Tag Archives: terrorism

HK in crackdown as security chief warn against terrorism rise

Pro-Beijing officials expect no delays to the passage of new law amid signs the annual June 4 vigil will be banned.


Hong Kong’s security chief on Monday warned “terrorism” was growing in the city as the local government rallied behind Beijing’s plan to impose national security laws on the restive territory and police fired tear gas and pepper spray at thousands of people who took to the streets to protest.

“Terrorism is growing in the city and activities which harm national security, such as ‘Hong Kong independence’, become more rampant,” Secretary for Security John Lee said in a statement.

“In just a few months, Hong Kong has changed from one of the safest cities in the world to a city shrouded in the shadow of violence,” he said, adding that national security laws were needed to safeguard the city’s prosperity and stability.

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Tam Yiu-chung, Hong Kong’s sole delegate to China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee, told the public broadcaster RTHK on Monday that said he did not expect any delay in the drafting of the national security law.

Tam said members would start work on it soon after the NPC votes on the resolution on Thursday, adding that the standing committee would hold a meeting at the end of June to discuss the matter.

Earlier, Ray Chan, a pro-democracy member of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council, wrote on social media: “Call us terrorists, whatever you want, after the Wuhan Virus outbreak, China has no more credibility in the world.”

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Growing calls for independence
On Monday, police said they arrested more than 180 people during protests on Sunday.

Authorities had fired tear gas and water cannon to disperse anti-government protesters who accused the police of using excessive force.

In a return of the unrest that roiled Hong Kong last year, crowds thronged the streets of the city in defiance of curbs imposed to contain the coronavirus.

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In contrast with previous rallies, however, there were louder calls for independence with chants of “Hong Kong independence, the only way out,” echoing through the streets.

Calls for independence are disliked by Beijing, which considers Hong Kong an inalienable part of the country.

The proposed new national security framework stresses Beijing’s intent “to prevent, stop and punish” such acts.

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Hong Kong government agencies issuing statements in support of the legislation included the Commissioner of Correctional Services and Hong Kong Customs.

Financial Secretary Paul Chan wrote on his blog on Sunday the national security law “itself” does not affect investor confidence, only the “misunderstanding” of it does.

“The central government has already said the law is targeted at the minority of people who are suspected of threatening national security and will not affect the rights of the general public.”

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Turning point for Hong Kong
Lee’s comments came amid growing signs that the June 4 candlelight vigil organised annually by civil society groups to commemorate the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing could be banned.

While declining to go into specifics, former Hong Kong Chief Executive CY Leung told public broadcaster, RTHK, that anything that involves activities said to be “separatist in nature” may well be banned.

He explained that the purpose of the legislation was not to deter people from holding protests but to combat “terrorism”, and stamp out the activities of people who advocate independence for Hong Kong.

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Leung is a vice chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.

RTHK quoted him as saying that whether the vigil itself could fall foul of the law could depend on what participants do even after the gathering is over.

The United States, Australia, Britain, Canada and others have expressed concerns about the national security legislation, widely seen as a potential turning point for the city, which was guaranteed rights and freedoms unknown on the mainland when it was returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

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On Sunday, the US said the new legislation could lead to sanctions that would threaten the city’s status as a financial hub.

“It looks like with this national security law they’re going to basically take over Hong Kong and if they do … Secretary [of State Mike] Pompeo will likely be unable to certify that Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy,” National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien said in an interview with NBC.

“And if that happens, there will be sanctions that will be imposed on Hong Kong and China.”

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Beijing, meanwhile, has warned of a “new Cold War” with the US, saying the country has been infected by a “political virus” compelling people to continually attack China.

Taiwan, which has become a refuge for a small but growing number of pro-democracy protesters fleeing Hong Kong, said on Monday it would provide the people of Hong Kong with “necessary assistance”.


#Newsworthy…

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Insecurities: I have determinations – Buhari


For two days in a row, President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated his commitment to tackle insurgency and defeat the menace.

He declared that his administration is fully determined to combat and defeat all acts of criminality, banditry and terrorism in the country.

He gave the assurance at a meeting with the Executive Committee members of the Nigerian Community in Ethiopia (NICE), where he appealed to all Nigerians to support and cooperate with security agencies, who are ready to defend and preserve the unity of the country.


This is coming hours after he renewed the pledge to ensure freedom of all kidnapped children from the shackles of Boko Haram, at a High-Level Breakfast Dialogue on ‘Stop the War on Children Affected by Armed Conflicts, Dividend of Silencing the Guns’, a side event during the 33rd AU Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

President Buhari, reacting to killings of passengers by the Boko Haram terrorists near Maiduguri, Borno state, Monday, assured that his administration will continually frustrate the operations of Boko Haram and bring it to an end, adding that his administration “is ever determined to frustrate their goal to hold Nigeria to ransom.”


According to a statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Buhari at a meeting moderated by Chairman/CEO of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, assured Nigerians at home and abroad that their protection would continue to remain a key priority of his administration, as well as fighting corruption and bringing prosperity to Nigerians.

On economic matters and doing business in Ethiopia, the Nigerian leader said he had been briefed on the challenges faced by some Nigerian companies with investments in the country, especially the Dangote Group and Lubcon.


“I have directed the relevant ministries to take up these issue with a view to resolving all complaints amicably with the Ethiopian authorities,” he said.

On the issue of Diaspora voting, the President, while responding to a request by the leader of NICE, David Omozuafoh, said he was in support of it, but that legislation was required to make it a reality.


“I have said it severally that I am not against it. However, you will need to convince the National Assembly to amend the relevant laws to make Diaspora voting a reality,” he said.

On the conduct of Nigerians living in the Diaspora, the President expressed concern that some of their actions have not projected the country in a good light, urging them to change their ways and obey the laws of their countries of residence.


He, however, commended Nigerians in Ethiopia, noting that they had the highest concentration of professionals working in international organisations such as the African Union, United Nations agencies.

“This is a correct representation of the Nigerian spirit of excellence and high achievement,” the President stressed.


President Buhari told the meeting that his government is committed to supporting and protecting all law-abiding Nigerians, at home and abroad, to prosper, urging all in the Diaspora to help achieve this by being good citizens and worthy ambassadors of Nigeria.

The President also encouraged them to be the best in all their legitimate engagements in their host country, reminding them that “while you are out in the Diaspora, do not forget home as you represent some of the best human assets that Nigeria possesses.”


He urged them to use their resources, skills and talents to help the development of Nigeria.

In his remarks at the meeting, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the AU, Bankole Adeoye, extolled the huge investments of the Federal Government of Nigeria in Ethiopia since independence through the Embassy.


He described the Nigerian Embassy in Addis Ababa as one of the Nigerian missions in the whole of Africa with the largest diplomatic and residential premises.

“Nigeria has continued to live the saying that Africa is the centrepiece of her foreign policy, especially with the many impacts in the AU, the United Nations Economic Community for Africa (UNECA) and Ethiopia as a whole,” he said.


The Ambassador commended President Buhari for reciprocating the visit to Abuja of the former Prime Minister of Ethiopia given the country’s zeal to develop stronger ties with Nigeria.

He further extolled the President as one who has appointed the highest number of career ambassadors and attributed it to his flair for professionalism.


Also speaking, the President of NICE commended the President for the establishment of NIDCOM and his continuous leadership and contributions which have cemented Nigeria’s role as a central player in strengthening the AU.

Omozuafoh appealed to the Nigerian government to fast-track the implementation of the MoU with the United Nations on the Junior Professionals Programme allowing young Nigerians access to opportunities in international organizations.

“Similar opportunities should be explored with the UN Volunteers Programme, the AU Volunteers Corps as well as the ECOWAS Youth Volunteer Programme,” he said.

A minute of silence was observed in honour of Nigerians brutally murder by Boko Haram terrorists on Monday in Borno state.


#Newsworthy…

See facts before Boko Haram behead CAN chairman


Facts have emerged on how Boko Haram terrorists rejected a N50m ransom and went ahead to behead Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria in Michika, Adamawa State, Rev. Lawan Andimi on Monday.

The insurgents had demanded for £2m (N946m) but was only offered N50m, infuriating the terrorists, who soon turned their anger on the victim, according to CAN chairman in the state, Stephen Dami Mamza.


He said, “Pastor Lawan was beheaded yesterday.

“Negations were still ongoing when they stopped calling. They were offered N50m but they rejected it.


“They called his wife last week, informing her that they will be beheading him on Saturday but somehow they waited till Monday.

“Also yesterday, Pastor Dennis Bagauri of the Lutheran Church was killed in Jereng, Mayo-Belwa area of Adamawa State.


“It is now clear that Christians are not protected by the government; we don’t feel like we have a government.”

Reacting to the incident, the Adamawa State Government described the action of the terror group as barbaric.

Director-General, Media and Communication to Governor Ahmadu Fintiri, Solomon Kumangar, said, “The governor is saddened by the gruesome execution of the pastor.”

Andimi was abducted two weeks ago when Boko Haram fighters stormed Michika town in search of foodstuff and other basic items.


Continue reading See facts before Boko Haram behead CAN chairman

Update: 3 Soldiers Injured In Yobe Explosion


Three soldiers attached to Sector 2 Command of the Operation Lafiya Dole in Yobe State were on Monday evacuated to hospital following the explosion of the Armoured Fighting Vehicle they were returning to base in.

This was revealed by spokesperson for the operational unit, Captain Njoka Irabor.

He said the AFV was completely burnt down due to a sudden mechanical malfunction, damaging all the ammunition on board.


Irabor said, “There was an uneasy calm in Damaturu metropolis as a result of the sound of explosions heard at about 11:30 am on Monday December 30, 2019.

“The fire incident occurred when an Armoured Fighting Vehicle returning to base from a routine standby duty, suddenly developed an electrical malfunction. This led to a fire outbreak on the AFV and subsequent explosions of the ammunition on board.

“The fire incident happened along Damaturu-Maiduguri Road. The AFV was completely burnt down, while troops in the vehicle were able to extricate themselves during the fire outbreak.

“However, three soldiers sustained injuries and have since been moved to our medical facility for prompt medical attention.”


#Newsworthy…

Upon 27 attacks in 14 days, FG set to fix military in tough areas come 2020.


The Federal Government has said it will gradually withdraw military operations in some volatile spots in the country that have attained normalcy beginning from the first quarter of 2020.

It was however silent on the specific states of geopolitical zones where the military would withdraw its operations.

The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe-Ibas, made this disclosure to State House Correspondents after the National security Council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.


The council is made up of the Minister of Defence, Gen. Bashir Magashi (Rtd); heads of security agencies in the country, including the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin; the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Ibok Ekwe-Ibas; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Abubakar Sadique.

Others are the Inspector General of Police (IG), Mohammed Adamu; Director-General of Department of State Services (DSS), Yusuf Bichi; and Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Rufai.


The Naval chief explained that the withdrawal of troops will be done after an “assessment” to determine areas where peace has returned to enable civil authorities (police and civil Defence) assume full control of security.

Ibas, who said the meeting was to review the security operations in the country in 2019, added that the withdrawal was to allow the military to focus on its primary duty of defending the nation against external aggression.


“It is the work of the police to handle internal security since Nigeria is not at war.

“The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps will support the police to provide internal security.


“Also, you will remember that additional 10,000 personnel were approved for the police recently for recruitment”, he added.

On the purpose of the meeting, Ekwe-Ibas said: “We had a security council meeting with Mr President where we appraised the year 2019 generally with an emphasis on ongoing operations both within as well as the regional operations ongoing.


“With respect to operations within the country, it was generally agreed and noted that the security agencies have done their very best in ensuring that the deliverables are made clear.

“You will recall that the various operations in the country in the north-east, north-west, north-central, the south-east, as well as the south-west, where all members of the armed forces are taking part as well as the intelligence agencies, have ensured that we all enjoyed a better holiday period that has just been observed.


“We also recalled that in those areas where the military have been able to achieve desired objectives, from the first quarter of next year, the civil authority will be preparing to take back those responsibilities as the military draws back its forces from those areas to enable it to focus its attention on other emerging threats and areas of concern.

“It also observed that in the maritime environment a lot has been done to ensure that our resources are protected. The outcomes of the operations there are have seen to the arrest of about six vessels that were involved in stealing of the nation’s maritime resources.”


The Naval chief said President Buhari has directed that the council and the members of armed forces ensure a peaceful society in 2020, adding “to that effect, we are more than determined to continue from where we stopped in 2019 and to ensure that we sustain our various operations to ensure a secured Nigeria for all of us.”

Asked to mention the areas the military are withdrawing from and what were the specific instructions from President Buhari, Ekwe-Ibas said, “Basically, most of the internal security that we are having as you all are aware is supposed to be the responsibility of the civil authority, the police in particular. Howbeit, so long as Nigeria is not engaged in war outside, it means whatever internal crisis that we have, the responsibility rest with the police. In the circumstances that the military has to come in to stabilize the situation, it is only proper that once one area has been dominated by the military and the situation has returned to normal that the Nigerian police takes over the responsibility. And in this instance, we also have the civil defence which is supposed to support the police in this regards.


“You will recall also that Mr President recently approved the recruitment of about 10,000 Nigerians into the Nigeria Police Force, hoping that once these Nigerians get the appropriate training, they will be in the position to fill the gaps. You are aware that Nigeria is such a big country that we cannot tie down the military even in those areas that the deliverables have been achieved and the objectives achieved.”

Asked if the northeast also be part of where the military will withdraw from and if more resources will be pumped into the police for it to meet its responsibilities, the Naval boss said: “I think I better make it very clear that an assessment of what the military will do will be based on the situation on ground. It is not expected that the military will withdraw when it is apparent that there are still some threats in such locations. I’m sure we are also aware that the nation is procuring equipment for the military. It is expected that before the second quarter of next year most of this equipment shall be in place. It, therefore, means that all our hands are put on the ground, looking at the technology-backed surveillance that will enable the military to react more efficiently and effectively. With that, it is also believed that the Nigerian police will take the lead in containing security in such areas that must have been assessed to be in the right place to sustain. I don’t believe that a responsible military will want to withdraw when it is apparent that there is still a risk that cannot be overcome by the police.”


Pressed to mention the states where the assessments will be carried out, Ekwe-Ibas said: “Certainly I think you got me right. Threats assessment will be carried out to see if such areas are capable of being manned by the police and the civil defence that is the position that was reached.”

On the activities of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) and the recent execution of eight Nigerians, the Naval boss said, “On the activities of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), I will also like you to look at it from a broader African perspective. We have in recent past have attacks in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and other countries in West Africa. Of course, the genesis of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) is well known to all of us here. While it is painful to lose people and from within, I think the military is doing all within its power to ensure that we overcome the menace and the threats posed by ISWAP.

The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe-Ibas


“You will also recall that just two weeks back we have had over 27 attacks from Boko Haram and ISWAP in the northeast alone. Our gallant troops out there were able to repel these attacks and even take out some of their commanders. So, it is a thing of concern but the armed forces of Nigeria are doing all in their powers to ensure that, together with other regional partners, the menace of ISWAP is contained.”

Asked if a target to eliminate Boko Haram by 2020 was part of the meeting agenda, Ekwe-Ibas said: “It is our wish to have the insurgency and terrorism issues resolved once and for all to enable us focus on matters of development. At this point I think you as partners will also need to do that much to encourage our armed forces and other security agencies to ensure that what we have coming out from you, supports the efforts of the military while you are doing your legitimate work. It is our hope that we will get done with this insurgency and terrorism that has besieged our country.”


#Newsworthy…

Just in – Jalingo, Odok’s continued incarceration is an affront on humanity – CSO

…two counts bordering on terrorism


The Coalition of Cross River State Civil Society Organisations has asked the Cross River State Government to shelve it’s “humanity” theme for the 2019 Carnival Calabar and festivals due to the continued incarceration of journalist, Agba Jalingo, and lawyer Joseph Odok.

The duo are have been remanded at the medium security custodial center in Calabar for 94 and 67 days respectively following their separate arraignments before the Calabar division of the Federal High Court on September 25th and October 22nd, 2019.

While four counts bordering on terrorism and cybercrime were preferred against Jalingo in the amended charges with Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State said to be he nominal complainant, two counts bordering on terrorism and cyber stalking were preferred against Odok by the governor’s Chief of Staff, Martins Orim.


The CCRSCSO, after a visit to Jalingo, in a statement by Anthony Bissong Attah, Iso Edim, Richard Inoyo, Ukorebi Esien, Efio-Ita Nyok and Simon Utsu, said there was nothing human about the 2019 Carnival Calabar while the duo remained behind bars.

The coalition issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the government to release Jalingo and Odok or change the humanity theme of it’s carnival.


It also vowed to boycott the carnival and will urge international bodies to do same.

The statement reads, “We issue a 48-hour ultimatum demanding the release of the two activists Agba Jalingo and Joseph Odok without conditions.


“That if (i) above is not met, we demand that the international community and the generality of the Nigerian public in solidarity with the incarcerated journalist and activist boycott the 28 December 2019 Carnival celebration in Calabar.

“The first official assignment of the newly inaugurated Commissioner for Humanity in Cross River State, Blessing Egbara, is to comply with (i) above.


“Should the commissioner fail in her first official assignment, we call on Governor Ben Ayade to immediately replace the theme of Carnival Calabar 2019 to something else in order to avoid a contest of semantics and prevent the misrepresentation of human right reality within Cross River State to Nigerians and the international community.”

CCRSCSO noted that it is aware of a sinister move by the government to further arrest rights activist and charge them with offences similar to that of Jalingo and Odok.

Agba Jalingo and some police squad


Jalingo’s case was listed as one of the the 10 most urgent cases of threats to press freedom by the One Free Press Coalition in October.

The Cross River State Government accused TIME, a member of that Coalition, which reported the story, of practicing “gutter journalism.”


#Newsworthy…