Friday, 30 May 2014

90-year Old Mother-In-Law Of Bayelsa Speaker Kidnapped By Gunmen

Madam Ogboro Dark, 90, the mother-in-law of the Speaker of Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Hon. Kombowei Benson, has been kidnapped by armed gunmen.

Dark, fondly called Obololo, was reportedly abducted by unknown gunmen operating along the waterways of Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state.

She was abducted in her hometown, Korokorosei Community of Southern Ijaw, at about 2.00 am on Friday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) learnt that the armed men entered the community through the waterside in three speed boats.

A community source, who witnessed the incident, said: “the gunmen came at about 2.00 am.

“They shot sporadically before making their way to the woman’s home; we were all afraid because of the gunshots.

“They seized her and took her away to an unknown place.

“They showed no pity at the age of the woman,” the source, who did not want his name mentioned, said.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Hilary Opara, confirmed the development and said the police had ”swung into action” to free the victim.

Opara, who vowed to make the state uncomfortable for criminals, said the anti-kidnap squad of the police had been directed to rescue the woman.

“The divisional police officer in charge of the area alerted me early in the morning about the development.

“It is wicked and we will ensure we rescue the woman,” he said. (NAN)

Leadership Newspaper

US Secretary of State, Kerry Says an 'All Out Assault' to Rescue Chibok Schoolgirls ‘Very Risky’

US Secretary of State John Kerry warned that a Nigerian offensive to go after Boko Haram and attempt to free 219 kidnapped schoolgirls “could be very risky.”

John Kerry, in an interview with PBS NewsHour’s Gwen Ifill, was responding to Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan’s vow to free the abducted students by ordering a “full scale-operation” against Boko Haram Thursday.

“I think an all-out assault — I’m not sure what that means; I’d want to know what that means — it could be very risky to the young women. And there may be a time and place for that but we need to look at this very closely,” said Kerry during the interview at the State Department.

Kerry said he hope to be speaking with Jonathan some time “over the course of today or tomorrow” and said he was not aware of any requests for the U.S. to participate in any such operation.

PBS Newshour

BREAKING NEWS: Boko Haram Kidnaps Two Prominent Emirs

The extremist Boko Haram sect has kidnapped two first class traditional rulers in Borno state – the Emir of Uba, Ismaila Mamza and the Emir of Gwoza, Idrisa Timta, security officials aware of the incidence have told PREMIUM TIMES.

The two emirs were seized by gun-wielding insurgents at 10 AM Friday near Shaffa while they were travelling to Gombe to attend the funeral of the Emir of Gombe, Shehu Abubakar, who died on Tuesday evening at the Royal Marsden Hospital, London, where he was undergoing treatment for cancer.

The two abducted emirs were elevated to First Class traditional ruler status only in January.
The Borno state government is yet to issue an official statement on the abduction.
The abduction came 46 days after the Boko Haram sect whisked away over 250 schoolgirls from their dormitories in Chibok.

Premium Times

Once again, Jonathan Dangles Amnesty to Boko Haram Members

To end insurgency in  the country, the  Federal Government has indicated  its willingness to grant amnesty for members of the violent Islamic sect, Boko Haram.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Youth Development, Mr. Boni Haruna while speaking on youth’s position in the present administration’s transformation agenda during a programme to mark the nation’s Democracy Day titled ‘A day with young leaders of Nigeria.’

According to him, President Goodluck Jonathan has given approval for the amnesty to be given as soon as the sect lay down their arms.

Stressing that series of programmes are in the pipeline for members of the sect, he called on them to embrace government’s gesture.

He said: “President Goodluck Jonathan has also declared amnesty for members of the Boko Haram sect. Series of integration programmes have been lined up for the members of the sect who would surrender their arms and embrace peace.”

“Let me use this opportunity on behalf of the Federal Government, to call on the members of the Boko Haram sect to embrace the government’s gesture and key into the amnesty programme.” He added

On the youth restiveness in the Niger Delta, the Minister said that the government introduced a development programme which gave the youth an opportunity to have a meaningful life.

According to him, over 30,000 youths have benefited from the amnesty programme which he recalled was a result of a bitter national security experience.

Noting that the effect of the amnesty has been great, he said that beneficiaries have transformed from militants to wealth creators, employers of labour and skilled citizens.

During interactive session with the youths on Thursday, President Jonathan said that terrorism cannot succeed in any community without support from the local people.

Calling on those who are respected by the insurgents to join hands with the government in order to encourage them to lay down their arms, the President said that military alone cannot stop terrorism.

He said: “Terror succeeds with local support. It will be difficult for terror to thrive where people reject it. It is a major challenge to all of us.”

“Military alone cannot stop terror or any radicalism. Terrorists have people they respect, they have community, traditional and opinion leaders they respect. All of us can deradicalise them.

“We will through persuasive activities encourage people to shun violence,” he added

As part of efforts to ensure youths are reorientated and not misled, he said that his government is already working out modalities to reintroducing moral education in schools.

The Nation

Thursday, 29 May 2014

President Jonathan Orders Operation to Put an End to The Impunity of Terrorists

Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan has vowed to wage a "total war" against militant Islamist group Boko Haram.
Speaking on the the 15th anniversary of the end of military rule, he said "international terrorism" threatened Nigeria's democratic gains.

'Hard-earned lessons'
"With the support of Nigerians, our neighbours and the international community, we will reinforce our defence, free our girls and rid Nigeria of terrorists," Mr Jonathan said, in a televised speech to mark Democracy Day.
He added that he was determined to protect Nigeria's democracy.
"I have instructed our security forces to launch a full-scale operation to put an end to the impunity of terrorists on our soil," he said.


BREAKING NEWS: Explosion Rocks Abuja Outskirt, Residents Panic

A loud explosion occurred on Thursday morning in Kurudu, a community on the outskirts of Abuja.
The cause of the explosion is still unclear as a resident said it could have been caused by a bomb or dynamites used in blasting rocks in the area.
The explosion has caused panic in Kurudu, Jikoyi and other adjoining areas as residents scampered for safety.

A resident of an Army Estate in Kurudu, told PREMIUM TIMES that soldiers simply locked the gate and prevented anyone from going out upon hearing the loud explosion.

Details coming...

Premium Times

Obama Calls on Congress To Support New $5 Billion Fund To Fight Terrorism Globally

President Barack Obama Wednesday called on Congress to approve a $5 billion fund to fight terrorism around the world.
Speaking at the U.S. Military Academy's commencement, Obama said the $5 billion Counterterrorism Partnerships Fund would respond to terrorist threats internationally. The fund would also cover the expansion of Defense Department efforts, including intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and Special Operations activities, according to a White House statement.

Obama said the withdrawal of troops in Afghanistan has given the U.S. the ability to refocus its resources and to work with allies to address new, evolving terrorist threats.
"For the foreseeable future, the most direct threat to America and home and abroad remains terrorism," Obama said, adding that today's principle threat no longer comes from a central al-Qaeda hub, but is decentralized and has expanded to include affiliates that operate in countries across the world.
Obama said the fund would be used to train and build capacity with countries dealing with terrorism. He said the U.S. would support training efforts and peacekeeping forces in such nations as Yemen, Somalia, Libya and Mali.
The class of 2014 is the first class "to graduate since 9/11 who may not be sent into combat in Iraq or Afghanistan," Obama said.

International Business Times

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Four more girls escape from Boko Haram camp

Four girls out of the 168 students of Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, that were abducted by Boko Haram in April, have escaped.

The Chairman, Chibok Local Government Area, Mr. Bana Lawan, announced this on Tuesday in Abuja at a one-day stakeholders meeting for validation of draft humanitarian response plan for the abducted girls. The meeting was organised by the National Emergency Management Agency.

Lawan, who was represented by the Director for Personnel and Management, Mr. Musa Elijah, said the number of escapees had risen to 57 as against 53, while 164 girls were still held by the terrorist group.

He said, “The people of Chibok are anxiously waiting for the safe return of their children. Except for the unfortunate situation where two of the parents have passed on. They were known to have BP (blood pressure) issues, although I am not a medical expert, but they will not be opportuned to welcome back their daughters.

“Latest report reaching us is that instead of 53, those that have escaped are now 57 and those remaining are 164 and not 168 as before. This is out of the 221 girls that were abducted.”

Lawan explained that it was not all those who registered for the Senior School Certificate Examination in the school that stayed back.

“Those that registered for the SSCE are not all that sat for the exam. Over 500 registered and those who had relatives around decided to move to various places like Kaduna and Maiduguri to write the exams. Those that were left with no relations decided to stay back to take the risk and among them 221 were abducted.”

Punch Newspaper

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

We lost 36 Members to Jos Explosions, Says Igbo Leader

The Igbo said they lost 36 people in the explosions at the Jos Terminus market. No fewer than 42 were injured.

The Eze Igbo in Jos, Prof. Jerome Obilom, unveiled the chilling details at a news conference in Jos.

Many Igbo traders are still missing, he added.

Obilom said: “The May 20 bomb blast in Jos killed 36 of our members and 42 others injured.

“In addition, many others are still unaccounted for while Igbo traders lost goods worth millions of naira.

“But our major problem now is the move by the state government to give mass burial to the victims without informing members of the community, especially we the Igbo. It is our tradition not to bury our own outside our homestead.

“Some hospital authorities were very hostile when the community, led by the Chairman of the Igbo Community Association, Chief Jonah Ezekwueme, visited them to identify victims of the blast who were Igbo.

Obilom said: “There is the need to compensate victims of the bomb blast. In past incidents, Ndigbo were neglected and made to bear the cost of burying and rehabilitating their members alone.

“While recognising the fact that some of the victims were shattered into shreds, which necessitated that some body parts were packed into bags that necessitated the mass burial, we still insist that  Ndigbo in Jos should have been consulted to identify their own because it is not our custom to bury our dead outside our traditional homes.

“We, therefore, condemn such act and implore the authorities to allow Ndigbo access to the bodies so that those missing could be accounted for because if we had been allowed inside the mortuary, we would have been able to identify many of our members who were unfortunately caught up in the bomb blast.”

The Igbo community was able to identify the dead through town and community who took roll calls of their members after the explosions.

The Ezeigbo deplored a situation where Ndigbo were neglected in the distribution of relief materials and urged the authorities to send such materials to aid the victims and their families.

He also asked the Plateau State government to hasten efforts in the relocation of street traders to the Satellite market in Rukuba road area of Jos, adding that the traffic caused by the traders along the busy road was responsible for the heavy losses caused by the bomb blast.

The Nation Newspaper

Boko Haram Targets Adamawa State University

Over the past two weeks school officials based at the Adamawa State University have been the recipients of written threats directed at them, but the source of the unspecified threats remain a mystery. The origins are unknown. Yet the threats, rather than being cast off as a malicious prank, are being taken seriously, as word of the letters has shaken both the student body and officials at the school. The atmosphere on campus, and in the surrounding area, can be best described as tense. 

A source has said that the letters are believed to be real, with school officials and the student body suspecting it is coming directly from the Islamist insurgent group Boko Haram. 
As word of the letters making undetermined threats have surfaced, rumours, too, have circulated.  Compounding matters is that school officials have largely remained silent. Most of the students at Adamawa State University are fearful of an impending Boko Haram attack. Rumors are being taken seriously.
For example, most of the Adamawa State University students who use the only hostel available to men have not slept there over the past weekend.  The hostel, also known as ‘Barde Hall,’ was nearly empty of students beginning on Saturday evening.  Barde Hall, is also popularly known as "256" by many in the student body. It is a popular ‘hang out’ spot for many of the students attending. It is also seen as a safe space, and resting place, that normally has scores of students milling around outside during the academic year. Many of the students did not sleep, or ‘hang out’ at the hostel on Saturday night. It was ghostly quiet.

A student confirmed that the atmosphere at the hostel worsened on Sunday night. In room A5, a student confided that, he was the only person that slept the night in his room.
Another student said that many of the occupants had fled to the nearby town to seek shelter instead, where they believe it to be a much safer place. Yet, the tension Monday morning picked-up, when students in Barde Hall awoke and found a letter placed on a wall that was written in the Hausa language.

The letter, when translated into English, reads, "Last warning."
But this time around, it had a pound of flesh clipped to the letter. It dripped with blood, and was described as somewhat black in colour, though looking as if it was not long since this section of human flesh it was cut off.
They then openly questioned the  efforts of the university security men, and called them to the hall to remove the grisly letter. The students denied the letter was written and posted by a fellow student among them to the arriving security men. They then demanded to see the schools’ vice chancellor.
The Adamawa State University Vice Chancellor is Dr. Alkassum Abba, who arrived shortly afterwards, and addressed the students in a tense exchange over the letters and this latest note placed on a wall dripping with blood. Abba was peppered with many questions from the assembled students about school security. But to many in attendance Abba’s explanation was neither reassuring, or satisfying.  

As it stands now, many of the Adamawa State University students have packed their bags, and also, reportedly, packing out of the hostel.
The "256" is in a place many of the departing students feel is especially vulnerable, in large part because, physically, it is isolated, and neighbored by bush, with just a few farms located behind the building.


Monday, 26 May 2014

Kidnapped Chibok Shoolgirls in New Danger as 'Prisoner Swap Deal' is Scrapped at 11th Hour

More than 200 kidnapped schoolgirls held hostage in Nigeria came agonisingly close to freedom before government officials called off a deal to swap them for jailed Islamist terror suspects, The Mail on Sunday has been told.

A Nigerian journalist trusted by both the government and extremists from Boko Haram acted as go-between, risking his life on a one-man mission to enter the gunmen’s lair and broker an agreement, according to security sources.

But last Saturday, at the 11th hour, officials scrapped the exchange in a telephone call from a crisis summit in Paris where Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan met foreign ministers including those from Britain, the United States, France and Israel.

Abubakar Shekau is said to be enraged by the broken deal

President Goodluck Jonathan
It was agreed there that no deals should be struck with terrorists and that force should instead be used against them.

Insiders believe that the cancellation of last Saturday’s plan and the ensuing stand-off now puts the girls’ lives in even greater danger.

An intelligence source told The Mail on Sunday: ‘The next video we see from the terrorists could show the girls being killed one by one.’

Sources in the Nigerian capital Abuja described how Shekau had agreed to bring the girls out of their forest camps in the remote north-east of the country in the early morning and take them to a safe location for the prisoner swap.

‘They would have been dropped off in a village, one group at a time, and left there while their kidnappers disappeared. There was to be a signal to a mediator at another location to bring in the prisoners,’ sources said.

About 2,000 Boko Haram members are currently detained.

One hundred non-combatant, low-level sympathisers were to be freed and the two groups brought together in a convoy of buses accompanied by a hand-picked go-between, respected Nigerian journalist Ahmad Salkida.

The plan had been agreed in tortuous negotiations in response to worldwide outrage over a night-time raid on a school in the town of Chibok on April 14 when the girls were abducted from their dormitories.

Mr Salkida was born in the north-eastern state of Borno, where Boko Haram originated. He has known its leaders all his life and has unprecedented access.

Mail online

President Barack Obama Makes Surprise Afghan Visit

President Barack Obama has told US troops in Afghanistan that America's longest war will come to "a responsible end" at the end of 2014.

Mr Obama was cheered by soldiers during the unannounced visit to Bagram Airfield outside Kabul.

It comes on the eve of Memorial Day, when Americans commemorate troops who have died in service.

Foreign combat troops are due to withdraw from the country by the end of the year.

The US is seeking to keep a small number of troops there to train Afghan security forces. But that plan depends on the next Afghan president - due to be elected next month - signing a bilateral security agreement that incumbent Afghan President Hamid Karzai has refused to authorise.

President Obama had invited his Afghan counterpart to the base but Mr Karzai refused, saying he would only meet Mr Obama at his palace in Kabul, officials said.

Instead, Mr Obama called the Afghan leader from Air Force One on his way back to the US, officials said, saying he would be in touch before announcing any decision on the planned US troop presence after 2014.

Mr Obama praised US troops for reversing the momentum of the Taliban
"By the end of this year... Afghans will take full responsibility for their security and our combat mission will be over. America's war in Afghanistan will come to a responsible end."

Mr Obama said the US would remain committed to Afghanistan provided the incoming president signed the security agreement.

Both of the candidates who will face each other in the second round of the Afghan election next month are committed to signing the security deal with the US that would allow a small force of some 10-15,000 US troops to remain next year.

Afghanistan was at a pivotal moment, he said, with US forces having decimated al-Qaeda, reversing the momentum of the Taliban, and leaving a legacy of better health and education and strong Afghan forces.

"After all the sacrifices we've made we want to preserve the gains that you have helped to win and we're going to make sure that Afghanistan can never again, ever, be used again to launch an attack against our country," he said.


Sunday, 25 May 2014

Nigerian Immigration Officer Confesses To Being High Profile Boko Haram Member, Names Other Security Personnel

An officer of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Ahmed Grema Mohammed, has confessed to being a high profile member of the Islamist extremist group, Boko Haram.

In his confession, Mohammed named some security personnel whom he said are members of the sect.

He was arrested by the Joint Task Force (JTF) in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital in August 2012 while on his way to kill a former special adviser to the immediate past governor of the state.
Before his apprehension, Mohammed, was attached to the Nangere office of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Yobe State, he was involved in many terrorists attacks including hits on primary schools in Damaturu.

A statement by the JTF signed by its spokesman, Lt. Col Sagir Musa, gave the news of Mohammed’s arrest:
“Mohammed confessed to be actively involved in the killings of some senior civil servants, security agents, and politicians in Damaturu who spoke against the activities of Boko Haram, particularly the former chairman of Damboa Council, Alhaji Lawal Kawu.

“He also took part in the attack on the old Police Headquarters in Damaturu, where some policemen were killed and large quantity of arms and ammunition carted away.
“In addition, he was among the terrorists that attacked Damaturu Prison, burnt some primary schools, the State CID office and the Police Safety Vehicle, among others.


Football Viewing Centre In Jos (Plateau State) Narrowly Missed in Fresh Bombing

Barely five days after an explosion rocked the ever busy Jos Main Market and its environs, there has been another explosion.

The nature of the explosion is yet to be ascertained., however, the explosion reportedly hit Bauchi road area of the state.

According to NTA, the explosion occurred near a football viewing center and has been confirmed by a Police spokesperson, Felicia Anselm.

The explosion was reportedly set off by a suicide bomber. Premium Times reported that a resident said the suicide bomber died 20 metres from a viewing centre where football fans gathered to watch the ongoing final of the UEFA Champions League between Real Madrid and Athletico Madrid. That could not be independently verified at this time.

Other than the suicide bomber, no other casualty has been reported.

More details ...

Nigerian Bulletin

MASSOB Raises Alarm Over Purported Plot to Bomb Onitsha Market

THE Movement for Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, yesterday raised an alarm over what it called a plot by members of the Boko Haram sect to bomb the popular Onitsha main market and some other markets in the South-East geo-political zone.
It therefore warned that MASSOB would resist any attempt to perpetrate such terrorism in any part of Igbo land which is also regarded as Biafra land, by all means and with the last drop of their blood.

Speaking to newsmen yesterday in a telephone chat, MASSOB’s National Director of Information, Comrade Uchenna Madu, said the Boko Haram’s plot was discovered by the MASSOB intelligence and security groups, adding that it is even possible that some of the Nigerian security agents would have equally perceived such an information.

Madu warned that should the insurgents attempt to execute the plot, whether successful or not, MASSOB would have no other option than to remove its non-violence posture and wear the violence garb for a revenge mission.

Reacting to the speculations, the Police Area Commander for Onitsha, Mr. Benjamin Wordu, an Assistant Commissioner of Police, ACP, told newsmen on phone that although he had not heard of  plot by the insurgents to attack Onitsha or any part of Igbo land from any authentic source, there is every tendency that rumour mongers would have cashed in on the recent concentration of attacks by the insurgents on major markets and motor parks in the North to nurse the fear of possible attacks on major markets in the South East region.

Vanguard Newspaper

Soldiers Intercept Arms in Nsukka Bound For Boko Haram, Arrest Retired DSP, Corporal

Three persons, including a retired Deputy Superintendent of Police, DSP, and a corporal, Abu Haruna, Solomon, respectively have been arrested for illegal trafficking of arms and ammunition.

The third suspect, Onuwa Attaka, is the driver of the arms laden vehicle.

DailyPost gathered that their confession showed alleged involvement in supplying of arms to insurgents in the Northern Nigeria.

The three suspects, who were heading to the North from Imo State, were intercepted in Nsukka by officers and men of the Nigerian Army while traveling in a bus.

Items recovered from them include- 40 AK47 magazines, 4 boxes of AK47 live ammunition, 100 pieces of live cartridges, one piece of Denin Mopol khaki and charms concealed in a cap.

One of the army officers who spoke to DailyPost under anonymity disclosed that a police corporal serving in Imo State Police Command was also involved in the arms running.

He said, “When we asked the occupants of the vehicle to come down, we discovered a police corporal in uniform among them. The corporal on getting down pretended to be pressed; he later ran away”, he said.

It was gathered that the suspects were taken to Nsukka Police Division before their transfer to the state CID.

The retired DSP, Abu Haruna, confessed that he had been in the business of arms dealing since he retired from the police.

He said their mission was to supply the ammunition to their buyer in Taraba State.

Our source said Haruna further confessed that they decided to go on the supply after the buyer complained that the first batch was incomplete.

The Police corporal’s identity has been traced to Imo State Police command; his name was simply given as Solomon, even as efforts are still being made to effect his arrest.

Meanwhile, the Nsukka Police Area Commander, ASP. Ros-Amson Haladu has praised the gallantry of the soldiers in combating crimes in the area.

“I want to commend the Army Officers for their vigilance in tracking down these illegal arms dealers.

“At the same time, I warn criminals to leave this vicinity or risk being apprehended by security operatives”, he said.

Daily Post

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Boko Haram Not Islamic Sect, Says Sultan of Sokoto

The Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Abubakar Sa’ad, on Friday, urged Nigerians to be united in their condemnation of terrorism in all ramifications rather than placing religious tag on the terrorists’ insurgency as either Islamic or Christian.

The religious leader, who insisted that members of the Boko Haram sect are not Muslims, spoke at the commissioning of Mosque and Islamic Centre built by Bodija Estates and Environs Muslim Community in Ibadan.

The Sultan said their deeds and actions were contrary to Islamic tenets, while lamenting the dastardly act of the Boko Haram insurgents.

The Islamic and traditional leader said: “There is nothing Islamic in the activities of the group and I feel bad when people ascribe them to Islamic religion which is why I’m charging all of us, irrespective of our religious belief, to rise in total condemnation of the sect.”

He charged Muslims to see themselves as one, stressing; “There is no tribe, language or colour in Islam. We are one, brothers and sisters and that’s how we should see ourselves and relate.

“There is no compulsion in Islam; everybody is free to practise his or her religion. What is expected of us as Islamic faithful is to, through our relationship with others, bring people to light and peace, which Islam is all about. That should be our concern to make Islam progress”, Sultan added.

The community’s chairman, Tiamiyu Giwa, condemned the bombing, abductions and killings in some northern states in the last couple of years.

While condoling with the victims of the insurgency and sharing the grief of the affected families, he said: “Islam is a religion of peace which abhors violence in any form.”

“We urge all to be more security conscious so as to protect public institutions from terrorist attacks,” he said.

Daily Independent Newspaper

Nigerian Army Denies Purported Second Mutiny In Maimalari Barracks

Director, Defence Information in the Army, Major-General Chris Olukolade, in a press statement on Friday said “the online report titled ‘Second Mutiny in Maimalari Barracks as Soldiers Manhandled Commander’ is not true.”

The Nigerian Military has been under fire in recent times for a seeming incapability to bring the Boko Haram insurgency to an end.

A media platform online had reported a second mutiny in Maimalari Barracks, but according to Olukolade, “what the online outlet garnished and dubbed as ‘mutiny’ was just a presentation of complaints by representatives of personnel families who wanted the ban on motorcycles as a means of public transportation in the barracks reversed.”

The statement further read that “soldiers were not involved and there was no single shot fired by soldiers throughout the period as claimed in the report.”

The Major-General explained that the ban was part of security measures put in place for the safety of the soldiers and their families.  “The Acting General Officer Commanding obliged their request and directed a suspension of the ban pending when the planned alternative transportation arrangement is put in place.  He was not insulted or manhandled as reported.”

“The imputation of mutiny was concocted by the online medium ostensibly to raise false alarm and create the impression of disquiet in the military.  It is very obvious that a section of the media is feasting on the current security challenges and is desperate to sustain the tempo of the crisis through sensational reportage.  Mutiny is a very grievous breach that attracts severe sanctions in the military and should not be trivialized by those who do not understand its ramifications.”

“The general public is therefore requested to discountenance the rumours as no such incident took place. The mass media is again requested to beware of lifting stories on the military from online media as this has become the main channel of disseminating falsehood on happenings in the system.”

Channels TV

Presidency, Military Authorities Bar Soldiers From Escorting Politicians

The Federal Government has decided to stop the use of soldiers and other personnel of the Armed Forces as escorts by political office holders in the country.

A security source in the Presidency said the Federal Government would no longer allow soldiers to be in the entourage of governors and members of the National Assembly, among others.

The source said that the “men of the Armed Forces would henceforth serve the purpose for which they were recruited.”

It was stated that it was the position of the top security chiefs in the country that the Army was being saddled unnecessarily with responsibilities that could not be said to be essential.

It was further gathered that all soldiers in the escort of politicians would be withdrawn and deployed to duties in consonance with their statutory responsibilities of defending the territorial integrity of the country.

The source added that the security leadership was of the opinion that the deployment of the troops of the Nigerian Army in 32 out of the 36 states of the Federation had foisted the traditional responsibilities of the police on the Army.

He said, “A decision has been taken that there would be no more military escorts for politicians in the country.

“These involved governors, senators, and other persons who move about with soldiers in their entourage.

“The government is withdrawing all such troops because they are not essential services; they have to use the troops for their statutory services, they have to be used for the services for which they were recruited.

“Anything that has to do with policing should be handled by the police. You know that they have imposed a lot of police responsibilities on the Army and it is affecting performance.

“How can you apply for soldiers to be in your entourage, You use them and you end up vilifying them.

“These people are fighting in many fronts; they are supposed to be used for the purpose of defending the territorial integrity of the country.”

But the Director, Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen Olajide Laleye, said that the service had always ensured that soldiers were released to those who were constitutionally entitled to them.

He stated also that it was the duty of the Army to protect movement of people that could come under attack in operational areas

“Well, at no time in the past or in the present has the Nigerian army ever given soldiers to anybody apart from those constitutionally empowered to have them

“Like I said, I know that the military cannot be in the entourage of anybody that does not have the constitutional entitlement.

“It is our duty to provide escort to important personalities and indeed anybody if they could come under attack by the insurgents in line with the orders of the President.”

Punch Newspaper

Is this the Sudanese University Radicalising Nigerian Militants?

Security agencies are getting worried about the possible role of Sudanese universities in the radicalisation of Nigerians linked to Boko Haram.

The most recent example is that of Aminu Sadiq Ogwuche, who allegedly masterminded the April 14 Nyanya bombing which claimed 75 lives.

Ogwuche studied Arabic at Sudan’s International University of Africa, which has also trained over 1,000 Nigerians in the last 10 years.

“Increasingly, many Nigerians are travelling to Sudan for education ─ some of them sponsored by northern state governments. There is a serious cause for worry,” a top security chief told TheCable.

The official said there is yet no “concrete evidence” linking radicalism with the universities “but there are high possibilities that they are serving as recruitment points for al-Qaeda agents”.

A case in point is that of “Mujahid Abu Nasir”, believed to be the pseudonym of a top commander of al-Qaeda-linked Ansaru ─ a Nigerian militant group that broke away from Boko Haram but still works closely with the Abubakar Shekau-led insurgents.

Nasir  told an American newspaper last year that he also attended the university in Khartoum where he ─ like Ogwuche ─ studied Arabic.

In a very revealing interview, Nasir said he first attended an Islamic college in Kano, and then “for the zeal of seeking knowledge”, he went to Khartoum, Sudan, where “al-Qaeda propagators initiated me into the clique”.

He said the recruiters took him to the southern deserts of Algeria and then to Mauritania for a “rigorous training course” by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

AQIM has been linked to terror activities in Nigeria and Somalia.

Nasir said he trained directly under Abu Zeid, a key commander of AQIM who was eventually killed by French forces in northern Mali last year.

He said although five of them left Sudan for the AQIM training, two died in the process because of the rigour involved.

Nasir returned to Nigeria in 2008, spent some time “underground” in Lagos before launching out with the militants who say they want to impose Islamic law on Nigeria.

He also said there are thousands like him in Nigeria, some of whom he said were working in government, “some businessmen, some teachers”.

The International University of Africa was founded as the Islamic African Centre in 1977 but was upgraded to a university in 1992.

It has six faculties: Sharia, engineering, medicine, education, economics and political science, and arts.

It  is owned by the government of Sudan, a country once classified by the US as a sponsor of international terrorism.

Osama bin Laden, the founder of al-Qaeda, was resident in the country for five years in the 1990s. He set up construction and trading companies there, and built bridges and roads all over the country.

But the attraction of Sudan is not mainly religious ─ according to a father whose son is also studying in that country.

“They have a stable education system. There are no strikes, the campuses are conducive to learning, and the fees are far cheaper than what Nigerian, European or American universities are charging,” he told TheCable. “And their standards are quite high.”

The annual tuition fee is $400 for economics and political science, and sharia; $500 for education and arts; $2500 for engineering; and $5000 for medicine.

The Cable

Boko Haram Kills 34 in Fresh Attacks in Bornu State

TERRORISTS have raided three villages and killed those they accused of being anti-Boko Haram vigilantes in Borno State, according to the British Broadcasting Corporation.

While the BBC reported that more than 30 people were killed in the early hours of Friday, other sources put the casualty figure at 34.

Residents from two of the villages that came under attack said militants had arrived in a convoy and gathered the men of the community together.

They accused them of being members of vigilante groups and killed them all, one villager from Moforo in Marte district who escaped across the border to Cameroon told the BBC Hausa Service.

They then burnt down all the shops in the market, leaving the villagers destitute, he said.

Correspondents say that most villages have formed vigilante groups to try to protect their communities from militant attacks.

A resident of Kimba village in Biu district said the villagers contacted the security forces to alert them to their attack, but were told it was not an area under military control so they could not be helped.

The military has not commented on the allegation.

A local Mallam Umar Kimba told Saturday Tribune in Maiduguri, on Friday, that everybody in the village had fled to seek refuge in Sabon Gari while others fled to Mandara, Girau and Biu. According to him, the attackers,who came on motorcycles on Thursday night started firing sporadically before setting the town ablaze.

He added that, as they were firing, they were calling on youths in the village to come out and join in the jihad against the government of infidel and corrupt politicians. “When nobody went out to meet them they started burning the houses and those who hide in their houses started coming out and running to safe heaven, but the attackers fired at the people. I left Sabon Gari this morning but we have taken the wounded to hospital in Biu before I left.”

He also said what baffled them was that, there were military formation around that area but wondered how the insurgents managed to bypass all the military and attacked the village.

“They did not touch the house of the village head and security operatives came only when they had burnt everything and chased everybody out of the village.” he said.

About 25 men were killed in Moforo, another eight men in Kimbi. It is not known if there were casualties from a raid early on Friday on Kabrihu village near the Sambisa forest.

Nigerian Tribune

Nigerian Army Claims Discovery Of Facility For Rocket Launchers In Kano

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) says it has uncovered a rocket launcher production facility in Kano State.
According to Director of Defence Information, Major-General Chris Olukolade, the facility was discovered at Dorayi District in Kumbotso Local Government Area of the state, after a cordon-and-search exercise.

“The discovery followed the arrest of a prominent member of the terrorist group,” Olukolade said, adding that locally-made anti-aircraft gun and mortar accessories and rocket-propelled grenade tubes and launcher along with accessories were recovered.
“Also seized were three AK47 rifles and hundreds of rounds of assorted ammunitions, as well as drilling machines and other fabricating equipment.”

Olukolade urged the public to always report suspicious persons to security agencies in their localities to prevent unwholesome act by terrorists.


Bomb Scare in Kubwa, Abuja Cause Panic

The Police in Kubwa, one of the most populated  satellite towns in Abuja, yesterday afternoon, foiled a bomb attack by suspected Boko Haram members as residents, market women scampered for safety.

A Volkswagon Golf car filled with gas cylinders and jerrycans of petrol was said to have been parked near ElRufai Bus Stop by Channel 8 Junction in Kubwa around 7 AM yesterday morning, Vanguard learnt.
According to eye witnesses, many residents and passersby took to their heels upon noticing the car which they suspected could have been parked to bomb the area. Eventually the area was cordoned off by the police anti-bomb squad  invited by the Chief Imam of Kubwa Central Mosque,  Sheikh Abdulmumini Ahmad Khalid and other residents of the area.

The Spokesperson for the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Police Command, DSP Altine Daniel told newsmen later, however, that no explosive device was found in the said car. She said the vehicle had been towed by the police of the Kubwa Division, noting that the owner of the vehicle could be a cylinder seller who left the vehicle there after it might have developed a fault.

Daniel further addd that the Commissioner of Police for the FCT, Joseph Mbu had ordered all abandoned vehicles in the area to be scanned.  The Divisional Police Officer, DPO, of the police Zonal Command Headquarters, Phase 4, Agabi Godiri said that normalcy had returned to the area.

Vanguard Newspaper

Friday, 23 May 2014

Corruption Stalls Nigeria’s war Against Boko Haram –United States

The United States Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights, Sarah Sewall, has said that corruption is hindering Nigeria’s efforts at ending   insurgency in the North-East.

Sewall, who appeared before a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday, alongside a Pentagon top Africa official, Amanda Dory, added that the military must overcome entrenched corruption and incompetence for it to rescue the over 200 schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram on April 14.

She said that despite Nigeria’s $5.8bn security budget for 2014, “corruption prevents supplies as basic as bullets and transport vehicles from reaching the front lines of the struggle against Boko Haram.”

Sewall, according to the New York Times, also told the committee that morale was low and that desertions were common among soldiers in the 7th Army Division fighting the insurgents.

She sidestepped a question from one lawmaker asking for an update on the abducted girls’ location and welfare, saying, “Given time, I am hopeful that we will make progress.”

Sewall had on May 13 clarified the level of involvement of US personnel in the rescue of the abducted girls, saying it   would not be combative.

She told select journalists   in Abuja that it was up to Nigeria to accept or reject the prisoners exchange offer made by Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau.

In her testimony, Dory said that Pentagon believed that the girls might have been dispersed into multiple smaller groups.

“They may or may not all be in Nigeria,” she added, stressing that Nigerian military’s heavy-handed tactics with Boko Haram risked “further harming and alienating local populations.”

The Chairman of the Committee, Ed Royce, said being trained by the global terrorist sect meant greater terror for Nigerians, and greater challenges for the security forces.

The committee’s hearing on the menace of insurgents was tagged: “Boko Haram – The Growing Threat To Schoolgirls, Nigeria And Beyond.”

Washington had on Wednesday said that 80 US troops were currently in Chad to support the growing international effort to   rescue the abducted schoolgirls.

The military personnel are not ground troops. They are mostly Air Force crew members, maintenance specialists and security officers for unarmed Predator surveillance drones .

“These personnel will support the operation of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft for missions over northern Nigeria and the surrounding area,” the White House said in a statement formally notifying the US Congress about the deployment.

Culled From:
Punch Newspaper

United Nations Security Council Brands Boko Haram a Terror Group, Slam Sanctions on Sect

The U.N. Security Council has officially declared Boko Haram a terrorist group linked to al-Qaida on Thursday and imposed sanctions against the Islamist extremists who have carried out a wave of deadly attacks and the recent abduction of nearly 300 schoolgirls in Nigeria.
U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power welcomed the council's action, calling it "an important step in support of the government of Nigeria's efforts to defeat Boko Haram and hold its murderous leadership accountable for atrocities."
Nigeria, which is serving a two-year term on the council, asked the Security Council committee monitoring sanctions against al-Qaida to add Boko Haram to the list of al-Qaida-linked organizations subject to an arms embargo and asset freeze.

The 14 other council members had until 3 p.m. EDT (1900 GMT) on Thursday to object and none did. The group was then added to the U.N. sanctions list under the name Jama'atu Ahlus-Sunna Lidda'Awati Wal Jihad, with Boko Haram as an alias.
Quinlan said there's "very clear evidence" that Boko Haram members have trained with al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, particularly in developing improvised explosive devices "one of the main weapons of modern-day terrorism and particularly al-Qaida." There is also evidence that a significant number of Boko Haram members have fought alongside al-Qaida affiliates in Mali, he said.
Quinlan said Boko Haram's current leader, Abubakar Shekau, also made "very, very strong statements of ... terrorist solidarity with al-Qaida in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia" and other places in November 2012.

Before Boko Haram's addition, the al-Qaida sanctions list included 62 entities and groups, and 213 individuals who are also subject to travel bans.
Quinlan said it's hard to say what the practical impact of sanctions against Boko Haram will be. One possible problem in tracking their finances, he said, is that large parts of the group work in the jungle and probably use cash rather than "substantial or sophisticated financial arrangements for banking but you never know."
He urged all 193 U.N. member states to focus on Boko Haram as a violent al-Qaida related group, ensure that it is included in any national terrorist lists, and check their own country's financial and arms dealings to ensure that the organization isn't getting money or weapons.

Nigeria's U.N. Ambassador, Joy Ogwu said Wednesday "the important thing is to attack the problem, and that is terrorism."

According to the sanctions committee, Boko Haram is responsible for attacks and kidnappings in Nigeria and Cameroon and has also been active in Chad and Niger.
At a summit in Paris on Saturday aimed at hammering out a plan to rescue the 276 girls, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan said Boko Haram was acting "clearly as an al-Qaida operation." He only reluctantly accepted outside help after years of insisting that Boko Haram was a local problem.
French President Francois Hollande told the summit that Boko Haram is armed with weapons that came from Libya following the ouster of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011, and the training took place in Mali before the ouster of its al-Qaida linked Islamist leaders. As for the money, Hollande said its origins were murky.

The Buffalo News

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Breaking News: Nigerian Military Sights Abducted Chibok School Girls in 3 Boko Haram Camps

Nigeria’s Special Forces from the Army’s 7th Division have sighted and narrowed the search for the more than 250 abducted Chibok schoolgirls to three camps operated by the extremist Boko Haram sect north of Kukawa at the western corridors of the Lake Chad, senior military and administration officials have said.

“It has been a most difficult but heroic breakthrough,” one senior military official said in Abuja.
That claim was supported by another senior commander from the Army’s 7th Division, the military formation created to deal with the insurgency in the Northeast. The 7th Division is headquartered in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

The breakthrough comes at a critical moment for the Nigerian military that has faced cutting criticism over its handling of the kidnapping of the girls more than a month ago.

Nigerian military officials coordinating the search and other officials in Abuja said Boko Haram insurgents split the girls into batches and held them at their camps in Madayi, Dogon Chuku and Meri, all around the Sector 3 operational division of the Nigerian military detachment confronting the group’s deadly campaign.

Another source said there is a fourth camp at Kangarwa, also in Borno State. That claim could not be independently verified.
“Our team first sighted the girls on April 26 and we have been following their movement with the terrorists ever since,” one of our sources said.
“That’s why we just shake our heads when people insinuate that the military is lethargic in the search for the girls.”
The location of the abducted girls – north east of Kukawa – opens a new insight into the logistic orientation of Boko Haram, responsible for thousands of deaths in a five-year long insurgency.
But the details established by the military shows that while the world’s attention is focused on the Sambisa forest reserves, about 330 kilometres south of Maiduguri, the terrorists mapped a complex mission that began at Chibok, and veered north east of Sambisa, before heading to west of Bama and east of Konduga.
With the sighting, officials fear that Boko Haram militants may be seeking to create new options of escape all the way to Lo-gone-Et Chari in Cameroon to its Southeast, Lake Chad to its east and Diffa in Niger Republic to its north, providing a multiple escape options in the event of hostile ground operations against it.

Notwithstanding the sighting, the government is said not to be considering the use of force against the extremists, a choice informed by concerns for the safety of the students.
But with growing local and international pressure, a likely option may be for the authorities to enter into talks with the group, whose leader, Abubakar Shekau, in a May 12 video broadcast, called for dialogue and “prisoner” swap with the government.
The government has ruled out that option in the open but know Defence spokesperson, Chris Olukolade, a Major General, told PREMIUM TIMES he would not comment on the ongoing rescue operation.
“You don’t expect me to tell you that the girls have been sighted or have not been sighted,” Mr. Olukolade said. “I will only say our team are working hard and taking note of every information provided to ensure that our girls are rescued without delay.”
Civic leader Shehu Sani who fired a letter to the Sultan of Sokoto and leader of Nigeria’s Muslim, however told PREMIUM TIMES that what must be done urgently is for the Sultan to summon all the influential Islamic clerics with credibility in the north and use them to reach out to the insurgents to release the girls.

Premium Times

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Hundreds Killed in Jos, Plateau State Multiple Explosion

There was a loud explosion in Jos, the Plateau State capital at about 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday.
The explosion, believed to have been caused by a bomb, occurred around the ever busy Jos Main Market, between Railway Terminus and the temporary site of the Jos University Teaching Hospital.
The explosion was followed by a thick smoke and is believed to have affected many shops and commercial vehicles. It is not known whether anyone was killed or injured.

The explosion has however created tension in the area with cars colliding as drivers scampered for safety.
Ambulance and other safety providers were seen rushing to the area.
The cause of the explosion and casualty is yet to be ascertained.

Another explosion sounded at about 3:20 PM around the same area just as our reporter was filing report of the first explosion to his editors.
The Commander of the Special Task Force, STF, on Jos crisis, Major General Dave Enetie, confirmed the incident to the News Agency of Nigeria but did not give casualty figure.

Leadership Newspaper

Monday, 19 May 2014

BokoHaram: The 2015 Election & Oil Prospecting Licence Connection, Permutations

This essay is apolitical; there is no intent to malign any individual, group or section of the country. The ensuing analysis is aimed at reconciling the cloaked purpose of the Boko Haram phenomenon and to proffer solutions. It is only when we can precisely connect the dots; identify the real bone of contention that we can prescribe tailored solutions.

Friday, 16 May 2014

President Jonathan Cancels Planned Visit To Chibok

ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan has cancelled his first visit to the village from which more than 200 schoolgirls were abducted by Islamist rebel group Boko Haram a month ago due to security fears, senior government sources said on Friday.

Jonathan will instead fly directly from the capital Abuja to Paris on Friday for a regional summit to discuss the Boko Haram insurgency and wider insecurity and will not now make a stop in the northeastern village of Chibok, said one of the sources.

"The president was planning to go but security advised otherwise on the visit," said the source of the last-minute decision to cancel the Chibok part of the trip.

Some Nigerians have criticized the government's initial response to the plight of the girls, who were abducted on April 14, and U.S. officials this week said the government had done too little to adapt to the threat posed by Boko Haram.

Jonathan asked France last week to arrange a security summit with neighbors Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Benin, and officials from the United States, Britain and the European Union to discuss a coordinated response. The summit will take place on Saturday.


President Jonathan Set To Visit Chibok

Barely one month after more than 200 Chibok school girls were abducted by the Boko Haram, Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan will this Friday, 16/05/2014, visit the north-eastern town of Chibok in Bornu State.

Nothing was seen of the girls for almost a month after they were taken from Chibok by Boko Haram militants. But on Monday the group released a video showing more than 100 of them and offering an exchange for prisoners.
The president has come under pressure over his government's failure to rescue the girls, but has ruled out a swap.
On Thursday, relatives of the girls called for their unconditional release.
But the UK's Africa Minister Mark Simmonds said Mr Jonathan had "made it very clear that there will be no negotiation" at a meeting on Wednesday.
A video emerged on Monday showing about 130 of the girls wearing hijabs and reciting Koranic verses.

After visiting Chibok, President Jonathan will continue to Paris to take part in a summit convened by French President Francois Hollande to discuss Boko Haram.
The presidents of Nigeria's neighbours - Benin, Cameroon, Niger and Chad - are scheduled to attend the summit on Saturday, which will also include representatives from the UK, US and EU.
A statement said delegates at the meeting will "discuss fresh strategies for dealing with the security threat posed by Boko Haram and other terrorist groups in west and Central Africa".

'Troubling atrocities'
Meanwhile, US officials on Thursday criticised the speed of Nigeria's response to the threat from Boko Haram.
Alice Friend, director for African affairs at the US defence department, said its security forces had been "slow to adapt with new strategies and new tactics".
She also said the US was unable to offer aid to Nigeria's military because of "troubling" atrocities perpetrated by some units during operations against Boko Haram.
"We cannot ignore that Nigeria can be an extremely challenging partner to work with," Ms Friend said.


Thursday, 15 May 2014

Nigerian Army To Investigate Soldiers Mutiny In Maiduguri

The Nigerian Army says it will investigate the mutiny on Wednesday in Maiduguri by soldiers attached to the newly created 7th battalion of the Nigerian Army.
A statement by spokesman Major General Chris Olukolade said the inquiry will be on “the circumstances surrounding the conduct of soldiers who fired some shots while the General Officer Commanding was addressing troops in Maimalari cantonment Maiduguri.”

According to the Defence spokesman, Wednesday’s incident occurred when the corpses of four soldiers who died in an ambush while returning from patrol duties in Chibok were being conveyed to the morgue.  He however assured that there is currently calm in the cantonment and normal operations continuing.

Recall that some soldiers seconded to the 7th Division, which was established only two months ago for the war against Boko Haram, fired shots into the air at the barracks as they were being addressed by Major General Ahmed Mohammed, their commanding officer who was appointed in February. 

Soldiers are said to be complaining about management issues relating to the implementation of the state of emergency.  Among the issues, they say their commanders have neither provided the appropriate equipment to combat the better-armed Boko Haram militants nor devised a troop-rotation system.


Suspected Nyanya Bombing Mastermind, Aminu Ogwuche, Arrested In Sudan

A suspected mastermind of the Nyanya bomb blasts, Aminu Sadiq Ogwuche, who was on Tuesday declared wanted by the Department of State Services, DSS, and subsequently placed on the international police (Interpol) red alert, has been arrested in faraway Sudan.

The first Nyanya bombing of April 14 left no fewer than 100 people dead and scores more injured. The second killed over 30 and wounded scores of people.

The coordinator of the National Information Centre and director-general of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr Mike Omeri, made the arrest known yesterday during a media briefing on the efforts to rescue the abducted Chibok girls.

“Aminu Sadiq Ogwuche has been arrested for his involvement in the Nyanya bombing of April 14. The efforts of the Interpol and the Nigeria Police have led to his arrest in Sudan,” he said.

The deputy director, DSS, Marylin Ogar, in her remarks stated that the suspect had been apprehended in the Sudan and that efforts were being made to bring him back to the country to face justice.

The UK-born Ogwuche, a former lance corporal in the Nigerian Army with Service No. SVC 95/ 104 alongside Rufai Abubakar Tsiga allegedly masterminded the April 14 Nyanya bomb blast.

According to security sources, Ogwuche, the son of a retired colonel in the Nigerian Army, Agene Ogwuche, served in the intelligence unit of the Nigerian Army at Child Avenue, Arakan Barracks in Lagos, between 2001 and 2006. Following his deployment to the Nigerian Defence Academy, NDA, in 2006, Ogwuche deserted the army.

He was arrested on November 12, 2011, at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on his arrival from the United Kingdom for suspected involvement in terrorism-related activities but was released to his father on October 15, 2012, following intense pressure from human rights activists who alleged rights’ violation.

An indigene of Orokam, Ogbadibo LGA, Benue State, Ogwuche studied Arabic Language at the International University of Africa, Sudan.

The SSS had earlier announced a N25 million reward for anyone with information on the wanted suspect.

Meanwhile, LEADERSHIP could not confirm whether Col. Abubakar Sadiq Ogwuche (rtd), the chief security officer of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, is the biological father or a relation of the suspected terrorist.

When our correspondent visited Col. Ogwuche’s office at ABU, he could not meet him. He was said to have travelled to Kaduna for an undisclosed reason.

Several efforts to contact him, including placing many calls to his GSM telephone number, did not yield positive results.

Though Col. Oguche could not also respond to text messages sent to his GSM number as at the time of filing this report, associates told LEADERSHIP that the suspected bomber is a biological son of the ABU’s chief security officer.

“I can confirm to you that Aminu is his son; there is nothing to hide there,” said a source. The management of the ABU kept mum during our correspondent’s inquiry.

LEADERSHIP also learnt that the suspected terrorist’s mother is a Fulani.

Leadership Newspaper

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

'Mutinous' Nigerian Troops 'fire at their GOC'

Soldiers from the newly formed 7th Division of the Nigerian Army today mutinied in their barracks against Major General Abubakar Mohammed, their General Officer Commanding.
Maj-Gen Ahmed Mohammed escaped unhurt after soldiers shot at his car at the Maimalari barracks, the sources said.
The soldiers blamed him for the killing of their colleagues in an ambush by suspected Boko Haram militants.

'Internal matter'
Army spokesman Maj-Gen Chris Olukolade described the incident in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, as an internal matter and said there was no need for public concern.
But the shooting shows that morale within the army is low as it battles Boko Haram, says BBC Nigeria analyst Naziru Mikailu.

The Islamist group has stepped up its insurgency, despite a year of emergency rule in Borno and its neighbouring state of Adamawa and Yobe.
President Jonathan has asked parliament to extend the emergency for another six months.
According to sources who were inside the Maimalari barracks, the soldiers accused Maj-Gen Mohammed of putting their lives and the lives of their families at risk by failing to ensure that they were well-equipped to tackle Boko Haram.
They also alleged that the military top brass had failed to give them a promised special allowance for fighting on the front line, they told the BBC Hausa service.
Colleagues of the protesting soldiers were killed in an ambush while driving back on Tuesday from Chibok town, from where Boko Haram abducted the schoolgirls a month ago.

Jonathan Rules Out Freeing Detained Boko Haram Members

Meanwhile, Nigeria's president has ruled out freeing Boko Haram prisoners in exchange for the release of more than 200 kidnapped schoolgirls.
A government minister had earlier said authorities were ready to negotiate with Boko Haram, but President Goodluck Jonathan insisted on Wednesday that this was out of the question.
"He made it very clear that there will be no negotiation with Boko Haram that involves a swap of abducted schoolgirls for prisoners," said British Africa Minister Mark Simmonds after meeting Mr Jonathan in the capital, Abuja, to discuss an international rescue mission for the girls.
Their kidnapping in Borno state on 14 April has caused international outrage, and foreign teams of experts are in the country to assist the security forces in tracking them down.


Saturday, 10 May 2014

#BringBackOurGirls: Kidnapped Chibok Girls Moved to Ashaka Forest, Gombe State

The kidnapped Chibok girls have been moved from the Sambisa forest towards the forest around Ashaka in Gombe State, a top security official has told PREMIUM TIMES.
The security official, who sought anonymity as he was not authorised to speak, also denied the rumor that some of the girls were rescued on Saturday.
He, however, said there were high hopes for the quick rescue of the girls based on the ongoing cooperation between Nigerian officials and their counterparts from the U.S. and U.K. on the rescue efforts.

“It is not true that they have been rescued yet, but we noticed and observed movement of some of the girls from the Sambisa region towards Ashaka forest in Gombe state”, said the security personnel.
The officer added that efforts are being put in place to “carefully track” the abductors and get the girls freed.
“We have not, even for once, lost hope that these girls would be freed. This is a delicate matter which must be handled with all professionalism and absolute care”, the source added.

For almost a month that the over 250 girls were kidnapped from the Government Secondary School, Chibok, the Nigerian military has decided not to provide information on details of its rescue efforts. The military has, however, said it is doing its best to free the girls.
Efforts to speak to the military spokesperson, Chris Olukolade, on the latest report of the girls’ sighting were unsuccessful as he did not pick or return calls nor respond to a text message sent to his phone.

Premium Times

US First Lady Michelle Obama Condemns Abduction of Chibok School Girls

US First Lady Michelle Obama has said the mass kidnap of Nigerian schoolgirls is part of a wider pattern of threats and intimidation facing girls around the world who pursue an education. She said she and her husband Barack Obama were "outraged and heartbroken" over the abduction on 14 April of more than 200 girls from their school.
She was speaking instead of her husband in the weekly presidential address.

Recall that Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for the abductions.

'Call to action'
Mrs Obama, who was speaking ahead of Mother's Day in the US on Sunday, said the girls reminded her and her husband of their own daughters.
"What happened in Nigeria was not an isolated incident. It's a story we see every day as girls around the world risk their lives to pursue their ambitions," she said.

She cited the Pakistani schoolgirl and campaigner Malala Yousafzai, who was shot and wounded by the Taliban for speaking out for girls' education.
It is unusual for a US first lady to make outspoken foreign policy remarks, but Mrs Obama has campaigned for the girls' release.

Michelle Obama has often appeared alongside her husband during the weekly address, but this is the first time she has delivered the speech alone. Earlier this week, she tweeted a picture of herself in the White House holding a sign with the message "#BringBackOurGirls".

The UN Security Council expressed outrage over the abductions, saying it would consider "appropriate measures" against Boko Haram. The US is seeking to have UN sanctions imposed on the group.
Western help.

US and British experts are in Nigeria to assist with rescue efforts. A senior US official said Washington was also considering a Nigerian request for surveillance aircraft.
British High Commissioner Andrew Pocock said drones could help gather intelligence but urged caution.


Survivors Allege Nigerian Military Committed "Genocide" In Birnin-Gwari Communities of Kaduna State

Communities in the Birnin-Gwari Local Government area of Kaduna State allege the Nigerian Military committed 'genocide' on their areas in a recent clampdown on armed gangs that the military spokesperson had announced was “huge success” during the week.

The communities of Kwalakwangi, Maikyasuwa, and Dokan-ruwa were over a four-day span, from Monday to Thursday of this week, under siege by the military. The Nigerian military was deployed in the area to uproot a series of armed bandit ‘safe heavens’ and safe houses, under the military tactics called, "Operation Restore Peace."

According an eyewitness from the Kwalakwangi village, the military had burnt down the village, and killed all the able-bodied men caught in the cross hairs of their guns. Several of the people shot were not connected to any of the gangs military officials sought.
At least 43 people were buried in Kwalakwangi village on Friday, including the chief imam, and the district Ward head. Apart from the Mosque located in the center of the village, no single building composed of mostly mud houses, was left standing in the village.
In both the Maikyasuwa and Dokan-ruwa villages, women and children are now refugees at Tabanni, Layin-Lasan, and kuyello. Tabanni Alh, the District Head of Abdulhamid Mahuta confirmed the story, but declined further comment, saying he has informed the Birnin-Gwari emirate. Some of the refugees, numbering roughly 123 people, are seeking shelter at the District Head residence.

Community heads in the area have called on the National Human Right Commission, and Human Rights activists to come to their aid, and they seek justice with the threat of the lawsuit to the atrocities committed by soldiers of the Nigerian military.


Nigeria's Minister of Information Promises Probe into Amnesty's Allegation That Army 'Ignored' Advanced Warnings.

Nigeria's Minister Of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku said on Friday that Federal Government will investigate the Amnesty International report which indicated that the Nigeria’s military had advance warning of an attack on the town of Chibok where  some 270 girls were kidnapped but failed to act.
Nigeria’s military had advanced warning of the April 14 attack by Boko Haram that led to the kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls but failed to take immediate action, Amnesty International said Friday.

“Damning testimonies gathered by Amnesty International reveal that Nigerian security forces failed to act on advance warnings about Boko Haram’s armed raid on the state-run boarding school in Chibok which led to the abduction,” the rights group said.
Amnesty said it had verified the information about the abduction with “credible sources”.
“Amnesty International has confirmed… that Nigeria’s military headquarters in Maiduguri was aware of the impending attack soon after 7:00 PM (1800 GMT) on 14 April, close to four hours before Boko Haram began their assault on the town,” the group said.

The military however could not assemble the troops needed to suppress the attack, “due to poor resources and a reported fear of engaging with the often better-equipped” Islamists, according to Amnesty.
The 17 army personnel based in Chibok were overpowered by the attackers and had to retreat, the London-based group further said.

“The fact that Nigerian security forces knew about Boko Haram’s impending raid, but failed to take the immediate action needed to stop it, will only amplify the national and international outcry at this horrific crime,” said Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International’s Africa Director for research and advocacy.

Vanguard Newspaper

Friday, 9 May 2014

Protests in Katsina, Nigeria Over Foreign Intervention in the Abducted Chibok Girls Crises

A coalition of civil society organisations in Katsina State, Northern Nigeria staged a peaceful protest yesterday rejecting foreign intervention sought by Nigeria in addressing its security challenges.
During the protest which held in the state capital, spokesman for the coalition, Bashir Dauda, described the intervention as counterproductive.
“What is happening in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia are indications that foreign countries could not offer any remedy,” he said.
The protesters also registered their grievances over the state of insecurity in the country and urged President Goodluck Jonathan to improve his relationship with state governors from the Boko Haram-prone areas and also asked for tight security across the country’s borders. “It is a disgrace if the almighty federal government fails to rescue the abducted students and others who are in the captivity of Boko Haram as sex slaves,” Dauda said.

Daily Trust

Boko Haram Bombs Bridge Linking Nigeria To Cameroon

The bombing and destruction of a small bridge linking Nigeria to Cameroon in Borno State has caused mass destruction and confusion. The bombing occurred on the outskirts of Gamboru Ngala, site of a Monday Boko Haram attack that claimed the lives of over 300 village residents.

At least 30 people were said to have been killed during the late Thursday afternoon bombing incident. The bridge links the immigration check points of both Cameroon and Nigeria.
The bombing event took place on the same day of a mass burial in the town of Gamboru Ngala. A Boko Haram-led raid on Monday on the small village claimed the lives of over 300 residents, nearly ten per cent of the population.

It was reported that 315 people of the 336 who died in the Monday attack were buried in a solemn ceremony led by civic and religious leaders. 
Boko Haram is yet to claim responsibility for this latest bombing attack, but residents of Gamboru Ngala said there is deep suspicion that the Islamist group is behind this latest attack in this vulnerable area.

Since the Monday attacks many of the local Gamboru Ngala youth have joined an anti-Islamist vigilante force in the smoldering village. It was created and scores of young people are helping Nigerian military forces in the area.


Boko Haram Plans To Exchange the 300 Kidnapped Schoolgirls for ‘Comrades’ Imprisoned in Nigeria

Nearly 300 schoolgirls kidnapped in Nigeria by Boko Haram militants could be released in exchange for jailed comrades, a former Boko Haram negotiator has reportedly said. 

A former mediator of the group has told the Telegraph he believes the video, where Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau threatens to sell the girls as slaves, shows he plans to use them as ‘bargaining chips’ rather than kill them.

Shekau claimed responsibility on Monday for the abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls during a raid in the village of Chibok in northeast Nigeria last month.

Shehu Sani says he believes that the footage, released on Monday, was an attempt to persuade the Nigerian government into a prisoner trade.

He told the newspaper: ‘From my knowledge of the group, to have him saying that he will sell them is proof that this issue can be resolved.

‘The group is most likely to want to attach some kind of conditions to the girls being released, such as the freeing of some of their own prisoners.’

Mail Online

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Nigeria Police Offers N50m Cash Reward For Information On Location Of Chibok Girls

The Nigeria Police has announced a cash reward of N50 million for credible information leading to “the location and rescue” of the female students abducted from Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State.

A statement by Nigeria Police Spokesman, Mr. Frank Mba said any such information given would be treated anonymously and with utmost confidentiality. It gave the following numbers: 09-2914649;08081777309;
08055547536; 08032125050; 08034617591 and 08035969731.

The statement offered no clues as to what would happen to the cash reward if the police received credible information leading to an unsuccessful or partly successful rescue effort.