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BREAKING: Shekau, Boko Haram Leader cry for help against Nigerian military

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The leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, has cried profusely in a new audio, seeking protection of Allah against the firepower of the Nigerian military. Of late, the Nigerian military has intensified offensive and recorded a series of successes against the Boko Haram terrorists on the fringes of Lake Chad.

In a 1:22 seconds audio obtained by DAILY NIGERIAN, the Boko Haram leader spoke in Kanuri, seeking protection of Allah against the “devilish act” of Nigerian military, and said they are facing difficulties in this Holy month of Ramadan.

  • “If it is the devilish act and wickedness [of the Nigerian military], may Allah protect us from their evil. Oh Allah, keep us firm on your religion. We are poor things who know nothing, oh our Lord, Allah.
  • “We deserted Izala people to practice Your true religion; we abandoned Tijjaniyya people to practice Your true religion; we deserted the Shiites to practice Your true religion; we forsook our parents, uncles and aunties to practice Your true religion.
  • “It is because of your religion that we placed knife on Your servants’ necks; but today, they are trying to change us from one thing to another. Oh Lord, have mercy upon under [the blessings] Ramadhan; Oh Lord, have mercy on under [the blessings] of Ramadhan (crying profusely).
  • “Oh Allah give us victory over our enemies. Oh brothers, for Allah’s sake, obey Allah and help me with prayers. This does not mean I am angry.
  • “May Allah keep us firm on the Qur’an. Allah knows best. Peace and blessings be upon the Prophet of Allah and all thanks be to Allah,” Mr Shekau sobbed.

In a reaction to the audio clip, Bulama Bukarti, a human rights lawyers and conflict analyst who has studied Boko Haram for over a decade, said “this is the first time we heard Shekau cry in this way.”

According to Mr Bulama, the audio suggests that something terrible is happening to the Shekau faction of Boko Haram.

  • “The Shekau we are used to is a bombastic, ruthless gangster that ridicules, mocks and chortles at his victims. This audio is quite unusual. It suggests that the group is under immense pressure that threatens its existence. Anything that will make Shekau sob must be a serious existential threat and I think it is the Nigerian Army’s ongoing onslaught.
  • “The army has been releasing news and photos of their successes and Boko Haram itself has lately been releasing eulogies to dead fighters. That is what made Shekau wail in this audio. He thinks it is hard to survive this one,” Mr Bulama said.

He however noted that the audio does not suggest that the Boko Haram leader is surrendering and seeking negotiation.

  • “But make no mistake that he would never back down, he will not surrender. He would rather die fighting. As the clip indicates, he is as committed to his cause as ever. And history has taught us that Boko Haram is capable of weathering storms and bouncing back from serious defeats. Therefore, I suggest that the Nigerian Army should push on; it is not time to relax. It is time to do even more,” he added.

Sola Akinola: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

Defence/Security

Come out of hiding, Shari’a Council dares Shekau

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The Supreme Council for Shari’ah in Nigeria, on Monday described Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau as a coward and challenged him to come out of hiding.

“Shekau should be bold enough to face security forces, if he is truly the courageous leader of Boko Haram he claims to be,” the Council said at a press briefing in Kaduna conducted by its Secretary General, Nafi’u Baba-Ahmed.

It noted that Shekau’s confession of the murder of Sheikh Jafar Adam, exposed his complete ignorance of Islam and its laws.

“Shekau gleeful confession to the brutal murder of late Sheik Ja’afar Adam revealed his clear ignorance of the teachings of Islam which he claims to champion.”

The council, therefore, issued what it called an intellectual challenge to Shekau on his group’s “crooked religious ideology.”

It appreciated efforts of the Federal Government to tackle insecurity, but said current resurgence demands new strategies, alternative approaches and options in addressing the problems.

The Shari’ah council also said that the present service chiefs must be called to account over the resurgence of security threats including Boko Haram attacks and other threats across the country.

It noted that the video allegedly released by Shekau was a collective challenge to all well meaning Nigerians desirous of peace and stability.

“The release of the video itself is a sad indication of the evident failure of strategies and efforts of government in tackling Boko Haram insurgency in particular and the myriads of equally horrendous security threats bedevilling the country.”

The council, therefore, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to decisively crush Boko Haram insurgency and restore order in the country, in line with his campaign promises.

Edited By: Maharazu Ahmed

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General news

Buhari presides over meeting of National Security Council

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President Muhammadu Buhari is presiding over the meeting of the National Security Council with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha in attendance.

Also in attendance are security and service chiefs as well as some cabinet members, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama.

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami and the Minister of Internal Affairs, Ra’uf Aregbesola are also attending.

The News Agency of Nigeria reliably gathered that the meeting would deliberate on national issues, including the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the nation’s security architecture.

NAN also learnt that the meeting would be updated on the various successes being recorded in the fight against insurgency, banditry and other violent crimes across the country.

The leader of the outlawed Boko Haram sect, Abubakar Shekau, was in an audio clip on Tuesday crying and begging for help, following the intensified attacks on his members by the Nigerian soldiers in the battle fields.

”In a new audio, the leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, is no longer sounding pompous, but he is now crying like a baby.

”He also seeks Allah’s protection for him and his rag-tag terror gang from the firepower of the Nigerian military,” an online outfit reported on Wednesday.

NAN reports that today’s meeting of the national security council is the first since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

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Edited By: Ejike Obeta (NAN)

Details later.

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Defence/Security

Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists suffer more defeat, surrender in northeast

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Nigerian Army troops of Operation Lafiya Dole (OPLD), has inflicted devastating defeat on Boko Haram and Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists in the North East.

Col. Aminu Iliyasu, the Nigerian Army Operations Media Coordinator, made the disclosure in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.

Iliyasu disclosed that the troops recorded successes recorded in the ongoing clearance operations in the theatre of operation in the northeast.

He said that the troops have sustained the recent defeat exacted on the terrorists with more rigour in Damboa and Garkida towns of Borno and Adamawa States, respectively.

Iliyasu noted that the devastating defeat suffered by the insurgents has continued to widen the cracks and animosities exposed recently within the ranks and files of the Boko Haram sect on one hand and between it and its rival splinter sect on the other.

“This is providing the troops with the much needed tonic to continue to decimate the terrorists in a bid to expeditiously end their obnoxious activities.

“It could be recalled that on March 11, the gallant troops of Strong Response Area Gubio successfully repelled a Boko Haram criminals’ attack.

“During the encounter, the troops dealt a decisive blow on the marauding criminals, neutralised two of them and captured one AK47 Rifle.

“Subsequent exploitation by the troops along the withdrawal route of the insurgents in the early hours of March 12 led to the discovery of additional five shattered bodies of the terrorists from the encounter.

“One burnt Boko Haram terrorists Gun Truck, one PKT Machine Gun, two AK 47 rifles, three AK 47 rifle magazines and 67 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition were also recovered,” he said.

Iliyasu revealed that two Boko Haram terrorists: Musa Mohammed 21-year-old and Maina Liman 35-year-old surrendered to the troops of 202 Battalion at Tashan Goto in Bama Local Government Area on March 5.

He said that the surrendered terrorists confessed that they worked for Nakib (a Boko Haram Captain) at Bula Umar vllage.

The Army spokesman, further disclosed that the troops recovered two AK47 rifles with magazines and eight rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition from the surrendered terrorists.

He added that the surrendered terrorists further revealed that a number of their members were killed by the troops in recent times.

According to him, the surrendered insurgents hinted that many of their members were wandering in the forest and willing to surrender to troops because they are tired.

“They also regretted their involvement in the act of insurgency while calling on their former collaborators to also take the bold step to renounce and submit themselves to the authorities of the Nigerian Army.

“In a related development; on March 8, another Boko Haram terrorist, Bulama Modu Zantaliye surrendered to troops of 151 Battalion deployed at Strong Response Area, Banki Junction.

“Preliminary investigation reveals that the surrendered terrorist belongs to the Shekau faction.

“He (the surrendered insurgents) also call on his former colleagues to tow the path of sanity and surrender themselves to troops of the Nigerian Army as their safety and security are guaranteed.

“The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, wishes to reassure the general public on the resolve of the Nigerian Army to continue to execute our constitutional mandate professionally and responsively for a better, safe and secure Nigeria.

“He also thank all well-meaning Nigerians for their continued support, goodwill and understanding towards officers and men of the Nigerian Army,” he added.

Edited By: Zainab Garba/Rabiu Sani Ali
(NAN)

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Defence/Security

More Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists surrender in NE –Army

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The Nigerian Army says that more Boko Haram and Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) terrorists have surrendered to the troops of Operation Lafiya Dole (OPLD) in the North East.

The Nigerian Army Operations Media Coordinator, Col. Aminu Iliyasu, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.

Iliyasu said that the gallant troops of the Nigerian Army had continued to decimate terrorists and other criminal elements across the various theatres of operations nationwide.

He said that the troops of 144 Battalion in Madagali Local Government Area of Adamawa State had on Feb. 25 dislodged the terrorists who attempted to infiltrate troops location.

Iliyasu added that three of the terrorists were neutralised, while many others escaped with varying degrees of gunshot wounds after the encounter.

He also disclosed that troops of Strong Response Area Ngoshe in Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno rescued a woman and her child who have been in Boko Haram captivity for two years.

According to him, the rescued captives were handed over to Internally Displaced Persons’ Camp officials for further management.

“On Feb. 27, troops of 271 Tank Battalion deployed at Kopa Village in Madagali pursued fleeing insurgents and rescued three victims successfully and reunited them with their families.

“On the same day, troops conducted a massive clearance operation to Baga and Doron Baga in Kukawa Local Government Area.

“During the operation, troops engaged some plundering Boko Haram criminals who evidently could not match the troops’ superior fire power but rather fled in disarray with possible gunshot wounds.

“Nevertheless, troops recovered 111 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition at the location.

“Furthermore, an IED planted by the criminals along Mile 4 – Baga-Doron Road was discovered and safely detonated by the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team.

“Troops also cleared Baga Town, Fish Dam and Doron Baga general area of any Boko Haram/Islamic State’s West Africa Province criminals’ presence.

“Additionally, in continuation of the clearance operation, same troops rescued a septuagenarian and a mentally ill woman along their axis of advance.

“Troops also recovered one burnt G3 Rifle, four rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition, one cutlass, some pairs of military and Boko Haram criminals’ uniforms, one pair of desert boot, and two pairs of black military boots.

“Other items recovered include: one mobile phone, one bandolier, one water bladder, two damaged camp beds, 269 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition, two Rocket Propelled Gun bombs, one 122mm Unexploded Ordnance, three Pressure Plates (vehicle borne IED) and a Boko Haram criminals’ flag,” he said.

Iliyasu further disclosed that the troops of 9 Brigade in Baga recovered three dead bodies of Boko Haram terrorists, two AK47 Rifles, two AK47 Rifle magazines loaded with 10 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition.

Other items recovered are 310 rounds of 7.62mm (PKT) ammunition, 173 rounds of 7.62mm (linked) NATO, four tails of exploded 60mm Mortar bombs, one Techno phone and two camel bags.

According to him, two soldiers were wounded in action during the encounter.

“The wounded soldiers were evacuated to a military medical facility and are positively responding to treatment.

“In a similar vein, on Feb. 26, troops neutralised two terrorists and recovered three bicycles and two Boko Haram flags among other items in Bama Local Government Area.

“Additionally, troops rescued nine women and 16 children who were hitherto held hostages by the criminals.

“On Feb. 26, troops of Strong Response Area Ngoshe, Gwoza conducted a cordon and search operation at an abandoned Boko Haram settlement in Kudeli.

“The troops discovered some IED materials abandoned by Boko Haram criminals in a dilapidated structure.

“The recovered materials were safely detonated by the Explosive Ordinance Disposal Team attached to the troops,” he said.

Iliyasu said that troops of 192 Battalion deployed at Gwoza had on March 1, sprung an ambush at a Boko Haram Crossing Point at Fadagwe Muni general area.

He added that one terrorist was neutralised while several others were believed to have escaped with gunshot wounds.

According to him, items recovered at the ambush site include one motorcycle, some clothing materials, two 25 litres jerricans containing honey, some food items, herbs, one machete and 3 axes.

He added that two Boko Haram terrorists, Abu Abor (61) and Abubakar Hassan (51) both of Chadian nationality surrendered to troops in Gamboru-Ngala after sneaking out of Bagadaza in the Lake Chad.

According to him, the suspects revealed that they were in the Shekau faction and had to escape due to overwhelming troops’ artillery bombardments and ground assaults.

“He said the assaults have fractured their command structure forcing many among their leadership to desert thus leaving them to their fate.

“They further expressed their regret for the heinous crimes they committed against security agents as well as civilians and begged for forgiveness.

“However, it is worthy to note that, the surrendered terrorists of Chadian nationality have further given credence to the presence of foreign mercenaries among the insurgents,” he said.

In the North Central region, Iliyasu disclosed that the combined troops of 176 and 177 Guards Battalions under Operation MESA recently encountered bandits in Anda Forest, a border area between Nasarawa and Kogi States.

He said that the bandits fled and abandoned one AK47 Rifle, 29 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition, one AK 47 Rifle magazine, five mobile phones, five torch lights and two bluetooth speakers.

“The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, reassured the public of the resolve of the Nigerian Army to continue to execute its constitutional mandate professionally and responsively for a better, safe and secure Nigeria.

“He also thanks all well-meaning Nigerians for their unabating support, goodwill and understanding towards the officers and men of the Nigerian Army,” he added.

Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz

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Boko Haram: Nigerian Army releases 983 cleared suspects

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The Nigerian Army on Wednesday released 983 suspects cleared of links with Boko Haram insurgents.

Maj.-Gen. Olusegun Adeniyi, the theater Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole (OPLD), made the disclosure in Maiduguri at the formal handing over of the suspects to the Borno Government.

Adeniyi disclosed that the suspects comprised of 978 males and five females.

He said that the affected persons were detained at a military facility over suspected links with the insurgents.

Adeniyi explained that the suspects were cleared by the Joint Investigative Panel set up by the authorities.

The commander added that the suspects were cleared of any links with insurgents and certified fit for reintegration with their families and society.

“The release of the suspects marked a milestone in the Operation Lafiya Dole to defeat insurgency and restore peace to the region.

“The Federal Government implemented the Operation Safe Corridor to encourage insurgents to surrender for rehabilitation and integration into the society.

“I call on the insurgents to surrender to enable them benefit from opportunities of the programme.

“Their aim for a caliphate will not be actualised, I call on the insurgents to surrender.

“Let Shekau and Albarnawi to die alone, they are defeated and you should not die with them,” Adeniyi said.

Adeniyi who commended the Borno Government for its support to the military, advocated for skill training programme to enable them to learn trades and engage in productive activities.

Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno commended the gesture, adding that the event was significant in paving the way to end insurgency and the beginning of peace in the state.

Zulum called on the people to accept the released suspects, stressing that they were proved to be free and innocent following investigations conducted by the investigative committee.

He called on the military to adopt proactive measures to release innocent persons in its facilities in accordance with the laws.

Zulum said that the suspects would be transferred to the Borno Rehabilitation Center, Bulumkutu, before reintegration with their families and society.

The governor added that the state government would provide skill training and empowerment support to enable them to engage in productive activities.

Zulum commended the military and other security agencies for their sacrifices and contributions to the counter insurgency campaign and peace building process in the state.

Also speaking, Ahmed Jidda, one of the released suspects, thanked God for regaining his freedom.

Jidda, who hails from Adamawa, said he was detained for about three years at the military facility.

He noted that the military authority had adopted proactive measures to take care of their need and improvement of the wellbeing of the inmates.

“We are fed; sheltered and clothed. Nobody abused or maltreated us at the centre,” he said.

Jidda commended the committee which established their innocence, adding that he was happy to be reunited with his family.

Edited & Vetted By: Joseph Edeh/Ismail Abdulaziz
(NAN)

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Defence/Security

Boko Haram, ISWAP members surrender, several others neutralised -Army

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The Nigerian Army has announced that 16 member of Boko Haram/Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) have surrendered to the superior fire power of its troops in the North East.

The Nigerian Army Operations Media Coordinator, Col. Aminu IIliyas, in a statement on Friday in Abuja, disclosed that several other terrorists were killed in the operations.

Illiyas said that the successes recorded by the troops was a result of intense raids and bombardment of identified insurgents’ hideouts in the past weeks.

He added that the period equally witnessed the interception and arrest of several Boko Haram Logistics Suppliers and informants by the troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE.

“On Nov.1, 16 insurgents along with 8 of their spouses who could no longer bear the heat from the onslaught against them surrendered to the relentless troops of Sector 1, Multinational Joint Task Force at Fotokol.

“Subsequently, the surrendered insurgents were later handed over to troops of 3 Battalion (Main) at Gamboru Ngala, a border town North East of Borno.

“During preliminary interrogation and profiling, they confessed to have actively participated in attacks conducted against both military and civilian targets at various times.

“It was further revealed that 14 of them all belonged to ISWAP led by Al – Barnawi while two others, Hassan Kawu and Babagana Bukar Adijabe belonged to Boko Haram (Abubakar Shekau Faction).

”The 14 are; Ibrahim Bunu, Abba Sale, Baba Lamba Alhaji, Bukar Isa, Bukar Ali, Rawa Abba Gana, Mustapha Abatcha, Umar Abubakar, Hassan Bukar, Malam Abatcha Ali, Abba Umar Abatcha, Hussaini Babagana, Idris Mohammed and Umar Abba Bayoma.

“The repentant insurgents however, regretted their participation in the heinous crimes they committed against humanity and are now calling on their former colleagues to retrace their steps and also surrender to troops before it is too late,” he said.

Illiyas disclosed that troops deployed at Gajigana in Magumeri local government area intercepted some Boko Haram terrorists in the early hours of Nov. 5.

According to him, the vigilant troops blocked and neutralised three of the Boko Haram criminals while several others escaped with varying degrees of gunshot wounds.

“Unfortunately, one soldier paid the supreme price while 2 others were wounded in action.

“The wounded soldiers are currently responding to treatment in a military medical facility.

“Additionally, the troops captured two AK47 Rifles, one Rocket Propelled Gun 7 (RPG 7), 5 AK 47 magazines, 47 Rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition and some quantities of hard drugs.

“In a related incident, another Boko Haram criminal met his waterloo on Nov. 4 while attempting to cross into the Sambisa Forest at Bama-Banki Road Junction when troops sighted and neutralized him.

“Similarly, troops of 195 Battalion, while on clearance patrol along Gubio Road on Nov. 4, recovered a kit bag containing 480 Rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition suspected to have been abandoned by escaping terrorists,” he said.

The media coordinator further disclosed that nine Boko Haram insurgents were neutralised by troops while others escaped with gunshot wounds on Nov. 6 at Muchima in Damboa local government area.

He added that one insurgent Gun Truck was destroyed, four AK47 Rifles and a cache of ammunition were recovered.

Illiyas said that troops of Sector 2 deployed at Damaturu, Yobe State dealt a decisive blow to the insurgents’ attempt to infiltrate the town on Nov. 7.

He added that the attempted infiltration was thwarted by the combined efforts of ground troops, artillery bombardment and precision air strikes by the Air Task Force of Operation LAFIYA DOLE.

“The encounter led to the decimation of a number of the insurgents in addition to the destruction of one Boko Haram Gun Truck.

“Unfortunately, one officer paid the supreme price during the encounter.

“Furthermore, during their exploitation, troops discovered and safely detonated two unexploded ordnance materials planted by the insurgents,” he said.


A

Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz

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Defence/Security

Nigerian military again accuses NGOs of breaching security in North East

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The Nigerian Army has again accused some Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), operating in the North East of breaching security and sabotaging ongoing counter terrorism operations in the zone.

Army Spokesman, Col. Sagir Musa, on Thursday said the military established this after the arrest of a Boko Haram commander, Mohammed Modu on Sunday.

The army had in 2018 leveled similar accusation against NGOs operating in the region.

Musa alleged that the high profile commander belong to the Abubakar Shekau’s faction of the terrorist group.

The army spokesman said that preliminary investigations revealed that the Shekau’s faction of Boko Haram had been receiving “humanitarian support of food and drugs supplies from some NGOs operating in the North East.’’

Musa described the NGOs’ actions – providing logistics support to terrorists, as “serious security breaches.’’

He, therefore, warned the affected NGOs to “desist from compromising Nigeria’s national security and war efforts against terrorism.’’

Musa advised them to operate in accordance with the extant rules and regulations guiding the operations of humanitarian aid workers.

He said they must also operation in line with the guidelines and procedures of International Humanitarian Laws, as well as the Laws of Armed Conflict.

He further warned: “The Nigerian army will no longer tolerate such acts of sabotage inimical to the fight against terrorism by any organisation or agency, and will not hesitate to sanction any such recalcitrant organisation as appropriate.’’

NAN reports that in December 2018, the army suspended the operations of the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in the North-East theatre until further notice.

The army alleged that UNICEF had shifted from “its duty of catering to the wellbeing of children and the vulnerable through humanitarian activities and now engages in training selected persons for clandestine activities.”

“The Theatre Command will not tolerate this kind of sabotage from any individual, group of persons or organisation.

“We call on all Non-Governmental Organisations and members of humanitarian agencies to keep to their legitimate norms in the discharge of their acclaimed humanitarian duties.”

The army later the army announced a reversal of the decision to suspend UNICEF from the North-East.

edited by Sadoiya Hamza

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Defence/Security

Chibok girls:Parents mark fifth year anniversary of abduction, renew call for release of remaining girls

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Girls

Maiduguri, April 14, 2019 Parents of abducted Chibok School Girls in Borno have renewed calls to ‘Boko-Haram’ insurgents to release the remaining girls they abducted five years ago.

A cross section of the parents made the call in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Maiduguri.

The parents spoke on the sideline of a rally organised by a non-governmental Organisation,  ‘Al’amin Foundation for Peace and Development’ , as part of activities to mark the  fifth year anniversary  of the abduction of over 270 school girls.

NNN recalls  that the insurgents had on April 14, 2014, abducted the girls at Government Girls Secondary School (GGSS), Chibok in Borno.

In May 2016, one of the abducted girls, Amina Ali, was found after she escaped from captivity.

Another set of 21 girls were freed in October 2016, while one girl was also rescued in November same year by the military.

Similarly, 82 girls were freed following negotiations with government in May 2017, while one more was girl rescued in January 2018.

Recheal Daniel, a mother of one of the abducted girls, Rose Daniel,  appealed to the Boko Haram factional leader, Abubakar Shekau, to release her daughter.

Daniel lamented that the incident had  subjected her to pain and agony, adding that her husband was also killed by the insurgents.

She said that since then, she had been shouldering the up-bringing of six children left behind by her husband.

Ayuba Alamson, a guardian to some of the abducted girls, said six of his niece and sisters were abducted at the school on the fateful day.

Alamson said that three of the girls had been freed while the remaining were still with the insurgents.

He lamented that about 18 affected parents had died due to health complications associated with trauma they experienced as a result of the abduction of their daughters.

Alamson urged the Federal Government, United Nations (UN) and development organisations not to relent in their effort at ensuring the release of the girls from captivity.

“I also pray for the freedom Leah Sharibu, the only girl held back by Boko Haram insurgents after they released over 112 girls abducted at Government Girls  Secondary School in Dapchi, Yobe.

Musa Maina, another resident of Chibok, appealed  for the release of his wife, Zahra Musa, and daughter,  Hadiza Musa, from captivity.

Maina recounted that he fled Chibok to Konduga after the April 14 school abduction incident, only to ended up in another abduction trap set by the insurgents..

“Two people came to my house with guns in an attempt to kill me. I and my second wife  managed to escape but they took away my first wife and her daughter,” he said.

On her part, Mrs Hamsatu Allamin, the Director of Al’amin Foundation for Peace  and Development, said thousands of women and children were being held hostage by the insurgents..

Allamin disclosed that the organization had embarked on comprehensive campaign to create awareness on abduction of women by the insurgents in the northeast.

She called for concrete measures to secure the release of the Chibok School girls and other persons being held by the insurgents throughout the country.

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U.S. designates al-Barnawi, ISIS-West Africa ‘special global terrorists’

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The U.S. has announced factional Boko Haram leader, Abu Musab al-Barnawi, and the ISIS-West Africa as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGT) and Foreign Terrorist Organisations (FTO).

The U.S. Department of State on Tuesday declared that al-Barnawi and ISIS-West Africa were designated global terrorists under Section 1(b) of Executive Order (E.O.) 13224 and pursuant to Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

The U.S. said: “In March 2015, the leader of the FTO and SDGT group Boko Haram pledged allegiance to ISIS and changed the group’s name to ISIS-West Africa.

“ISIS accepted the pledge of allegiance. In August 2016, ISIS-West Africa split into two factions, due to infighting.

“ISIS appointed Abu Musab al-Barnawi as leader of ISIS-West Africa; the other faction, which remained loyal to longtime leader Abubakar Shekau, reverted to the previous Boko Haram name.

“Al-Barnawi is the son of Boko Haram founder Mohammed Yusuf. Prior to his appointment as leader of ISIS-West Africa, al-Barnawi was the spokesperson for Boko Haram.

“Under al-Barnawi’s leadership, ISIS-West Africa has carried out numerous attacks in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region”.

In announcing these designations, Coordinator for Counter-terrorism Nathan Sales emphasised that “these designations target key ISIS-affiliated groups and leaders outside its fallen caliphate in Iraq and Syria”.

“Today’s actions are a critical step in degrading ISIS’s global network and denying its affiliates the resources they need to plan and carry out terrorist attacks.”

The U.S. also designated two other ISIS-affiliated groups – ISIS-Philippines, and ISIS-Bangladesh – as SDGTs and as Foreign Terrorist Organisations (FTOs).

As a result of these designations, U.S. citizens are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with ISIS-West Africa, ISIS-Philippines, or ISIS-Bangladesh.

The groups’ property and interests in property subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked.

In addition, it is a crime to knowingly provide, or attempt or conspire to provide, material support or resources to the organisations.

The Department has also designated four other ISIS-affiliated groups and another ISIS-affiliated leader as SDGTs.

The groups are ISIS-Somalia, Jund al-Khilafah-Tunisia, ISIS-Egypt, and the Maute Group, and the individual is Mahad Moalim.

Executive Order 13224 imposes strict sanctions on foreign persons determined to have committed, or pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the U.S.

Among other consequences, all property and interests in property of the designees are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with them.

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