BREAKING: Soldiers Surround Nnamdi Kanu’s Home, Invade NUJ Office

Tension has returned to Umuahia, the Abia State Capital, as a detachment of soldiers from the Nigerian Army has surrounded the Afaraukwu country home of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.

The soldiers arrived the community on Tuesday barely 48 hours after the clash between the Army and IPOB members on Sunday evening, which left three people injured.

The soldiers returned with about 10 Armoured Carrier Vehicles and seven Hilux vans.

The development has caused panic in the area, forcing shop owners to close immediately.

Some of the soldiers also invaded the Abia State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists on Aba Road, Umuahia, and destroyed laptops and other valuables.

According to journalists at the secretariat, the soldiers claimed they saw somebody taking photographs of them from the building.

The Chairman of Council Mr. John Emejor has confirmed the incident.

Emejor who expressed disappointment over the incidents said a National officer of the Union Ezeogo Bonny Okoro was slapped by one of the Soldiers.

He said, “Our press center was invaded by soldiers, two Journalists lost their IPads and phones, while a national leader in the office was attacked.

“Our stand is that those involved in this attack on innocent Journalists should be fished out and punished in line with the Constitution of the Country.”

When contacted the Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, 14 Brigade, Major Oyegoke Gbadamosi, confirmed the incident.

He said he had asked the chairman of the Council to send the photograph of the damaged office to him.

 

 

 

Source: Punch

Boko Haram Kingpin Arrested By The Nigerian Army

The terrorist group that has been a treat to the country are being reduced in number as one of their Kingpin has been apprehended and arrested by the Nigerian Army force.

Nigerian troops attached to 233 Battalion, 27 Task Force Brigade of the Nigerian Army, on Sunday, arrested a Boko Haram kingpin, Abubakar Adamu AKA “Pepper”. His arrest was announced in a statement signed by Brigadier-General SK Usman, Director of Army Public Relations.

According to the statement, the 35-year old premium terrorist was arrested by troops stationed at “Forward Operation Base,” in Potiskum, Yobe State. He was arrested, with the assistance from local vigilantes around New Prison area of Potiskum.

Preliminary investigation, said the statement, revealed that “Pepper” hails from Yerimara village in Potiskum Local Government Area and has been involved in carrying out attacks and other terror-related activities around the northeastern part of the country.

In a similar development, the Army also announced that troops of 231and 331 Battalions jointly foiled an armed robbery attempt at Chanchara village in Shani Local Government Area, where they recovered an AK-47 rifle, machetes, and ammunition.

Nigerian Army Declares War against Bandits in Southern Kaduna

Nigerian Army Wednesday launched an operation  tagged: ‘Operation Harbin  Kunama II’ to tackle the menace of herdsmen in the southern part of Kaduna State.

Hundreds of people have been killed in the past five years by herdsmen while property estimated at billions of naira were destroyed.

The federal government, had in December last year, deployed troops and the police to the area to stop the mayhem, but the killings have continued with the recent one that claimed 12 lives in Asso village last Saturday.

Speaking at the event which held in Kafanchan, the headquarters of Jama’a Local Government Area, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS)  Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, said there would no longer be any hiding place for armed bandits in the state.

Buratai said the aim of the exercise is to ensure that southern Kaduna area is kept safe.

“I know it has been in the press and it has generated a lot of interest. But we are determined to shoulder the major responsibility of keeping the peace always and it is better to do this job than to leave it until it goes out of hand. God forbid,” he said.

According to him, the exercise is a remarkable experience to  the one that  took place last year, adding that “I have seen confidence in all the officials that have briefed  us and I have seen improvements in their understanding of the environment.”

He said the army would continue to coordinate its activities to ensure that communities understand each other so as to provide the needed security and the right atmosphere for economic and social activities to thrive.

Also speaking, the Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, said he was delighted by the effort of the Chief of Army Staff to launch the operation.

“This operation is very important because this problem in Southern Kaduna has attracted high levels of attention not just because of the gravity of the situation here, I think there are more serious crisis in other parts of the country, but this one has been given religious and ethnic coloration,” he said.

He expressed confidence that with the operation,  the bandits that have been attacking farmers will finally be neutralized so that farming activities will resume as the rains approach.

El-Rufai said the state government adopted a three-step plan to end the crisis.

“The first step is what you are seeing today, to stabilise the place by ensuring that the presence of security to protect lives and property and then to target areas of hideouts for the bandits and flush them out.  Our hope is that, with the completion of these operations, we will relax the curfew.

“The second step which we have started concurrently is to arrest perpetrators of these crimes, whether it is those that write hate speech or go to churches and mosques and encourage others to kill or supply arms to young people and drug them so that they can kill, we have been monitoring them and we will be arresting and prosecuting them.

“This is what has been missing in this part of the state in the last 37 years, people have gotten away with murder and that has inculcated a culture of impunity, by God’s grace we are going to change that because some people would be prosecuted for what is happening here.

“Everyone one that we lay our hands on would be brought before a judge,” the governor said.

Nigeria Army Abducts Two Shiites In Kastina

The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) has accused soldiers of the Nigeria Army of kidnapping at least two of its members.

This was made known in a statement by the group’s spokesperson, Ibrahim Musa early this afternoon.

Musa claimed the abductions began Monday when the soldiers bundled one Sunusi Haruna into their vehicle and zoomed off.

Read the full press statement below:

It has come to the notice of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) the abduction of two of its members by the Nigerian Army on their way back to their homes after evening session of Ashura mourning in Katsina state.

The abduction started on Monday 3rdOctober 2016 with Sunusi Haruna at Dutsin-ma, Katsina state. Some soldiers just bundled him into their van in a kidnap like manner, snatching the black flag of Ya-Husain from him. Since then he has been held incommunicado.

Then on Tuesday the following day, some soldiers in Katsina metropolis abducted a teenage Muslim sister, A’isha Attah, after attending the Ashura mourning session by sunset. She has since been reportedly whisked to Kano, though her whereabouts in Kano still remain unknown.

As at the time of writing this statement no offense has been established by the authorities holding members of the IMN, therefore we wish to inform the general public that the month of Muharram in the Islamic calendar is a period of mourning the killing of the Grandson of Prophet Muhammad, Imam Husain in the year 61 AH (680 AD). Incidentally these members of IMN were arrested when returning from such a mourning sessions.

We don’t want to believe that Nigerian secular Army, as an institution has been turned into a religious vanguard, but its recent actions in Katsina is indicating the contrary. When has Ashura mourning session become a crime in Nigeria?

A similar report in Jos, Plateau state and Potiskum, Yobe state, indicated that some soldiers were drafted to the centers where such Ashura mourning is being held, though there was no report of any incident. An important question begging for answer is why the intimidation by the Army?

The Islamic Movement in Nigeria hereby call on the authorities responsible for the arrest of our members to release them unconditionally, since they haven’t committed any crime. We also call on the authorities to stop any harassment by the military on our members henceforth.

SIGNED BY

IBRAHIM MUSA

PRESIDENT MEDIA FORUM IMN

Zaria Shiites Massacre: Panel Recommends Prosecution Of Army General

The judicial commission of inquiry that investigated the December 12 -14, 2015 clash between the Nigerian Army and the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) also known as Shiites has recommended the prosecution of the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 1st Division of the Army in Kaduna, Major Gen. Adeniyi Oyebade.

According to Premium Times, an online news site, the commission in its report which was submitted to Governor Nasir El­-Rufai last Friday, accused the GOC of authorising the military operation that led to the killing of 347 members of the Islamic group in Zaria, Kaduna state.

The 13-member panel headed by Justice Mohammed Lawal Garba, while submitting the report did not make its finding public; however, Premium Times which claimed to have obtained a copy of the commission`s report revealed that Oyebade was indicted for deploying “soldiers to carry out such a large scale operation without recourse to the chain of command.”

The Shiite and the army had clashed on December 12 when the Islamic group in the course of observing one of their religious rites, blocked the highway in Zaria, preventing the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, who was in the city for the Passing Out Parade of the Army Depot, from moving.

The incident later led to a face-off between the army and the Shiite members, leading to the killing of many members of the Islamic group.

Several others were injured while the residence of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky was destroyed.

Zakzaky, his wife and several members of the group were arrested.

While Zakzaky and his wife are still being detained, over 200 of his followers who are in prison custody have been charged to court.

According to Premium Times, “the GOC of the Army’s 1st Division, Kaduna, Mr. Oyebade, deployed soldiers to carry out such a large scale operation without recourse to the chain of command.

The Kaduna state government had revealed during proceedings of the panel that 349 victims of the incident were buried in a mass grave. The Panel visited the mass grave located at the Mando area of Kaduna metropolis.

According to Premium Times, the panel described the treatment of the corpses as undignified, noting: “the commission was unable to determine the causes of death of the deceased victims owing to the mass burial conducted by the state without any autopsy, the report found

“The panel said the burial of all corpses of male and female Muslims in one grave violated Islamic traditions and other relevant burial laws of Kaduna State and Rule 115 of the Geneva Convention” the online medium added.

The commission, according to Premium Times also found members of the IMN wanting for the death of one Corporal Dan Yakubu of the Nigerian army and recommended those found culpable in the killing of the officer for prosecution.

“Still, in a damning verdict, the panel said the force deployed by the army against the Shi’ite was “disproportionate”.

Troops Free 5000 Boko Haram Captives In Borno

The troops of the Nigerian Army have liberated 5,000 captives from the Boko Haram insurgents in Borno State.

The Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman, said in an electronic mail on Sunday that the troops of the 21 Brigade and the Civilian JTF liberated the large number of captives during a fighting patrol at Zangebe, Waiwa, Algati and Mainari villages.

Usman said that the troops of their Civilian JTF counterparts killed six of the Boko Haram members and injured several of them during the operation.

According to him, the troops also recovered five motorcycles and bicycles from the insurgents.

Usman also said that troops of 7 Division Garrison Rapid Deployment Force II, some of elements of Mobile Police Force and Civilian JTF killed two members of the deadly sect during similar clearance operations at Masu Yiwa, Ladin Buta, Bazaka, Kesa Gala, Tabla, Fahinde, Shirori, Gizina, Maska Aribe, Maska and Maska Lawanti villages of Mafa Local Government Area of Borno State.

The Acting Army Spokesman said that a member of the Civilian JTF was killed and a soldier and a riot policeman who were injured during the operation had been evacuated to Maiduguri for treatment.

Usman added that two other insurgents were killed by troops of 192 Battalion, 26 Task Force Brigade and some vigilantes during a fighting patrol along Kusarha-Zalidava general area on Sunday,

According to him, ‘the troops encountered some elements of Boko Haram around Zalidava-Weige villages where they killed two Boko Haram terrorists and recovered one General Purpose Machine Gun with registration number FN 132125, a belt of 7.62mm (NATO) ammunition containing 42 rounds.’

He said that a vigilante member who sustained an injury on his eye was being treated and was in a stable condition.

Nigerian Army Dismisses Allegations Of Corruption Against Buratai

The Nigerian Army says its attention has been drawn to another round of campaign of calumny against the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai and his family by some unscrupulous elements.

It said such claims were contained in a report titled “Revealed: Buhari’s Chief Of Army Staff, General Buratai, Wives Own Dubai Property”, alleging that Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Tukur Buratai, and his two wives were joint owners of a Dubai property that was paid for in one transaction.

Colonel Sani Usman in a statement on Saturday said the “baseless allegations” were not new.

He recalled that in‎ March this year, some groups of individuals under the aegis of “Concerned Citizens”, tried same smear campaign but that to their disappointment, it could not fly, because it was not true.

“Earlier in the week, there was similar campaign of calumny by yet another online news medium, in which among other things, it alleged that wounded in action Nigerian Army personnel were abandoned by the Army, government and the nation which is not true.

“Therefore, the latest round of smear campaign is one of the series of campaigns of calumny by these faceless individuals to malign the Chief of Army Staff and the Nigerian Army.

“Yet, typical of blackmailers and mischief makers despite failures, they did not give up, hence they now found a willing accomplice reputed for muckraking. The online news medium this evening uploaded another campaign of calumny allegedly based on a petition by obviously fake and non-existent group it described as Concerned Soldiers and Officers From the North East.

“The allegations contained in the write up are baseless and not correct. It is a fact that the Buratai family have two properties in Dubai that were paid for instamentally through personal savings three years ago. This, along with other personal assets have consistently been declared by General Buratai in his Assets Declaration Form as Commander Multinational Joint Task Force Commander and as Chief of Army Staff.

“It is pertinent to state that the Chief of Army Staff does not have any account with Skye Bank as alleged, let alone making deposits in the imaginary bank account to the tune of the amount stated in the write up. Similarly, he has not been involved in any form of shady or dishonest transaction, not to talk of contract scam.

“In addition, General Buratai was never near either Defence Headquarters or Army Headquarters in 2013. It is pertinent to also note that he was never a Director of procurement in Army Headquarters as alleged. As a matter of fact, the Nigerian Army never had a Directorate of Procurement till when he established one last year when he became Chief of Army Staff.

“In a bid to rubbish the hard earned reputation and good name of the Chief of Army Staff, these blackmailers will stop at nothing hence all these kinds of mudslinging.

“It is really worrisome that some people could condescend so low to fabricate baseless allegation against the Chief of Army Staff for reasons that could best be described as mischievous.

“Consequently, the public and indeed all well meaning persons should disregard this round of campaign of calumny against the Chief of Army Staff and similar ones because they are baseless and unfounded.

“For the unscrupulous elements and their cohorts, these campaigns would prod the Nigerian Army and indeed the Chief of Army Staff to continue to serve the nation diligently and with utmost zeal.”

Nigerian Troops Arrest Wanted Boko Haram Suspect In Sambisa Forest

The ongoing Operation CRACKDOWN on Boko Haram by the Nigerian Troops in Sambisa Forest is yielding significant success according to the military.

It’s latest operation in the area has led to the arrest of one of the wanted terrorists leader, Suleiman Umaru.

Acting Director Army Public Relations Col. Sani Usman disclosed the arrest in a statement. ” In continuation of Operation CRACKDOWN deep inside Sambisa forest, troops have arrested one of the declared wanted Boko Haram terrorists leaders, and also conducted patrols and clearance operations within the theatre of operations.

“At about 1.35pm yesterday troops of 143 Battalion arrested one Sulaiman Umaru, a suspected Boko Haram terrorists group member whose photograph is on the poster containing the photographs of the 100 Boko Haram terrorists declared wanted. He has since been moved to 28 Task Force Brigade Headquarters for further investigation,” Usman statement.

The statement also noted that troops of 21 Brigade engaged in a heavy battle with the terrorists along Dikwa-Maiduguri road where many of the terrorists were killed.“Troops of 21 Brigade have continued with the clearance operations at Yerimari, while troops of 22 Task Force Brigade Garrison have also embarked on patrols along Dikwa–Mafa-Maiduguri road. The patrol was aimed at picketing the road to keep it safe and open.

“Similarly, the same unit in conjunction with some elements of 112 Task Force Battalion conducted a fighting patrol along Dikwa-Gulumba Gana road. The team had a fierce fire fight with some Boko Haram terrorists elements in which the troops killed quite a number of the Boko Haram terrorists,” it said.

On a sad note however, Col. Usman informed that soldiers on routine patrol ran into some Improvised Explosive Devie(IED) which injured 7 soldiers and 4 Civilian JTF. The statement said; “Unfortunately, while on their way back, the team ran into an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) at Antul, a village south east of Dikwa, in which 7 soldiers and 4 Civilian JTF accompanying them sustained injuries. The injured soldiers and their civilian counterparts have been evacuated to 7 Division Hospital and Medical Services Maiduguri.

“However, the patrol killed 2 Boko Haram terrorists and recovered 2 AK-47 rifles from them. “The patrol team had earlier intercepted 31 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), including women and children coming from Sunabaya, Gumule, Garno and Mane-Gana villages.

“During preliminary investigations along with the vigilantes, one of the IDPs, Abacha Bulama, a native of Mane-Gana village, was found to be in possession of the sum of One Million, Nine Hundred Thousand Naira (N1,900,000.00k).“Although he claimed to be a businessman, his possession of such large amount of money arose suspicion.“While Bulama has been detained for further investigation, other IDPs have been handed over to Dikwa IDP Camp Manager for screening and further humanitarian assistance.

“On their part, troops of 254 Task Force Battalion, 25 Task Force Brigade have moved to Ngalimeri and shelled Boko Haram terrorists hideouts at Budumairi, Goneri Baleni, Mallam Maitari, Malemiri and Gombori. Although there were no signs of the Boko Haram in the area as they have all fled, however, 35 persons were rescued, screened and rehabilitated at Damboa IDP camp. The troops also arrested 2 suspected Boko Haram terrorists with Dane Guns.

“In a related development, troops of 192 Battalion, 26 Task Force Brigade also carried out clearance operations at Guduf Buba, Yagwa, Gamude, Kwatara Kasa and Kwatara Tsakiya villages. It was observed that at Kwatara Tsakiya, the terrorists have neatly removed the roofing of the dispensary and other buildings possibly to cart away later.

“Apart of the formations and units mentioned above, quite a number of them have maintained blocking positions to prevent Boko Haram terrorists escaping from Operation CRACKDOWN and aerial bombardment by the Nigerian Air Force, while other troops carry out raids, cordon and searches in suspected Boko Haram terrorists hideouts”.

The statement also observed that humanitarian activities have increased in the theatre due to the improved security currently witnessed.“Due to increased security, the theatre is witnessing increased humanitarian activities by various government and non-governmental agencies,” the statement said.

Troops Regain Seven More Villages From Boko Haram

As the ongoing clearance and rescue operations gain momentum, troops of 28 Task Force Brigade have successfully cleared enclaves of Boko Haram terrorists along Galtha Baba, Galtha Musa, Bulakurma, Shatimari, Chukruk, Bulangaje, and Disa villages.

Army spokesman, Col Sani Usman on Saturday said during the operation, one Boko Haram terrorist was captured alive, while three motorcycles, bags of grains, flags and uniforms were recovered.

Other items include suicide bomber’s hijab, mobile phone, a Dane gun, as well as foodstuffs and cooking utensils.

“The troops also rescued 15 persons that were held hostages by the Boko Haram terrorists in the area.

“Unfortunately, two armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs) entered an Improvised Explosive Device (IED).

“However, the formation did not sustain any human casualty and the damage to the AFVs was minimal.”

The statement added that the captured terrorist is being interrogated and would soon be taken to relevant agencies for prosecution.

Entry And Exit Points From Sambisa Forest Blocked By Nigerian Troops – Buratai

The Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, on Wednesday said ground troops had blocked movement of Boko Haram terrorists in and out of Sambisa forest.

Buratai stated this while fielding questions from journalists shortly after monitoring troops’ deployment at Banki junction in Borno.

He said that ongoing “Operation Crack Down’’ had been successful as the troops were making steady progress in dismantling the remaining Boko Haram hideouts in Sambisa.

“The troops are doing very well; they had some challenges in terms of encounters with the terrorists in the theatre but that is being tackled.

“The troops are forming a blocking force to prevent the terrorists from moving into Sambisa or coming out of the area.

“I am here to see the ground forces and how they are doing; so far so good, but there is tremendous operation going on presently inside the main Sambisa forest,’’ he said.

He also said that he was at Banki to confirm the movement of troops and equipment and to observe the situation in the “theatre’’.

Mr. Buratai said the location of troops at Banki junction was significant in the military operations to restrict movement of the insurgents from outside the country through Cameroon or Chad.

“We were together with the Chief of Defence Staff and the Chief of Air Staff in Maiduguri where the theatre commander briefed us on the ongoing operation crack down.

“This Banki junction is a major route that links the north to the south and is also bordering Cameroon; it is also a link to Chad Republic.

“It is a major route which the Boko Haram insurgents have been using to move between the Sambisa forest and the northern part of the country, up to the Lake Chad waters.

“So, it is an important location which has tactical, strategic as well as operational significance to what we are doing in this region,’’ he said.

The army chief said that ground troops supported by Nigerian Air Force fighter jets would continue to hit the forest until the insurgents were eventually cleared.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Chief of Defence Staff, Gabriel Olonisakin, the Army and Air Force chiefs met behind closed doors in Maiduguri on Monday to appraise the Sambisa operation.

At the end of the meeting, Mr. Olonisakin, a general, briefed journalists and expressed satisfaction with the operation.

NAN reports that the Sambisa forest operation tagged `Operation Crack Down’ commenced with ground and air forces on April 27, 2016. (NAN)

Army Soon To Dislodge Boko Haram From Sambisa – Defence Minister

The Minister of Defence, Alhaji Mansur Dan’ali, on Saturday, said the Nigerian Army was set to destroy all camps and hideouts of members of the Boko Haram sect in Sambisa forest.
Dan’ali made the statement during an inspection tour of the construction site of a new army barrack in Gusau.

According to him, the Nigerian Army is now at the verge of entering the forest and will soon flush out the insurgents terrorising some states in the northeast of Nigeria.

He said since the beginning of the present administration, tremendous success had been recorded in the fight against Boko Haram as well as cattle rustling in the country.

”We have been working seriously, going round the world, collaborating with other countries in fighting terrorism at the national, regional and international levels,’’ the minister said.

Commenting on the barrack under construction, Dan’ ali said the project was expected to be completed within the next three months.

He said that the project was part of the present administration’s efforts to ensure the comfort of the military and other security agencies.

”You know, President Muhammadu Buhari is seriously concerned about the welfare of the Nigerian Army and other security agencies as we have noticed from the attention given to them lately,’’ the minister said.

Dan’ali urged the contractor handling the project to ensure its speedy completion and also to do quality work. (NAN)