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February 2014

Gunmen kill 22 in fresh Plateau attack

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Twenty-two people were reportedly killed on Thursday in Mavo, Wase Local Government Area of Plateau State by gunmen.

According to witnesses, the suspects stormed a Tarok community in Mavo at about2:00 a.m. and killed 22 people, injuring several others.

The state Commissioner of Police, Chris Olakpe, in a telephone interview, confirmed the attack but could not confirm the casualty figure.

“I have not been fully briefed on the number of deaths in the incident,” he said.

The Wase local government interim administrator, Zakari Haruna, also confirmed the attack but said the violence had been contained. He declined comment on the number of persons killed but said several houses were razed.

A security source, who spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not officially detailed to do so, told PREMIUM TIMES in a telephone interview that he counted 22 dead bodies with over 10 houses burnt down by the attackers

A victim of the attack, one Nangak, also narrated: “The attackers came to our village in their hundreds and started shooting sporadically, while we were still asleep.”

PREMIUM TIMES gathered that the incident created tension in Wase, headquarters of the council, as youth protesting the killings were attacked by security agents.

Wase has recently been ridden with conflicts between Taroks and Fulanis.

This latest attack came less than 48 hours after gunmen attacked some communities in Riyom Local Government Area, leaving about 30 people dead with no arrest made by security agencies.

Source: Premium Times

Army Has Beefed-Up Security in Lagos Over Alleged Threat By Terrorists, Says GOC

The Nigerian Army on Wednesday said it had initiated measures to boost its capacity to contain all forms of terrorism and insurgency in Lagos.

The General Officer Commanding (GOC) 81 Division, Nigerian Army, Maj.-Gen. Umahi Obi, said this at the inauguration of the 65 Battalion Alfa and Bravo Company Offices in Lagos.

The project was sponsored by Lt.-Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (rtd), under the leadership of the Commanding Officer, Lt.-Col. Haruna Dasuki.

Umahi’s declaration came in the wake of the recent security threat by the Boko Haram sect, threatening to infiltrate and unleash mayhem against military formations in Lagos.

“In the army, when we plan for operations or even when we take our threat analysis, we assume the worst case scenario in our plans and we plan from that point of strength.

“We come up with contingencies to deal with the worst situations and if the situation is lighter, it makes it easier for us in terms of executing it.

“So, we are prepared for any manner of scenario and we are dressing up for it,” he said.

The GOC said notwithstanding, the upper hand by the military, they would not lower their guards.

He said that if anything happens anywhere in the country, they would be proactive enough to tackle it.

While admitting knowledge of the rumours making the rounds on alleged plans by the Boko Haram sect to attack military formations, he said the services were in top gear to counter such attacks.

“We are aware of the rumour of an attack making the rounds but there is nothing concrete as yet to substantiate it.

“But the information available, either at a rumour or intelligence level, would not be wished away; rather we would factor it in our contingency plans.

“We don’t arrest for the fun of it; rather, because we have concrete evidence that there is a link between the suspects and terrorism.

“We have not made any arrests recently but if we see the need to make any arrests, we will do so,” he said.

While commending Danjuma, he said the Transformation Agenda in the army was not a mere talk-shop.

He said the programme represents action backed by action, pointing out that anyone that has not imbibed the attitudinal change has not keyed into the agenda.

Earlier, Dasuki said that Danjuma bought into the idea because the unit was not empowered financially to take up such a huge project.

However, Danjuma, who was represented by the former GOC, 81 Division, Maj.-Gen. Abdul Tanko (rtd), called on the current Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Kenneth Minimah, to be focused.

He said Minimah should also carry everybody along, in order to succeed.

“I know that the new COAS, would do well, having worked under me as a Battalion Commander.

“I urge him to be focussed and to ensure he carries everyone along.

“It is also imperative that he does not work in isolation because the Armed Forces work and cooperate with others in other to succeed,” he added. (NAN)

Security Expert Raises Alarm Over Use of Convoys By Terrorists

Renowned security expert, Dr. Ona Ekhomu, yesterday, raised an alarm over the use of convoys by terrorists who were being mistaken for politicians in some northern states of the country.

Consequently, he called for a ban on political campaign convoys in the affected states until the terrorists were rooted out.

Ekhomu also urged the military to invent new strategies, such as deploying ‘force multipliers,’ including specialised security tips hotlines, customised intelligence operations, perception management, and aerial rapid response in the war against terrorist attacks, if the April deadline set by the Chief of Defence Staff must be met.

Ekhomu, who spoke in Lagos, described the recent terrorist attacks in a Catholic Church in Madagali Local Government Area of Adamawa State, and four other local government areas of Borno State, as brazen and deadly.

According to him, the terrorists have shown adaptive capacity by choosing to carry out stealth attacks in communities, villages and towns in these areas, while avoiding military patrols that tended to concentrate on the highways.

Source: Vanguard

FG Seeks Support on Campaign Against Terrorists

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The Federal Government on Sunday urged Nigerians to pray for the security agents partaking in the ongoing military action to end the reign of terror in parts of the country.

The Minister of Information,  Labaran Maku,  gave the charge at a special thanksgiving service in honour of Maj.-Gen. Chris Olukolade, the Defence spokesman, in Abuja.

The service was held at Redeem Christian Church of God (RCCG), Central Parish, Abuja.

 “We call on the relentless prayers and support of citizens for the security agents as they battle to end the menace of insurgency in parts of the country,’’ he said.

Maku, who is also the Supervising Minister for Defence, said the task undertaken by security agents to protect human sanctity against insurgents required the cooperation of all well-meaning citizens.

He explained that members of the security community had in the discharge of their duties in recent times sacrificed a lot for the sake of peace, unity and development of the country.

“With the support from the Federal Government and the entire public, the present fight against insurgency in parts of the North-East, would be won and peace shall be restored in the affected areas,’’ Maku said.

On the elevation of Olukolade to the rank of Major-General, the minister said it came as a result of his contribution in the advancement of the country’s military.

“ Olukolade’s promotion was as a result of sheer hard work and dedication to duty as demonstrated in his handling of information on the ongoing military operations across the country,’’ he said.

He described Olukolade as an accomplished officer who had served the country dutifully so far, adding that “his outstanding approach to duty should be a model for younger officers to emulate’’.

Earlier, Pastor Tunde Oduwole, urged the people not to give up on God, saying God will intervene in the challenges facing the country.

Oduwole, however, urged the people to turn away from evil and return to God, adding that those in position of authority must have fear of God.

 “The political leadership should adopt a godly approach to solving the country’s mirage challenges, this should include steps that are capable of addressing the challenges confronting the poor amongst us,’’ he said.

In an interview with newsmen after the service, Olukolade said his elevation to the rank of a Major-General was an act of God.
According to him,  my excellent journey in the military so far was facilitated by God and made easy by my colleagues, this I mean, soldiers and officers both serving and retired that I have been privileged to work with.

Source: Dailytimes Nigeria

Outspoken religious leader killed in Nigeria

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A Muslim religious leader, who had previously criticised Boko Haram, and a Christian preacher have been killed in northern Nigeria in separate attacks blamed on the armed group.

Shaikh Adam Albani’s car came under fire at 10:30pm on Saturday in Zaria, as he drove home from teaching a theology class, the AFP news agency reported on Sunday.

Local resident Mohammed Usman said Albani’s wife and son were hit, while the gunmen appeared to have dragged him from the car and shot him at close range.

“We kept hearing gunshots very close to our homes and later we heard the sound of a car retreating and when we later came to the scene we found Sheikh Albani lying outside the car with lots of bullet holes on him,” Usman said.

“He was still alive but his wife and a child she was holding in the front seat were already dead while the rest of the children sitting in the back seat were unharmed.”

Albani had been critical of Boko Haram and supported a Nigerian military campaign against the group.

Rushed to hospital

Albani’s brother Kaburu Adam said the religious leader died shortly after being admitted to a hospital.

In a separate incident, gunmen killed a pastor in an attack on a church in Sabon Garin Yambdula, in the Madagali area of Adamawa state late on Friday.

Ten people tried to repel the attack with hunting rifles, said Madagali local government chairman Maina Ularamu, according to AFP.

“All we know is that the gunmen were not soldiers, although they were dressed in military uniform, because some of them wore bathroom slippers instead of boots,” he said. Others had their faces covered, he added.

The attackers stole four cows and also killed two goats, said Ularamu, who declined to say whether Boko Haram fighters were responsible.

The attack came after 26 people, most of them worshippers, were killed in a Roman Catholic Church in Waga Chakawa, also in Madagali, last Sunday, and a roadside bomb that killed seven people.

The Nigerian government has been battling Boko Haram, designated as a terrorist organisation by the United States, since 2009 and last May declared a state of emergency in three northeastern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe to rein in the fighters.

But attacks often targeting Christians and educational institutions have continued amid accusations against security forces of human rights abuses perpetrated against civilians.

Source: Al-Jazeera

Nigeria Trains 937 Officers on Counter Insurgency

The Nigerian Army School of Infantry, Jaji, Kaduna said it trained 937 soldiers on counter terrorism as part of efforts to strengthen the fight against terrorism.

A breakdown of those, who attended the six-week training in the school, showed 489 were from Headquarters Infantry Corp Centre; 200, 7 Division; and 248, Nigeria Army Ordnance Corps (NAOC).

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Kenneth Minimah, said the training was organised to prepare the soldiers to efficiently handle the current security challenges in the country.

He said as part of its efforts to fight terrorism, the army established new Division in Borno in the North-East to add brigades and strengthen army operations.

“The current security challenges facing the country, most especially in the North-East zone of the country, has made the Nigerian Army concerted efforts in fighting against terrorism,’’ he said.

Represented by Maj.-Gen. Garba Wahab, the General Officer Commanding, 1 Division, Nigeria Army, Kaduna, Minimah commended the soldiers for their level of discipline and proficiency.

He directed them to deploy their new knowledge “to counter terrorists acts in real battle and other emergency situations”.
Minimah also directed them “to react swiftly and efficiently” during counter terrorism operations.

“It is the desire of the Nigeria Army to make you better professionals in your respective fields. This can only be achieved through continuous training.”

In his speech, the Commandant of the school, Maj.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, said that the participants had distinguished themselves during the training, and expressed confidence in their ability to rise to any security challenge.

He said: “Nigeria Army School of Infantry (NASI) has been a major facilitator and force multiplier in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria’’.

He appreciated the support of the Army high command, saying that the school would continue to discharge its role more effectively.

Source: Dailytimes Nigeria

Nigerian police free three Indians kidnapped off E.Guinea

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Nigerian police have rescued three Indian sailors who were kidnapped from a cargo ship off the coast of Equatorial Guinea last month, a rare success story in its fight against piracy.

The Equatorial Guinea-owned MV San Miguel was attacked by pirates on January 3 and three Indian crew members were kidnapped, the Nigerian State Security Services (SSS) said on Saturday.

“On 30th January 2014, this service in collaboration with the military rescued three Indians … No ransom was paid for their release,” the SSS said in a statement.

Most acts of piracy in West Africa are carried out by Nigerian gangs who usually steal the cargo, often fuel, and rob or kidnap crew members. Nigeria is Africa’s largest crude oil exporter and also a major fuel importer, making it a busy and poorly secured shipping lane.

Hostages are usually transferred to hideouts in the crime-ridden creeks of the Niger Delta before being released once a ransom is paid, security experts say. Pirate attacks jumped by a third off the coast of West Africa last year, pushing up insurance costs for shipping firms operating in a key commodities export hub.

There are signs that the capacity of hijackers is growing after pirates attacked an oil tanker off the coast of Angola and sailed it to the Nigerian coast last month, in what was the most southerly attack on record.

Source: SABC News.com

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