U.S Security Chiefs Arrive Nigeria To Help Tackle Boko Haram

As Nigeria increases efforts at crushing Boko Haram in the North-east, some high level United States security chiefs yesterday visited Nigeria to lend support to the fight against the terrorists.

Led by US Director of Defence Intelligence Agency, Lt Gen Vincent Stewart, the delegation commended the resilience of the Nigerian Armed Forces for defeating Boko Haram and chasing them out of their once safe haven, Sambisa forest.

Stewart met with Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin, at the Defence Headquarters Abuja to acquaint himself and the rest of the team with Nigeria’s strategy towards eliminating terrorism in the West African region.

He explained that he “was in Nigeria to meet with the top echelon of the Nigeria Armed Forces with a view to collaborating in the areas of security and to pledge more support for the military in order to engender total stoppage of Boko Haram from operating in Nigeria territory and denying them future freedom of operation.”

Speaking, General Olonisakin harped on the need for more cordial working relationship between the US and Nigeria, especially in military cooperation.

He commended the US for all the supports the Nigerian military has enjoyed from them, adding that the gesture has contributed immensely to the success recorded against terrorism.

Olonisakin used the occasion to intimate the visiting US senior military officer that the Nigerian Armed Forces have constantly uphold the tenet of human right and dignity in its operations.

He informed the US delegation that presently, Nigerian Armed Forces have established Human Rights Desks in all its units and formations to safeguard human rights of Individual including the belligerents.

“This giant stride,” he stressed, “was believed to encourage the United States Government to render more assistance to Nigeria and its armed forces.”

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Oby Ezekwesili, Aisha Yesufu, others arrive Yola, Adamawa state for North East tour (PHOTO)

Convener of the Bring Back Our Girls group, Oby Ezekwesili, Aisha Yesufu, Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed, and others have arrived Yola, Adamawa state for the North East tour organized by the Federal government. The tour which will see them going to Sambisa forest, is geared towards showcasing the progress the military has made in defeating Boko Haram.

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The tour which will see them going to Sambisa forest, is geared towards showcasing the progress the military has made in defeating Boko Haram.

Again Army Frees 257 Boko Haram Suspects

Nigerian Army has released 257 suspected Boko Haram members that have been in its detention to the Borno State government.

The detainees – comprised of men, women and children – were released yesterday to the Borno State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Usman Durkwa.

The development was part of the Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration held at the Ramat Square in Maiduguri.

Handing over the detainees, the head of the military’s counter-insurgency operation in the North East (Operation Lafiya Dole), Maj. Gen. Lucky Irabor, said the 257 Boko Haram detainees had been screened and found to be clean.

He said, “After screening them, we found them clean, but we will ensure that they are monitored even after the release.

“The Army Day celebration have afforded us opportunity to free them to mark the occasion.”

In an address read by Deputy Governor, on behalf of Governor Kashim Shettima, Borno government paid tribute to the fallen heroes who he said paid the ultimate price for the unity of the nation.

“We must be committed to ensure that the labours of our heroes past are not in vain. I appeal to all to contribute in catering for the family they left behind.

“I commend the Nigerian Military and other security agencies for restoration of Peace to Borno and the North East,” he said.

Shettima urged Nigerians to continue to pray for troops in Northeast for total defeat of remnants of Boko Haram as well as Nigeria’s peace and development.

Cameroon Uses Witchcraft Against Boko Haram

The war on terror has taken a new dimension as Cameroon is trying spells and curses too, to fight Boko Haram as they think guns and bombs just haven’t been enough.

ADELOVE recalls that about a year ago, Cameroonian President, Paul Biya urged citizens to use witchcraft against Boko Haram, the Islamic State-affiliated militants who have terrorised West Africa for years.

“We expect every village to have brilliant actions in this direction,” said Midjiyawa Bakari, governor of the Far North region of the country, echoing the president. “We want to hear that this or that village has wiped out or limited the sect’s damage through witchcraft. Fight for your country.”

Many viewed the move as a sign of Biya’s desperation as the jihadists continue their rampage of suicide attacks, pillaging and kidnapping throughout Cameroon, as well as in Chad and Nigeria. The three countries have made headway against the group — some commercial routes between Cameroon and Nigeria that had been closed due to the violence have reopened, and some of the people displaced from villages near the Nigerian border have been able to return home. But there is much more left to do.

And locals in Mora, a remote mountainous district in the Far North province near Nigeria, said they would try anything to end the Islamic State’s reign of terror.

After Biya’s call to employ witchcraft against Boko Haram in January 2016, hundreds of militia fighters rushed to sorcerers, commonly called “marabouts,” to obtain lucky charms and talismans to protect them in battle.

“Since I have this gris-gris, I have no problem,” said Mohamad Ahmed, a gym teacher and member of a local militia in Mora, referring to a small cloth bag typically worn around the neck or wrist.

Filled with supposedly magic objects and paper inscribed with verses from the Koran, Bible or other holy scriptures, gris-gris originated in Africa but are common among voodoo practitioners in the Caribbean as well. Women often don them for contraception.

“It is so powerful,” said Ahmed. “I put it on at the moment I go into the field of fighting. The fetish protects its wearer. If someone shoots at you, the bullets have no effect. They fall on the ground like small pebbles.”

Ahmed noted that he has not been shot to test the charm, however.

In the past two years, more than 1,500 Cameroonians have died in the war against Boko Haram, while the violence has displaced 155,000 people, according to the government.

“One morning the terrorists entered our house,” said a 32-year-old woman who fled Kérawa, a village on the Nigerian border, with her 9-month-old baby.

The woman, now in Mora, was a farmer in Kérawa. She declined to provide her name out of fear of retribution from Boko Haram militants. “They murdered my husband before our eyes,” she said. “Then they raped my neighbor before setting fire to the whole village. Soldiers on patrol saved us.”

Ironically, witchcraft is illegal in Cameroon due to its perceived pernicious effects in tribal communities, where believers frequently cast spells in hopes of hurting their enemies. The law imposes fines and prison sentences of as long as 10 years on those convicted of black magic.

However, “it is well known that occult ceremonies are practiced in the political circles of Cameroon at a very high level,” said Henriette Ekwe, a Cameroonian political analyst and good government advocate.

She maintains that the call for occult help isn’t a good sign.

“When one comes to advocate the practice of witchcraft, it is because one is not sure of one’s army,” she said. “It is not up to a head of state to advocate practices of black magic in a theater of operations where it is the weapons that must inflict defeat on Boko Haram, not magicians or sorcerers. This is very serious for the morale of the troops.”

“What is surprising,” she went on, “is that the head of state advocates the practice of witchcraft prohibited in Cameroon. How many times have we thrown old people into cells on the grounds that they are accused of practicing black magic in the villages?”

Baba Boukar, a marabout, claimed that he had studied witchcraft for years and could invoke curses and cure the sick. Against Boko Haram, he said his disciples could choose between magic trinkets like Ahmed’s, or vampirism.

To locals, there are two types of witchcraft: fetishism, which employs charms to harm or do good, and vampirism, in which incantations replace the physical objects.

See Photos of a Nigerian Soldier shot on the leg during gun battle with Boko Haram

A Nigerian soldier, Abdulrahman Idris, was shot in the leg during a gun battle with Boko Haram terrorists, in neighboring Cameroon on Sunday. He has since been admitted to the hospital for treatment.

A Nigerian soldier, Abdulrahman Idris, was shot in the leg during a gun battle with Boko Haram terrorists, in neighboring Cameroon on Sunday. He has since been admitted to the hospital for treatment.

Military Carries Out Massive Operations In Continued Pressure Against Boko Haram In The North-East

A statement from Nigerian Army says a total of 71 Boko Haram terrorists have been killed during military clearance operations in the last one week, as six soldiers were also killed while seven others sustained injury while in action.

The theater command, Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Leo Irabor, also revealed that, over 150 Navy personal and special forces have been trained and deployed to Baga as Nigerian Air Force also carried out 43 missions and 68 Sorties, where they also observed and cleared over 30 Boko Haram terrorists, laying ambush for troops in the Sambisa Forest.

During the commands briefing today, Wednesday, at the Headquarters of the Operation Lafiya Dole, the Commander revealed that the military is set to take on the lake Chad region, after the displacement of the Boko Haram terrorists in the Sambisa Forest.

While addressing the media, the theatre commander said, the military has arrested 963 Boko Haram elements, while 2 surrendered to the military during its operations along the lake Chad and Limankara in Gwoza local government area of Borno state.

According to the commander, 119 Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs were also handed over to the Nigerian military by the Cameroonian military after recovering them from Boko Haram militants. He added that the number comprises 20 male adults, 25 female adults and 74 Children.

Major General Leo Irabor urged citizens, particularly those in the northeastern part of the country to be cautious and not to open their doors to any stranger following new strategies being adopted by the Boko Haram suicide bombers.

See family photos of the Captain killed by Boko Haram in Yobe

Captain Victor Ugochukwu Ulasi, a medical doctor and graduate of the University of Nigeria Nsukka, was killed during Boko Haram attack on an Army base in Buni Yadi, Yobe State on Sunday.

Four soldiers were also killed in the attack while scores of terrorists died. Captain Ulasi is survived by a wife and three children, pictured with him above. Sad. May his soul rest in peace, amen.

Army reveals Boko Haram new tactics

The Nigerian Army has advised members of the public to be wary as suicide bombers have devised a new method of carrying out their nefarious acts.

Col. Mustapha Anka, the Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, 7 Division, Maiduguri, gave the advice in a statement on Monday.

“This is to draw the attention of the general public to recent trend used by desperate remnants of Boko Haram Terrorists (BHT).

“Recently, two female suicide bombers knocked at the door of one Bulama and Usman about 200 meters apart in Kalari general area of Maiduguri.

“The daughter of the Bulama opened the door, while the Usman himself opened his own door immediately the suicide bombers detonated their suicide vest, in the process killing the unsuspected little girl, Usman and the two female suicide bombers.

“The general public is hereby advised to be cautious and wary of strange persons knocking on their doors.

“Security is a collective responsibility; the public is to engage in neighborhood watch,” Anka said.

He also advised that suspicious movement of persons should be reported to security agents without any delay, adding that the curfew in Maiduguri was still being enforced by 10 p.m. daily.

“Any defaulter will be prosecuted accordingly,” he warned. NAN

Ali Modu Sheriff didn’t create Boko Haram, says PDP chieftain

A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Umar Ardo, has disclosed a discussion the leadership of the party had with Senator Ali Modu Sheriff over Boko Haram.

Ardo made the disclosure in a statement yesterday to justify why the PDP cleared Sheriff for national chairmanship in 2015.

Sheriff had been accused of forming and sponsoring the dreaded sect when he was governor of Borno State.

Ardo, however, stated that Sheriff was found to be clean as he was able to convincingly prove to the screening committee that he was not the brain behing Boko Haram.

The former governorship aspirant of the PDP in Adamawa State, said he decided to open up on the matter following a recent engagement he had with some critics on the same issue.

Recalling a meeting with the ex-Borno helmsman, Ardo noted: “I asked Sen. Modu Sheriff this question point blank at the heat of his campaign to be the national chairman of the PDP when I had a one-on-one meeting with him in May, last year.

“His answer to me was that he didn’t (form the Boko Haram).

“To buttress his position, he left me and went somewhere in his house and shortly returned with three documents and handed them over to me.

“One was a ‘Report of the Post Morten Committee on the Sectarian Crises in Kano, Bauchi, Yobe and Borno States,’ constituted by the then National Security Adviser, as directed by the Nigerian president. The report was dated 27th August, 2009.

“The other document was the ‘Report of the Implementation Committee of the Government White Paper on the Boko Haram Insurgency in Borno State’ dated 9th November, 2009.

“The third one was titled ‘The 2009 Sectarian Crisis in Borno State’ written by Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff himself in September 2011,” he said.

Ardo said having carefully read through the first two documents and discountenancing the third document, written by Sheriff himself, the facts contained in those he read, and the personalities involved, showed that Sheriff did not create the Boko Haram.

“In fact, from the committee’s report and the White Paper, Sen. Sheriff was commended for the steps his government took to stem Islamic insurgency in the state,” he added.