Meanwhile, Governor Mai Mala Buni, in a statement, called for a full-scale investigation.
“His Excellency Governor Mai Mala Buni has been briefed about an incident in Damaturu yesterday in which a KEKE NAPEP rider with passengers was crushed by a military vehicle in an accident which claimed the lives of two persons.
“His Excellency has learned that one of the victims, Hussaina Baffa Bello was a pre-ND student of the Federal polytechnic Damaturu while the other fatality was a toddler.
“His Excellency Governor Buni has directed the office of the acting Secretary to the State Government to liaise with the military in order to have a full investigation and ascertain how the accident happened and how it could be avoided in the future.”
He stated that the Brigade Commander 27 Task Force Brigade, the Commanding Officer 233 Tank Battalion and officials of the State Government, are aware also and have visited and commiserated with the families of the victims.
Governor Buni also directed the State Ministry of Health and the Hospitals Management Board to ensure that those who sustained injuries are given access to free medical care.
Troops of 233 Battalion deployed in Operation Lafiya Dole have killed scores of Boko Haram insurgents while countering an ambush staged by them along Sasawa Road in Babangida Local Government Area of Yobe State.
This was confirmed in a statement by the Deputy Director Public Relations of the Operation Lafiya Dole, Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu.
According to Nwachukwu, the troops encountered the insurgents at about 12:30 pm on Saturday, while on patrol to rid the general area of criminals.
The statement explained that the army had received information that the original mission of the insurgents was to attack and loot the nearby Babangida market for food and other items but they aborted the mission and staged the ambush after getting wind of the troops’ patrol.
It, however, noted that while fighting through the ambush, the troops also recorded some casualties.
Consequently, “additional troops have been drafted to the area to reinforce the patrol troops, while the Air Task Force is on aerial surveillance of the area to track down fleeing insurgent survivors,” the statement said.
It also urged the public not to panic as the force is doing all it can to rid the area of the criminal elements.
The National Union of Yobe State Students (NUYOSS) has asked the Federal Government to do everything it can to secure the release of the remaining Dapchi Schoolgirl held by Boko Haram insurgents.
President of the Union, Hassan Musa, made the appeal on Wednesday while addressing newsmen in Damaturu the Yobe state capital.
He also decried the rate of killings and abduction of students in the state by the Boko Haram insurgents and asked that the government at all levels does everything they can to bring an end to the situation.
“As we brief you today, we sadly remember our brothers that were killed in FGGC Buniyadi, college of Agriculture Gujba, GSS Damaturu and Mamudo by the Boko Haram and we are observing a minute silence for them.
“We are also calling for the immediate release of Leah Sharibu who is still in captivity after the freeing of all other students of GGSTC Dapchi,” he said.
The National speaker of the Union Usman Bulama, also asked government to ensure adequate provision of security in all schools across the state.
Furthermore, he urged parents to never be discouraged to send their wards to school because of the abductions.
Out and about. Three words that sum up last week for President Muhammadu Buhari. From Benue State to Yobe and then to Niger State, the President had an eventful week marked with few controversies which is capture in the summary of his daily activities below.
Sunday: New Excise Duty, No Military Take Over, Senator’s Cost
The new excise duty regime takes effect from Monday, June 4, 2018, after a grace period of 90 days to all the manufacturers.
As the news of incessant killings by suspected herdsmen spread on, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity in an interview handed a note of warning to critics of Buhari administration. Defending his boss, Garba Shehu on Channels Television programme, Sunday Politics said Buhari is committed to ridding the country of terror but never promised that Nigeria would be 100 percent crime free.
Nigerians had a reason to smile as a son of the soil made the nation proud on the international stage. Imo State-born Chile Eboe-Osuji was on Sunday elected President of the International Criminal Court (ICC). This news got the attention of the Presidency and Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister who excitedly took to their official Twitter handle to congratulate Eboe-Osuji.
Salaries of Nigerian Senators again came under review. This time around Senate spokesman, Senator Aliyu Abdullahi took a swipe at ‘whistleblowing’ Senator Shehu Sani. He said the humongous figures released by Senator Sani are not secret. He revealed that any Nigerian interested in how much Senators earn has access to the figures as they are contained in various line items and expenditure heads of the budget of the National Assembly which has been made public.
Taking the bull by the horn, Buhari commenced his out and about on Monday. He landed the airport at Makurdi, the Benue state capital at 10:43 a.m. marking his first visit to the state since the New Year killings which claimed the lives of over 70 people.
With the aim of dousing tension and to find a lasting tension to the incessant killings, the President held a stakeholder’s meeting with various groups in the food basket of the nation. The stakeholders including the farmers and Miyetti Allah Leaders seized the August visit of the President to air their grievance.
Buhari’s Benue visit took a shocking turn when he told Benue stakeholders that he is not aware that the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, left Benue for Nasarawa State after he was ordered to relocate to the state. This attitude of the Police Boss towards a Presidential order has raised specks of dust left unsettling over this week in review.
Contrary to some reports that the President was slow to action, his aide explained that he seeks justice diligently and doesn’t allow innocent people be sacrificed unjustly. Hence his promise to interrogate the IGP on why he defied Presidential order before appropriate action can be taken.
He only turned deaf ears to the critics as he expressed satisfaction with the growing role of agriculture as a strategy for job creation among Nigerian youths. He said this when he received the Foreign Minister of Tunisia, Boukekri Rmilli, at the State House in Abuja. Buhari said his administration will increase its support for agriculture as a mechanism for jobs creation.
The world was however taken aback on Tuesday by the shocking news of the sack of US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson by President Donald Trump. Trump, using his official Twitter handle announced Director of CIA, Mike Pompeo as the immediate successor for Tillerson. The news threw Nigerians into an amazement with many wondering if Tillerson’s sack is related to his visit to Nigeria.
Wednesday: Protesting Youths, Red-carpet Yobe Visit, Jabs At Jonathan
While Buhari goes out and about, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was giving out his daughter’s hand in marriage. The presidential villa was filled with sounds from drum beats and happy guests as the Vice President’s eldest daughter Damilola engages in a colourful traditional engagement to her heartthrob, Oluseun Bakare.
Nobel Laurete, Wole Soyinka, however refused to dance to the drumbeat from the presidential villa. Instead, the Lion and Jewel author offered a piece of advice to Buhari. Amidst the killings and incessant attacks by suspected herdsmen, Soyinka challenged Buhari to declare herdsmen as terrorists. This is after Soyinka had earlier claimed that the President appears to be in a trance due to the way he is running affairs of the nation.
Friday: National Food Security Council, Another ‘Royal’ Wedding
His Senior Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu said the Council which will be chaired by the President, will be inaugurated on Monday and have the governors of Kebbi, Taraba, Plateau, Lagos, Ebonyi and Delta states as members.
President Muhammadu Buhari has defended his administration’s response to the abduction of the Dapchi schoolgirls, rating it better than the reaction of the Goodluck Jonathan administration to the abduction of the Chibok girls in 2014.
The President took a swipe at the previous administration on Wednesday when he visited Yobe State, close to a month after Boko Haram terrorists abducted 110 schoolgirls from a secondary school – the Government Girls Secondary School, Dapchi – in the state.
“The Federal Government’s response to the unfortunate abduction of the schoolgirls is a clear departure from the insensitivity of the past administration which looked the other way while the Chibok girls were taken away in 2014 and held in captivity for over three years,’’ he said in Damaturu, the state capital.
President Buhari said this during a meeting in the Government House, attended by security and intelligence chiefs, community and religious leaders.
Although security agencies and the government has come under criticism for the Dapchi abduction and the response to it, the President insisted that his administration’s reaction was “the best in the given circumstances”.
He said after receiving the news of the abduction, he ordered the Service Chiefs and the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to take direct charge and brief him on a daily basis on the efforts to bring back the girls.
He added, “Within four days of the incident, the Minister of Information visited Dapchi and the next day, the Minister of Interior who was accompanied by the Minister of Information re-visited the school for on the spot assessment.
“I have ordered the re-strengthening of a Joint Operational Base involving relevant agencies and Services to coordinate the rescue mission. Consequently, the Service Commanders have not only established a unified Command Centre in Maiduguri, the Military has raised several rescue teams to comb the forests in the North East Theatre of Operation.”
Recounting the recent successes recorded by his administration in rescuing Boko Haram hostages and securing the release of many of the Chibok schoolgirls, the President gave the assurance that the schoolgirls will regain their freedom.
“I have no doubt that the Dapchi girls will be rescued or released. I want to reassure parents, Nigerians and the international community that we will do all that is within our power to make sure that the girls are brought back safely to their families,” he said.
According to the President, all options are on the table to ensure the girls are brought back.
“On 19th February 2018, we woke up to the painful news of the abduction of 110 students of Government Girls’ Science and Technical College, Dapchi. Since this ugly incident happened, I have not left any stone unturned in making sure that the girls are rescued,” he said.
The steps being taken by the government include partnering with partnering with the international community including Nigeria’s immediate neighbours and holding talks with the terrorists.
‘‘Just recently, I reiterated our resolve to negotiate for the unconditional release of the girls,” the President said.
‘‘This is borne out of this administration’s conviction that doing so is safer devoid of risks and will not endanger the lives of our young girls who are in harm’s way.
‘‘There will be no rest till the last girl, whether from Chibok and Dapchi, is released. The girls, like all our citizens, must enjoy unhindered freedom and pursue their legitimate aspirations.
‘‘The Dapchi and Chibok students are our girls and must enjoy our protection. They must live to achieve their individual ambitions, to be great women of tomorrow. It is our duty to protect them.”
Beyond rescuing the schoolgirls and Boko Haram hostages, President Buhari said his administration would remain resolute in fighting terrorism.
He called on Nigerians to remember the level of terror Boko Haram was unleashing in the North East before he came to power.
He said, “Nigerians will recall that prior to our coming in 2015, the situation was chaotic with violent terrorist attacks being the order of the day. Terrorists had made life very unbearable for the people in Yobe, Kano, Kaduna, Borno, Niger, and even the FCT, Abuja.
“Our mosques and churches witnessed daily suicide bomb attacks. Parts of Adamawa and Borno States were helplessly ceded to the terrorists.
“But today, we have so far shown clear determination in tackling terrorism which is a worldwide phenomenon. We have not only degraded the power and dominance of the criminal elements, our security forces have patriotically exhibited an uncommon zeal in executing their assignment.”
The Nigeria Police has deployed the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of operations, Habila Joshak, to Yobe state as part of efforts to rescue the missing Dapchi schoolgirls.
This follows President Mohammed Buhari’s directive for security agencies to urgently ensure the recovery of the abducted girls.
While in the state, the DIG is expected to meet and strengthen synergy with other stakeholders to ensure the success of the directive.
Joshak who arrived onj Thursday, was received at the Yobe Police Command headquarter by the state commissioner of Police Mr Sunmonu Abdulmaliki among other officers of the command.
Shortly after, he held discussions with the Police Officers and tasks them to redouble their efforts in the search for the missing girls so as to recover them, reunite them with their families to continue their educational pursuits.
While sympathizing with the people of Yobe over the unfortunate incident he assured them that all security agencies are working hard towards the rescue. he, therefore, called on the people to provide the police with useful information.
“I share the pains of this unfortunate incident with the people of Yobe and wish to assure them that we will work together with relevant stakeholders towards the recovery of the abducted school girls,” he said.
Addressing newsmen after the meeting with the police officers, the DIG also noted that while in the state, he will address other issues such as threats to academic institutions by the insurgents.
“In course of my stay here, I will meet with parents, school teachers, headmasters, principals and all the relevant authorities to ensure that their confidence in sending their children to school is restored.
“This is the only way we can bring back the attention of children to school,” he said.
The last thing the people of Yobe expected on the fateful day of February 19, 2018, was the abduction of their daughters.
But this exactly was what happened at Government Girls Science Technical College (GGSTC) located in Dapchi, Bursari Local Government area of the state.
Yobe State, Dapchi community, is still in dismay sequel to the visit of unwanted Boko Haram terrorists who invaded the school and left a hole in the heart of the community till present day.
Dapchi is 100kilometers north of Damaturu, the state capital, and it remains one major town that before now, have not experienced an attack by the Boko Haram insurgents.
In the wake of the attack, one of the schoolgirls and a matron of the school in an exclusive interview with Channels Television gave dramatic recollection of how the abduction happened.
‘My Younger Sister Is Still Missing’
One of the students of GGSTC who was among the few girls that narrowly escaped from the hands of the terrorists spoke exclusively to Channels Television. Hafsat Lawan, who spoke in Hausa language said many other girls, including her younger sister, are still missing.
“Some of us ran away while somewhere held by the insurgents as they kept threatening us to come to them unless they will kill us. Presently my younger sister among several others are yet to be found,” she explained.
We Thought It Was An Electrical Fault – Matron
The matron of the school, Hadiza Jibo in her account of the sad incident said it occurred when they were preparing for evening prayers.
She said, “It was dawn when we were preparing for the evening prayers when suddenly we started hearing shootings. The students were saying it was an electrical fault but it became severe and students started running helter-skelter.”
They Came In About 10 Lorries – Lawmaker
A lawmaker from Yobe State, Honourable Goni Bukar in a phone-in conversation with Channels Television also narrated how the abduction occurred. He said the insurgents came in about 10 lorries.
“The first time when they came in, they came in like 10 lorries. They divided themselves into various groups, came into the school and picked some of the students. Some of the students ran away into the bush. So that’s why some are reporting 100 while some are reporting 30 missing,” Bukar said.
Boko Haram Wants To Embarrass The Govt – Lai Mohammed
“What they intend to do is to embarrass the government. Their power has gone down completely, they have been pushed out of Sambisa and they now want oxygen. Their oxygen is publicity. This is what they are looking for, something that will get attention,” Lai Mohammed said.
“The entire country stands as one with the girls’ families, the government and the people of Yobe State.
“This is a national disaster. We are sorry that this could have happened and share your pain. We pray that our gallant armed forces will locate and safely return your missing family members.”
Many Questions Still Unanswered:
The abduction of the schoolgirls has left parents of the missing girls and the country in a utter dismay with many questions yet to be answered.
Local residents and parents claim that over 100 girls are missing while Yobe State government in a statement said out of the 926 students in the school, over 50 are still unaccounted for. How many girls were actually abducted from GGTC?
Dapchi is a major town in Yobe state. It has a military base, divisional police station among other social amenities. Where were the security operatives who were meant to protect such venerable targets when this attack lasted?
President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday directed the military and other security agencies to take control in Government Girls Technical College (GGSTC) in Dapchi, headquarters of Bursari Local Government area of Yobe State.
This was after reports of an attack on the school by Boko Haram terrorists. The Yobe State government after the attack confirmed that out of the 926 students in the school, over 50 are still unaccounted for.
President Buhari in reaction to this, on Wednesday, directed the military to take over the situation. He also directed a delegation which will be led by the Minister of Defence to Dapchi to ascertain the situation. The delegation is to depart on Thursday to Dapchi.
The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed said this at the end of the FEC meeting in Abuja on Thursday.
“In respect of the unfortunate incident of Monday in Government Girls College in Dapchi Yobe State when Boko Haram insurgents attacked the school.
“Mr President has directed the military and other security agencies to take immediate charge and control and inform him of developments,” Lai Mohammed said.
Mohammed said further that President Buhari asked a delegation led by Minister of Defence, Monsur Dan-Ali, to visit the school in Dapchi on Thursday for an on-the-spot assessment of the situation.
“He (Buhari) has released a delegation led by the Minister of Defence to Dapchi, to get first-hand information as to what is happening there tomorrow (Thursday) morning,” he said.
Others in the delegation include the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama and the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
Yobe State government in the statement released on Wednesday where it confirmed that out of the 926 students in the school, over 50 are still unaccounted explained that information was received from locals that some of the girls were found in the general area to which they escaped.
The state Government also said it has no credible information yet as to whether any of the schoolgirls were taken hostage by the terrorists but is currently working with the army and law enforcement to ensure that the missing girls are returned safely.
Yobe State government has confirmed that over 50 schoolgirls are missing from the Government Girls Science Technical College (GGSTC) located in Dapchi, Headquarters of Bursari Local Government area of the state.
Governor Ibrahim Gaidam in a statement made available to Channels Television on Wednesday, February 21 said since the day of invasion by the terrorists over 50 schoolgirls are still missing.
“Out of the 926 students in the school, over 50 are still unaccounted for as of the time of this statement.
“As the public is aware, the students were helped by their teachers to escape through the night to the surrounding bush and villages as the terrorists stormed the town last Monday,” Gaidam said.
The statement which was signed by the Director-General Press Affairs of Gaidam, Abdullahi Bego said information was received about some of the girls being found in the general area to which they escaped.
It added further that the Yobe State Government has no credible information yet as to whether any of the schoolgirls were taken hostage by the terrorists but is currently working with the army and law enforcement to ensure that the missing girls are returned safely.
“The Yobe State Government is working with the Nigerian Army and other security and law enforcement agencies to ensure that all students in the school are fully accounted for,” Gaidam said in the statement.
Governor Gaidam, however, expresses sadness over the incident. He has since directed all relevant personnel and agencies to work closely with the army and other security organisations.
He, therefore, assured parents and the school community that the state government will do everything necessary to ensure that all the missing schoolgirls are found and returned to their school and families and that security is improved in the area.
Yobe State government on Saturday, January 20 received 216 returnees from Libya out of which 33 were citizens of the Republic of Niger.
Commissioner of Justice in the state, Ahmed Mustapha, told journalists while dispatching the returnees to their various Local Government Areas, that after security checks, it was discovered that 33 of the returnees were foreigners while some others were from neighbouring Borno State.
Arrangements according to him have been concluded to link the deportees with officials of the Republic of Niger.
“After security checks, we discovered that 33 were from the Niger Republic and we are handing them over to the Nigeria Immigration Service who will also ensure they are taking back to their country,” he said.
The 182 who are from the state were however handed over to the local government authorities who in turn will reunite them with their families.
The state Controller of Immigration, Adamu Abdulfatai on his part said after fishing out the 33 foreigners, immigration will follow due process and hand them over to the immigration officials in the Niger Republic.
“We will be professional in linking up with the authorities of Niger Republic to ensure that they reunite with their families,” Abdulfatai said.
The Permanent Secretary, Yobe State Emergency Management Agency, Idi Jidawa recall the role played by the state government in transporting the returnees back to the state. He said the families were appreciative of reuniting them with the returnees.
“We are receiving report across council areas how families are excited to reunite with them,” he said.
Some of the deportees in an interview with Channels Television appreciates the role played by the government in reuniting them with their families and calls for empowerment to enable them to acquire means of livelihoods.
Yobe State Governor Ibrahim Gaidam has approved the placement of 110 medical students on salary Grade Level 07.
This was disclosed in a statement by the governor’s media aide, Abdullahi Bego, on Thursday.
“The 110 student doctors will join 389 others who have already been placed on the government’s payroll and have been receiving their salary on monthly basis,” the governor said.
He added, “The Yobe State Government designed the 07-salary grade level take-home pay as an incentive to the medical students and get them to return and serve in the state after completing their MBBS degree training.
Bego hinted that the state would spend over N41 million on a yearly basis for the additional students added to the government’s payroll.
The governor also reiterated his administration’s commitment to improving the health care delivery system in the state.
This, he noted, was aided with the establishment of a new Medical College at the state university and a new Teaching Hospital.