No fewer than 31 suspected terrorists and a member of the youth vigilance group, popularly called ‘Civilian JTF’, were killed yesterday in a clash which erupted in Zagardajeri village on the outskirts of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital. Our correspondent gathered that the incident, which occurred about 1p.m., forced some residents of the village to flee the area, turning the village to a ‘ghost town’. A resident, who did not want his name mentioned, said that some Boko Haram sect members were sighted by some ‘Civilian JTF’ in London Ciki ward of the metropolis and swung into action, ostensibly to arrest them.
First Lady Patience Jonathan yesterday spoke of her problem with Rivers State Governor Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi. Mrs. Jonathan, who has been linked with the Rivers Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) crisis, told visiting Bishops in Abuja that the disagreement started four years ago. Sixteen Bishops from the Southsouth Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) visited her at the Presidential Villa. She told them that she had committed the crisis to prayer. The crisis last week culminated in a free-for-all at House of Assembly in Port Harcourt when five members attempted to impeach Speaker Otelemaba Dan Amachree in a 32-member House.
Some unusual visitors were at the Government House, Maiduguri, the troubled Borno State capital, on Tuesday night. Fifty in all, the visitors —Orphans all — were guests of Governor Kashim Shettima, who broke his fast with them. They were orphans of Boko Haram victims. Besides the fine meal, they bagged all-round sholarship to pursue their education. According to a statement by the Special Adviser to the governor on Media and Communications, Alhaji Isa Gusau, the governor said the scholarship would cut across orphans from both Muslim and Christian homes.
Imo State Police Command yesterday recovered more civil war bombs, rocket launchers and other active explosive devices buried during the Nigeria-Biafra war in five local council areas of the state. The recovered explosives include old wartime ammunition from an old military trench in Okigwe Local Government Area, five primed Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) found in Ezinihitte Mbaise Local Government Area, 10 live wartime military bombs recovered at Ogbaku in Mbaitoli Local Government Area, six live old wartime military bombs recovered at a building site at Ohuba, in Ohaji/Egbema Local Council Area and Improvised Explosive Device (IED) found at Okigwe axis.
Anambra State ExeGovernment on Tuesday approved contracts for development projects valued at N5.5bn.
The North said on Tuesday that the role being played by wife of President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience, and the abuse of the rule of law in Rivers State showed that the country was sliding into anarchy and lawlessness. A coalition of northern groups, which included the Arewa Consultatve Forum, the Northern Elders’ Forum, the Code Group, the Arewa Reawakening Forum, the Northern Union and the Arewa Research and Development Project, made the declaration at a press conference in Kaduna. Spokesman for the NEF, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, who spoke on behalf of the coalition at a joint press conference , insisted that the hands of the Presidency were clearly visible in the Rivers State saga that “appears to draw inspiration from the ambition of President Goodluck Jonathan to stay in power in 2015.”
Six Northern organisations, including the Arewa Consultative Forum and the Northern Elders’ Forum, on Tuesday insisted that the North must produce the nation’s President in 2015. The ACF, the NEF, Arewa Reawakening Forum, Arewa Research and Development Project, Northern Union and the Code Group , said at a news conference in Kaduna, that an existing agreement that the Presidency should return to the region must be strictly followed. NEF spokesman and former Adviser on Food Security to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, who spoke for the groups, warned that if parties to the pact failed to adhere to it, the North would use its numerical strength to ensure that power returned to it in 2015. “The North is determined and is insistent that the leadership of this country will rotate to it in 2015 and I am making that very very clear to you (journalists), Abdullahi said.
Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Azubike Ihejirika, yesterday, said that the Nigerian Army has recruited over 16,000 officers and men to beef up its operations within and outside the country in the last two years. Ihejirika spoke during the Nigerian Army Combat Support Arms Training Week 2013, with the theme Enhancing the Capacity of the Nigerian Army Combat Support Arms in the Contemporary Environment, at the Nigerian Army School of Military Engineering, NASME, in Makurdi, Benue State capital. Meanwhile, Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue State has described the army as “the backbone, hope and stabilising factor in our country’s democracy and therefore deserves the continuous support and encouragement of the political class.”
The Joint Task Force, JTF, has killed three Boko Haram members in Jigawa State and recovered their weapons in a pre-dawn raid at Guri Local Government Area of the state.
NIGERIA may be sanctioned by the United Nations for the visit of the Sudanese President, Omar al-Bashir, to the country The International Criminal Court, The Hague, said on Tuesday, that it might report Nigeria to the UN Security Council for possible sanction over its failure to arrest al-Bashir, during his visit to the country. This came even as the European Union maintained on Tuesday that UN member states, including Nigeria, a state which is a party to Rome Statute, should abide by and implement the UN resolutions. Al-Bashir cut short his visit to Nigeria and abruptly left on Monday amid calls for his arrest by groups and activists.