UN denounces Nigeria terror attacks
The UN denounces recent terror attacks in Nigeria and neighboring Cameroon. Boko Haram which earlier claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of Nigerian school girls is blamed for the latest atrocity.
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security…The members of the Security Council underlined the need to bring perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice. They stressed that those responsible for these terrorist attacks should be held accountable, and urged all States, in accordance with their obligations under international law and relevant Security Council resolutions, to cooperate actively with all relevant authorities in this regard.
Nigerian blasts kill eight
Three blasts hit Nigeria’s north-eastern city of Maiduguri, killing at least eight people. The army blames Boko Haram for the attack.
Gives military three months
Buhari swears in a new set of military chiefs in Abuja, ordering them to end Boko Haram’s Islamist insurgency within three months.
You need to brace up and continue to team up with other stakeholders to come up with a well co-ordinated joint effort which will bring a desired end to these insurgencies within three months. The activities of these misguided groups and individuals have resulted in wanton destruction of lives and properties of our citizens and a disruption of social economic lives of millions of Nigerians.
The president urges the armed forces to conform with international law.
In particular you must protect innocent civilians and respect the rights of combatants.
North East Development Commission proposal
The House of Representatives urges Buhari to establish a North East Development Commission, for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the insurgency ravaged part of Nigeria. The House Speaker notes that the terrorist activities of Boko Haram, have devastated the North-East region and resulted in the deaths of thousands of people, displacement of about five million people, and disruption of education as well as other social and economic activities. The proposed commission shall be backed with robust financial mechanisms which shall include a percentage of reserve funds, special contribution by companies, donor agencies, international NGOs, development partners and other funding option. The lawmakers urged Buhari to convene an international donor conference or summit ‘as soon as possible’. The lawmakers also ask for a North East Highway, agricultural projects, and the rebuilding of schools, to fast track the zone’s development.
US to provide military training
After his four-person bipartisan delegation meets with Buhari and military service chiefs, Issa says the U.S. is ready to provide military training to help Nigeria’s battle against Islamic extremists. He says Nigeria’s military is not outgunned by Boko Haram and needs training, not arms, to defeat the insurgents. This contradicts Buhari, who says that the United States is aiding Boko Haram by refusing to sell attack helicopters to Nigeria. Issa:
The number one thing we bring is professional training to help the Nigerian forces fight Boko Haram and to advise them how to treat insurgents and civilians captured in the war zone. [Nigeria’s military] doesn’t lack basic firearms … it lacks training in military strategy and in international and humanitarian laws. This is a military that was allowed to fall into disrepair during the previous administration. Morale is low when training is low.
He says Obama’s pledge to give whatever training is needed signals ‘a new day’ in U.S.-Nigeria relations.
Returnees allege discrimination
Residents of Michika, whose communities have been recaptured from Boko Haram, rsay alarm over alleged discriminatory distribution of relief materials. Some of the returnees say a leading tribe in the area is marginalizing the other tribes using ethno-religious sentiments to distribute relief items and denying many other relief items. A returnees:
Whenever there is a relief material to be distributed, members of a particular tribe which I don’t want to mention would dominate the distribution points making sure that other tribes do not benefit. If there is a list to be taken, they make sure that only their tribes men or kith and kins were listed for support. My people are experiencing this particularly in Garta village of the area.
Another complainant also calls for government intervention to check the discrimination, adding that Michika Local Government has long history of ethno-religious tension that is aggravated by the Boko Haram crisis.
This is the time for relevant authorities and leaders from the area to intervene to address this problem before it turns into an ethno- religious crisis being experienced in parts of Plateau and Kaduna states.
Pirates attack military base0 Comments
Suspected pirates kills four soldiers and a policeman in an attack on a military base in Nigeria’s oil-rich Niger Delta. Police:
Four speedboats loaded with unknown gunmen, suspected to be sea pirates, attacked the Joint Task Force (JTF) base at Nembe Water front. They killed four soldiers and one policeman. The gunmen carted away two HP [high power] guns and other arms from the base..
Efforts are underway to ‘recover the arms and arrest the culprits’. Military authorities in the capital Abuja confirm the attack by ‘suspected oil bunkerers’ [thieves], but are silent on the death toll.
Elders call for genocide trial
Tribal elders in Borno State ask the federal government to establish a judicial commission to investigate the claims of former Chief of Defence Staff Badeh that he was made to lead an ill-equipped military in the war against Boko Haram insurgency. The elders are not happy that Badeh kept quiet about his claims and say that if the claims are confirmed, they will sue former president Jonathan for premeditated genocide against the people of the northeast Nigeria. The Elders also issue ten demands that must be carried out by the federal government as a way of seeking redress for the victimised people of the northeast Nigeria.
The Borno Elders Forum found Badeh’s comments very revealing, an eye opener, a precursor to judgement day and extremely disturbing. As Chief of Defence Staff under His Excellency, former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, Alex Badeh was not just the most senior serving military man and head of all serving military men in Nigeria, he was also in the best position to know the state of affairs regarding the provision of military supplies and motivation of troops.
Cameroon expels thousands
Cameroon expels more than 3,000 Nigerians, and arrests hundreds of other Cameroonians and Nigerians accused of collaborating with Boko Haram. The Nigerians who are deported said they were refugees but were not staying at camps and lacked identification papers. They were taken across the border to the Nigerian town of Mubi. Official:
In the different villages there is a certain population of foreigners and they are hiding behind some Cameroonians and hiding those Boko Haram suspects.
In Nigeria, many of those expelled said they were forced out quickly:
It was a terrible journey. We spent almost six days on the road. We initially pleaded with the Cameroonian officials to give us grace of some days, but were put in trucks.
Release beheading video
Boko Haram releases a video of a uniformed man – believed to be a police officer – being handcuffed, held at gunpoint and beheaded. The footage – released by terrorist operating in the north of Nigeria – also shows militants attacking an army barracks. The eight-minute video clip, shared on social media, is recorded in a similar style to videos released by ISIS. The video shows intense firefights in the day and night time on army barracks in Borno and Yobe. The extremists are filmed carrying AK-47s and are backed up by tanks and heavy weaponry. The footage cuts to a scene with a man dressed in uniform – believed to be a policeman – who is then held down and beheaded by three jihadis. An unidentified fighter, shown in the video with looted army weapons and ammunition, and an ISIS flag, says the footage shows Nigeria’s military has not forced Boko Haram from its positions and got them hemmed into the Sambisa Forest, as the military has claimed.
Army finds cut street poles, stolen animals
While clearing terrorists in and around Dikwa, Borno State, Nigerian troops discover a pile of street lamp poles cut into pieces by Boko Haram terrorists which they use in making Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) for terror activities in parts of the North-East. Troops also recover 15 cows, 174 goats and a donkey from rustlers. Troops have near Jakana, arrest a fuel supplier to Boko Haram terrorists and Madu who coordinates buying of food items from neighbouring villages for the terrorists. The Nigerian military also blocked Boko Haram elements that attacked Dumbuluwa village.
Seven killed, four arrested
At least seven people are killed in attacks on Malari and three other neighbouring village in a remote area of Borno State by suspected Boko Haram members. A member of youth vigilante group says the insurgents started with Malari and proceeded to the three other villages, shooting on sight.
Casualties were minimal because people fled as soon as they heard about the Malari attack. That is why the casualty figure is seven, our men counted the corpses when they went to evacuate the dead ones after the Monday attacks.
A local politician from the area, tells the state governor during a visit to the area that nearly 1,000 people were displaced by the attacks. Four suspected members of the terror group are arrested by members of the youth vigilante group in a raid on the suspected hideouts of the insurgents after an earlier attack.
All four suspects who are locals of Malari village were disowned and exposed by their families on returning to the village. We arrested two of them today after their father handed them over to us, then they led us into the bush where two others hid themselves.
Upon interrogation, one of the suspects confessed their affiliation with the group. The suspects are paraded before the state governor. The governor, who recently returned from a visit with Buhari to the United States and neighbouring Cameroon, assures the villagers that his recent trip would soon yield positive results and that destroyed homes would be rebuilt.
Orders airspace takeover
President Buhari orders the takeover of the security of Nigeria’s airspace over the Gulf of Guinea from Ghana, the first time in 70 years that the country will be managing its airspace.
The Ministry of Aviation says the country’s airspace is safe and had just recorded a score of over 90 percent by the International Civil Aviation:
We have a directive by the president to start the process of securing the management of Nigerian airspace over the Gulf of Guinea, which Ghana has been maintaining since 1945 and there is a move on the ground by Togo and Republic of Benin to take over the management of their own airspace from Ghana.
Buhari also directs the Ministry of Aviation to expedite action on the setting up of a new national carrier. Four state-of-the-art terminals are currently being constructed in Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt and Enugu with a loan from China, and will be ready by the first quarter of 2016.
Lawmaker urges Boko Haram negotiation
A member of the House of Representatives urges Buhari to negotiate with Boko Haram for the release of the abducted Chibok girls.
However, if it is about the Chibok girls, I support negotiating with Boko Haram. Life is precious. Anything that will bring the girls back is in order. Outside that, we should not negotiate with them. By the way who are we negotiating with? They have no agenda; nothing! They say they are anti book, yet they kill uneducated farmers. They say they are muslims, yet they kill Rasheeds and Ibrahims innocently selling goods at markets in the North East. Meanwhile, with Buhari who has deep background in military and security, I believe we will soon end them (Boko Haram). We also have to block corruption in the military.
Report: Some members want dialogue
The Centre for Crisis Communication says some elements of Boko Haram have reached out to the centre to facilitate dialogue with the federal government to end the insurgency in the country. The Center says that while the option of dialogue with the group is a hard sell, the window opened recently by President Buhari on the possibility of dialogue with genuine members of the terrorist group rekindled the hope for dialogue.
However the founder of Future Prowess Islamic Foundation, which takes care of hundreds of children, including those that lost their parents as a result of the Boko Haram crisis says several mistakes were made in the past and urged the government to trade softly.
We had phantom offers of dialogue in the past that did not yield any positive result and we must not complicate the issue any further. Government and our security forces must not give room for scammers. The real Boko Haram terrorists are in the hinterland; the way they operate is different. Yes, some members or foot soldiers of the Boko Haram may offer themselves available for dialogue but do they have the capacity to make any impact? Do they have the outreach to stop the mayhem we are experiencing? Do they have the ware withal to tell their members to lay down their arms? The answer is no. Our security agents must use their knowledge of intelligence to verify the identity of those that make the recent offer so that resources would not be wasted for a fruitless exercise.
Backs oil clean up plan
Buhari says he’s accelerating plans for one of the world’s largest oil cleanups following 50 years of spillage at operations in the Ogoniland region of the Niger Delta. He approves the composition of a governing council and board of trustees to oversee the restoration plan. A group of ‘stakeholders’ will release as much as $10 million within 30 days of formally creating a trust fund to manage financial contributions, according to an e-mailed statement from the office of the presidency. The UN says the recovery would be the world’s ‘most wide-ranging and long-term oil cleanup’ lasting three decades and it will take an initial capital injection of $1 billion. The two organizations that will oversee the oil clean up will have representatives from the petroleum and environment ministries, the United Nations and the state-run oil company, according to the statement from Buhari’s office.
US considers lifting Leahy Law
Congressman Issa tells military authorities in the Nigerian capital Abuja that the US is considering whether to relax or completely lift the ban to improve Nigeria’s fight against Boko Haram.
This is because of the trust in the new regime which has begun the process of ensuring that the military’s professionalism in the battle field is made in a way that we all can be confident that the rule of law is followed. Following this development, we have begun the process of lifting restrictions under the Leahy Law but the vast majority of the support US provides will be given regardless of the restrictions.
Leader absent from video
Boko Haram releases a new video in Nigeria, with leader Shekau again failing to appear in it. His continued absence increases speculation that Shekau is in deep hiding, or has been killed.. In the eight-minute video, an unidentified young man speaks in the name of the Islamic State in West Africa calling on people to be patient:
We are still present everywhere we had been before.
The man speaks in the regional Hausa language, with subtitles in Arabic and English. The video shows the militants attacking a security checkpoint, seizing weapons, and slitting the throat of a man dressed in a police uniform.
Claims Leahy law aids Boko Haram
Buhari says the US Leahy Law, which prohibits the US Department of State and Department of Defence from providing military assistance to foreign military units that violate human rights, aids Boko Haram. He says that the blanket application of the Leahy Law by the US on the grounds of unproven allegations of human rights violations levelled against the Nigerian Armed forces denies the country access to appropriate strategic weapons to prosecute the war against the insurgents.
In the face of abduction of innocent school girls from their hostels, indiscriminate bombings of civilians in markets and places of worship, our forces have remained largely impotent because they do not possess the appropriate weapons and technology, which they could have had, had the so-called human rights violations not been an obstacle. Unwittingly, and I dare say, unintentionally, the application of the Leahy law amendment by the US government has aided and abetted the Boko Haram terrorist group in the prosecution of its extremist ideology and hate, the indiscriminate killings and maiming of civilians, in raping of women and girls, and in their other heinous crimes. I believe this is not the spirit of the Leahy Laws. I know the American people cannot support any group engaged in these crimes.
Buhari informs United States lawmakers that Nigeria cannot shift its anti-gay stance. Speaking at the joint session of U.S. Senate and House Committees on Foreign Affairs he says sodomy is against Nigeria’s law and abhorrent to its culture. The president’s special adviser:
The issue of gay marriage came up here yesterday, PMB was pointblank. Sodomy is against the law in Nigeria, and abhorrent to our culture. Talks shifted to another matter once PMB emphatically stated Nigeria’s stand on same sex marriage. The issue was not pushed,