Michael Olugbode


 

Former military administrator of Borno State, Col. Abdul-Mumuni Aminu (rtd.), has praised the effort of the state governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, in addressing the menace of the Boko Haram sect in the state.

The commendation also came on a day Governor Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe State announced the re-imposition of a 12-hour curfew on Damaturu, the state capital and three other towns due to renewed attacks from members of the Boko Haram sect.

Alhaji Kashim Shettima

However, Aminu, who spoke during a condolence visit on the people over the murder of Major General Muhammadu Shuwa (rtd.), said Shettima had handled the problem with great commitment and maturity.

He said: “I have been following the trend of events in Borno State even though I have not been here. I have always been interested in what happens here as a former administrator and I will say that first, the crisis is unfortunate but from my analysis, Governor Kashim Shettima has been very wise to identify unemployment as top priority with special attention to agriculture. He was smart because I think he was the first to publicly establish this important link and he has been very consistent and this is important.”

Meanwhile, the imposition of the curfew followed an emergency security council meeting, which Gaidam had with the military Joint Task Force (JTF) and the Police at the Government House, Damaturu.

The three other towns are Buni/Yadi, Geidam and Gashua, which had suffered series of attacks in the past one week.

THISDAY checks revealed the curfew was re-imposed, following the recent incessant attacks and killings that claimed 13 lives and property put at several millions of Naira by gunmen suspected to be members of the Boko Haram sect in Fika, Buni/Yadi and Gashua towns.

The curfew, according to a statement, by the Special Adviser on Press Affairs and Information to the governor, Alhaji Abdullahi Bego, takes effect between 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. daily.

The curfew, which was declared on November 11, 2012, according to him, would be in effect until the security situation improves in the state.

Gaidam, in a statement said: “The imposition of the curfew was reached at the security meeting with the military Joint Task Force (JTF) and the Police here at the Government House, because people’s life and property must be protected from the Boko Haram insurgency. This administration is also fully committed to overcoming the security challenges, as government continue to support JTF and other security agencies.

“We urged the people to continue cooperating with the security task force and police by providing useful information on the modus operandi and hideouts of criminals that kill innocent citizens without any course.”
The statement also stated that the 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. curfew in Potiskum, still remain along with Damaturu, the state capital and three other towns of Buni/Yadi, Geidam and Gashua

 

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By Henry Umoru

 

 

ABUJA—THE Borno State Government has pointed accusing fingers at the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP as being behind the problem of Boko Haram in the state, alleging that all those killed so far were members and chieftains of All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP.

The state government said ANPP officials were killed in the guise of Boko Haram attacks, just as it expressed dismay that President Goodluck Jonathan, Vice President Namadi Sambo, Senate President David Mark, ministers and other top government officials had never visited the state since the activities of Boko Haram started because Borno State was controlled by an opposition party.

Meanwhile, the PDP national leadership has called on opposition political parties to come out and tell Nigerians if they were causing violence in the country because they want  the party (PDP) out of power.

Reacting to the accusations by the Borno State Government, PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, warned the opposition against playing politics with lives.He said: “PDP has always refrained from playing politics with issues concerning loss of lives. We believe that every Nigerian irrespective of political affiliation, religion, ethnicity has right to life.

“We want the opposition to publicly tell us if they want us to quit on account of violence in the North. They should be bold enough to tell us and the world whether they are causing violence because they want PDP out of power,” he added.

Speaking with journalists in Abuja, weekend, Borno State Commissioner for Information, Home Affairs, and Culture, Inuwa Bwala, expressed fears over the proposed dialogue between Federal Government and Boko Haram, arguing that it was difficult to tell if the demand for dialogue was actually from Boko Haram or from other people who want to use the Islamic sect as an alibi.

It will be recalled that since the activities of the sect started, many have been killed, property worth billions of Naira destroyed.

Bwala, who noted that some people have been sponsoring assassinations and wreaking havoc in the state using Boko Haram as cover up, said, “greater number of some of these things is political and that is why greater number of people killed are from ANPP, including Thursday’s killing of somebody, who converted from PDP to ANPP. General Mamma Shuwa is a member ANPP, I can continue to give names. All of them are from the ANPP. All these people being killed are from the ANPP, there is no single PDP member that has been killed till date.

“Even if it were a coincidence, we strongly believe that this thing has serious political undertones. Politicians find in Boko Haram perfect alibi to commit all sorts of crimes. Armed robbers find Boko Haram a perfect alibi to loot and attack banks. Businessmen, who have disagreement with their business partners find Boko Haram a perfect alibi to unleash terror on their business partners. To the effect that you cannot clearly define in this configuration, which one is a Boko Haram and which one is not.

“Having known ab-initio that the hostility against Borno State Government and against ANPP in Borno was to either undermine us or even dislodge us, we are not surprised that very often, some people go to the press to cause mischief. We want to call on such people to stop playing politics with this serious issue that we found ourselves in Borno State and come on board and give us solid solution on how we can resolve these things. Our doors are open.

“Even this demand for ceasefire, as much as we are very enthusiastic towards it, as much as it sounds very good, we still have our suspicions because he who comes to equity, must do so with clean hands. You have stated your terms, allowed the Federal Government or whoever it is to produce who they feel will adequately represent them, because the mention of names as possible negotiators will have far reaching implications and because of fear of such implications, that is why some of them are opting out.

“I agree that those who have been named so far as possible negotiators are very credible Nigerians, but then, one cannot tell that this demand is actually from Boko Haram or from some other people who want to use Boko Haram as an alibi, because Boko Haram has a modus operadi, one of which in the background of any of their conferences, you see a display of Arabic inscriptions, which is what they believe in. And part of their principal demand, which had been for the implementation of Sharia in some states, even across the federation is missing in the last conference for ceasefire. Boko Haram openly addressed in Hausa, but both the last two addresses were in English. Sometimes when we begin to read in between lines, you find it very difficult to understand which one is really coming from the real Boko Haram or whether it is from other sources, so doubt has already been cast on that one.

“As a government, we believe in dialogue, whoever comes to us for dialogue, so be it, even if it is coming from those who are not actually Boko Haram, of course we will embrace it because we don’t want our people to be killed any further.”

On refusal of Jonathan, Sambo, Mark and others to visit Borno State, Bwala said: “I want to be fair to the President, Vice President, Senate President, the Speaker and all other Federal Government officials for failing to come to Borno State. I will never justify their actions because Borno is part and parcel of Nigeria. Incidents of less intensity had happened in other places and they were there and had assisted them. Because the problem persists in Borno State, that does not distort the fact that we are part and parcel of Nigeria; we are entitled to privileges to every Nigerian no matter the situation.

“If as a child they think it’s our own behaviour that is causing this problem, you do not throw away the baby with the bath water. Mr. President would have shown concern even for political reasons to visit us and so our impression is that we are being given this treatment because we are in an opposition political party, otherwise we expect the President or at least the Vice President to have gone there and shown sympathy with the plight of our people.

“For even the Senate President and the Speaker, all Northerners, as I speak to you except for different missions, we have not received a Federal Government official from level of a minister to assess the situation and advise the government on what needs to be done in the Borno situation and so, we feel sad that our President has not visited us, but we are hoping that someday, he will find reason to come over.

Some of ANPP chieftains that have been killed include Awana Ngala, Chairman ANPP and cousin to Ali Sheriff; Alhaji Modu Gubio, ANPP gubernatorial candidate also a cousin to Ali Sheriff; Alhaji Goni Sheriff, younger brother to Sen. Ali Sheriff; Alhaji Lawan Yarayi, former Chairman Kukawa Local Government Area; Alhaji Lawan Kabu, former Chairman Damboa Local Government Area and Alhaji Kadiri Kaza, former Chairman Mongumo Local Government Area.

Others include Alhaji B.K also former Chairman Monguno council; Hajiya Bayayi, female Councilor Maiduguri Metropolitan; Audu Ali (Datti) Councilor Mai Sandari Maiduguri Metropolitan; Alhaji Mustapha Fulawa, a close friend of Sheriff; Alhaji Bukar Goni Kolo, a close friend of Sheriff; Engr. Isa Ngaram, General Manager Borno Housing Corporation; Mrs Zannah Gana, Commissioner for Justice; Gen. Mamman Shuwa, ANPP Board of Trustees, and party elder.

 

 

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By Muhammad Bello

 


The federal government has widen its network against the fight against the menace of terrorism and terrorism elements by harnessing the expertise of the country’s defence advisers and attaches.

Minister of State for Defence, Erelu Olusola Obada

Minister of State for Defence, Erelu Olusola Obada stated this at the opening of the 2012 annual conference of defence advisers and attaches which opened Monday within the premises of the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) in Abuja.

According to her, all security agencies must work collectively to check the increasing threats that the Boko Haram sect poses to the peace and unity of the country, stressing that “the current situation demands that all hands must be on deck to jointly put a stop to the increased activities of miscreants bent on destabilizing the country.”

More to follow…

 

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by Ihuoma Chiedozie, Abuja

 


The State Security Service on Wednesday told an Abuja Federal High Court that Senator Aliyu Ndume asked a self-confessed spokesman of the violent Islamic sect, Boko Haram, Ali Kodunga (a.ka Al-Zawahiri), to call and threaten the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice,Mohammed  Adoke (SAN).

Senator Aliyu Ndume | credits:

Konduga has since been convicted on two counts of criminal breach of public trust and intimidation through anonymous communication. He is currently serving a three-year prison term.

The SSS said it made the discovery when Ndume’s mobile telephone  call logs were analysed during investigations. The Senator  is facing terrorism charges brought against him by the Federal Government.

On June 14, 2012, a Federal High Court in Abuja presided by Justice Gabriel Kolawole,  ruled that Ndume must face trial on four counts of terrorism .

The court also dismissed a motion filed by his counsel, Chief Rickey Tarfa (SAN), seeking the dissolution of the charges against him. Ndume is accused of having links with  Boko Haram and also being involved in its activities.

When the trial resumed on Wednesday, a chief investigative officer in the SSS, Mr. James Inneh, told the court that Ndume gave Adoke’s phone number to Konduga.

According to Inneh, the alleged threat by Konduga  was to force the AGF to influence the outcome of the election tribunal sitting in Borno State in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party.

Inneh said , “Konduga, in his confessional statement told the SSS that Ndume gave him the phone number of the AGF to threaten him (AGF) that they would make Borno State ungovernable if he did not ensure that the Borno State Election Petition Tribunal gave judgment in favour of the PDP.”

The agent admitted that Ndume gave some materials he obtained from Boko Haram to Vice-President Namadi Sambo and the Director-General of the SSS, while he served as a member of the Presidential Committee on Security Challenges in the North-East.

Inneh said, “We investigated his claim by using our tradecraft. We did not have any audience with the VP but we investigated. His (Ndume) phones were sent to experts for analysis and after the phones were analysed, we did not tell him about our findings.

“He was not there when the analyses were  carried out. Some of the materials we took from his house were laptops, GSM phones, an international passport and other things.”

Inneh said he could not recall if Ndume had written a letter to the Inspector-General of Police to ask for protection.

Justice Kolawole, however,  adjourned the trial to November 1- 5 and December 11, 2012.

Ndume had asked the court to acquit him of the charges, arguing that the proof of evidence filed by the prosecution did not link him with the sect.

Ndume said his alleged relationship with Konduga, which formed the basis of the charges against him, came as a result of his membership of the presidential committee set up to address the security challenges in the North-East.

Ndume told the court that before his appointment as a member of the committee, he had no contact with Konduga or any other member of the sect.

However, in a counter-affidavit, the prosecution counsel, Mrs. Olufumilayo Fatunde, had asked the court to hold that Ndume’s trial must proceed summarily in line with Section 33(2) of the Federal High Court Act.

Ruling on the matter, the court maintained that, after studying the charges brought against the Senator, it found that he had a case to answer.

Kolawole said, “There is a link between the accused person and the offences listed in counts one to four.

“The mere presence of a probable defense to a criminal charge is not enough to quash the charge. The fact that an accused person denied the charges is not enough to quash the charges. There is a link between the accused person and some members of the Boko Haram.”

 

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by John Ameh

 


The State Security Service has summoned a serving Senator, Ahmed Zanna, over his alleged involvement with the violent Islamic sect, Boko Haram.

The summons is in connection with the arrest last week of a suspected member of the group, Shuaibu Bama, in a house believed to be the senator’s.

Senator Ahmed Zanna | credits: saharareporters.com

The Joint Task Force had arrested Bama in the building along Damboa Road in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, last Friday after soldiers stormed the House.

The JTF had claimed that Bama was one of the commanders of the sect, who had been under watch.

Zanna, who represents Borno-Central Senatorial District, confirmed the summons to newsmen on Sunday.

He admitted being aware of a text message from the Director-General of the SSS, Mr. Ekpenyong Ita, inviting him to the SSS headquarters on Monday (today).

Zanna stated that since the incident occurred he had not been contacted by security agencies until Sunday.

“Since my house was searched and the JTF made the announcement, I have not been contacted by security agencies.

“But it was only this morning (Sunday), I saw a text that the SSS DG will want to see me on Monday. I will honour the invitation”, he said.

The senator denied that Bama had any links with the sect, though he admitted that he was his sister’s son.

He described Bama as a “drug addict”, who frequently threatened to kill members of his family.

He claimed that due to his behaviour, he had to send him out of his house, but could not explain how he found his way back to his house last week.

The senator also claimed that Bama was arrested in the house of a former governor of the state, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, contrary to the report by the JTF.

When asked why the JTF linked Bama with him instead of Sheriff, the senator responded that it was a frame-up to pay him back for constantly attacking the JTF in the media.

He said, “Contrary to the claim of the JTF, the boy was arrested in Rabi Street, off Damboa Road. And the house belongs to Senator Ali Modu Sheriff.

“Before, the house belonged to one Abba Mala, a Cameroonian. And later he sold it to the late Tijjani Banki and Sheriff bought from Tijjani Banki.

“I reacted because they said they arrested the boy in the house of a serving Senator along Damboa Road and I am the one living along Damboa road.

“I really do not understand why they did all this. I am confused. If they want to frame me up, they have failed in that one because they did not get that boy in my house.

“I have nothing to do with it. Let them go and ask the person where the boy was staying. So, they should not have mentioned my house.

“Yes, he is my sister’s son. As for his behaviour, he is a drug addict. He beats up my children, he abuses my friends.

“He came to my house, so I sent him away. That was about almost a year ago. And for whatever reason I don’t know, he came to my house last week and I told my wife that he should leave the house.”

 

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