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Few Hours After Nigerian Government Claims It Was Winning The War Against Terrorism, Islamist Militants Boko Haram Attack Bama Again.


 

By SaharaReporters, New York

Few hours after an aide to President Goodluck Jonathan’s aide boasted that Nigerian military is better equipped and motivated to fight Boko Haram militants, the sect has launched another brazen attack on Bama township killing several people.

Dr. Doyin  Okupe was countering the Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, that the militant were having the upper hand in decimating towns and villages in the northeast region.

Although details are still sketchy credible military sources confirmed the attacks and that hundreds of residents are presently fleeing the town after the sect launched an attack around 3 AM. The sect had been attacking villages and towns in Borno and Adamawa states despite the state of emergency declared by President Jonathan.

Okupe had on Tuesday while disagreeing with Gov. Shettima’s outcry that Boko Haram were better armed and motivated than the Nigerian military.

After leaving a meeting with President Jonathan in Abuja yesterday, Governor Shettima spoke frankly to state house reporters dismissing the fact that the military was winning the war against Boko Haram.

Boko Haram terrorists sets town ablaze, kills 74.


House-Baga-mayhem

About 74 people have been killed by the dreaded Boko Haram Islamic sect in two separate attacks in Borno and Adamawa states. Kawuri town in Konduga Local Government Area of Borno State was razed completely when the terrorists attacked the town on Sunday, leading to the death of 51 people and a soldier.

At the end of the carnage, more than 300 houses and shops were razed, while scores of policemen and civilians were also injured. Kawuri is one of the big towns in Konduga, situated along Maiduguri-Bama Expressway and about 60 kilometres from Maiduguri, the state capital.

About 50 heavily armed terrorists were said to have invaded the town on the market day around 5p.m. and unleashed mayhem on residents and traders. Those injured in the attack are now receiving treatment at Konduga General Hospital and the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital. Our correspondent learnt that no

house was left standing after the attack. The gunmen planted explosive devices around the town, prior to the attack, according to witnesses and security officials.

Civilians were also killed in their homes, before the houses were set ablaze. “No house was left standing,” Ari Kolomi, who fled from the village to Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, said. “The gunmen were more than 50 and they were using explosives and heavysounding guns,” he added. Kolomi said he did not yet know if his relatives had survived the attack.

A senior security operative, who did not want his name mentioned, confirmed the incident to our correspondent yesterday. This is the second attack on the town. The first attack occurred in October last year when some Boko Haram suspects clashed with vigilance youth, popularly known as civilian JTF, leading to the killing of 10 people, including three youths.

Also, during that attack, 18 persons were injured, while 48 shops and 200 houses were razed. Governor Kashim Shettima, who was billed to visit the town yesterday, had to suspend the trip, following intelligence report that the place was not safe.

The terrorists were alleged to have planted Improvised Explosive Devices, IEDs, targeting rescue workers and security operatives deployed to maintain law and order in the area. A survivor, Mallam Mustapha Modu, said he counted about 47 dead bodies yesterday morning, while several others sustained gunshots and injuries.

It will be recalled that in the past week, 37 communities, including Kwaljiri, Kaya, Ngawo Fate, Limanti, Njaba, Yahuri, Mude, Wala and Alau among others in Damboa, Konduga and Gwoza Council areas, had been sacked by terrorists.

The displaced residents of those communities are now taking refuge in some neighbouring villages and Maiduguri as well as across the border in Cameroon. The state Police Commissioner, Mr. Lawal Tanko, confirmed the incident to our correspondent. He said over 40 people were killed while 25 sustained gunshots and injuries, after setting the whole town ablaze.

Tanko said: “I received an intelligence information that Kawuri town was attacked by Boko Haram sect suspected to be on a revenge mission on market day (Sunday), where many civilians were killed while several others were left with serious wounds before they set the whole place on fire, we have deployed our men to the area.”

Tanko, however, said that no policeman was killed during the attack. In Waga Chakawa village, in Madagali Local Government Area of Adamawa State, 22 died in an attack on a church service also on Sunday. Our correspondent learnt that the attackers set off bombs and fired into the congregation, killing 22 people, before burning houses and taking residents hostage during a fourhour siege.

It was learnt that two policemen were among the 22 victims of the attack. Some residents of the village, who fled the area told newsmen that they were attacked by gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram members during Sunday service.

“They used explosives during the attack on worshippers and many people lost their lives”, villagers said “I cannot actually say how many people were killed but I learnt that there are about 16 people evacuated from the church,” one of the residents who identified himself as Apogu said.

Another resident claimed that some houses were also attacked by the gunmen who took some men as hostage, while two policemen, an inspector and a sergeant who were on guard in the church were killed instantly. “I saw some people crying saying that their relations had been taken away as hostages by the gunmen,” the resident who did not want his name mentioned said.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Boko Haram terrorists car bomb kills 19 in Borno.


Boko-Haram-bomb-02

After a long lull, Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, was in turmoil yesterday. A car bomb killed 19 people and injured 40, according to witnesses.

But, it was not immediately clear who was responsible for the explosion, which destroyed cars and caused panic in the city.

The bomb, planted in a three-wheel rickshaw taxi, exploded outside the state television offices at around 1.30 pm (1230 GMT), witnesses told Reuters.

“My men counted 17 dead as at 2:00 pm and they are still counting. I have instructed my men to go to the University of Maiduguri

Teaching Hospital and the state specialist hospital to verify if there are others,” said Borno Police Commissioner Lawan Tanko.

“I saw two boys on the ground and their bodies cut into pieces. Two other cars immediately caught fire and I ran away because there was too much blood,” city resident Aisha Hassan said.

Soldiers fired shots into the air to disperse crowds before cordoning off the roads around the bomb site, witnesses said.

Dozens of youths, some armed with machetes, protested on the street after the attack, accusing politicians of failing to curb violence in Maiduguri.

Yesterday was public holiday when millions of Muslims marked the birth of Prophet Mohammad.

Also yesterday, the Commanding Officer of a Special Operative Battalion in Mubi, Adamawa State, Lt.-Col. Beyidi Martins, said the military killed 13 suspected members of Boko Haram in a battle last December.

He said two notorious members of the sect, who had been on the wanted list of the military, were among those killed, adding that they were responsible for terrorising the ancient city and its environ.

Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima condemned the explosion, which came at a time return of peace was being celebrated by residents.

Shettima described the incident as “most cruel, evil and inhuman”, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Communications, Isa Gusau.

The governor expressed his deep condolences to the families and friends of all the victims and prayed for the repose of those who died and the quick recovery of the injured.

He directed security agents to probe the incident, which resulted in a youths rampage that led to the breakdown of law and order.

The governor also condemned riots in the last three days in the state capital, which he described as “unfortunate” and “avoidable”.

Shettima directed the Ministry of Health to ensure proper medication for all those injured. The government is to bear all costs of treatment.

The government will take firm measures to continually protect lives and property of citizens, he added.

The governor met yesterday with the National Security Adviser in Abuja during which issues of security of lives and property of Borno citizens were discussed.

Gusau said Shettima was expected back in Maiduguri yesterday. He urged all residents to remain calm and law abiding.

The explosion followed a political crisis between ex-Governor Ali Modu Sheriff and Governor Kashim Shettima.

Some angry youths also set Sheriff’s office ablaze.

There has been tension in the last 48 hours in the state following plans by Sheriff to launch a political comeback.

It was gathered that the explosion might have been a consequence of the attack on Sheriff at the Shehu of Borno’s Palace on Monday.

Earlier on Saturday, some thugs suspected to be loyal to Sheriff waylaid the convoy of the governor who was on an inspection visit to the Maiduguri International Airport.

The loyalists of the two leaders have been attacking one another since Saturday.

Yesterday’s explosion came after one year of relative peace, with residents enjoying increased commercial and social activities and night outings in Maiduguri.

“The youths spontaneously went on the rampage. They set ablaze Sheriff’s campaign office and went about destroying any campaign material bearing his pictures and those of his associates.

The youths were screaming, alleging that one of those responsible for the explosion was captured and they fingered Sheriff as the sponsor. But this has not been confirmed by any credible authority.

The youths matched on the residence of Sheriff’s father on Damboa Road, demanding his head. Soon, they sighted Sheriff’s convoy sneaking out of Maiduguri and launched a fresh attack, smashing most of the vehicles. Sheriff was rescued by soldiers attached to him. Sheriff reportedly called for two chartered aircraft and flew out with his supporters.

Youths went to Sheriff’s house at the GRA, prepared to set it ablaze, but were repelled by armed security men guarding the expansive mansion.

“They went about smashing vehicles of people believed to be associates of Sheriff. They made bonfires on streets in violent protest, promising to go after Sheriff any time he returns to Borno.

Tension has rised in Maiduguri since Saturday because Sheriff wanted to inaugurate APC’s interim executives without the governor’s knowledge even when the party has vested the party’s leadership in the governor.

Shettima rejected the move, but Sheriff insisted.

The former governor organised political meetings and planned the inauguration but all the 10 executives to be inaugurated ran out of the state.

Sheriff had also planned a visit to relaunch his campaign office on Sir Kashim Ibrahim road in Maiduguri on Monday, but the attack on him at the palace forced him to shelve the plan.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Insurgency: An Xmas Festival Without Bloodshed By Fatima Goni.


By Fatima Goni

About a month to the Christmas festival we wake up to learn about attacks at air force base by Boko Haram fighters in Maiduguri. Few weeks later, precisely a week to the Xmas D-Day another bombshell was dropped when another group of insurgents attacked another military base in Borno.

 

The bad news was indeed scary. Scary on what might happen on Xmas Day itself when we recall past incidences where suicide bombers detonated explosives at religious centres during festivities.

 

While anticipating more deadly attacks from the suspected terrorists, the good tidings was broken at the eve of the Xmas Day by the Director Defence Information, Major General Olukolade that the terrorists had suffered loses as the military tracked and killed the insurgents who attacked the army barracks.

 

The military spokesperson was emphatic that the military operations to track insurgents who had carried out the pre-dawn attacks on Mohammed Kur Barracks, Bama, had led to the destruction of over 20 vehicles conveying escaping terrorists.  The vehicles were the ones used during the attack on the barracks and were sited through air surveillance  as the terrorists were making efforts to cross the borders back to their haven in Cameroun.

 

Although a good number of the insurgents escaped with bullet wounds while some had been arrested while over 50 of them died in the course of exchange of fire with ground troops in the ongoing operations to apprehend fleeing terrorists.

 

While there were media reports over alleged abductions of wives of military personnel by Boko Haram, Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno on a visit to Abuja told the media that that the affected women kidnapped by the Boko Haram sect in Bama, Borno State, had escaped from their captives.

 

He said: “Three women were kidnapped and luckily they escaped. So Boko Haram is not holding onto the women and kids as at the moment.”

 

While developments were unfolding, just before the Xmas day, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed D. Abubakar reassured Nigerians that the Police had set in motion comprehensive operational strategies to boost security effectively during this year’s Christmas season and beyond.

 

In a statement issued by the Police spokesperson Frank Mba, it disclosed that all the strike forces and specialized units of the Force, including the Police Mobile Force (Mopol), Counter Terrorism Unit, Special Protection Unit, Federal Highway Patrol and Explosive Ordinance Department have been adequately mobilized to join forces with the conventional Police Force in providing water-tight security.

 

The statement further disclosed “that covert operations, round-the-clock surveillance, and robust vehicular patrols are being intensified, while particular attention is now constantly paid to strategic public places, including places of worship, recreation centres, shopping malls, business plazas, motor parks, strategic highways, government installations and other important locations so as to forestall any possible criminal activity and guarantee the safety of the citizenry.”

 

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) also mobilised other stakeholders and state governments in a bid to efficiently manage disasters in the event of any emergency in Nigeria during the Yuletide.

 

While the assurances were being made, the skeptics continued to doubt the sincerity of security agencies to tackle likely security breaches during the religious festival.

 

It was therefore positive development that on Christmas Day there was never a report of insurgent attacks or suicide bombing or explosions during the festivity.  Surprisingly to the amazement of most of us, our security men have indeed proved cynics wrong that they can actually put trouble-shooters in check.

 

Gladly, the story became entirely different and heart-warming as no single case of a security breach was reported in any part of the country during the Xmas celebration. This is indeed a welcome development. If not for the efforts of the hardworking security personnel the State House Abuja could have been overrun considering the daring exploit of the Boko Haram in the past attacks in various states in Nigeria including Kano, Kaduna, Bauchi, Gombe, Kogi, Niger, Sokoto and Abuja. The attacks on United Nation House, the Police Force Headquarters, religious centres, and recreational centres among others are gory tales of the past as the activities of Boko Haram have now been confined to bordering towns of Cameroon.

 

The media and the public should continue to encourage and support our security in their war on terror by promoting peace, national security and political stability. While terrorism and insurgency remain a global challenge and a source of continuing concern in some countries, Nigeria has done comparatively better with remarkable progress in reducing the incidence of terrorist attacks within its borders to a reasonable level. The military have done so much to reverse the tide of terrorism

 

Security agencies should also continue to build on the successes they have achieved so far against terrorists and their sponsors.

 

With the recent security success recorded during the recent Christmas Celebration, indications are that our security have not only lived up to expectations, but have displayed their readiness to secure the lives of the people using everything at their disposal.

 

While calling on government to continue to match its words with actions, to see to the end of insurgency in the country, Nigerians equally have vital roles to play in this regards. It is on this note that I wish to enjoin Nigerians, irrespective of tribe, religion, political or ideological persuasion to support genuine efforts aimed at making Nigeria a peaceful place for everyone, including foreigners. The task of building the Nigeria of our collective dreams and aspirations is for all Nigerians and solely that of those in authority.

 

Happy Christmas and New Year to everyone

 

Fatima Goni

Kofar Dukawuya

Kano City

Fatimagoni1@yahoo.com

 

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

Borno State Governor Says Suspending 2015 Elections In Emergency States Means Boko Haram Has Won.


 

By Saharareporters, New York

The Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, today reacted to the plan by the Independent National Electoral Commission to exclude the states currently under emergency rule from the 2015 elections, saying the decision has grave repercussions for the country.

The governor made the remark while responding to questions by journalists, during which he noted that 2015 remains very far away for all mortals.

“Only God, our Creator, knows who will get to 2015 and in what state of health,” he said.  “It is also Allah that gives power to anyone He wills at the time He will and how He will.”

Of the proposal, he paid compliments to Professor Attahiru Jega, the electoral commission chairman, describing him as “a man associated with honour, integrity, an erudite and respected scholar” who has not committed any sin by his proposal, and commending him for INEC’s early preparations for the elections.

“I also think he is being sincere because if he had an ulterior motive he wouldn’t reveal the issue now,” the governor said.  “He could have waited till when Allah spares our lives in 2015 and he would announce the exclusion of the States, by which time politics could be intense and every segment would be dealing with its own political issues.”

He noted that the INEC chairman has not foreclosed the participation of the three affected States in the 2015 elections, adding that the proposal is dependent on hopes that security will improve in those states.

“But one important thing we should not ignore as a sovereign country is that suspending national election such as the 2015 in any part of the 36 States and the FCT on account of Boko Haram activities would amount to making the insurgents supreme over the Federal Republic of Nigeria, it will be defeatist on our part as a nation.”

He stressed that the objective of Boko Haram is to impose the group’s beliefs on Nigeria, subvert its constitution and its democracy and replace them with inhuman laws that support killings and destruction.  In that regard, he observed that should any part of the country be suspended from taking part in the 2015 election, the insurgents would presume themselves to be successful and to be inching closer to achieving their goals.

“We cannot allow that,” Governor Shettima emphasized.

He said that as a strategy, Borno and Yobe States and indeed any place affected by the insurgency should be the electoral commission’s main focus for conducting the 2015 elections in order to send a clear message to those who want us to go into extinction that we will not cave in to their violent needs.

He said that suspending the elections even in a polling unit mainly on account of Boko Haram would be a setback in the fight against terror and that it will not be good for us as a country or for our reputation abroad.

“I therefore call on the Federal Government all stakeholders in the country and friends of Nigeria to look at the issue with analytical mindset far beyond what reasons we might be talking about now,” he said.

“If Boko Haram is able to stop elections in three States, they might in no time, simply target additional States and gradually, they might stop elections in Nigeria.  We can’t allow that.”

Boko Haram terrorists now engages in forceful conscription •Abducts 9 female traders, 27 others in Borno.


 

boko-haram-sect

Military authorities in Borno State has said that the Boko Haram sect has resorted to forcefully conscripting young and able bodied men into the group following the deadly attacks by troops in the last few days at the Sambisa forest and other camps where the sect lost hundreds of their fighters.

Colonel Muhammadu Dole, in a chat with the Nigerian Tribune in Maiduguri, the state capital, said the sect is now moving around villages to recruit members to replace the dead ones in a forceful conscription.

“You know they have suffered serious defeat in the last few days, now they are forcefully recruiting men and the women they are taking along with them also serve and cook for them. We are on their trail and we would continue to pursue them to the last person.

 

“We are aware that they didn’t kill those they abducted on the highways instead, they forced them to go with them. I think they kill such people only when they meet resistance otherwise, they recruit them forcefully and we are working towards ensuring the safety of those abducted in all the operations we are carrying out.” Dole said.

Meanwhile, traders at Kasuwan Doya and Tashan Kano have said that nine female traders and 27 other young men were abducted on Monday, when the insurgents attacked two lorries carrying oranges, a Pick up van carrying firewood and a Golf car carrying six passengers.

According to some of the traders at Tashan Kano motor park, the two lorries left them at Damboa town at about 7.00a.m. and was heading to Maiduguri.

“We left Damboa around 8.00a.m. and when we arrived at a village before Bulabulin Ngaura, we saw other vehicles that had been stopped by the soldiers. The soldiers told us that the Boko Haram people were operating ahead of us.They went ahead to clear the road before they now asked us to start moving. When we got to the spot, the two lorries were still burning but the passengers and drivers were not there,” a trader at Tashan Kano, who did not want his name in print told the Nigerian Tribune in Maiduguri.

In another development, Borno State Comptroller of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Modu Musa Mirga, has said that he discovered a large presence of Boko Haram insurgents in most of the border communities visited during his tour of border communities recently.

He, therefore, called on the state government to, as a matter of urgency, call on security agents to rid the border communities of the bad elements .

Musa Mirga, who was recently posted to Borno State, stated this on Wednesday during his courtesy call on the Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima, at the council chamber of Maiduguri Government House.

He said the purpose of his visit was to condole with the government and people of the state over the continuous attack and carnage especially on highways by suspected members of the Boko Haram sect.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Islamic terrorists Boko Haram attack on Maiduguri Air force base, 3 military helicopters burnt.


Boko-haram-air-force-attack

FOLLOWING the Boko Haram attack on the Nigeria Air Force (NAF) base in Borno State, it has been revealed that military ambulance made seven trips taking corpses to undisclosed hospitals within Maiduguri.

Fighting had erupted in the early hours of Monday at about 2.45 a.m between suspected members of Boko Haram insurgents and troops when the gunmen attacked the NAF base, also known as 79 Composite Group and burnt down three military helicopters.

Although the media was denied entrance, when the state governor, Kashim Shettima, visited the base, credible sources told newsmen that the attack was the worst in recent times.

It was also gathered that over 20 military men were killed at Pompomari outpost, NAF headquarters gate, Staff Quarters outpost, 333 Artillery regiment, 707/Airport while four innocent civilians on Kofa outskirts were also shot dead by insurgents.

Sources also said there was an intelligence report about the attack three days ago, when a member of the Boko Haram sect was arrested in Maiduguri, but the report was not taken with the required attention.

According to sources, the gunmen came in 23 Hilux vehicles to wreak havoc and left with many security vehicles.

“They went away with some security vehicles belonging to SSS at the 333 artillery,” one of the sources said.

Confirming the incident in a report issued by the Director, Defence Information, Brigadier-General Chris Olukolade, the military stated that military locations such as NAF base and some Nigerian Army locations in Maiduguri were targeted during the attack.

According to him, 24 insurgents were killed, while two Air Force personnel were wounded during the exchange of fire.

He said three decommissioned military aircraft, as well as two helicopters were incapacitated in the course of the attack.

He stated that security forces were in pursuit of the terrorists in the Djemtillo general area, on the Maiduguri/Banishek axis.

The defence spokesman disclosed that movements in Maiduguri and environs had been restricted, while citizens were enjoined to report any of the fleeing insurgents, most of whom could be identified with gunshot wounds whenever they were sighted.

Reacting to the development, Borno State government and the 7 Division of Nigerian Army have imposed a 24-hour curfew in Maiduguri, the state capital, following the attack.

A statement by the Secretary to the State Government, Ambassador Ahmad Jiddah, said the curfew took effect from 11.00 a.m. on Monday and appealed to residents to remain calm until situation was brought under control.

The statement added that vehicles on emergency calls and essential services would, however, be allowed during the period.

It also said the curfew would be lifted as soon as the situation improves.

Meanwhile, normal flights operations to and from the Maiduguri Airport, which were earlier temporarily disrupted, has resumed.

However, Nigerian Tribune gathered from authoritative military sources that the decommissioned aircraft were MIG 21 that had earlier been marked for Nigerian Airforce museum in Abuja.

Maiduguri airport not bombed by Boko Haram —FAAN spokesman
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), on Monday, said the December 2 attack in some parts of Maiduguri by suspected Boko Haram members did not affect the Maiduguri International Airport.

Mr Yakubu Dati, the Authority’s General Manager, Corporate Communications, said this in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

He said the attack only affected some areas around the vicinity of the airport.

“There was no bombing at the Maiduguri Airport, but it only happened around the airport vicinity.

“The airport has been closed for flights, and relevant security situation are on the ground to take full charge,” Dati said.

Aircraft insurance premium may go up
Information gathered on Monday indicated that most of the airlines operating in the troubled areas in the northern part of the country may review their flight activities, for the fear of the aircraft being attacked in the face of the Boko Haram onslaught.

This came as the Murtala Muhammed Airport was, on Monday, thrown into confusion when news filtered in that Boko Haram had attacked the Maiduguri airport.

The news, which created tension among key players in the industry, threw everyone off balance, following the rumour that the sect did not only attack the Air Force base and the airport, but also set two aircraft ablaze.

The news sent fears down the spines of many domestic airline operators who believed that if it was true that two aircraft were torched by the sect, the development may have put a question mark on the safety of other aircraft flying around the country’s airports.

Fears are, however, being raised among the various domestic airline owners that the attack on the airports may make the insurance companies increase the insurance premium for aircraft being used or acquired by the Nigerian airline owners.

An airline chief, who spoke to the Nigerian Tribune on condition of anonymity, said with the attack on the Air Force base at the airport, any airline flying into the airport henceforth may be seen by the insurer as operating under high risk, which subsequently attracts high premium.

Source: Radio Biafra.

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