17 Aug 2014
Chad’s troops have rescued most of the 100 people kidnapped by the Boko Haram sect, following a successful military operation against the sect.
The terrorist group earlier this month kidnapped 100 people, according to a Nigerian security official and a local self-defence member.
The Associated Press reported that the rescue operation took place on Friday.
17 Aug 2014
Prelate/Moderator, General Assembly of Presbyterian Church of Nigeria,
Sacked doctors:Says negotiations with FG will continue after 16,000 sacked resident doctors are recalled
17 Aug 2014
The Nigerian Medical Association has vowed not to suspend the ongoing strike unless the Federal Government reverses the sacking of 16, 000 resident doctors.
The Lagos State Chairman of the association, Dr. Tope Ojo, who spoke at a press briefing in Lagos on Saturday, vowed that the NMA would only resume negotiations with the Federal Government when it reverses the sacking of the doctors.
16 Aug 2014
Major General Chris Olukolade TIME Speaking at a media interaction organised by INigerian Initiative, a non-governmental organisation active in the redefinition of Nigerians’ perception of their country, Olukolade insisted that either in hardware or in training, men of the Nigerian armed forces have everything it takes to combat the current enemy.
“The Nigerian military is well trained for the kind of war that it is presently engaged. Even before the advent of terrorism, our training doctrine has factored in counter terrorism right from the beginning. It’s only that the intensity may differ but everybody has knowledge of counter terrorism operations. It’s just that it’s only now that we are practising it in reality”, he told his audience in Abuja.
Also concerning hardware and equipment, the Defence Spokesperson said “be sure that it is incremental but you would see them when they are in action.” He debunked allegations of corruption and human rights abuses being levied against the military saying such are only capable of demoralising those engaged in securing the territorial integrity of the nation.
“Those series of allegations of corruption are unfounded, the series of allegations of cowardice are rather demoralising and other forms of insinuations in various forms only tend to give the impression the Nigerian armed forces is not capable of managing the situation.
“Unfortunately, this has remained the source for the international community that held us in very high esteem to begin to have a rethink. But the Nigerian armed forces has not been sleeping, we have been available in putting our expertise at the service of other nations. We have more of this in which we can put into the disposal of our country at as time like this and all we would need are encouragement of our fellow countrymen and their understanding.
“We can only assure them that we mean well. The officers that are put in charge of these men are trained to be leaders. We should let them do the job in times like this. The integrity of everybody is at stake, and the time has come when we should rather reduce the level of accusations that are meant to demoralise and discourage.”
Olukolade said the goal of Nigerian military and security forces at the moment “is to deny the terrorists the resources they need to continue to hold our citizens to ransom. We want to defeat them so decisively that every Nigerian can live in peace and be able to pursue his economic and social activities.
“We want to counter terrorism to the point that their coordination and their ability their future effort to destabilize and cause instability in our country will be negligible or non-existent. We also want to ensure that haven the military will continue to contribute to the development and progress of our country’s democratic state.”
He warned Nigerians and the media not to fall in for the propaganda of the enemy concerning the exploits of boko haram saying that many attacks being staged by the group in recent times are only a sign of their desperation in the face of losing operating spaces.
“The truth about recent attacks by boko haram is that all the places that they thought were their bases have been taken over by the military and so out of desperation, they are scattering everywhere. What they are doing is like a last battle for them.
“There had been occasions when the terrorists were reported to be using helicopters in their attacks whereas it was the Nigerian military helicopter that was flying to attack the rebels.
“Nonetheless, we are still committed to securing the civilian population at whatever cost. We are still committed in ensuring that we degrade their ability to continue their activity and eventually eliminate them”, he declared.
While declining to give details, Olukolade said Chibok Girls will be rescued and that it was not true that after securing Sambisa Forest, boko haram militants re-took it from the military.
He stated that “the Sambisa issue is strategic. We are not clearly out of Sambisa as I am talking to you. We are in Sambisa and we are in places contiguous to it”
“Sambisa Forest is over 6,000 square kilometres. It is not true that the place was re-taken by boko haram. There is freedom of movement in Nigeria and so, people move about freely. Do you know that there are village settlements and communities in the Sambisa Forest and that is another limitation to bombing?”
Olukolade reiterated “that no portion of this country is available for terrorists to occupy. If they appear to be doing so, it is just a joke. With respect to this location, everything is being done to ensure that everywhere in Nigeria is safe and secure. “
Concerning the recent report by Amnesty International indicting the military of violating human rights of citizens in the North East, he said “our team of investigators are already going round, calling people to assist them. They have invited officials of AI to help them verify what they presented in the report. I know that they are working frantically to produce their report and they are not leaving anything untouched but we hope that those who made those allegations equally have the level of respect for that body to tell our investigators what they know.”
Early in her remarks, the National Cordinator of Inigerian Initiative urged security agencies and media to be partners in national development and be seen as working towards the same goal.
She said: “we should be wary of individuals and groups that may have their own selfish agenda and want to scuttle our national development by debitating squabbling and devastating selfish interest.”
Babangida warns Jonathan over deployment of soldiers for elections •FG disagrees, APC backs Babangida
16 Aug 2014
Babangida issued the warning in an interview with newsmen in his Hill Top Mansion in Minna, Niger State, to mark his 73rd birthday, which comes up tomorrow.
President Goodluck Jonathan, as the Commander- in-Chief, has developed a template for providing security during elections using soldiers along with other security forces.
He did this in the governorship elections in Anambra, Edo, Ekiti and, last week, in Osun states.
Some opposition parties have been kicking against the practice which they have described as antithetical to democratic ethos.
According to General Babangida, continued usage of soldiers in election duties would not be in the interest of anyone including even the military itself, which he said could soon be compromised as was done with the police.
“I don’t believe the military should supervise elections. I don’t believe they should participate in them...I was already an officer in the Nigerian Army in the 60s and there was no military presence in the streets in those days but the police. I think it is high time we restored the glory of the force.
“I am not sure military guys should be involved in these civic duties. It cannot continue like this. I don’t believe the military guys should be seen on the streets,” Babangida warned.
He argued that political leaders should be equal to the challenge of elections, even where the task appears complex.
“Up till date, there are places that you need logistical support by the political leaders. For example, there are boats in the creeks of the Niger Delta. The boats can access remote villages and townships in that region, not the road, during the elections.
“So, I can see a government that would say okay, if you go to villages in the creeks and we have boats that can get in there, you can ask those people operating the boats to use their boats in ferrying ballot boxes to such places that cannot be easily accessed through the roads and that is perfectly okay. But I don’t believe the military guys should be seen on the streets,” Babangida said.
(See full interview on politics pages)
The Federal Government is, however, convinced that the involvement of soldiers has been instrumental in the success of the governorship elections in Edo, Ekiti and Osun states and that the development has marked a radical improvement in Nigeria’s electoral system.
Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, during an interaction with journalists, underscored the need for the country to sustain the tempo of military participation in the electoral process.
He described the move as a measure of the commitment of the current administration to give Nigerians a legacy of free and fair elections, devoid of harassment or intimidation in any form.
“It is not militarisation of the society if we have come to realise that with the military participating in the area of security during elections, we are getting an improved outcome.
“It makes good sense to study that and invest in it. As of now, the military are way ahead of other security agencies when it comes to the enforcement of law and order in this country,” the minister argued.
(See full interview on politics page)
APC backs IBB
However, supporting Babangida’s view, the All Progressives Congress’ National Legal Adviser, Dr Muiz Banire, said deployment of soldiers for election purposes could only serve to cause apathy in voters, even as he described the development as alien to the Electoral Act.
He questioned the rationale behind such deployment when there were the police and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) who were statutorily meant to carry out civic duties such as at elections.
“A lot of people could not come out to vote. They were afraid that bullets might fly from nowhere and hit them. They were afraid of the guns all over the place and so decided not to come out to vote.
“The Electoral Act does not even recognise that. The only people who are legitimately permitted to stay near the polling booth are the presiding officer, the polling clerk and the agents. It is only where there is a problem that the presiding officer can call in security officials.
“Civil duties are meant to be carried out by the police. Even the civil defence has arms too. Now, what is the job of the Department of State Service? They are telling Nigerians that they are incompetent.
“Soldiers are not meant to be within the country, they are not trained for internal security. They are trained for external conflicts except where there are insurrections. Even where there are, have they been able to tame them?” Banire said.
16 Aug 2014
By Ezekiel Attah
The Presidency on Friday distanced itself from a press release alleging that President Goodluck Jonathan revealed he knew the location of over 200 schoolgirls abducted from Government Secondary School, Chibok in Borno State by Boko Haram over four months ago.
In a statement by Jonathan’s spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, the presidency said, “all media organisations and persons on my mailing list should kindly disregard the press release purportedly issued by me earlier today titled: President Jonathan Reveals Location of Chibok Girls And Exposes Boko Haram Masterminds.
“No such press release was written or circulated by me. It is clearly the work of fraudsters who have hacked into my email account in an odious attempt to mislead the public at the expense of the credibility of the Jonathan administration.
“We totally condemn this criminal resort to political dirty tricks which seeks to cynically play on national concern and emotions about the Boko Haram insurgency and fate of the abducted Chibok girls.
“Aspects of the fraudulent press release, such as its incoherence and invitation to click on a link, would have alerted discerning persons who are conversant with the style and format of my press statements to the possibility of skulduggery.
“I find it necessary, however, to issue this disclaimer for the benefit of the unwary.”
16 Aug 2014
The Imo state police command have successfully rescued and returned two babies abducted from their mothers a few hours after they were born.
While presenting the rescued babies to their mothers at the Imo state Police command headquarters, the head of the anti-human trafficking unit of the Imo police command, Mrs Elizabeth Okosun, said the police was able to rescue one of the babies after a tip-off by a commercial tricycle rider who suspected the shady behavior of the suspects when they boarded his tricycle about to travel with the baby to another state.
baby2 Two Stolen Babies Reunited With Parents In Imo State
“The Keke man suspected them that this baby must have been stolen and dropped them at the Young Shall Grow car park on their way to Lagos.
Then the Keke man now ran to the police station ” Okosun said
One of fathers of the babies, Mr Daniel Duruji while narrating how his baby was abducted said;
“Armed robbers came to the maternity around 6.30am and took away the child with a gun.
They shot the gun and took away the child from my wife”
For 24 year old student Vivien Iwuji, she said she was deceived by her sister-in-law who promised to help her take care of her child while she studied not knowing the woman wanted to sell her baby
baby3 Two Stolen Babies Reunited With Parents In Imo State
Speaking at the reunion ceremony, the state’s police commissioner, Abdulmajid Ali, pledged to rid the state of child traffickers.
He said three suspects have been arrested in connection with the issue and appealed to religious and community leaders to give the police information if any woman or family without prior notice of pregnancy is seen with a new baby.