At least 25 people have been killed in fresh bandits’ attack in four villages of Ghandi District in Rabah Local Government Area of Sokoto State at the weekend.
The bandits stormed villages of Tsage, Rakonni, Kalhu and Gee’re villages on Sunday, killing 25 people and wounding many. The state governor, Aminu Tambuwal was among dignitaries who attended the funeral prayer for the deceased on Sunday. Condoling the families, people of Rabah Local government and the state as a whole at the palace of district head of Ghandi, Mr Tambuwal appealed to the security agencies to redouble efforts towards containing the menace.
Tambuwal praised Ghandi community for being their brothers’ keepers and urged them to continue with the good job of providing accomodation to the internally displaced persons. He, therefore, directed the state Zakkat and endowment commission, Isa and Sabon Birni Local governments to come to the aid of the internally displaced persons.Briefing newsmen on the incident in Ghandi town, the state commissioner of police, Ibrahim Kaoje, said four suspects including a woman have been arrested.
The police commissioner however assured that they are on top of the situation.The Governor also attended the funeral ceremony of the deceased.
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No fewer than 25, 794 Nigerians may have died in violent crises in the first four years of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The figure was released by the Nigeria Security Tracker, a project of the Council on Foreign Relations, a nonprofit think tank specialising in United States foreign policy and international affairs.
The number represents those killed by different insurgent groups and Boko Haram in the North, herdsmen, and people who died in extrajudicial activities of the military.
From June 2015 to May 2019, our correspondent observed that Borno suffered the highest casualties, recording 9,303 deaths. The state was followed by Zamfara (1,963) and Adamawa (1,529).
Others captured in the map are Kaduna (1,488), Plateau (771), Taraba (649), Benue (1,642), Niger (252) Rivers (730), Cross River (467), Ogun (301), among others.
Graphical illustration revealed that the highest casualties were recorded in July 2015 (1,299) and January 2019 (1,077).
Within the four years timeline, Boko Haram was responsible for 5,598 deaths, while sectarian violence, including the herdsmen-farmers crisis led to 4,917 deaths.
State actors alone, including the military, were said to have killed 4,068 people.
During the tenure of former President Goodluck Jonathan (June 2011 to May 2015), a total of 34,884 people were reportedly killed across the country.
The highest record of casualties was in March 2014, when 3,456 Nigerians were killed.
Boko Haram and the military were together responsible for 12,765 deaths.
The Council on Foreign Relations, while explaining the methodology behind the data, said it relied on media reports.
The report said, “The Nigeria Security Tracker tracks violence that is both causal and symptomatic of Nigeria’s political instability and citizen alienation. The data are based on weekly surveys of Nigerian and international media.
“The data start with May 29, 2011, the date of Goodluck Jonathan’s inauguration as president. It was an event that highlighted the increasing bifurcation of the country on regional and religious lines. The NST is updated weekly.
“Relying on press reports of violence presents methodological limitations. There is a dearth of accurate reporting across certain regions, death tolls are imprecise, and accounts of incidents vary. There is the potential for political manipulation of media. Given these limitations, the NST makes every effort to collect information from multiple sources. Nevertheless, NST statistics should be viewed as indicative rather than definitive.”
The Presidency did not react when contacted.
Calls made to Presidential spokesmen, Mr Femi Adesina, and Mr Garba Shehu, were not returned.
Text messages forwarded to them were also not responded to as of 9.03pm.
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More than 10 soldiers were allegedly killed after the Islamic State West African Province faction of the Boko Haram insurgents attacked army bases in Kangarwa, Malumfatori and Arge areas of Borno State and Buni Gari, Yobe State, between Saturday and Monday.
The attacks started with Buni Gari on Saturday and spread to Malumfatori on Monday.
On Tuesday, our correspondent learnt that ISWAP fighters were also sighted in Mattari village in the Konduga Local Government Area of Borno State, with fears of impending attacks on military locations in Jakana and Benishek.
In Malumfatori on Monday, our correspondent learnt that there was a fierce gun battle between government forces and the terrorists, who attempted to overrun the military base in the town.
Eight soldiers were allegedly killed when the terrorists attacked Buni Gari after which the terrorists reportedly stole a gun truck and destroyed an armoured vehicle.
The Nigerian Army confirmed that eight of its troops were killed in Buni Gari, noting that over 10 Boko Haram fighters were also killed by troops.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig Gen Sani Usman, said, “It is not true that Boko Haram is holding any area. Indeed, eight of our gallant troops paid the supreme price, while over 10 Boko Haram terrorists were killed by the troops during the encounter at Buni Gari.”
A military source confirmed Tuesday’s attacks by Boko Haram, saying the insurgents were believed to be having the upper hand in Kangarwa and Arge.
He said, “ISWAP has claimed responsibility for the attacks on Buni Gari and Arge. They seem to have taken over some communities in the two areas. Also in Mattari village in the Konduga LGA, Boko Haram fighters were seen gathering on Tuesday.
“The location is a few miles to Jakana or Benishek. There are military facilities in both areas.”
Meanwhile, the number of casualties of the Malumfatori gun battle between the insurgents and troops could not be confirmed by our correspondent as of press time. However, unconfirmed reports said both sides recorded deaths and injuries.
The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, on Monday, directed that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, to remain in the North-East until the security situation in the region improves.
Dan-Ali also said President Muhammadu Buhari had directed the “emergency procurement of critical equipment” for the armed forces to be more efficient.
“The CDS and the army chief were also mandated to effect changes in the operational commands of Operations Delta Safe, Lafiya Dole, Sharan Daji and Awatse. This is to enable them to meet up with the current threats and security challenges in their areas of responsibility,” the minister’s Public Relations Officer Col Tukur Gusau said. (Punch)
Boko Haram terrorists, in what appears to be an unending onslaught on locations of the Nigerian Army, on Wednesday evening attacked the troops’ base in Damasak, Borno State, resulting in a heavy gunfire which lasted for several hours.
The army has confirmed the attack, saying troops of 145 Battalion in Damasak, withstood the insurgents and killed scores of them in the firefight.
The army was, however, silent on the number of casualties sustained on the side of the troops.
Damasak is a town in the Mobbar Local Government Area, some 146 Kilometres from Maiduguri, the state capital.
It will be recalled that the Boko Haram insurgents only last week attacked troops’ location in Gudumbali in the Guzamala LGA and Baga in the Kukawa LGA, resulting in an undisclosed number of casualties on both sides.
The army’s Director of Public Relations and Information, Brig. Gen. Texas Chukwu, on Thursday confirmed that “many Boko Haram terrorists” were killed in the attack on troops’ location in Damasak.
He said, “Troops of 145 Battalion in Damasak engaged the Boko Haram terrorists who came to attack their location at about 6pm on Wednesday. This resulted into a fierce battle.
“The troops engaged and subdued the terrorists in Damasak following a superior firepower. The troops’ aggressive posture, tactics and marksmanship resulted in the neutralising of many Boko Haram terrorists.
“Consequently, the army wishes to state that the fight against Boko Haram terrorists in the North-East part of the country is yielding a positive result.
“We, therefore, advise members of the public, particularly residents of the affected areas, to go about their legitimate businesses as the army will continue to protect lives and property of citizens at all times.” (Punch)
In this photo provided by the United Nations, members of the United Nations Security Council vote at the United Nations headquarters on Friday, Dec. 23, 2016, in favour of condemning Israel for its practice of establishing settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. In a striking rupture with past practice, the U.S. allowed the vote, not exercising its veto. (Manuel Elias/The United Nations via AP)
The Special Representative of UN Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, has expressed concern over the conflicts between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria.
According to him, the conflicts, which are more pronounced in the Middle Belt region, were becoming “more sophisticated and deadlier.”
Mr Chambas, who is Head, UN Office for West African and the Sahel (UNOWAS), in a report presented to the UN Security Council, said the violence was a major security threat in the region, warning that it risks changing into terrorist attacks.
“Violence between farmers and herders is increasingly a major security threat in the region and risks morphing into the terrorist attacks that have defined the security landscape.
“Farmer-herder conflicts are becoming more sophisticated and deadlier, especially in Nigeria’s Middle Belt.
“During four days in June, new spates of attacks and retribution killings between herders and farmers in this region resulted in scores of deaths,’’ the UN envoy said.
In the Lake Chad Basin, Mr Chambas said in spite of gains made by the Nigerian armed forces and the Multinational Joint Task Force, Boko Haram remained active.
According to the UN envoy for West Africa and the Sahel: “The trend of Boko Haram, using female suicide bombers continue, and reportedly almost one in five suicide bombers is a child. The most recent attacks on a Nigerian military garrison in Yobe and the ambush of a military convoy in Borno are the latest manifestations of the threats still posed by Boko Haram.
“There is a need for increased support to diplomatic, security and humanitarian responses to Boko Haram, in a holistic manner.
“To this end, UNOWAS is providing technical support for a joint summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), on July 30, as called for by Security Council resolution 2349 (2017).”
He explained that the severe depletion of Lake Chad had led to environmental degradation, socioeconomic marginalisation and insecurity for 45 million people.
According to him, an estimated 2.3 million people remain displaced by the aggregate effects of insecurity and climate change.
He appealed to member states to support the humanitarian response to the Lake Chad crisis, which remains critically underfunded and revitalisation of the Lake Chad Basin.
“Let me stress that any military response to security challenges in the region needs to be matched by the implementation of comprehensive strategies linking security and humanitarian interventions to development and human rights initiatives.
“There is also need to increase our collective efforts to address the challenges facing the Sahel region with actions that combine politics, security and development,’’ Chambas stressed.
He said the period under review saw an upsurge in popular discontent in the region manifested through often violent demonstrations calling for political and economic reforms.
“The sometimes violent conduct of security forces, notably in dealing with popular demonstrations, has also fuelled political tensions.
“Commitment by countries of the region and support from the international community will be key to ensuring the effectiveness and accountability of security sector institutions as part of broader security sector reform efforts. Several countries continue to struggle with justice, national reconciliation and human rights challenges. Among those is the concerning number of high-profile arrests, judicial prosecutions and convictions against political and civil society actors,’’ he said. (The Sun)
The former Governor of Abia State Orji Uzo Kalu has berated those accusing President Muhammadu Buhari of not doing enough to stop the killings in some parts of the country, saying no president would want to see his people dying, NAN reports.
“It is embarrassing when some people accuse the president of supporting one group to kill another. It is not possible for anyone directly elected by the people.
”Leaders should stop backbiting about the killings and all the rest of it. Killing is not a good process, no president would want to see his people dying.
”President Buhari has taken a new step, he was in Benue and Plateau the other time he is committed to making sure that this killing stop,” he said.
Kalu condemned the unwarranted killings when he spoke at a party in honour of the outgoing Czech Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Pavel Mikes, in Abuja.
The All Progressive Congress (APC) Chieftain described the killings as a big challenge for the country after the Federal Government defeated the Boko Haram.
”It is embarrassing to see human beings killing their fellow human beings. It is not acceptable by anyone created by God,” he said.
He told the Czech Ambassador that his friendship with Nigeria goes beyond his stay in the country. ”We will remain friends after your departure.”
He also thanked the envoy for his efforts, as Dean of European diplomatic corps, in ensuring that all levels of government in Nigeria maintain rule of law.
”When government fails to put rule of law as an instrument that can be of a great change, is a problem because rule of law is more important.
”It is a software of a democratic process. Once you have the software right, the hardware will also be right,” he said.
Kalu expressed appreciation to the European Union for ensuring that Nigeria’s democracy stands.
In his remarks, the outgoing Czech Ambassador described Nigeria as a ”great, complex county” and that he enjoyed every moment of his five-year duty tour in Nigeria.
Mikes extolled the virtues of the former Abia Governor, saying, ”he is passionate about the future of Nigeria, working hard to promote the country in the world.
”He is a man for whom Nigeria lies dearly in his heart and does everything possible to improve the lives of Nigerians”.
The Presidency has described as ‘irresponsible politics’, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s declaration of seven days of mourning over what it called, sad and unfortunate killings in Plateau State, over the weekend.
The Presidency also said in the 16 years of PDP rule, over 22,000 citizens were killed in ethnic and communal clashes including those killed by Boko Haram but the former ruling party never declared national mournings.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, in a statement, said the nation was in a period of distress and sorrow which calls for deep introspection on how cheap human lives had become and not a time to dance on the graves of the dead, playing cheap and infantile politics.
The Presidential spokesman described PDP as a “comatose and prostrate party” which has also decided to fly its flag at half-mast nationwide, saying its flags had been forcefully lowered by Nigerians since 2015 when it was defeated at the polls. Adesina said PDP’s flag would remain lowered for a long time because Nigerians are politically discerning, and cannot be hoodwinked by cheap antics.
The statement read, “The sad and unfortunate killings in Plateau State over the weekend have been turned to the opportunity to once again play irresponsible politics, particularly by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which says it is declaring seven days of mourning.
“These are dolorous times that call for deep introspection on how cheap human lives have become, and the proffering of actionable ideas on how to get out of the bind. But the PDP would rather dance on the graves of the dead, playing cheap, infantile politics.
“The comatose and prostrate party is declaring seven days of mourning, during which flags in its offices would be flown at half-mast nationwide.
“But unknown to the party, those flags had been forcefully lowered since its 2015 loss at the polls and may remain so for a long time to come, because Nigerians are politically discerning, and cannot be hoodwinked by cheap antics.
“A quick checklist of some savage and brutal killings in Nigeria during PDP rule, between 1999 and 2015, for which no national mourning was declared:
– November 20, 1999. Odi, in Bayelsa State, was invaded on orders of a PDP President. About 2,500 people killed. No national mourning.
– Between February and May 2000, about 5,000 people were killed during riots over Sharia law in different parts of the North. No national mourning.
– In 2001, hundreds of people, including the old, infirm, women and children were killed in Zaki Biam. No crocodile tears.
– Between September 7-12, 2001, Jos, Plateau State, erupted in internecine killings. Between 500 and 1,000 people were killed. Flags were not flown at half mast.
– In February, 2004, at least 975 people were killed in Yelwa-Shendam, Plateau State. No mourning by the then ruling PDP.
– Between November 28 and 29, 2008, Jos was in flames again, with 381 deaths.
– In 2010, 992 people killed in Jos. Mum was the word.
– In 2014 alone, according to Global Terrorism Index, at least 1,229 people were killed in the Middle Belt. No mourning.
– Boko Haram killings in PDP years were over 10,000. PDP flags were still fluttering proudly in the sky.
“Those who take pleasure in twisting statements from the Presidency may claim we are saying that many more people were killed under PDP than under President Muhammadu Buhari.
“It would be unconscionable to do so. The intendment of this statement is to show that wanton killings had been with us for awhile; this government is working towards enduring solutions and should be given the opportunity to do so.
“Even a single soul is precious, and no man should take a life, which he cannot create. But when tragic situations as had happened in Plateau State occur, such should never be used to play crude politics. Those who are wont to do so should have the change of hearts, or lose their very humanity,” the statement said. (The Sun)