Boko Haram ISWAP wrecks havoc on Another Borno Village

***kill 4, kidnap scores including women, children.

By: Ali Musa Biu- Maiduguri 

Suspected Members of the Islamic State West Africa, ISWAP invaded Kautikari village of Chibok Local Government Area in Borno state killing four residents and abducted unspecified number of women and children.
Fleeing residents told our correspondent on Saturday morning that
apart from burning down a church and some residential houses, the insurgents also invaded the residence of a renowned business man (name withheld) and set all his properties ablaze before snatching a cell phone belonging to his wife.

Kautikari is located East and about 15kilometers drive from Chibok town predominantly occupied by Christian Faithfuls.
Unfortunately, a son inlaw (name withheld) of the business man who resides with his family in Maiduguri told our Correspondent that he received a distress call from the snatched phone of his mother inlaw by the insurgents demanding for recharge card early Saturday morning, before he inform the caller that ‘God is in Control’, and quickly put off the phone.

“Our people of Kautikari are displaced following the attack on the community last Friday which is our market day.

“The armed insurgents killed four people, destroy shops and looted food items. They also abducted scores of women and children as many are still missing.

“Our Church has been razed down, including my father in law’s house and shops in the community. I spoke with some of the family and they told me they are all safe, though displaced now.

“Unfortunately, my mother inlaw’s cell phone was snatched from her by the terrorists. I received a distress call from the snatched phone this morning by the insurgents demanding for recharge card, before i informed the caller that ‘God is in Control’, and i quickly put off the phone. He narrated.

Zulum receives women, children who escaped from Boko Haram bondage

Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno on Monday received six women and nine children who escaped from the bondage of Boko Haram terrorists.

Presenting the women and children to the governor in Maiduguri, the Commissioner of Women Affairs, Hajiya Zuwaira Gambo, said they were abducted in Borno and Adamawa.

They, however, escaped from the terrorists in Buni-Yadi axis from where they trekked for six days to reach Damboa town in Borno.

According to Gambo, three women comprising Maryam Ishaya with one child, Rachel Simon with two children and Esther Ayuba with two children were abducted in Takulasha Village of Chibok LGA of Borno on Oct. 3, 2020.

Gambo said that the remaining three women comprising Alheri Ezekiel with two children, Victoria Andrew, and Victoria James with two children of Cofure Village of Hong LGA of Adamawa were abducted on May 5, 2021.

Zulum said government was doing everything possible to speedily rehabilitate and reintegrate all Boko Haram victims into the society.

“I am very happy to receive you, my daughters, after you fell prey to Boko Haram terrorists. We thank God Almighty for rescuing and protecting you from the hands of the terrorists.

Receiving the victims, Zulum said government would support and reintegrate them.

He expressed gratitude to God for the development and urged for sustain effort and prayers for a lasting solution to the insurgency and other security challenges facing the nation.

More than 8,000 Boko Haram terrorists have surrendered – GOC

The Acting General Officer Commanding (GOC), 7 Division, Brig.-Gen. Abdulwahab Eyitayo, says more than 8,000 Boko Haram terrorists have so far surrendered to troops

He said the terrorists surrendered from their enclaves in Sambisa Forests, as well as other hideouts.

Eyitayo, who is also the Commander, Sector 1, Operation Hadin Kai, disclosed this during a visit by the Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu and a team of Defence Correspondents form Abuja on Tuesday, in Maiduguri.

He said the surrender by the repentant terrorists was a welcome development, adding that, the overwhelming fire power of the troops was responsible

According to him, one of the reasons they are surrendering in droves is the overwhelming fire power from the troops.

” It is because every man’s endeavour is motivated by his family’s wellbeing, that is why they are coming out with their families. We started seeing the signs from June.

“Our intensified operations had blocked their logistics’ routes and supplies, bombardments all over, that is why they started surrendering and diseases have overpowered many of them.

“It was better because in the end, the troops will clear all of them and their sympathisers combined,” he said.

The GOC warned that a time would come that the window of surrender would no longer be available, urging the sympathisers of the terrorists to encourage them to come out.

He added that whoever supported the enemies of the state would also be treated as an enemy by the state forces.

He said the military was more determined than ever to deal decisively with the terrorists and their supporters.

On the handling of the surrendered terrorists, Eyitayo disclosed that the Nigerian army was responsible for receiving, profiling or screening of the terrorists.

The GOC stated that afterwards, they would be handed over to the Borno government for further action.

He explained that a sizeable number of the surrendered, comprised wives and children of the terrorists, as well as those that were forcefully recruited into their folds.

Earlier, the director, army public relations, said the media tour was part of efforts to counter the wrong narratives and apprehensions generated by recent surrenders of the terrorists.

Nwachukwu acknowledged and commended efforts of the troops in putting pressure on the terrorists to abandon their illicit activities.

Boko Haram desertions in Nigeria could be the tipping point – Study

At least 2,122 people associated with Boko Haram have left the group since Abubakar Shekau, long-time leader of its faction, Jama’atu Ahlis Sunnah lid-Da’wati wa’l-Jihad (JAS), died in May this year.

Understanding why members leave Boko Haram is important – it provides authorities with information that can be used to counter terrorism in the area, the South Africa-based Institute for Security Studies (ISS) reported on Thursday.

ISS said it is largely two categories of people associated with JAS who are leaving. The first is civilians who couldn’t move away from areas under Shekau’s control while he was alive for fear of ruthless reprisals. The second category is fighters, high-ranking commanders and their families.

According to ISS, large-scale desertions from Boko Haram have occurred before, when notable events presented opportunities for people to leave the group.

Sustained actions by Nigeria’s military in 2014 and the major Multinational Joint Task Force-led operation against Boko Haram weeks before the country’s general elections in 2015 resulted in many members leaving.

The biggest wave of withdrawals was triggered by the 2016 intra-group rivalry that culminated in Boko Haram splitting into two factions – JAS and the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP).

Extensive counter-insurgency messaging by the government in that year also played a role. During this period, 800 Boko Haram associates surrendered to the government in three weeks. By the end of 2016, over 1,000 had left the group in Nigeria.

Events since May show that the absence of leadership can severely damage Boko Haram.

ISS research shows that people turned away from Boko Haram between 2015 and 2020 because of military operations against the group, poor living conditions for members, disillusionment and misalignment of objectives. There were at least 4,227 desertions from Boko Haram in the Lake Chad Basin up to 2020.

The recent departures occurred mainly in Nigeria, specifically Borno State. Combatants and affiliates are also surrendering to authorities in Cameroon, as some communities are close to the border between the two countries. People are leaving villages in and around Sambisa and other local government areas where JAS was known to operate.

However, disengagement isn’t occurring in Niger or Chad. JAS’s Bakura Doro sub-unit operating on the Lake Chad islands covering those axes is intact. It’s also insulated from intergroup clashes and ISWAP’s power grab that is happening in and around Sambisa – a move that is also fuelling desertions, according to ISS research.

Two primary reasons account for the mass departures. First, ISWAP is allowing civilians who do not want to be part of the group to leave. These were people who JAS, under Shekau, had kept against their will, using them as forced, unpaid labour and human shields. Those who tried to leave and were caught were severely punished, and in some cases, executed.

Some fighters leave without disassociating from the group, or denouncing Boko Haram’s ideology

Second, some JAS fighters who don’t want to join ISWAP are fleeing for their safety.

As ISWAP tightens its monopoly on violent extremist operations in the Lake Chad Basin, it has demoted some JAS commanders, replacing them with its own younger leaders from the Lake Chad islands.

Some JAS commanders were ousted because of their links to armed robbery, cattle rustling and kidnapping, and ISWAP doesn’t want them in positions of authority, sources say.

This has resulted in some disquiet in Sambisa. The ousted commanders are urging their combatants to protest against the injustice of Shekau’s death. Having been marked for arrest and possible execution, and realising they cannot defeat ISWAP in battle, these disaffected JAS members have just two choices. They can surrender to the military or risk the long journey to the Lake Chad islands area where new JAS leaders Bakura Doro and Bakura Sa’alaba are based.

Some JAS fighters who have tried to move from Sambisa to the Lake Chad islands have been blocked by ISWAP in Kumshe, in Borno State’s Bama local government area. Those who surrender to government authorities have done so discreetly to avoid ISWAP attacks.

Events since May show the security forces that the absence of leadership can severely damage Boko Haram. To further weaken the group, particularly ISWAP, military operations should target those in command of the extremist group. This could trigger more disengagements from ISWAP, further weakening Boko Haram as a whole.

Members’ reasons for deserting are as different as their roles in the group. Fighters leave without actually disassociating from the group or denouncing Boko Haram’s ideology. Surrendering to government forces just gives them a better chance of survival than the certain death of confronting ISWAP.

Nigerian security forces’ improved conduct and public image could also contribute to fighters surrendering to them, as they’re reportedly being treated humanely. Authorities can make the most of this as they try to end the decade-long crisis.

ISS researchers suggest that governments in the Lake Chad Basin region should use the ongoing departures to cripple the violent extremist group.

Governments should also follow judicial and rehabilitation processes in dealing with former fighters and their dependents. This might encourage further desertions, counter recidivism, improve intelligence gathering and prevent former combatants from reintegrating into communities far from the Lake Chad Basin.

Programmes for those who leave violent extremist groups cannot be generic. They must be tailored to the needs of the groups and individuals, including women and children, who make up the majority of the departures.

Countries must be prepared, however, as the current waves of desertions could strain the capacity of transit and rehabilitation centres, especially the Meri transit camp in Cameroon. Lake Chad Basin governments need to urgently bolster their technical, material and operational capacities to be ready for this.

Boko Haram: Zulum inducts 1,000 hunters to secure farmers

Borno State Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum on Thursday chaired the induction of 1,000 hunters freshly engaged to join existing ones in the ongoing fight against Boko Haram.

The hunters are to provide dedicated protection to farmers who cultivate crops in outskirts of Jere, where over 70 farmers were killed in November 2020 as well as farms in parts of Maiduguri metropolis, Konduga and Mafa Local Government Areas. 

Zulum has since 2019, engaged the services of thousands of hunters drawn from different parts of northern Nigeria, to join volunteers in the civilian JTF and vigilantes. The Governor also increased and automated monthly allowances of all volunteers, provided kits, surveillance tools and allocated hundreds of vehicles to units in all of Borno’s 27 local government areas. 

Induction of the latest 1,000 addition of hunters was done at Gongulong ward, weeks after each of them completed security vetting by the DSS and the military. The event was attended by Secretary to Borno state Government, Usman Jidda Shuwa, head of service, Barr. Simon Malgwi, commissioners and other government officials. 

“Our local hunters have become part of our success story because of their active involvement in trying to address the security challenges we have been facing in the state. This largely prompted us to engage in the recruitment of more hunters to assist our gallant military in their undeniable and commendable efforts to end the insurgency” Zulum said. 

In a welcome address, member representing Jere at the House of Representatives, Satomi Ahmed, lauded Zulum for his foresight and determination to secure lives and property of Borno people. 

The Governor has been combining mass recruitment and equipping of more counter insurgency volunteers into the C-JTF, hunters, and vigilantes, with support for the Nigerian Armed forces, and provision of education, and socio economic support to vulnerable persons across the state.

43 farmers killed by Boko Haram didn’t have clearance to farm —Buhari’s aide

The Presidency on Monday stated that the 43 farmers that were killed by Boko Haram on Saturday did not have military clearance to be on the rice farms when the attack happened.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said this in an interview with the BBC on Monday.

He said while not blaming the victims for the incident, the truth must be said.

Shehu said, “The government is sad that this tragic incident has happened. 43 or thereabout of innocent farm workers, most of them had their throats slit by a heartless band of terrorists. People need to know what it is like in the Lake Chad Basin area.

“Much of those areas have been liberated from Boko Haram terrorists but there are a number of spaces that have not been cleared for the return of villagers who have been displaced. So, ideally, all of these places ought to pass the test of military clearances before farmers or settlers resume activities on those fields.”

When asked if he was not blaming the farmers for going to the area, Shehu responded, “Not exactly but the truth has to be said. Was there any clearance by the military which is in total control of those areas? Did anybody ask to resume activity? I have been told by the military leaders that they had not been so advised and certainly, therefore, it was a window that the terrorists exploited.”

The President’s spokesman said terrorists had planted land mines in several places in Borno State and nobody ought to go to these places until the military has cleared such places.

He added, “The military is not present in every inch of space in that area. Even if the people are willing to go back, a lot of those areas have been mined and mine clearance needs to be carried out and those areas must be cast as being ok for human habitation or agricultural activity.”

Again, Gov. Zulum urges Boko Haram members to surrender

Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno has again urged members of the Boko Haram to stop the killings and surrender.

Zulum made the call on Wednesday at the launch of Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) Super Camp and lists of key Boko Haram wanted members in Chabbal in Konduga Local Government Area.

Zulum said that the insurgents needed to realise that they are just killing their brothers and sisters, and destroying properties of their parents.

“For those that are still in the bush terrorising innocent lives and properties, I am still calling on them to surrender.

“You are killing your brothers and sisters, destroying our structures that are built using money from your forefather,” Zulum said.

He lauded the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, for streamlining the CJTF operations into that of the military, adding that it would enhance insurgency fight.

Zulum reiterated the commitment of his administration to supporting the military and CJTF to continue to deliver in the fight against insurgency.

The governor announced a donation of 100 motorcycles to members of the CJTF to enhance their operations in the rural areas.

He urged the people of Borno to accord the military and other security agencies maximum support on the renewed onslaught on the Boko Haram terrorists.

Buratai and the Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj.-Gen. Farouk Yahaya, lauded the role of CJTF as indigenes of Borno who understands the terrain in the insurgency fight.

They lauded the support of Borno Government in the fight against insurgency and assured it of the military‘s commitment to deal with the insurgents.

IG condemns attack on security convoy in Borno

Mr Mohammed Adamu, has condemned attack on security convoy in Borno by armed men suspected to be Boko Haram terrorists.

The Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Mr Frank Mba, made this known in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the convoy came under attack on Friday along Monguno – Cross Kawua road.

The convoy was heading to Baga, as part of collective efforts at restoring civil authority in the community.

The IG condoled with the families and friends of those killed during the attack.

The police boss had directed the Police Health Maintenance Organisation (HMO) to provide adequate medicare to the officers who sustained injury during the attack.

The IG also ordered the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of the Police Medical Services to work in synergy with the Commissioner of Police, Borno Command and the police HMO to provide the needed medical care.

Adamu said that the morale of police officers and other security agencies involved in providing security, especially in Borno, had not and would not be dampened by the incident.

According to him, the incident has further served as impetus in strengthening the resolve and commitment of the personnel of the force in the fight against insurgency and other crimes. (NAN)

Between Gov Zulum, Security Agencies, the Terrorists and the mystery Attacks

By: Inuwa Bwala

ANRP urges Borno governor-elect to run people-oriented administration

So many questions crossed my mind immediately on receiving the news of the second ambush on the convoy of Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum. Besides my personal worries for his safety and the likely triumph by the insurgents over his territory, I was confused as to what is really happening.
The first and most obvious question that came to my mind was, whether it was a sabotage to his efforts in trying to resettle displaced people back to their ancestral abodes, and if that is the case, then, who could be behind the sabotage and for what benefits? Secondly, is it that he is not being given the correct information on the situation on ground? Again, why is he being given wrong intelligence as chief security officer?
Why are such attacks coming from a particular axis, or Is there something somebody is trying to conceal from him in Baga, and or is it a fallacy that the terrorists have been dislodged from the area?
I further ask, for the umpteenth time, whether these boys who lack Military training are technically better side and that is why we continue to record more casualties than them every time they strike?
One is further bound to ask, whether the narrative is true, to the effect that there are collaborators in government, and that the fight is in itself a lucrative business venture for some conflict profiteers?
More poignantly: who wants Governor Babagana Umara Zulum dead. Amidst many other questions I further ask, could the whole Boko Haram saga be politics, more than it is a security problem, bordering on transborder criminality? There are just too many questions to ask, the answers to which may not be readily available. I now ask, what needs to be done in the face of this obvious threat to National integrity and cohesion.
It is against this background that I wish to posit, that, mere verbal condemnation of the attacks on Governor Zulum is not enough, the Federal Government and indeed Nigerians must rise up to the occasion now, or be ready to accept the reality of loosing Borno: the Lake Chad region in particular to ISWAP, with attendant consequences.
Governor Babagana Umara Zulum is doing everything expected of a leader to ensure an end to this national malady, but Nigerians should accept the fact that he is handicapped. Very often, his furastration manifest in his open confrontation with the Military, which some people interpret to mean being ungrateful to Military contributions. People around him can attest to the fact that, the Governor is so overwhelmed by the passion to succeed, and any act that seem to negate that drive for solution attracts his wrath.
It is high time Borno citizens, leaders of thought, elders, the clergy, traditional rulers, women and youth and indeed all citizens who desire peace, to confront the Federal Government, and remind her, that, as much as we appreciate her efforts, the efforts are not good enough, until the whole saga is ended.
I dare say, that, the attacks on Governor Babagana Zulum are getting too many for comfort, and the blood if those being wasted as a result of the attack are overflowing the banks if national sacrifice. Periods like this call for support to the Governor and not mere lamentations. Zulum has said it, that, he understabds the motive behind the attacks, and because has had sworn by the Quran to serve, he will be ready to pay the supreme price than accept to be slowed down.
Listening to tge Givernor speak, as he paid glowing tributes to those killed on hus convoy, many were moved to tears, knowing that, had he travelled along with the convoy, thanks to the state assignment that held him back, he probably might have been amongst those fallen. But the resolve in voice was unmistakable and the fire to move on could be seen in his eyes. Zulum needs prayers too as he move on.
I would have been amongst those who would have cautioned him against voyaging into the enemy zone, but know what he stands for and against the background of the hues and cries by citizens, wanting to return to their ancestral homes, I restrained myself from doing so. Dangerous and adventurous as it be, the only option left for Nigerians is support the Governor and trudge along in this inevitable quest to liberate and resettle his people.
As one of my colleagues, Alfa Mohammed stated, cringing against the terrorists is cowardly, fighting back is the new spirit, “enough of this nonsense”. I state without fear of contradiction, that, if it is sabotage, it certainly will have an end point, if it is a devilish trade it will be exposed in the fullness of time and those in it will be known, if it is a technical deficiency, it should be addressed, but whatever it is, we must never surrender. God is the God of mercy, HE fights for the just, defends and strengthens the weak, and enlarges the coast of the righteous. So shall it be with Professor Babagana Umara Zulum.

Inuwa Bwala writes from Abuja.

Borno: Military launch air attack on Boko Haram camp, killed many terrorists

By: Ali Musa Biu- Maiduguri

Nigerian Airforce jets have launched an aerial attack on a settlement along the Yale-Kumshe axis in Borno state.
Intelligence reports established that the location served as a staging area from where the terrorists launch attacks on other parts of the state.

A statement from Major General John Enenche, Coordinator Defence Media Operations Defence Headquarters on Saturday said, the NAF attack aircraft engaged the location in multiple bomb and rocket runs, destroying several of their structures and neutralizing scores of terrorists.

The statement also said, the strike on Tongule was undertaken after surveillance missions revealed continued assembly of the terrorists within the settlement at nighttime.

Accordingly, the Air Task Force dispatched Nigerian Air Force (NAF) helicopter gunships for a night attack on the location, with their barrage of rockets neutralizing several of the terrorists.

“The latest of these include the massive destruction of Boko Haram Terrorists’ (BHTs’) Camps and neutralization of scores of their fighters in a night attack at Tongule on 24 September and daytime raids at Bone and Isari B Musa on 25 September 2020.

” At Isari B Musa several terrorists, who were observed both within and in bushes surrounding the settlement, were taken out as the NAF attack aircraft took turns in engaging the target area.” The statement said.