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Threat by Released B’Haram Suspect Puts Prisoner Swap Deals in Jeopardy



Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Burata
  • Threat by Released B’Haram Suspect Puts Prisoner Swap Deals in Jeopardy

A threat by one of the recently swapped Boko Haram leaders to launch attacks on Abuja is fuelling apprehension and reservation about the viability of the prisoner exchange deals under which 82 Chibok schoolgirls were freed by the terror group about a fortnight ago.

Shuaibu Moni, one of the Boko Haram commanders the federal government said it released in exchange for the girls, hinted in a new video released by the terrorist sect that there might be imminent bombing of the federal capital. He also issued threats to President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigerian authorities.

The threat of fresh attacks by the freed suspect caused apprehension in Abuja at the weekend, as residents feared for their lives. It also raised doubts among Nigerians about the effectiveness of the swap deals, which many feared might also swell the depleting ranks of Boko Haram commanders. The federal government has said it is still pursuing the prisoner exchange option to achieve freedom for all the over 200 schoolgirls kidnapped from Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, in Borno State, on April 14, 2014 by Boko Haram.

But the Nigerian Army saturday dismissed the Boko Haram video as mere propaganda meant to seek relevance.

Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier-general Sani Usman, said, “In the video circulating on social media platforms, the Boko Haram sect threatened to intensify attacks, boasting about the terrorists’ return to the dreaded Sambisa forest in the North-east.” Usman told the public not to panic, saying the video is a mere publicity stunt by a terrorist organisation on its last legs.

In a related development, tension heightened at the University of Maiduguri yesterday following a bomb attack on the campus in the early hours of the morning, which killed four persons, including a security officer. It was the third time the university would be so attacked since the January 16 bomb explosions in which a professor was among those killed. Many have vacated the school for fear of more attacks.

The Army statement read, ““The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to two video clips released by one of the released Boko Haram terrorists in exchange for the abducted Chibok schoolgirls.

“In the first clip, the terrorist, among other things, made boastful and spurious allegations, while the second clip was about alleged indoctrination of some of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls in captivity.

“We wish to state that the terrorist has lost touch with current realities. It was aimed at seeking relevance and attention.”

Usman stated regarding Moni, “As you are all aware, he was a direct beneficiary of the process that led to the release of 82 of the abducted girls, and does not have a say or capacity to do anything. Therefore, his threats should be ignored.

“We would like to assure the public that the Nigerian Army is totally committed to the federal government’s determined efforts of rescuing all abducted persons and peace in the country. We will not relent our determined efforts of clearing the remnants of the Boko Haram terrorists as manifested through the on-going clearance operations.

“The Nigerian Air Force is unrelenting in its bombardment while other security agencies are equally doing their best.

“Therefore, we wish to solicit for more support, cooperation and understanding of the public, particularly members of the press.

“We should not give in to terrorists’ propaganda and empty threats. We have come to a very critical stage of the fight against terrorism and insurgency in Nigeria that requires more patriotism and security consciousness by all and sundry. Gone were the days when people glamorised terrorists and their criminal acts.”

At the University of Maiduguri the semester examinations had already been postponed due to the Computer-Based Test for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination being conducted in the school. Yesterday’s explosion caused low turnout of candidates for the examination, according to staff of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board.

One of the staff, Kaka John, told journalists that the six test centres in the university recorded low turnout following the attack. He said the examination did not commence on time because of the early morning bomb blast, which made many candidates to stay away.

John said, “We were supposed to start very early at 9am but I think because of the fear, the students did not show up. This made us to start around 10am.”

He said the security agencies did not also come in time because many of them went to the scene of the blasts.

One student of the institution, who spoke anonymously, said many students left the campus after the attack.

Spokesman of the North-east office of the National Emergency Management Agency, Malam Abdulkadir Ibrahim, confirmed the attack on the institution, in a statement in Maiduguri.

Ibrahim stated, “Today at 1:10am, three suicide bombers, two men and a woman attempted to gain access into the University of Maiduguri, but were sighted by the university security who stopped them for interrogation.

“While interrogating them, the two suicide bombers detonated their explosive devices, which injured one of the securities and killed another.

“The third suicide bomber who hid close to the vicinity of a building in the university later detonated her explosive which affected the structure of the building with no casualty.

“The injured was taken to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital after administration of first aid while the corpses were deposited at Borno Specialist Hospital.”

The Borno Police Command also confirmed the incident.

The spokesman of the command, Mr Victor Isuku, in a statement in Maiduguri, said, “In the early hours of today, about 0130, three male suicide bombers gained entry into the premises of University of Maiduguri, and advanced towards the mechanical workshop of the university.

“They were intercepted by the university security personnel and soldiers on duty.”

Isuku added, “In an attempt to apprehend them, the suicide bombers hurriedly detonated explosive strapped to their bodies, killing themselves and a university security personnel in the process.

“A soldier was reported injured in the explosion, and is currently receiving treatment at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital.

“The command’s EOD teams were despatched to sanitise the scene and vicinity of the campus for general safety, while normalcy has since been restored.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.


UK Government Has Approved Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine



The United Kingdom on Wednesday Approved Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine

British government on Wednesday became the first country to approve Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use, according to the UK government.

The vaccine will be rolled out from next week and the first dose could be administered as early as December 7th, stated people familiar with the matter.

Last week, the UK government announced it had ordered 40 million doses of Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 and appointed Nadhim Zahawi, the current junior business minister, as the minister responsible for the deployment of the vaccines.

British government on Wednesday morning said, “The Government has today accepted the recommendation from the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to approve Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for use” 

“The vaccine will be made available across the UK from next week.”

Matt Hancock, Health Secretary, revealed that the programme would commence early next week.

“It is very good news,” Hancock said.

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Zabarmari Massacre: Buhari to Provide More Resources for the Nigerian Military



President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to provide more resources to the military in the aftermath of the Zabarmari massacre.

On Saturday, Boko Haram killed 43 people with around 70 people still missing in Zabarmari, a village in Borno State.

Reacting to the massacre, Buhari, through his official Twitter handle @MBuhari said “Nothing is more important than ensuring the security of lives and property of Nigerians. Everything is secondary when security is at stake. I will ensure that more resources are made available to the military and other security agencies to prosecute the war against terrorism.

“As we mourn all the lives lost in Zabarmari, the Armed Forces have been given the marching order to take the fight to the insurgents, not on a one-off, but on a continuous basis, until we root out the terrorists.

“We will intensify our cooperation with neighbouring countries on bilateral and multilateral levels, to ensure that there is no hiding place for the terrorists.

“As I noted earlier, the massacre by Boko Haram in Zabarmari is nothing short of senseless, barbaric, gruesome and cowardly. It reinforces our resolve to root out all forms of insurgency and insecurity not just in Borno but everywhere across Nigeria.”

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Boko Haram Kills Rice Farmers in Borno State, Northeast Nigeria



Rice farmers were killed on Saturday morning in the Northeast Nigeria by suspected Islamist militants, Boko Haram, according to a Reuters Report.

The report also noted that 30 of the people killed were beheaded while over a dozen others were still missing.

However, resident of the Zambarmari Village where the attacks took place said a total of 70 people were feared dead.

Another resident and Amnesty International were quoted as saying at least 10 women were among those missing.

In another statement by Edward Kallon, the United Nations’ humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, it was armed men on motorcycles that led the brutal attack on civilians harvesting their fields.

Armed men on motorcycles led a brutal attack on civilian men and women who were harvesting their fields,” Edward Kallon stated.

“At least 110 civilians were ruthlessly killed and many others were wounded in this attack,” he added, noting that several women are believed to have been kidnapped.

“The incident is the most violent direct attack against innocent civilians this year. I call for the perpetrators of this heinous and senseless act to be brought to justice,” Kallon said.

On Sunday, Governor Babaganan Umara Zulum of Borno State, who was at the burial told journalists that at least 70 farmers were killed on Saturday.

The Governor, therefore, called on the Federal Government to recruit more Civilian Joint Task Force members, Soldiers and civil defence fighters to protect farmers in the region.

He added that people are facing desperate choices.

In one side, they stay at home they may be killed by hunger and starvation, on the other, they go out to their farmlands and risk getting killed by the insurgents,” he said.

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