Wednesday, 10 September 2014

ISIS Offering Advice To Boko Haram – Report

As Boko Haram continues to overun towns in North Eastern Nigeria, as at the last night they had 13 towns firmly under their control, experts have been drawn  similarity in their mode of operation with that of ISIS, according to this report on LEADERSHIP they could be getting advice from ISIS

There is growing concern by intelligence agencies that what had been considered as mere symbolic links between the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria and Boko Haram in Nigeria may have developed into something more sinister.

It is feared that ISIS, which has set new records in cruelty, may now be offering Boko Haram advice on strategy and tactics, according to a report in a British newspaper yesterday.

The report is contained on page 30 of yesterday’s edition of The Independent published in London.

The report said, “Intelligence agencies are concerned that what were once symbolic links between Isis and Boko Haram have now developed into a practical relationship with the Islamic State offering advice on strategy and tactics.”

The newspaper said Boko Haram appears to have been emboldened by its recent gains and was “beginning to operate more like a conventional army in Borno and the neighbouring north-eastern states of Adamawa and Yobe”.

Nigerian military authorities have contested the alleged gains by Boko Haram, saying counter-offensives have been launched to rout them.

But The Independent report, anchored by Cahal Milmo and Tom Witherow, quoted Nigeria Security Network, a coalition of security experts and academics, as saying “unless swift action is taken, Nigeria could be facing a rapid takeover of a large area of its territory reminiscent of Isis’s lightning advances in Iraq.”

According to the paper, “the nature of the threat was further underlined on Monday when a senior politician in Borno admitted that civil life in the state, home to three million people, has all but ground to a halt”.

It recalled that the secretary to the Borno State government, Alhaji Baba Ahmad Jidda, had warned that, while at the moment most parts of Borno State were being occupied by Boko Haram insurgents, “government presence and administration was minimal or non-existent across

many parts of the state, with economic, commercial and social services totally subdued. Schools and clinics remain closed”.

“Most settlements in the affected areas in the state have either been deserted or access to them is practically impossible. The threat to security of lives and property as a result of the criminal activities of the Boko Haram insurgents is everywhere,” the SSG was quoted to have said.

The full report by The Independent is published inside on page 52

I’m Eager to Return To Battle – Obasanjo’s son

Lt. Col. Adeboye Obasanjo, son of former president Olusegun Obasanjo who was wounded in a fire-fight between the military and Boko Haram terrorists in Bazza on Monday, has expressed eagerness to return to the battleground.

The younger Obasanjo stated this yesterday when former vice president Atiku Abubakar paid him a visit at a government medical facility in Yola where he is receiving treatment.

Adeboye, who was reportedly in high spirits despite his injuries, is an army engineer recently deployed from Jos to join in the battle against the insurgents. He was injured during a battle to repel the insurgents at Michika in Adamawa State.

A source at the hospital who spoke on condition of anonymity also informed one of our correspondents that Atiku was impressed when the colonel informed him that he was eager to get back on his feet and return to his duty post.

He added that the former vice president praised the gallant spirit of Obasanjo, prompting him to comment that the trait was from his former boss.

“He was even marching before me, even as he was recovering from gunshots,” Atiku reportedly said, while wishing him speedy recovery.

Gwoza Attacks: 20 Police Officers Still Missing- IGP

The acting inspector-general of police, Suleiman Abba, said yesterday that the police officers still missing after the attack by the Boko Haram sect on Police Training School, Gwoza, Borno State, were fewer than 20.

After the insurgents had invaded the place and launched a massive attack in August, 35 police officers were declared missing from the school.

But Abba, who told journalists after a meeting with Vice President Namadi Sambo at the presidential villa that some of the missing officers had been found, vowed that his men would stop at nothing to ensure all the missing officers were traced and rescued.

He said, “Well, I must tell you that the turnout of those missing is still impressive because we have been able to trace some of the officers who have reported either back to their bases or their families. When you go through what they went through, the likelihood of you knowing what to do is not very tenable.

“There is a possibility that the decision of what to do may not be easily comprehensible. So some went back to their homes, but our concern is that once they are in safety we are satisfied, and the process of bringing them back to their units has already commenced.

“I must tell you it’s just less than 20 but we are still concerned with every one of them and unless we are able to account for each and every one of them, we will not relent in the efforts of tracing them.”

INEC Suspends Distribution Of PVCs In Boko Haram-controlled Areas In Nigeria

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has suspended the distribution of permanent voter cards in Madagali, Michika, Maiha, Mubi North and Mubi South local government areas of Adamawa State for security reasons.

The resident electoral commissioner, Kasim Gaidam, stated this shortly after a meeting with security agencies, National Orientation Agency (NOA) and political party executives in Yola in preparation for the October 11 by-election in state.

It was resolved during the meeting that the distribution of the permanent voter cards should be suspended in Boko Haram-controlled areas of the state.

In a communiqué jointly signed by Gaidam and the state commissioner of police, AIG John Abakasanga, it was resolved that “the distribution of cards should be suspended in Madagali, Michika, Maiha, Mubi North and Mubi South local government areas for security reasons”.

The statement indicated that the resolution was subject to approval by the INEC chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega.

Fintiri Visits Obasanjo’s Son

Adamawa acting governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri has visited the ailing son of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Lt Col Adeboye Obasanjo, who was hospitalized at the Federal Medical Centre, Yola, following gunshot wounds he received during a gun duel with Boko Haram insurgents at Bazza town, near Mubi.

Fintiri saluted the courage of the Nigerian soldiers who are battling to curtail the activities of the insurgents, adding that his government is ready and willing to cooperate with the military to end the insurgency. The people, he said, are proud of the soldiers who have lost their lives while defending their fatherland.

Adeboye, who was recuperating from the injuries, was said to be in a stable condition.

The chief information officer of the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Mr Adamu Dodo, confirmed, ‘’Yes, it’s true that Obasanjo’s son is recuperating after minor surgery and he is in stable condition.”

Military begins onslaught against sect, recaptures Bazza

Reports also indicated that the Nigerian Army has started making headway in its onslaught against the insurgents. The troops were said to have recaptured Bazza, the home town of the general officer commanding (GOC), 3rd Division, Jos, Major Gen JS Zaruwa, which fell into the hands of the insurgents recently.

A security source told LEADERSHIP that troops have recaptured Bazza after a fierce battle in which soldiers killed several Boko Haram militants.

According to our source, “Our soldiers circled Baza and engaged the terrorists in a serious battle. We have now recaptured the town after repelling Boko Haram militants in the township.”

Thousands of the residents of Gulak, Michika and Bazza had fled to neighbouring towns and Cameroon as Boko Haram unleashed mayhem on residents during their short reign over the towns.

Sources disclosed that successful attack on Boko Haram insurgents was made possible by an advanced team of Nigerian Air Force pilots who bombed the insurgents’ command centres in Bazza.

APC Slams Jonathan For Hobnobbing With Modu Sherrif

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused President Goodluck Jonathan of exhibiting a shocking act of indiscretion by hobnobbing with an alleged Boko Haram sponsor, Ali Modu Sheriff, who is not known to have been investigated and cleared of the weighty allegation against him.

In a statement issued in London on Tuesday by its national publicity secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party wondered what message President Jonathan was sending to his compatriots and indeed to the international community when he took Modu Sheriff along during his visit to Chad Monday to confer with President Idriss Deby on cooperation against terrorism.

‘’This action by President Jonathan confirms what the APC has always believed: That the president either knows more than he is willing to admit on the issue of those who are behind the Boko Haram insurgency or he is willing to sacrifice the battle against terrorism on the altar of political expediency. Either way, this action by the president is the height of indiscretion at best, or a palpable exhibition of callowness at worst.

‘’It also confirms our fears that Modu Sheriff was planted as a mole in the APC by his friends in high places, who are jittery about the birth of the party and would do anything to destabilize it,’’ it said.

APC said the president cannot pretend not to be aware of a report sent home by Nigeria’s defence adviser in Ndjamena, Chad, in 2011, detailing the suspicious activities of Modu Sheriff in Chad concerning alleged Boko Haram sponsorship and asking the federal government to investigate him.

The party said it therefore beggars belief that President Jonathan would choose to take the same personality along with him to the same Chad on a trip to canvas cooperation against Boko Haram terrorists.

‘’If this is a joke, it is one joke taken too far, especially at a time that Nigeria has been losing territories after territories to Boko Haram; at a time that the same Modu Sheriff has been fingered by another source other than the Nigerian defence adviser in Chad, and at a time that calls are being made for an independent investigation into the allegation that Modu Sheriff and former army chief Azubuike Ihejirika are Boko Haram sponsors. ‘’Or could it be the case of it takes a thief to catch a thief?’’ it queried.

APC said it was apparent that President Jonathan smuggled Modu Sheriff into his entourage, as the official statement announcing the trip never mentioned that the former governor of Borno State would accompany the president on the trip, even while the list of those to accompany the president was included in the statement.

Residents Storm Yola In Droves

Yola, the capital of Adamawa State, is witnessing a flurry of human traffic as fleeing residents from the northern parts of the state including Madagali, Michika and Mubi local government areas kept trooping into the state capital to escape the Boko Haram onslaught.

Motorists and commercial vehicle operators were said to have capitalized on the situation to charge exorbitant fares: they charged N5,000 per head instead of the N1,000 charged before.

A fleeing displaced person, Musa Kalgo, told LEADERSHIP that drivers have been charging exorbitant rates as fleeing persons have to pay the fares through their noses, just as some of them who could not afford the fares were stranded.

Vehicular movement to the Jambutu motor park was high as people kept trooping into the state capital, making Yola and environs jam-packed.

It was also learnt that many people were stranded at the Mubi motor park as the number of people leaving the area were more than the available commercial vehicles.

A fleeing resident who chartered a pick-up van to convey his property to Yola said he paid N50,000 for the items to be conveyed to Yola from Mubi, which is about 200km from Yola.

Many of the fleeing families who do not have relatives in Yola have started taking refuge at public institutions, especially primary schools.

Boko Haram: FG Cautions Against Purchase Of Used Phone, SIM Cards

The federal government yesterday cautioned citizens against purchase of used GSM phones and pre-registered SIM cards from uncertain sources.

The coordinator of the National Information Centre, Mr Mike Omeri, who stated this while briefing journalists at the centre in Abuja, warned that such phones and SIM cards might have been used for terrorist and other untoward activities.

“This caution has become necessary to save members of the public the embarrassment of being apprehended for criminal activities committed with the phones and SIM cards found in their possession,” he explained.

Omeri also advised members of the public to report cases of stolen phones and SIM cards to the police, while refraining from purchasing second-hand phones and SIM cards from unknown sources

On recapturing of Bama, Omeri said it attests to the renewed zeal of commitment which officers and men of the Nigerian armed forces have shown towards defending the country and safeguarding her territorial integrity

Omeri, who said he just spoke with the son of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Lt-Colonel Adeboye Obasanjo, who was shot and injured by Boko Haram members when they attacked the platoon he was leading at Bazza, said the colonel was in high spirits and ready to get back to the field as soon as he gets well.

130 flee Maiduguri crisis, enter Kebbi.

About 130 displaced people comprising women and children fled the ongoing crisis in Maiduguri yesterday and escaped to Jega in Kebbi State.

The displaced, who were carried by two trailers from the villages of Maiduguri with their property items and animals, looked terrified and tired from the long journey. They recounted how they escaped and lost their loved ones to the attacks by the insurgents.

Dahara Zaki, one of the displaced women from Doron Baga in Borno, recounted her ordeal: ‘’We fled to rescue our lives but my father-in-law and his brother were all slaughtered by the gunmen. They have also torched our villages, so we had to run for our lives. I have 11 children,” she said.

Insurgency Is Politically Motivated – Kalu

Former governor of Abia State Chief Orji Uzor Kalu yesterday declared that the insurgency ravaging the northern-eastern part of the country is politically motivated.

The presidential candidate of the People’s Progressive Alliance (PPA) in 2011 also declared that the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) cannot lose the presidency in 2015. “How can the PDP lose the seat of presidency when they have people like us?” he asked.

Kalu spoke yesterday at the national secretariat of the PDP in Abuja, after he visited the national chairman of the PDP, Dr Adamu Mu’azu.

2015: Presidency lobbies Fulani herdsmen over security

The Presidency yesterday urged Fulani herdsmen across the country to co-habit peacefully with host communities, underscoring the importance of avoiding violent outbursts that could affect the 2015 general elections negatively.

Political adviser to President Jonathan Professor Rufai Ahmed Alkali made the plea when national executives and elders of the Myetti Allah Socio-cultural Organisation of Nigeria made a solidarity visit to his office. They expressed their support for President Goodluck Jonathan ahead of 2015.

Emir of Bama visits displaced subjects in Maiduguri camps

The Emir of Bama, Alhaji Kyari Ibrahim Ibn Umar Elkanemi, yesterday visited the two camps where displaced residents of Bama are currently being camped by the government of Borno State.

The Emir, who was accompanied by the Waziri of Bama Alhaji Kyari Sandabe, alongside other traditional title holders of Bama extraction, expressed sadness while addressing over 5,000 internally displaced residents who were being camped at the NYSC Orientation Ground and at the premises of Government Girls’ Secondary School, Yerwa.

Tension In CDS’ Hometown Over Boko Haram Attack

Emir of Mubi smuggled out

Vimtim, the hometown of the incumbent chief of defence staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, is now under tension, following the alleged plans by Boko Haram to attack the town, a few hours after one of the sons of former President Olusegun Obasanjo who was leading a platoon was shot and severely wounded.

As the insurgents continue to advance to the commercial border town of Mubi, sources from the area said, the Emir of Mubi, Abubakar Isa Ahmadu, was sneaked out of the town on Monday night. The town was completely deserted.

Security sources said the wounded son of Obasanjo was first taken to 23rd Battalion, Yola, before he was transferred to the Federal Medical Centre, Yola, for treatment.

Residents of Vimtim said the town came under fierce gun attack but could not say whether the residence of the CDS was overrun by the insurgents or not as thousands fled the area.

Lately, Boko Haram insurgents have intensified attacks on the area, annexing many towns and villages including the hometown of the acting governor, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri.

Many residents including the Emir of Mubi were forced to flee the town.

Other residents of Mubi say they could not sleep. ‘’We couldn’t sleep due to the heavy gunshots that pervaded the air in the night, and for now no one could say the exact situation.

A palace source had confided that the Emir initially resisted being taken out of Mubi, saying that he had rather die with his people, but security operatives insisted on moving him out.

A fleeing resident now taking refuge at the hilltop disclosed in a telephone interview that many residents are now trapped in Michika, Bazza and Shuwa, adding that only God can secure their lives.

‘’We are in trouble now; many are trapped. Some could not get out of their homes. These people are everywhere hoisting their flags on bikes, others brandishing their guns,’’ said another fleeing resident.

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