The Coalition Against Terrorism and Extremism (CATE) says the North-East region is closer to safety following the killing of high-ranking Boko Haram commander, Amir Goni Maina.
Goni Maina was the acclaimed Governor of Lake Chad Tumbuns. He perceived the area as his territory from where he ochestrated several deadly attacks.
The once-inviscible terror kingpin, however, met his waterloo on Wednesday, following an offensive by the troops of Operation Lafiya Dole. This comes few days after a recent charge by President Muhammadu Buhari to the military to take the battle to the insurgents.
And in a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Gabriel Onoja, on Thursday, the CATE applauded the military, it’s leadership and the troops that carried out the succesful operation in line with President Buhari’s order.
According to the coalition, Goni Maina’s death is a befitting consequence for the massacre of scores of farmers in Koshobe and Zabarmari areas of Borno State. It further charged the troops to maintain the momentum and fish out all the remnants of terrorists in the Lake Chad region.
The group, however, assured that with the demise of Goni Maina and sustained onslaught by the troop, the North-East region would soon experience a new lease of life.
Read full statement below:
The Coalition Against Terrorism and Extremism (CATE) is pleased to learn of the exploit by the Nigerian Military with the killing of a high-ranking Boko Haram commander, Amir Goni Maina, who in his lifetime posed as the Governor of Lake Chad Tumbuns. With Amir Maina’s death the northeast region of Nigeria is one step closer to being made safe for civilians to live their lives in peace.
CATE unequivocally commends the Nigerian military, it’s leadership and the troops that carried out the operation for their success in striking at the heart of the insurgency in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive. The Army has continued to show that it is capable of holding its own and taking the battle to the insurgents in all their hideouts and enclaves.
Amir Maina’s death is a befitting consequence for the massacre of scores of farmers in Koshobe, Zabarmari area of Borno state, Nigerians want more terrorists -whether Boko Haram or ISWAP- to pay for the heinous crime of going after civilians. It is our firm belief that other unrepentant terrorists will soon be doing escort duty for Amir Maina as they are dispatched from the face of the earth.
We therefore charge the military to fish out all the remnants of Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists in the Lake Chad region dead or alive within the shortest period possible. The military should ensure that there is no terrorists spared in this round of operation against the terrorists to ensure that they do not have time to recover or ever regroup again.
Even if the terrorists should indicate interest in a ceasefire or peace talks such overture should be spurned by the military and the government since such had in the past turned out to be mere ploys by the terrorists to buy time, regroup, recruit new fighters and train them.
In CATE’s opinion, anyone or any organization that broaches the idea of ceasefire, peace talks or any suggestion that could potentially buy Boko Haram terrorists some moments of reprieve must seen as an enemy of the state and enemy of Nigerians. These are individuals and entities that failed to demand that the terrorists abandon their evil ways and allow the people of the northeast live their lives in peace.
CATE is stating this because we have heard of plans by some individuals and some organizations so slow down the impending escalation of military actions against Boko Haram terrorists by rushing to offer themselves as peace brokers in order to corner the military into accepting a ceasefire. They will also request for the opening of humanitarian corridors for relief materials and safe passage for civilians, which in reality would be escape routes for terrorists that would be cornered in the impending offensive. Where these approaches fails, these persons and organizations will accuse the military of committing human right abuses by claiming that some of the terrorists to be killed in the operations are civilians.
Several foreign news networks have been placed on standby to publicize skewed versions of whichever of these plans is being implemented in order to draw international condemnation to the military operation to crush Boko Haram.
We urge the military, particularly the Nigerian Army, not to be deterred in the resolve to carry out Mr. President’s directive to flush all terrorists out of the Lake Chad Basin irrespective of what blackmail is directed at it.
Fraud: FBI Nab Dapo Abiodun’s Aide, Abidemi Rufai, in New York
The United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation have arrested Abidemi Rufai, a Senior Special Assistant to Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, over $350,000 employment fraud.
Rufai was arrested on Friday evening at the John F Kennedy International Airport in New York based on criminal complaint.
He was subsequently charged with defrauding Washington State Employment Security Department of over $350,000.
According to the US Department of Justice, District of Washington, 42-year-old Rufai was alleged to have used the pseudonym Sandy Tang and the stolen identities of more than 100 Washington residents to file fraudulent claims with Employment Security Department for unemployment benefits last year during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Acting US Attorney Tessa Gorman said, “Rufai also filed fraudulent unemployment claims with Hawaii, Wyoming, Massachusetts, Montana, New York, and Pennsylvania. Rufai used variations of a single e-mail address in a manner intended to evade automatic detection by fraud systems. By using this practice, Rufai made it appear that each claim was connected with a different email account.”
The criminal complaint also said Rufai mailed some of the proceeds of his fraud to the Jamaica and New York addresses of his relatives with more than $288,000 deposits between March and August 2020.
“Since the first fraud reports to our office in April 2020, we have worked diligently with a federal law enforcement team to track down the criminals who stole funds designated for pandemic relief,” said Gorman. “This is the first, but will not be the last, significant arrest in our ongoing investigation of ESD fraud.”
Special Agent in Charge FBI Seattle, Donald Voiret, said, “Greed is a powerful motivator. Unfortunately, the greed alleged to this defendant affects all taxpayers. The FBI and our partners will not stand idly by while individuals attempt to defraud programs meant to assist American workers and families suffering the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Rufai made his initial appearance last Saturday in New York and he is scheduled for a detention hearing Wednesday. Rufai risks 30 years in prison if found guilty of wire fraud.
The Governor has since suspended Rufai .
Troops Foil Boko Haram Attempts To Infiltrate Dikwa Town
The troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE have decisively routed elements of Boko Haram Terrorists and their Islamic State of West Africa Province(ISWAP) counterpart who attempted to infiltrate and attack Dikwa town in Dikwa Local Government Area of Borno State.
The terrorist groups who stormed the town in an unconfirmed number of gun trucks and motorcycles were visited with heavy bombardment and overwhelming firepower by troops of 81 Task Force Battalion with reinforcement from other formations of the Nigerian Army and aided by air support of Air Task Force Operation LAFIYA DOLE.
The terrorists attempted to invade the town to loot food items and other logistics having got wind of the recent food distribution to residents of the town by the state governor, Professor Babagana Zulum.
They came in their droves through the Marte axis but could not gain access to the town due to the combat readiness of troops who were positioned there.
The terrorists subsequently lost initiative as they were cut off completely following the recent successful recapture of Marte town by the gallant troops.
In desperation and to scare off residents from returning to their homes, they planted series of landmines on the roads which were also detected and successfully detonated by troops.
Consequently, the Army Headquarters wishes to debunk the unsubstantiated reports on social media suggesting that the terrorists attacked UN Base in BORNO, trapping 25 Aid Workers as published by some outlets.
Those false and sensational reports are clearly aimed at stirring up tension in the region and diminishing the glaring efforts and sacrifices of the Nigerian military in the fight against insurgency.
The COAS, Major General Ibrahim Attahiru, has commended the efforts of the gallant troops’ and the prompt response of the Air Task Force in providing air interdictions throughout the operation.
Army Kill 8 Boko Haram Terrorists In Yobe, Borno
The Nigerian Army says it’s troops of Operation TURA TAKAIBANGO a subsidiary Operation of Operation LAFIYA DOLE in the North East has killed 8 Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists in Yobe state and Borno states.
The Army says its troops also destroyed several terrorist’s hideouts, gun trucks and recovered cache of arms and ammunition belonging to the terrorists.
The acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brig.-Gen. Bernard Onyeuko, in a statement on Tuesday said the troops of Operation TURA TAKAIBANGO has continued to degrade the Boko Haram/Islamic State’s West Africa Province criminals as they eliminate more Boko Haram/ Islamic State West Africa Province terrorists in their enclaves at Chindila town in Yobe State and Mayankari in Borno state respectively.
TURA TAKAIBANGO is a subsidiary of Operation Lafiya Dole, set up to clear the remnants of the Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists in the North East.
Onyeuko said the troops had on 25 January 2021 at about 1pm, the gallant troops of 233 Bn located at Babangida on an aggressive clearance patrol made contact with Boko Haram criminals at Chindila village.
According to him, after the decisive encounter, the troops neutralized 5 Boko Haram terrorists while some escaped with gunshots wounds.
“Items recovered include; 3 x AK 47 Rifles, quantity 5 x Magazines,17 Rounds of 7.62mm ammunition. The gallant troops are in pursuit of the enemies and have continued to dominate the general area” he said.
Onyeuko also disclosed that on 25 Jnauary 2021 at about 4pm troops of 151 Bn, 202 Bn and elements of Multinational Joint Task Force on fighting patrol made contact with some Boko Haram marauding criminals at Mayankari.
“In a swift and aggressive response, the troops engaged the terrorists with heavy gunfire and the process neutralized 3 Boko Haram criminals while others escaped with gunshot wounds”.
“Items recovered include: 3 x AK 47 Rifles, 1 x Solar panel and 1 x Improvised Explosive Device making equipment. The troops thereafter destroyed their hideout after the encounter and exploiting the general area in search of the escaped criminals”.
Onyeuko commended the troops for their continued dedication and determination in flushing out remnants of the terrorists from their hideouts.
He also assured the people of the determination of the military high command to finally rout the remnants of Boko Haram/ISWAP criminals from their enclaves.
Onyeuko encouraged the people to avail the troops with credible information that would help in the execution of the operation.
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