A special rapporteur has blamed poor infrastructure for the continous presence of Boko Haram terrorits in northern Borno and recent attacks on the convoy of Governor Babagana Zulum.
Professor Philip Daheeda of the Department of Public Administration, University of Abuja, made this revelation in a detailed report on behalf of the Save Humanity Advocacy Centre (SHAC).
Daheeda said it uncovered the actual circumstances surrounding the attack after leading the SHAC together with other credible non-governmental organizations and civil society organizations on a fact-finding mission to Northern Borno.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday in Abuja, Prof. Daheeda said the troops have made substantive progress in the north of Borno, particularly the Kukawa/Baga axis once regarded as the epicentre of the Boko Haram insurgency due to its proximity to the Lake Chad Basin.
He further disclosed that the radical sect has been significantly incapacitated and have now turned to guerrilla tactics, planting Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) on routes frequently used by IDPs returning to their communities.
Daheeda, however, admitted that the poor state of roads has made it possible for the terrorists to plant the IEDs, plan attacks and unleash mayhem on citizens, such as the governor.
The special rapporteur, therefore, urged the state government to compliments the efforts of the military through the provision of necessary infrastructures such as road constructions, provision of electricity and other facilities that would aid their operations.
Read the full report below:
In light of the recent attacks on the convoy of the Governor of Borno State in Northern Borno state, the Save Humanity Advocacy Centre (SHAC) in collaboration with some credible Non-Governmental Organizations as well as some Civil Society Organizations commissioned an investigative panel to unravel the circumstances that led to the attacks to put issues in proper perspectives.
The investigative panel consisted of a special rapporteur and other representatives with a mandate to physically visit Borno State and collate information on a first-hand basis. The core area of assignment includes but not limited to close interaction with citizens in Borno state, stakeholders, state actors and the media on the activities of the Boko Haram insurgents in Northern Borno state.
The investigative panel consequently visited Northern Borno, especially the Kukawa/Baga axis where it was alleged that the attacks on the convoy of the governor took place.
The findings from the investigative visit are reproduced after extensive scrutiny of the facts presented through a multiple channel mechanism put in place to ensure objectivity and accuracy in fulfilment of its overarching objective.
The governor of Borno State, Babagana Zulum in its efforts at assessing the relocation of Internally Displaced Persons back to their communities have been visiting liberated communities in various parts of Borno state. On a couple of occasions in recent times, the convoy of the governor was attacked, which indeed ignited rounds of commentary in the country with regards to the efforts of the Nigerian Military in its efforts towards ridding Borno State of Boko Haram elements, especially in Northern Borno state.
There were also allegations that indeed the Nigerian Military have not done enough to investigate the various incidences where the governors’ convoy was attacked thereby fueling the suspicion that the Nigerian Military was complicit in the whole saga.
The investigative panel as a result of the aforementioned undertook a trip to Baga and environs, wherein extensive consultations and interactions were made with all stakeholders in the theatre of operations.
The investigative panel was able to glean on the first-hand basis that indeed the narrative making the rounds in the media with regards to the attacks on the convoy of the governor is in contrast with the events surrounding the attack on the convoy of the governor.
It was clear from all that was gathered that the Nigerian Military has made substantial gains in addressing the Boko Haram threats in Borno state as a whole, and specifically in the Kukawa/Baga axis which is regarded as the epicentre of the Boko Haram insurgency due to its proximity to the Lake Chad Basin region where Nigeria shares boundaries with Chad and some francophone counties.
This fact was enforced with a strong presence of security operatives which were seen on constant patrol of the region and making advancement towards the fringes of the Lake Chad Basin region where it is believed houses a seizable number of Boko Haram insurgents after their displacement from their operational headquarters in Sambisa forest, as well as other areas in North-East Nigeria where they hitherto held sway.
It is indeed a statement of the fact that the Boko Haram group has significantly been incapacitated and they have consequently employed the use of guerrilla tactics that involve the planting of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) on routes frequently used by IDPs returning to their communities as against their known strategy of engaging the Nigerian Military in exchanges of gunfire.
This new plot by the Boko Haram insurgents was indeed responsible for the attack on the convoy of the governor and not a confrontation with security operatives in the convoy of the governor. This much was also confirmed by on the spot assessment of the areas where the governor’s convoy was attacked. There were visible signs of craters that came about as a result of the impact of the IEDs detonated. It was stated further that as a result of such explosions, the security operatives in the convoy of the governor returned gunfire in various directions as a reflex action.
There was also an absence of infrastructures in Kukawa/Baga axis as virtually all roads were impassible due to years of neglect which inturn emboldened the Boko Haram insurgents to freely plant IEDs as they made their way towards the fringes of the Lake Chad Basin region.
It was also revealed that the state of the roads indeed enhanced terrorist activities in Northern Borno as a whole where pockets of Boko Haram activities still thrives. There was also a dearth of other infrastructures such as communication masts, electricity water and other necessities in most parts of Northern Borno state, which the Boko Haram group has taken advantage of in the furtherance of their nefarious activities.
The investigative panel also discovered that the bulk of the casualties recorded during the attacks on the governors’ convoy were mainly as a result of IED explosions and not gunshot injuries as widely reported in the media. And the bad road network in Baga and environs is indeed responsible for the casually figures as commuting the injured to the nearest medical facility was as well daunting the number of deaths recorded.
The efforts of the Nigerian Military in addressing the Boko Haram threats in Northern Borno state cannot be overemphasized. The Boko Haram group have significantly been degraded with the Military constantly on their trail into the fringes of the Lake Chad Basin region.
It must be noted that the terrain in the Kukawa/Baga axis is impassible, thereby making some of the operations of the Nigerian Military difficult. However, there seems to a collective resolve by the officers and soldiers in the theatre of operations to bring the activities of the remnants of the Boko Haram insurgents to an end as soon as possible. This much was gathered from interactions with officers and soldiers in the theatre of operations, especially in Doron Baga.
It is therefore reasonable that the state government compliments the efforts of the Nigerian Military through the provision of necessary infrastructures such as road constructions, provision of electricity and other facilities that would aid the operations of the Nigerian Military.
The state government also has a responsibility to the task to various stakeholders in Borno state and Northern Borno to be precise on the need to galvanize support for the operations of the Nigerian Military in the quest to rid Northern Borno of the activities of Boko Haram insurgents.
Gunmen Kill Five Police Officers, Two Civilians In Rivers
Gunmen have killed at least five policemen and two civilians in Rivers State.
The attack which occurred on Friday night was launched at a police station in Rumuji community, Emohua LGA, and a police checkpoint, known as C4i at the entrance of Emohua from Port Harcourt.
Emohua is a Local Government Area along the East-West road, connecting Rivers and Bayelsa state.
During the attack security vehicles were also burnt.
In another attack, a police station in Elimgbu in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area was attacked and three police officers were said to be beheaded.
One of the officers who was beheaded had his head taken away by the gunmen.
Although the Police are yet to confirm the attacks, a youth leader in the Local Government Area, residents of the communities confirmed the incidents to Channels Television.
This attack comes less than one month after gunmen killed three customs officers, five soldiers, and some police officers at different security formations in Ikwerre and Abua/Odual Local Government Areas.
The attacks in April prompted Governor Nyesom wike to impose a nighttime curfew at various entry and exit points of Rivers State between 8 pm and 6 am, and restriction of movement within the state from 10 pm to 6 am.
We Didn’t Bathe for 56 Days in Kidnappers’ Den –Freed Afaka Students
It was jubilation galore as 27 kidnapped students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Kaduna were reunited with their families after 56 days in captivity.
Tears of joy flowed freely from both parents and their children. At about 3pm, the entire premises of the college, located along the Kaduna International Airport, opposite the Nigerian Defence Academy, erupted in jubilation as the students were being escorted by heavily-armed policemen in company with the state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, and the state Commissioner of Police, Umar Muri.
Narrating their ordeal in the kidnappers’ den, one of the freed students, Zakariya Magaji, described the kidnappers’ den as hell, saying he would never wish the experience for his enemies.
“The bandits need prayers. All that we have to do is to pray for them for God to touch their hearts. As for me, I have forgiven them for whatever we went through in their hands. The experience was hell.”
A female student, Sarah Sunday, said she and her colleagues were subjected to all sorts of dehumanising conditions, including not being allowed to take a bath while in the bandits’ den.
Sunday said, “A lot of things happened while we were there. We were subjected to hunger. We were subjected to trekking and all sorts of dehumanising experiences. We were insulted but thankfully, they did not molest or kill any of us. They only beat us on the first day when they did a video of us.”
Asked if they were fed at all, Sunday said, “The boys used to go and fetch water for us to cook. We cooked tuwo with miyan kuka, and tuwo with dry okra. We only cooked rice once, and we cooked spaghetti once too.”
When asked whether the abductors used to leave them to go out for other operations, Sarah said, “Yes, they used to go out, but they always left some of their armed members to stay with us.
“Even our male colleagues who used to go and fetch water were always escorted to the stream by gang members bearing AK-47 rifles.
“Our living condition in the jungle was very bad. We never had a bath. We were exposed to the rain. Athough there was a hut that we always ran to hide whenever it was raining, still there was no escaping the rain because the hut was poorly built. But we have forgiven our kidnappers. And we pray that God will give them the chance to change for the better.”
‘Bandits said our abduction was to get govt’s attention
Also speaking, a freed student, Pamela Ibrahim, said the bandits said their grouse was with the government and vowed to unleash hell on Kaduna State.
Ibrahim said, “Before they released us, the kidnappers told us that they didn’t have anything against us (students). They said they kidnapped us because they needed the government to settle things with them and that they also wanted to be educated like other Nigerians. They need work and houses too.
“They said if the government doesn’t settle with them, they would continue to make sure that Kaduna State is unsafe. They said they meant it. Some of them are Nigerians, others are foreigners. They spoke mainly Fulani (language) and Hausa.
“There was an old man among them who prevented others from harassing us and anytime he was not around, we were beaten and insulted.”
In a jubilant mood, one of the parents, Ibrahim Hassan, said he was glad that his daughter was freed few days to her elder sister’s wedding.
Hassan said, “I was confused; my life was miserable throughout the time my daughter was with the kidnappers. I only depended on God.
“When I heard that some of the students of Greenfield University were killed, I became sad thinking that I would never see my daughter again but when I learnt they had been released, my joy knew no bounds, especially as her elder sister’s wedding comes up in Zaria tomorrow (Saturday). It is double joy for me.”
Another parent, Mr Friday Sanni, said before he could allow his two daughters – Victory and Rejoice – to return to the college, he must be assured of adequate security in the school.
Sanni said, “The truth remains that if my children must come back here, I must be sure that there is a serious security structure on the ground, that this kind of incident will not happen again.
“If in few months’ time nothing serious is on the ground, I will move my children out, because they are too dear to me.
“The first one will be 20 years old by September while the second one will be 18 by November. They are too dear to me to lose and I will not want this kind of experience again. I have never experienced this kind of situation before in my life.”
Speaking, the state Commissioner of Police, Umar Muri, said the freed students had undergone medical tests and were fit to be reunited with their parents.
“As we speak, the victims are all clinically stable,” he said.
He urged the students not to allow their ordeal to discourage them from pursuing their education.
Speaking on the process leading to their release, Muri said, “The federal and the state governments as well as the acting Inspector-General of Police, the state police command, the military and other sister security agencies adopted the best modus operandi at our disposal and 10 of the students were first released on April 5 and 8 in two batches.
“With this sustained effort, the remaining 27 kidnapped students were subsequently released to the command on May 5, at about 4.10pm without any casualty.”
The police commissioner said concerted efforts were being made to also secure the release of the abducted students of Greenfield University, who had been in captivity since April 20.
The Provost of the college, Dr Muhammad Bello, who received the students, appreciated all those involved in the process to get the students released.
“You should not be discouraged from pursuing your dreams,” Bello told the students.
Food Security: AFAN Set to Commence Court Action Against Agric Minister
The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has initiated legal proceedings against the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono over his stance to destabilise the body’s internal democracy structure and impede farmers efforts at working harmoniously with the federal government in attaining food security.
In a release signed by the Assistant Publicity Secretary of the umbrella body of farmers in the country, Salisu Mukhtar, the body noted that the undue interference of the minister, rooted in vendetta by insistently recognising an illegal faction, was at cross-purposes with its constitution and counter-intuitive to the rule of law.
“Upon the appointment of Alhaji Mohammed Sabo Nanono as HMA, who was once removed as acting Chairman of AFAN Kano State chapter in 2007 for misappropriating fertilizer, the undue interference in AFAN activities began.”
According to the body, AFAN being an NGO is not a department in FMARD and cannot be controlled or destroyed by any individual no matter how highly placed.
“Actions of the HMA which have become a mockery of the law include recognising an unconstitutional and illegitimate leadership faction of the association by playing host to them in his office on several occasions and accepting invitations by them in the full glare of the public, in spite of knowledge of the pending court case.
“This polarising act by a minister representing a constitutionally recognised administration of President Buhari, is undoubtedly antithetical to the rule of law and democratic norms, which are the bedrock of the administration he is serving under,” Murktar said.
The association is asking that the matter which is in Court 9 of the Federal High Court (FHC) before Justice Taiwo Taiwo should be allowed to be resolved, especially by the Plaintiffs who filed the suit in the first place.
“The minister’s actions are directly inimical to the economic progress of the sector which is also hinged on the leadership stability of the private sector stakeholders which AFAN represents.
“Farmers as an extension of the national polity, who participated in and voted overwhelmingly for this administration, are irked by the actions of the minister, which is inadvertently truncating the association’s efforts at enjoying internal democracy nationwide.
“To act in any way by the minister, the Plaintiffs’ lawyer or the Plaintiffs themselves, before the determination of the suit is lawless and adjudged a contempt of court.
“Justice must be allowed to take its course if AFAN is to continue to exist as the apex body of all farmer-associations by whatever name called in Nigeria,” Murktar said.
The body stated that AFAN was registered in 2005 by the CAC with reg: 18160 and three registered Trustees namely Murtala Nyako, Dr Shettima Mustafa and Chief Femi Coker as the apex body of all farmer-associations by whatever name called in Nigeria.
Murktar explained that: “President Olusegun Obasanjo advised then that Murtala Nyako should head the management of AFAN as National President and the duo of Chief Femi Coker and Shettima Mustafa to be deputies 1 and 2 respectively pending general election.
“All other officers were appointed as interim management members in the same manner.
“AFAN elections did not hold until after Abdullahi Adamu former governor of Nasarawa State became the President.
“The elections from the Wards of 774 LGAs to the 36 states plus FCT took nearly two years to be concluded.
“The National Election was conducted in 2014 and the elected Executives duly inaugurated.
“From this point on AFAN began to be recognized as the umbrella of all farmer-associations in Nigeria guided by its constitution as an NGO.”
AFAN on the 6th of May, 2021, served the minister a pre-action notice through their attorney A.O Okeya and Associates for legal actions against his person, for unduly interfering and recognising the Mr Faruk Rabiu faction in the capacity of leaders of the association.
The pre-action notice accused Rabiu’s faction of circulating letters to AFAN state chairmen across the 36 states of the country including the Federal Capital Territory, under the directive of the minister asking them to purchase inputs supplied by the ministry through them at exorbitant prices.
According to the association’s attorney: “We were informed that on the 26th of April, 2021, the said Faruk Mudi through his Counsel M.M Bakari Esq, wrote a letter to your office intimating you about an election conducted by them, which you directed the Permanent Secretary of your ministry to advise all agencies to recognise this illegal faction, knowing fully well that there is a pending matter at the Federal High Court 9 Abuja.”
“From the above, we demand that you desist from dealing, transacting, aiding and encouraging Faruk Mudi & Co to stop using your office to perpetrate injustice, as the leadership tussle is before a court of competent jurisdiction.
“Take notice therefore that this is a pre-action notice, as we shall seek redress in the law court and demand for damages against your person for aiding Faruk Mudi & Co to defraud AFAN members. You are warned.”
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