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118 Nigerian soldiers, others killed in six days

Newsdesk with agency report

The militant group, Islamic State, has disclosed that no fewer than 118 Nigerian soldiers and few citizens have been killed within last one week.

Islamic State stressed that the causalities were recorded in five separate attacks which occurred between Nov 16 and 22nd north Eastern part of Nigeria.

The claim came barely three days after a military base was overrun by the militant, killing atleast 44 soldiers including their commander.

In a video posted by the sect on its social media platform, it referred to Nigeria as “State of West Africa”, saying only to 118 casualties were recorded.

Five security sources hinted that more than 100 soldiers had been killed during attacks in Nigeria recently, one of the highest death tolls since President Muhammadu Buhari came to power in 2015.

The sources said the insurgents attacked a military base in the village of Metele in northeastern Borno state, the epicentre of a revolt by Boko Haram and splinter group Islamic State in West Africa.

Islamic State, in a statement released on Monday, said it attacked an army base on Sunday in Metele and killed at least 40 Nigerian soldiers. The group said it burned down the base after the attack finished.

An aide to the President, who didn’t want his name mentioned because wasn’t authorized to comment, said the military would issue a statement and military spokesmen did not respond to requests for comment.

Boko Haram members killed, structures destroyed during Nigerian Military raid

By Olawale Abdul-fatah with Agency report

After liberating atleast eight communities from hook of Boko Haram, the Nigerian Military has also embarked on air raid, killing scores of the sect members.

The attacks, the Guild gathered, was an apparent response to the threat issued by Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, in the two videos which Shekau appeared in one, wearing a military uniform to threaten Nigeria’s security apparatus.

In the attack carried out yesterday by Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation Lafiya Dole under the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) was targeted at neutralised several Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs) with the air strikes conducted at Talala in Borno.

Confirming the operation, A naval officer, Ibikunle Daramola, disclosed that the operation was carried out following credible intelligence reports that BHTs appeared to have relocated some of their fighters from the fringes of Lake Chad in Northern Borno to establish new camps along the Talala-Ajigin-Buk axis of the state.

“Series of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance missions confirmed the presence of significant number of BHT fighters residing in makeshift shelters, camouflaged under thick vegetation on the outskirts of Talala.

“As a result, ATF dispatched two Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Alpha Jet aircraft to attack the Camp in multiple waves, leading to destruction of some of the structures and killing of several BHTs,’’ he said.

The spokesman said the NAF, working in concert with surface forces, would sustain the tempo of operations in order to destroy all remnants of the terrorists in Borno.

Earlier, the eight communities freed from the hook of Boko Haram were: Litawa Kashmiri,Dole, Mulimari, Mudachira, Njaba, Bale and Gambori communities.

The Nigerian Army in a statement released on its social media page, the security agency hinted that Troops of 25 Task Force Brigade Chibok and 28 Task Force Brigade Damboa engaged in the joint operation.

During the Operations, the Army stressed that they engaged members of the insurgents at Mude, saying, however, the terrorists fled in disarray due to superior firepower leaving behind their items.

“17 bicycles, 1 small solar panel, 2 tecno phones, set of bicycle spokes (new), 12 touch lights,5 adorline body jelly, 1 UNICEF bag blue, some foodstuffs, used spiners, cloths, 4 mosquito nets, 4 litre jerrican of petrol, 10 blankets and 8 prayer mats,” it added.

400, 000 children will be malnourished in 2018 – UNICEF

By Zulaykha Abodunrin with Agency Report,

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has revealed an estimated 400,000 children in 14 local government areas in Borno will be severely malnourished in 2018.

It added that a total of 1,400 schools have been damaged with only half of the 755 health facilities are still standing as aftermath of Boko Haram insurgency in Borno state.

In its 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan for Northeast; Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, UNICEF further declared that many of the schools are unable to reopen for safety reasons and over one million children are currently out of school because of violence and conflict-related displacement.

In a statement, the agency added that five local government areas in Yobe are experiencing global acute malnutrition rates of 10 to 20 per cent, and an estimated 1.5 million people lack access to safe water – 940,000 in Borno, 480,000 in Adamawa and 80,000 in Yobe which has made vulnerable children acutely malnourished after repeated bouts of diarrhea disease

“The protracted crisis has also compromised the physical safety and psycho-social well-being of 2.5 million children in north-east Nigeria, who require immediate assistance. In the three most directly affected states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, 7.7 million people require humanitarian assistance. This includes 4.3 million children and 1.6 million internally displaced persons, more than half of whom are children. Ninety-two per cent of the internally displaced are located in the three north-eastern states.

UNICEF said it would continue to deliver an integrated intervention package to affected populations, in coordination with the Government, UN agencies, and non-governmental organisations in 2018.

”To effectively scale up interventions, UNICEF said it had diversified and strengthened these partnerships with the aim of employing additional local partners in the response. To improve the quality of its response, UNICEF said it was increasingly taking an integrated approach, especially among the health, nutrition and WASH sectors.

“UNICEF will work with community-based WASH committees to increase community mobilisation for hygiene promotion, including regular cleaning of latrines and maintenance of water points, as well as the dissemination of hygiene messages. A key aspect of this approach will be the integration of WASH facilities into schools, child-friendly spaces and health/nutrition centres, as well as teacher training on the provision of psychosocial support in classrooms. The Rapid Response Mechanism will be strengthened to deliver immediate life-saving assistance to highly vulnerable families, followed by a sectoral response,”it read.

Buhari calls for end to terrorism financing

By Zulaykha Abodunrin with Agency Report,

President Muhammadu Buhari has maintained that concerted efforts must be made to not only dismantle the network between transnational organised crimes and terrorist organisations, but also to block the payment of ransom to terrorist groups.

He, therefore called for resolute and coordinated initiatives by developing an AU data base of persons or groups and entities involved in terrorist acts for use by law enforcement agents.

Buhari who spoke on the topic, “Towards a Comprehensive Approach to Combat the Transnational Threat to Terrorism” at the meeting of the African Union Peace and Security Council in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Saturday, called for the curbing of the flow of terrorism financing.

While recalling the UN Resolution 1373 which stressed that “any person who participates in the financing, planning, preparation or perpetration of terrorist acts should be brought to justice”, he said Nigeria remained committed to supporting counter terrorism efforts within the African Union and the United Nations and believes that the timely establishment of this tool at the continental level will be strategic in this fight.

President Buhari expressed Nigeria’s grave concern over the increasing threats posed by transnational terrorism and the attendant humanitarian crisis while condemning the continued activities of the terrorist groups in Africa, and around the world and called for more concerted action by the African body and the international community to address the global scourge.

According to him, in doing that, the conditions that are conducive to the spread of extremism, radicalisation and terrorism must first be addressed.

He added that collaborative measures must be taken to disrupt the recruitment of terrorists, their financing networks and the movement of foreign fighters, he further disclosed that Nigeria had enacted domestic anti-terrorism laws that also deal with related issues such as kidnapping, drug peddling and gun-running.

“Terrorism cannot be defeated only through military force and law enforcement measures. We need to adopt a multifaceted approach of good governance, economic development and creation of job opportunities for our youth. Linking terrorist activities to climate change, it is important to take global action to support the recharging of the Lake Chad Basin which had shrunk by over 80 per cent.

“This had impacted negatively on the livelihood of millions of people in the countries of the Basin. There is considerable evidence that the environmental state of the Lake contributed to the radicalisation of jobless youth who joined Boko Haram,’’ he further stated.

In their submissions, the Chairperson of the AU Peace and Security Council, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt, the African Union Commission Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, and the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, also agreed on the real threat of transnational terrorism.

The African leaders therefore stressed the need for global efforts to curb the negative trend.

All lives are equal, but a cow’s is more equal than others – Soyinka

In this piece titled ‘Impunity rides again’, Nobel Laureate Prof. WOLE SOYINKA, condemns the herdsmen killings in Benue State. He posits that history is repeating itself again, while picking holes in the Federal Government’s reaction to the massacre.


It is happening all over again. History is repeating itself and, alas, within such an agonisingly short span of time. How often must we warn against the enervating lure of appeasement in face of aggression and will to dominate!? I do not hesitate to draw attention to Volume III of my INTERVENTION Series, and to the chapter on The Unappeasable Price of Appeasement. There is little to add, but it does appear that even the tragically fulfilled warnings of the past leave no impression on leadership, not even when identical signs of impending cardiac arrest loom over the nation. Boko Haram was still at that stage of putative probes, when cries of alarm emerged. Then the fashion ideologues of society deployed their distancing turns of phrase to rationalise what were so obviously discernable as an agenda of ruthless fundamentalism and internal domination. Boko Haram was a product of social inequities, they preached – one even chortled: We stand for justice, so we are all Boko Haram!  We warned that – yes indeed – the inequities of society were indeed part of the story, but why do you close your eyes against other, and more critical malfunctions of the human mind, such as theocratic lunacy? Now it is happening again. The nation is being smothered in Vaseline when the diagnosis is so clearly – cancer!

We have been here before – now, ‘before’ is back with a vengeance. President Goodluck Jonathan refused to accept that marauders had carried off the nation’s daughters; President Muhammed Buhari and his government – including his Inspector-General of Police – in near identical denial, appear to believe that killer herdsmen who strike again and again at will from one corner of the nation to the other, are merely hot-tempered citizens whose scraps occasionally degenerate into “communal clashes” – I believe I have summarised him accurately. The marauders are naughty children who can be admonished, paternalistically, into good neighbourly conduct. Sometimes of course, the killers were also said be non-Nigerians after all. The contradictions are mind-boggling.

First the active policy of appeasement, then the language of endorsement. El Rufai, Governor of Kaduna state, proudly announced that, on assuming office, he had raised a peace committee and successfully traced the herdsmen to locations outside Nigerian borders. He then made payments to them from state coffers to cure them of their homicidal urge which, according to these herdsmen, were reprisals for some ancient history and the loss of cattle through rustling. The public was up in arms against this astonishing revelation. I could only call to mind a statement by the same El Rufai after a prior election which led to a rampage in parts of the nation, and cost even the lives of National Youth Service corpers. They were hunted down by aggrieved mobs and even states had to organize rescue missions for their  citizens. Countering protests that the nation owed a special duty of protection to her youth, especially those who are co-opted to serve the nation in any capacity, El Rufai’s comment then was: No life is more important than another. Today, that statement needs to be adjusted, to read perhaps – apologies to George Orwell: “All lives are equal, but a cow’s is more equal than others.”

This seems to be the government view, one that, overtly or by implication, is being amplified through act and pronouncement, through clamorous absence, by this administration. It appears to have infected even my good friend and highly capable Minister, Audu Ogbeh, however insidiously. What else does one make of his statements in an interview where he generously lays the blame for ongoing killings everywhere but at the feet of the actual perpetrators!  His words, as reported by The Nation Newspaper:

“The inability of the government to pay attention to herdsmen and cow farming, unlike other developed countries, contributed to the killings.”

The Minister continued: “Over the years, we have not done much to look seriously into the issue of livestock development in the country….we may have done enough for the rice farmer, the cassava farmer, the maize farmer, the cocoa farmer, but we haven’t done enough for herdsmen, and that inability and omission on our part is resulting in the crisis we are witnessing today.”

No, no, not so, Audu! It is true that I called upon the government a week ago to stop passing the buck over the petroleum situation. I assure you however that I never intended that a reverse policy should lead to exonerating – or appearing to exonerate – mass killers, rapists and economic saboteurs – saboteurs, since their conduct subverts the efforts of others to economically secure their own existence, drives other producers off their land in fear and terror. This promises the same plague of starvation that afflicts zones of conflict all over this continent where liberally sown landmines prevent farmers from venturing near their prime source, the farm, often their only source of livelihood, and has created a whole population of amputees. At least, those victims in Angola, Mozambique and other former war theatres, mostly lived to tell the tale. These herdsmen, arrogant and unconscionable, have adopted a scorched-earth policy, so that those other producers – the cassava, cocoa, sorghum, rice etc farmers are brutally expelled from farm and dwelling.

Government neglect? You may not have intended it, but you made it sound like the full story. I applaud the plans of your ministry, I am in a position to know that much thought – and practical steps – have gone into long term plans for bringing about the creation of ‘ranches’, ‘colonies’ – whatever the name – including the special cultivation of fodder for animal feed and so on and on. However, the present national outrage is over impunity. It rejects the right of any set of people, for whatever reason, to take arms against their fellow men and women, to acknowledge their exploits in boastful and justifying accents and, in effect, promise more of the same as long as their terms and demands are not met. In plain language, they have declared war against the nation, and their weapon is undiluted terror. Why have they been permitted to become a menace to the rest of us? That is the issue!

Permit me to remind you that, early in 2016, an even more hideous massacre was perpetrated by this same Murder Incorporated – that is, a numerical climax to what had been a series across a number of Middle Belt and neighbouring states, with Benue taking the brunt of the butchery. A peace meeting was called, attended by the state government and security agencies of the nation, including the Inspector General of Police. This group attended – according to reports – with AK47s and other weapons of mass intimidation visible under their garments. They were neither disarmed nor turned back. They freely admitted the killings but justified them by claims that they had lost their cattle to the host community. It is important to emphasize that none of their spokesmen referred to any government neglect, such as refusal to pay subsidy for their cows or failure to accord them the same facilities that had been extended to cassava or millet farmers. Such are the monstrous beginnings of the culture of impunity. We are reaping, yet again, the consequences of such tolerance of the intolerable. Yes, there indeed the government is culpable, definitely guilty of “looking the other way”. Indeed, it must be held complicit.

This question is now current, and justified:  just when is terror? I am not aware that IPOB came anywhere close to this homicidal propensity and will to dominance before it was declared a terrorist organisation. The international community rightly refused to go along with such an absurdity. For the avoidance of doubt, let me state right here, and yet again, that IPOB leadership is its own worst enemy. It repels public empathy, indeed, I suspect that it deliberately cultivates an obnoxious image, especially among its internet mouthers who make rational discourse impossible. However, as we pointed out at the time, the conduct of that movement, even at its most extreme, could by no means be reckoned as terrorism. By contrast, how do we categorize Myeti? How do we assess a mental state that cannot distinguish between a stolen cow – which is always recoverable – and human life, which is not. Villages have been depopulated far wider than those outside their operational zones can conceive. They swoop on sleeping settlements, kill and strut. They glory in their seeming supremacy. Cocoa farmers do not kill when there is a cocoa blight. Rice farmers, cassava and tomato farmers do not burn. The herdsmen cynically dredge up decades-old affronts – they did at the 2016  Benue “peace meeting” to justify the killings of innocents in the present – These crimes are treated like the norm. Once again, the nation is being massaged by specious rationalisations while the rampage intensifies and the spread spirals out of control. When we open the dailies tomorrow morning, there is certain to have been a new body count, to be followed by the arrogant justification of the Myeti Allah.

The warnings pile up, the distress signals have turned into a prolonged howl of despair and rage. The answer is not to be found in pietistic appeals to victims to avoid ‘hate language’ and divisive attributions. The sustained, killing monologue of the herdsmen is what is at issue. It must be curbed, decisively and without further evasiveness.

Yes, Jonathan only saw ‘ghosts’ when Boko Haram was already excising swathes of territory from the nation space and abducting school pupils. The ghosts of Jonathan seem poised to haunt the tenure of Mohammed Buhari.

Buhari condemns hate speech, tasks security agencies on terrorism

By Newsdesk

President Muhammadu Buhari has warned groups and individuals championing quit notice and hate speech that unity of Nigeria has been a concluded issue as it has become non negotiable.

Buhari added that Nigerians have the right to live in any parts of the country and engage in their legitimate duties without any form of molestation.

The president’s statement during his live broadcast on Monday after his return to Nigeria further indicated that the over 100 days spent in London has not affected his connection with activities in the country.

He described the hate speeches and quit notices as step too far because they questioned Nigeria’s collective existence, saying, such statements have crossed the country redlines.

According to him, Nigeria’s unity is settled and not negotiable. We shall not allow irresponsible elements to start trouble and when things get bad they run away and saddle others with the responsibility of bringing back order, if necessary with their blood.

“Every Nigerian has the right to live and pursue his business anywhere in Nigeria without let or hindrance,” he added.

The president stressed that the national consensus was that, it is better to live together and address challenges collectively than to live apart.

He said: “This is not to deny that there are legitimate concerns. Every group has a grievance. But the beauty and attraction of a federation is that it allows different groups to air their grievances and work out a mode of co-existence.

“The National Assembly and the National Council of State are the legitimate and appropriate bodies for national discourse.”

Buhari, who recalled his encounter with late Emeka Ojukwu, in Daura, Kastsina state 14 years ago, noted that it was then they realized that Nigeria’s must remain united.

“In 2003 after I joined partisan politics, the late Emeka Ojukwu came and stayed as my guest in my hometown Daura. Over two days we discussed in great depth till late into the night and analyzed the problems of Nigeria. We both came to the conclusion that the country must remain one and united,” he said.

Worried by resurgence of Boko Haram in North east which threatens successes achieved against insurgency, Buhari stressed that terrorists and criminals would be fought and destroyed to afford Nigerians live in peace and safety.

The president said government would reinforce against kidnappings, farmers and herdsmen clashes, in addition to ethnic violence fuelled by political mischief makers, noting, we shall tackle them all.

He appealed to Nigerians to eschew petty differences and come together to face common challenges of political evolution and integration as well as economic security and lasting peace among all.

“I remain resolutely committed to ensuring that these goals are achieved and maintained,’’ the president said.

Three suicide bombers die during attack in Maiduguri

By Newsdesk

Apparently, efforts by the Nigerian military to nip activities of Boko Haram in North-East, has yielded  result after it allegedly forced no fewer than three suicide bombers in Simari axis of Maiduguri, to personally detonate bombs strapped to their body.

The killing came barely hours after three dogs allegedly foiled attempted suicide attack in Borno state with the attackers detonating their improvised explosive device (IED).

Confirming the death, Nigerian Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Borno command, Victor Isuzu, disclosed that the attackers were a male and two females, narrating that they attempted to penetrate Usmanti Community in Mafa local government.

According to the police, the attackers attempted to penetrate the council at about 21.49 p.m., but met the resistance of the Nigerian military.

“The suicide bombers were chased by security personnel in the ensuing stampede and in an attempt to escape arrest, the suicide bombers hurriedly detonated the IEDs strapped on their bodies killing themselves.

“However, two members of the security personnel sustained injuries and were rushed to University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital. Police and EOD personnel visited the scene to secure and render the area safe,” he said.

A resident, Amin Audu, said the insurgents took advantage of the night to gain access into Maiduguri yesterday, saying, the powerful blast also made the explosives strapped to the other ladies to detonate and blew them into pieces.

Before this incident, Maiduguri and other liberated areas have witnessed upsurge of suicide bomb attacks in which many lives and property were lost in the past two months.

The insurgents had recently attacked a team of prospecting oil workers on exploration at Lake Chad Basin. The insurgents also attacked Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in Maiduguri and Dikwa Local Government Area of the state.

Also, 14 women including police personnel were abducted by the insurgents after attacking a team of workers on oil exploration at Lake Chad Basin.

Two female suicide bombers attack Borno IDP camp, kill eight

By Newsdesk

Few days after Nigeria Army top officials relocated to North-east following resurgence of Boko Haram within the region, two female suicide bombers attacked Borno state, killing at least eight persons and injured 14 others.

The attack occurred at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in Dikwa Local Government area when larger percent of the IDPs were already asleep.

Chairman of the council, Rawa Modu confirming the attack on Saturday to newsmen in Maiduguri few hours after Boko Haram released video on abducted University Maiduguri (UNIMAID).

Modu, who visited some of the victims, said that the suicide bombers infiltrated into the camp and detonated explosives, saying, two female suicide bombers attacked the 24 Housing estate at about 9: 30 p.m on yesterday.

According to him, seven persons died on the spot and one other died in the hospital, while 14 other persons were receiving treatment at the Specialist Hospital, Maiduguri.

The council chairman said that the council had distributed metal detectors to members of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) to enhance security at the camp.

UN envoy seeks support to end Boko Haram insurgency

By NewsDesk

The United Nation (UN), envoy to West Africa, Mohamed Chambas, has urged Security Council, an arm of UN, to strengthen ongoing fight against Boko Haram and other groups that have posed security threat in the African sub-region.

According to Chambas, it would be a futile efforts of the region’s States towards broader development, increased investment, improved infrastructure and job creation may be jeopardise by factors of insecurity both traditional and new,

The envoy added that the formation of national and regional security forces like the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) and the G5 Sahel Joint Force against violent extremism and terrorism should be assisted to end activities of the groups in the region.

Chambas made the appeal while addressing the Security Council on state of security in the region especially on Lake Chad Basin, pointed out that the remarkable efforts of the MNJTF against Boko Haram, in spite of the recent attacks by the group should be commended.

The UN envoy, who however expressed concerns on the mode and sophistication of recent attacks by Boko Haram, stressed that the gang of terrorists have upped their reinforcements.

“Persistent Boko Haram attacks in the Lake Chad Basin area are causing huge sufferings to the population. The commendable efforts of the Multinational Joint Task Force, which have substantially degraded Boko Haram’s capabilities, shrank its geographical reach and freed thousands of captives.

“However, recent attacks in Maiduguri and in the Diffa region demonstrate that Boko Haram continues to pose a serious threat in the area. The mode and sophistication of these attacks have raised suspicion that Boko Haram might have raised suspicion that Boko Haram militants might have acquired reinforcement,” he added.

According to him, the situation had continued to have devastating humanitarian consequences, pointing out that 5.2 million women, men, innocent boys and girls, many of whom have been displaced across the Lake had Basin were struggling for their very subsistence.

Chambas, therefore, called for immediate provision of basic services and viable livelihood opportunities for communities in the affected areas to avoid the risks derailing recent successes against Boko Haram.

He stated that the Lake Chad Basin Commission Regeneration Plan offers a useful framework of cooperation to tackle the root causes of the worsening security environment.

“Traditional and new drivers of conflicts and insecurity are hampering the capacity of countries to improve living conditions and strengthen human security. Clashes between farmers and herders are another threat. If not contained, they have the potential to undermine peace and security in the region.

“The threat of terrorists and violent extremist groups should not divert our attention from other pressing security threats such as inter-communal tensions witnessed in several countries. Clashes between farmers and herders across the region threaten to undermine peace, social cohesion and food security

“The UN continues to advocate for a regional solution while at the same time continues to support the countries in the region to strengthen their national peace architectures,” he said.

Two suicide bomber attack Nigeria-Cameroon border community, kill baby, 10 others

By NewsDesk

Tragedy struck in a Nigeria-Cameroon border community on Thursday when two female suicide bombers exploded the bombs strapped on their bodies, killing themselves, atleast 11 residents and 43 others injured during attack.

An army sources responsible for recovering bodies at the scene however hinted that there were 14 deaths, including the two suicide bombers, and 42 wounded in early morning attack.

Eyewitness narrated that the attack was perpetrated by one of the suicide bombers but that the second suicide bomber was shot dead as he was about to detonate his bomb.

The governor, Far North region, where the attack took place, Midjiyawa Bakari, disclosed that the attack was carried out by two women, who walked into a busy area in the centre of Waza, eight km from the Nigerian border.

He also added that 13 had been killed including a baby and 43 wounded adding that those who were seriously wounded have been flown to nearby hospitals.

It was gathered that no group had claimed responsibility for the attack, but the region has been a frequent target for Boko Haram militants in their eight-year bid to carve out an Islamic caliphate beyond the Nigerian territory.

It would be recalled that last month, nine persons were killed in Kolofata when two children carrying explosives blew themselves up near a camp housing Internally Displaced Persons (IDP).

The latest UN refugee agency figures, disclosed that 2.7 million people have been displaced in the last eight years as Boko Haram attacks have killed more than 20,000 people in the Lake Chad region, including Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger.