March 15th this year, Boko Haram staged a bloody attack on Magumeri village, Borno state. At least two policemen and several soldiers were killed. What was most worrisome about the attack was the fact that State Security Service, SSS, the
Criminal Investigation Bureau of the Nigeria Police, as well as the Civilian-JTF informed an investigative panel that the Nigerian army was alerted of the impending attack and did not act.
Shockingly, the army through spokesman Sani Usman had attempted to accuse the residents of conniving with the terrorists, before the fact-finding panel discovered the very opposite.
According to an April 7th report, Boko Haram terrorists attacked a military convoy headed to Gulumba, near Gubdori. Four soldiers were reported killed with 5 troops injured of which 4 were missing, Naij reported citing Daily Mail. Abu Musab Al-Barnawi orchestrated that successful attack.
At the same time, Boko Haram attacked a military base in Wajirko village, some 150 kilometres from Maiduguri, outgunning and forcing the soldiers to flee, then raiding the base of weapons and ammunition before setting it ablaze. This attack was perpetrated by the Mamman Nur terrorist faction, Naij reported referencing the Punch.
Later the same April, Boko Haram killed a soldier and injured a police officer in an attack on the Dalori sector-3 military checkpoint, outside the city of Maiduguri. The terrorists carted away weapons and set fire to the shack, Daily Trust reported on the 13th.
On Sunday, April 16th, 200 Boko Haram terrorists on motorcycles descended on a military base at Sabon Gari, according to Vanguard and SaharaReporters . The terrorists had five gun trucks and overran the base killing 5 soldiers, injuring 9 with 4 missing. They burnt down the signal office, two Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs), a Hilux van. The terrorists sacked the base of food and ammunitions.
April 19th/20th, the Vanguard report detailed another attack on troops of 82 Division Task Force Battalion. An Improvised Explosive Device, IED, laid by the terrorists was used in this attack, while the soldiers were on patrol along the Ngoshe-Bokkotinta-Pulka axis. Three soldiers were killed and two injured. The terrorists seized a gun truck, a mine lab detector device and four AK-47 rifles.
April ending, Boko Haram terrorists killed 5 soldiers and seriously injured 40 in an attack on a military convoy headed to Damboa, an officer told Daily Post. Abu Mus’ab Al-Barnawi was responsible, the report indicated.
May 4th, in an attack at Mandarari ward in Konduga Local Government Area of Borno, two suspected female suicide bombers killed 7 people and injured 6 others.
Boko Haram on Saturday May 13th killed at least six farmers working on their land outside Amarwa village, 16km from Maiduguri, AlJazeera reported. ThisDay put the number killed at 11. Responding to the alarm raised by the villagers, the brave Civilian-JTF pursued and killed 4 of the terrorists.
Also on the same day, one person was killed and another wounded by a Boko Haram suicide bomb attack at university of Maiduguri.
May 16, two female bombers killed 2 and injured 7 in an attack at Shuwari Buri village, 38 kilometres from Maiduguri, Vanguard reported.
May 18th, two soldiers were injured in a suicide bomb attack near a refugee camp in Konduga town of Borno state.
May 19th, three male suicide bombers attacked the University of Maiduguri injuring some soldiers, Civilian-JTF and college security.
The night of Saturday, May 20, Boko Haram on a looting spree sacked villages in Mussa district and opened fire on villagers in Askira/Uba local government area. SaharaReporters’ witness said at least 46 people were shot and 7 killed and many reported missing.
Same May 20th, Four Civilian-JTF IDPs, from the Dalori-1 Camp of Maiduguri were beheaded by the Boko Haram while hunting.
May 28th and 31st in two attacks terrorists reportedly killed as many as 21 citizens in villages near Chibok. The attacks occurred at Kaya village and near Gumsri, theCable reported.
Perhaps the biggest and most public assault by Boko Haram wad the Wednesday June 7th attack on Maiduguri, capital of Borno state. Reuters pointed out that this 45 minute gun-battle at the capital, transpired 6 months after president Muhammadu Buhari had declared the terrorists technically defeated.
Hours before a scheduled visit by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, Boko Haram terrorists staged the daring two-prong attack on Maiduguri. Armed gunmen invaded the Jiddari Polo area with anti-aircraft guns, according to Damian Chukwu, the state police commissioner at the same time, suicide bombers attacked another part of the city. At least 14 were killed and two-dozen injured in the attack on Muslims breaking their fast. Although the Army claimed it repelled the attack on Jiddari Polo, the terrorists released video claiming the attack was a success and flaunting the arms and ammunitions they ‘captured’ from the Nigerian army. Like some other attacks, locals said they alerted the Nigerian security services of the gathered terrorists and impending attack at least three hours earlier, but the army did not act.
A June 8th bomb attack in Fadaman Rake area of Hong Local Government in Adamawa State left two children dead and three injured.
Boko Haram terrorists attacked attacked Yale village in Konduga Local Government Area of Borno State June 10th, shooting sporadically and killed two vigilantes, PremiumTimes reported.
June 13, DailyPost reported that Boko Haram ambushed Nigerian troops at Damboa axis and succeeded in hijacking two hilux vehicles
June 17th. Scores were feared dead as Boko Haram invaded Gumsiri community near Damboa at 6pm break ramadan fast time. There were no soldiers of the Nigerian army to defend the community and the terrorists easily overpowered the brave Civilian-JTF. CJTF said: “Many may have been killed. Hundreds of civilians fled to Damboa.”
The morning of June 20th, in the latest of a series of attacks on travelers on the reopened Maiduguri-Biu federal highway, a large convoy of commercial, private and government vehicles passing through the Damboa road was attacked by the terrorists. Locals reported 8 police officers and several civilian travelers including a bus driver killed.
Also June 20 Boko Haram terrorists opened fire on 57 members of the MOPOL 51 Police Mobile Force from Oghara. In the unfolding story, at least 6 police officers were injured and as many as 57 officers reported missing.
While this report is not complete, it digs up enough media reports on serious attacks of all kinds by Boko Haram terrorists in the northeast, especially Borno. The following are observed from a cursory analysis:
1. The Boko Haram threat cannot be described as contained.
2. Studying the trend, it appears Boko Haram is getting stronger, acquiring more military vehicles, equipment and ammunition and staging more daring attacks on civilians and the military.
3. There are worrying reports of the Nigerian military being alerted ahead of attacks and turning its back on the communities, thus facilitating the unhindered assault by the terrorists. This adds to a scary public narrative that the Nigerian army suspended its assault on Sambisa forest for two weeks, allowing the terrorists escape and relocate. For more details on this, please read my earlier release: “Borno Residents Agitated Over Apparent Military Synergy With Boko Haram.”
4. The recent reported inadvertent funding of the terror organisation including in the undisclosed October 2016 negotiations that freed some 21 abducted girls and the May 2017 funding to the tune of 2 million Euros and release of 5 terror masterminds by the Buhari administration in negotiations to free abducted Chibok girls, can be accessed to have substantially increased the organizing capacity and deadly strength of the terror organisation.
5. All three leaders of the three arms of Boko Haram appear to be alive and in active duty in spite of military claims of success in bombing campaigns against the terrorists.
“Abubakar Shekau” has made numerous press releases and claimed deadly attacks, including the latest on the state capital. Ansaru leader Mamman Nur, is still well in capacity and Abu Musab al-Barnawi, son of late Mohammed Yusuf, still runs his show. It is not known whether Khalid Barnawi, the other section leader recently captured by the Nigerian army has been released in recent controversial negotiations.
6. The submission many of us have made, that Boko Haram cannot be fully defeated until and unless its sponsors, local and foreign are known and addressed is greatly reinforced by the intractable apparent nature of the Boko Haram terror menace. Neither the Jonathan nor Buhari government has exposed or apprehended a single top-level political sponsor of Boko Haram.
7. Contrary to publicity statements of the DHQ and President Muhammadu Buhari, Boko Haram still controls large swaths of Nigeria’s territory where it operates form and “hides” captured artillery and numerous seized military vehicles and tanks. Regular army press releases of hundreds of abductees being liberated also proves the terrorists still control enough land it inhabits along with its captives.
Recommendations And Demands
a. Cognizant of the above factors, we demand a full, thorough and honest briefing of the actual terror threat posed by Boko Haram. Nigerians deserve to know how large the terrorist group currently is. What parts of the northeast it occupies and its leadership structure, capacity and internal and external relations.
b. We demand a thorough appraisal of the Nigerian military’s counter-insurgency capacity. Over two years in, we suggest a review of the Buhari strategy against Boko Haram towards developing an effective new approach employing all resources including community and citizens –Civilian-JTF, hunters, ex-officers, etc – towards putting a real lid on the Boko Haram threat.
c. As was provided during the previous Jonathan regime, we demand up to date DHQ press releases of territories captured and terrorists killed in military operations in the northeast.
d. It is no shame when evil terrorists are successful in killing civilians and soldiers. The shame is only when the Nigerian army attempts to hide the figures. We hereby demand the Nigerian military reconsider its strategy of silence and dishonest information propagation and institutes a new attitude of respect for the sanctity of life by releasing lists of names of brave Nigerians and martyrs killed in all Boko Haram attacks, whether civilian or military. Our lives are more than numbers, worse still when the numbers are deflated in a only-seen-in-Nigeria fake news military disinformation campaign.
e. In view of a recent report we released on our findings of the take over of trade in Borno by members of the Nigerian army, we demand investigation and immediate dismantling of such bestial and unconstitutional operation that represents an abdication of responsibility and oppression of hosts and victims.
f. We demand an investigation into the conduct of the Nigerian security departments due to accusations ranging from permissiveness to collaborations with terrorists.
g. Due to the great risk to our soldiers and civilians, we demand Nigeria stop negotiating with terrorists and in the future desists from ever funding terrorists or freeing terror masterminds with blood or rape on their hands. Only wives and children and members who have never killed or raped can be released in exchanges.
h. Finally, we demand the local and international political sponsors of Boko Haram are exposed and dealt with
CPC uncovers poisonous rice depot in Akwa Ibom, warns consumers over Mama Gold, Royal Stallion
The Consumers Protection Council (CPC) has uncovered a depot where substandard and poisonous rice are being bagged in Akwa Ibom state, and sold to unsuspecting consumers.
CPC Director-General, Mr. Babatunde Irukera, who led his team and newsmen to the place at IBB Way in Uyo on Friday, said the Council has apprehended eight persons with over 1000 bags of the substandard rice worth millions of Naira confiscated.
The DG announced that those behind the act of re-bagging substandard rice to sell to unsuspecting consumers would be prosecuted to serve as deterrent to others.
“This is the third of all the locations of our sting operation in Uyo with respect to putting away substandard product from the market, specifically rice.
“What we have found here is very sad, a proposed warehouse but nothing here than re-bagged substandard rice.
“All the perpetrators of this act would be prosecuted, not only prosecuting them, but I will advocate for our laws to be respected and sufficient provision for the Customs’ Act for the forfeiture of the building used for this illegality,” Irukera said.
He assured consumers that the monitoring exercise would be routine, to get rid of substandard products from the market and protect the health of consumers.
He urged consumers to be careful where they make their purchases, adding that when they are in doubt they should speak out.
“Consumers need to complain when things go wrong. If somebody buys something that is not good the person should complain. If you don’t like something, say something,” he said.
The DG further warned residents against buying Mama Gold and Royal Stallion rice as the products are no longer in the market.
Speaking to newsmen, one of the operatives of the shop in Udoma street in Etuk Market, Mr Kanayo Jackson, said that they have been in the business since 2013.
He said most of the people selling rice in Akpan Andem and Itam Market in Uyo metropolis have been in the business for long.
“It is not only in Udoma Steet that people are re-bagging rice, there are many other places like Akpan Andem and Itam market.
“I am only working for my brother, Mr Jackson. We buy the empty bags and re-bag the rice for sale.”
He told newsmen that security operatives have been coming to the shop before, but their boss used to “settle” the security operatives.
AT A GLANCE: Enugu airport, Maritime University… major projects affected by n’assembly’s cuts
President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday signed the 2018 budget into law, eight months after he presented the proposal to the national assembly.
In his budget signing speech, the president said the national assembly reduced the provisions for some projects and added 6,403 projects of their own to the budget.
The provisions for the National Housing Programme, Mambilla power plant, Second Niger Bridge, and security infrastructure for Unity schools were slashed.
The takeoff grant for Maritime University and the construction of a terminal building at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, were also affected.
At present, flights cannot operate at night at the Enugu airport because there are no approach lights, which should be installed at both ends of the runway.
Hadi Sirika, minister of state for aviation, has said an upgrade of the airport would result in job creation and investments. However, the president says the national assembly’s actions will delay the completion of the project.
Here are some of the major projects whose provisions got slashed by the national assembly.
PROJECT REDUCED BY NEW BUDGET
Construction of the terminal building at Enugu Airport N1.5 billion N500 million
Mambilla power plant, Second Niger Bridge, East-West Road, Bonny-Bodo Road, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and Itakpe-Ajaokuta Rail Project N11.5 billion N/A
Abuja mass transit rail project, arterial roads N7.5 billion N/A
Rehabilitation of United Nations Building, Abuja N3.9 billion N100 million
Establishment of chemotherapy centres, upgrade of tertiary health institutions N7.45 billion N/A
Security infrastructure for Unity schools N3 billion N/A
National housing programme N8.7 billion N/A
Pension redemption fund and Public service wage adjustment N5 billion N/A
Export Expansion Grant (EEG) and Special Economic Zones/Industrial Parks N14.5 billion N/A
Take off grant for Maritime University, Delta state N1.6 billion N3.4 billion
2018 budget: Buhari govt gives breakdown of allocations
The Federal Government says in spite of the delay in signing the 2018 Appropriation Bill into law, it is determined to ensure effective execution.
Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma, Minister of Budget and Planning, gave the assurance on Thursday in Abuja at the presentation of the approved 2018 Budget of Consolidation.
The N9.12 trillion 2018 budget was signed by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday after it was raised from N8.61 trillion by the National Assembly.
Giving a breakdown of the allocations, Udoma said capital expenditure would gulp 31.5 per cent of the total expenditure at N2.87 trillion, adding that this was more than N2.36 trillion allocated in 2017.
Recurrent non-debt spending would rise from N2.99 trillion in 2017 to N3.51 trillion in 2018.
Udoma said the Federal Government planned to spend N2.01 trillion on debt servicing (21 per cent of budget), adding that provision to retire maturing bond to local contractors increased by seven per cent from N177 billion in 2017 to N190 billion for the current fiscal year.
He explained this was in view of the ambitious plan to liquidate all contractor debt arrears of the Federal Government going back several years.
He said that the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing had the highest allocation with N715 billion for both recurrent and capital expenditure, Ministry of Interior would get N577 billion while Ministry of Defence was allocated N576 billion.
Ministry of Education was allocated N542 billion, Ministry of Health N356 billion, Ministry of Transportation, N267 billion and Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, N203 billion.
Others are Ministry of Water Resources, N155 billion, Office of the National Security Adviser, N123 billion, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, N118 billion, and Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, N116 billion.
He added that the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation was allocated N112 billion.
Udoma, while highlighting some of the projects to be carried out in the year, said infrastructure, security and human development were the focus of the government.
He said N530.8 million would be used in constructing the terminal building at Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu , and N8.32 billion used for the construction of the second runway of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
According to him, while N162.28 billion was scheduled as counterpart funding for railway projects, N9.4 billion was set aside as counterpart fund for the Mambilla hydro-power project.
He said that N344 billion was allocated for the construction and rehabilitation of several roads nationwide and N26.7 billion allocated to National Housing Programme.
For health, he said N55.15 billion had been allocated to the implementation of the National Health Act, while N300 million had been set aside for health emergencies and contagious diseases outbreaks.
For agriculture, Udoma said over N25.1 billion was allocated for promotion and development of value chain across more than 30 different commodities to ensure food security,
He also said that N5.30 billion was allocated for National Grazing Reserve Development.
The minister said that procurement of ammunition of various types and calibers would cost N5.3 billion, while construction of new military barracks in five geo-political zones would gulp N2.3 billion.
For mines and steel, he said N644 million would be used for the establishment of mining regulatory agency for the sector and N450 million used to reclaim abandoned mine sites.
For education, Udoma said the Universal Basic Education Commission was allocated N109 billion and N9.2 billion allocated for various scholarship allowances.
He added that N65 billion was allocated for re-integration of transformed ex-militants under the Presidential Amnesty Programme, while N45 billion was allocated for the Federal Initiative for North-East (Pilot counterpart funding contribution).
Udoma said that the goal of the 2018 budget was to consolidate on the g
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