Tag Archives: Nigeria

Nigeria – Boko Haram kill 48 fishermen near Chad border

‘Boko Haram’ kills 48 Nigerian fishermen near Chad

Islamist militants from Nigeria’s Boko Haram have reportedly killed 48 people in an attack on fish sellers near the border with Chad.

A fish traders’ group said some victims had their throats slit whilst others were tied up and drowned in Lake Chad.

The attack took place on Thursday, but the news took several days to come to light because Boko Haram has destroyed mobile phone masts in the area.

It was the second major attack in two days by Boko Haram.

In Thursday’s attack, the traders were on their way to Chad to buy fish when militants blocked their path near the village of Doron Baga, some 180km (112 miles) north of Maiduguri in Borno state.

Abubakar Gamandi, the head of the fish sellers’ association, said the militants had used no guns.

“The attackers killed their victims silently without the use of the gun to avoid attracting attention from the multi-national troops,” he told AFP news agency.

Troops from Nigeria, Chad and Niger have been deployed to the area and have a base at Doron Baga, but the military task force has had little impact, says the BBC’s Will Ross in Lagos.

On Wednesday, Boko Haram gunmen attacked the village of Azaya Kura, also in Borno state, killing at least 45 people.

In this attack too, victims’ hands were tied behind their backs and their throats were slit. The attack was apparently aimed at punishing the community after four insurgents were pointed out to soldiers and were shot dead.

Boko Haram has been waging an insurgency in Nigeria since 2009.

It has stepped up attacks against civilian targets since the Nigerian military launched an offensive against the group last year.



Nigeria – at least 45 dead in Boko attack in Borno


Towns and villages in Borno state have been repeatedly attacked by militants

Dozens of people have been killed in an attack by suspected Boko Haram militants in north-eastern Nigeria, officials and witnesses say.

Gunmen rampaged through the village of Azaya Kura in the Mafa area in Borno state, killing at least 45 people.

Shettima Lawan, caretaker chairman of the local government, called it “wicked and despicable”, AFP reports.

Boko Haram has taken control of a series of towns and villages in north-eastern Nigeria in recent weeks.

Authorities have struggled to defeat the militant Islamist group, which has been waging an insurgency in Nigeria since 2009.

New York-based Human Rights Watch says Boko Haram has killed more than 2,000 civilians already this year.

Muhammed Gava, the leader of a vigilante fighter group, told the Associated Press that heavily armed Boko Haram militants surged through Azaya Kura in several vehicles on Wednesday.

“We counted 45 bodies at the end of the attack,” village chief Mallam Bulama told AFP.

But others may have died after they fled into the bush, residents said.

The village is about 40km (25 miles) from Maiduguri, capital of Borno state.

In May 2013, President Goodluck Jonathan imposed a state of emergency in the northern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, vowing to crush the Islamist insurgency.

But Boko Haram, which translates as “Western education is forbidden”, has stepped up attacks against civilian targets ever since the Nigerian military offensive began last year.

It frequently attacks schools and colleges, which it sees as a symbol of Western culture, and was behind the kidnapping of over 200 schoolgirls from Chibok in Borno state.

Mafa and the surrounding area has been repeatedly attacked by militants.

About 30 boys and girls were taken during a raid in October, despite government claims of a truce. At least 17 people were also killed in the assault.

Some 29 people were also killed in an attack on Mafa town in March.

Nigeria’s parliament was closed on Thursday, after the police fired teargas inside the building.

Correspondents said the police were trying to stop the speaker of the lower house, Aminu Tambuwani, from entering the chamber, following his defection to the opposition last month.

Lawmakers were due to discuss whether to extend the state of emergency in the northeast.

Who are Boko Haram?

Boko Haram militants control several towns and villages in northern Nigeria
Founded in 2002
Initially focused on opposing Western education – Boko Haram means “Western education is forbidden” in the Hausa language
Launched military operations in 2009 to create Islamic state
Thousands killed, mostly in north-eastern Nigeria – also attacked police and UN headquarters in capital, Abuja
Some three million people affected
Declared terrorist group by US in 2013



Nigeria – army claimns to have recaptured Chibok

Al Jazeera

Nigeria army says back in control of Chibok

Boko Haram rebels pushed out of the town where it snatched than 200 schoolgirls in April.

Last updated: 16 Nov 2014

Boko Haram had captured the town on Thursday after a battle lasting several hours [File: AP]
The Nigerian army said it has recaptured and secured the northeastern town of Chibok, where Boko Haram rebels kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls in April.

Al Jazeera’s Ahmed Idris, reporting from Abuja, said a local official and local vigilantes who participated in the operation confirmed to him the town was re-taken on Saturday evening.

“They said that at the moment Boko Haram fighters are out of the town, but they don’t think it is very safe to have people back there immediately, because they don’t know what exactly is going to happen there next,” Idris said.

Boko Haram had captured the town on Thursday after a battle lasting several hours. Several inhabitants said the army had fled the assault on Thursday, leaving the vigilantes to fight on their own.

Control of Chibok is crucial to the reputation of the army and the government, both of which have come under harsh criticism for their failure to rescue the schoolgirls.

The rebels stormed the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok on the evening of April 14 and forced 276 students onto trucks in a mass abduction that caused global outrage. Fifty-seven managed to escape.

The rebellion by Boko Haram, which wants to create an Islamic state in mainly Muslim northern Nigeria, has claimed more than 10,000 lives in the past five years.

They have seized more than 20 towns and villages in the northeast in recent months.

Nigeria – drop in oil prices triggers stock exchange slide

Premium Times

Panic offloading of equities triggers massive slide stock market capitalisation

Nigerian Stock Exchange

Nigerian Stock Exchange

Trading activities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, for the third consecutive day maintained a downward trend on Thursday as market capitalisation lost over N261 billion amidst panic offloading of equities by equities shareholders.

The market capitalization, which opened at N12.170 trillion on Wednesday, lost N261 billion, or 2.14 per cent at the close oftrading on Thursday to close at N11.909 trillion.

Also, the All-Share Index, ASI, lost 786.08 basis points, representing 2.14 per cent, to close lower at 35,958.38, compared with 36,744.46 posted on Tuesday following huge losses.

Analysts attributed the persistent bearish trend at the exchange to the exit of foreign investors due to the drop in oil price at the international market.

Crude oil prices, which stood at an average above $110 per barrel at the beginning of the year, has been on the slide in recent times, hovering at an average of $86.17 per barrel as at Wednesday. The benchmark for crude oil for the 2014 budget was fixed at $79 per barrel.

The market operators says the current downward trend in market was attributable to the political uncertainties in the country as a result of the 2015 general elections, which has shifted government attention aware from the economy.

Analysis of the price movement chart indicated that 50 equities recorded price depreciation on Thursday, with Nestle recording the highest price loss by N49 to close at N931 per share.

The company was followed by 7UP, which lost about N14 to close at N141, while Lafarge Wapco dropped N9.67 to close at N89.61 per share.

Nigerian Breweries lost N4.94 to close at N151, while Total Oil depreciated by N2.71 to close at N155 per share.

On the other hand, eight equities recorded price appreciation for Wednesday, with Diamond Bank topping the gainers’ chart, with a gain of 20 kobo to close at N5.80 per share.

Sterling Bank garnered 11 kobo to close at N2.41, while Mansard grew by 10 kobo to close at N3.10 per share.

May & Baker increased by 8 kobo to close at N1.72, while Omoluabi Savings and Loans gained 2 kobo to close at 57 kobo per share.

In all, investors staked N4.02 billion on 400.23 million shares traded in 4,374 deals.This was against 752.77 million shares worth N4.18 billion traded in 4,997 deals on Tuesday.

The Financial Service Sector kept its leading position as the toast of investors with 320.05 million shares worth N2.74 billion in 2725 deals.

The Banking sub-sector drove activities in the sector, accounting for 164.21 million shares valued at N2billion achieved in 1,692 deals.


Nigeria – thousands flee as Boko Haram takes Mubi town


Thousands flee as Boko Haram seizes northeast Nigerian town

MAIDUGURI/YOLA Nigeria (Reuters) – Islamist Boko Haram militants have seized control of the northeast Nigerian town of Mubi, killing dozens of people and forcing thousands to flee, witnesses said.

The insurgents stormed Mubi on Wednesday. Gunfire has been heard in the town ever since, witnesses told Reuters.

A security source on Thursday confirmed the town had fallen to the insurgents. Witnesses said they hoisted their black flag over the palace of the traditional ruler.

Witnesses said the insurgents robbed banks, burned down the main market and sacked the palace. One saw them kill a university lecturer and his entire family — Boko Haram, whose name means Western education is sinful, abhors secular learning.

Violence in Nigeria’s northeast has been on the rise since the government announced a ceasefire with the rebels nearly two weeks ago to pursue talks in neighbouring Chad aimed at freeing more than 200 girls kidnapped in April.

The government has blamed criminal networks for the violence, which has undermined public confidence in both the ceasefire and the talks. It has had no immediate comment on the situation in Mubi.

Boko Haram’s five-year-old campaign for an Islamic state, which has killed thousands, is seen as the main security threat to Africa’s biggest economy and leading oil producer.

Student Stephen Adaji said he had been hiding in the bush since mid-morning on Wednesday when the fighting began until a farmer helped him cross to a nearby village and he fled to the nearest city of Yola.

“We couldn’t sleep in the bush because of the fear Boko Haram may get us,” he said. “We were so scared, shooting was going on throughout the night and they often shouted Allah Akbar (God is greatest).”

A spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in the northeast, Abdul Ibrahim, said the agency had sent extra personnel to help manage people fleeing to Yola, a relatively safe city that is home to the well-guarded American University of Nigeria.

He said an attack just prior on the nearby town of Uba had forced 4,000 people who were in a displaced persons camp to vacate the camp and head for Yola. Several hundred also fled across the border into Cameroon.

“I saw many dead bodies in the bush and many injured people were lying helpless especially children and women,” said James Audu, also a student. “They killed a lecturer and his entire family. I saw them get shot.”

Another survivor, a mobile phone trader called Abubakar Adamu, said the Emir Isa Ahmadu was away on pilgrimage to Mecca when his palace was looted. Boko Haram scorns traditional Islamic authorities in Nigeria as corrupt and self-serving.


Nigeria – Boko Haram continue attacks in Adamawa with police station raid


Boko Haram members

Fighting between Nigerian troops and Boko Haram insurgents escalated in Mubi, Mararaba Mubi and Uba in Adamawa State on Wednesday.

Casualty figures could not be obtained as of 8pm but the development forced the state government to impose 24-hour curfew on the affected communities.

Our correspondents gathered that   Mubi, the second largest town in the state and host of two high institutions, was the worst hit.

A parent, Ahmad Sajoh, whose   daughter is studying at the Adamawa State University, said that as of 2pm on Wednesday, the police barracks in the Government Reservation Area was overrun by the insurgents while the prison in the town was blown open.

He added that   fighting which was ongoing at the army barracks caused confusion at the IDP camp in the Lamorde area of the town.

However, an online newspaper, SaharaReporters reported that Boko Haram insurgents took over the headquarters of the 234 battalion in the town.

Our correspondents gathered that the development made banks to move their cash to Yola, the state capital.

Sources told The PUNCH that insurgents   launched an attack on Uba   in the Michika-Madagali area of the state in response to sustained aerial bombardment of their hideouts by security forces.

Residents said they saw a large number of insurgents at Mararaba, a town about seven kilometres from Mubi.

Sajoh told one of our correspondents that his daughter called to inform him about the development in Mubi.

He said, “This morning, I got a call from my daughter who is a 200-level student. She was hysterical. I was in Abuja for a meeting, but her information forced me to head back to Yola immediately.

“I ordered her to leave the hostel and join her cousins to escape the town. I called my father who confirmed the story. By the time I arrived at Yola airport, the town had fallen to the insurgents.

“My parents are trapped while my daughter and her cousins are missing. We have lost contact for   six hours.”

Sajoh, who is the director of Press and Public Affairs to the former Governor Murtala Nyako, added, “Mallam Iliyasu of the Bursary Department of the state university, who is trapped in the town said by 2pm, the Police Barracks in the GRA was overrun by the insurgents, the prison was blown open while fighting was going on at the army barracks. The IDP camp at Lamorde area was thrown into confusion.

“The new rulers of the town had issued a decree banning   entry and exit to the town. Students who trooped to the motor park were stranded with most taking refuge in any house that could welcome them.

“The barracks are the least safe locations in the town. So far, there are no reported cases of killings or abductions. But fear and apprehension have taken over.”

Another source said that Mubi was currently deserted by residents after the incident, the second in three months.

The   higher institutions in the   town were forced to close down again.

There are fears of   humanitarian crisis should the town fall into the hands of the insurgents.

A fleeing resident, Joshua Gajere, said   several people might have been killed during the shootings that lasted for almost two hours in Uba and other villages.

He said, ‘‘We are in serious trouble as these boys (Boko Haram) have taken over our towns, splitting into groups and advancing towards Mararaba, Mubi and Vintim, the home town of the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh. They made the   Nigerian troops to retreat to Mubi’’.

Gajere added, “As I am talking to you now, residents are scampering for safety.

‘‘Mubi has now become a ghost of itself as people in their hundreds are fleeing for their lives.

‘‘Even here in Maiha, we saw military vehicles zooming off towards Yola, the state capital.’’

However, a resident from Michika, Mr. Siva Zira, told one of our correspondents that the   military was having an upper   hand as they were able to dislodge the insurgents in Michika and Uba.

Meanwhile,   Governor James Ngillari has asked the people of the state, particularly those in the affected areas to remain calm as security agents were on the top of the situation.

His Director of Press and Public Affairs,   P.P. Elisha, said   the governor met with security heads in the state to assess the situation.

He said, “It’s unfortunate with this development, His Excellency, has met with security chiefs in the state on Wednesday to assess the situation.

“People should remain calm, security agents are on the top of situation.’’

It was further gathered banks in Mubi have taken the pre-emptive steps to move out large volume of cash to the Central Bank of Nigeria in Yola.

Our correspondents could not get the Director, Defence Information, Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade, to comment on the   hostilities as the calls to his mobile telephone line did not connect.

The government has imposed a 24-hour curfew on Mubi, Mararaba Mubi and Uba.

The Secretary to the State Government, Mr Andrew Weyle, who announced this, advised the people to stay away from the roads and other public places.

He said,“Following the escalation of violence by the insurgents, his Excellency the Governor of Adamawa State, Mr. Bala James Ngillari, has approved the imposition of 24 hours curfew on Mubi, Mararaba Mubi and Uba, with immediate effect.

“People are advised to stay off the roads and public places except those on essential services.”

It was further gathered that the insurgents   killed the son of a prominent traditional ruler in the area.

A resident, who identified himself as Kwahir Sani, said, “We fled to a village called Wuro Gude near Mubi when the violence erupted and I have lost contact with some of my children.

“As I am talking to you now, we are hearing gunshots by military in Mubi.”

It was gathered that the insurgents also attacked Askira Uba and Kukawa in Borno State for over six hours.

A fleeing resident said the terrorists killed many people, burnt many houses and carted away food stuffs.

Agence France Presse reported that the heavily armed terrorists, on arrival in Kukawa, opened fire on a police station and market, sending many fleeing.

Copyright PUNCH.

Nigeria – government-Boko Haram talks to continue in Chad


The Federal Government and the Boko Haram Islamic sect will on Monday meet in Chad to further discuss the release of the over 200 schoolgirls abducted in Chibok, Borno State in April 2014.

This came a week after a botched ceasefire agreement reached by the Federal government and the sect.

The peace talk between the Nigerian government and Boko Haram sect, which is being mediated by the Chadian government, had been called into question since it was announced by the military last week following the refusal of both parties to respect the ceasefire deal.

Boko Haram has yet to comment on the ceasefire and its fighters have continued to attack villages in the North-East.

The insurgency group is responsible for the killings, abductions and the displacement of many Nigerians in the North-East.

The Chadian government, however, confirmed that Nigeria’s deal with the sect to free the schoolgirls would still go ahead despite the breakdown of a truce.

A very senior official, Chad’s foreign ministry, Moussa Dago, who spoke with Reuters on Friday, said that the key to the agreement would be a prisoner swap.

He said it appeared some Boko Haram factions were refusing to abide by the deal.

Dago said, “Quite possibly, those who are fighting are dissidents that even Boko Haram isn’t able to control. So far, there is no reason for others to doubt this agreement.

“What I can say is that those that negotiated with the Nigerian government did so in good faith … We are waiting for the next phase which is the release of the girls.”

Dago said he was confident that the negotiators had the authority to speak on behalf of Boko Haram’s reclusive leader, Abubakar Shekau, who has allegedly been killed by the Nigerian military more than once.

“They are envoys who answer to their leader Shekau, who himself confirmed that these emissaries spoke on his behalf. That was confirmed in writing to the Chadian government,” he said, confirming local press reports that the negotiators were named Cheikh Goni Hassane and Cheikh Boukar Umarou.

Dago admitted that it would be embarrassing for the Chadian President Idriss Deby’s government, which has played a lead role in diplomacy in Africa’s turbulent Sahel region in recent years, if the girls were not freed.

“It would be very disappointing. We are engaged in this now. If this negotiation doesn’t succeed, that would be damaging to Chad’s facilitating role,” he said.

Dago told Reuters that the two sides agreed verbally to a series of points summarised in a document he had seen, including the release of the schoolgirls and of jailed Boko Haram fighters.

Dago said, “The starting condition of Boko Haram was the liberation of some of their members; that is the compensation.”

He added that the specifics on the names and number of Boko Haram fighters still to be released had not yet been agreed.

He said he still expected the girls to be freed but he stated that the Boko Haram negotiators were no longer in Chad even though they had agreed to return in October after freeing the girls to hold more talks.

“We remain optimistic. The two sides agreed to find a negotiated solution and to show their good faith they already freed some hostages and announced a ceasefire,” he said.

According to him, Chad does not know where the abducted Chibok girls are being held, but Dago said it was likely they were outside of Chad and spread out over a wide area.

“The Chinese hostages freed earlier under the agreement were found scattered across northern Cameroon,” he said.

“They (Boko Haram) gave us guarantees that the girls are well but we don’t know physically where they are,” he said.

“But they have certainly dispersed them like the Chinese hostages, who were spread out over a large area.”

He explained that the two parties planned to meet again for a third time in Chad after the release of the schoolgirls to draft a roadmap to tackle more fundamental issues.

He said, “For the next stage of negotiations, the girls need to be freed. We cannot go into details as long as this question remains and it is a requirement of Chad that the girls are released before we start the next stage of talks.”

Similarly, the self-acclaimed Secretary-General of the sect, Mallam Danladi Ahmadu, confirmed that the group’s ceasefire agreement with the Federal Government was still on course.

Ahmadu, who spoke to the Hausa service of the Voice of America on Friday, said that the Chibok girls would be released on Monday to the Chadian President, Idriss Derby, for onward transfer to the Nigerian government.

He added that an enlarged meeting of the group had been fixed for the weekend to prepare grounds for the Monday meeting with the Federal Government, affirming that the final ceasefire and the release of the girls would be done by the group.

However, the group said it was unaware of the latest kidnapping of over 40 women and girls in the border villages between Adamawa and Borno states.

He admitted that many anti-social groups had infiltrated the sect.

Ahmadu also stated that political thugs, armed robbers, kidnappers, hired assassins and other anti-social groups now parade themselves as members of the sect.

He, however, added that all things being equal, all the factions would fizzle out once the ceasefire agreement was sealed.

The Chief of Defense Staff, Alex Badeh had issued an order last Friday, telling all service chiefs “to comply with the ceasefire agreement between Nigeria and Boko Haram in all theatres of operations.”

The text went out after Ahmadu told VOA that a cease-fire agreement had been reached.

Ahmadu and a close advisor to President Goodluck Jonathan, Ambassador Hassan Tukur, had told VOA that the sides were holding talks facilitated by the Chadian President and high-level officials from Cameroon.

Ahmadu, who said he was at a location on the Nigerian-Chadian border, had said the girls are “in good condition and unharmed.”

Nigerian President Jonathan has been criticised at home and abroad for his slow response to the kidnapping and for the inability of Nigerian troops to quell the violence by the militants, seen as the biggest security threat to Africa’s top economy and leading energy producer.

Boko Haram has said it is fighting to establish an Islamic state in Muslim-majority northern Nigeria.

The group has launched scores of attacks in the past five years, targeting markets, bus stations, government facilities, churches and even mosques. Militants recently took over some towns in the North-East for what the group’s leader said would be an Islamic caliphate.

The Nigerian military said the man who appeared in Boko Haram videos as Abubakar Shekau was actually an impostor, and that the real Shekau was killed several years ago.

It said the impostor was killed last month during a battle in the town of Konduga. A new video of the man appeared a few days later but the military had stood by its assertion that the Boko Haram leader is dead.

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