ISWAP attacks Chibok village, abducts head of Civilian JTF

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Insurgents  believed to be members of the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) group, yesterday, attacked Bambula community in Chibok Local Government Area of Borno State, leaving behind tears and sorrow.

The insurgents, who reportedly struck by 4am when the community was asleep, abducted Mohammed Abba, head of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) vigilance group.

The attack came a week after the insurgents attacked Korongilum in Chibok, setting many houses on fire.

A resident said Abba had been the insurgents’ target since he refused to be compromised. The head of the CJTF was abducted alongside many others who are yet to be identified.

The CJTF was created to assist the military in fighting insurgency in the North-East.

“The sporadic gunshots woke us, and everybody started running to safety,” a resident said. “The insurgents came in through Ajigum Talala, a part of the forest where ISWAP has a strong unit. They headed straight to Abba and took him. They have been warning him before but Abba refused to cooperate with them.

“They abducted many others who could not run. They also burnt down some properties, including a vehicle belonging to the community head.”

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has charged the Nigerian military to re-examine strategies deployed in combatting ISWAP in the North-East.

The President  gave the directive at the opening of the 10th National Security, organised by the alumni association of the National Defence College (AANDEC) in Abuja, yesterday.

The seminar, with the theme: “Combating Insecurity in Nigeria,” was organised in collaboration with the Office National Security Adviser (ONSA) and the National Defence College.

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Buhari, represented by the Minister of Defence, Maj.Gen. Bashir Magashi (retd), said new threats from insurgents and terrorists emerged due to the defeat of ISIS.

“This is a major concern and threat to us; their presence in the West African Sahel region poses great danger not only to Nigeria but the entire region. Thus we are exploring higher levels of collaboration among nations and international organisations to effectively curtail the spread of terrorism and defeat insurgency and terrorism.Our forces over the years have worked hard to defeat Boko Haram and they will as well re-examine their strategies to deal with ISWAP that has invaded parts of the country.

“The criminal elements using kidnapping and other criminal activities as a way to get rich quick should either stop such acts forthwith or face the full weight of the law as security agencies have a renewed mandate to deal with such acts of criminality,’’ he said.

Buhari said the Federal Government would continue to prioritise security, adding that the seminar was necessary, especially at this time when government was making efforts to ensure sustainable peace in the country.

He said AANDEC’s close collaboration with the ONSA, NDC and other security agencies presented desired collaborative efforts towards addressing major security issues and challenges facing the country.

“As we all know, security should be the concern of everyone, hence we must all corporate and work collaboratively to address security issues from all perspectives, be it physical or human. The nexus between physical and human security makes it necessary for all ministries, departments and agencies to be highly productive. States and local governments should also view workers’ welfare with utmost priority, while all security agencies in particular must deal appropriately with extremist tendencies that are capable of affecting peace and development of the nation, according to the law. The National Security Strategy 2019 is very clear on these and we shall implement every aspect of it.”

President of AANDEC, Garba Audu, a retired major general, disclosed that the seminar was organised with a view to proffering solutions to national security challenges. He said the seminar would focus on some key security challenges, such as negotiations with bandits in some parts of the country. 

The Nigerian Army has promised to adopt and promote the special forces concept to meet the prevailing challenges it faces with the conventional method of warfare.

Brig-Gen. Emmanuel Akpan, director, Directorate of Army Recruitment, Resettlement and Reserve, disclosed this on Wednesday in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, during a sensitisation forum for youth planning to enlist in the army.

Akpan said the concept involved enlisting rare breed of men with special skills, physical and mental capacities to be used in warfare.

“The normal army that was trained to engage particularly in conventional warfare is having a lot of problems as you can see in the north-eastern region. So, recently the Chief of Army instituted Special Forces concept, a special skill that you can use to fight war. This special training will now be integrated in every training in the army. So, this means that anybody that is recruited in the army, with effect from now, will have to go through that process. It is a tough training, it requires a lot of physical and mental fitness. So, we need young men and women who are physically fit,” he said.

Brig-Gen. Henry said those from 16 and above would be readily employed in the army, if they possed four credits, including English and Mathematics in not more than two sittings.

Governor David Umahi, represented by his deputy, Dr. Kelechi Igwe, lamented that indigenes of the state were shortchanged in the recruitment of the Nigerian Army.

The Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Most Revered Matthew Hassan Kukah, has called on the Federal Government to put an end to the killing of innocent Nigerians by Boko Haram, kidnappers, bandits and other criminals.

The cleric, who made the assertion during a procession of hundreds of Catholic faithful in Sokoto, said the country has bled enough and it was high time those in authority rose to their responsibilities.

The cleric said that many have become widows, widowers and, orphans stressing that Nigeria was going the way of Rwanda.

“In Nigeria today, people die by religion. You will hear that five Muslims were killed, 10 Christians were killed, but what we want is that we want to die as Nigerians,” he said.

Secretary to the Government of Niger State, Alhaji Ahmed Matane, yesterday, tasked the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to continue to safeguard the territorial integrity of the nation.

Matane stated this when he received NAF officers of Niger State extraction who graduated from the Basic Military Training Course at the Nigerian Air Force Military Training Centre, Kaduna.

Matane urged them to contribute their quota to the fight against insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and other related crimes bedeviling the country.

He called on the Air Force officers to always embrace the core values of integrity, service before self and excellence.

He then charged the airmen and airwoman to be resilient and courageous in the performance of their duties.

READ MORE: Chibok Girls’ case not closed – FG

Spiritual Director of the Adoration Ministry Enugu Nigeria (Amen), Rev. Fr. Ejke Mbaka has said those who plot to destabilise Nigeria would receive dire punishment from God.

In his homily, yesterday at the weekly prayer at the Umuchigbo Nike Enugu state adoration ground he berated those blaming the present government for the harrowing experience Nigerians were experiencing without going back to history.

He said  the current political, economic and security challenges did not start with the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

He lampooned the administration of the former ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), saying its 16-year reign was wasteful. He said the party contributed immensely to the present adversaries being witnessed by Nigerians.

“When I was shouting it so many years ago, that with the style of governance in the country, time shall come when people will be running helter skelter, now it is happening, churches protesting everywhere.”

However, he asked Nigerians to pray fervently for the mercy of God, especially this Lenten season, to reduce the spate of insecurity in the country.

For the Governors, he said that they “should go back to their drawing board, don’t leave the insecurity problem alone to Buhari, he can’t be everywhere. You people receive millions of naira every month for security votes, use those money to do meaningful things in your various states, engage youths and see whether we will not get it right.”

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