Nigerian Army Commences Clearance Operations In Sambisa

The Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole and its Nigerian Army (NA) counterparts have commenced combined clearance operations of discovered Boko Haram Terrorists locations in the Sambisa general area.

The Director Public Relations and information, NAF, Air Vice Marshal, Olatokunbo Adesanya said on the first day of the combined clearance operations, “the Air Task Force conducted intensive bombardments on selected BHT locations, preparatory to the commencement of the operation”.

Previous Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions by Nigerian Air Force (NAF) platforms had revealed the presence of Boko Haram terrorists in NJIMIA, in the SAMBISA general area, from where the insurgents launched attacks on own surface forces.

Accordingly, NAF fighter aircraft were detailed to attack the location and each of the aircraft took turns to attack structures occupied by Boko Haram Terrorists elements in the settlement.

He said the air attacks set several BHT structures ablaze and destroyed them.

According to him, on the same day, the Air Task Force conducted air interdiction on another Boko Haram Terrorists hideout near CAMP ZAIRO.

Previous ISR on the location had indicated the resurgence of Boko Haram Terrorists activities in the location, which had been previously liberated.

Accordingly, structures occupied by BHT elements in the location were attacked, in succession, by NAF fighter aircraft.

The air strikes caused the destruction of more BHT structures and the neutralization of several insurgents.

Some insurgents were sighted fleeing the area and they were taken out in subsequent follow-up attacks.

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Troops Neutralise Wife Of Boko Haram’s Factional Leader, Mamman Nur – Army

The Nigerian military has revealed that the wife of Mamman Nur, the factional leader of Boko Haram, was among those killed when troops attacked the group’s location in the Lake Chad region.

The announcement came hours after the military declared Mr. Nur had been “fatally injured” during an operation.

The military in an earlier statement had given an account of how troops on Operation LAFIYA DOLE in Operation DEEP PUNCH II dealt fatal blows on Boko Haram, recording tremendous successes.

According to reports, the Nigerian troops on Friday night dealt decisive blow on the Boko Haram terrorists by inflicting heavy casualty on them and capturing high calibre weapons and equipment from the Boko Haram terrorists in Sambisa Forest:

The State Security Services, SSS, had in September 2011 placed a N25 million bounty on Mr. Nur, blaming him for a car suicide bombing at the UN building in Abuja that year.

Since then, Mr. Nur has continued to evade the Nigerian security while still being active in the command hierarchy of the Boko Haram.

In 2014, Mr. Nur broke away from the Abubakar Shekau command and midwifed the formation of AbuMussab Albarnawi faction of the Boko Haram group.

Albarnawi is said to be the surviving son of Boko Haram’s spiritual founder, Muhammed Yusuf, who was extra-judicially killed by the security forces after he was arrested for leading his group to wage a bloody war against the Nigerian security forces in August 2009.

The spokesman of the Operation Lafiya Dole Theatre Command in Maiduguri, Onyema Nwachukwu, said about 250 Boko Haram fighters on the side of Mamman Nur (Albarnawi camp) surrendered.

The statement also warned residents of Kano, Yobe and Jigawa states to be vigilant as some of the dislodged Boko Haram fighters are currently fleeing towards their border villages with an attempt to, “diffuse into the local communities.”

Mr. Onyema said the new feat of victory was achieved following the sustained “onslaught on Boko Haram terrorists’ enclaves in the Lake Chad region where a factional leader of the group Mamman Nur has suffered grave injury, while one of his wives has been killed in the battle”.

“Moreso about 250 foot soldiers from the Albarnawi camp have surrendered to Nigerien Authorities due to the devastating artillery and aerial bombardments by Operation Lafiya Dole troops.

“Many of the insurgents who fled the onslaught are now taking advantage of the “AMNESTY” offered by the Nigerien government by surrendering to Nigerien Forces,” he said.

The military also said among the insurgents “fleeing from the ongoing offensive are senior and junior commanders in the Albarnawi faction who are now attempting to melt into other communities in and around Kano, Geidam and Gashua axis unnoticed.”

The statement indicated that one of the identified junior commanders was known as Bana Bafur.

“Members of the general public, particularly in Kano, Geidam, Gashua, Hadeja and the northern part of Jigawa are therefore enjoined to be vigilant and watch out for strange faces suddenly appearing in their communities and promptly report same to security agencies”, the statement warned.

Onyema added that about 700 insurgents have also surrendered to troops in the general area of Monguno following troops’ clearance operations.

He said the ongoing onslaught will be “tenaciously sustained”.

The statement recalled that the Federal Government of Nigeria has since provided a window of opportunity through the Operation SAFE CORRIDOR program to insurgents who surrender willingly to be deradicalised and rehabilitated.

“About 300 insurgents who willingly surrendered are currently benefiting from this programme”, he said.

“We call on all Boko Haram insurgents to abandon the futile struggle and take advantage of the Safe Corridor program by surrendering willingly to troops in any location nearest to them. We guarantee their safety and incorporation into the programme for deradicalisation and rehabilitation,” Mr. Nwachukwu, who is also Deputy Director Army Public Relations at Theatre Command Operation Lafiya Dole.

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Compromising And Neglecting Security Intelligence: Threat To National Security, By Terfa Naswem

Every net has holes. But Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen attacks have shown gaping ones in Nigerian intelligence agencies. Can they be fixed?

Intelligence process includes requirements, collection, processing and exploitation, analysis and production, dissemination and consumption, and feedback. The details of this process are made secret by the various intelligence agencies for their effective operations to smoke out terrorists and those that are potential threats.

The State Security Service (SSS), military intelligence among other intelligence agencies in Nigeria have intelligence network system which information about a particular entity is collected through the use of more than one, inter-related source. They gather intelligence to build up a detailed knowledge of threats to Nigeria both from within and internationally, and the assessment and investigation process helps to make decision about how they should respond.

They have all it takes to infiltrate Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen and any organization that pose a threat to Nigeria’s security, unity and progress. But corruption, tribalism, ethnicity among others which lead to negligence; these agencies have been seriously compromised with irrefutable intelligence swept under the rug.

The State Security Service (SSS), self-styled as the Department of State Services (DSS), is the primary domestic intelligence agency of Nigeria and is primarily responsible for intelligence gathering within the country and for the protection of Nigerians and foreigners in Nigeria and work in collaboration with other domestic and international intelligence and security agencies including Interpol among others.

Their primarily responsibility is also to detect plots and stop them before the attackers hit their targets not to wait until the attacks strike before looking for ways to curb it or prevent future attacks. They also have extraordinary task of anticipating various damaging events and creating various counter measures to prevent such anticipated events from hitting the ground when terrorists and others are working on such anticipated events to carry out their attacks.

I understand very perfectly how intelligence operation works. There is no threat in Nigeria that DSS, military intelligence among others cannot prevent or bring to an end. The late Head of State of Nigeria, General Sani Abacha said, “If insurgency last in any country for more than 24 hours, it means the government has a hand in it”. I think he was not far from the truth. The fight to end Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen attacks by these agencies has been compromised, and something is seriously wrong somewhere.

Pooling information is logistically difficult; given that the Nigerian intelligence community consists of different autonomous agencies which have further compounded the situation by other factors.

In January 2000 a group of al-Qaeda operatives met in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to plot the attack on the U.S.S Cole. Malaysian authorities caught the meeting on a surveillance videotape and turned it over to the CIA. In the summer of 2001 the agency identified one of the attendees as al-Midhar, a Saudi who intelligence officials thought had entered the U.S. shortly after the meeting and left six months later. The CIA put his name on a watch list and handed it over to the Immigration and Naturalization Service-but by then al-Midhar had slipped back into the U.S. Within the next few days, the CIA briefed the FBI on al-Midhar.

FBI officials say they initiated a frantic manhunt for al-Midhar but never found him. On Sept.11, 2001, authorities believe, he flew American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon. Al-Midhar bought his Sept. 11 airline ticket under his own name, but American Airlines officials say no government authorities informed them he was on a terrorism watch list.

The Nigerian intelligence agencies have been criticized for failing to infiltrate Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen who all display acts of terror. Experts say Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen are working to find ways to inflict more irreparable damage on Nigerians which the agencies are still not doing all it can to protect Nigerians.

That Al-Midhar could elude three Federal agencies, all of which knew his identity and the danger he posed shows what happens when intelligence agencies are compromised and intelligence swept under the rug. This is the same situation going on in Nigeria now among intelligence agencies. And many Nigerians have lost faith in our intelligence agencies in protecting them not as a result of their ineptitude but their compromise and negligence.

The leadership of Miyetti Allah Kauta Hore issued a threat to attack Benue State (which these agencies were aware) and still successfully carried out such attacks. Even without issuing threats, the DSS, military intelligence among others have the capability to detect such plot. The leaders of this association and most of their members have shown terrorism tendencies. What stops the DSS, military intelligence among others to swing into action? This is where conspiracy, compromise and negligence play central roles.

Nigerian intelligence officials remain “blind” to this deficiency but the proper focus of intelligence agencies should be “the pursuit of the secret” in defence of Nigerians. As long as Nigerian intelligence continues to peer in compromise and negligence, they may be unwilling to discover what Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen and other violent-prone organizations and individuals are hatching right in our backyard.

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700 Fishermen, Farmers Regain Freedom From Boko Haram

About 700 people have escaped from boko haram insurgents and are at at a military holding facility in Monguno Local Government Area of Borno state.

The Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, 8 Division, Col. Timothy Antigha, in a statement issued in Maiduguri, said that the over 700 persons abducted by insurgents had escaped from their captors and received by the 242 Battalion, Monguno.

He said the abductees including males, females and children were forced to work as farm labourers by the insurgents.

He said that two women among the freed persons delivered safely at the holding facility.

The army spokesman added that the intensified onslaught against the insurgents under Operation Deep Punch II had weakened and decimated their positions, which enabled the persons to escape.

“Over 700 farmers, fishermen and members of their families hitherto held by boko haram terrorists as farm workers have fled the various islands in Lake Chad to Monguno.

“The exodus of the abductees is not unconnected to a follow-up operation conducted a few days ago to exploit the gains of the recent successful Operation Deep Punch 2 in Chikun Gudu and adjourning localities.

“The follow-up operation conducted by the Nigerian Air Force and 38 Task Force Artillery Brigade, 8 Division, Operation Lafiya Dole, was targeted at destroying Boko Haram infrastructure and logistics such as communication centers, fabrication yards, bomb making equipment, vehicles and other means of sustenance.”

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Suicide Bomb Attack Kills 4 In Borno

Not less than four persons were killed in a Boko Haram attack yesterday at Amarwa village in Konduga Local Government Area of Borno state.

According to a security source, who confirmed the incident, a male Boko Haram member detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) in the village.

The bomber was also killed in the attack while 13 people sustained injuries.

The injured victims were rushed to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) while the deceased have been identified and retrieved by their relatives.

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Boko Haram: U.S. Sells 12 Fighter Jets To Nigeria

The United States (US) Government has concluded arrangements to sell 12 A29 Super Tucano Aircraft to Nigeria. Consequently, the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Stuart Symington, yesterday presented Letters of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) to the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, at headquarters, Nigerian Air Force (NAF).

The disclosure was made by Director of Public Relations and Information (DOPRI), Air Vice Marshal Olatokunbo Adesanya. “The United States (US) Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington, today presented the Letters of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) in respect of the A29 Super Tucano Aircraft to the Nigerian Air Force (NAF).

The LOA represents the official US Government offer to sell US defence articles and services to the Nigerian Government. “Speaking while presenting the LOA to the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, at NAF Headquarters in Abuja, the US Ambassador noted that peaceful existence in Nigeria was strategic to the security of the entire West African Sub- Region in particular and the entire world at large. “Accordingly, Ambassador Symington expressed the commitment of the US Government to helping Nigeria completely defeat the Boko Haram Terrorists and also eliminate all forms of terrorism from its territory.

In addition, he conveyed the US Government’s belief that the capacity of the NAF could greatly be enhanced by the acquisition of the Super Tucano Aircraft. ” According to him, the US Government would therefore continue to support the NAF in its capacity building efforts, including the timely supply of needed aircraft spares.

“The US Ambassador also indicated the readiness of relevant US Government officials to work with NAF officials to facilitate the early delivery of the aircraft, once payment had been made. In that regard, officials of both the US Government and the NAF would be meeting in early January 2018 to jointly study the LOA prior to subsequent endorsements by both parties.”

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Boko Haram: Air Force Intensifies Operations In North East, Neutralizes Insurgents

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has intensified its air operations in North Eastern Nigeria and in the process, neutralized scores of Boko Haram terrorists in Tumbun Rago, a settlement at the northern fringes of Borno State bordering Lake Chad.

The Director Public Relations and Information Air Vice Marshal Olatokunbo Adesanya said  “during a routine Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) mission, a NAF ISR platform sighted Boko Haram terrorists activities at Tumbun Rago, occupied by Albarnawi faction”.

Accordingly, fighter aircraft and helicopters were detailed for air interdiction over the location on 21 December 2017.

He said” ‘‘the fighter aircraft took turns to unleash their armament on the location“.

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Boko Haram: Military Budgets N38bn For Purchase Of Ammunition

As part of its efforts to tackle the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East, the Nigerian military has budgeted about N38bn for the purchase of ammunition, fighter jets and helicopters in 2018.

This was contained in the breakdown of the military’s procurement as listed in the 2018 budget.

From the breakdown, the army budgeted N5,281,288,780 for the “procurement of ammunition of various types and calibres,” while it said another N1,024,800,000 was for part payment for three light utility helicopters.

Other expenses are the purchase of vehicles for the  Operation Lafiya Dole, the military anti-insurgency operation in the North-East, and other operations, which would gulp N235,697,000.

The total budgetary allocation of the army for the anti-insurgency war stands at about N7.5bn.

An excerpt from the budget partly read, “ERGP14109223 – Procurement of ammunition of various types and calibres N5,281,288,780. ERGP14109846 – Purchase of vehicles for the Operation Lafiya Dole and other ongoing operations N235,697,000. ERGP14109851 – Acquisition of 25 infantry patrol vehicles N300m. ERGP14109867 – 40 per cent down payment for purchase of 3 LUH AS350 N1,024,800,000.”

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FG To Release $1 Billion To Fight Boko Haram

The federal government has on Thursday, announced the approval of the release of $1 billion from the country’s excess oil account to the government to help fight the Boko Haram Islamist insurgency.

The approval, came after a meeting of Nigeria’s national economic council, which had the 36 State governors in attendance.

The account holds foreign reserves from excess earnings from sales of crude. It currently totals $2.3 billion, according to Nigeria’s accountant general.

In a chat with state house correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki said: “We are pleased with the federal government achievements in the insurgency war and in that vein state governors have approved that the sum of $1 billion be taken from the excess crude account by the federal government to fight the insurgency war to its conclusion.

“The money will cover the whole array of needs which includes purchase of equipments, training for military personnel and logistics.”

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The Photo Community: The Drivers of #TheUntoldStoriesOfTheNorthEast Online Campaign

The Northeast has been plagued by the Boko Haram crisis, with Borno State being the most affected – crippling social and economic activities in the state. Despite the gradual return of peace and stability in the region, the positive stories about improved social and economic activities, and the resilience of residents rarely makes news.

To alter the negative narratives and perceptions about the Northeast as a gloomy and haunted region, devoid of socio-economic activities and opportunities, a social media photo campaign was launched on the 13th of October 2017. The project is an initiative to counter violent extremism through the use of social media led by 30 young photographers from Borno State.

30 youths who are passionate about photography in Maiduguri were selected and trained in the art of photography. Through the use of social media, they are carrying out an online CVE photo campaign that aims to alter the negative narratives and promote positive narratives about the resilience of the people recovering from insurgency in Northeast by posting images on Facebook and Twitter using these hashtags #UntoldStoriesOfTheNorthEast & #CampaignAgainstViolentExtremism.

These youth are also known as The Photo Community. BBC Africa covered their story in this short video; you can find the video here Facebook and Twitter .  Some of their amazing pictures are curated on this page [@thephotocommunity_ ] on Instagram.

Finally, if you reside in any of the states in the Northeast that has been affected by the Boko Haram insurgency, please join the campaign by posting positive pictures, and show the world the resilience of the people in your communities. Use the hashtags #UntoldStoriesOfTheNorthEast & #CampaignAgainstViolentExtremism

There’s life beyond the scourge of Boko Haram crisis in the Northeast. Thank you.

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Two Female Suicide Bombers KIill 3, Injure 53 In Borno

The Borno State Police Command has confirmed the death of 13 persons and another 53 injured persons after two female bombers detonated explosives at Biu, in Borno State on Saturday.

The state Public Relations Officer, Victor Isuku in a statement, said: “One of the bombers detonated IED strapped to her body within Biu Main market, while the other one detonated outside the market square. So far, a total of 13 persons excluding the two suicide bombers, have been confirmed killed in the two explosions. While 53 others sustained varying degrees of injuries.” 

Isuku further disclosed that the police had deployed patrol teams and cops of the Explosives Ordinance Department (EOD) to the area.

“The corpses and the injured persons have been evacuated to General Hospital Biu. Meanwhile, normalcy has been restored in the area,” the police spokesman said.

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The Libyan Slave Route And The Greed Factor, By Kayode Ogundamisi

Just glanced through a list of over 2380 Nigerians who had returned from the notorious Libyan Slave camps on failed suicide trip to Europe. NOT ONE name from areas affected by the deadly Nigerian Boko Haram war. All the names on the list of 2380are from stable Southern Nigeria. Is Boko Haram also operating in the South?

Aside the general state of insecurity, the economic crisis that is also applicable to most countries, do we really have a full-blown war in Southern Nigeria? Are people ducking from bombs and mass refugee’s camps, even if we had war in Southern Nigeria would it not make sense to see long lines of refugees heading towards Semme Border in Lagos or the border between Cross River and Cameroon or any other bordering countries in the South?

No, our compatriots head North, cross to Niger and then to Libya on the dream deadly journey to Europe.

Our young girls now account for the largest number of prostitutes in Europe, our drug dealing compatriots now account for the number of undesirables on European streets, not one will you meet a Nigerian victim of Boko Haran crisis, just that migrant who wants and desires a ‘better life’ and nothing wrong in that but for choosing a deadly route and expecting applause when it goes wrong.

One would have expected those facing Boko Haram war in the Northern part of Nigeria to be the first to face North Africa considering they are also closer to Niger and the Slave trade route, but no, they remained in IDP camps, relocated to safe areas within Nigeria and Africa, hoping things will get better. They are now our maiguards in Lagos, you find them pushing wheel barrows in Aba, working on farms in Ikare and doing all that it takes to survive.

AS we cry against the Libyans, can we also call out GREED disguised as DESPERATION, the very factor influencing most of the travelers? We can all try being politically correct but we have to go into our Southern Nigerian communities and find out what is really happening, who are the criminal gangs selling greed to our vulnerable citizens?

It is natural for humans to seek opportunities but if you chose to pay thousands of dollars so you can have more than the basic needs of life, live in affluence areas or build mansions, the price you pay could be disastrous.

It is understandable when refugees from war torn areas such as Syria, Iraq, South Sudan and if even Boko Haram crisis infected areas chose the Sahara route over gun and bomb blasts at home, but for an economic migrant to invest millions of naira into a journey of no return? It sure speaks volumes, I shudder in disbelief as one of the victims with a Yoruba sounding name on CNN claim he would rather die than return to his home town in Ogun State. I try to imagine what could be going on in Ogun State that would inspire such desperation.

I acknowledge that Nigeria is not an outstanding place to be, a number of us migrated years back as a matter of choice, but that choice does not include subjecting our dignity in a slave camp. As I type this another set of Nigerians are probably on their way to the land of no return, they may have watched the CNN expose but ignore the danger, the only image they see is that of a neighbor who left few years back and he’s now ‘doing well’ in Europe.

They will never see the drowning family, the young girl raped to death, the viral video of the Edo lady made to swallow the urine of her Libyan slave master, the young Nigerian girls buried in Italy, abandoned by their own government, the new set of victims are propelled by the Nigerian lingo of “It is not my portion”, it is only when death come staring at them during the journey they know danger does not understand Nigerian lingos or our religious mumbo jumbo.

You have nothing but yourself to blame. Welcome back home, borrow yourself some brain, there are better legitimate means of migration, invest those millions on small scale business or die hard trying to migrate to Europe. The choice is yours. Nigeria is facing multiple challenges, don’t add your own self-inflicted choices to it. 

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