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Fresh Attacks: 8 Soldiers 10 Boko Haram Members Killed In Yobe, Borno |RN

Olaleye Aluko, Abuja

 

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)

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Fresh Attack: Boko Haram Attacks Army Base, Kills One |The Republican News

                                  Members of Boko Haram terrorist

Boko Haram militants attacked an army base in northeast Nigeria, killing one soldier, military sources told AFP Friday, a day after regional leaders urged more international support to fight the jihadists.

Fighters with the Islamic State West Africa Province came in trucks fitted with anti-aircraft guns and attacked the base in Arege village near the fishing town of Baga on the shores of Lake Chad.

The base came under attack before dawn, prompting clashes, a military source told AFP.

“The attack was successfully repelled but unfortunately a soldier was killed and seven others were injured,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the incident.

The same base came under attack on Wednesday, but the militants failed to overrun it “and suffered heavy casualties,” a military statement said on Twitter.

The jihadists have in recent months intensified their attacks on military bases in the northeast, with the most audacious taking place on November 18 when military sources said at least 43 soldiers were killed at a base in Metele near the border with Niger.

Troops who survived said over 100 of their colleagues were killed, but after a long period of silence, the military on Wednesday gave an official figure of 23 deaths.

The latest attack came a day after President Muhammadu Buhari went to N’Djamena to meet top leaders from Chad, Niger and Cameroon to discuss how to deal with the surge in violence.

Buhari is under pressure to show his administration is winning the fight against Boko Haram ahead of a presidential election in February at which he will seek a second term in office.

“The heads of state and government… expressed their deep concern with regards to the upsurge of attacks… and expressed the crucial need to change their modus operandi in the fight against Boko Haram,” a joint statement said after the talks.

They also urged the international community “to support their efforts in the fight against terrorism in the region.”

The nine-year conflict has killed 27,000 people and displaced 1.8 million from their homes in Nigeria.

The violence has also spilt over into neighbouring Chad, Niger and Cameroon.

(AFP)

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BREAKING: Police Foil Terrorist Attack In Netherlands, Arrest Seven Suspects |RN

Dutch police arrested seven men suspected of plotting to carry out a “major terrorist attack” at a high-profile event using explosive belts and an AK-47 assault rifle, on Thursday, the public prosecutor’s office said.

“Police arrested seven men on Thursday… suspected of being at a very advanced stage of preparation for a major terrorist attack in the Netherlands,” it said in a statement, adding one of the suspects had wanted to kill “many victims”.

(AFP)

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Buhari Doesn’t Bother Paying Terrorists To Secure Girls’ Freedom – Femi Adesina

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina

 

 

Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, says only God can say when abducted Dapchi girl, Leah Sharibu, will be released by Boko Haram.

Adesina said this on Tuesday during a live programme on Channels Television.

He said, “For how much longer? I think that question can only be answered by God but I believe God is interested in that young girl and will ensure that she is preserved and at least by the time that clip is verified, one will be sure that it is her actually and once that is determined, we should all be glad that she is alive. When will she return? By the grace of God, the government is working on it and we believe she will be back.”

The President’s spokesman said Buhari saw nothing wrong in paying terrorists ransom.

He said if need be, he would pay ransom to secure the release of persons in captivity.

Adesina, however, faulted a report by the United Nations that some money was paid for the release of some Dapchi girls, insisting that the organisation got its facts wrong.

He added, “One thing we should always remember as Nigerians is that early in the life of the administration, the President had said on the Chibok girls before the Dapchi incident happened that whatever it took to rescue them, he would do, including paying. He is on record to have said that.

“It baffles me each time that controversy comes up. I remember the President said in 2015 that we would get these girls back even if it meant paying. So, if a President of the country has made that declaration, what then is the fuss?

“Payments are made all over the world even though countries may never admit.”

When asked how long it would take for security agencies to verify the authenticity of the audio clip released on Monday in which Sharibu was heard pleading for her rescue, Adesina said he could not say but it should not take long.

“It is within the purview of the Department of State Services to do that but it should not take long Left to the President, he wants her back today,” he added.

On whether the Presidency was keeping in touch with the family of the abducted girl, Adesina argued that it was not the responsibility of the President.

He maintained that it ought to be the job of the local government chairman or the state government under whose jurisdiction the abduction took place.

The President’s spokesman also said it was the duty of Non-Governmental Organisations to provide succour to the families of abducted persons but sadly many of them preferred to politicise matters and engage in protests.

Adesina added, “I expect the Yobe State Government to be in touch with the family to grant her some succour. It is not purely a Presidency matter. In Nigeria,  people expect the Presidency to do everything. The local government and state government should be in touch with the family.

“That is why you have NGOs. They should do this instead of engaging in agitations and politicising the matter. Those NGOs and agencies and organisations can also do something for the families.”

Asked to speak on the alleged forgery of a National Youth Service Corps exemption certificate by the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, the President’s spokesman said the NYSC should be given ample time to conduct a proper investigation.

“It is not how long but how well,” he said when asked why the investigation was taking long.

Asked if the Presidency shared the view of the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), that Adeosun could hold a government position without undergoing the mandatory NYSC exercise,  Adesina responded in the negative.

He said Sagay expressed a personal opinion.

The President’s spokesman, however, said Sagay’s input was not needed in this case as the matter did not border on corruption.

Adesina added, “It is his personal opinion. It was a personal comment. It is not the position of the government and Prof. Sagay has a right to his opinion.

“It will not be Prof. Sagay’s position to advise on that matter because it is not a corruption matter so to speak.”

In her reaction, however, a former Minister of Education, Mrs Oby Ezekwesili, berated Adesina for smiling while speaking on the abduction of Sharibu and for also failing to give precise answers.

Ezekwesili, who is the Co-Convener of the Bring Back Our Girls group, said this in a series of tweets on her official Twitter handle.

“Who else listened to the President’s media aide Femi Adesina, find anything worthy to laugh about while speaking about abducted children and their parents?

“A spokesperson that never has facts on hot-button issues — ‘I believe’, “I expect’, ‘some agency not presidency’. Na REAL wa (sic).”  (Punch)

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Court Jails 113 Boko Haram Members |The Republican News

Boko-Haram-Suspects

File Photo: Boko Haram suspects

Godwin Tsa, Abuja

The special courts for the trial of terrorism-related cases has convicted and sentenced 113 Boko Haram members to jail over their involvement in acts of terrorism.

The convicts, who were sentenced to various jail terms, were arraigned before the special court sitting at the Wawa Military Cantonment, in Kainji, Niger State, by the Federal Government.

They were charged for various offences ranging from membership of the proscribed Boko Haram group, concealing information vital to security agencies, providing support to the sect, participating in acts of terrorism which resulted in the deaths of many persons and murder.

Those sentenced included one Kabiru Mohammed from Kaban-Magadan, in Funtua, Katsina State. He was accused of receiving training in the use of explosives and other terrorism items. He was also accused of participating in series of attacks in Bama, Kunduga, Baga in Borno State and Damaturu in Yobe State which resulted to lots of deaths in the two states.

According to him, he joined the sect in 2013 and rose to become a leader. He was said to have led others in carrying out attacks as well as instructing them to carry out attack on people and communities.

Mohammed, who disclosed that he voluntarily joined Boko Haram, said at a time, he became tired of the kind of life he was leading and threw away his gun and ran to Katsina State, his home town.

He was arrested in 2015 at a motor park in Katsina.

He pleaded guilty to all the 7-count charge and was consequently sentenced to 30 years imprisonment with hard labour on each of the counts which are to run concurrently from the day of his arrest.

Next was one Adamu Mohammed, 22 years from Gombe State, who was charged with the murder of six people as well as throwing a bomb at a market place.

While he admitted to killing six persons through the use of a short gun, he, however, claimed he threw the bomb in a river and not in a market place.

He was sentenced to 25 full calendar years with hard labour in a maximum prison and without an option of fine.

Banzana Yusuf, from Kano State, on his part bagged 20 years for his role in the planning and kidnapping of the Chibok schoolgirls in 2014.

So also was 25 year-old Shetima Modu, who was arraigned on a 4-count charge of engaging in terrorism activities.

He admitted to participating in attacks on a church in Mala village as well as another attack in Gonuri village where seven people were killed.

One Sabo Kyari Mohammed, who was described by the Department of State Service (DSS) as a “strong member of Boko Haram”, however, bagged a jail term of five full calendar years.

Part of his charges included providing surveillance for the group and  participating in the attack known as ‘operation point and kill’ at his Musa village in Borno State.

He was arrested by men of the Nigerian Army in Jos, Plateau State along with his wife and two children.

In handing down the sentence, the trial judge stated that, though the defendant being a 1st time offender, the court ordinarily ought to have showed him mercy in the judgment, but, “due to the carnage and wanton destruction of lives their action caused society, he is to serve a five full calendar years imprisonment.

“This is to serve as a deterrent to himself and others like him “, the judge held.

Also sentenced was Zainab Idris, wife of Boko Haram commander, Babawo Idris.

Zainab was arrested in 2014 with her two children, while on her way to join her husband in Sambisa forest.

Her husband, popularly known as Idoko or Nagada was numbered 156 on the military’s wanted list before his arrest last September.

The court sentenced her to four years imprisonment for being a member of a proscribed group.

However, the court held that haven been in custody since 2014, it is possible that she has served her jail term and consequently ordered that she be released.

The judge, in addition ordered that she be taking to a rehabilitation center, ” for de-radicalization, and monitored under strict surveillance to avoid going back to Boko Haram”.

The judge advised her to learn a trade at the center so as to become useful to herself, her children and society in future.

However, the case of a notorious member of the sect, Mohammed Zakariya, also known as “Butcher”, could not be taken on the grounds that he was mentally sick.

The court consequently ordered that he be taken to a psychiatric for treatment and adjourned till November 14 for his arraignment.

The special sitting of the court, which held between Monday and Tuesday heard over a hundred cases.

A total of 111 persons were discharged / acquitted or had their cases struck out for lack of evidence to support the charges, while 9 others were adjourned to Abuja. (The Sun)

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“I’m Now Realising My Foolishness, FG Proscription Of IPOB Indirectly Tags Me, An Igbo Man A Terrorist – Nnia Nwodo

NniaNwodo
Ohanaeze President General, Dr Nnia Nwodo

By Chuks

Chief John Nnia Nwodo, the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, at the weekend said that the declaration of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist organisation was an attempt by the Federal Government to profile Igbo people at the international security arena.

Nwodo stated this while delivering a lecture at the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) Business School, Enugu, on Saturday.

He also re-affirmed Ohanaeze’s utmost belief in the call by the Southern and Middle Belt Leadership Forum and a number of other well-meaning Nigerians for a new constitution for a politically restructured Nigeria similar to the 1963 arrangement.

Chief Nwodo said he viewed the declaration of IPOB as a terrorist organisation as hurried, unfair, and not in conformity with the intendment of the law.

The two-time minister said whereas he was not completely in agreement with some of the methods of IPOB, like its inappropriate and divisive broadcasts, the uncontested evidence given by the Attorney General of the Federation in an interlocutory action claiming that IPOB attempted and/or actually snatched guns from law enforcement agents, if proven, were merely criminal offences.

He insisted that the said offences IPOB were accused of did not constitute enough evidence to meet international law definition of terrorism.

Nwodo noted that the United States embassy in Nigeria shared this conclusion and asserted that the United States government did not recognise IPOB as a terrorist organisation.

He said: “This same unarmed IPOB that is being stigmatised by the Nigerian government had its members murdered in Asaba, Nkpor, Aba and Port Harcourt simply for having public demonstrations without the Federal Government ordering a judicial inquiry.

“Instead, after I called for one and Amnesty International provided evidence that 150 of them were killed, the Chief of Army Staff set up an inquiry, composed of serving and retired members of the armed forces, thereby compromising the rules of natural justice which prescribes that you cannot be a judge in your own case.

“The Igbos in Nigeria feel the treatment of IPOB as unfair, discriminatory, and an overkill.
“They see the move as an attempt to encourage a profiling of Igbos in the international security arena.

“We know of other self-determination groups in Nigeria that are armed and have destroyed government and private sector installations and wells that government prefer to negotiate with rather than labelling them as terrorist organisations.

“Fulani herdsmen, otherwise called the Fulani militants, have ravaged farms in Middle Belt, South West, and South Eastern Nigeria, killing several farmers in the process. In January 2016, they killed 500 farmers and their families in Agatu in Benue State.

“This year alone, over 1000 people have been murdered by them in the Middle Belt and many more displaced from their homes.

“In Enugu State, they murdered more than 100 farmers in Ukpabi Nimbo in April 2016.

“Photographs depicting them with automatic rifles trend in the entire world media, yet not one of them is facing criminal charges, nor is ‘Operation Python Dance’ being conducted in the areas where they ravage and kill and the Federal Government describes them as criminals and not a terrorist organisation, notwithstanding their classification by the Global Terrorist Index as the fourth deadliest terrorist group in the world (see British Independent Newspaper of 12th July 2016 which indicated that Fulani herdsmen killed one thousand people in 2014).”

He said the recent deployment of soldiers to South East in ‘Operation Python Dance’ was unfortunate.

According to the Ohanaeze leader, deployment of the army was only allowed in circumstances of insurrection, terrorism, and external aggression not in preventing the killing of priests or fighting kidnapping.

He explained that in those circumstances where they could be deployed, leave of the Senate must be sought, stressing that this brazen impunity in dealing with matters which concerned the South East was provocative.

On the issue of restructuring, Nwodo said: “Now, let us look at the statistical evidence that made the argument for restructuring compelling.

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Atiku To Buhari: Be Open To Solutions To National Security |The Republican News

By Onyekachi Eze, ABUJA

 

Atiku-abubakar1

Atiku Abubakar

Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar ‎has called on President Muhammadu Buhari administration to be open to solutions from well-meaning Nigerians on how to solve the nation’s security challenges.

In a statement by his media adviser, Paul Ibe, Atiku said he welcomed the decision by the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris to withdraw security personnel guarding important personalities in the country.

The former vice president noted that Nigeria has security emergency while the nation’s security forces were overstretched‎.

“We do not have enough military and paramilitary forces to provide security for the peace-loving people of Nigeria which is why the recent Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State kidnapping occurred. Their school was left unguarded,” Atiku observed.

He recalled that he had counselled for the reassigning of the 150,000 policemen guarding private citizens to core police duties.

Atiku further recalled that he had noted about a week ago:‎ “If I had my way, I would have recalled all of those 150,000 policemen who are not performing core police duties and send them to provide security for every school in the North-East region. That to me would be a better use of their time and services.

“We already know that Boko Haram has an agenda to cripple Western education in Nigeria. So how could we have left those schools unguarded? Why should the police be guarding VIPs who can afford personal guards and leave vulnerable girls unguarded? We are spending billions of naira trying to encourage girls to go to school only to allow them to be abducted by terrorists.”

He, therefore, welcomed the reported new policy of reassigning these 150,000 policemen from guarding VIPs to regular police duties especially as it relates to the much-needed protection of schools in the Northeast and other troubled zones.  (New Telegraph)

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