Kaduna Dep. Gov Commends War Against Terrorism

barnabas-bala-bantexThe Deputy Governor of Kaduna state, Bala Bantex, has commended President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigerian military for the successful capture of the last stronghold of Boko Haram terrorists in Sambisa forest in Borno state.

In a Christmas message he sent to the President and Governor Nasir El-Rufai, Mr Bantex commends the President for his determination and encouragement to the Armed Forces by providing them with the necessary logistics to execute the anti-terrorism war in the northeast within the short  period he came into office.

He said that the final onslaught against the Boko Haram insurgents at ‘camp zero’, which is located deep within the heart of Sambisa forest, was the best Christmas gift for the people of northeast and Nigerians in general.

He added that the social life that has returned to Borno state and other parts of the region is a manifestation of triumph of light over darkness.

Bantex, while commending the military for the success, also expressed optimism that with President’s Buhari’s promise to locate two military formations in the southern part of Kaduna state, the incessant clashes between suspected herdsmen and the natives would soon be a thing of the past.

He gave the assurance that the APC government in Kaduna state under the leadership of Nasir El-Rufai would continue with its “Make Kaduna Great Agenda”, which is anchored on provision of basic infrastructure, improved welfare of civil servants and ensuring of security of lives and property of the citizens of the state.

He called on all Nigerians irrespective of their tribal or religious differences to embrace the peace, love and tolerance in commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ who came to the world to redeem mankind.

Don’t Place Profits Above Security Needs, Buhari Warns Telecom Companies

muhammadu buhariPresident Muhammadu Buhari has urged telecommunication companies operating in Nigeria not to place their desire for huge profits above the security needs of the country.

In a statement by the President’s spokesperson, the President said that telecommunication companies operating in Nigeria must adhere to the rules and guidelines of the Nigerian Communications Commission in this regard.

He made the statement, remarking that the registration of all mobile phone users without exception would help the security agencies to pre-empt terrorist attacks.

“Deadly Blows”

President Buhari was speaking at an interactive forum with members of the Nigerian Community in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

He stressed that the war against terrorism could only be won with collective effort and a commitment by all stakeholders to work in unison to halt the scourge.

President Buhari further assured the gathering that his administration would deal decisively with the seeming resurgence of oil theft, pipeline vandalism and insecurity in the Niger Delta.

Declaring that the Nigerian Armed Forces had already dealt “deadly blows” on Boko Haram, the President said that the activities of oil thieves and vandals would soon be brought to an end.

“The oil thieves and abductors are a less problematic target. We will re-organise and deal with them”, he said.

President Buhari assured Nigerians at the interactive session that his administration’s war against corruption would continue to be vigorously pursued.

The President pledged that more persons, who have abused the public trust, would be exposed and brought to justice soon.

He emphasised his administration’s commitment to re-establishing former standards of accountability and probity in the management of public funds which were jettisoned under past administrations.

The President appealed for more patience and understanding from Nigerians, as his administration takes steps to safeguard the economy from the shock of falling oil prices.

“In the face of our new economic reality of dwindling oil prices, there are a number of things we can really do without, to preserve our economy.

“We must develop the capacity to feed ourselves and we should be spending our resources on real development projects, not luxuries,” he stressed.

Information Minister Asks Police To Occupy Liberated Northeast Zones

PoliceThe Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, has asked the Police to occupy and protect liberated territories in Nigeria’s northeast.

The Minister made the statement on Tuesday during a working visit to the Police Headquarters in Abuja, the oil-rich nation’s capital.

He appealed to the Police High Command to make use of its large network and investigative capacity to protect soft targets being attacked by Boko Haram terrorists.

Mr Mohammed emphasised that it was important for Nigerians to support the war against terrorism, saying it was not a war meant for security agencies alone.

He stressed the need for effective collaboration to wipe out the decimated Boko Haram militants.

Responding to the Minister’s call, the Inspector General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase, assured Mr Mohammed that the Police would cooperate with the Ministry of Information and Culture.

He said the synergy between the Police and other stakeholders was expedient in view of the current national security challenges.

Mr Arase also pledged to enthrone a technology and intelligence-led policing to enable residents in the northeast sleep with their two eyes closed.

Boko Haram has carried out series of attacks in the northeast, taking hold of some communities which they later lost to the military that had intensified counter-terrorism operations in the region.

They are attempting to establish an Islamic State and end Western education in the region.

Nigeria’s Economy Diversification Remains A Priority – Buhari

buhariNigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday said that the country under his leadership will work more closely with other countries facing the challenges of falling oil prices.

He said the decision will help Nigeria to move away from dependence on crude oil exports for economic survival.

The President gave this assurance in Abuja while speaking with the new Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Nigeria, Mr Fahad Abdullah Sefyan.

He affirmed his administration’s commitment to faster development of Nigeria’s non-oil sectors, and the speedy diversification of the country’s economy.

President Buhari said ‘‘For more than 30 years, Nigeria has depended on oil as its major source of revenue at the expense of agriculture and the non-oil sector, which could be the mainstay of our economy.

“As oil exporting countries facing similar challenges due to the downturn in the international price of crude oil, we should be working closer together.

“Saudi Arabia has done excellently in manufacturing, building of infrastructure and exploration of solid minerals and I believe that greater bilateral cooperation between us in this regard will be mutually beneficial, Buhari told the new Ambassador of Saudi Arabia.

He also said that the Federal Government, in keeping with his commitment to the accelerated development of Nigeria’s non-oil sector, will ensure that all pending agreements on trade and economic relations with other countries are speedily concluded and signed.

The President, who also received the new Ambassador of Turkey, Mr Hakan Cakil and the new Ambassador of Sudan, Mr Ibrahim Bushra Mohammed, commended Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Sudan for their cooperation with Nigeria in the war against terrorism.

The President restated his conviction that the war against terrorism in Nigeria and other countries can only be won with greater and more effective international collaboration.

FG Will Effectively Support Military To Defeat Boko Haram – Buhari

militaryNigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has implored the nation’s military officers to be mindful of their actions by taking into cognizance, the religious and ethnic sensitiveness of the country in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgents in the northeast, and other criminal elements across the country.

He made this call to officers of Senior Course 37 during their graduation ceremony on Friday at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC), Jaji, Kaduna State.

President Buhari, who was represented by his Vice, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, said that the Federal Government under his leadership, will do everything possible to equip the military and other security forces to effectively dislodge the Boko Haram insurgents in the region.

The President also gave an assurance that his administration will use all legitimate means at its disposal to end the menace of deadly attacks by the terrorist group in the region.

A total of 174 students comprising of 70 Army officers, 43 Navy, 31 Air Force officers, 21 allied officers from some West African countries and 9 paramilitary personnel, enrolled for the course on July 30 2014.

According to Commandant of the college, Air Vice Marshal John-Chris Ifemeje, the high number of international students that have enrolled in the college strengthens the idea of African brotherliness and regional cooperation which were necessary for the security of the continent.

The Vice President lauded men of the Armed Forces for the bold and courageous steps taken so far in the ongoing war against terror.

Osinbajo also reminded the officers to make good use of the skills and knowledge they have acquired from the college, as most of them would be deployed in crisis-prone areas within or outside the country.

He urged them to remain apolitical and neutral while discharging their constitutional roles at all times.

The AFCSC was established to offer increased capacity for academic and professional training of military officers and other ranks of the Nigerian Armed Forces.

Since its inception in 1976, the college has graduated a total of 3,060 officers, including officers drawn from 28 African countries and other paramilitary agencies.

Military Says Assault On Boko Haram Will Continue Despite Threats

Nigeria military Fighting Boko HaramThe Nigerian military has given strong assurance of securing the nation against terrorists’ attacks, during and after the general elections.

This comes as the Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, released a video online, threatening to disrupt the general elections rescheduled for March 28 and April 11.

“No Matter The Threats”

In the video, Shekau said: “This election will not be held even if we are dead. Even if we are not alive Allah will never allow you to do it”.

But the Director of Defence Information, Major General Chris Olukolade, told Channels Television on Wednesday that military operations against the sect in the north-east would continue “no matter the threats”.

He played up success of the military in Monguno and other towns in Borno state as proof of Nigeria’s determination to quash the Boko Haram sect.

Troops in a military operation spearheaded by highly coordinated air assaults on Monday completed the mission of clearing terrorists from Monguno in Borno State and environs, a military official said.

The spokesman for the military, Major General Chris Olukolade, in a statement said a number of the Boko Haram terrorists were captured in the course of the operation on Monday morning.

Major General Olukolade further said that truck loads of rice, beans and other logistics meant for resupply to the Boko Haram terrorists operating around Baga were also captured.

“Casualty inflicted and arms recovered as well as other outcome of the operation in Monguno, Marte and other communities already secured, will be determined after the ongoing cordon and search in the environs,” the statement read.

Nigeria’s General election earlier scheduled to hold on February 14 and 28 was postponed by the Independent national Electoral Commission (INEC) on February 7, with the electoral body saying it was advised by security chiefs to shift the election to enable the military secure towns in the north-east before the elections.

The INEC chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega, said that the military had warned that it would not guarantee the safety of lives and property in the volatile region if elections were held as scheduled.

The sect have continued to terrorise communities in the north-east as it sought an Islamic state and an end to western education.

Meanwhile, nearby Gombe State has remained under a 24 hour curfew, after the military repelled an attack by Boko Haram over the weekend.

No casualty figures have been released, but the military says it was a major victory against the insurgents.

War On Terror: Jonathan Welcomes Greater Support From Nigeria’s Neighbours

JonathanPresident Goodluck Jonathan, on Friday, in Abuja, welcomed the greater support for the war against terrorism from Nigeria’s neighbours.

Speaking at an audience with Mr. Emmanuel Issoze Ngondet, a Special Envoy of President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon, President Jonathan applauded the renewed and heightened commitment of Niger, Chad, Benin Republic and Cameroon to joining forces with Nigeria to rid the West African Sub-Region of the scourge of terrorism and violent extremism.

Reiterating his view that terrorist attacks on one country must be seen as an affront to all civilized nations, the President called for an even stronger and more effective regional, continental and global alliance against terrorism and its perpetrators.

“Boko Haram and similar terrorist groups kill people indiscriminately hiding under religious beliefs that are not found in any of the Holy Books. They do not represent any civilized and rational people. Civilized and rational people of the world who are in the clear majority must therefore join forces to confront and defeat them,” President Jonathan said.

The President thanked President Ondimba for Gabon’s pledge to support Nigeria’s fight against insurgency. He assured him of Nigeria’s total commitment to prosecuting the war against terrorism to a successful conclusion.

Gabon’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ngondet, said that Gabon welcomed the decision to form a multinational force that will confront terrorism.

He said that Gabon shared Nigeria’s position that Boko Haram’s activities have no basis in religion and assured President Jonathan of the support of his country and others in the Central African sub-region in fighting terrorism.

Suspected Boko Haram Members Kill Six, Burn Houses In Borno

boko-haram-2Suspected members of the Islamist group, Boko Haram, have attacked Shafa, Tiraku and Shindiffu communities of Hawul Local Government Areas of Borno State, killing six residents and burning down Churches and some residential homes.

It was a severe attack on Thursday on Shaffa, a farming and commercial community that is 232 kilometres south of Maiduguri, the state’s capital.

Hawul Local Government Area is situated some twenty kilometers away from Biu Local Government Area of the state located on a plateau which has a military barracks in the area.

The caretaker chairman of Hawul Local Government Area (LGA), Dr. Andrew Malgwi, confirmed the incident to Channels Television on Friday.

He said that the hoodlums, who stormed the three communities in the early hours of Thursday, burnt down all churches within those villages.

“Shaffa town, Shindiffu and Tiraku villages of Hawul LGA of Borno State were attacked in the early hours of Thursday and all churches within these communities including major Christians homes were raised down,” the caretaker chairman alleged.

He also revealed that six people were confirmed killed in the three separate attacks which lasted for several hours.

Shaffa residents, however, said 20 people including a pastor and a teacher were killed during the assaults while eight Churches, a Health centre, six staff quarters of Government Girls Secondary School (GGSS) of the area and several other houses were burnt in an operation that lasted for over six hours.

The residents further said: “From beginning of August to date, the insurgents have continued to terrorised the villages of Tashan Alade, Hirzhi, Pela Birni, Debiro, Kwajaffa Bura, Jubwuwhi, Dalwa, Shaffa, Shindiffu among other communities in Hawul Local Government Area

“We have been experiencing this for long but it has become intense for the past two months as the sect has consistently attacked churches and houses mostly belonging to Christians, as the area is yet to have deployment of troops to safeguard our lives”.

The community called on the Federal Government to dislodge the terrorists camp established in their mountainous communities causing havoc on selected communities where Christians remained the main target of the insurgents.


Nigerian Army Chief Calls For Patience As Forces Fight Insurgency

lt.general-kenneth-minimahThe Chief of Army Staff in Nigeria, Lt-General Kenneth Minimah, has appealed to Nigerians to be patient with the military as they battle against Insurgency in the northeast.

General Minimah made the appeal at the Third Quarter Conference of the Chief of Army Staff held on Monday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

He announced that the Army was reappraising its strategies and operational tactics which would soon yield the desired result.

The event, according to the Chief of Policy and Plans of the Nigerian Army, General Jack Nwaogbo, was organised for the Army to reappraise itself and strategize its operations especially in the fight against terrorism.

The Chief of Army Staff gave assurances that the military was winning the war against terrorism, insisting that the terrorists’ activities would soon be a thing of the past.

He, however, warned the men of the Nigerian Army to stay clear of any act of indiscipline that would be capable of bringing the military to disrepute.

It is not the first time the Military is promising an end to insurgency, but Nigerians will only hope that the words of the Chief of Army Staff will come to pass in the shortest possible time, as the over four years insurgency has claimed over 10,000 lives.

Members of the Boko Haram terrorist group has carried out series of attacks on churches, mosques, schools and villages in Nigeria’s  northeast and some states in the central region, with one of the attacks on a village in Borno resulting in the abduction of over 200 girls from their school dormitory in the Government Girls Secondary School Chibok.

Since the girls were abducted on April 14, groups have called on security agencies and the Nigerian government to act fast and rescue the girls, but the military in May said it had identified the location of the girls and was planning their rescue to ensure there would not be casualties on the side of the girls.

Air Chief Marshall Alex Badeh told some protesters at the Defense Headquarters in Abuja on May 26 that the military was, however, not using force to rescue the kidnapped girls.

He said that the military had information on the location of the girls but would tread softly to get the students out.





Plateau Youths Urge FG To Re-double Fight Against Insurgency

Plateau YouthsSome youths in Plateau State, Nigeria’s north-central region have asked the Federal Government and security agencies to redouble their efforts in fighting insurgency, as youths are the most vulnerable group to the attacks.

Speaking on behalf of Youth Network for Peace and Good Governance in Jos, Mr. Aondoma Tor, appealed to security agents to also speed up the rescue mission of abducted students of Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State as the nation awaits positive result from the operation.

“We salute the actions of the little school girls in Chibok community, whom despite the carnage in Borno State, insisted on going to school to write their WAEC before they were abducted.

“The Federal Government must put together all resources within its power to ensure the safe release of the abducted school girls in Chibok.

“We call on the youths to provide support through information sharing and gathering for security personnel who try as much as they can to avoid further terror”, he said.

He also decried the state of unemployment in the country, which has left many graduates unable to afford a living. He noted that this situation makes it easy for the youths to become tools in the hands of politicians who intend to cause havoc.

He stated, “It is imperative that while the youths provide their own support and intelligence, the Federal Government must provide job opportunities to ensure that these youths are not distracted but rather are focused on empowering themselves and developing the community.”


Suspected Boko Haram Members Abduct 200 School Girls In Chibok

boko-haram-2Suspected members of the Boko Haram sect have abducted 200 students in a raid at a Girls Secondary School in Chibok, a town on the border between Borno and Adamawa States. 

The assault on the all-female high school took place on Monday night.

Witnesses said the gunmen, who came in Toyota Hilux vehicles and motorcycles, stormed the town and kept firing sporadic gunshots before setting ablaze several houses and shops.

It was also disclosed that the hoodlums carted away several bags of grains and other food items into waiting trucks and buses as residents fled into bushes and farmlands.

Residents also confirmed that the insurgents did not kill any resident or leaders in the town, but the female students were abducted and taken to unknown destination in the forest.

Report says members of the terrorist group killed a soldier guarding the school and inflicted injuries on several villagers before the heavily armed insurgents ordered the girls into a truck and took them away.

“The raid, which started at about 9:00pm, lasted for six hours.

The Police Commissioner in Borno State, Lawan Tanko, confirmed the kidnapping of the students and told the reporters that additional security agencies had been deployed to the area.

Residents of the area also told reporters that the militants burnt down 100 homes after some residents had tried to resist the raid.


House Of Reps Tasks UN On Post 2015 Development Agenda

Aminu-TambuwalThe speaker of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, has asked the United Nations to assist Nigeria in filling the resources gap required to achieve the post 2015 development agenda for the nation and the continent.

Mr Tambuwal made the appeal during a meeting on Thursday with the UN Deputy Secretary General, Jan Eliasson, in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

The lawmaker said that a combination of significant resources and financial development by most African countries, Nigeria inclusive, would hardly suffice for the kind of development required in the coming years.

“On 2015 elections, I would like to assure you and your delegation that the National Assembly is doing everything possible to achieve violence free and fair elections in Nigeria through amendment of the electoral laws,” Mr Tambuwal told Eliasson.

While commending the UN for its support to the Nigerian economy and Africa as a critical part of the African Union 2063 Strategy, Tambuwal, pointed out that the Nigerian parliament had played major roles in ensuring pro-poor policies that form the core focus of its activities.

Jan Eliasson reiterated the UN’s commitment to Nigeria’s fight against terrorism and insurgency experience in the north east, pledging that the UN will render necessary assistance to end insurgency in Nigeria’s north east.