N15.8 billion Spent On Fighting Boko Haram Insurgency, Says Yobe Gov. Ibrahim Gaidam

Yobe State Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, has revealed that his administration has so far spent N15.8 billion  on fighting Boko Haram insurgency for three years.

Gaidam made this known while receiving the House Committee Chairmen on Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and Emergency Disaster Preparedness (EDP) at the Government House in Damaturu.

“The immediate past federal administration failed to finance the fight effectively and fully. The state government had to deploy the meagre resources at its disposal to support the campaign in areas of payment of allowances to security operatives, procurement of vehicles, logistics, medical assistance to security operatives and vigilante groups, maintenance of vehicles, all totaling N13.7 billion.

“Government also incurred expenditures in the provision of relief materials and medical assistance to victims of insurgency, thereby bringing the amount to N15.8 billion as at the first quarter of 2017,” Gaidam said.

Chairman of House Committee on Internally Displaced Persons (IDP), Sani Zoro, said the National Assembly would ensure that monies spent on fighting insurgency, are refunded.

 

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Details Of How Boko Haram Beheaded Four Civilian JTF In Maiduguri

On Saturday May 20, 12 volunteer members of the local vigilante, civilian Joint Task Force and residence of Dalori-1 IDP Camp of Maiduguri, Borno State, had set out to the bush to hunt for games which they either cook to beef up their protein needs or sell to earn some cash.

In what was supposed to be a usual hunting activity, the IDPs ran into a gang of Boko Haram insurgents who attacked and beheaded four of them named Wali Fanne, Ibrahim, Chacha, and Baba Karemi.

Premium Times reports that Alai Goni, an IDP from Bama, he said that six of the IDP hunters managed to run back late afternoon of Saturday to inform them at the camp that of the attack by Boko Haram fighters.

“When we waited for the six others to return and they did not, we decided to go in search for them. About 6km away from the camp, we came to a riverbank and we saw a man watering his horse. The man simply pointed to us where the corpses of the four slain men were dumped. We became suspicious of him and we had to arrest him and bring him to the security personnel at the gate of Dalori-1 camp.

“Unfortunately, we could not immediately find the decapitated heads of three of them; we only found three bodies without their heads, while the fought one whose head was not separated from his body, had some kind of sharp word forcefully driven into his forehead.”

The source said the heads of the four beheaded persons were later found early Sunday morning, and were buried by their fellow displaced persons.

Speaking to the incident, Abba Kalli, leader of the Civilian-JTF blamed the victims for embarking on such “dangerous expedition”, after they had been severally warned that it was dangerous for them to wander away from the camp.

“It was indeed a sad occurrence for us yesterday,” he said.

“Four of them were beheaded; two were captured and taken away, while the rest six managed to escape. We have severally warned them going even 2km kilometres away from their camps in that axis is very dangerous because the Boko Haram insurgents were there in the bush. But they refused to heed to warning, by insisting on going to hunt in the bush”.

“They have been buried according to the Islamic rite this morning,” said Kalli who confirmed that the slain victims were all IDPs from Bama who later volunteered to be members of the Civilian-JTF.

Dalori camp is about 1.5km from the University of Maiduguri that has been a target for Boko Haram suicide bombers in the past weeks.

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Boko Haram: FG Commends UN

The Federal Government has commended the efforts and partnership of the UN with Nigeria in addressing the huge humanitarian challenges caused by the Boko Haram insurgency.

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Sola Enikanolaiye, delivered the Federal Government’s message to the UN when he visited Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed on Monday in New York.

Enikanolaiye also commended UN agencies and partners working to address the huge humanitarian challenges in the North East, as well as other environmental and development challenges in the country.

“We wish to commend the UN agencies and organizations working in the North East Nigeria.

“We reassure the UN of the Federal Government’s commitment to the security and safety of humanitarian workers and relief supplies to the victims of Boko Haram in the region.”

He also conveyed Nigeria’s gratitude to the UN for the funding of the Ogoni clean-up exercise.

Enikanolaiye emphasized that Nigeria stood ready to deepen partnership with the UN in addressing the humanitarian situation and ecological challenges in the Niger-Delta region.

He pledged the Federal Government’s deep commitment to the peaceful resolution of the Niger-Delta crisis through several measures.

According to him, through dialogue and empowerment, the situation in the region has begun to stabilize with obvious implications on environmental sustainability.

He lauded the recent visit by members of the Security Council to the Lake Chad region, saying it signified the renewed commitment by the UN for a quick return of peace and stability to the region.

He reassured of Nigeria’s firm commitment to the total stabilization of north-east and looked forward to the visit of the Secretary-General and global development institutions to the region

“The Lake Chad Climate Resilience Action Plan outlines the concept that there is a need to turn Lake Chad into a rural hub for regional development in parallel to the restoration of peace and security.

“We appeal to the UN for financial and technical support for the initiative,” the permanent secretary said.

He drew Mohammed’s attention to the need to create opportunities for Nigerians at the UN System through the Junior Professional Officers’ (JPO) Programme, including an internship for young Nigerian graduates.

Congratulating Mohammed on her appointment, he said Nigeria and Africa were convinced that deliberations on Africa within the UN system would move from the negativity of war, terrorism, and pandemics to focusing on development.

Enikanolaiye solicited the continued support of the UN in facilitating the containment of communicable diseases like meningitis in Nigeria and the re-emergence of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In her response, Mohammed said with a new UN envoy, Nigeria should take the lead within the African Group.

She hinted of a proposed visit of Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to the Lake Chad region, urging Nigeria to concentrate on the deliverables so that the purpose of the visit would be served.

The deputy UN chief also assured of the readiness of the organisation to collaborate with Nigeria in ensuring a nimble UN.

Punch

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Troops Kill For Boko Haram Food Smugglers

Troops of the Nigerian Army have smashed a food supply ring which usually smuggled food to Boko Haram insurgents.

Four of the terrorists were killed during the encounter which occurred at Julari village in Borno State.

Our correspondent learnt that the troops of 145 and 158 Task Force Battalions ambushed the insurgents who were smuggling large quantities of fish, along Kareto-Damasak road by Julari village on Saturday.

The Deputy Director, Army Public Relations and Spokesman, 8 Division, Col. Timothy Antigha, said the terrorists funded their criminal activities through the smuggling, adding that one soldier was killed during the operation.

He said, “During the operation, troops neutralised four Boko Haram terrorists.

“Similarly, we recovered one AK-47 rifle, one Toyota Hilux pickup, three motorcycles, 35 bags of dry fish, one bag of bush meat, three bags of sugar and 60 litres of engine oil.

“Unfortunately, we lost a soldier during the operation.”

Punch

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Boko Haram: Shekau ‘Threatens’ To Bomb Abuja, Says War Still On

Abubakar Shekau, leader of the Boko Haram insurgent group, has threatened to bomb Abuja, Ahmad Salkida, a journalist privy to a yet to be released video, has said.

In a series of tweets on Friday, Salkida said Shuaibu Moni, one of the Boko Haram commanders swapped with Chibok schoolgirls was the one who issued the threat in the video.

Salkida quoted Moni as saying more than five Boko Haram commanders were exchanged for the 82 freed Chibok girls.

Moni reportedly said there is no chance of reaching a peace agreement with the federal government.

“Developing story: Abubakar Shekau has just released a video on Chibokgirls that were recently swapped with his fighters,” Salkida wrote on twitter.

“I will tweet the highlights of the video, yet to be uploaded on YouTube, in a moment.

“The video has Shuaibu Moni, one of the swapped BH commanders issuing threats to Nigerian authorities and its president.

“The commander, in the video, declared that it is not true that only five commanders were released, warning of imminent bombing of Abuja.

“He further said that there’s been no ‘sulhu’ dialogue with govt and there won’t be. Only war is between us, he declared.”

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Boko Haram: Nigerian Army Redeploys High-Ranking Officers

The Nigerian army has redeployed some high-ranking officers on the frontline of the war against insurgency, TheCable can report.

This is coming at a time when the military has succeeded in restoring normalcy to most parts of the troubled north-east.

A military source said the development took affected officers by surprise.

Lucky Irabor, theatre commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, and Victor Ezuwgu, acting general officer commanding (GOC), 7 division, have been transferred out of Borno state.

TheCable learnt that Ibrahim Attahiru, a major general at the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Kaduna, would take over from Irabor, while Ezugwu would be replaced by I.M Yusuf, a brigadier general.

Barring last minute change of plans, Irabor and Ezugwu would hand over to their successors on June 1 and June 10 respectively.

Irabor will be going to the multi-national joint task force (MNJTF), where he will take over from Lamidi Adeosun, a major general, and Ezugwu will be deployed to a military formation in Zaria, Kaduna, as a GOC.

TheCable understands that Adeosun will resume at the defence headquarters in Abuja.

The reorganisation has created mixed feelings among officers in Borno.

Some believe that the redeployment is long overdue, others are of the view that they should have been left to end the war they made a significant contribution to reducing.

A senior military officer opposed to the development said the army has never had commanders who had recorded tremendous successes in the war against insurgency like the outgoing theatre commander and his GOC.

“The theatre commander and the GOC were the only commanders who went to the war front to engage Boko Haram terrorists,” he told this newspaper.

“The GOC was always with troops on the war front and that was why we called him ‘the game changer’.

“These two powerful men have restructured the army and so far boost the morale of troops.”

Another commander, who also spoke off the record, said he felt “very bad” over the issue.

“Of course, we know that they won’t be here forever, that is the nature of this job. But I feel bad that these great men are leaving the theatre at this point,” he said.

“We will be meeting on the 25 this month; that is where the theatre commander will officially announce his replacement. This is really sad.

Irabor was appointed as the theatre commander on March 17, 2016.

The Cable

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Russia Lauds FG Over Fight Against Boko Haram

Russia has applauded efforts by the Federal Government towards ending the Boko Haram insurgency in the Northeast.

The Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Nigeria, Mr Nikolay Udovichenko stated this during the commemoration of the end of World War II in Abuja.

On May 7, 1945, Germany signed an unconditional surrender at Allied headquarters in Reims, France, ending the European conflict of World War II. The envoy said the event underscores the need for providing peace and security in the world.

“We applaud the efforts of the Nigerian government in combatting terrorism and the results in very positive.  Nigeria, with the support of international community, would overcome this challenge.

“We need to remember at all times that we need a world without violence,” he said.

Daily Trust

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Buhari To Receive Freed 82 Chibok Girls

President Muhammadu Buhari is billed to receive the 82 Chibok girls released on Saturday by the Islamic sect, Boko Haram.

A statement on Saturday night by the Senior Special Assistant on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, said that the girls were exchanged for some Boko Haram suspects in custody.

It reads “The President is pleased announce that negotiations to release more of the Chibok Girls have born fruit with the release of 82 more Girls today.

“After months of patient negotiations, our security agencies have taken back these abducted girls in exchange for some Boko Haram suspects held by the authorities.

“The Girls are due tomorrow in Abuja to be received by the President.

The President expressed his deep gratitude to security agencies, the military, the government of Switzerland, the Red Cross, local and international NGOs for the success of this operation.

‘It may be recalled that when the first batch of 21 Girls were released in October last year,the President directed the security agencies to continue in earnest until all the Chibok Girls have been released and reunited with their families.

“The President has been receiving full reports from the Director-General of the State Security Services at each stage,” he added

The Nation

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500, 000 Malnourished Children Risk Death Over Delayed Passage Of 2017 Budget

Five months into 2017, there is still no budget or funding for 2.5 million Severely Acute Malnourished (SAM) children in the country. And like in previous years, about 500,000 of them risk death before year end according to a recent report by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

At the moment, the 2017 Appropriation Bill is yet to be passed by the National Assembly hence, there is no allocation to tackle malnutrition in the Federal Ministry of Health’s budget.

Investigations by The Guardian revealed that even previous year’s budget was not adequate to cater for millions of malnourished children in the country.

In an attempt to proffer adequate solution to the issue, UNICEF Nigeria recently held a two-day national media dialogue with stakeholders in Enugu, Enugu State.

Speaking at the workshop, head of Nutrition Department, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Chris Isokpunwu, explained that in the last three years, only pittance has been budgeted for nutrition, which has not been enough to cater for about 11 million children suffering from chronic malnutrition in the country.

He said: “For instance, in 2014, when a budget line for child nutrition was created for the first time in Nigeria, N30m was allocated, but nothing was released. In 2015, nothing was budgeted for child nutrition. In 2016, N2.4m was appropriately budgeted for scaling up child nutrition, but the little amount was not released and no one is sure what 2017 would look like.”

For Nigeria to end child malnutrition within the shortest possible time and save lives of 2.5m children annually, Isokpunwu said government has to source for, and provide the sum of N912m for the next five years.

“About half a million Nigerian children below five years of age die yearly due to malnutrition, making the country one of the highest contributors to deaths of children below five in the world. The rest that survive often become stunted for life,” he lamented.

According to UNICEF Nutrition Specialist, Zakaria Fusheini, investing in nutrition will yield valuable returns for the country.

“For every N1, 000 invested in stunting reduction, a country will get N16, 000 return. Nigeria loses over $1.5b in GDP annually to vitamin and mineral deficiencies, according to the World Bank. The evidence is abundantly clear that the ties between nutrition and economic prosperity run deep, and the world, Nigeria inclusive, cannot afford to wait to increase investments in this area,” he said.

While countries such as Peru and Senegal have made progress in tackling malnutrition, Fusheini, noted that Nigerian government is still not convinced malnutrition is a problem, hence the poor funding.

In order to avert more deaths from severe acute malnutrition, he said the Nigerian government needs to invest more in SAM intervention services, such as the Community-based Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM).

“The major cost of the programme is the Ready-to-use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) for the treatment. It costs UNICEF an estimated US$61 per child reached to procure and distribute the RUTF. This has been made possible, thanks to CIFF, DFID and USAID. More children are in dire need of treatment. To treat more children, and sustain the life-saving programme, federal and state governments need to contribute more in the procurement of the RUTF,” he said.

According to him, some states have been able to release money to tackle malnutrition.

“Kaduna State government released N300m for nutrition, Gombe State released N17m, Bauchi State N17m and Sokoto State N50m. This is commendable, but more states need to follow suit,” he said.

UNICEF Nutrition Specialist Enugu, Ngozi Onuora, noted that simple interventions can save malnourished children’s lives, but government has to be committed.

She said: “It is so sad that many state governments are no longer implementing Maternal, Newborn and Child-health Week (MNCHW), hence the poor commitment to supporting mothers in practising good nutrition at household levels. Every single day, Nigeria loses about 2,300 under-five-year-olds and 145 women of child-bearing age as a result of malnutrition, making it the second largest contributor to deaths from malnutrition in the world after India.”

Statistics provided at the media dialogue by nutrition experts showed that malnutrition, though a national problem, is much worse in the North. The statistics showed that the total number of children affected by malnutrition in the South East in 2016 was 34, 889, while 6, 700 deaths were recorded. In the South South, 86, 304 children were affected, out of which 16, 700 died, while the South West had 84, 417 cases and 16, 300 deaths; North West had 1, 594, 462 cases and 308, 000 deaths; North Central 43,635 cases with 8, 400 deaths; and North East 695,998 cases and 134, 000 deaths.

According to them, on September 8, 2015, Nigeria adopted the National Strategic Plan of Action on Nutrition (NSPAN 2014-2019). The policy, expected to reduce stunting by 20 per cent, wasting by 15 per cent and increase exclusive breastfeeding by 50 per cent by 2019, is still not funded in mid 2017.

Guardian

 

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Your Political Life Above The Lives Of Nigerians? In That Case You Are Dead, Jonathan By Peregrino Brimah

Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan in a recent interview when asked questions on the “foreign mercenaries” operating in Nigeria, responded that Nigeria had to call them in to “train” our men and “repair” equipment as the country did not have “the luxury of time” to have its soldiers trained on the new equipment imported. [Boko Haram Will Be Ended In A Couple Of Days – Jonathan; Channels TV, March 12, 2015]

While appreciating the necessity for and necessary speed of this 6-week war, we ask the president what happened for 6 years; and why in particular he now knows that Boko Haram can and should be dealt with in speed and with all urgency. Is it because of the Nigerians who have been being massacred for the past 6 years or is this urgency simply electioneering and  because of his political life?

If indeed as appears obvious, President Goodluck Jonathan is only finally engaging in this war because we and the world told him that with Boko Haram holding on and succeeding to continue to terrorize Nigerians, there is no way he can win at the February-March polls; and this war only became necessary and urgent to him because of his political life, then we tell Goodluck Jonathan that he is “dead.”

On behalf of the people of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe and the Boko Haram terror catchment north, and the rest Nigerians, we ask Jonathan four questions:

1; why the sudden urgency and 6-week time frame of the war?

2; did he always know Boko Haram can be defeated in 6-weeks?

3; why did he rather employ foreigners for a rush job than employ us the Civilian-JTF and hunter patriots since for the job we were already doing but needed better support and simple permission to complete?

4; why did he arrest us hunters and block our forward push against Boko Haram only to hire Caucasian mercenaries at $400+ / day to do the same?

We thank Mr. President for his expected response.

It will be wiser he talks directly to us than to all these chiefs he goes to beg and allegedly rain dollars on.

Dr. Peregrino Brimah; http://ENDS.ng [Every Nigerian Do Something] Email: drbrimah@ends.ng Twitter: @EveryNigerian

 

Opinion expressed on this page is solely that of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of Abusidiqu.com and/or its associates.

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