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Armed bandits have attacked and killed a Nigerian Air Force personnel, Muhammad Auwal, in Birnin Gwari, Kaduna State.

This was disclosed in a tweet by an analyst and human rights lawyer, Bulama Bukarti.Late Muhammad Auwal

Bukarti said the deceased was the best graduating officer at the Nigerian Air Force Special Force Academy, which was held recently in Bauchi.

“Flying Officer Muhammad Auwal is one of the latest gallant men we sadly lost to terrorists. He’s killed yesterday (September 5) on duty at Birnin Gwari. He’s the Best Graduating Officer at the NAF Special Forces Course that held recently in Bauchi.

“We’ve lost too many brave and promising men to the insecurity raging in our country. Government officials and politicians must face this problem head-on. They must channel the huge sums wasted on their extravagant lifestyle to this problem and ensure every kobo is spent transparently.”

The Army has said Southern Kaduna killings are not the result of one-sided attacks, as reported in some quarters.

It said it was working on improving response time across steep terrain, increasing the number of troops in the area and expecting support from the Air Force.

Major-General CC Okonkwo, Commander of Operation Safe Haven, said this while addressing a meeting of senior security officials held, on Tuesday, with Governor El-Rufai of Kaduna State on the security situation in Southern Kaduna, Vanguard reports.

The security officials “confirmed that a cycle of attacks and reprisals was compounding criminal activities in the area and causing needless loss of lives and appealed to all sides to embrace peace.”

Okonkwo told the meeting that he had received a deployment of Special Forces.

He said the Chief of Defence Staff would send more troops to reinforce those in the area, to stop the communities from attacking each other, and to create the climate for peace talks.

In his opening remarks, Governor El-Rufai said he came to the meeting “with a heavy heart, saddened by the needless pain several of our communities are enduring in the cycle of violence that is recurring in parts of our state.

“Our task, as always, is to find means of containing the violence and ending the bloodshed.

“Today, we want to hear from you the leaders of the security agencies deployed in the area what further measures can be taken to end the agony.

“On our part, we continue to support the efforts of the security agencies as best as we can.” On its part, the police traced the outbreak of violence to clashes that started on June 5 and June 11.

The Defence Headquarters has announced that counter-terrorism troops of Operation Lafiya Dole have killed eight top Boko Haram commanders while attempting to infiltrate Army Super Camp in Damask.

According to a signal from the army headquarters seen by Reporters, the slain terrorists were buried by the insurgents at Goski Village.

Among those killed were the Imam and Mansur to Abu Fatima, who set up camp in Sambisa Forest.

They were identified as Tumbun Dabino – Ba Issoufo, Tumbun Bororo – Amir Batam, Tumbun Jaki – Almustapha, TumbunBagaruwa – Modou Kollo, Dogon Tchoukou – Issah, Tumbun Rakke  – Mustapha Woulama, Tumbun Dila – Boukar Kowa and Tumbun Mita – Abou Aisha.

Items recovered from them include three AK 47 rifles, magazine with 48 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, one Honda Salon car, one motorcycle, eight bicycles, three mobile phones with multiple SIM and memory cards and five copies of the Qur’an.

Also recovered was a letter written in Hausa to Abu Fatima (Boko Haram top commander), documents and other logistics.

Also at Kolofata, a border town with Cameroon, troops of Strong Response Area, Pulka neutralised six other terrorists attempting to cross from Cameroon border into Sambisa Forest.

“Troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE have continued to conduct intelligence-based operations which continues to degrade Boko Haram /Islamic State of West Africa Province across the Theatre.

“Following credible intelligence, the gallant troops of of Operation LAFIYA DOLE on 17 July 20 targeted the terrorists on their market activities and undercover movement around Kolofata, a border town with Cameroon where troops of Strong Response Area (SRA) Pulka neutralised six Boko Haram terrorists attempting to cross from Cameroon Border towards Sambisa Axis.

“Weapons and equipment captured from the terrorists include three AK 47 rifles, magazine with 48 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, one  Honda Salon Car, one Motorcycle, eight bicycles, three phones with multiple SIMs and memory cards and five copies of the Holy Qur’an, among others. Additionally, there was also a letter written in Hausa to Abu Fatima (Boko Haram top commander), documents and other logistics.

“Shortly after the successful operation, the enemy communication intercept confirmed killing of a top Boko Haram commander named Sayinna and other fighters during the encounter. The other slayed terrorists were suspected to be Imam and Mansur to Abu Fatima who hibernate in Sambisa Forest.

“Additionally, in recent times troops have been delving serious blows to BHT/ISWAP terrorists in the North-East. It could be recalled that the troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE gallantly neutralised eight prominent leaders of the disorganised, marauding elements of the terrorists in their futile attempt to infiltrate Army Super Camp Damasak.

“During such misadventure, the terrorists met their waterloo on 2 July, 2020 when they were led by their top leaders (Amirs) to attack the troops in Damasak from two flanks in an effort to cause them massive casualty. However, with own troops’ doggedness, superior fire power and maneuver the terrorists were devastated and the rest escaped in total disarray.”

The house of representatives has resolved to investigate the resignation of at least 350 soldiers who recently asked to be disengaged from the Nigerian army.

The soldiers, most of whom are involved in the fight against Boko Haram insurgents in the north-east, had applied to resign from military service.

Their requests were approved.

Most of them are reported to have cited loss of interest as their reason for resigning.

At Tuesday’s plenary session, the house directed its committee on army to investigate reports of the resignation and confirm the circumstances for such.

While considering a motion sponsored by Mohammed Monguno, the chief whip, the lawmakers warned of the grievious implication of such mass resignation.

Monguno said in addition to dealing a huge blow on the military’s fight against insurgency, such move also poses serious risks to the society especially if the resigned personnel are without jobs.

He also lamented that the chief of army staff approved the soldiers’ request to be voluntarily disengaged without making efforts to address their grievances, which he said he learnt included loss of morale, unimproved allowances and mass casualties in the hands of Boko Haram insurgents.

The lawmaker said the recent development is just one of the many instances where soldiers have been seen expressing their disapproval of the manner in which the war against Boko Haram is being fought.

“Recently, major general Olusegun Adeniyi, commander of operation Lafiya Dole, Nigeria‘s counter terrorism headquarters, was removed for exposing inferior military wares and poor equipment of troops while briefing the chief of army staff from combat zone after successfully repelling an attack from Boko haram insurgents,” he said.

“The house is concerned that not too long ago, the general officer commanding 7 division of the Nigeria army in Maimalari, major general Victor Ezegwu, escaped being lynched by rampaging soldiers for leaving them with neither food or water while fighting in the north-eastern part of the country for two days.”

Monguno described the situation as an “impending military mutiny that may imperil our democracy” if not urgently addressed.

Some soldiers attached to the 7 division of the Nigerian Army attacked members of the Borno state COVID-19 committee, including two commissioners of Babagana Zulum, the governor, on Saturday.

It was gathered that trouble started after the vehicles conveying the soldiers and some civilians were stopped by the team enforcing the inter-state travel ban in Auno.

President Muhammadu Buhari had banned inter-state travel in May as part of measures to check the spread of coronavirus.

Kakashehu Lawal, commissioner for justice, and Salisu Kawaya-Buram his health counterpart, who are members of the committee, said the soldiers pointed guns at them even after they introduced themselves.

Lawal alleged that the soldiers forced their way into Borno from a neighbouring state, pulling down the barricade and allowing travellers who were not on essential duty to enter the state.

He said soldiers in three Hilux gun trucks, who claimed they were on a mission to repel Boko Haram attack on Gubio, deliberately rammed into a Rapid Response Squad (RRS) van which was used to block the road to prevent illegal entry.

The police van that was reportedly destroyed in the attack

He said the force with which they rammed into the vehicle made it somersault while all the four persons inside the van sustained injuries.

There are unconfirmed reports that one of the four persons on board lost his life at the hospital but Reporter could not independently verify this.

“After hitting the vehicle, the soldiers pointed their guns at us and began assaulting us,” Lawal said.

“One of the soldiers looked at me and said: ‘To hell with Democracy, Useless Democracy’. Others raised their guns at us, while one of them removed the cap of a policeman attached to the team.

“A cameraman attached to the team from the deputy governor’s office was also attacked and beaten while his camera was seized by the soldiers.”

Lawal said despite the provocation, he asked the policemen in his team to remain calm.

“As Nigerians, the mission and vision of the Buhari led administration and also the Chief of Army Staff, is to save the lives and property of the people,” he said.

“So we cannot just allow a chunk of military men to cause any form of harassment when people are there on their official responsibility.”

Kawara-Buyam said the soldiers allowed travellers who were not screened to enter the state.

A press briefing on the incident

Highlighting the danger posed by this, he said the state has recorded more than 400 coronavirus cases from travellers who came in illegally.

“Yesterday alone, more than 40 persons who travelled into the state were COVID-19 positive,” he said.

Usman Kadafur, the deputy governor who is also chairman of the COVID-19 committee, described the incident as unfortunate.

Sunday Igbinomwanhia, garrison commander, 7 division, apologised to the COVID-19 team over the incident and promised that the issue would be investigated.

This is not the first time that soldiers would clash with members of the COVID-19 team.

Some soldiers forcefully took away the corpse of the mother of Tukur Buratai, chief of army staff, who is suspected to have died from COVID-19 complications.

 

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The house of representatives has asked the federal government to construct rural roads to connect communities situated around the Sambisa forest in Borno state.

The green chamber said such roads will open up the areas and curb the frequent attacks launched on the residents by Boko Haram insurgents.

The lawmakers made the call at Tuesday’s plenary session following a motion by Haruna Mshelia from Borno.

Sambisa forest is known as a stronghold of Boko Haram insurgents.

Mshelia said many community that have boundaries with Sambisa do not have roads connecting them.

He said while many of the communities have been attacked by the insurgents, their situation is worsened by the absence of roads which he said has cut them off from other places.

He said the absence of roads have also made it difficult for security agencies to navigate the areas in pursuit of the insurgents whenever they attack the residents.

The lawmaker said the roads would also boost the agricultural output of residents, many of whom are farmers.

The house subsequently adopted the motion, urging the North–East Development Commission to consult with relevant government agencies and ministries to “as a matter of urgency” commence the construction of the road.

 

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Details have emerged on how Boko Haram terrorists killed the Acting Commanding Officer, 401 Special Forces Brigade Signals of the Nigeria Army, Major K Yakubu, and wounded one soldier during an attack in Borno State on Tuesday.

Reports exclusively obtained by thepeoplesjournalmagazine shows that the military commander was killed after decimating Boko Haram camp in Doron Naira, an island in Lake Chad, and Nigerian border area of Baga.

Reporters gathered that the troops advance was delayed as vehicles broke down which resulted in the burning of vehicle clutches and overheating of radiators.

The troops also had to stop many times to fix burst tires due to extremely harsh weather and sandy nature of the terrain, amongst others.

The troops arrived at Doron Naira Village (N13° 11′ 34.94 E13° 36′ 52.61″) on June 1 and cleared the partially deserted settlement.

Items recovered included one x 120mm mortar base plate, one x Motorbike, one x BHT Flag, one Holy Qur’an, metal links for AA rounds and a roll of copper wire.

Huts, fire trenches and other home utensils found at the hideout were destroyed before the withdrawal of the troops.

Two Boko Haram terrorists were killed in the shootout. Other items captured include one x AA gun, 2 x AK47 rifles and assorted AA rounds.

The troops were, however, attacked by the terrorists Tuesday at about 1530hr at coordinate N13° 11′ 50.44″ E13° 36′ 51.44. Troops responded with overwhelming firepower, forcing the terrorists to withdraw.

Reporters gathered that an advance team arrived Baga Wednesday. .

“Casualty on troops/equipment are one Killed In Action (Maj K Yakubu – Acting CO 401SF Bn), One Wounded In Action soldier while one x COBRA APC, one x mini-workshop (Toyota Hilux) and one x ATEGO truck that could not be repaired or recovered was destroyed in the operation,” a source who was part of the operation told Reporters.

 

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The Nigerian Army has deployed Faruk Yahaya as the new theatre commander Operation Lafiya Dole, the army’s operation fighting Boko Haram insurgency in the north-east.

Yahaya, a major-general, who was until the deployment, general officer commanding (GOC) of the army’s 1 division in Kaduna, is replacing Olusegun Adeniyi who had been in charge of the operation since August.

In the major redeployment of generals and other senior officers, Adeniyi will now resume at the Nigerian Army Resource Centre (NARC) Abuja as a senior research fellow.

In a statement on Tuesday, Sagir Musa, army spokesman, said the postings which was approved by Tukur Buratai, chief of army staff, is a routine exercise intended to reinvigorate the system for greater professional effectiveness and efficiency.

“The major highlight of the posting includes – the posting and appointment of Maj Gen ACC Agundu from Special Task Force (STF) Operation SAFE HAVEN Jos to Nigerian Army Resource Centre (NARC) Abuja as Senior Research Fellow, Major General HI Bature from Defence Headquarters (DHQ) Defence Liaison Office National Assembly Abuja to Army Headquarters  Department of Civil Military Affairs and appointed Chief of Civil-Military Affairs, Maj Gen UM Mohammed from Nigerian Army Property Limited (NAPL) to the Office of the Chief of Army Staff and appointed Special Adviser Nigerian Army University Biu/Deputy Chairman Board of Trustees NAPL, while the erstwhile Special Adviser Nigerian Army University Biu Maj Gen CC Okonkwo now redeployed to STF Operation SAFE HAVEN Jos  and appointed Commander, Maj Gen F Yahaya from Headquarters 1 Division Kaduna to Headquarters Theatre Command Operation LAFIYA DOLE (OPLD) Maiduguri and appointed Commander, while Maj Gen OG Adeniyi is redeployed from Headquarters Theatre Command OPLD Maiduguri to NARC as Senior Research Fellow, Maj Gen S Idris from Sector 2 OPLD Damaturu- Yobe State redeployed to DHQ Abuja and appointed Director Liaison,” the statement read.

“Others affected include – Maj General AA Adesope from Office of the Chief of Army Staff Directorate of Audit and Financial Management to NAPL and appointed Group Managing Director, Maj Gen MG Ali from Headquarters Theatre Command OPLD Maiduguri to Headquarters 4 Special Forces Command Doma, Nasarawa State as Commander while the erstwhile Chief of Civil-Military Affairs AHQ Abuja Maj Gen US Mohammed has been redeployed to 1 Division Kaduna and appointed General Officer Commanding.

“Similarly, Brig Gen HI Daniel from the Defunct  Army Special Forces Command Maiduguri to Headquarters Training and Doctrine Command Minna and appointed Director Army Training Support, Brig Gen BE Onyeuko is to remain in DHQ Abuja as Acting Director Defence Media Operation, Brig Gen NM Jega from Training and Doctrine Command Minna to Infantry Corps Centre Jaji and appointed Chief of Staff, Brig Gen LA Araba from Nigerian Army Welfare Limited by Guaranty Abuja now redeployed to Sector 2 OPLD Damaturu, Yobe State as Ag Commander, Brig Gen VO Ita from DHQ, Abuja to Headquarters 402 Special Forces Brigade Azare and appointed Commander while Brig Gen JAL Jimoh from Sector 3 Artillery Brigade OPLD Monguno to Headquarters 31 Brigade Minna and appointed Commander and Brig Gen GTO Ajetunmobi has been redeployed from 31 Brigade Minna to Nigeria Army Welfare Limited by Guaranty, Abuja as Executive Director Operation.”

“Others are -Brig Gen LG Lepdung from Headquarters Infantry Corps Centre Jaji to DHQ Abuja and appointed Deputy Director Procurement (Logistics), Brig Gen MO Ihanuwaze to remain in Office of the Chief of Army Staff Directorate of Audit and Financial Management as Acting Director, Brig Gen EC Obi – Osang from the defunct Headquarters 707 Special Forces’ Brigade Makurdi to Headquarters 401 Special Forces’ Brigade Makurdi as Commander while Brig Gen GM Mutkut is redeployed from the Defunct Nigerian Army Amphibious Command OPLD Baga to Headquarters 403 Amphibious Brigade Baga and appointed Commander and Brig Gen JR Lar from Nigerian Army School of Artillery Kachia to Sector 3 Artillery Brigade OPLD Monguno as Commander.

“Also, Colonel DJ Abdullahi from the defunct  Headquarters Nigerian Army Special Forces’ Command Maiduguri to Headquarters 4 Special Forces’ Command Doma Nasarawa State and appointed Acting Chief of Staff, Colonel EC Emere from Nigerian Army Archives to Nigerian Military School Zaria as Deputy Commandant and Col MO Agi is to remain in Headquarters Nigerian Army Armour Corps Bauchi as Acting Chief of Staff among others.”

All the postings and appointments, the army said, are to take effect from April 1, 2020.

The Nigerian Army says it has rescued students of Federal Government Girls College, Maiduguri, who were abducted by Boko Haram insurgents in Borno state.

Olusegun Adeniyi, theatre commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, announced this while presenting the rescued victims to their families in Maiduguri, the state capital, on Monday.

He said the students, comprising a male and two females, were abducted on Maiduguri-Gubio road on Sunday.

He identified the rescued students as Wommi Laja, Ammo Laja and Kingi Laja, adding that they were rescued after a gun duel with the insurgents.

“On Feb. 9, Boko Haram insurgents came with 15 gun trucks between Magumeri and Gubio. They did a snap operation in less than two minutes and kidnapped three students,” he said.

“The students were wearing school uniforms which made it easy for them to be identified. The insurgents are against western education and they abducted them.

“The commanding officer mobilised the troops and went on hot pursuit of the insurgents’ with the help of the locals who provided intelligence. We are happy the students are here with us safe and sound.”

The theatre commander called on parents to monitor their children and encourage them to desist from wearing school uniform while travelling.

Aisha Laja, one of the victim’s parent, commended the efforts of the military and local vigilantes in rescuing their children.

She urged residents to support security operations by giving intelligent information that could prevent the activities of insurgents.

A block of 12 flats at the 3 Battalion, Army Barracks Effurun, near Warri, Delta State, have been reportedly razed by fire.

Reporters gathered that the inferno started at about 2:00am on Tuesday, destroying buildings and valuables worth several millions of naira before firefighters arrived the scene.

According to a source in the area, residents of the barracks were prevented from recording the incident on their mobile devices, adding that no life was lost in the tragedy.

The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained.