Officers Should Remain Committed Despite Progress In Fighting Insurgents- GOC

Lafiya Dole, Sambisa Forest, Boko haramThe General Officer Commanding (GOC) 3 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Peter Dauke, has tasked officers and men of the Armed Forces in Yobe state, northeast Nigeria, to remain committed despite successes being recorded in the war against insurgents.

The GOC said professionalism and dedication are strategic and both attributes must be observed at all times in the fight against terrorism and insurgency.

In a news conference in Maiduguri, Theatre Commander of the Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Lucky Irabor, revealed that troops had dominated most parts of the Sambisa Forest including notorious Boko haram enclaves, rescuing a total of 1,880 civilians between December 14 and 21, 2016.

Addressing officers and men at the decoration of four Lieutenant Colonels who were promoted to the rank of colonel in Yobe state, the GOC said even as the war is being won, security forces must remain committed to ensuring that the insurgents are defeated completely.

“Despite the successes being recorded at the theatre of war, I want to call on our officers and men to stay firm and ensure that the insurgents are totally defeated and peace restored.

“We expect you people to do that within the next few moments we have in this battle, in line with the commitment of the Chief of Army Staff towards ending the war” Major General Dauke said.

He then tasked the promoted officers to justify the confidence the Chief of Army staff and the military hierarchy has in them.

“Promotion comes with more challenges, but it is believed you are capable, that’s why you are being elevated to handle such challenges. You must be determined to succeed in handling such challenges if you must reciprocate the confidence reposed in you”.

Dauke assured the officers and men that the highest military hierarchy would do everything possible to ensure normalcy is restored not just in the northeast but across the country as a whole.

Speaking on behalf of the promoted officers, Colonel Aboi thanked the Chief of Army staff and the entire military hierarchy for the confidence they have in them and pledged their total commitment towards the restoration of peace across the country.

“I want to thank the Chief of Army Staff and the entire military hierarchy for the confidence reposed in us and on behalf of my promoted colleagues.

“I want to assure all Nigerians that we will continue to do our best in the quest of restoring peace and normalcy across the country” Aboi assured.

Army Kills Female Suicide Bombers In Maiduguri

The Nigerian Army has gunned down three female suicide bombers in Maiduguri in the early hours of Friday.

A report by the spokesman for the Borno command of the force, Victor Isuku, confirmed that the women who were sighted in Umulari village, along Maiduguri/Damboa road, near Mulai, by the military patrol team around 5:30 AM local time, had Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) strapped to their bodies.

As the officers shot at them, the IED on two of them exploded, killing all three, while the unexploded IED on the third woman, was rendered safe and detonated by Police bomb disposal Unit who promptly mobilized to the scene.

Foiled Attacks

This is another one in the series of foiled suicide bombing attacks by terrorists.

On Thursday November 3, a statement by a spokesman for the Nigerian Army, Colonel Sani Usman, said troops at a military location ‘gunned down’ a suspected suicide bomber who made attempts to attack the military formation.

The troops killed all the four attackers including two suicide bombers and also recovered some items from them in the operation.

However, Colonel Usman, stated that the military lost a soldier in the process.

Also on October 30, troops of the Operation Lafiya Dole, averted the plans of a suicide bomber along the same Damboa road in Maiduguri.

Eye witnesses said the suicide bomber was sighted along Damboa road, the same place where an explosion had occurred barely 24 hours earlier.

Soldier Killed In Foiled Suicide Attack In Borno

Military-Militants-ArepoA soldier has been killed in Yamtake town of Gwoza Local Government Area in Borno State in fierce gun battle after a suicide bomb attack was foiled by troops.

A statement by a spokesman for the Nigerian Army, Colonel Sani Usman, said troops at a military location ‘gunned down’ a suspected suicide bomber who made attempts to attack the military formation.

According to the statement, the incident occurred on Thursday, at about 9.45pm.

“The failed suicide bombing attack was followed up with futile probing attack by terrorists which was decisively dealt with by the troops.

“The troops killed all the four attackers including two suicide bombers and recovered 2 AK-47, 3 Magazines, 109 rounds of 7.62mm (Special), 1 Torchlight, 1 Water bottle, 3 Magazine carrier, 1 Illuminator pyrotecnic and some quantity of drugs,” the statement read.

Colonel Usman, however, added that the military lost a soldier in the process.

The foiled attack comes after troops of Operation Lafiya Dole deployed at a checkpoint in Gubio, Gubio Local Government Area of Borno State foiled a suicide attack on Gubio town by eight Boko Haram terrorists.

Air Chief Positive About Ending Niger Delta Militancy

NigerNiger Delta, Air Marshall, Militancyian Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar, says that the Niger Delta needs a comprehensive solution to end militancy.

These were his words during his visit for the commissioning of personnel blocks at the premises of the special operations group, of the Nigerian Air Force in Port-Harcourt, the Rivers state capital.

The Chief of Air Staff decried the loss of professionalism associated with personnel, living in non-military environment.

On the sidelines, Mr Abubakar told journalists that Air Force operations have become more clinical in the fight against Boko Haram, through the use of more intelligence surveillance air crafts.

This was in response to the plea of one of the 21 rescued Chibok girls who asked the force to be mindful of their of operations in order not to wipe out the other girls still in the clutches of the Boko Haram group.

Furthermore, he said “there is no military operation in the world that can guarantee zero casualty when engaging a legitimate military target.

“That incident the rescued girl is talking about happened sometime in 2015 when we just had two intelligence surveillance aircraft, now we have six and we will do everything humanly possible to avoid casualties in our fight against Boko Haram,” he asserted.

Volunteers Bemoan Harsh Conditions Edo IDPs Face

IDP'sThe overseer of the International Christian Centre (ICC) In Uhogua, Edo State, Folorunso Solomon, has expressed sadness over the harsh conditions currently being faced by the Internally Displaced Persons in his organisation’s care.

Mr Solomon says although a lot of things are yet to be put in place, there have been various past donations from the government and other agencies have provided more hostels, as well as classroom blocks which have slowly helped in upgrading the place.

He lamented, however, that in spite of the face lift at the centre, the challenges seem far from being over, and opined that the current economic recession could be responsible for the drought in supply of relief materials.

So, he urged the Federal Government to be more prudent with funds allocated for the care of IDP’s.

A volunteer at the centre since 2005, Linda Shulz, highlighted some troubles experienced so far.

She stated that the centre needed more food. “We are very many, even sometimes if we have foodstuff, within few days everything is finished”.

She also pleaded for more staff who would serve as caretakers, especially for the children, “to cook and teach them in our school,” she said.

Shulz, however, praised the government’s previous efforts while pleading that they should not be tired of doing more.

“Government should monitor its efforts in making sure that what they are releasing is getting to those they are giving it to.

“This is because I know the problem is enormous and the responsibility that is thrown on the shoulders of government is quite tasking and demanding.

“We still have a lot of people here, of course there are many who no longer have families, so those of us that are here, the government and everyone have to care for them, give them good education, make them learn skills and prepare them for the future,” she added.

The IDPs who have since been displaced from their states as a result of the insurgency in the north-east of Nigeria, have come to accept the place as home, having been under the care of the ICC since 2012.

The healing of scars from the loss of family members to insurgency in their temporal abode has also been a gradual process.

Youth Empowerment: Peace Corps Of Nigeria Commissions Cadets

youth empowerment, peace corpsAs part of concerted efforts towards youth empowerment, the Peace Corps of Nigeria, gathered over 900 youths over four weeks, to impart them with relevant skills and principles.

While addressing the youths at the Passing Out Parade and commissioning of gentlemen cadets of the Peace Corps in Plateau state, the National Commandant, Dickson Akoh emphasized the need to maintain positive attitudes.

He urged the youths, saying that hard work and discipline without a good attitude could lead to avoidable failures.

Strong behavioral and attitudinal changes, were identified as some of the ways of empowering the youths for effective performance in the society, hence the re-orientation program.

youth empowerment, peace corpsThe young cadets who had been engaged in rigorous mental and physical training, had learned discipline as well as other character development virtues, deliberately meant to put them in a good stead for future responsibilities.

Among other skills provided to them, was also intelligence gathering, which will compliment security agencies efforts in combating crime and insurgents.

The Plateau state House of Assembly through the Deputy Speaker, expressed that the legislative arm will continue to offer its support.

He also assured that the cadets will be engaged by the government agencies in the state and they would be be gainfully employed, as a way of reducing the rate of unemployment.

 

Chibok Girls: Presidency Labels Release ‘A Show Of Faith’

Chibok Girls, Boko Haram, PresidencyNigeria’s Presidency has described the release of 21 out of the over 200 Chibok girls kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists as ‘a show of faith’ on the part of the insurgents.

Mr Femi Adesina, who is a spokesman for President Muhammadu Buhari, clears the air on the release which had triggered rumours that it was a swap deal between the Nigerian government and the terrorist group.

He told Channels Television on Friday that the development was a confidence building step that would lead to bigger things.

“I have heard and read so much about what we gave and what we didn’t give.

“This is just a confidence building step that will lead to bigger things.

“In the past, there have been many of such meetings that would have led to releases but along the line, discussions broke down.

“Maybe they (the terrorists) trust the (new) process and they believe that they do this as a show of their trust and faith and believe.

“For now, what we have been told is that there was no swap and the girls were released just as a show of faith, a confidence building measure and I think it is good enough for us to believe,” he said.

“Many More Releases”

Mr Adesina asserted that there would be more releases, describing the freedom of the 21 girls as a giant leap for humanity.

“As we have been told, this is just one step which I will also call a giant leap for humanity.

“You can be sure that there will be many more releases and as many of the girls that are alive would definitely return to their parents,” he said.

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Some of the rescued Chibok girls

End Of Insurgency

The President’s spokesman says the government is winning the war against the dreaded insurgents, stressing that they have been largely degraded.

“They used to attack army formations, police formations, schools (and) different types of target but they don’t do that anymore because their capacity to do that has been largely degraded.

“I think a lot of progress has been made (and) we can simply say we are at the end of this insurgency and this is just the mopping up process,” said Adesina on Sunrise Daily.

At least 200 girls were abducted by the Boko Haram terrorists from their hostels at the Government Secondary School, Chibok in Borno State on April 14, 2014.

In the heat of the over six-year insurgency, Borno State, in northeast Nigeria became a strong hold of the dreaded insurgents.

Since the abduction of the girls, pressure has been mounted on the Federal Government to rescue them, including demands for a swap with members of Boko Haram in detention.

After much push for the girls’ release, 21 of them were freed on Thursday.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, confirmed the release of the 21 girls.

recession
Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, confirmed the release of 21 Chibok girls

He stated categorically that the release was not a swap, but was achieved through the collaborative efforts of the security agencies, a friendly European country and a renowned International Humanitarian Organisation.

In their reaction, the #BringBackBackOurGirls Campaign Group welcomed news of the release of the Chibok girls while praising the military for the efforts so far.

The group said in a statement that the “wonderful development” confirmed what was known about the effort of the government to rescue the Chibok girls.

They added that while they await further details, they salute the work of Nigeria’s security services at the front lines and the tireless efforts of members of the Multi-National Joint Task Force and the Civilian JTF.

Chibok Girls’ Release Not A Swap Deal – FG

Boko Haram, Swap Deal, Chibok GirlsThe Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has confirmed the release of 21 girls out of the over 200 school girls abducted from the Government Secondary School, Chibok in April 2014.

The Minister, at a press conference in Abuja stated that the Federal Government secured the release of girls through the collaborative efforts of the security agencies, a friendly European country and a renowned international humanitarian organisation.

The Minister also debunked the reports that four Boko Haram members were released in exchange for the girls’ release.

He said that the release secured by the government was based on confidence and not a swap arrangement with the terrorists group.

“This is not a swap. This was a release which was effected because over time, we succeeded in confidence building.

“This particular release is significant because it’s just a first step in what we believe will lead to the eventual release of all our girls in custody. It is significant also because we have been able to establish more than ever before a confidence in both the leadership of Boko Haram and Nigerians.

“I am not aware of any monetary transaction,” he said.

The names of the girls has been release by the Office of the Vice President, after his visit to the girls at the SSS hospital in Abuja.

Carrot and Stick

The Minister also clarified if the military action against the Boko Haram would seize owing to the release of the girls.

“When you are fighting insurgency, it’s a combination of carrot and stick.‎ The release of these girls does not mean the end to military operations. But it could mean a new phase in the conduct of the war against terror,” he said.

Presidential Spokesman, Garba Shehu, on Thursday, confirmed the release of the 21 Chibok girls.

He said that the release of the girls, in a limited number, was the outcome of negotiations between the Nigerian government and the Boko Haram, brokered by the International Red Cross and the Swiss Government.

The Federal Government had since the abduction of the over 200 school girls in 2014 tried several options to secure their release, including the use of military force and negotiations with the Boko Haram group.

President Buhari had in August agreed to the idea of swapping Boko Haram prisoners for the Chibok girls.

However, that was on the condition that the group should be able to list those they wanted released and then come out to discuss with the Federal Government.

 

#BBOG Group Praises Military Over Release Of 21 Chibok Girls

BBOG, Military, Ezekwesili, #BBOG, Oby Ezekwesili, Chibok GirlsThe #BringBackBackOurGirls Campaign Group has welcomed news of the release of the Chibok girls while praising the military for the efforts so far.

In a statement jointly signed by co-conveners of the movement, Oby Ezekwesili and Aisha Yesufu, the group said that the “wonderful development” confirms what it has always known about the activity of the government to rescue the Chibok girls.

The group said that while it awaits further details, it salutes the work of the nation’s security services at the front lines: its commitment, resilience and tireless efforts of the members of the Multi-National Joint Task Force and the Civilian JTF.

The group also thanked the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Swiss government and all negotiators involved in securing the release.

It, however, urged the international community to continue to support the government’s effort to rescue all other abducted Nigerians, so that parents, the Chibok community, the nation, and the world at large can finally put an end to the nightmare once and for all.

The Spokesman for the President on Thursday, confirmed that 21 out of the Chibok girls kidnapped by the Boko Haram militants, have been released.

 

21 Chibok Girls Released From Boko Haram Clutches

chibok girls, boko haramThe Spokesman for Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, has confirmed that 21 out of the Chibok girls kidnapped by the Boko Haram militants, have been released.

According to a statement by Garba Shehu, (the President’s Spokesman), the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Lawal Daura, has already briefed President Muhammadu Buhari on the development.

He said that the release of the girls, in a limited number, is the outcome of negotiations between the administration and the Boko Haram, brokered by the International Red Cross and the Swiss Government.

Chibok girls,
Boko Haram Leader carrying out a mock interview with one of the girls in a third video

The statement added that the President welcomes the release of the girls but cautioned Nigerians to be mindful of the fact that more than 30,000 fellow citizens were killed via terrorism.

The DSS DG told the President that he wanted the girls to have some rest, as all of them have returned very tired as a result of the rescue process, before he hands them over to the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

Sources close to the Borno state government told Channels Television that some girls were brought to the Air Force Hospital in Maiduguri.

The girls are said to be undergoing screening to determine their state of health as well as their profile.

Incident Occurred 

On April 14, 2014, over 200 girls were abducted from their hostels at Government Secondary School, Chibok in Borno state.

In the heat of the over six-year insurgency, Borno State, in northeast Nigeria became a strong hold of the Boko Haram.

Since the abduction of the girls, pressure has been mounted on the Federal Government to rescue them, including demands for a swap with members of Boko Haram in detention.

UNGA

Although it is yet to be confirmed if an actual swap took place, the news is coming shortly after President Buhari agreed to the idea of swapping Boko Haram prisoners for the Chibok girls in August.

However, that was on the condition that the group should be able to list those they wanted released and then come out to discuss with the Federal Government.

At the recently concluded 70th United Nations General Assembly in New York, the President reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to rescuing the girls.

In his address, he stated that “one of our major aims is to rescue the Chibok girls alive and unharmed”.

The girls’ abduction had raised a world-wide condemnation including the UN Secretary General Ban ki Moon and U.S First Lady Michelle Obama, culminating in the formation of the group, #BringBackOurGirls, that have been at the forefront of pushing for the release of the girls.

Amina_State_HouseOne of the abducted girls, Aminat Ali Nkeki was rescued in May 2016 during a raid on Sambisa forest by the military.

 

 

Proof of Life

Also in August, the terrorist group Boko Haram released a ‘proof of life’ video of the girls.

This was the third in a series of videos released by the group.

The Video showed a gun-toting insurgent, carrying out a mock interview with one of the girls, who is being prompted to ask the government to release imprisoned Boko Haram fighters in return for the girls’ freedom.

Another scene in the video also showed bodies on the ground, which in attempts to spur government reaction, the group claimed were bodies of girls killed by military airstrikes.

The military in reaction to this, countered the claims of the group that about 40 of the girls had been killed in airstrikes during a bombardment by the Air-Force.

Commander of the counter-insurgency war, Major General Lucky Irabor said “It’s only a matter of common sense that those dead bodies shown on the ground there do not even give indication as to the claim which Boko Haram gave,”

The military then warned the outlawed Boko Haram group that they would be punished for killing the girl.

 

Syrian Militant Leader Dies In Air Strike

syria, militant leader killed, air strikesA Syrian rebel group says, a senior commander of the militant group formerly known as Al-Nusra front, has been killed.

The rebel group which tweeted that commander Abu Omar Sarakeb, died in an air strike, in Aleppo province, did not state which country’s forces had carried out the air strike.

However, a U.S defense official, confirmed that the U.S targeted and killed the Islamic group leader, as the Syrian government, Russia and a US-led coalition have all been carrying out air strikes against militant groups in Syria.

A source also stated that Abu Omar Sarakeb and others had been targeted in a hideout in the village of Kafr Naha, west of Aleppo city.

Al-Nusra which was formerly known as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, changed its name at the end of July and reportedly cut ties with Al-Qaeda at the same time.

The group is one of the most powerful Jihadist rebel groups and has been fighting the Syrian government since early 2012.

It appears that the death of Abu Omar Sarakeb who was a prominent leader in the Islamic state, will deprive the militant group of the man in charge of directing attacks overseas.

The group in reaction, stated in it’s newspaper Al-naba, that his death would not harm it, and his killers would face torment.

“Today, they rejoice for the killing.. and then they will cry much when Allah will overpower them, with His permission, with affliction of the worst torment by the soldiers of Abu Muhammad and his brothers,” the statement said.

Retired Air Force Personnel Urged To Support Terror Fight

Nigerian Air ForceRetired officers and personnel of the Nigerian Air Force have been urged to contribute immensely to the ongoing war against insurgents.

The Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, made the appeal in a key note address while representing President Muhammadu Buhari at the Nigerian Air Force reunion held in Benue State.

General Olonisakin asked the retired military officers to join in finding solutions to Nigeria’s security challenges through their vast experience.

He reminded them of the importance to always remain in contact with their constituency and share their valuable experience to move the nation forward.

In his remarks, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, restated his commitment to re-positioning the Air Force and placing it on a glorious path.

The event tagged ‘Re-uniting for Enhanced Service Delivery and Operational Effectiveness’, featured numerous contributions in shaping the expansion and growth of the Nigerian Air Force.

The ceremony also witnessed the winging of 23 pilots into the Nigerian Air Force, as part of the leadership human capacity development through robust and result oriented training for enhanced professional performance.