from their school’s dormitory in Chibok have not been rescued.

The spokesman for the military did not give any assurance that the girls would be rescued soon, but expressed optimism that hostages, who may have been held by the terrorists, would be rescued in the course of the operation.

“When we conclude mopping up we will be able to ascertain if the Chibok girls will be among the hostages held in the area,” he said.

Female Suicide Bomber Kills 5 In Potiskum GSM Market Attack

bomb yobeA female suicide bomber on Sunday killed 5 people in a renewed bomb attack at the Global System Communication (GSM) market in Potiskum, Yobe State in north-east Nigeria.

Residents said a female suicide bomber hit the entrance of the GSM market located in the heart of Potiskum town around 1:15 this afternoon killing five on the spot.

“We saw the girl and we became suspicious of her movement and when one of us tried to whisk her away, the bomb went off killing both of them and three others while several others sustained injuries and had been taken to the General Hospital in Potiskum,” a witness said.

The Police Public Relations Officer ASP Toyin Gbadegesin, who confirmed the incident, said details of the blast was still being expecting.

“Yes, I can confirm to you that there was a blast at the Kasuwan Jagwal market (GSM market) in Potiskum”, he said, noting that a similar event had happened there last month.

However, “how it happened and the casualty figure is not known,” the police spokesman said.

According to him, 48 other persons sustained various degrees of injuries and were being treated at the Potiskum General Hospital.

A top hospital source told Channels Television that rescuers had started rushing the victims of the blast to the Potiskum General Hospital for urgent medical attention.

Suicide bombing has become rampant in the commercial city of Yobe State, North East Nigeria.

Motor parks, GSM market, restaurant and several public places have been hit in recent times in the troubled Potiskum town and at the various times, several lives were lost, with lots of property destroyed.

War On Terror: Jonathan To Hold Talks With Chad President

Goodluck Jonathan and Idriss Deby. President Goodluck Jonathan is looking to forge a stronger alliance against terrorism and violent extremism with Nigeria’s neighbour, Chad, when he holds talks with the President, Idriss Deby.

A statement by a spokesman for President Jonathan, Reuben Abati, said the talks, expected to hold on Monday in Ndjamena with President Deby, who is also the current Chairman of the African Union’s Peace and Security Council, followed their discussions in Nairobi last week on the sidelines of the African Union Peace and Security Council Summit.

“President Jonathan and his host will discuss the further actualisation of agreements for greater cooperation against insurgents and terrorists reached by Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon at a meeting in Paris earlier this year.

“Their talks are expected to lead to the strengthening of the Paris Accord on joint border patrols, intelligence sharing and the prevention of the illicit movement of terrorists, criminals, arms and ammunition across shared borders,” the statement read.

President Jonathan will be accompanied by the National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), the Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Nurudeen Mohammed and the Director General of the National Space Research and Development Agency, Professor Sheidu Mohammed.

Before returning to Nigeria on Tuesday, he would be a Special Guest of Honour at an international conference on Information Technology and Communication holding in Ndjamena on the same day.

 

Jonathan’s Meeting With Parents Of Abducted Girls ‘Never Too Late’ – Omeri

Mike-OmeriThe coordinator of the National Information Centre in Nigeria, Mr Mike Omeri, has dismissed critics’ reactions to President Goodluck Jonathan’s meeting with the parents of the abducted Chibok girls, saying “it is never too late for the president of a country to meet with citizens”.

Mr Omeri’s comment is coming on Wednesday, a day after president Jonathan met with the parents of the abducted girls and some of the girls that escaped from the members of the terrorist group, Boko Haram, that abducted the girls form their school’s dormitory in Chibok, Borno State, on April 14.

Critics had said that the meeting had been long overdue, but Omeri insisted that the peculiar nature of the Chibok issue had led to the purported delay.

One hundred days are gone and over 200 girls are still in the custody of their abductors waiting for the rescue day, that President Jonathan had promised since they were abducted.

Again, at the Tuesday meeting, President Jonathan reassured the parents of the abducted girls that their children would be rescued soon.

Mr Omeri said that the meeting was quite frank, as it was able to put issues in perspective and ensured that parents got assurance from the President.

“At the meeting, the parents were able to communicate what happened to the President.

“When the girls that escaped from the member of Boko Haram after they were taken on April 14 told their stories, they said that they were helped by Nigerians who they met in the bush and that goes further to state that the Nigerian spirit of wanting to help each other is still in us.

“The President would have gone to Chibok, but the concentration as at the time it happened was towards rescuing the girls and stopping the insurgency and that may have explained the initial gap in meeting the parents,” Mr Omeri explained.

“Finding Peace Where It Is Missing”

While the military is striving to quell the insurgency and attacks mostly in the northeast by terrorists, calls have been made for adequate orientation of citizens geared towards establishing and enforcing peace.

Mr Omeri said that quite a number of orientation programmes were ongoing.

“Before the abduction, we had initiated a workplace peace orientation programme. I visited a number of camps for displaced persons and cattle ranches and farmers residents. We came together to design architecture that will sustain peace building and peace enforcement.

“Participants demonstrated the commitment to finding peace where it is missing and supporting the government’s efforts to ensure that peace permeates the system.

“We will take external measures to ensure that the peace project reaches all corners of the country,” he said.

Few weeks after the girls were abducted, several protests were held in Nigeria, but a group, the ‘Bring Back Our Girls Campaigners’, had continued a sit-out protest at the Unity Fountain in Abuja, demanding for more efforts from the government in securing the girls rescue.

However, the government had asked the group to direct their protest at the abductors of the girls and not at the government, alleging that the protest has being politicised.

Asked what his thought was about the group’s protest, Mr Omeri said that to the extent that the protesters were focusing their attention on the global challenge on terrorism, it was a just course.

He, however, said: “Where the issue at hand is taking us away from the primary concern of rescuing Chibok girls, we will certainly not be in the same boat.

“When the messaging is shifting, then the local Bring Back Our Girls could be said to be communicating the wrong message and attracting attention.

“‘He who has taken should bring back’ that is what they are asking for and we should all make that demand,” he emphasised.

Where Are The Girls?

On the strength of the military to tackle the Boko Haram sect, Mr Omeri pointed out that the military had ruled Nigeria for long years and that most of the leaders had one experience or the other with the military.

“That is not to say that they do not have military equipment because they were able to use what they had to achieve peace and secure territories within Africa and even outside Africa.

“We should commend the administration that has seen the need for us to re-kit and retune military hardware. We need to have and build a sustainable stock and asset for the military,” he said.

A question that has remained in the mouths of many Nigerians is:  “Where are the girls”?

A military Chief in May said that the locations of the girls had been identified and that the military was making plans to rescue them but were being cautious to ensure that there would not be casualties.

Mr Omeri also confirmed the claims but said that he would not disclose where the girls were or the time they would be rescued, citing security reasons.

Meanwhile, military operations have continued in the northeast against the Boko Haram sect that are demanding for an Islamic State and an end to western education, with international community providing support in area of intelligence gathering.

 

Kaduna Bomb: Asikolaye Residents Fear Fresh Attack

bomb-explosion1Residents of Asikolaye and Bakin Ruwa areas of Kaduna metropolis in Kaduna State have expressed fear and shock over the bomb explosion which occurred in the areas at about 8:00pm on Tuesday night.

The residents are scared that the masterminds of the attack may be planning a fresh attack, and therefore called on security operatives to intensify surveillance within the state capital.

The incident which occurred very close to a football viewing centre and some private schools left two people injured and also shattered the glass windows of some of the surrounding buildings and nearby vehicles.

Channels Television’s correspondent who visited the area on Wednesday morning reported that security operatives, who had already cordoned off the scene of the blast, barred journalists from getting close to the scene or taking shots of some of the affected vehicles and buildings.

Many shops and offices in the area are yet to open for business due to fear of a fresh attack. Some people who spoke off camera said the casualty figure may likely be more than two due to the impact of the explosion.

The Commissioner of Police in Kaduna State, Umar Shehu, who confirmed the incident on the telephone, said that the blast caused no death. He said only two people were injured.

‘Agents Of Darkness’

A doctor in the hospital the injured victims were taken to said they have been discharged.

But sources at the hospital told Channels Television that the victims had been moved to one of the military hospitals within the state capital for proper medical attention.

In the meantime, the state governor, Mukhtar Yero, has called on residents of the state to remain calm over the blast

The governor, in a statement issued through his Director General, Media and Publicity, Mr Ahmed Maiyaki, urged citizens of the State to be more vigilant about happenings around them and report suspicious characters or activities to nearest security agencies.

Governor Yero said investigations into the blast had commenced. “Security operatives are already combing the area for suspects and this administration is committed to protecting lives and property of citizens of the State,” he said.

He further urged the citizens of the State to go about their lawful businesses without fear as security agencies were on high alert to avert plots by ‘agents of darkness’ aiming to attack innocent people.