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Boko Haram Attack: Only 23 soldiers killed, 31 wounded — Nigerian Army

The Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, on Wednesday said only 23 soldiers were killed in the Boko Haram attack on Nigerian Army 157 Task Force Battalion.

He also put the number of troops wounded in action at 31.

Some media outlets, including London-based newswire Reuters, placed casualty figures at about 100 as of November 22, four days after the attack.

The Army rejected calls to disclose its own casualty figures from the attack, until Mr Buratai appeared at a military function in Maidugur hadi on Wednesday.

As of November 28, “23 personnel were killed in action and 31 personnel were wounded in action,” Mr Buratai said at the 2018 Chief of Army Staff Annual Conference in Maiduguri, according to excerpts of his comments circulated by Sani Usman, a brigadier-general and former Army spokesperson.

The Nigerian Army and its sister security agencies have long been known to downplay casualty figures of own personnel and civilians, while exaggerating the losses of enemy combatants.

Mr Buratai said the wounded have been evacuated to several hospitals across Borno State, the heartland of Boko Haram insurgency.

He said the 157 Task Force Battalion was part of the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) contingent deployed against Boko Haram. He commisserated with the MNJTF, which has its headquarters in N’djamena, Republic of Chad.

“All necessary support will be rendered to the MNJTF to reverse this resurgence of the Boko Haram,” Mr Buratai added, insisting that the jihadist group has been degraded.

“The Nigerian Army wishes to further commiserate with the families of the gallant officers and soldiers that paid the supreme price in the course of defending their fatherland,” Mr Buratai said. “The sacrifices of these fallen heroes will not be in vain.”

Lagos records 229 suicide, murder cases in 10 months

By Olawale Abdul-Fatah
The Nigerian Police has disclosed that no fewer than 229 murder, suicide and attempted suicide cases were recorded in Lagos State within the last 10 months.
According to the law enforcement agency added that 290 armed robbers and nine kidnappers were arrested between November 2017 and September 2018.
Commissioner for Police, Edgar Imohimi disclosed these statistics on Wednesday at the 12th annual Town Hall meeting on security with Governor, themed, ‘security in Lagos State: Progress and Challenges,’ held in Victoria Island.
Imohimi stressed that the figures would have been alarming but for the community policing strategy, the law enforcement agency could record reduction in robbery cases within the period under review in the state.
According to him, 18 armed robbers were killed by the police during their encounter with the police and 701 arms and ammunition were recovered within the period under review.
“Though, 233 armed robbery cases were foiled by the police but the police couldn’t prevent 14 cases pleading to one officer been killed by the robbers during confrontation within the period.
“Also, while 37 vehicles were recovered from armed robbers, eight snatched, 23 vehicles were removed from parks across the state,” the commissioner added.
To ensure peace and harmony within the state, he noted that 669 cultist were arrested while 911 cultist renounced their membership of the groups across the state.

US former secretary rebukes Trump criticism on judges, media

By Newsdesk with Agency Report

The United State President, Donald Trump’s criticism of judges and media has attracted knocks from the country’s former Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice.

Rice said she would prefer that President Trump not criticize judges and the media but that U.S. democratic institutions can withstand such comments.

Speaking in an interview, Rice also described Trump as having a somewhat “transactional” view of foreign relations but she largely supported his approach of seeking to enlist China’s help to get North Korea to rein in its nuclear program.

When she was asked about Trump lashing out at judges when rulings go against him and describing the media as “the enemy of the people”, the former secretary replied: “its language that I would prefer not to hear.

“But I don’t think that you can erode the scaffolding of democracy in the United States,” she added during a tour to promote her book “Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom.”

Rice, national security adviser and secretary of state under Republican former President George W. Bush, is now a professor at Stanford University.

She described U.S. institutions as “very strong” and said Trump “may have even found himself a bit surprised by how constraining that scaffolding really is.”


The 10th year of Sultan of Sokoto reign- celebrating a royal icon

The Sultan of Sokoto and President of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, NSCIA, His Eminence Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III has just celebrated the 10th year anniversary of his ascendance to the revered 200-year-old throne of his ancestor, Usman Dan Fodio.

Amidst praises and pomp, (former) heads of states, traditional rulers, dignitaries, well-wishers, admirers and ordinary citizens trooped en-mass to the historic city of Sokoto from Thursday, November 3, 2016 to celebrate the 10th year of the glorious reign of the 20th Sultan of a vast Caliphate.

The Sokoto State’s caliphate, an independent Islamic Caliphate that stretched from present-day Burkina Faso in the west, to Cameroon in the east, was the most important empire in 19th century Africa and, at its height, it linked over 30 different emirates of over 10 million people.

The cheer number of those who attended the events, their diverse background, the caliber of the dignitaries, their personal testimonies and candid opinions of the Sultan and that of his illustrious family are all eloquent testimonies to the fact that the Sultan has truly succeeded in building an enduring legacy on the trail of his forefathers and has established a successful brand as a builder of strong bridges of understanding and brotherhood across Nigeria in just one decade.

Another testimony to his legacy in the making is that the Sultan has consistently used his exalted position as the spiritual leader of the Nigerian Muslims to show to the non-Muslim community that with him, leadership of one faith and true friendship with the other can go hand in hand.

It is important to understand the significance of the achievements that the Sultan has recorded especially at a time of raging and often polarizing debate on religion in the country. In 2012 when the Boko Haram terror group was having a free rein and expanding their devilish enclave, the Sultan of Sokoto together with Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekan were nominated for Nobel Peace Prize for their joint efforts to prevent a religious civil war and for ultimately bringing about interfaith dialogue against all odds. The nomination recognized their staunch stand against the predatory Boko Haram group and their courageous and critical roles championing the cause of national unity, and working assiduously to prevent the misuse of religion to spread hate, violence and vengeful attacks.

The Sultan started many initiatives to counter and reduce the influence of Boko Haram, including inviting an international joint Muslim-Christian Delegation to visit Nigeria between 22 and 26 May 2012. His hard earned reputation as an inspirational, strong and visionary leader; as a relentless bridge builder and a missionary for hope and his constant message of peace, love and harmony have endeared him to the hearts of all Nigerians and won him many national and international awards and nominations.

Within the Islamic world, His Eminence Sultan Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar is considered an icon of our time. He is adjudged to be the 22nd most influential Muslim in the world in The 500 Most Influential Muslims.

The important annual publication, first published in 2009, ranks the most influential Muslims in the world on the basis of the influence that particular Muslims have had within the Muslim community and the manner in which their influence has benefited the Muslim community, both within the Islamic world and in terms of representing Islam to non-Muslims.

The publication is compiled by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in Jordan and the Sultan has been ranked amongst the overall top 50 most influential Muslims for the last 7 consecutive years.

For Muslim and non Muslim Nigerians, up and down the country, the Sultan is a royal and authority icon who represents an epitome of humility and wisdom. He had stayed at the forefront protecting the unity and integrity of the nation as an accomplished solider and as a fine example decorated for participating in foreign peace keeping missions.

Now, he is using his exulted position to move the country back on the track of peace, spirituality and prosperity. He has used the Sultanate Council and other resources at his disposal to mobilise other traditional rulers to lead campaigns against the scourges of polio, infant mortality and other ills in the society and his most noticeable works have been in the areas of building peace, religious and interfaith harmony, philanthropy, charity and development.

The sterling achievements of His Eminence, his exceptional qualities and standing amongst world leaders demonstrate convincingly that he does not only have the nobility to lead, very importantly, he also has the credibility.

May the Almighty bless His Eminence, our great and magnanimous Sultan and grant him long and successful reign. I join other well-meaning Nigerians to celebrate the 10th radiant year of the reign of the great icon of our time, and a royal father of the nation. I do this with a good memory of his past achievements, great joy in the good stories of today and soaring hope in the years to come.

The article writer is Disu Kamor and is Executive Chairman,Muslim Public Affairs Centre, MPAC, Nigeria.
E-mails: kamor.disu@mpac-ng.org

Lagos bans, other franchises from BRT Ikorodu road corridor

By Peter Williams

The Lagos State Government has banned LAGBUS and other franchises from plying Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor on Ikorodu road with effect from Monday.

According to the government, the move was part plans to introduce Intelligent Traffic System along the BRT corridor, and that all other franchises, apart from the BRT (blue buses) had to relocate from the corridor.

The Acting Commissioner, Lagos State Ministry of Transportation, Anofiu Elegushi, said on Friday in Lagos that with effect from Monday, 7th November, 2016, all LAGBUS buses would no longer utilize the BRT corridor to load, drop and travel.

The acting commissioner said that the LAGBUS could only provide end to end bus services using the expressway and service lanes along the Ikorodu Road stretch.

He stated that the state government was determined to enhance and boost commuters’ experience along the corridor, adding that the present arrangement had constrained the capacity of the BRT services to cater for the people.

Elegushi said that the restriction did not extend to charter staff buses operated by LAGBUS and did not preclude access to depot along Ikorodu road and that express services were allowed with only few designated stops.

According to him, all routes from Ikorodu hinterland would now terminate at TOS Benson bus stop after which there would be no loading of passengers.

He disclosed that the operations of LAGBUS buses had been moved to other 14 routes identified by the Lagos State Metropolitan Transport Master plan, adding that one other routes would take off before the end of the year.

Elegushi added that the new plan was in the overall interest of Lagosians, while also announcing the ban on sales of tickets on boarded buses, describing it as the harbinger of unstructured service.

He disclosed that the information as to the new routes had earlier been conveyed to stakeholders at a parley, saying that the state government had concluded arrangement to allocate new routes to the operators of LAGBUS franchise.