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Boko Haram: 94 School Girls ‘Missing’ After Attack In Yobe School |RN

By Agency Report

Fears grew in northeast Nigeria on Wednesday about the fate of potential scores of girls who have not been seen since a Boko Haram attack on their school two days ago.

Militants stormed the Government Girls Science Secondary School in Dapchi, Yobe state, on Monday evening. Locals initially said the girls and their teachers fled the attack.

The jihadists gained worldwide notoriety in April 2014 when they abducted 276 girls from their school in Chibok, in neighbouring Borno state. A total of 112 are still being held.

Monday’s incident sparked fears of a repeat and on Wednesday morning some 50 parents and guardians gathered at the school demanding information.

“Our girls have been missing for two days and we don’t know their whereabouts,” Abubakar Shehu, whose niece is among those missing, told AFP.

“Although we were told they had run to some villages, we have been to all these villages mentioned without any luck. We are beginning to harbour fears the worst might have happened.

“We have the fear that we are dealing with another Chibok scenario.”

According to school staff, there were 710 students at the state-run boarding school, which caters for girls aged 11 and above.

Inuwa Mohammed, whose 16-year-old daughter, Falmata, is also missing, said it was a confused picture and that parents had been frantically searching surrounding villages.

“Nobody is telling us anything officially,” he said. “We still don’t know how many of our daughters were recovered and how many are still missing.

“We have been hearing many numbers, between 67 and 94.”

Police in the state, which is one of three in the northeast Nigeria worst-affected by the Boko Haram insurgency, said they have no reports of abductions following the attack.

Yobe’s education commissioner, Mohammed Lamin, said the school had been shut and a roll call of all the girls who have returned was being conducted.

“It is only after the head-count that we will be able to say whether any girls were taken,” he said.

Some of the girls had fled to villages up to 30 kilometres (nearly 20 miles) away through the remote bushland, he added.

Boko Haram has used kidnapping as a weapon of war since its insurgency began in 2009, seizing thousands of women and young girls, as well as men and boys of fighting age.

AFP.

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Buhari Paid Boko Haram €3m For Release Of Chibok Girls – Wall Street Journal |RN

Buhari-Muhammadu

President Muhammadu Buhari

The Federal Government paid €3m for the release of some Chibok schoolgirls who were in Boko Haram custody, according to Wall Street Journal.
In 2014, Boko Haram insurgents had kidnapped 276 girls from Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok in Borno state.
Of the 276, 163 are now free: 57 fled in the early days after their abduction, three escaped later, and a Swiss-coached mediation secured 103.
Twenty-one of the 103 were freed on October 13, 2016, while the remaining 82 were freed on May 6 this year.
In a detailed report on the incident, WSJ said while €1m was paid for the 21 first freed, additional €2m accompanied the five Boko Haram commanders that were exchanged with the next batch: the 82 girls.
TheCable had earlier reported how the €2m were reportedly paid.
Ahmad Salkida, a journalist known to have links with the sect, and Zannah Mustapha, a lawyer, were said to be key mediators involved in both deals.
After months of talks involving Salkida and Mustapha, a breakthrough was finally reached when in late 2016, both parties agreed on a plan concerning the girls’ freedom.
WSJ said: “The plan called for two exchanges. In the first one, Boko Haram would free 20 Chibok hostages in exchange for €1m.
“If both sides were satisfied with the outcome, the rest of the girls who wanted to come home would be swapped in a second exchange in return for €2 and five imprisoned Boko Haram commanders.”
“As Mustapha worked through the details and tried to maintain the confidence of both sides, the Nigerian government began the delicate process of finding prisoners Shekau would deem acceptable.
“Salkida was the man picked for the task. He began to crisscross Nigeria combing jails and interviewing inmates, looking for militants who fit the profile.”
The report added that while the deal began coming together, there were fears that President Muhammdu Buhari might not approve of it.
“The President was eager for a victory. He also loathed the idea of paying Boko Haram. No one knew if he would sign off,” it said.
“In the end, he approved the deal, with a condition: He insisted that any money that reached Boko Haram would be a step toward a comprehensive peace agreement.
“Since the insurgents collected their €3m, some Nigerian officials say an army that had struggled to feed itself seems replenished,” it stated.
TheCable stated that it was not able to independently verify the claims concerning the payment.
When contacted, Femi Adesina, Buhari’s spokesman, neither confirmed nor denied the claims.
“Ask them to show the evidence,” Adesina told TheCable via a text message. (Punch)

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$1B Boko Haram Funds: Ekiti State Sue FG, 36 Governors |The Republican News

abubakar-malami1

Attorney General Of Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami

From: Godwin Tsa, Abuja

Sixteen local government chairmen in Ekiti State have sued the Attorney General of the Federation and governors of the 36 states over the approval of $1billion from the Excess Crude Account of the federation for the fight against insurgency.

The suit, No. FHC/ABJ/CS/1264/17 by the council chairman prays the Abuja division of the Federal High Court to declare that the approval of $1billion by the 36 state governors to purportedly execute the constitutional duty of the federal government, which has been sufficiently funded from the Federation Account, without the their consent is ultra vires, unlawful, null and void. (The Sun)

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$1b To Fight Boko Haram War: Gov. Wike Demands Special Fund For Niger Delta

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* Fayose absent at governors’ meeting, says Zamfara governor

…...Fayose cannot query us over $1b approved

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has declared that the APC-Federal Government must as a matter of urgency release funds for tackling issues of environmental degradation and security in the Niger Delta. 

Governor Wike said while he would not condemn the release of $1billion to tackle Boko Haram, the environmental and security challenges  in the Niger Delta far outweigh the Boko Haram conflict. 

The governor spoke during the Annual General Meeting of Okpo Club of Nigeria (Association of Ikwerre Lawyers) yesterday in Port Harcourt. 

He requested the APC, Federal Government to release the derivation component of the Excess Crude to the oil producing states  of the Niger Delta.

He said: “Niger Delta environmental problems are as serious as the Boko Haram Insurgency. I am not saying that you should not fight Boko Haram. 

“If you can get funds from the national pool to tackle  Boko Haram, then you should go to the pool to get funds to fight environmental problems in Ogoni and other Niger Delta communities.”

Commenting  on politics in Rivers State, Governor Wike urged all ethnic nationalities to work together to fast track development in the state. 

He said no ethnic nationality in the state could succeed without others, hence the need for greater cooperation at all levels.

The governor also called on the people of the state to always work for relevance in the political  terrain of the country so that the state could attract development.

Former NBA President , Chief Onueze Okocha (SAN), commended Governor Wike  for his commitment  to the  development of the state. 

He assured him of the support of Ikwerre lawyers as he worked for the people of Rivers State. 

Chairman of Okpo Club of Nigeria, Mr Chukwuma Chinwo said the club would continue to mobilise Ikwerre lawyers for the development of the area.

Former Rivers State Governor, Sir Celestine Omehia said the Association of Ikwerre Lawyers had grown over the years to become a catalyst for development. 

Highpoint of the occasion was the celebration of the birthday of the Rivers State governor by members of the Association of Ikwerre lawyers.

 

Fayose absent at govs’ meeting –Zamfara gov

…Says, ‘Ekiti gov can’t query us’

From Juliana

Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Alhaji Abdulazeez Yari, has reacted to Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, criticism of $1 billion approved by the forum to aid the fight of insurgency in the north east.

He said contrary to Fayose’s reaction it was endorsed by all the governors present because they saw reason, adding that if the Ekiti Governor was present at the meeting, he would have seen the wisdom in the decision.

Fayose, had alleged that the $1 billion to be withdrawn from the Excess Crude Account, and ploughed into the battle with insurgency is a ruse, but money that would rather go for President Muhammadu Buhari’s campaigns for 2019 presidential election.

Fayose in a statement signed by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, said: “Since they said they have defeated Boko Haram, what else do they need a whopping sum of $1 billion (over N360 billion) for, if not to fund the 2019 elections? For posterity’s sake, I wish to place it on record that I was not among the governors who approved the withdrawal of almost half of our savings in the Excess Crude Account, which belongs to the three tiers of government to fight an already defeated insurgency,” he declared.

But Yari Abubakar, who is also Governor of Zamfara State, in his reaction explained that the decision, to allow the Federal Government to access the amount was a collective one by the Forum, and that absenteeism from the meeting does not exculpate anyone from responsibility from the Forum’s resolutions.

“I am saying that, that statement was an unfair cut against the Forum,” Governor Yari Abubakar said, “when a decision is taken by the Forum in one’s absence, once there was a quorum at the meeting where the decision was taken, it becomes binding on all. I am sure Fayose was not making the statement to undermine the Forum. He was just doing his thing”.

The NGF Chairman rationalized that the decision was a conscious sign by the two parties to show the synergy between the NGF and the Presidency, which ought not to be politicized, but consolidated. “This same lack of unity between governors and the presidency had brought about poor governance in the past, throughout the country and now that we are working together no one should constitute a wedge in the process.”

He added that “you can never spend too much on security because the safety of lives and property are the most cardinal among all the principles of governance, in any democracy.”

Governor Yari Abubakar said that the issue of drawing from the ECA was very broadly deliberated at the Forum’s meeting on the eve of the National Economic Council meeting where the decision was taken. “If Governor Fayose was there at the meeting, he would have seen the wisdom in the decision. Yes, the administration is claiming to have decimated the insurgents out of Sambisa Forest but they are reemerging in different flashpoints across the country. They need to be tackled wherever they are and the NGF decided to support the Presidency just as it (The Presidency) had been supporting states with their own problems,” Governor Yari Abubakar argued.

The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum who spoke on the phone from Zamfara even contemplates addressing a world press conference on the matter to clear the air, and show how seriously we cherish human lives.

“Governor Fayose is on his own. We have to protect our people and we have to do it with everything we have,” Governor AbdulAziz Yari Abubakar emphasized, adding that “let me reemphasize one more thing, Mr President is a responsible and honest leader who does not believe in money politics and he would never divert public resources into it.”

In the same vein, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has also thrown its weight behind the governors’ decision to withdraw $1 billion from the Excess Crude Account to fight Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East region. The APC-led federal government and the governors who had come under severe attacks from the opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, has in a text message from the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, said that the ruling party solidly backs the governors’ decision.

Obviously replying to a text message on the 2019 hidden intent of the fund, the party’s spokesperson said: “The governors have responded. I don’t have anything to add.”        (The Sun)

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169 Boko Haram Fighters Captured, Says Army |The Republican News

Boko-Haram-Suspects

File photo: Captured Boko haram members

Nigerian Army troops attached to Operation Lafiya Dole, the counter-insurgency initiative, have captured 167 Boko Haram fighters in an offensive on the terror group’s  enclaves around the Lake Chad region.                                                                

This was disclosed in a statement signed by Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu, Deputy Director, Public Relations, Theater Command.         

According to the statement, the offensive commenced about two weeks ago with coordinated air and artillery bombardments on Boko Haram enclaves. Ground troops, the statement added, moved in to clear the areas, killing many insurgents and arresting 167.

The statement equally disclosed that troops extricated and profiled 67 women as well as 173 children. Those profiled were said to have revealed that they are family members of insurgents who fled, following troops’ offensive. Arrangements, added the statement, are currently being made to hand them over to Internally Displaced People’s (IDP) camp authorities after preliminary investigations must have been concluded.

Furthermore, the Army explained that troops of Operation Lafiya Dole, in the last two months, have conducted long-range fighting patrols and ambushes to clear Boko Haram hideouts in Saada and Juwei in northern Borno State.      

“During the operations, troops intercepted and arrested 53 fleeing insurgents who have been profiled and are currently helping with investigations. Fifteen insurgents have also willingly abandoned the insurgent group, describing it as a futile struggle and have surrendered to troops of Operation Lafiya Dole,” stated the Army.

It expressed sympathy to families of troops and civilians killed in suicide bomb and Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attacks by Boko Haram.

The Army urged members of the public to be more security conscious and vigilant in their homes, communities, places of worship, markets and other places of business to identify strange persons as well as any suspicious activity and report same to security agencies.  (The Sun)

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Terror Attack Alert: Security Agencies On Red Alert, Ban Fireworks In Abuja |RN

boko-haram

File photo: Boko Haram convoy

From Fred Itua, Abuja

Following travel alerts issued by some foreign diplomatic institutions to their citizens, about an imminent terrorist attack in Abuja, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Muhammad Bello, has ordered security agencies to comb hotels and worship centres.

He specifically revealed, yesterday, that security agencies have commenced security audit of hotels, especially those patronised in the FCT, to ascertain their security preparedness. 

The minister said the audit became ncessary, in order to to assist them on security as well as assure tourists and investors that hotels in Abuja are safe.

Bello also reiterated that ban on fireworks in Abuja is still in force and cautioned against them this season.

The minister’s actions is against the backdrop of  an emergency security meeting with heads of various security agencies domiciled within Abuja.

He appealed to residents to take seriously, issues of security in their neighbourhoods, work and worship places.

He added that the warning  become imperative, especially during the festive season.

The minister assured residents that the Police and other security agencies have been placed on red alert, to combat crime and ensure effective surveillance in the territory. 

He said the police and other security outfits have stepped up patrol of reported crime flashpoints as well as enhanced surveillance on supermarkets, malls and gardens, among others.

Bello called on churches and mosques to galvanise their faithful for increased security alert. The minister expressed concern over reports of increase in the use of drugs in the territory. 

He called on community and religious leaders, as well as the public, to be very watchful over the traffic and use of illicit drugs around them and report such to security agencies.

The Nigerian Army, on the occasion, released a quick response number of 193, to the public, as well as the Federal Road Safety Corps, which released number 122, for traffic control calls.

The army disclosed that the number, 193, can be used to alert the army’s call centre and give locations on crime, insurgency, fire, drug or even of any soldier molesting a civilian.

The number, the army representatives noted, is available on all Nigerian networks.

FCT Commissioner of Police, Sadiq Bello, reinforced the assurances given by the minister and added that the police is working with other security agencies, to ensure visible policing, intelligence gathering and sharing as well as joint patrols.   (The Sun)

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