The girls were forced from their dormitories onto trucks and driven into the bush.
Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Lucky Irabor, says no escaped Chibok Girl is currently in the custody of Nigeria’s military.
Major General Irabor who on Sunday led other Service Chiefs on an operational visit to the Headquarters, Command and Control Centre of Operation Lafiya Dole in Maiduguri, the Borno State Capital, told newsmen that contrary to claims making the rounds, there are no new set of escaped Chibok girls in the army’s custody.
The CDS, however, said “we desire that the rest of the Chibok Girls receive their liberty and if our operations have helped these ones to escape, if it yielded such results, then we are glad. ”
The Military Chief said more is being done to strengthen the efforts of the army, with the hope that they will yield desired results.
Daring escapes On April 14, 2014, Boko Haram gunmen seize 276 girls aged between 12 and 17 from the Government Girls Secondary School in the remote town of Chibok in Borno state.
Since the attack in 2014, Boko Haram has continued to kidnap and lay claims to the kidnapping of several girls and women within the region.
While some girls were rescued by troops in 2016, others have reportedly escaped over the years, with the latest report coming barely two days before the service chiefs’ operational visit to Borno.
Fifty-seven managed to flee in a daring escape.
Though it is not yet clear how many of the remaining missing girls have managed to escape, reports, however, suggest that some more girls escaped and have been reunited with their families.
The military says it is not aware of any escape and have no girls in their custody, but hopes that the operations being carried out at the moment will see that more Nigerians within the den of the insurgents will regain their freedom.
More than 40,000 people have been killed and nearly 3 million displaced in a decade of Boko Haram terror activities in the country.
Over five persons have been confirmed dead after some Boko Haram terrorists attacked the Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria Church (Church of the Brethren) at Pemi village in the Chibok Local Government Area of Borno State.
NoRM gathered that gunmen invaded Debro community, shooting sporadically. The ugly incident had happened on Friday when the attackers were said to have burnt down many houses, cars, and motorcycles in the community.
A source said, the terrorists struck around 6 pm, though information about the incident did not reach the military until 9 pm. They set the church on fire and waited until it burnt down before they left.
The source added that fleeing villagers spent the night out in the cold till this morning.
The attack comes exactly a year after six people were killed and three wounded by Boko Haram insurgents in Kwaaagilim village, also in Chibok Local Government Area.
In April 2014, more than 270 schoolgirls were taken from their dormitory at the Government Secondary School in Chibok in Borno State. About 100 of the girls are still missing.
Boko Haram on Thursday released a video showing that it has custody of the students abducted from a government secondary school in Kankara, Katsina State, Humangle reported.
In the six-minute-and-30-second footage, tens of young boys could be seen behind him, all covered in dust and appearing to be within a forest area.
The relatively older schoolboy who spoke urged the Nigerian Government to settle amicably with their abductors and advised against the use of military force in rescuing them.
“Please, you have to dissolve any gang of vigilantes, close any kind of schools, excluding Islamiyyah [Qur’anic schools]. All the troops who have come here to help us, please send them back,” one of the abducted schoolboys pleaded in the released video.
“Shekau is clearly replaying the Chibok propaganda model. He’s doing this to get a ransom and free his detained members,” Bulama Bukarti, an analyst at the Tony Blair Institute, tweeted.
Also, Jacob Zenn, who analyses terrorism, also believes the extremist group is following the “Chibok media model”.
“The more the media, the more leverage he has. Unfortunately, the media can’t quite ‘ignore’ this either. It’s sort of an inevitable facet of terrorism. Wish there can be prompt resolution,” he tweeted.
Katsina state authorities reported approximately 320 remained missing on Tuesday, the same day the Islamist extremist group claimed responsibility for their abduction.
Katsina’s governor, Aminu Bello Masari, said 839 boys were enrolled at the school, according to U.S. broadcast network ABC News. It’s not clear how many students were at the school at the time of the raid, nor how many eluded the kidnappers.
On Monday, the state governor said the abductors “have made contacts with the government”.
“Talks are ongoing to ensure their safety and return to their respective families,” he said on Twitter, without identifying the kidnappers.
A joint rescue operation was launched on Saturday by Nigeria’s police, air force, and army, according to the government. The army said on Monday it had located the hideout of the men, and that a military operation was underway.
Shekau’s claim collaborates Hamidu Bala, a resident of Zabarmari and a member of Rapid Response Squad, a Borno government-established task force against banditry, who said a group of farmers on Friday disarmed a lone Boko Haram member and handed him over to the local security operatives.
“That action was what may have prompted reprisal from the insurgents,” Bala said.
Dozens of mourners surrounded about 43 bodies, which were wrapped in white burial shrouds and placed on wooden pallets, as they were buried on Sunday.
Guterres reacted to the massacre in a statement by his spokesperson Mr Stéphane Dujarric, in New York on Monday.
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has condemned “in the strongest terms” Saturday’s killing of 43 farmers by suspected Boko Haram terrorists in Borno.
Reports say many others, including women were kidnapped in the attack on rice farmers in Koshobe village near Maiduguri, the state capital.
In what President Muhammadu Buhari tagged as “insane’’, the attackers reportedly tied up the victims before slitting their throats.
Describing the attack as “horrific”, the UN Chief said he hoped those responsible for “these heinous crimes” would be quickly brought to justice.
The statement said: “The Secretary-General extends his deepest condolences to the families of the deceased and to the people of Nigeria.
“He wishes a swift recovery to the injured and calls for the immediate and safe return of the abductees and those still reported missing.
“The Secretary-General reaffirms the commitment of the UN to support the Government of Nigeria in its fight against terrorism and violent extremism and in its response to pressing humanitarian needs in the northeast of the country.”
The attack took place as voters went to the polls in long-delayed local elections in Borno State.
A weekend attack on a village in northeast Nigeria blamed on the Boko Haram jihadist group left at least 110 dead, the UN humanitarian coordinator in the country said Sunday.
“At least 110 civilians were ruthlessly killed and many others were wounded in this attack,” Edward Kallon said in a statement after initial tolls indicated 43 and then at least 70 dead from Saturday’s massacre by suspected Boko Haram fighters.
“The incident is the most violent direct attack against innocent civilians this year,” Kallon said, adding: “I call for the perpetrators of this heinous and senseless act to be brought to justice.”
The bloodletting took place in the village of Koshobe near the main city of Maiduguri, with assailants targeting farmers on rice fields.
Borno Governor Babaganan Umara Zulum attended the burial Sunday in the nearby village of Zabarmari of 43 bodies recovered on Saturday, saying the toll could rise after search operations resumed.
The assailants tied up the agricultural workers and slit their throats, according to a pro-government anti-jihadist militia.
The victims were among labourers from Sokoto state in northwestern Nigeria, roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) away, who had travelled to the northeast to find work, it said.
Six were wounded in the attack and eight remained missing as of Saturday.
Kallon, citing “reports that several women may have been kidnapped”, called for their immediate release and return to safety.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari condemned the attack, saying: “The entire country has been wounded by these senseless killings.”
The polls had been repeatedly postponed because of an increase in attacks by Boko Haram and a rival dissident faction, ISWAP.
The two groups have been blamed for increasing attacks on loggers, farmers and fishermen whom they accuse of spying for the army and pro-government militias.
Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum on Sunday morning, November 29, led kinsmen and other shocked residents of Zabarmari community for the funeral of 43 farmers slaughtered by suspected members of Boko Haram.
Though the victims lived in Zabarmari, a farming community in Jere Local Government Area of the state famous for rice cultivation and local processing, they were attacked and brutally murdered on Saturday, at Koshebe village, in Mafa Local Government Area while working in a rice field.
During the visit, a resident (named withheld) told Governor Zulum that some farmers are still missing after the massacre.
“Your Excellency, as you have seen here, 43 corpses were buried, but others have not been retrieved from the scene of the incident. Nobody can tell you the exact number of people killed. Some of the victims are still missing” the resident said.
Addressing the bereaved community, Zulum expressed his condolence over the gruesome killing of the farmers.
“First of all, accept my deepest sympathy over this carnage, once again, that affects all of us and every human with conscience. I am told some persons are still missing. We have been discussing with the military since yesterday, Insha Allah the remaining people will be traced soon.” he said.
The Governor while speaking to journalists said, “It is disheartening that more than 40 citizens were slaughtered while they were working in their farmlands. Our people are in very difficult situations, they are in two different extreme conditions, in one side they stay at home they may be killed by hunger and starvation, on the other, they go out to their farmlands and risk getting killed by the insurgents,”
“This is very sad. We are still appealing to the Federal Government to ensure recruitment of more our youths in the CJTF and hunters into the Nigerian military and the Civil Defence so that they can form part of the agro rangers that will protect farmers. We need many boots to protect farmlands and our youths understand the terrain. We will not lose hope because we have to remain optimistic about ending the insurgency” he added.
The over a decade long insurgency has claimed over 36,000 lives with property worth N3.42 trillion lost in the north-eastern states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe since 2009.
Takulashe village of Chibok Local Government Area of Borno State, Northeast Nigeria came under Boko Haram attack on Sunday evening with casualty figure of about 11 persons.
The village was attacked at about 10:00pm, an attack which lasted for over three hours before military arrived to repel the attackers, a resident of the village told NRM‘s known Media on Monday evening.
The insurgents were believed to have made an in-road into the village through the Sambisa Forest, and “Local rescue team are still searching for victims that fled into nearby bushes and farmlands,” Ishaku Musa said
He noted that Takulashe village, is prone to attacks, as the community is located on the fringes of the forest. “The insurgents launched their attacks from forest on motorcycles that maneuvered the footpaths to the farming and herding community.
“Troops have been stationed in Chibok town since the abduction of 276 Chibok schoolgirls on April 14, 2014 by Boko Haram. But surrounding villages have continued to suffer from attacks, which happens unchallenged as the attackers always perpetrate their evils and leave before the arrival of security operatives,” he added.
The insurgents came with six gun trucks, three other vehicles and some heavy weapons. They also killed some vigilantes who first engaged them and had collected their Hilux vehicle,” another source said.
According to our source, the head of the vigilante group in Takulashe village immediately called the army brigade. From the information he gave, the army brigade called on the Air Force for air support as soldiers from the 117 battalion under the brigade were mobilized to advance to the area. But the air force could not respond, a situation which led to the insurgent bringing the whole village to ashes.
There was no response from Major General John Enenche, Media Coordinator in the Defence Headquarters on the attack on Chibok village.
The insurgents captured the farmers as they tended to their crops during the early afternoon, giving them no room to escape, said another member Ibrahim Liman who gave the same death toll.
Fighters from the Boko Haram jihadist group killed 14 farmers in restive northeast Nigeria, members of a government-backed militia said Tuesday.
The sources told AFP that insurgents on Monday seized 15 farmers working on their irrigation fields in Ngwom village, 14 kilometres (nine miles) north of the region’s main city Maiduguri, and cut their throats.
“They slaughtered the farmers, killing 14 while one survived with a deep slash. They left him for dead,” Babakura Kilo, a leader of the anti-jihadist group, said.
The survivor was taken to a hospital in a “life-threatening condition,” Liman said.
Boko Haram and rival group Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) have increasingly targeted loggers, herders and fishermen in their violent campaign, accusing them of spying and passing information to the military and the local militia fighting them.
At least 36,000 people have been killed in the jihadist conflict which displaced around two million from their homes since 2009.
The violence spread into neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, prompting a regional military coalition to fight the militants.
The death toll from a jihadist attack on the convoy of the regional governor in northeast Nigeria has risen to 30, security sources said Saturday.
Two sources told AFP fatalities from the attack Friday in restive Borno state had doubled as more bodies were found and now included 12 policemen, five soldiers, four members of a government-backed militia and nine civilians.
“The tally has increased to 30 as many bodies were picked in the surrounding areas after the attack,” one of the sources said, adding that “many people were injured”.
Sources had earlier told AFP that a convoy transporting Borno governor Babagana Umara Zulum came under attack from insurgents on Friday near the town of Baga on the shores of Lake Chad.
A second security source gave the same death toll of 30 from the assault and said the militants seized eight vehicles.
“The terrorists made away with an armoured personnel carrier, a gun truck and six sports utility vehicles in the convoy,” the source said.
Police confirmed in a statement that the attack by suspected jihadists on the “security convoy” had killed eight policemen and three government-backed militia members.
It said 13 other people had been wounded and the attack had been “successfully repelled”.
Zulum — who sources said was unhurt in the attack — had flown to the area to prepare for the return of residents displaced from Baga by the conflict.
He was driving in the convoy accompanied by government officials under tight security towards Baga ahead of the arrival of the returnees.
The IS-affiliated Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) group maintains most of its camps on islands in Lake Chad and the region is known as a bastion for the jihadists.
The militant group has recently intensified attacks on military and civilian targets in the region.
In July Zulum’s convoy came under gun attack from ISWAP outside Baga, forcing him to cancel his trip to the town.
The decade-long insurgency in northeast Nigeria has killed 36,000 people and forced over 2 million from their homes.
Most of the displaced have been housed into squalid camps where they depend on food handouts from international charities.
Local authorities have been encouraging the displaced to go back to their homes despite concern from aid agencies of the security risks.
ISWAP splintered from the main Boko Haram group in 2016 and has gone on to be the dominant insurgent force in the region.
President Muhammadu Buhari has again condemned the attack on the office of the United Nations (UN) by Boko Haram terrorists in 2011.
Speaking on Monday in Abuja when he received a delegation led by the UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon, the President noted that the attack by the terrorists was regrettable.
He, however, said the reconstruction of the UN building by the government was in full appreciation of the work of the international organisation.
“Thank you for what you have been doing in the country, especially for women and children. I am glad you have put together a dedicated team to work with us,” the President was quoted as saying in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.
He also welcomed commendations by the UN on efforts to restore security, strengthen institutions against corruption, improve health facilities, and rebuilding of the multilateral institution’s office.
President Buhari commended the various programmes of the UN in Nigeria, saying, “I am very impressed with the number of programmes you are carrying out, and I hope that our ministers will continue to cooperate with you.”
On the reconstruction of the UN building and Boko Haram bombing incident, he said, “I assure that beyond the renovation of your headquarters after that incident, we will continue to make your job feasible and comfortable.
“If you need anything in the course of your assignments, talk to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama.”
In his remarks, the UN Resident Coordinator praised the administration for the rebuilding and modernisation of the UN House in Nigeria, describing it as commendable support to multilateralism.
“The reopening of the UN House in October 2019, after eight years, was a day of celebration and remembrance.
“It was also an act of defiance in the face of terror and attack on our core values of peace, freedom, prosperity, tolerance and justice,” he was quoted as saying.
Kallon also commended President Buhari for his leadership and guidance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the wisdom in establishing the Presidential Task Force (PTF) and adding his voice to the global call for a people’s vaccine for coronavirus.
He congratulated Nigeria on the successful eradication of polio virus and promised to partner with the country in building more primary healthcare centres capable of sustaining universal health coverage.
The UN envoy extolled the President and his administration for the establishment of the new Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, as well as the continuous support in advancing gender issues, the girl-child, and rights of the child in general.
According to him, President Buhari should be praised for “legacy investments in the administration’s fight against corruption, electoral reforms, and census.”
Kallon also commended the President’s “resolve to reform and return discipline in the public service, as well as the success in fighting corruption, including convictions and recovery of assets.”
Boko Haram terrorists have reportedly attacked Kukawa Local Government, a town in Northern Borno State.
According to sources, a military base was targeted during the attack and an unspecified number of civilians may have been abducted.
The attack which occurred on Tuesday comes barely a week after the first set of villagers who have been displaced for many years were returned home to be resettled.
Kukawa, a border town on the fringes of Lake Chad has been a military zone, until the recent return of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
The controversial Baga town where Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum was attacked is in Kukawa local government-barely 40 kilometers apart.
Zulum during that visit had personally inspected infrastructure and the security ambience before giving approval for the return of civilians.
Community leaders were said to have conducted a head count in order to present an official report with the correct number of missing persons.
Two hundred households consisting of an estimated 1,200 persons were recently returned to the local council by the state government.
Details of the incident are still sketchy, and the military is yet to give an official position on the attack.
Boko Haram has launched series of attacks in the northeast, particularly Borno State killing many and displacing thousands of people despite claims by the military that the terrorists have been decimated.
On July 22, a video surfaced online showing the execution of five persons by masked men in military camouflage, suspected to be Boko Haram fighters.
A voice was heard speaking in Hausa before the execution, saying that the five persons were working for infidels.
The slain persons are believed to be aid workers captured during a raid in Monguno Local Government of Borno State on June 13, 2020.
They include staff of the Borno State Emergency Management Agency, Action Against Hunger, Rich International, International Rescue Committee and a security guard.
The execution came after the insurgents demanded the sum of 500,000 dollars to release them.
Following their gruesome murder, the United States and United Nations condemned the incidents, expressing sadness.
In a statement issued on July 23, the US Embassy in Nigeria said the five aid workers were working tirelessly to ease the sufferings of millions of Nigerians in the Northeastern part of the country.
“We are deeply saddened by the execution of five humanitarian workers by terrorists in Northeast Nigeria,” the Embassy tweeted on its handle.
The Department of State Services (DSS) has criticised the claim by a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Obadiah Mailafia, that a governor from the north is the leader of the Boko Haram sect.
In a statement issued on Friday, DSS spokesman, Peter Afunanya, described the claim as fake news, saying it only lends credence to the service’s alert about desperate efforts by some notable personalities to cause a total breakdown of law and order.
According to the secret service, Mailafia as a directing staffer at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), has unrestricted access to security agencies.
“It is disappointing that he never took advantage of these to reach any of the security or related agencies to share the so-called information at his disposal. This, he has agreed to be a grievous error on his part,” Afunanya said.
Mailafia was on Wednesday invited by the service to its office in Jos, the Plateau State capital, over the claim he made in an interview on a radio station in Abuja.
After his release from the DSS custody, Mailafia insisted he stood by his claims.
The service, however, warned that it will ill not stand idly and watch those it describes as disgruntled and aggrieved elements take laws into their hands and cause mayhem in the polity.
SEE FULL STATEMENT HERE:
PRESS RELEASE DSS REITERATES WARNING AGAINST EFFORTS TO SUBVERT THE NATION
On 27th July, 2020, the Department of State Services (DSS) alerted the nation about desperate efforts by some notable personalities to use their exalted positions; take advantage of developments in the country and cause a total breakdown of law and order. It also revealed that part of the orchestrations was to engage in divisive acts as well as use inciting statements to pit one group against another.
With the latest occurrences in the country, Nigerians may have no reason to doubt the Service’s earlier pronouncement. Dr. Obadiah Mailafiya’s recent outburst aimed at playing to the gallery and creating unnecessary tension is a confirmation of his group’s desperation to breach the peace.
Mailafiya, as a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and currently, a Directing Staff at Nigeria’s foremost Policy Research Institute, the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, has unhindered access to government platforms. It is expected that he should be conversant with official information management protocols.
But regrettably, he chose to cross the lines of decorum and conduct expected of a personality of his status. It is disappointing that he never took advantage of these to reach any of the security or related agencies to share the so-called information at his disposal. This, he has agreed to be a grievous error on his part. It, however, suggests his mischief and determination to use the fake news he spewed to incite the people under his control.
It is even more condemnable that Mailafiya, who had profusely apologized during his visit to the Service’s Plateau State Command for his ignoble statement, would, afterwards, announce to the world that he stood by his misguided eruption.
Similarly, the Service also wishes to warn others, who in the guise of political mobilization and supposed pursuit of group interests, engage in hostile and subversive activities, to desist forthwith from advancing their inimical and parochial causes.
The Service will not stand idly and watch disgruntled and aggrieved elements take laws into their hands and cause mayhem in the polity.
In line with its mandate of detecting and preventing threats and crimes against the internal security of Nigeria, the Service hereby reiterates its previous warning that it will henceforth not condone unruly conducts of persons and groups that ought to know better.
In this regard, it will not hesitate to, within the confines of the law, decisively deal with such persons and/or groups, no matter how highly placed, that may wish to test its resolve. It will, nonetheless, continue to support participatory democracy in the country and therefore urges all players to abide by the rules of the game.
On the other hand, the Service implores law-abiding citizens to go about their normal businesses without fear. It assures them of protection and pledges to strengthen existing measures designed to achieve this objective.
Peter Afunanya, Ph.D Public Relations Officer, Department of State Services, National Headquarters, Abuja 14th August, 2020
The Borno State Police Command has paraded forty-five criminals arrested in different parts of the state for various offences.
One of those arrested is one Goni Mallum, a Boko Haram logistics supplier who confessed to running errands for the insurgents citing hunger and poverty as justification for his actions.
Mallum said the insurgents captured him on his farm but decided to spare his life if he accepts to be running errands for them for a fee, an offer he couldn’t resist.
Many farmers in Borno State have faced similar threats from insurgents with many being killed in their farms during attacks, while others are now living in the IDP camps.
Mallum described to the authorities how he operates and how security operatives apprehended him. The self-professed Boko Haram supplier said he was arrested when he went to buy drugs for the terrorists.
“They wrote me a list of all they wanted and gave it to me, I didn’t know the items on the list, I just went and showed those at the store, I didn’t know it was risky,” Mallum told journalists during an interview.
He added, “The shop owner went and reported me to the Civilian JTF and the market union then they came and arrested me. I knew it was wrong but hunger forced me to do it, I used to sell grains in Muna Garage but I lost my capital and I have been jobless.”
A spokesman for the Borno State Police Command, DSP Edet Okon, said Mallum was arrested on a tip-off and would be charged to court as having committed “Acts of Terrorism” for aiding and abetting the crime.
“The suspect confessed that he was saddled with the responsibility of supplying essentials and other logistics to the sect.” The PPRO said.
Other criminals were arrested for various crimes including armed robbery, animal rustling, fraud and extortion, criminal breach of trust, kidnapping, and theft.
DSP Edet said all suspects would have their day in court.
The presidency has debunked reports suggesting that repentant Boko Haram terrorists are being recruited into the Nigerian military.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, says no ex-terrorist is absorbed into the military.
This comes amid an allegation made by Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum that his convoy was attacked by soldiers and not Boko Haram terrorists.
Following this development, many Nigerians had suggested on social media that the attack was carried out by the repentant insurgents who had allegedly joined the army.
But Shehu said such rumours being peddled were fake.
“It is important for the public to know that nobody has ever been absorbed into the military from the de-radicalized Boko Haram and there is no such plan for their absorption,” the statement partly read.
The presidential spokesman explained that the Federal Government’s Operation Safe Corridor programme aimed at rehabilitating the ex-terrorists were being monitored by the International Organisation for Migration.
He insisted that none of the recent 601 former insurgents who have undergone the radicalisation and rehabilitation programme is admitted into the military.
“None of the 601 former Boko Haram members who voluntarily laid down their arms, and have recently graduated from the Federal Government’s de-radicalization and rehabilitation programme, is going into the military.
“This is the fourth such graduation of repentant Boko Haram fighters and not one of such graduates has been absorbed into the military.
“The public needs to be reassured that the de-radicalization, rehabilitation and reintegration of violent extremists of the Buhari administration code-named “Operation Safe Corridor,” follows an established example from countries with similar experiences, and is supported academically and materially by the European Union and the United Nations,” he said.
SEE FULL STATEMENT HERE:
SERIOUS LEADERS MUST NOT FALL FOR FAKE NEWS ON REPENTANT TERRORISTS – PRESIDENCY
“Now that groups with hitherto proven bona fides, some religious leaders and a few in the legislature have joined the supply chain of fake news, it important that we step in to clear the false reports that the administration is absorbing repentant Boko Haram terrorists into the military.
“It is important for the public to know that nobody has ever been absorbed into the military from the de-radicalized Boko Haram and there is no such plan for their absorption.
“None of the 601 former Boko Haram members who voluntarily laid down their arms, and have recently graduated from the Federal Government’s de-radicalization and rehabilitation programme, is going into the military. This is the fourth such graduation of repentant Boko Haram fighters and not one of such graduates has been absorbed into the military.
“The public needs to be reassured that the de-radicalization, rehabilitation and reintegration of violent extremists of the Buhari administration code-named “Operation Safe Corridor,” follows an established example from countries with similar experiences, and is supported academically and materially by the European Union and the United Nations.
“The lead agency for the implementation of the programme in Gombe is the International Organization for Migration, a leading inter-government organization which is represented in Nigeria.
“It is also important to note that this programme does not have a place for hard-boiled, ideologically hardened terrorists. It only admits, after careful scrutiny, repentant fighters that were captured and forced to bear arms in the first instance, and there are many who have been drafted by force.
“At the point of their graduation, a determination is made that the former combatants have repented and are better citizens, imbued with genuine nationalism. They must no longer represent a danger to society or to themselves.
“Where they are certified as such, communities have the duty of accepting them. Unless they want them to take up arms and resume terrorism from which they have repented, community leaders must work with the relevant agencies to end their rejection.
“The Buhari administration is a responsible one and is conscious of its duty to the state and society, and to the victims of terror as well as to those who inflicted these pains and losses on our people.”
The General Church Council (GCC) of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) Jos rose from its 67th meeting held from July 27 to July 31, 2020, condemning the unabated attacks of armed herdsmen and bandits across the country, especially in the Middle-Belt and Northern states particularly in Southern Kaduna, Niger, Plateau, Benue, Kogi, Katsina, Zamfara, Taraba and Adamawa as they continue to destroy lives and property with impunity.
The council condemned in strong terms, the mindless killing of indigenous Christians in Southern Kaduna over the past few weeks, which has assumed a genocidal magnitude, calling on the Federal Government to apprehend the perpetrators and compensate the victims.
It considered the recruitment of many repentant deradicalised fighters into the military and other security agencies as a dangerous trend, capable of recycling and legitimising insurgency by infiltration of the security services from where insurgents could continue to wreak havoc on unsuspecting citizens.
In a communiqué issued yesterday signed by ECWA President, Rev. Stephen Panya Baba and General Secretary, Rev. Yunusa Sabo Nmadu Jnr, the council noted with grief the attacks on Southern Kaduna Christian communities, which are the strongholds of ECWA.
They said over 120 persons including infants and women had been killed in the last two weeks alone with scores injured and thousands displaced from their villages and farmlands by armed Fulani militia without any care from the Kaduna State and Federal Government.
The council noted that the manifest nonchalance of both the Federal and Kaduna State governments to the plight of the victims is suggestive of their loss of the innate humane sense of value for life and abdication of primary responsibility of securing the lives and property of their citizens.
Furthermore, the communiqué frowns at the recent statement credited to a Presidential spokesman explaining away those genocidal massacres as reprisal killings.
It advocated a stronger collaboration between the government, the security agencies and the entire populace to make for a more robust and rapid response for the protection of human lives and property.
The council cautioned that government’s failure to protect the citizenry and serve justice will spur them to pursue self – defence which may inevitably lead to anarchy.
The council furthermore expressed worries on the failure of the government to secure the release of the only Christian girl, Leah Sharibu, who was abducted by Boko Haram among many female students of Government Secondary School, Chibok. The council is gravely concerned that despite several promises by the government, the freedom of the abducted girls has not been secured.
The Nigerian military on Saturday said its operation in the nation’s North-West has been hugely successful based on “active resumption of farming, social and economic activities by the locals with reduced fear of threats in their localities.”
The North-West has recently been bedevilled with incessant kidnappings, cattle rustling and wanton killings, prompting calls for the sack of security service chiefs and the resignation of President Muhammadu Buhari.
On Friday, the President acknowledged security agencies ought to do better in safeguarding the region.
However, in a statement signed by Acting Director of the Defence Media Operations, Brigadier General Bernard Onyeuko, the military said the flag-off of Operation Sahel Sanity on July 6 has yielded significant results.
“The aim of the operation is to support Operation HADARIN DAJI in stemming the tides of the activities of armed bandits, cattle rustlers, kidnappers, incessant killings and other sundry crimes in the North-West zone of the country,” Onyeuko said.
“These acts of criminalities orchestrated by the bandits had before now crippled the agricultural, social and economic activities of the people of this zone.”
Onyeuko said the people of the North-West felt the operation’s “immediate impact” as the military recorded “tremendous successes” withing a “short period of time.”
“The gallant troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY within the period under review has carried out series of clearance operations, ambushes and other aggressive and confidence-building patrols within Sokoto, Katsina and Zamfara States,” Onyeuko said.
“These operations has led to the rescue of kidnapped victims, recovery of rustled cattles, arrest of suspected armed bandits, arrest of bandits informants and collaborators.
“Furthermore, there were recoveries of large cache of arms and ammunition as well as recovery of motorcycles and other bandits logistics within the period.”
READ THE MILTARY’S FULL STATEMENT BELOW:
GENERAL UPDATE ON THE ACTIVITIES OF OPERATION SAHEL SANITY FROM 6 -31 JULY 2020
The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai flagged off Operation SAHEL SANITY on the 6 July 2020 as part of activities of the Nigerian Army Day Celebration 2020, during which the Nigerian Army Super Camp IV Faskari in Katsina State was established. The aim of the operation is to support Operation HADARIN DAJI in stemming the tides of the activities of armed bandits, cattle rustlers, kidnappers, incessant killings and other sundry crimes in the North-West zone of the country. These acts of criminalities orchestrated by the bandits had before now crippled the agricultural, social and economic activities of the people of this zone.
The people of the North-West Zone felt immediate impact of the operation with the tremendous successes achieved within the short period of time. The gallant troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY within the period under review has carried out series of clearance operations, ambushes and other aggressive and confidence building patrols within Sokoto, Katsina and Zamfara States. These operations has led to the rescue of kidnapped victims, recovery of rustled cattles, arrest of suspected armed bandits, arrest of bandits informants and collaborators. Furthermore, there were recoveries of large cache of arms and ammunition as well as recovery of motorcycles and other bandits logistics within the period.
So far, in all the operations conducted, 80 armed bandits have been neutralized, a total of 943 cows, 633 sheep/rams recovered; 33 suspected bandits arrested; 7 AK47 Riffles, 1 GPMG and 16 Dane guns captured; 17 kidnapped victims rescued and 14 bandits informants and collaborators arrested. Also several bandits camps including the notorious Dangote Triangle and their logistics bases were destroyed by troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY. There is no gainsaying therefore that within the first month of Operation SAHEL SANITY from 1-31 July 2020, troops have recorded several successes in line with the aim of the operation. The gallant troops continue to dominate volatile areas with confidence building patrols, ambushes and clearance operations to deny the bandits and other criminal elements freedom of action. This achievement is further evident by the active resumption of farming, social and economic activities by the locals with reduced fear of threats in their localities.
The Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai has commended the troops for their gallantry, successes and the professionalism exhibited within the short period of Operation SAHEL SANITY. He urges them not to rest on their oars. He further extends Sallah goodwill message to the people of North West reassuring them people of the of the Nigerian Army’s commitment to restore peace in the zone.
Benard Onyeuko Brigadier General Ag Director Defence Media Operations 1 August 2020
President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday said his administration has done its best in ending Boko Haram in the north-east and militancy in the south-south.
The President, however, acknowledged that security agencies “could do much better” in curbing insecurity in the North-East and North-Central.
He made the comments to reporters after attending a Sallah service in Abuja.
“I wish Nigerians the best of luck,” he said in respect of the Eid-al-Adha marked nationwide on Friday. “We want security, prosperity, and the wellbeing of all Nigerians.
“I want Nigerians to be very conscious of their country. What we inherited when we came around in 2016 was Boko Haram in the North East and the militants in the South-South. Nigerians know that we have done our best.
“What is coming up in North West and North Central is disturbing indeed. But I believe the military and the police and other law enforcement agencies, I think they could do much better in their duties.”