Abducted UNIMAID Workers Beg FG To Meet Boko Haram’s Demands

UNIMAID Lectureres

Three men who identified themselves as University of Maiduguri workers – two lecturers and a driver – abducted by Boko Haram have appealed to the Federal Government to meet the demands of the terrorist group and secure their freedom.

In a video sent to Channels Television, but which has not been independently verified, two of the men said they were lecturers in the Geology Department of the University and gave their names as Yusuf Ibrahim and Dr Solomon N. Yusuf, while the third man identified himself as Haruna, adding that he was a driver with the university.

The men claimed that they are part of oil workers and academics ambushed and abducted by the Abu Musab al-Barnawi faction of Boko Haram on Tuesday.

The men, however, did not state what the demands of the terrorists are.

Yusuf, who spoke on behalf of the trio, called on Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, UNIMAID Vice Chancellor, Professor Ibrahim Njodi, and the NNPC among others to come to their aid.

He also called on the Federal Government to stop the excessive use of force against Boko Haram.

Yusuf said, “I want to call on the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, to come to our rescue, to meet the demands of Soldiers of Calipha Abu Musab al-Barnawi. They have promised us that if their demands are met, they will release us immediately to go back to the work we were caught doing.

“I want to call the attention of the entire country; we were captured doing the work of exploration – of acquiring gravity, magnetic and soil geochemistry for exploration in the Nigerian sector of the Chad Basin, which will boost the economy of the nation. We were caught in the line of our service.

“I want to call the attention of the Acting President that we have seen the route we took up to this position where we are recording this video right now. I want to advise that the use of excessive force is not the solution. We want to call on the Federal Government to meet these demands and as promised, they will release us immediately.”

UNIMAID Will Remain Open Despite Attacks – Management

The management of the University of Maiduguri has said official activities will continue at the institution despite the attack by three suicide bombers.

“Following an emergency meeting at which management reviewed the situation, it was decided that all official activities should continue uninterrupted,” a statement signed by the Director, Unimaid Radio/Public Relations, Professor Danjuma Gambo, for the Vice-Chancellor read in part.

“Management also reassures the university community and other stakeholders that the university will continue to ensure the protection of lives and property on campus.”

According to the management, the latest suicide attack on the institution occurred on Sunday between 10:19 pm and 2:45 am.

It added that the attack was carried out by one male and two female suicide bombers.

It said the first attack was carried out by a male bomber at the office of the Rapid Response Squad of the Security Division.

When the bomber detonated his device, four security personnel were injured and one of them, a female died on the way to the hospital.

The statement added, “The second bomber, who found her way into the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development, detonated her device and died on the spot. The third bomber was intercepted by vigilant security operatives behind the Works Department where she also detonated her device and died alone.”

After the blasts, the management said officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the State Emergency Agency as well as security operatives in the university evacuated the corpses of the bombers.

It thanked the security and emergency agencies for their role protecting the university community and commended the host community and the media for their support.

16 Confirmed Dead In Maiduguri Explosions

Sixteen persons have been confirmed dead while 13 persons were injured in the multiple explosions that rocked Maiduguri, the Borno State Capital on Sunday night.

The Borno State Commissioner of Police, Damien Chukwu confirmed this at a press briefing on Monday.

Read Also: Multiple Explosions Rock Maiduguri

Giving details, the CP explained that a male suicide bomber gained entry into the premises of the University of Maiduguri, and detonated a bomb (PBIED) strapped to his body, near the Rapid Response Services Office building.

According to him, the suicide bomber died while three of the university’s security personnel on duty were injured.

One of the injured security personnel, a female (whose identity was given as Becky Edubi), later died while being attended to at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital.

The CP also noted that in another development at about 10:30 pm, four female suicide bombers infiltrated Zannari community in Gwange general area of Jere LGA.

Again, at about 4:00 am, another set of two female suicide bombers detonated PBIEDs within the University premises.

One of them was said to have been detonated close to the Entrepreneurship and Skill Acquisition Centre Complex, while the other was behind the Works Department complex.

EOD/SARS and patrol teams were mobilised to the scenes after which the dead and injured were evacuated to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital.

Another Suicide Bomber Attempts To Attack University Of Maiduguri

Less than 24 hours after three suicide bombers attacked the University of Maiduguri, another bomber has tried to gain entry into the institution.

The Information Officer of the National Emergency Management Agency, North-East Zone, Abdulkadir Ibrahim, said the suicide bomber attempted to attack the university around 10 am on today.

He explained that in a bid to carry out the act, the adult male suicide bomber hid in the bush within the university surrounding.

“Unfortunately for him the IED, Improvised Explosive Device, exploded and killed him. No casualty was recorded. The corpse was deposited at Borno specialist hospital,” Ibrahim said.

The Borno State Police Command also confirmed the attack, saying in a statement by its Public Relations Officer, DSP, Victor Isuzu, that its EOD team were promptly despatched to the scene to sanitise and render the area safe.

Suicide Bombers Hit University Of Maiduguri Again

Three male suicide bombers have attacked the University of Maiduguri.

The incident occurred on Thursday night when the suicide bombers strapped IEDs to their bodies and gained entry into the premises of the university.

In an attempt to enter the female hostels, they were intercepted by security operatives.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Borno State command, DSP Victor Isuku revealed this in a statement.

He noted that one of the bombers hurriedly detonated his IED vest, killing himself instantly.

While, the other two bombers detonated theirs near a construction site also within the proximity of the University premises, killing themselves alone.

Three university security personnel were reportedly injured.

READ ALSO: Suicide Bombers Attack University Of Maiduguri Again

Suicide Bombers Attack University Of Maiduguri Again

Four persons, including three suicide bombers, were killed in the early hours of Saturday in another attack on the University of Maiduguri in Borno State.

The suicide bombers detonated their explosives around 1 a.m. after security officials stopped them for questioning as they were trying to gain access to the university.

One of the two security officers, who stopped them, was killed in the blast, which also affected a church in the institution.

The Information Officer, North East, of the National Emergency Management Agency, Mr Abdul Ibrahim, confirmed the attack and the death of the security officer.

He said another security officer who was injured in the attack is receiving treatment at the university’s teaching hospital.

He said, “At 1:10 a.m., three suicide bombers, two men and a woman attempted to gain access to the University of Maiduguri, but were sighted by the university security who stopped them for interrogation.

“While interrogating them, the two suicide bombers detonated their explosives devices which injured one of the securities and killed another.

“The third suicide bomber hid close to the vicinity of a church in the university later detonated her explosive which affected the structure of the church with no casualty.

“The injured was taken UMTH after administration of first aid while the corpses were deposited at Borno specialist hospital by the NEMA ERT team.”

 

45bn Naira Too Small For Northeast Reconstruction – Sani Zorro

45bn Naira Too Small For Northeast Reconstruction – Sani ZorroChairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Internally Displaced Persons and Refugees, Mr Sani Zorro says the 45 billion naira earmarked for the reconstruction of the northeast Nigeria is too little.

Zorro said the infrastructure destroyed by years of Boko Haram insurgency far exceeds the amount the federal government is willing to part with.

“We take specific note of the cost of infrastructure destroyed which he (Governor Kashim Shettima) told officials of the National Assembly (and) which he put at 9.6 billion dollars saying that Borno state has suffered the destruction of infrastructure close to seven billion dollars.

“Now the federal government has earmarked only 45 billion naira in this year’s budget for the reconstruction of the northeast? I just hope that this 45 billion is just counterpart funding. I just hope it is a component; maybe there is a bigger funding coming from elsewhere,” he said.

Zorro and his colleague – the Chairman House Committee on Air Force, Muazu Lawan, were in Borno state to convey the feelings of the House of Representatives over recent attacks in the state.

“Our mission is on behalf of the House of Representatives and its leadership and apart from commiserating with the government we have also visited the state specialist hospital where we saw those who have suffered various degrees of injury and we are happy to report that all those who were admitted in danger list are now recovering very fast.

“We were able to talk to each one of them and offered our sympathy. We have also been to the office of UN OCHA where we met a lot of humanitarian partners and we have interfaced with them. ”

However, the Chairman of the House Committee on Air Force, Muazu Lawan, believes the specialist hospital Maiduguri needs to be expanded to meet the growing needs of citizens.

“We went to the specialist hospital and we saw the injured, they are responding to treatment and we saw government’s effort.

“The only thing the government has to put in place is expansion of the hospital. There are a lot of room for expanding the healthcare institution, not only because of this incident but for the future, anything can happen.

“We are not hoping for things of this nature to be reoccurring, we hope it will be the last.”

Treatment Of Terror Victims Now Free, Thanks To PCNI

Treatment Of Terror Victims Now Free, Thanks To PCNIThe Presidential Committee on Northeast Initiative (PCNI) has taken responsibility for all bills incurred by those injured by insurgency.

In furtherance to that, Vice Chairman of the initiative, Tijjani Tumsa, has pledged on behalf of the PCNI to support the Maiduguri specialist hospital with the sum of 20 million naira.

This, according to him, is to ensure that “none of the victims has to pay for any treatment given to him whether in medication or operational requirement”.

The committee was in the state to commiserate with the University of Maiduguri and members of the Rann community who were injured during an Air Force operation that went wrong recently.

The PCNI Vice Chairman said: “We are pledging from the PCNI, on behalf of the chairman, General TY Danjuma, the complete payment of their medical needs and we would start that with the provision of 20 million Naira to the specialist hospital to ensure that none of the victims has to pay for any treatment given to him whether in medication or operational requirement.

“In addition to that, we have also pledged the sum of ten thousand naira for each patient for their personal consumables and a total sum of a million naira for the caregivers to be more encouraged to facilitate care giving to these patients.”

Tumsa thanked members of the International Red Cross and other caregivers for having a lot of input in the survival of the victims.

“We are consistent on our belief that the victims of terrorism should not suffer any other burden apart from what they have already suffered.

“The PCNI will ensure that it doesn’t happen and any medical needs or requirements that are a result of injuries suffered from this insurgency will continue to be treated free of charge,” Tumsa stated.

Porous Security

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Maiduguri, Professor Ibrahim Njobdi, conveyed the institution’s gratitude to the PCNI for offsetting the hospital bills of survivors of an on-campus explosion which killed a professor and two students.

The Vice Chancellor urged the PCNI to consider providing a solution to the porous nature of the university which paved way for a seven-year-old to beat security posts and penetrate campus.

Professor Njodi said that the Senate of the institution decided unanimously to keep the school open to encourage operatives fighting the terrorism war.

“The only way to encourage the military and other activities going on is for us to remain here so that they have a reason to fight and struggle against the terror. That was why we resolved as a university when the heat was too much way back in 2014; the Senate came here and we collectively took our decision that we would not close the university, we would not run away from terror and that is how it has been,” the VC said.

100 Years Behind

Professor Njodi also spoke on the need to address the challenges facing the education sector in norther Nigeria.

“Education in the north is endangered; I have said it at different fora that prior to Boko Haram there were some studies – some speculative some real, that were conducted that the north was 100 years behind the south educationally.

“That was before Boko Haram. What this means is that at that time if the South stopped going to school, it would take the north 100 years to catch up.

“When you now come to the north and break it up into North-West, Central, and East, Northeast was 150 years behind the South.

“So if those reports are anything to go by, I don’t know what the picture will be now, probably it may be 500 to 1000 years. And this is how bad our situation is educationally.”

Nigerian Air Force Regrets Accidental Bombing In Borno

Nigerian Air Force, Bombing, BornoThe Nigerian Air Force says it regrets an accidental air strike by its troops in Rann area of Borno State, northeast Nigeria.

The apology was contained in a statement issued by the force’s spokesman, Group Captain Ayodele Famuyiwa.

The force condoled with the families of the dead, stressing that the ill-fated occurrence was extremely regretted.

The statement read: “The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) is saddened by today’s accidental air strike by its fighter jet at Rann in Kala Balge area of Borno State in which some innocent lives were lost.

“While available information is sketchy, the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole is taking appropriate steps to avail us with details of the incident.

“The loss occasioned by this unfortunate incident is deeply regretted.

“The NAF commiserates with those affected and their families and would update the public as soon as detailed facts emerge from the investigation”.

Air Chief Condemns Renewed Bombings, Advocates Civilians’ Support

Sadique Abubakar, Air Chief, Bombings, Terrorists, Boko HaramThe Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has condemned the increasing rate of bomb attacks in Nigeria’s northeast region.

Air Marshal Abubakar said the renewed bombings in some part of the country were part of insurgence, especially with the dislodgment of the Boko Haram terrorists.

He, however, observed that the attacks were not peculiar, stressing that the military cannot deal with the menace alone.

The Air Chief explained that civilian intelligence and vigilance would play a big role to stop the activities of the dreaded insurgents.

He further stressed the importance of strong synergy between the civilians and the Nigerian Armed Forces, noting that it would critically reduce the incidences.

Air Marshal Abubakar said the corporation would also aid engagement with civilians through humanitarian efforts and psychological warfare.

The censure on the renewed bombings followed the attack on a mosque in the University of Maiduguri in Borno State in which four persons died with several others injured.

Barely 48 hours after the bombing, an accidental bombing of a civilian community occurred in Rann, also in Borno State.

The spokesman for the military, Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar, who confirmed the incident to Channels Television, admitted that it was an error deeply regretted by the military.

He explained that soldiers got information of movement of Boko Haram members and deployed ground troops and air cover to tackle the terrorists before the unfortunate occurrence took place.

Buhari Consoles Families Of Borno Accidental Bombing Victims

Muhammadu Buhari,Borno, Bombing, MilitaryPresident Muhammadu Buhari has condoled with families of those who died in the accidental bombing of a civilian community in Rann, Borno State.

A Presidency statement said the President received with deep sadness and regret, the error committed by some troops of the Nigerian Air Force who engaged in the final phase of mopping up operations against insurgents in the northeast.

Regrettable Operational Mistake

He also wished the wounded divine succour that would lead to full recovery and sympathised with the Borno State government.

President Buhari pledged the Federal Government’s support to the state government in attending to “this regrettable operational mistake,” and pleaded for calm.

In the statement by his spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, the President prayed that God would grant repose to the souls of the dead.

The accidental bombing had occurred earlier on Tuesday.

The spokesman for the military, Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar, who confirmed the incident to Channels Television on Tuesday, admitted that it was an error deeply regretted by the military.

He, however, said that the incident did not occur in an Internally Displaced Persons’ camp as being reported in some quarters, but a settlement said to be occupied by civilians.

General Abubakar explained that soldiers got information of movement of Boko Haram members and deployed ground troops and air cover to tackle the terrorists before the unfortunate occurrence took place.

Scores Feared Dead As Nigerian Jet Accidentally Drops Bomb On Borno Settlement

Nigerian Air Force Acquires More Combat HelicoptersA Nigerian military plane accidentally dropped a bomb inside a settlement in Borno State, killing several persons, military authorities said on Tuesday.

The spokesman for the military Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar, confirmed the incident to Channels Television.

He explained that that it was an error deeply regretted by the military.

The military spokesman said the incident did not occur in an Internally Displaced Persons’ camp, as being reported by in some quarters but a settlement said to be occupied by civilians.

Brigadier General Abubakar explained that soldiers got information of movement of Boko Haram members in the Kala-balge area and deployed ground troops and air cover to tackle the terrorists.

According to him, it was the air support that mistakenly dropped the bomb.

In a statement, the Nigerian Air Force commiserated with those affected and their families, promising to give update on the incident as soon as detailed facts emerge from the investigation.  

Hospitals in Maiduguri have been told to be prepared to receive and promptly treat the injured.

The incident happened on a day Boko Haram terrorists claimed responsibility for suicide attacks on a university in Maiduguri in Borno State, killing four persons including the suicide bombers.

In an audio recording released on Monday and purportedly recorded by their leader, Abubakar Shekau, the group said: “There is no need for long explanation. The bomb that went off in the University of Maiduguri today in the morning, our brothers detonated them. May Allah accept their souls.

“Do not deceive the people by saying it is a mosque. What mosque? Where you carry out unbelief? Has the prophet ever done anything like democracy in his mosque? You keep disrespecting the Prophet Mohammed”.

Clearance of Boko Haram terrorists is ongoing in the region, with the Nigerian Air Force carrying out aerial bombardment of fleeing members of the group weeks after they were chased out of their last bastion in Sambisa forest.

On Monday, the Air Force released a video of a strike on a location it described as Boko Haram’s new hideout about one nautical mile south of Tumbum Rego in northern Borno.

Fighter jets and helicopter gunship of the Air Force assaulted the location in a coordinated day and night operation following Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) report that Boko Haram insurgents who attacked own Surface Forces at Kangarwa the night of January 12, 2017 had withdrawn to the said location.

The footage of the Battle Damage Assessment released by the NAF indicated that the operation was successful as the insurgent’s hideout was successfully destroyed.

The NAF had of recently intensified aerial patrol over the entire operation in the northeast, as well as offensive mission around the Green Belt region near Niger and Chad Republics.