By Njadvara Musa, Maiduguri

 


BARELY 24 hours after the killing of two Indian nationals at their Gum Arabic factory in Zajeri industrial area of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, men of the Joint Task Force (JTF) in the early hours of yesterday arrested 26 suspected Boko Haram gunmen in a special operation at Kashuwan Shanu and Government Reservation Area (GRA) of the metropolis.

The security task force also killed two suspected terrorists at the Biafara Bula-bublin area of the metropolis Thursday at about 4.00 p.m.

Disclosing the arrests and killings yesterday, in Maiduguri, the spokesman of JTF, Lt. Col Sagir Musa, in a statement said: “The operation led to the arrest of 26 terrorists and the killing of two suspected members of Boko Haram gunmen at Biafra Bula-bulin, Kasuwan Shanu and GRA in Maiduguri. Some of the suspects killed and arrested were responsible for the killings of two Indians, an Islamic cleric and several other killings in Maiduguri in the past.”

He noted that during the special operations, two Kalashnikov rifles, three AK 47 magazines and 200 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunitions were also recovered from the arrested terrorists.

Other arms and ammunition recovered yesterday, he added, include a primed Improvised Explosive Device (IED), which was detonated by the Bomb Disposal Unit of JTF.

He further disclosed that cutlasses, daggers and charms, including blood-stained cloth used during the killing of an Islamic cleric at Kashuwan Shanu, Maiduguri, were also recovered from the suspects.

 

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From Madu Onuorah (Abuja), Ali Garba (Bauchi) and Njadvara Musa (Maiduguri)

 


Army introduces new anti-terrorism device

VIOLENCE is yet to abate in some parts of the North and the nation’s security personnel seems to be the main target now.  Three policemen attached to the Bauchi State Command were killed yesterday by suspected Boko Haram  gunmen.

On Wednesday, armed men belonging to the same Boko Haram sect, attacked and set ablaze the Gubio Divisional Police Station in Borno State, killing two of the security agents while a civilian was hit by a stray bullet. The incident occurred at about 1.00 p.m.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army has introduced a locally- produced vehicle stopper aimed at helping to check terror attacks by bomb-vehicles.

Two inspectors and a corporal were those sent to their early graves in the Bauchi attack. The gunmen were said to have made away with three police rifles after opening fire at the security agents who were on active patrol along the Bauchi-Gombe Road.

It was learnt that the policemen had just resumed duty at the patrol spot when the gunmen opened fire at them. According to a source, the fourth policeman narrowly escaped death with his rifle and ran into the bush.

The Public Relations Officer of the state police command, Mohammed Auyo, confirmed the attack to newsmen in his office. Auyo said investigation had been launched into the attack. According to him, a team of policemen had combed the scene of the attack in search of the culprits. The PPRO expressed optimism that the hoodlums would be apprehended.

He solicited useful information from members of the public that will assist the police in arresting the suspects. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

In Borno, an eyewitness and resident of the Gubio area, Ibrahim Hassan, said “the gang of gunmen came in three unmarked vehicles with Kalashnikov rifles chanting ‘God is great’ and attacked the Gubio Divisional Police Station with petrol-bombs and Improvised Explosives Devices (IEDs), before marching to the local council secretariat complex and set it ablaze in the afternoon.

He said residents living near the police station and the secretariat complex had to scamper for safety as shops and some market stalls were hurriedly closed by traders.

“The policemen were taken unawares when gunmen numbering about 25 attacked the divisional police station and our local council secretariat this afternoon. The two buildings were set ablaze, using some IEDs and petrol-bombs shooting sporadically to scare us,” Hassan said. “After the attacks, two policemen were seen lying on the ground”, he added.

Speaking on the incidents yesterday, the Borno State Police Commissioner, Bala Hassan, said two police officers on duty were killed while three others were wounded in an attempt to protect the station from the rampaging gunmen.

He said no arrests had been made, as efforts to track down the Boko Haram terrorists were being intensified with information provided by some residents of Gubio yesterday.

Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, said the new device, which was distributed to nine churches and mosques each, is aimed at curtailing the spate of terror attacks directed at worship centres by the Boko Haram sect.

According to Ihejirika, “the device is so unique that it can stop any vehicle that comes into contact with it from any direction.” It was locally-produced by the same unit of the Nigerian Army engineers led by the Director of Policy (Army), Maj.-Gen. Ekwenugo Richard Chioba. The unit had earlier constructed the indigenous Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) commissioned by President Goodluck Jonathan on July 2, 2012.

The Chief of Army Staff said “the unfolding security challenges confronting the nation amongst which is the Boko Haram terrorist menace have continued to hinder the progress of the transformation agenda of Mr. President as well as the development of the nation at large. The terrorists over the years have continued to attack places of worship (churches and mosques) in order to destabilise the nation.”

Represented by the Chief of Civil Military Affairs, Nigerian Army, Maj.-Gen. Bitrus Kwaji, Gen. Ihejirika stated that production of the vehicle stopper became imperative because “it has been discovered that most attacks of suicide bombers are being carried out with vehicles loaded with Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). The mode of operation is simple as a suicide bomber drives his vehicle straight into his target and explosion occurs. In order to disallow bombers from reaching their targets, this invention comes in handy as it forcefully stops (and hangs on) any vehicle that comes into contact with it.”

He said that the Army provided the stoppers to worship centres as part of its corporate social responsibility, adding those who need more “could decide to make more as the technology is very simple to understand.”

 

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BY NDAHI MARAMA

 


MAIDUGURI -A  gang of gunmen suspected to be members of the Boko Haram sect, Wednesday  killed two Indian nationals and injured three others at their Gum Arabic factory at about 1pm Wednesday  at the Zajeri Industrial area of Maiduguri in Borno state.

The gunmen, according to an eyewitness demanded for unspecified sum of money from the Indian traders, before they fired several gun shots into the factory and fled in an unmarked vehicle chanting Allahu Akbar, ( God is great!)

The eyewitness  said: “We had to run for our  lives, as the gunmen continued to fire sporadically to scare us from the scene,” adding that it took the Joint Task Force (JTF) half an hour before the soldiers arrived at the Zajeri Industrial Area prevent further attacks and killings.

He said none of the local residents were killed or injured, except for the five Indian nationals that were killed and wounded in the attacks.

Hospital sources at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) told our Correspondent in a telephone conversation Wednesday that two bodies of the dead Indians and the  injured were brought into the hospital’s Accident & Emergency Unit (AEU) by men of JTF in their patrol van at about 1.30pm.

The attendant said that the three injured Indian nationals have already been put under intensive unit while the  bodies of the dead had been deposited at hospital morgue for autopsy and identifications by relations.

Confirming the incident, the spokesman of JTF, Lt. Col Sagir Musa in a signed press statement said that two Indians were killed and another injured at the Gum Arabic Factory.

The statement  in part: “information available to the JTF indicated that suspected Boko Haram terrorists attacked a Gum Arabic Factory operated by Indians located at Bayern Quarters, Maiduguri metropolis at 1pm today during the heavy down pour of rain. The incident led to the death of two Indians and one wounded and is receiving treatment at UMTH.”

He said the suspects made away with thousands of naira from the factory, adding that the area has been condoned; and search was in progress with a view of apprehending the culprits.

 

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by Friday Olokor

 


National Vice- Chairman of the Arewa Consultative Forum, Senator Joseph Waku, has described as “reckless”, comments credited to the National President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, before the United States Congress’ Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights chaired by Mr. Christopher Smith.

Oritsejafor had asked that Boko Haram should be classified as a terrorist organisation.

He warned that if the CAN President was not called to order by Christians, his comments could further divide the country along ethnic and religious lines.

The ACF leader in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, said by now, Oritsejafor, should represent the country well wherever he found himself.”

He said, “Some of us who are equally Christians need to caution Oritsejafor to stop hiding under his leadership of CAN to make reckless statements that can further divide the country along ethnic and religious lines as well as damage our image abroad.

“It is because Oritsejafor has been allowed to make these reckless statements at home unchecked, that he is now so emboldened to take his personal agenda and campaign of calumny being executed with the name of CAN to the international arena.

“That Oritsejafor could go before a US congress committee to make a case against the Nigerian government position on the Boko Haram debacle is unfortunate and condemnable.

“This is because the ultimate consequence of his action will not only affect a section of the country, but the entire nation, its economy and the free movement of its citizens across countries of the world.”

He warned that if the CAN president would not stop rolling such comments on sensitive national issues, “some of us in the Christian fold will be helping him by replying him before he succeeds in creating a different impression about Christianity to other religions.”

 

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by Simon Utebor

 


Founder, Ifeoluwa Mission, Rev. Tela Tella, said on Tuesday that Boko Haram assumed the monster it had become because President Goodluck Jonathan failed to apply the ruthlessness of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo | credits:

At a news conference, Tella, said the level the dreaded sect had got to could no longer be tackled by force but by persuasion and dialogue.

He said, “The mistake President Goodluck Jonathan made about Boko Haram was that he did not borrow from Obasanjo’s ruthlessness. Now, he has missed it; he cannot use force anymore.

“Applying force now is too late. There is already total confusion in his administration. Boko Haram is beyond him because he did not take action quickly.”

However, he said Jonathan was the Lord’s chosen and nothing anybody could do about it.

“It is true that Jonathan is not one of the most powerful persons that is supposed to lead the country. But who are you to oppose the Lord’s chosen? Majority of Nigerians voted for him, so that means God wants him there,” he said.

 

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Michael Olugbode

 


Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State Tuesday said the activities of the Boko Haram sect were doing more harm to Islam than good.

Shettima said the sect has only achieved painting the religion noted for its peaceful disposition in bad light.

Governor Kashim Shettima

Speaking at the launching of his wife’s foundation, Hajia Nana Shettima’s Foundation, the governor asked rhetorically: “what has Islam against an easy-going Igbo trader that is killed by members of the sect, or perhaps has Islam instructed that religious centres should be attacked?”

The governor said it was disturbing that the group is identified as an Islamic sect as they are only damaging the name of the religion that has been built for centuries.

He said if the sect reserved any sense of decency, it was time to approach the roundtable for discussion and stop the killings which is doing no good to anyone and the religion.

Explaining the purpose for the establishment of the foundation, the wife of the governor said it is to cater for the needs of widows, orphans and other vulnerable groups in the state.

“Our mission is to improve the welfare of the needy to foster growth and development through dynamic
and vibrant initiatives’’ she added, insisting that the foundation will regularly monitor and evaluate the beneficiaries to ensure that their social and economic status are improved.

She called on the ministry of poverty alleviation and that of women affairs to collaborate with the foundation in the task of improving the lives of the vulnerable people in the state.

THISDAY can confirm that about N70 million raised at the inauguration and that various poverty alleviation materials worth millions of naira were distributed to widows, orphans and other vulnerable groups.

 

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