Nigerian Army Consolidates Success In Sambisa Forest, Builds Borehole For Troops

The Nigerian Army has consolidated its hold on the Boko Haram playground of Sambisa Forest by clearing the location of terrorists.

The clear out offensive, led by troops attached to Operation Deep Punch 11, has turned the heat on the sect’s commanders, including its factional leader, Abubakar Shekau, who has been forced to flee.

In a demonstration of its success, it was gathered that the Army is building infrastructure in the location.

Among these are roads and a borehole in Sabil Huda, which was cleared earlier in the week.

The borehole will serve nearby communities and provide troops with easy access to water, something they had lacked.

Troops Clean Boko Haram Insurgents From Sambisa Forest

The military troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE involved in Operation DEEP PUNCH II have dealt decisively with remnants of Boko Haram terrorists by cleaning them from Sambisa forest and other parts of Northern Borno State with tremendous successes.

On Friday 26th January 2018 afternoon, the troops with effective support from the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), had contact with the terrorists while advancing into Sambisa forest.

During the encounter and further exploitation, the troops destroyed Boko Haram terrorists equipment, make-shift accommodation around Camp Zairo, Improvised Explosives Device (IEDs), Booby traps, other delaying obstacles and devices.

The troops also neutralized 7 Boko Haram terrorists and wounded several others. In addition, the gallant troops recovered 1 Gun truck, 1 Anti-Aircraft Gun, 1 Machine Gun, a Pistol, large quantity of Anti-Aircraft Gun ammunition, a 120mm Mortar Base Plate and a Dane Gun.

Similarly, the troops destroyed 11 Boko Haram terrorists Gun trucks, 12 Hilux vehicles, 3 Canter trucks 2 Double Barrel Rifles, 30 Bicycles, Power generating sets, cylinders, printers, military kits and IED making workshop.

Unfortunately, 2 soldiers were wounded during the encounter. The wounded soldiers have since been evacuated by Nigerian Air Force and are responding to treatment.

Impressed with the unprecedented performance, the Commander Sector 1 Operation LAFIYA DOLE, who is also the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 Division, Major General IM Yusuf, has visited the troops harbour location. He conveyed the Chief of Army Staff’s and Theatre Commander’s commendations to the troops for the wonderful job of annihilating the remnants of Boko Haram terrorists inside Sambisa forest and encouraged them to sustain the tempo of the offensive until they have eliminated all the Boko Haram terrorists wherever they might be hibernating.

The GOC who was flown by Nigerian Air Force, was accompanied by the Commander 26 Task Force Brigade, Brigadier General IM Obot, and had meeting with the various field commanders.

The success recorded has buoyed up troops morale who expressed enthusiasm in sustaining onslaught against the terrorists.

The people of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states are requested to report any fleeing Boko Haram terrorist seen around their communities. They should also look out for the wounded terrorists and report to the nearest military or Nigeria Police Force location.

 

Nigerian Army Joins Hunt For 4 Kidnapped Nationals In Kaduna

The Nigerian armed forces have joined the hunt for two Americans and two Canadians who were kidnapped in an ambush, a military source told AFP on Thursday .

Kidnappers seized the four on Tuesday evening in northern Kaduna state, shooting dead two of their Nigerian police escorts dead.

“We are on it and making some progress.
We have a special team now that arrived from Abuja , they have now joined with the team that are here,” said the military source in Kaduna, on condition of anonymity.

The North Americans were on private business in the state and were kidnapped near Jere, the source added.

Police said unidentified armed men seized the four on the road from the town of Kafanchan to the state capital of Abuja at 7: 00 pm ( 1800 GMT ) on Tuesday.

The US and Canadian foreign ministries both said they were aware of the kidnapping and were working with Nigerian authorities on recovering the hostages.

Meanwhile, a State Department travel advisory has urged US citizens to “reconsider ” travelling to Nigeria, warning that “violent crime such as armed robbery, assault, carjacking, kidnapping and rape is common throughout the country”.

Kidnapping has long been a problem in Nigeria ’s southern states, where high -profile individuals, including the families of prominent politicians, are regularly seized.

But as the economy stalled in recent years , the crime began creeping north.
A crackdown on cattle rustling has been blamed for rising numbers of abductions in the north, with criminals turning to kidnapping.

The Kaduna-Abuja road is notoriously unsafe. It is an approximately two-and- a -half hour journey by car through villages and past tracts of fields and forests.

Safety on the route came under intense scrutiny last year when the federal government announced the closure of the capital’s only airport for essential runway repairs.

Many foreign missions and companies advised staff to limit their travel during the closure period, as all domestic and some international flights were switched to Kaduna.

Nigerian Military Has Handed Over 244 Boko Haram Members To Borno State Government

The Nigerian Military as part of its activities to mark this year’s armed forces Remembrance Day, has handed over 244 ‘repentant’ Boko Haram fighters to the Borno State government. The detainees comprised 118 males, 56 females, 19 teenagers and 51 children.

The Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj.-Gen. Rogers Nicholas, disclosed this while presenting the released detainees to Gov. Kashim Shettima, at the Military Cemetery, Maimalari cantonment, Maiduguri. He said:

“The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, ordered the release of the repentant Boko Haram detainees and their family members. “The detainees have been de-radicalised for reintegration into the society. We are handing over the detainees to Borno Government for administration.”

 

Army Hands Over 244 Repentant Boko Haram Insurgents To Borno State Govt.

The Nigerian Army has handed over 244 repentant Boko Haram insurgents released from detention to Borno State government.

The Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Rogers Nicholas disclosed this while presenting the released detainees to Governor Kashim Shettima at the Military Cemetery, Maimalari cantonment, Maiduguri on Monday.

Nicholas said that the detainees were released as part of activities to commemorate the 2018 Armed Forces Remembrance Day.

He disclosed that the detainees comprised 118 males, 56 females, 19 teenagers and 51 children.

“The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-General Tukur Buratai ordered the release of the repentant Boko Haram detainees and their family members.

“The detainees have been de-radicalised for reintegration into the society. We are handing over the detainees to Borno Government for administration,” he said.

Shettima commended the military over the successes recorded in the counter-insurgency operation.

He said that the military had made significant contributions and sacrifices to the restoration of peace in the region.

He prayed for the repose of the souls of the fallen heroes and called on communities and organisations to support their families so as to improve their living condition.

The News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN ) reports that highlights of the events included laying of wreath by Shettima and other dignitaries, while a special prayer session was held for the fallen heroes on Sunday and Friday.

The event was attended by Major Generals Ibrahim Yusuf and I. Olabanji, the General Officers Commanding 7 and 8 Divisions, Nigeria Army respectively.
Others are: the Commissioner of Police, Mr Damian Chukwu; Heads of Customs and Immigration services, community and religious leaders. ( NAN )

Herdsmen-Farmers Clashes Receiving ‘Highest Level’ Of Attention – FG

 

The Federal Government says the clashes between farmers and herdsmen have become a major national concern which is determined to holistically address.

 

This is according to the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, who addressed State House correspondents on Wednesday shortly after the Federal Executive Council meeting.

 

“The government is very very concern about the herdsmen and farmers clashes and they are receiving attention at the highest level,” he said.

 

Mr Mohammed, who briefed reporters in company of the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, as well as the Minister of Works, Power, and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, also defended government’s proposal for the establishment of cattle colonies.

 

He further explained why the Federal Government was yet to consider setting up a full-fledged military operation in the affected parts of Benue State.

 

“As to who to send after what, I think that would be a decision after thorough deliberation of the matter,” the minister said.

 

In a bid to prevent further loss of lives and properties, President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday ordered the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to immediately move to Benue State.

 

While in the state, the President asked the police boss to restore law and order in the communities affected by the recent herdsmen attacks and to also prevent the crisis from escalating and spreading to other parts of the state.

 

On his arrival in Benue on Wednesday, Mr Idris promised to arrest those behind the incessant killings in the state.

 

He also assured the state governor, Samuel Ortom, and people of the state that the law would definitely take its course on the culprits.

 

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army has also deployed Special Forces to Benue, Taraba and Nasarawa states amid tensions of attacks on communities in the states.

 

The deployment of the troops was to restore peace in attacked communities and secure vulnerable communities in the states.

 

 

Breaking: Army, Police Take Over Kaduna Ahead Of NLC Protest

 

There has been a massive deployment of military and police personnel across Kaduna metropolis in an attempt to stop organised labour from holding it’s protest against the sack of teachers by the Kaduna state government.

Journalists observed that soldiers have barricaded the government House and Independence Way, venue of the takeoff of the protest.

It was gathered also that other labour leaders coming into the state were also ordered to return by well armed security personnel.

It would be recalled that the state government had reportedly threatened to arrest any protester,  saying there is a ban on protest in the state.

4 Nigeria Soldiers Killed As Troops, Insurgents Face Off

Troops from Nigeria and neighbouring countries have launched major offensives against the two Boko Haram factions and their leaders, the military said on Tuesday.

Soldiers from Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria are targeting Abubakar Shekau in the Sambisa Forest, and Mamman Nur, on and around Lake Chad, both in Borno state, northeast Nigeria.

According to the Nigerian military, scores of jihadists have been killed and hundreds of others have been forced to surrender in recent days.

Top brass in Abuja has claimed that Nur had been injured and one of his wives killed in an aerial bombardment and that Shekau was “a spent horse, waiting for his Waterloo”.

Army spokesman Brigadier General Sani Usman on Tuesday said the operation, codenamed “Deep Punch 2”, had been making “tremendous progress”.

But he said four soldiers had “paid the supreme price” and nine others were wounded in a suicide car bomb attack against a military vehicle near Shekau’s camp on Monday.

Separate senior military and civilian militia sources spoken to by AFP gave a higher death toll of 10.

Two Cameroon security sources meanwhile said two of its troops had been killed in the Sambisa Forest, although it was not clear if they were among those mentioned by Usman.

Boko Haram has been fighting to establish a hardline Islamic state in northeast Nigeria since 2009. The violence has killed at least 20,000 and displaced more than 2.6 million.

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, a former military ruler who is expected to seek a second term of office next year, was elected in 2015 on a promise to defeat the insurgents.

He and his senior military commanders have repeatedly insisted the Islamic State group affiliate is a spent force but regular attacks still occur in the remote region.

The Nur faction, which goes by the name Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), last Friday claimed a late December raid on a Nigerian military base that killed nine soldiers.

Shekau appeared in a new video last Tuesday and claimed a series of recent attacks in the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, and the border towns of Gamboru and Damboa.

AFP

FCT Minister Promises To Reclaim Army Land

The FCT Administration says land belonging to the Nigerian Army in the territory that has been encroached upon will be reclaimed.

The FCT Minister, Muhammad Bello, gave the assurance when he received the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, who paid him a visit in his office.

Mr. Bello said already, a team had been working to resolve the issue of land encroachment in the territory, including army landed property in all parts of the FCT.

The minister blamed the issue of land encroachment on influx of people into the territory and weak institutions in the past.

He said land in the FCT were being identified and gazetted with a view to reclaiming those that had been encroached upon.

Earlier, the army chief said a number of plots belonging to the army in different parts of the territory had been encroached upon and sought the assistance of the Minister to reclaim them.

Mr. Buratai said the army was desirous of reclaiming its landed property in the territory that had been encroached upon, but would want to follow due process and not take the law into its hand.

The chief of army staff also paid a courtesy visit to to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, and informed him that the army had keyed into the Federal Government agriculture programme.

He told the minister that the army had set up ranches with a number of animals in different parts of the country, as well as delved into fishery and poultry through the Barracks Initiative and solicited assistance to expand them.

Responding, Mr. Ogbeh commended the army for keying into the federal government agriculture programme, saying that the Bank of Agriculture was being restructured to bring down interest rate on loan.

He said the country in recent past had imported “too much” of goods, particularly rice, which he said had affected the economy.

The minister, however, said the import had reduced drastically since the current administration came on board.

(NAN)

Army General Leading Nigeria’s War Against Boko Haram Removed

The Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Attahiru Ibrahim, has been removed from that position.

Mr. Ibrahim’s redeployment comes three days after Boko Haram insurgents carried out one of the deadliest attacks on Biu town in Borno where at least 18 people were killed and 52 others seriously injured.

Mr. Ibrahim, a major general, took over the command of the ongoing counterinsurgency operations in the North-east in May 2017. The former occupant of that position was Lucky Irabor who was redeployed to coordinate the Multi-National Joint Task Force, MNJTF.

Boko Haram attacks appear to have increased since Mr. Ibrahim assumed duties with scores of suicide bombings, mostly by teenage girls, occurring between May and December.

The Chief of Army staff, Tukur Buratai, apparently unimpressed with the way the operation was going, had in August issued a rare ultimatum of ‘40 days’ for the theatre commander to arrest the Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, and put an end to the incessant Boko Haram attacks. Neither was achieved.

The insurgents continued to stage daring attacks including on military formations.

Though a large number of Boko Haram hideouts were raided and many terrorists including kingpins reportedly killed by soldiers during the period, well over 50 soldiers including officers were killed between May and now.

Some of the most recent cases were the ambush in Magumeri that caused the death of about 19 soldiers and kidnap of some oil explorers.

The military also suffered a major loss of some 15 soldiers including a commander in November when Boko Haram insurgents attacked troops’ location in Sassawa village near the Yobe State capital, Damaturu.

Also in November, Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, witnessed one of the worst suicide bombings in recent times when four female suicide bombers attacked Muna Gari, a suburb of the city, killing 14 persons.

About 45 persons were also killed and 47 critically injured in November after a suicide bombers
detonated their explosives in a mosque in Yola, Adamawa State.

Another suicide bombing was witnessed on December 2 when two teenage suicide bombers attacked Biu market killing at least 18 persons and injuring 52 others.

About two weeks ago, the Chief of Defence Staff, Gabriel Olonisakin, paid a sudden visit to the Command and Control Centre in Maiduguri. Mr. Ibrahim had a closed door session with the defence chief. No reason was given for the CDS’ visit without other service chiefs.

Mr. Ibrahim has now been replaced by Rogers Nicholas, also a major general.

The new Theatre Commander was, until his appointment, the Chief of Logistics at Army headquarters in Abuja. Before that, he was Commander of the Special Security Task Force in Jos as well as Chief of Civil Military Affairs at Army headquarters.

Mr. Ibrahim is believed to have been redeployed to the Army headquarters as the Deputy Chief of Policy and Plans.

Although the army has not officially announced the new deployments to Nigerians, the military radio in Borno has already made the announcements.

Troops Rescue 212 Captives, Capture 1 Boko Haram Commander

Troops on Tuesday rescued another 212 persons held hostage by the terrorists after they cleared remnants of insurgents from some villages in the northern fringes of the Sambisa forest.

They also captured one Boko Haram commander, “Ameer” of Chawa, Amman Judee and neutralised four terrorists, according to a statement by Brig.-Gen. Sani Usman, the Director of Army Public Relations on Tuesday.

Usman said the captured terrorists leader was undergoing interrogation, while the rescued persons were being documented and underaged children among them administered oral polio vaccines.

Earlier in the week, troops rescued 30 persons held hostage by the terrorists during clearance operations in eight villages at Bama Local Government Area of Borno.