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Panic, Red Alert in Abuja over Reported Boko Haram camps

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THERE was panic at the weekend in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the seat of the Federal Government, over a leaked intelligence report of the likely existence of Boko Haram camps in Abuja.

The terror group is also believed to have also set up camps in Kogi and Nasarawa — states sharing boundaries with the FCT.

Security agents last night urged the people to go about their lawful duties with an assurance of protection, having put operatives on the red alert.

There were indications that the military and other security agencies have mounted surveillance on movement into Abuja from surrounding states such as Kogi, Nasarawa, Niger, and Kaduna.

An internal memo of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), which leaked to the public on Saturday, created the anxiety in the nation’s capital.

The memo, signed by the Deputy Comptroller (Enforcement Headquarters) and dated August 20, said: “Information reaching the Comptroller-General of Customs (C66) reveals the existence of Boko Hamm Terrorist Camps (BHTs) in and around the Federal Capital Territory.

“Further reports have it that they are planning to attack some selected targets within the territory. They are reported to have set up their camps in the following identified enclaves;

Kunyam Bush along airport road off DIA Staff Quarters Abuja
Robochi/Gwagwalada Forest
Kwaku Forest Kuje -Abuja
Unaisha Forest in Toto Local Government of Nasarawa State
Gegu Forest close to Idu Town in Kogi State
“Consequently, you are to be at alert and security conscious in your environment at all times. Ensure wide circulation, please.”

As soon as the memo became public knowledge on Saturday, it was widely shared to worship places, groups, restaurants and others, leading to disquiet in the city.

Some restaurants and malls on Sunday initiated precautionary measures with extra screening procedures.

Some high-profile restaurants in Wuse II, which normally operate on Sunday, shut their doors to monitor the situation.

The memo was also being shared among market leaders, transport unions and socio-cultural associations in the FCT.

A top military officer said: “The memo might have emanated from an intelligence sharing session. Don’t forget the Customs Service operates internally within the country and at all borders.

“The reality is that these terrorists now indulge in living in make-shift camps due to increase in military assaults on them in their various settlements in the North-East. It is likely they will migrate. The demolition of a sect‘s camp in Nasarawa State last week was part of the drive at checkmating these terrorists.

“I think the memo was meant for all the services and security agencies as part of steps to make them to be conscious of suspicious movements and to be proactive.”

The Defence Headquarters said the Armed Forces and other security agencies had been placed on red alert in the FCT and its neighbouring states.

A statement by the Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Defence Headquarters, Maj-Gen. John Enenche, said “preventive and preemptive intelligence are ongoing” against terrorists.

The statement said: “The Defence Headquarters wishes to reassure residents of FCT and other adjoining states that the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies have been on red alert to combat crime and ensure effective surveillance of the Federal Capital Territory and other states of the country.

“This is imperative sequel to a purported memorandum from the Nigeria Customs Service warning its staff on a possible attack on the FCT.

“The Armed Forces of Nigeria, working together with other security and response agencies, particularly the core intelligence agencies, hereby assure the general public that preventive and preemptive intelligence are ongoing. The general public is thus advised to go about their lawful businesses undeterred.

“Furthermore, the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies wish to assure the general public that the offensives against the common enemies of this nation will not cease until normalcy is restored in all parts of the country. Hence, the general public is equally enjoined to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity accordingly.”

The FCT Police Command said arrangements had been put in place to beef up security in the territory.

It’s spokesman, Anjuguri Manzah, said: “This is to affirm the Command’s commitment to the protection of life and property and forestall any act that could lead to a likely security breach.

“The Command is also working in close synergy with sister security agencies in its ongoing effort to strength security in FCT.

“The Command enjoins FCT residents to report any suspicious persons or activities in and around their neighbourhoods at the nearest Police Division or report the same through any of the FCT Police Command Control numbers: 08032003913, 08061581938, 07057337653, and 08028940883.

The Travel Advisory of the US Embassy in Nigeria as at 6.37pm yesterday warned Americans against going to places where crowds gather.

It cautioned about visit to shopping centres, malls, markets, hotels, places of worship among others.

The advisory reads: “Violent crime – such as armed robbery, assault, carjacking, kidnapping, and rape – is common throughout the country. Exercise extreme caution throughout the country due to the threat of indiscriminate violence.

“Terrorists continue plotting and carrying out attacks in Nigeria, especially in the Northeast. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting shopping centers, malls, markets, hotels, places of worship, restaurants, bars, schools, government installations, transportation hubs, and other places where crowds gather.”

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Security

Boko Haram Sponsors Have Links With Nigerian Military, Army General Forcibly Retired After 64 Days’ Detention Reveals In Letter To President Tinubu

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Former General Officer Commanding (GOC), 1 Mechanised Division of the Nigerian Army, Maj Gen Danjuma Ali-Keffi, has revealed that terrorism financing, procurement, and movement of arms and ammunition for Boko Haram and other criminal elements have links to the military.

General Ali-Keffi, who was forced out of the army for exposing his colleagues’ involvement with terror financing, disclosed this in a letter to President Bola Tinubu, which also detailed his arrest, detention, and compulsory retirement.

“The most worrisome aspect was that some of the individuals involved in the financing of Boko Haram terrorists and who were also involved in the procurement and movement of arms and ammunition for Boko Haram and other criminal organisations had links with the military,” he stated.

Ali-Keffi, who headed Operation Service Wide (OPS), set up by former President Muhammadu Buhari to investigate those involved in terrorism financing, said his arrest, detention, and compulsory retirement followed the report of his team, which exposed the involvement of senior government officials, a top banker, and top military brass in terrorism financing.

Ali-Keffi revealed in the letter published by ThisDay that he headed a presidential investigative taskforce, the Board of Inquiry (BOI), convened by Major General BM Monguno (rtd), the former National Security Adviser (NSA), which sat in the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) for five weeks from early January to late February 2020.

“I was the President of the BOI, with members and secretaries drawn from the NCS, NIS, DSS, NIA, ONSA, and NFIU, as well as from the Board of Inquiry, which largely conducted its work as an investigative body tasked with investigating circumstances surrounding the illegal smuggling of petroleum products contained in 168 oil tankers into the Benin Republic through a single smuggling route in Ilesa Barbara, Kwara State,” he said.

He said the BoI went further “to uncover 295 oil tankers that conveyed Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and the major smugglers identified.”.

He lamented that the most painful part of his experience was that President Buhari, who approved his headship of the task force, did not come to his rescue.

Begging President Tinubu for his intervention on the matter, he said, “Please cause an investigation into the circumstances surrounding my arrest, detention, maltreatment, and compulsory retirement from the Nigerian Army.”

He also sought a review of his compulsory retirement from the army and that it should be commuted to voluntary retirement as well as approved compensation for the expenditure incurred by the task force in hiring vehicles and quarters. This should include compensation for the pains and injuries suffered while incarcerated and approval of personal security, he said.

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Security

Military deploys ‘Special Force’ to Tackle Insurgency Hotspots in FCT, Neighboring States

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File photo

By Elizabeth Okwe

The Military High Command, on Thursday, says it has deployed special forces to key hotspots in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and neighboring Niger State to tackle the activities of the terrorists and kidnappers.

This deployment comes in response to a concerning surge in insecurity in these areas, including kidnappings and clashes between warring factions in Plateau states.

Major General Edward Buba, Director of Defence Media Operations, while briefing newsmen on the operation of the military, in Abuja.

Maj Gen Buba disclosed that the targeted locations within the FCT include Cashew Forest, Kwaku, and Gadoro in Kuje Area Council, as well as Kawu, Igu, Tokulo, and Gaba in Bwari Area Council.

He said in Niger State, the special forces will focus on Gauraka, Apo Forest, Gyedna/Sabon Wusa, and Garam in Tafa Local Government Area while in Nasarawa state, troops covered Numan and Basa in Akwanga and Nasarawa LGAs respectively.

Buba said this deployment is part of a broader strategy by the military to address the security challenges across the country.

He said the military is redoubling it efforts to ensure citizens live in a peaceful environment and have prosperous life.

“The armed forces would destroy the cancer of terrorism that is ravaging our country thereby creating situations such as is ongoing in the Plateau State. The situation of insecurity that we are confronted with is self inflicted by own citizens upon one another. Nevertheless, It is our duty to protect citizens and create a safe environment for them to have a prosperous future.

“We do not take lightly of the privilege and enormous responsibility of safeguarding our citizens. It is for this reason that,we constantly rejig our operational strategies in order to adopt a the best course of action that would make these ugly experiences a thing of the past.

“Accordingly , we have deployed special forces to some of the hotspots in order to conduct targeted operations. We have also deployed several battlefield enablers to enhance intelligence and strike capability on these terrorists. We are encouraging the warring fractions to shield their swords.

Giving account on the North Central region, Buba said, the tension broke out in MANGU in the early hours of 23 Jan 24. The situation escalated and resulted in break down of law and order in MANGU Town and adjoining communities.

“The crisis which started from GANGARAN KWATA escalated to other parts of MANGU LGA despite concerted efforts by troops deployed to the general area to restore normalcy.

Buba however disclosed that in the week under review, Nigerian troops neutralized 94 criminals, arrested 214 (including 43 oil thieves), and rescued 29 hostages. They also prevented oil theft worth 485.9 million naira.

“Furthermore, troops recovered 168 assorted weapons and 2,757 assorted ammunition. The breakdown as follows: one GPMG, 85 AK47 rifles, one Vektor R4 rifle, one G3 rifle, 10 pump action guns, 12 locally fabricated guns, 6 locally made pistols, 21 dane gun, one double barrel gun, one fabricated revolver rifle, 2 x 36 hand grenades and one fabricated dane gun.

“Others are: 290 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 2,132 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 115 rounds of 5.66mm ammo, 29 rounds of PKT ammo, 10 rounds of 9mm ammo, 297 cartridges, 21 magazines, 14 vehicles, 35 motorcycles, 27 mobile phones, 2 baofeng radios and the sum of N2,594,000.00 amongst other items.

Speaking further, he revealed that troops in the Niger Delta raided illegal oil refineries, destroying 16 pits, 51 boats, 49 tanks, and 3 vehicles. They also seized equipment such as cooking ovens, pumps machines and confiscated stolen oil (363,875 litres of stolen crude oil, 198,315 litres of illegally refined AGO and 5,200 liters of PMS.

He, however, urged the public to play their part in the fight against insecurity by providing information about suspicious activities and individuals.

“Everyone should understand that the terrorist and their cohorts exist for the sake of war, therefore, for the sake of peace, they must be eliminated”, he said.

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Politics

Exclusive: Tension as Fulani militia camps in Omala community to disrupt governorship election in Kogi East

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Working in synergy with the leadership of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, MACBAN in Kogi State, Fulani militia are daily flooding Bagana, a riverine area in Omala Local Government Council in Kogi East Senatorial District, CAPITAL POST, reports.

Bagana, a community situated by the lower River Benue part of Kogi East once have a robust and thriving trade by barter transactions which has lasted for centuries, but got embroiled in communal clashes with Patanyi and Omagede communities claiming ownership of Bagana in few years ago.

Before the crises snowballed into uncontrollable level in barely eight years ago, it has all been animosity among residents of Bagana, Patanyi and Omagede, but in Governor Yahaya Bello’s administration, the communal clashes became deepened due to political interest introduced into it.
The cause of crises were due to revenue generated on market days as traders came from all parts of Kogi East, Enugu and Anambra due to its trade by barter and cheap food items including fresh and dried fishes which were majorly supplied by the Agatu speaking people.

When our correspondent visited Bagana in the guise of buying dried fishes, to the consternation of all imaginations, Fulani people have taken over the entire community and could be seen collecting revenue and issuing receipts to motorists.

It was also discovered that motorists plying Abejukolo, headquarters of Omala and Bagana road including those coming to the market from outside the LGA have surrendered their fate to Fulani impostors and were willingly paying levies to them.

Read Also: Insecurity: Address reasons armed Fulani herders keep killing Nigerians, Ortom’s CPS tackles Buhari’s media aide
Apart from the fact that they look alien, and hardly speak ‘pidgin’ English, their Hausa accent is that of Nigeriens. Fully armed, each Fulani sighted has an AK47 including some on guards in readiness to pull trigger in case of any eventualities.

As at the time of CAPITAL POST’s visit to Bagana, no single residential building was standing on its own, no thanks to the last crises which the Patanyi and Omagede people unleashed Fulani hirelings on them.

The Bagana which was home to Agatu and Igala speaking tribe has completely been deserted after gun battle with hired Fulani mercenaries by the Patanyi and Omagede communities, thus, every houses are either reduced to rubles or set ablaze by the invaders. Currently, the residents have been turned into Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Abejukolo-Ife.

Political Interest/Crowding of Fulani militia ahead of Governorship election

Presently, the Fulani militia are flooding Bagana on the invitation of those earlier hired for gun battle by the Patanyi and Omagede communities for purposes of dislodging Bagana residents.

Speaking with one of Bagana’s youth leader who pleaded anonymity, he told CAPITAL POST that Fulani militia has gone beyond the communal crisis and has metamorphosed into Kogi State Governorship Election now. He revealed that the militias are crossing River Benue down to Bagana from the neighbouring Nasarawa axis. A development he said, was on the involvement of the leadership of Kogi MACBAN who chose to assist Yahaya Bello’s administration in the forthcoming governorship election in the Eastern Senatorial district.

Read Also: Senator Adeyemi commends Bello for appointing Okun people into government
He said, Bagana has become a camping ground for the militias preparatory to invade Omala in connivance with thugs loyal to the All Congress, APC who are familiar with the forest in order to make the affected LGAs inaccessible for election.

“I was in Bagana market and it’s fearful, the sophisticated guns being brandished by the militias. I can confirm to you that on Wednesday last week I sighted some militias coming into Bagana and currently their number has gone up to 300.or thereabout.

“The authority has interest in using them to distabilise Kogi East so that election will not hold”, the youth leader said.

In the similar vein, the President of Ife Development Association, IDA, Dr. Aaron Omale confirmed the camping of Fulani militias in Bagana for election purposes. He lamented how political leaders in the State and at the LG are feigning ignorance of strange faces in Bagana because of political interest.

According to him, the leadership of the socio-cultural group has scheduled a meeting with the traditional rulers in Omala LG in order to discuss the challenge and push it up to the appropriate quarters.

A local vigilante leader in Abejukolo, speaking on the development, admitted that there is tension over the presence of militia with the high calibre of weapons they are brandishing.

He said, they will remain law abiding, pray and calm, believing that government would take action at the right time.

Read Also: Greenfield incident: Bagudu, Badaru visits El-Rufai
Meanwhile, calls and Watsapp messages sent to the Police Public Relations Officer, SP Williams Ovye Ayah to react if the Police was aware of the presence of Fulani militias was not responded to before filing this report.

CAPITAL POST recalled that the leadership of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Kogi State Chapter on Saturday, September 16, paid a courtesy call on governor Yahaya Bello at the Lugard House, Lokoja.

The Chairman of the Fulani group in Kogi State, Umar Yusuf Damina assured the governor of their support for the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Ododo Ahmed Usman.

The MACBAN leader in his address claimed that Bello has numerous achievements to his credit, saying that the governor has secured the State in past years.

In his welcoming address, Bello lauded MACBAN’s endorsement of APC’s Ododo ahead of November 11, governorship election, adding that he was “deeply moved by this display of unity,” while he reiterated his administration’s stance against any form of discrimination against the Fulanis in Kogi State.

He lauded MACBAN for its valuable contributions in sharing information and gathering intelligence, which had aided conventional security forces in identifying and eliminating criminal elements among the Fulani community in the state.

Governor Bello expressed his conviction that the Fulanis, known for their unwavering commitment to their word, would undoubtedly throw their support behind the APC during the November 11 polls.
(Source: CapitalPost)

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