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Posts tagged ‘Damaturu’

Despite Boko Haram, Yobe Council Polls Witness Large Turnout – PREMIUM TIMES.


Photo: Premium Times
by PREMIUM TIMES

Voters across Yobe on Saturday turned out in large numbers to cast their votes to elect chairmen and councillors of the 17 local government areas in the state.

A News Agency of Nigeria correspondent who visited some polling booths in the capital Damaturu as well as some local government areas reports that scores of people lined up at the various polling booths as early as 7 a.m. to accredit and cast their votes.

A correspondent, who also visited Bamari, Kalalawa, Ajeri, Gaidam and Bukarti towns, also reported large turnout of voters.

There was, however, heavy security presence in all the polling booths as well as major streets in Damaturu with a combined team of soldiers, police, civil defence corps and immigration officers watching over.

Shops and other businesses were closed while restriction on movement was imposed throughout the state from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Reports from other parts of the state also spoke of security build up to forestall any unforeseen circumstances.

Only 10 parties participated in the polls while the major opposition party in the state, the PDP, boycotted the election.

Speaking to journalists after casting his vote, the state Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, said the conduct of the election had proved skeptics wrong on the security situation in the state.

He blamed “mischievous politicians’’ for raising false alarm of a possible breakdown of law of order in the state.

Yobe is one of the three states under emergency rule following the activities of the Boko Haram.

“We know what is going on here because we are here on the ground. We know the security situation in our state that is why we went ahead to conduct the election,” Mr. Gaidam said.

The governor said that from the reports he received, eligible voters cast their votes peacefully in all the 17 local government areas in the state.

“You can see we have gotten relative peace when I was coming here; I inspected about three areas and the elections were going on peacefully and I am sure we will conclude it safely.

“So, I think politicians should stop making noise since they are not on ground. We are the ones on the ground; anytime this kind of thing is happening, they should call us to give them the true positions of things on the ground,’’ Mr. Gaidam said.

Also speaking to journalists, a member of the House of Representatives, Goni Lawal, described the election as successful, adding that many people came out to cast their votes.

Mr. Lawal said that he went round about 10 local government areas to inspect the conduct of the polls and found that a large turnout of voters was recorded in the many areas.

Femi Bafunsho, Chairman Justice and Equity for All, an NGO, who was observing the conduct of the polls, said the turnout in most polling units was commendable.

The Chairman of the State Independent Electoral Commission, Hannatu Binyat, said that reports received from across the state indicate a peaceful conduct of the elections.

(NAN)

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

South West (Yoruba) cries marginalisation when the tide is about to turn completely in 4 days time.


Yoruba Gov

West GovernorAS the presidency is addressing claims of marginalisation in federal appointments by the South West, the zone may be facing a new form of discrimination, going by the proposed details in some ministries in 2014 budget.A breakdown of new projects proposed by the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, which was obtained by the Nigerian Tribune, showed the South West largely neglected in the allocation of the projects, compared with other five geopolitical zones.Analysis of capital projects of about N30 billion proposed by the ministry showed the three zones of the North taking the lion share of over 80 per cent, while with three southern zones competed with 20 per cent, of which South-West had less than two per cent.Of over 30 new irrigation projects proposed in the 2014 budget, only two were located in the South West.The two, lower and middle Ogun, however, had only design funding of less than N10 million, in contrast to similar new irrigation projects in Kaduna, Kano and Yobe, to which over N1.2 billion was allocated.Of the 41 new earth dam projects proposed by the ministry, South West had only one at Ile-Ife, Osun State, with about 75 per cent of the dams located in the North, while the old Eastern region had the rest.Further checks showed that while the Ile-Ife dam had only N100 million allocated to it, similar projects located in the Middle Belt and core North had between N250 million to over N500 million allocated to them in the next fiscal year.The South West was not only neglected in the areas of irrigation and new dams, the region was also shortchanged in town/city water projects, as there was no allocation to the region in the over 40 new water works projects in the country. A check showed the North being the major beneficiary of the projects, followed by the South-South and the South East.Northern cities benefitting from the water works projects included Talata Marafa,

Takum, Gombe, Biu, Zungeru, Langtang, Damaturu, Uguru, Bulkashuwa, among others. While the reasons for the lopsidedness was not clear, the proposal is, however, subject to review by the relevant committees of the two chambers of the National Assembly.Minister of Water Resources, Mrs Sarah Ochekpe, it will be recalled, is from Plateau State, while the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Alhaji Baba Ahmed, is a royal prince from Bauchi State. Nigeriatribune.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Churches Cancel Christmas Night Services In Borno, Yobe States.


by SaharaReporters, New York

SaharaReporters has gathered that churches in Borno and Yobe States, fearing Boko Haram violence, today cancelled Christmas Eve night services.

The situation is said to be the same in some military and police barracks, where activities are highly restricted.

Rev. Yakubu Ibrahim, a Christian leader in the troubled North-East of Nigeria, the hotbed of the Boko Haram insurgency, confirmed the service cancellation to our reporter by telephone from Maiduguri.

“We have decided not to hold our service because of security challenges and cancelled night Church service because our security cannot be guaranteed.
Few Christmases back we had similar experiences where our members were killed, some even during service in the morning. With the present situation, it is not possible.

“Our members are scared and so we cannot take chances. Presently we are in a very terrible situation; many of our people have been abducted and killed. And so we are just surviving by the grace of God pending when we will overcome this persecution.”

Another clergy in Yobe State, Pastor Audu Tanko, described the same situation.

“We are in our homes and will only hold service in the morning but [have] cancelled Christmas night service of songs,” he said.  “It is not our wish but we have no choice.”

Military sources in both Maiduguri and Damaturu said the security situation has not normalized as is being claimed.  They told us that troops of both the Air Force and the Army are still been deployed in view of Boko Haram’s sophistication and well-coordinated attacks, citing the example of the assault of December 2, 2013.

Defence HQ To Try Over 500 Boko Haram Suspects, Releases 167.


 

By Saharareporters, New York

Nigeria has set free 167 of the 1400 Boko Haram suspects being held in Maiduguri and other locations in North-East Zone, but will try 500 other suspects.

The decision follows the recommendations of a Joint Investigation Team set up by Defence Headquarters.

This disclosure is contained in a statement by the Director, Defence Information, Brig-Gen. Chris Olukolade, and it comes two days after Boko Haram’s ferocious attacks on Nigeria’s military facilities in Maiduguri, Borno State.

“Those recommended for immediate trial include high profile suspects some of whom were training other terrorists in weapon handling as well as those who confessed to being trained in Mali and other countries for the purpose of perpetrating terror in Nigeria,” the statement said.

Olukoyade disclosed that those recommended for trial include a medical doctor, paramilitary or service personnel who were fighting on the side of the terrorists, as well as individuals who offered direct logistics support to them

“The team however recommended the release of 167 of the detainees from detention in Maiduguri, Yola and Damaturu.  About 614 others whose cases were inconclusive have been recommended for review.”

 

Some of the detainees are to be tried for various offences, including armed robbery, murder, and drugs.

 

Olukoyade noted that if the recommendations of the team are accepted, the suspects will stand trial in State and Federal High Courts.

 

“Receiving the reports at the Defence Headquarters, the Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim commended the team for being thorough in conducting the assignment. He assured them that the recommendations will be treated with dispatch after due consultations with appropriate authorities.”

Nigerian Army Confirms Boko Haram Attacks In Maiduguri, Silent On Casualties.


 

By SaharaReporters, New York

The 7th Division of the Nigerian Army in Maiduguri, Borno State, has formally confirmed Monday morning’s attacks in the troubled town by the Boko Haram militant sect.

The spokesman of the Division, Col. Mohammed Dole, made the confirmation in a statement sent to newsmen but he did not, shed light on the casualties the Army and Airforce suffered, or the civilian toll.  He merely said the sect had been repelled the insurgents after inflicting “serious casualties” on them and that the military are in full control of the situation.

SaharaReporters has however gathered that dozens of corpses have been taken to several hospitals in the state capital.

“The situation around Jimtilo and Maiduguri International Airport General Areas [is] now calm and under control,” the statement said. “Our troops supported by Nigerian Air force aircrafts are presently pursuing the terrorists towards the Maiduguri- Beneshiekh- Damaturu road.”

He urged members of the public to remain calm and to comply with the 24 hours curfew imposed by the Borno State Government, adding that it would be reviewed periodically as the situation improves.

It remains unclear how Boko Haram militants are still able to stroll into Maiduguri and lay a frontal attack on the soldiers or wipe out civilians despite years of heavy Nigerian Army presence under stringent rules and air cover, as well as several months of emergency regulations.

Nigerian Army urged Journalists to black out Boko Haram activities.


 

Nigeria-army-05

The 7 Division of the Nigerian Army in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, has appealed to journalists to, as a matter of urgency, give a total blackout to Boko Haram activities in the country.

The army division said doing so will not only boost the confidence of members of the public but will also put fear in the heart of the sect‘s members as most of them have been killed and dislodged from their camps.

Spokesman of the Division, Lt.-Colonel Mohammed Dole, made this appeal yesterday in Maiduguri in an interview with journalists on the update of the ongoing operation of the division.

He said the sect’s members were fleeing Goho and Marguba villages in Beneshiekh, the council headquarters of Kaga, where scores of the terrorists had been killed in a raid of the terrorists’ camps.

 

“I want to urge journalists, who mostly in the past, communicate with the spokesman of the Boko Haram sect, who have since been killed by the military to start giving a total blackout to Boko Haram attacks, as giving them publicity will not help the fight against terrorism,” he said.

Dole recalled that unlike in the past when the sects have different people as their spokesmen, who passed information on their attacks and activities, gone are those days where journalists have access to unfiltered and distorted information regarding any terror acts from the sects.

Almost all those responsible and who claimed to be spokesmen for the group have been killed or arrested by the security agencies.

On Wednesday’s military attack on the terrorists, who were sighted trying to cross over the Maiduguri-Damaturu federal highway around Beneshiekh town, Dole said, the Division is yet to ascertain the number of terrorists killed in the operation.

But the troops were able to recover two vehicles and three motorcycles used by the terrorists, before they abandoned them and run into the bushes of the Sambisa Forests.

“During the offensive on the terrorists, our troops discovered that the sect’s members are very smart as they make sure they evacuate their dead bodies and runaway with them. This tactics shows that a lot of the terrorists killed were taken over by their fleeing colleagues,” Dole said.

Though, he said the combined team of the military, who are still pursuing the fleeing terrorists, found it very difficult to penetrate the thick forests with their vehicles in the pursuance of the fleeing terrorists.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Boko Haram possesses superior weapons –Yobe gov.


Gov-Alhaji-Ibrahim-Gaidam-01

Yobe State Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Gaidam, yesterday said that members of the Boko Haram insurgents, who attacked Damaturu, the state capital last week were in possession of superior weapons than the Nigerian Army.

This was even as the Federal Government yesterday said that it would intensify its collaboration with the Governments of Niger and Cameroun in the patrol of their borders to curb the activities of the sect. Gaidam, who spoke after inspecting military and police formations destroyed in Damaturu last Thursday during an attack by the insurgents, challenged the Federal Government to deploy more troops and advanced military and communications hardware to be able to suppress the terrorists.

He said the provision of superior weapons would help to effectively combat insurgents’ attack on the state. “From personal observations, the insurgents used superior weapons and equipment in Thursday’s attack.

“So, the Federal Government must provide highcalibre arms and weaponry to succeed in the fight against terrorism. “Until the country’s security outfit is fully equipped with more superior arms, equipment and reinforced manpower, we may have slim chances of winning the fight against terrorism,” Gaidam said.

The governor also observed that inadequate intelligence report contributed to the massive onslaught by insurgents on the state capital. “If we had 24-hour surveillance and intelligence gathering by the security agents on ground, some of this dastardly incident would have been averted,” he said. He said the Federal Government should deploy more security personnel to the state and equip them with more sophisticated weapons.

“The Federal Government should provide additional and more advanced military and communications hardware to enable the security forces on the ground to respond more effectively to any security breaches,” Gaidam said. The governor praised the security agents for their ability to repel the attacks and urged them to continue to dedicate themselves to the security of life and property in the state.

“Government and Nigerians must see the problem of insurgency as a national problem, and not as a problem of Yobe and Borno States,” he advised. Gaidam announced a Yobe government assistance of N1 million each to the families of security operatives who were killed in the attack and N500, 000 for those injured.

Col. Abdullahi Aliyu, Commander of the Special Operation Battalion in Damaturu, said the insurgents attacked eight locations in a coordinated operation. He said 30 insurgents were killed, while various arms, ammunitions and vehicles were recovered from the attackers.

State Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Sanusi Rufai, said the insurgents attacked the Mobile Police Base with armoured vehicle and burnt the armoury at the base. “They could not gain access into the armoury, they then set it ablaze, burning all arms in the armoury” he said.

In Abuja, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs II, Nurudeen Muhammed, speaking at a press briefing at the sixth meeting of the Board of National Boundary Commission, NBC, said that joint patrol of the borders with neighbouring Niger and Cameroun has become paramount to ensure peace and stability. Mohammed maintained that the joint patrol would ensure that Nigeria’s borders are not porous.

Also at the briefing, the Director-General of NBC, Ahmed Muhammed, disclosed that the commission has put in place all that was needed to make Nigeria and Cameroun work together to ensure security and proper resettlement of the people of Bakassi. According to him, the government has released funds on two occasions for the resettlement exercise. Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro, also said that in order to check frequent boundary crises among states, local governments and communities in the country, the Federal Government would take steps to properly demarcate Nigeria’s internal boundaries.

The General Officer Commanding, GOC, 2 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major-General Ahmed Jubrin, said that for the military to effectively fight insurgence, it must engage its personnel in contemporary security challenges.

According to him, terrorism is mainly the contemporary challenges facing the nation, which requires the military to be up and doing to be able to face the task of fighting it. He made this known at a training workshop organised at the 22 Armored Brigade, Sobi, Ilorin, He described the training as a routine programme, which takes place every year to prepare soldiers on exactly what he is expected of them during operations.

General Jubrin said the training bothered on skills at arms, which involves training them on how to handle weapons. While speaking, the Commander, 22 Armoured Brigade, Sobi Cantonment, Brigadier-General Idris Alkali, expressed the view that at the end of the training, the participants are going to be better prepared to undertake any task of facing contemporary challenges.

He also urged them to derive maximum benefit from the activities in order to apply it when attacked. Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday in Jerusalem pledged that his administration would continue to actively combat the menace of terrorism in partnership with all peace-loving countries of the world.

Speaking at a meeting with President Shimon Peres of Israel, Jonathan said Nigeria would welcome enhanced cooperation and assistance from Israel for its ongoing efforts to end terrorist attacks and incursions in parts of the country.

According to him, combating the menace of terrorism remains a challenge that must addressed in partnership with all peace loving countries and peoples of the world.

“I seek the cooperation of your country to confront the security threat from terrorist groups that my country is now facing. There is no doubt that Israel has had decades of experience in combating terrorism.

Nigeria can benefit tremendously from your experience in this area,” Jonathan told the Israeli President. Jonathan noted the growing economic relations between Nigeria and Israel and called for greater collaboration between them in other sectors, saying that his administration would also welcome the greater deployment of Israel’s renowned expertise in furtherance of Nigeria’s agenda for national transformation in areas such as healthcare, agriculture, electric power supply and the management of water resources.

In his remarks at the meeting, Peres said that he was delighted and privileged to have had the opportunity of hosting the first Nigerian President to visit the state of Israel.

Source: Radio Biafra.

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