The Nigerian Army is to launch “Operation Last Hold” in Borno North and Lake Chad Region to restore socio-economic acitivies in the areas, as well as to fast track return Of Internally Displaced Persons to their communities. The Chief of Training and Operations, Maj.-Gen.
David Ahmad announced this on Friday at a news conference. Ahmadu said Last Hold, which would commence on May 1 and to last for four months, was intended to facilitate the clearance of the Lake Chad waterways of sea weeds and other obstacles obstructing the movement of boats and people across the water channels.
It will also ensure the destruction of Boko Haram terrorist camps and strong points in the Lake Chad Basin. The operation will also facilitate the rescue of hostages. “The operational end-state of Operation LAST HOLD is the total defeat of the Boko Haram Terrorist Sect. “Strategically, the conduct of Operation LAST HOLD will facilitate the restoration of fishing, farming and other economic activities in the Lake Chad Basin. “Additionally, it will facilitate the relocation of Internally Displaced Persons from IDP camps to their communities,” he said.
Also speaking, Maj..Gen. Nuhu Angbazo, the Chief of Military/Civil Affairs said during the duration of the operation, Nigerian army Engineers would make blocks using compressor machines and assist in building new homes for IDPs at their various towns. According to Angbazo, the army will cooperate with state governments and ministries of agriculture to assist in land clearing for planting during the planting season.
He said it would also provide protection throughout planting period with patrols and escorts up to and during the harvest season to ensure food sufficiency. Angbazo added that medical resources would be deployed to cover the period of the exercise. All these activities and others, he said, would take place at Monguno, Gajiran, Baga, Dapchi, Geidam, Michika, Askira Uba, Kukawa and Mallam Fatori. Others, he said are Gashage, Arege, Kerenuwa, Gamboru Ngala Jilil, Bama, Pulka, Marte, Damboa, Dikwa, among other affected towns in the North East.
No fewer than 15 persons have been killed while several others were injured after herdsmen invaded Uzughul, Tse Ginde, in Saghev council ward of Guma LGA, early hours of Saturday.
DAILY POST gathered that the attackers numbering over 20 set ablaze many shops and several houses, including that of one Dr. David Tsevende.
After gunning down some villagers, the gunmen reportedly carted away assorted food items belonging to traders and farmers in the community.
Maj.-Gen. Rogers Nicholas, the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, said two Boko Haram commanders and the insurgents’ physician have surrendered to Nigerian Army.
He made the disclosure when he presented the surrendered insurgents in Maiduguri.
Nicholas said a woman leader of the insurgents’ group and three children also surrendered to the troops at Kumshe in Bama Local Government Area of Borno.
He added that the insurgents voluntarily surrendered, noting that the move was acceptable under the Safe Corridor Scheme initiated by Federal Government to encourage the insurgents to lay down their arms.
He said “we had a contact group and two insurgents’ commanders, a local doctor and their women leader and their children surrendered to the troops.
“We gave them clothes, food and medication and assured them of safety: we are not killing anybody.
“Our duty is to protect lives and property, we call on the insurgents in the bush to come out, surrender and join the peace building process.”
He pointed out that the surrendered insurgents would be engaged in deradicalisation, rehabilitation and skill acquisition training programme for possible integration into the society.
In their submission, Ali Musa, the insurgents’ physician, said he conducted surgical operations such as bullet extraction, appendix, treatment of wounded insurgents, ante natal and post-natal services in the camp.
Umar Ibrahim, one of the insurgents’ commanders, said he surrendered voluntarily as he became fed up with the group’s inhuman activities.
Ibrahim disclosed that hundreds of insurgents were willing to surrender to the troops but their leaders prevented them from doing so.
“We were told that the army will kill us and feed on our flesh when we surrender.
“The sect’s leaders also planted landmines to stop us from coming to the troops.
“Many insurgents are willing to surrender in view of the fact that we are against the destructive ideologies propagated by the sect.
“We hardly feed, people are starving due to the lack of food in the camp.
“We want peace and we want to join in building peace in our country, we ask Nigerians to forgive us.”
Ibrahim called on other insurgents to surrender and commended the military for taking care of them.
Nigeria marks the fourth anniversary of the mass kidnapping of over 200 schoolgirls by Daesh-linked Boko Haram terrorists in the northeastern town of Chibok with renewed calls for their release.
People took part in a Friday night vigil in Nigeria’s largest city Lagos, with more events planned for Saturday in Abuja, the nation’s capital, as Nigerian President Muhmmadu Buhari again vowed to the parents of the remaining captive girls that their daughters “will never be forgotten or abandoned to their fate” despite their lengthy captivity.
A total of 219 girls were kidnapped from the Government-run Girls Secondary School in the remote town of Chibok in Borno state in April 2014. 112 of them are still being held after four years. The rest have been found, escaped or released as part of a government deal with the terror group.
The United Nations children’s agency, UNICEF, announced in a statement that more than 1,000 children had been verified as abducted in northeast Nigeria since 2013, although the actual figure is estimated to be much higher.
In February, Boko Haram-linked militants abducted 112 school girls and a boy from the town of Dapchi, in Yobe state. One hundred and seven were returned a month later.
President Buhari, in his remarks, insisted that the return of so many abducted students from Dapchi and Chibok should give confidence that all hope is not lost” and showed the government was “doing its very best.”
The former military ruler has repeatedly claimed that Boko Haram was virtually defeated despite their persisting terrorist activities.
Buhari further added that “Unfortunately, the negotiations between the government and Boko Haram suffered some unexpected setbacks, owing mainly to a lack of agreement among their abductors, whose internal differences have led to a divergence of voices regarding the outcome of the talks.”
The Nigerian president, who is seeking re-election next year, said “Don’t give up hope of seeing our daughters back home again. Don’t lose faith in this government’s ability to fulfill our promise of reuniting you with our daughters, and don’t imagine for a moment that we have forgotten about our daughters or that we consider their freedom a lost course.’’
The Nigerian Army on Tuesday constituted a four member committee to unravel the cause of the Easter Sunday attack in the suburbs of Maiduguri.
Not fewer than 15 persons were killed while 55 others sustained injuries in a Sunday night attack by Boko Haram insurgents at Bale community in the outskirts of Maiduguri.
The Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj.-Gen. Rogers Nicholas, made the disclosure during the inauguration of the committee at the Military Command and Control Centre, Maimalari Cantonment, Maiduguri.
Nicholas noted that the committee was expected to submit its report within three days.
He said that the aim of the committee was to unravel the cause of the attack so as to prevent future occurrence.
The commander, however, advised people in the metropolis to stay indoors in the event of attack by Boko Haram insurgents, to guard against exposing themselves to dangers.
Nicholas said, “It is good for people to stay indoors whenever there is blast or anything, the insurgents took advantage of such situations to unleash terror and kill people.
“It is safer to stay indoors rather than exposing yourselves to dangers outside. Casualties are high due to the people that trooped out of their homes recklessly”.
The four-man committee is headed by Maj.-Gen. Henry Wesley, which includes three other army officers as members.
In his remarks, Wesley said the committee would conduct fact finding visit to the affected communities to ensure effective investigation into the incident.
Wesley assured of the committee’s readiness to submit its report within the stipulated time.
No fewer than 15 persons are feared dead while 55 others sustained injuries in a Sunday night attack by Boko Haram insurgents at Bale community in the outskirts of Maiduguri.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that echoes from sporadic gunshots and multiple explosions, which lasted for hours on Sunday evening, were heard from the outskirts of the city.
Competent security sources told NAN that a number of insurgents attacked Bale-Shuwa and Bale-Kura communities near Maiduguri in an attempt to infiltrate the town at about 8: 00 p. m.
The source disclosed that the insurgents parked their vehicles few meters away from a security check point and sneaked into the community.
The source added that the security operatives engaged in fierce gun battle with the insurgents who detonated Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and shot sporadically.
“Dozens of people including women and children were wounded from the explosion and gun shots.
“Due to darkness dead bodies were not evacuated immediately because there were suicide bombers among the attackers,” he added.
However, the Commander of the Theatre Command of Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj-Gen. Rogers Nicholas, denied any death on the side of his soldiers or civilians in the attack.
Reacting to NAN inquiry in a text message, he said, however, that some of the Boko Haram insurgents were killed.
“That’s not correct. There was an attack which was repelled and some Boko Haram insurgents were killed by gallant soldiers.
“However, Boko Haram came with suicide bombers who denoted their vests while running from the troops fire in a nearby community and that led to 14 civilians being injured from the blasts.”
Sound of explosions and gunshots were heard this evening around Fori area of Maiduguri, Borno state forcing residents to scamper to safety, particularly people living around Giwa Barrack.
There was no confirmation yet as to what caused the blasts. Some residents said the explosion and exchange of gunshots was taking place in Bale, a ward around the Cashew plantation.
“I heard more than eight explosions and gunshots but nobody knows whether the exchange of gunshots is between security operatives and Boko Haram trying to infiltrate Maiduguri. Let’s keep on praying,” Dauda Imam, a resident of Fori told news men.
Six people were reportedly killed in separate attacks in Bakin Kogi, Kaninkon chiefdom, Jama’a local government area of Kaduna state.
The killings occurred barely a day when the Kaduna state governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai held a meeting with Fulani leaders on lasting peace in the state.
The two attacks were said to have occurred at about 10 am and 11 am on Thursday, March 29, 2018, by gunmen suspected to be herdsmen.
A member of the security committee in the community, Auta Maurice, who confirmed the attacks on telephone alleged that the gunmen, numbering about ten, were wearing army and mobile police uniforms.
Maurice said three people were killed in the bush when they went to cut wood for the roofing of their houses while three others were killed at a local mining site on the hills.
He said four people were injured and were taken to the hospital in Kafanchan.
According to him, “The attacks occurred in the bush at different locations and at a different time.”
He said “The first attack occurred at about 10 am when some members of our community went to the bush to cut wood for roofing their houses.
“All of a sudden, the herdsmen opened fire at them and three people were killed while others managed to escape.
“The second attack happened at about 11am at a local mining site. Three people were also killed there, while four others were injured”.
He alleged that “The herdsmen were dressed in army camouflage and mobile police uniforms”.
“We reported the case to the army soldiers maintaining security in the our community and we went to the bush with them, but the bandits had fled”, he said.
Police image maker, ASP, Aliyu Muktar Husseini could not confirm the incident as at the time of filling this report
The UN has allocated 11 million dollars (about N4 billion) to help 60,000 internally displaced people in Borno and other humanitarian operations in North-East Nigeria.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said nine billion dollars (about N3.2 billion) would be used to provide life-saving aid for some 60,000 people displaced by ongoing Boko Haram crisis in Borno.
The UN quoted Mr Edward Kallon, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, as saying: “The crisis continues to displace thousands of vulnerable women, children and men every week.
“Many have gone through unspeakable hardship and the UN and its partners remain committed to help alleviate their suffering.’’
Set up through the Nigeria Humanitarian Fund (NHF), the assistance includes two million dollars (about N720 million) in support to the UN Humanitarian Air Service for frontline responders in the region.
“This UN fund give us the flexibility to prioritise those who are most in need of aid and act swiftly for the good of the people of north-east Nigeria,” Kallon said.
The UN said the North-east region’s humanitarian crisis, sparked mainly by Boko Haram’s years-long insurgency, remained one of the most severe globally.
“In the worst-affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, at least 7.7 million people are in need this year, with about 80 per cent, or 6.1 million, targeted for humanitarian assistance.
“The nine million dollars allocation will help fund 15 projects supporting humanitarian rapid response in areas affected by large-scale conflict-related displacements, particularly in the northern parts of Borno, along the Maiduguri-Monguno axis.
“In just three months, the close to 30,000 people who have fled violence in hard-to-reach areas are in dire need of food, water, shelter, clothes and medical services.
“Additionally, the funds will help scale up the response near the border with Cameroon in eastern Borno – Gwoza, Bama, Dikwa, Kala-Balge, Monguno, Askira/Uba – and northern Adamawa – Madagali – where approximately another 30,000 have arrived following military operations.
“Finally, the funds will also help maintain UN Humanitarian Air Service operations, crucial to reach and deliver aid in remote areas of the North-east, especially where roads are unusable,” the UN said.