Group Calls For Verification Of Military Operations

Bring-Back-Our-girlsThe Bring Back Our Girls Campaign group in Nigeria has asked the military to designate independent journalists as part of its contingents within the Multi-national Joint Task Force, to ensure third party independently verified accounts of the war against insurgency and terrorism in the nation’s north-east.

This call formed part of the group’s second week brief on the monitoring initiative, which they said was set to help entrench accountability and improved performance in the on-going counter insurgency operations.

The campaigners, who said they fully support the on-going offensive which is expected to quell insurgency in Nigeria, also requested that the military publish the list of towns and communities still under the control of the Boko Haram insurgents, to enhance Nigerians’ appreciation of the reclamation victories made by the soldiers.

They had earlier expressed hopes that the heightened counter-terrorism offensive by the military against the terrorist group in Nigeria’s north-east, would lead to the rescue of the over 200 schoolgirls kidnapped last year in Chibok in Borno State.

They observed that the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshall Alex Badeh had, not long after the girls were kidnapped, said that the military knew where the girls were.

The House of Representatives in Nigeria, on the other hand, had also commended the military on its recent victories that led to reclaiming of some communities in the north-east region previously under the control of the Boko Haram terrorist group.

Lawmakers, who spoke on the matter, encouraged the troops to sustain the offensive and help ensure that other areas under the control of the insurgents would also be reclaimed.

The Director, Defence Information, Major-General Chris Olukolade said in a statement that the Nigerian military backed by air strikes, recaptured the town of Baga in Borno State, north-east Nigeria from the Islamist group Boko Haram.

He also noted that Apart from the 5 anti aircraft guns and the rifles captured from the terrorists, over 34 motorcycles and 5 vehicles including trucks being used for operations by the terrorists were destroyed in the course of the fighting as troops headed for Baga.

The Defence Spokesperson further noted that “similar exercise is being carried out in over 15 locations namely Gajigana, Ngaze, Ngenzai, Marte Junction, Mile 90, Yoyo, Kekeno, Kukawa, Cross Kauwa, Kangarwa, Amirari, Kichimatari, Borokari Barati, Kauwa and other localities where troops have flushed out the terrorists in the operations preceding the entry to Baga.

“The troops are now dominating and conducting aggressive patrols in the locations”, he added, insisting that the “morale of troops remain high”.

The Nigerian Military also said it was updating tactics against the Boko Haram Sect, with the addition of 260 Aerospace Engineers that graduated from the Nigerian Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) in Kaduna State to the Air Force.

Reps Commend Military For ‘Gallant Performance’ In Nigeria’s North-east

war against Boko HaramThe House of Representatives in Nigeria has commended the military on its recent victories that have led to reclaiming of some communities in the north-east region previously under the control of the Boko Haram terrorist group.

A member of the House, Honourable Muhammad Monguno, of the All Progressive Congress, in a motion of urgent national importance on Tuesday, praised the military for its bravery and steadfastness in what he described as “the gallant performance of the Nigerian Armed Forces”.

Lawmakers, who spoke on the matter, encouraged the troops to sustain the offensive and help ensure that other areas under the control of the insurgents would also be reclaimed.

Nigerian Army Reclaim Baga

Terrorist Vehicle
A terrorists vehicle set ablaze by troops

One of the major recent victories recorded by the Nigerian Armed Forces was the reclaiming of Baga town in Borno State in Nigeria’s north-east from the Boko Haram.

The reclaiming of the town was a fallout of the the Nigerian military counter-terrorism operation, backed by air strikes.

According to the spokesman for the military, Major General Chris Olukolade, the town was reclaimed on Saturday.

He also noted that Apart from the five anti aircraft guns and the rifles captured from the terrorists, over 34 motorcycles and five vehicles including trucks being used for operations by the terrorists were destroyed in the course of the fighting as troops headed for Baga.

“A large number of terrorists have drowned in the Lake Chad as they fled the heavy bombardment by Nigerian Air force heralding the advance of Nigerian troops on mission to flush them out of Baga.

“All the landmines were skillfully cleared one after the other. Eventually, the resistance of the terrorists collapsed and the land forces finally stormed the town in the early hours of Friday.

“Many of the terrorists died while an unknown but substantial number of them fled with various degrees of injury, in the series of encounter along the routes of advance, as troops headed for Baga”, he maintained.

Major-General Chris Olukolade- military
Major-General Chris Olukolade

The Defence Spokesperson further noted that “similar exercise is being carried out in over 15 locations namely Gajigana, Ngaze, Ngenzai, Marte Junction, Mile 90, Yoyo, Kekeno, Kukawa, Cross Kauwa, Kangarwa, Amirari, Kichimatari, Borokari Barati, Kauwa and other localities where troops have flushed out the terrorists in the operations preceding the entry to Baga.

“The troops are now dominating and conducting aggressive patrols in the locations”, he added, insisting that the “morale of troops remain high”.

The Nigerian Military also said it was updating tactics against the Boko Haram Sect, with the addition of 260 Aerospace Engineers that graduated from the Nigerian Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) in Kaduna State to the Air Force.

Military Releases Video Of Boko Haram Enclaves’ Air Bombardment

Boko Haram terrorists fighting vehicles destroyed by troopsThe military in Nigeria has released a video of air bombardment of the enclaves of the members of the Boko Haram terrorist group in the north-east, as it continues operations to reclaim areas under the control of the terrorists.

The video released on Monday showed people running in different directions and the aerial bombardment of a community believed to be the hideout of members of the sect.

Spokesman for the military, Major General Chris Olukolade, said the Air Force had stepped up air operations, having identified targets in Gwoza, Bama and Sambisa forest, preparatory to other phases of the mission.

He said: “The air strikes had been successful as they achieved the aims, hitting vital targets with required precision forcing the terrorists to scamper for safety”.

Return Of Residents

Residents of communities in the area had fled the region, seeking refuge in neighbouring countries. Some are at displaced persons’ camps in Abuja, the nation’s capital and some other camps in some states in the north.

Some of the displaced persons in Abuja camp had expressed joy, over the military efforts to decimate the terrorists and reclaim the communities under their country, but they are afraid to return to their communities, saying the terrorists may return.

But Major General Olukolade said the troops were focusing on consolidation of the security of the area to pave way for return of residents.

On Sunday, a group campaigning for the rescue of the over 200 girls abducted on April 14 from their secondary school’s dormitory in Chibok asked the military to substantiate the report of its victory in the ongoing multinational counter insurgency, with video footage that will authenticate such reports.

The Bring Back Our Girls campaigners told a news conference in Abuja on that conflicting reports and lack of evidence had often trailed the claims by the military.

The group said: “while we fully supports the efforts by the military and government’s renewed commitment to decimate the insurgents through the Multinational Joint Task Force, there is the need to ensure that real progress is being made to bring back peace to the north-eastern part of Nigeria”.

While the group lauded government’s efforts, they raised issues such as the delay in commencing this offensive and the continued suggestion from some quarters that the kidnap of the girls and the campaign for their rescue were scams.

Military Arrests Terrorists Disguised As Women In Baga

One of the terrorist suspects disguised as a womanThe intensified efforts by the military in the mission to clear terrorists from all territories under their control in Nigeria’s north-east yielded positive results on Monday, as some terrorists disguised as women have been arrested.

The arrests were made after a cordon-and-search was  declared in Baga town in Borno State, north-east while the military also discovered arms, especially bombs, hidden in various locations, within the area.

A spokesman for the military, Major General Chris Olukolade, said that apart from the terrorists captured in the course of fighting, many others hiding in the town, were arrested and “troops are busy interrogating the suspects”.

Meanwhile, in furtherance of the mission to clear terrorists from all their enclaves by the military, the Nigerian Air Force had also stepped up its air bombardment of identified targets in Gwoza, Bama and Sambisa forest, preparatory to other phases of the mission.

“The air strikes had been highly successful as they achieved the aim, hitting vital targets with required precision.

A terrorists vehicle set ablaze by troops
A truck belonging to the terrorist group, Boko Haram, destroyed by the military

“Terrorists are now in disarray as they scamper to escape from the impact of air bombardment of their locations in the forest.

“Having successfully liberated Baga where the terrorists had been marauding, the troops’ attention has now been focused on consolidation of security of the area to pave way for return of citizens,” Major General Olukolade said in a statement.

After the Nigerian military, backed by air strikes, recaptured the town of Baga from the Boko Haram sect, Major General Olukolade said five anti aircraft guns and the rifles, over 34 motorcycles and five vehicles including trucks being used for operations by the terrorists were destroyed in the course of the fighting.

The Defence spokesman further noted that “counter-terrorism operations were being carried out in over 15 locations – Gajigana, Ngaze, Ngenzai, Marte Junction, Mile 90, Yoyo, Kekeno, Kukawa, Cross Kauwa, Kangarwa, Amirari, Kichimatari, Borokari Barati, Kauwa.

Baga is situated at Nigeria’s border with Chad, Niger and Cameroon and is the headquarters of a Multi National Joint Task Force comprising troops from all four countries.

cache of arms recovered
Arms recovered by the military from members of the Boko Haram terrorist group terrorising communities in Nigeria’s north-east.

The Nigerian Military had said it was updating tactics against the Boko Haram Sect, with the addition of 260 Aerospace Engineers that graduated from the Nigerian Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), Kaduna State to the Air Force.

As the onslaught against the insurgents in the northeast gathers momentum, there are indications that the Nigerian military is directing efforts towards capturing the leader of the Boko Haram sect alive.

To this end, troops are said to have been placed on high alert to apprehend Abubakar Shekau, who is reported to be desperately trying to escape from the area.

The military is believed to have resolved to take Shekau alive to put an end to insinuations of the invincibility of the militant leader, especially against past announcements of his demise by the military, which turned out not to have been accurate.

Fleeing Boko Haram Fighters Drown In Lake Chad

Boko_Haram_Gombe_AttackA large number of Boko Haram terrorists drowned in the Lake Chad as they fled the heavy bombardment by Nigerian Air force, a military official said on Sunday.

A spokesman for the military, Major General Chris Olukolade, in a statement, confirmed the incident.

He said that the insurgents had buried land mines in over 1,500 spots on the routes leading to the town.

Olukolade said all the landmines were skillfully cleared one after the other.

“The mining of the grounds could not save the terrorists from the aggressive move of advancing troops.

“A large number of terrorists have drowned in the Lake Chad as they fled the heavy bombardment by Nigerian Air force heralding the advance of Nigerian troops on mission to flush them out of Baga.

“Not even the strategy of over 1,500 spots with landmines on the routes leading to the town could save the terrorists from the aggressive move of advancing troops,” he said.

Major General Olukolade also made known, the victory of the troops, confirming that the operation left many of the Boko Haram members dead and a substantial number of them injured.

“Many of the terrorists died while an unknown but substantial number of them fled with various degrees of injury, in the series of encounter along the routes of advance of the troops headed for Baga,” Olukolade emphasised.

The Defence spokesman further said that apart from the five anti-aircraft guns and the rifles that were recovered from the Boko Haram  terrorists, over 34 motorcycles and five vehicles including trucks being used for operations by the terrorists were destroyed in the course of the fighting, as troops headed for Baga.

According to him, the troops began clearing the terrorists on arrival in the town early Saturday morning.

Olukolade said a comprehensive cordon and search phase of military operation had started to enable troops mop-up arms and ammunition and also arrest any terrorist who might be hiding in the vicinity.

The exercise would determine details of the victims inflicted or incurred in the course of the operations to clear Baga and environs of Boko Haram terrorists.

“The troops are now dominating and conducting aggressive patrols in the locations. The morale of troops remain high,” he confirmed.

The Defence spokesman stressed that similar exercise was carried out in over 15 locations namely Gajigana, Yoyo, Kekeno, Cross Kauwa, Kangarwa, Amirari, Kichimatari, Borokari Barati, Kukawa, Ngaze, Ngenzai, Marte Junction, Mile 90, Kauwa and other localities, where troops have flushed out the terrorists in the operations before the entry to Baga.

Operations In Northeast Nigeria Yielding Results – Military

NigeriaDefence Spokesman, Major-General Chris Olukolade, says ongoing operations are beginning to yield the desired results from communities in Adamawa and Mongonu in Borno State.

Speaking on the ongoing operations in northeast Nigeria, he told Channels Television that coordinated assaults and counter operations are going on from all sides in collaboration with the Joint Task Force to ensure that normal sociopolitical and economy activities are restored in the country.

He said that this has been the focus before the polls and will continue during the polls and after, to ensure that the enemies of the state do not interfere with state activities.

Gombe Attack

The Defence Headquarters also says security forces have repelled an attack by Boko Haram militants on Gombe, the capital of Gombe State, in north eastern Nigeria.

Heavily armed members of the sect were said to have overwhelmed a security checkpoint at the outskirts of the city, before moving in to attack an Army barracks there.

The Police Spokesman in Gombe State, Fwaji Atajiri, told Channels Television that the militants threw grenade into the Army facility, which exploded and set off an inferno, but no casualty figure was reported.

Residents were said to have fled the area to escape the violence after they heard sound of heavily artillery.

However, Defence Spokesman, Major-General Chris Olukolade, said troops have successfully beat back the terrorists and pursuit has continued to ensure that they are effectively removed from the state.

Olukolade confirmed that the attacks were used to distribute materials aimed at causing voter apathy amongst Nigerians resident in the state.

Boko Haram militants have launched several attacks on Gombe city in recent times but has not been able to establish any foothold in the state.

West African Allied Forces

The West African Allied Forces led by the Nigerian military, supported by Chad, Niger and Cameroon, on Thursday stormed the Sambisa Forest in Borno State, which has been said to be the base of the Boko Haram insurgents, killing a good number of them.

The forest is widely believed to host some of the training camps and facilities of Boko Haram in the North-East.

It was learnt that the military high command decided to invade the vast forest in order to make the North-West safe for the general elections.

Nigeria’s electoral body, the National Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) had postponed the country’s general elections, originally scheduled for February 2015, by six weeks at the request of the military to enable it improve the security situation in the northeast region before elections are conducted.

The President of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, on Friday reassured the international community of his determination to recover all the territories in the hand of Boko Haram as this was important for the presidential elections to be conducted peacefully in those areas.

According to the President, the military’s request was not an indication that Boko Haram would be completely wiped out but all the states in the north-east still in the hands of the Boko Haram terror group would be cleaned up to enable people in those areas to exercise their democratic rights.

Jonathan Gives Assurance Boko Haram Will Be Defeated

Boko HaramPresident Goodluck Jonathan has reassured the international community of his determination to recover all the territories in the hand of Boko Haram.

He said that this was important so that the presidential elections could be conducted peacefully in those areas.

The President, who was speaking at a cocktail in honour of diplomats and high commissioners in Nigeria, commended the collaboration with other countries in the fight against terror, promising to win the war decisively.

He also spoke on the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to postpone the general elections by six weeks.

The President said that what has happened was an adjustment in dates within the constitution which would not in any way affect the inauguration of a new government.

According to the President, the issue is not that Boko Haram would be completely wiped out but all those states in the north-east still in the hands of the Boko Haram terror group would be cleaned up to enable people in those areas to exercise their democratic rights.

“The security people are not saying that they must wipe out Boko Haram before election could be conducted.

“There are Boko Haram related security issues and there other security issues that were noticed over the period of campaign which if we don’t prepare properly and modify the security architecture we normally use for elections the country may go into flames.

“For now about three states are in the enclave of Boko Haram where conducting elections may be difficult but this period will give them the opportunity to clean up the three states,” the President said.

He added, “Elections will be conducted as scheduled and on the 29th of May there will be an inauguration of a President for this country.”

The West African Allied Forces led by the Nigerian military, supported by Chad, Niger and Cameroon, on Thursday stormed the Sambisa Forest in Borno State, killing a good number of the Boko Haram insurgents.

Coordinator of the National Information Centre (NIC), Mr Mike Omeri, had revealed that the Nigerian military forces have been fully mobilised and deployed against the insurgents, who are being chased and roundly subdued.

Addressing a news conference in Abuja on Thursday, Omeri advised members of the public to exercise a high level of vigilance and also support the effort of the military to ensure hitch-free elections and a return to normalcy in the North East.

West African Allied Forces Invade Sambisa Forest

West_African_Allied_ForcesThe West African Allied Forces led by the Nigerian military, supported by Chad, Niger and Cameroon, on Thursday stormed the Sambisa Forest in Borno State, killing a good number of insurgents.

A top military source told Channels Television that the air forces bombarded the insurgents, before ground forces moved in and incapacitated the insurgents.

Already the insurgents have been pushed out of Gamboru which lies on the Nigerian border with Cameroon.

At the moment, the military, have crossed into the eastern fringe of Borno State, targeting other areas under Boko Haram control.

The forest is widely believed to host some of the training camps and facilities of Boko Haram in the North-East.

It was learnt that the military high command decided to invade the vast forest in order to make the North-West safe for the general elections.

The National Information Centre (NIC), had on Thursday said it has received intelligence reports indicating a considerable movement of Boko Haram recruits from locations such as Geidam, Mairi and Dupcha (all in Borno State) to training camps within the general area.

Addressing a news conference in Abuja, Coordinator of the Centre, Mr Mike Omeri, said that previous major attacks by insurgents, including the siege on Bama and Monguno military bases, were preceded by such massing up of fighters in training camps within the proposed targets.

Mr Omeri, however, added that the Nigerian military forces have been fully mobilised and deployed against the insurgents, who are being chased and roundly subdued.

He advised members of the public to exercise a high level of vigilance and also support the effort of the military to ensure hitch-free elections and a return to normalcy in the North East.

“We urge the public to exercise a high level of vigilance and support the military to ensure hitch-free elections and a return to normalcy in the general area, soonest.

“We also seize this opportunity to restate government’s commitment to keeping the country and its citizens safe from those who seek to destroy the nation,” he said.

Mr Omeri also called on the civil society organisations and politicians to refrain from “disruptive and inciting statements”.