Showing posts with label Maiduguri. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Maiduguri. Show all posts

Monday, July 25, 2011

Nigerian Joint Military Task Force in random killing in Maiduguri

25 Jul 2011 16:18 Africa/Lagos

Nigeria security forces in random killing following bomb blast

LONDON, July 25, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Nigerian authorities must immediately put a stop to unlawful killings by security forces, Amnesty International said today after at least 23 people were killed by police following a bomb blast on Saturday in the north-eastern city of Maiduguri.

The bomb, allegedly set off by the Islamist group Boko Haram, went off in the Budum market in central Maiduguri and injured three soldiers. According to reports received by Amnesty International, the Nigerian Joint Military Task Force (JTF) responded by shooting and killing a number of people, apparently at random, before burning down the market.

“President Goodluck Jonathan must get a grip on the Nigerian armed forces and immediately prevent them from carrying out further human rights violations and unlawful killings,” said Tawanda Hondora, Amnesty International's Deputy Director for Africa.

“The government must now investigate these heinous crimes and put on trial those found to be responsible for the killings. Allowing troops to go on the rampage will not bring to justice those who carry out these terrible bomb attacks on civilians,” he said.

“While staying within the law, the government must step up efforts to bring to justice members of Boko Haram who wreck untold suffering on people in the middle belt.”

One wing of Boko Haram has reportedly disowned the bomb blast, saying it may have been carried out by a splinter group.

The JTF was set up by the federal government in June 2011 to restore order in Borno state. In recent months, Amnesty International has received numerous reports that security forces in Borno state have resorted to unlawful killings, dragnet arrests, arbitrary and unlawful detentions, extortion, and intimidation.

One human rights defender told Amnesty International “Soldiers went on the rampage. They shot several people and burned all their shops and properties and burned their cars.”

Following a bombing in Maiduguri two weeks ago, members of the JTF reportedly threatened to shoot residents if they failed to report planned attacks.

“House to house searches, brutalisation, unlawful arrests, killings and disappearances have been the operating practice in Maiduguri for some months now. Unless steps are taken to ensure security forces operate within the law and respect human rights at all times, the next time Boko Haram attacks or kills a soldier, we are likely to see the same thing happen again,” said Tawanda Hondora.

Thousands of people living in Maiduguri have already left the city; and many more continue to do so.

The JTF have also been accused of raping women during their operations in recent months.

“Allegations of rape of women by members of the JTF have to be investigated and perpetrators brought to justice, “Tawanda Hondora said.

“Survivors of rape and sexual violence must be provided with appropriate support and aftercare,” he added.

Since July 2010, attacks by people believed to be members of the religious sect Boko Haram have increased. More than 250 people have been killed in such attacks, many of which have targeted police officers and government officials.

Several religious leaders have been killed and churches have also been targeted.

Since June 2011, Boko Haram has also attacked bars and beer-gardens, killing scores of people.

Source: Amnesty International

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Why Boko Haram bombed the Nigeria Police Headquarters in Abuja

Nigeria: Boko Haram Terrorism Threats: Police Headquarters Bombing and our security

I must confess that I am neither surprised by the brazen attack on the headquarters of the Nigeria Police, the almighty Louis Edet House in Abuja, by members of the Boko Haram Islamic sect, nor by the reaction of President Goodluck Jonathan. Why?

I was in Maiduguri and Bauchi August for over a week in 2009 after the Boko Haram attacks that set Borno and Bauchi States ablaze, literally. The level of destruction was unprecedented. I visited the prison and police stations that were sacked. I went to the police college where senior police officers on course were slaughtered while sleeping. I saw churches that were bombed. I went to the sect’s headquarters located at the Maiduguri Railway Terminus Areas (MRTA) that had been destroyed and taken over by security men. I was told of the atrocities committed in that very compound and shown what was alleged to be the killing chamber of the sect’s leader, Ustaz Mohammed Yusuf, who was summarily executed by the police after his arrest.

I visited the compound of Yusuf’s father-in-law, the 72-year-old Alhaji Baa Fugu Mohammed, who was alleged to be one of the financiers of the sect. The man was also executed, his compound destroyed. I interviewed two young women – 22-year-old Patricia Ibe, who was an accountancy student then and 14-year-old Chidinma Obigwe. Two of them watched as three of their religious brethren had their throats slit.

They were taken away as spoils of war, only rescued when men of the Borno State special security outfit, Operation Flush, invaded the sect’s headquarters where they and over 1,500 other people, mostly women, were held hostage.

I spoke to Rev. Dr. Daniel Egboka, Assistant General Superintendent of the National Evangelical Mission and Chairman, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (Borno State chapter), who was also the Pastor of the National Evangelical Mission Wukari Headquarters, Maiduguri. Not only was his church burnt down, his Assistant Pastor, Sylvester Nseobong, his brother who visited from Akwa Ibom, Patrick James, and the church’s security man, Elijah Gambo, were the three men Patricia and Chidinma watched their gory execution.

Pastor Egboka showed me the bones of his fallen colleagues; still at the very spot they were burnt. As at the time of the interview, his wife had fled Maiduguri, vowing never to set her foot again in the state or any part of the North. I interviewed the then state Governor, Ali Modu Sheriff, whose former Commissioner for Religious Affairs, Buji Fai, resigned his appointment to join the sect. Buji was also summarily executed. There were insinuations then that the Governor ordered the execution of Mohammed and Buji to stop them from spilling the bean. Sheriff denied the allegation vehemently, claiming that he was also a target. The Commander of the Operation Flush 11, Colonel Ben Ahanotu, who I met in the Governor’s office, spoke off record, detailing the enormity of the crisis and the atrocity committed by the sect members.

The Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbal El-Kanemi, who only assumed office on May 31, 2009, barely two months before the mayhem, spoke. He said the irreverent Yusuf embarrassed not only the state but the entire Muslim community.

The University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) was filled to capacity with victims – men, women, children and the aged. I spoke with soldiers and policemen with all manner of wounds. The mortuary was overflowing. As a result, corpses were being dumped at the car park of the Umaru Shehu Ultra Modern Hospital, Bulumkutu.

Police denied me access to the arrested Boko Haram members, who were in detention, but I spoke to members who were not detained and they vowed revenge. I spoke to many other victims of the madness and came out with the impression that the sect’s capacity for violence was almost infinite. Scarier was my perception that they had the capacity to sustain the insurrection. I saw a people whose thirst for blood was insatiable.

In Bauchi, it was the same level of atrocity committed by the sect members. Many young people are now in their early grave as well as religious and political leaders. I interviewed sect members arrested by the police and vowed to wage war on the nation. Both traditional and religious leaders have been displaced. Bishop A.T Moses was mentioned as the enemy to their mission as well as Pastor Sunday I. Peters.

Since 2009, I have watched as they carried out attacks with astounding precision, knocking off high value targets almost effortlessly.

So, when the group issued a statement last Wednesday, boasting that their warriors had “arrived Nigeria from Somalia where they got serious training on warfare,” and vowing that they would “wage jihad on the enemies of God and his Messenger,” I sensed an escalation in the paroxysm of violence that had gripped the
country. The vow was a reaction to the Inspector General of Police Hafiz Ringim’s boast that the days of Boko Haram were numbered after receiving 10 Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) from the Borno State government the previous day.

It is instructive that Ringim’s office was bombed a day after the group made its vow. It is also helpful, but by no means comforting, to note that the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber, the first time ever in Nigeria, after Boko Haram’s claim that their fighters had returned from Somalia.

I was also not surprised by Jonathan’s response when he visited Louis Edet House on Saturday. “Let me use this opportunity to assure Nigerians that it happens all over the world, no country is safe,” the President said. How the knowledge that terrorism is a global phenomenon can assuage the anxiety of distraught Nigerians, only the President can explain.

But I was not surprised because that was the same answer he gave after the gruesome murder of the Governorship candidate of the Borno State All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Modu Fannami Gubio, who until his death was the Commissioner for Finance. Six other people killed in that brazen attack on January 28 included the Governor’s brother, Alhaji Goni Modu Ngala, who was former chairman of Ngala local government.

Since terrorism had become global merchandise, Nigerians have nothing to complain about, the President seemed to have suggested. But that is too simplistic a solution coming from him. No Nigerian is going to be comforted by the fact that bombs are also exploding in other parts of the world including the United States and Europe.

The fact of the matter is that Nigeria has become a haven for terrorists and this should give the President serious concern. Sadly, he doesn’t seem to appreciate the enormity of the crisis because if he does, he would have appreciated the significance of the bombing of the police headquarters. It is an audacious attack executed strategically to send a clear message that if the security of the seemingly impregnable police headquarters could be easily breached, then nowhere, not even Aso Rock is safe.

Leadership is not an easy task. It is only in Nigeria that people grow younger and look more robust when they are elected or appointed into public office. In other climes the reverse is the case because leadership exerts its toll on those who occupy public office. Anyone who is in doubt should look at President Barack Obama; how much he has aged in three years.
Presidency is not a feel good job. Jonathan must roll up his sleeve and work. We have full-blown terrorism on our hands. And the successful attack on the Louis Edet House, where the Inspector General of Police, Ringim, escaped death by the whiskers, is a morale booster. It is disturbing that the President and Commander-in-Chief of the country thinks that terrorism can be wished away which is what his statement that, “Nigeria is also having some ugly incidents lately but surely we will get over it and people should not panic at all,” seems to suggest.
However, it was learnt that preliminary police investigations into the 16/6 bombing showed that the Police High Command and the top leadership of the nation’s security agencies came to that initial conclusion from reading the footages of the incident from the Close Circuit Television at the Louis Edet House. The impact of the bomb, which destroyed about 77 cars in the IG’s parking lot and reduced the Honda to an engine stump, killed the suspected bombers right inside their car.
Journalists who went to the police headquarters shortly after the blast last week observed so much confusion among the police about the particular car that actually carried the device. A good number of the policemen pointed to a mangled car whose two tyres were on a culvert in the car park as the car driven by the bomber. It took a lot of protest from the journalists to get a close photograph of the car when the rescue team comprising men of the Red Cross and National Emergency Management Agency got the human parts from the car into some black cellophane bags.

It took a four-man team of journalists from the PUNCH close to one hour to extract that piece of information from a police officer who lost his car to the blast and two of his junior colleagues to disclose the real car that carried the bomb. However, the police have said that the ongoing investigations would soon unveil the sponsors of Boko Haram.

Boko Haram is a determined foe. It must be fought decisively and even if not totally vanquished, at least defanged or we should all consider ourselves dead.

Source: Emeka Owoniyi (JNCR)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Security In The Country/Boko Haram Sect


Security In The Country/Boko Haram Sect

As mark of commitment and responsibility to our statutory duties, I find it very expedient to address the Press for the purpose of acquainting you and the nation at large with the recent happenings in Bauchi and Borno States

The Inspector-General of Police Hafiz Abubakar Ringim, NPM, mni wishes to inform the general public that the Police are fully aware of the current threat to security in some parts of the country.

The Police in collaboration with other security agencies are working tirelessly to restore peace and order in the affected areas and the IGP has vowed to bring to book the Islamic sect called Boko Haram and any other group of persons who are behind the current spate of bomb blasts in the country. Considering the previous activities of Boko Haram sect in the country, the sect is responsible for almost daily killings in remote northeastern Nigeria and is thought to be behind a bombing on Thursday 19/05/2011 that injured policemen and soldiers. The explosion followed an attack on a police station late on Wednesday by suspected members of Boko Haram, a group behind frequent attacks in the northeastern states of Borno and Bauchi.

On the 7th of September, 2010 at about 1845hrs during the Magrib prayer, (evening prayer) a group of about 200 suspected Boko Haram fanatics armed themselves with General Purpose Machine Guns and Locally made Bombs attacked Bauchi Federal Prisons and consequently set free 721 inmates. Among the forcefully released inmates were 105 members of Boko Haram sect who were previously remanded in the prison custody. 4 persons were reportedly killed during the incident, among them were, 1 Soldier, 1 Policeman and 2 civilians, while 4 persons were reportedly injured.

During this attack, the administrative Block, the Armoury and a van were set ablaze; the fire was later put-off by combined efforts of Fire Service and the Police. 171 empty shells and live ammunition of General Purpose Machine Gun were recovered at the scene. Also recovered are two provocative handbills where names of some clerics are written such as: Bishop A.T Moses, Mallam Abubakar and Pastor Sunday Peters among many others. Our investigation has revealed that most of the names and addresses are the people considered as critics and enemies.

Consequent upon this incident, Police has risen to the occasion and re-arrested 35 inmates. Also information has it that, some inmates have started returning to the prison on their own volition. We understand that lack of cooperation from the residents has hindered thorough operation in that area. According to the force spokesman in Borno, Boko Haram had killed 50 officers since its uprising.

Our investigation revealed that Boko Haram is linked with al-Qaeda and on 2 October 2010, an ‘Eid Address’ – also dated 2 October 2010 – from Sheikh Muhammed Abu Bakr bin Muhammed ash-Shakwa, named as the ‘Emir of the Sunni Group for the Islamic Call and Jihad in Some African Lands Known as Nigeria’ [aka the BokuHaram] was released onto jihadist forums. In it, ash-Shakwa makes a lengthy and very robust appeal for Muslims in Nigeria to wage jihad to defend Islam from its ‘enemies’. He says that the group is fully committed to carrying out the ‘programme of the Prophet’ and establishing Sharia law.

He also pays tribute to al-Qaeda, its regional affiliates and respective leaders in Iraq, Yemen and North Africa, as well as the Mujahidin Youth Movement [aka the Shabab] in Somalia, and ‘the mujahidin in Pakistan, Chechnya and Kashmir’. Ash-Shakwa’s address was released in a PDF format by al-Fajr Media and is sourced to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb’s (AQIM) media division, al-Andalus. It appears to be genuine. This is significant as in February 2010, an address from the head of AQIM, Abu Mus’ab Abdal-Wadoud, entitled ‘The Genocide of Muslims in Nigeria – A New Episode in the Ongoing Crusader War’ was released onto jihadist forums in which he offered to train and arm Nigerian Muslims to conduct attacks against Christians in Nigeria. Following the release of ash-Shakwa’s Eid address, several members on jihadist forums referred to the group as ‘al-Qaeda in Nigeria’.

On 24 April, 2011 the radical sect, Boko Haram, vowed to continue fighting until the Nigerian Constitution is set aside and Islamic government is established across the country.

However, the security agencies are in the process of identifying and arresting the perpetrators behind this mindless threats and mischief across the country and all persons are advised to be law abiding. The Boko Haram sect and its members are under surveillance and they will all be arrested and prosecuted in due course. Nigerians should discountenance their threats and go about their lawful duties”.


Links on Boko Haram in Nigeria:

About the Boko Haram Sect

Boko Haram: Who are they?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Dear Karl Maier, This House Has Not Yet Fallen

It's not easy to state who started it or how many died. But the horror for those affected is clear
~ Craig S. Keener

Dear Karl Maier,

This house has not yet fallen, but it is shaking.

Our house is full of strange bed fellows of lunatic fringe elements of the black sheep of a dysfunctional family.

One is turbaned and goes round the bend bowing to the crescent moon and star suffering from a very contagious Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease of his mad cows. The other one has gone loco from sniffing too much hydro carbons in his littoral states at the bottom of the river Niger.

Imagine living in the house of nightmares, cast between the devil and the deep blue sea and caught in the snares of the sirens.

Our house is like a home full of Wole Soyinka’s "Madmen and Specialists", swimming in the whirlpool of the vicious circle of the same ethno-religious conflicts that precipitated us into the catastrophic internecine civil war of the late 1960s. The same ethno-religious crises are recurring now with incessant attacks by homegrown terrorists plunging Jos, Maiduguri and Abuja into chaos with carcasses of burnt-out vehicles and razed houses, mosques and churches and the charred remains of corpses littering the streets with acrid smells attacking our nostrils and leaving us ill from the nausea.

Religious fanatics of the lunatic fringe on rampage have murdered hundreds of innocent compatriots in reprisal attacks.

Brothers of that lunatic Farouk Abudul Mutallab the al Qaeda "Underwear Bomber who failed in his satanic attempt to blow up the Northwest Airlines Flight 253, en route from Amsterdam to Detroit, Michigan, on December 25, 2009, have unleashed their terrors on us as they sighted the moon on Christmas Eve of 2010 at about 7.15 pm in Jos and Maiduguri, and struck again on the New Year’s Eve in Abuja.
These terrorist bombings have now confirmed our worst fears as Sunday Dare concluded that the final script of the terrorists is unfolding now.

The Maitatsine uprising in Kano in 1980 whilst I was a high school pupil in Lagos could be called the genesis of what is now known as the Boko Haram uprising.
The first ethno-religious crisis began in Jos on September 7, 2001, but the ethno-religious indigene/settler dichotomy is deep-rooted in the history of Jos as explained in “Sliding towards Armageddon: Revisiting Ethno-Religious Crises in Nigeria” by Gwamna Dogara Je’adayibe, Ph.D. and Amango Kudu A., Ph.D.

You should also read “The Truth About the Religious Violence in Jos, Nigeria” by Craig S. Keener published in Christianity Today and posted on

How and when it started is good to know, but in the present state of emergency as our house is on fire, who started it, what started it or when it started is not the most urgent thing, but to put out the fire by all means possible and at all costs to save our home from being destroyed by these conscienceless elements of the lunatic fringe on rampage. This is the responsibility of our government.

Our President was more concerned about his egocentric presidential election campaign and forgot to put his house in order until his kinsmen bombed the Eagle Square venue of our 50th Independence Anniversary in the Federal Capital city of Abuja. That was the first time such a catastrophe would happen to us since our freedom from the colonial British Empire on October 1, 1960. But he failed to correct the terrible mistakes of his security agencies and intensified his presidential election campaign gimmicks until the turbaned lunatics of the Boko Haram sect set off their deadly bombs in Jos, Maiduguri and Abuja over the holidays.

The devastating terrorist bombings have rocked the foundation of our house and put us all at risk, because it may collapse if we fail to get rid of these lunatics in our house.

We do not have enough specialists to handle these madmen. Our elites are disillusioned and as the madmen are raising dust in the north and blowing embers in the south our children are in fear and trembling in the premonition of another civil war.

“When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?"
~ << Psalm 11:3 >>

The righteous should not give up!
The righteous can do a lot to salvage it, no matter the collateral damage that has been done.

Karl Maier, our house is a house of wonders.
Our children are still full of dreams as they are going on with life with tall ambitions and many of them with their heads in the clouds reaching out for the stars. As the lunatics were exploding deadly bombs of destruction in the north, our ignorant children were exploding firecrackers of celebration in the south.
No Karl, it is not funny. It is the irony of life.

You cannot live in denial of the agonies of the ironies of life in a hostile universe.

Yes, we have our dreams and those who have dreams, also have their nightmares.
This is the burden of humankind.

We all must experience the checkered fortunes of the vicissitudes of life.
You have come across what the Chinese said about our fate on earth.
悲歡離合 .Joys and sorrows, partings and reunions are daily occurrences in the vicious circle of life. Both our joys or sorrows do not last forever, and life goes on.

Our worst enemies are not even these terrorists, but the corrupt looters in the corridors of power and their accomplices, the political contractors and their cronies and hypocritical beneficiaries. These kleptomaniacs are the anathemas of our nation. They have done worse things to us than all the bomb blasts and ethno-religious riots since 1960 to date.

Do you know the casualties of road accidents on the nightmarish roads they have failed to repair after their embezzlement of the revenue allocations of the ministry of works?

Can you count the millions of lives lost since these kleptomaniacs rigged their way into the corridors of power?

Pensioners have collapsed while waiting for the arrears of their unpaid gratuities.
Patients have died from bad health care and when doctors went on strike, because of bad conditions of service.

Have you forgotten the 60 students of Loyola Jesuit College, Abuja and others who perished in the ill-fated Sosoliso plane that crashed at the Port Harcourt airport , service had no water to put out the fire?!

Thousands of students have been driven to crime and prostitution in frustration and desperation caused by collapse of our educational system.

We have lost count of their casualties of corruption.
Corruption is the systemic destruction of our nation by these devils posing and posturing as humans in our midst and they are breeding their kind daily.

We have to take out the lot of them to end the systemic rot plaguing our nation.

No matter how shaken we are by these horrors of terrorism, even if all other things fall apart, we shall remain one nation under the sun and like the Leaning Tower of Pisa that has survived many upheavals over the centuries, we shall remain standing and towering over the enemies of our progress and as long as God helps us to bear the pillars thereof, our nation will never fall.

So, as they sing in Croatia,"Još Hrvatska ni propala", we shall sing in our dialects that our house has not yet fallen and will never fall.

~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima, from the new book “Nigeria: This House has not fallen” to be released this summer. It is a revived version of the The Nigerian Fools Who Think They Can Fool God..