Saturday, May 10, 2014

AT LAST: US Marines Rescue Chibok Abducted Girls?

Special Forces of the United States Marines have reportedly sighted the 230 female students abducted by Boko Haram terrorists from the Government Girls’ Secondary School, GGSS, Chibok, Borno State.
The girls who were abducted on April 14, were part of the 250 students boarded at the school for the West African School Certificate, WASC/ Senior Secondary School Certificate, SSSC, examinations, triggering world-wide condemnations.
Members of the United States Marines who are already in Maiduguri in fulfilment of the promise of President Barack Obama to assist Nigeria’s rescue efforts, were said to have located the girls inside the Sambisa forest, using some Satellite equipment which combed the forest.
One of the leaders of the terrorist group who participated in the abduction of the girls was also said to have been arrested by a combined team of the US Marines and Nigerian forces, through the use of an advanced interceptor equipment which was used to track the terrorist while exchanging information with his colleagues in Sambisa Forest about the movements of American and Nigerian soldiers in Maiduguri.
His phone was subsequently traced to a location in Maiduguri where he was arrested and handed over to the Nigerian military.
It's unclear if the girls have been rescued.
UPDATE: What happened
There were indications yesterday that the 230 female students abducted by Boko Haram terrorists from the Government Girls’ Secondary School, GGSS, Chibok, Borno State, have been sited at the Sambisa Forest in Borno State, by the Special Forces of the United States Marines.
The girls who were abducted on April 14, were part of the 250 students boarded at the school for the West African School Certificate, WASC/ Senior Secondary School Certificate, SSSC, examinations, triggering world-wide condemnations.
This was even as more US military officials arrived Nigeria yesterday to join local officials in the search for nearly 300 school girls taken captives by the Islamist extremist group, Boko Haram, the US Secretary of State John Kerry, and the defence department, Pentagon, said.
The UK team had earlier arrived in Abuja to support Nigerian government in its response to the abduction of over 200 school girls.
The arrival of the foreign troops is coming on the heels of the appeal yesterday by the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar for Nigerians to unite and fight the insurgents to achieve success.
According to Kerry, “Our inter-agency team is hitting the ground in Nigeria now and they are going to be working with President Goodluck Jonathan’s government to do everything that we possibly can to return these girls.”
The CNN also quoted the U.S. Navy Rear Admiral, John Kirby, who serves as Pentagon press secretary, as saying that the small team of seven would join advisers supporting local efforts to find the girls abducted over three weeks ago.
Kerry said the US team, working with the Nigerian government, would do everything possible to free the girls and everything possible to stop the atrocities of Boko Haram.
“We are also going to do everything possible to counter the menace of Boko Haram. The entire world should not only be condemning this outrage but should be doing everything possible to help Nigeria in the days ahead,” he added.
But there are no plans to send American combat troops into Nigeria, Mr. Kirby said.
The abduction of the school girls on April 14 in a remote community in Borno State, one of the most shocking terrorist acts by Boko Haram yet, has drawn widespread anger around the world with calls for a swift action.
President Goodluck Jonathan said Thursday that the kidnapping will be “the beginning of end” of Boko Haram.
US President Obama has said he hopes the abduction by Boko Haram will galvanize the international community to act against the brutal group that has directed much of its cruelty on civilians and the innocent.
This week, more than 100 people were killed in a busy market by militants suspected to be from the group. The attack occurred in Gamboru Ngala, Borno State, near the Nigerian border with Cameroun.
Besides the United States, Britain, France and China have also offered to help rescue the stolen girls.Obama said the team sent to Nigeria comprised personnel from military, law enforcement and other agencies.
France said it will station 3,000 troops in Nigeria’s neighbouring countries to help fight militants in the Sahel region.
British satellites and advanced tracking capabilities also will be used, and China has promised to provide any intelligence gathered by its satellite network.
Meanwhile in a statement yesterday, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesperson said, “a team of UK experts who will advise and support the Nigerian authorities in its response to the abduction of over 200 school girls touched down in Abuja, Nigeria this morning”.
The team is drawn from across government, including DfID, FCO and the MoD, and will work with the Nigerian authorities leading on the abductions and terrorism in Nigeria. The team will be considering not just the recent incidents but also longer-term counter-terrorism solutions to prevent such attacks in the future and defeat Boko Haram.
The team will be working closely with their US counterparts and others to coordinate efforts.
Us Marines find abducted girls, arrest Boko Haram leader
However, military sources said that apart from abducting the girls, the insurgents also carted away food items and vehicles as well as killing undisclosed number of people in Chibok on the fateful night.
The sources told Saturday Vanguard in Abuja that members of the United States Marines who are already in Maiduguri following the promise by President Barak Obama to assist Nigeria in rescuing the abducted girls, located the girls inside the forest, using some Satellite equipment which combed the forest, located an assembly of the young girls and sent the images back to the Marines on ground in Maiduguri.
Aside locating the whereabouts of the girls in the dense forest, it was also, further gathered that one of the leaders of terrorist group who participated in the abduction of the girls was arrested by a combined team of the US Marines and Nigerian forces.
Sources said that the Boko Haram leader was arrested, through an advanced interceptor equipment which was used to track the terrorist while exchanging information with his colleagues in Sambisa Forest about the movements of American and Nigerian soldiers in Maiduguri.
His phone was subsequently traced to a location in Maiduguri where he was arrested and handed over to the Nigerian military.
The location of the girls in the forest is contrary to widespread reports that the girls had been distributed and ferried to the Nigerian border towns in Chad, Cameroon and Niger Republic.
Senator Ahmed Zanna, representing Borno Central District in whose Maiduguri home, an alleged Boko Haram top commander was once arrested told the Senate last week that he gave the Military an up-to-date information on how the girls could be rescued, but lamented that his information was largely ignored.
He spoke against the backdrop of the claim by the Boko Haram leader, Sheik Abubakar Shekau, last week that the girls were booties of war, who would be sold into slavery.
Atiku appeals for unity to defeat Boko Haram
However, the arrival of the foreign military officials is coming on the heels of the appeal yesterday by the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar on Nigerians to unite and fight the insurgents.
Atiku said on his blog, “While I have had and continue to have major policy differences with the government in Abuja and its leadership, as a nation we must remain united.
”We have come to a turning point in our war against terrorism in Nigeria. It is a critical moment for us; the war will not be won without us winning this battle. In short, if one is not part of the solution, they become part of the problem.
”And at a moment like this, we can no longer afford anything but a united commitment to stamping out a great evil that threatens the very existence of the only place we call home.
”On social media, I have been amazed by the outpouring of solidarity from within and outside Nigeria. While on the one hand it is sad to see Nigeria in the news for its inability to protect its most vulnerable citizens, it is also clear that in the age of social media no concerns or problems are local.
”It is in light of this that I welcome the offer of military support from the United States, United Kingdom, France and others, and the acceptance by the Nigerian government. While I believe that we waited too long to get to this point of admitting our need for external help, I will also insist that it’s better late than never.
”We must make it clear that under no circumstances should any person, group of persons, or organization ever be permitted to prey on the children of Nigeria, or any other country. We must make it easy for everyone who has information about this crime against humanity to contact the authorities at once.
”We must make it easy for the innocent population of the affected areas to see the Nigerian military and authorities as friends, not enemies. We must make it easy for our soldiers to be loyal and committed to this great and difficult task ahead of them.
”We must make it easy for the world to see Nigeria as a country that cares for all its citizens, regardless of their age, gender, religion, ethnic group or economic class. We must remember the people most affected, trapped on the frontlines of the battle.
They need support, relief and rehabilitation. ”We must remember they will need help when they are returned home to their families and their loved ones. And we must make it difficult for anyone to play politics with this crisis.
’’Nothing, absolutely nothing, is worth the bloodshed and the destruction we have come to associate with this campaign of terror. Not party affiliations, not the 2015 elections. We are in a race against time. For every day we delay our response, or allow ourselves to be caught up in needless bickering, we hand victory over to the forces of darkness and despair, like Boko Haram.”
No Boko Haram activities in Lagos —Police
In a related development, the Lagos State Police Command said yesterday that the rumour about activities of Boko Haram members in some parts of the state was false.
The Public Relations Officer, PRO, of the state Police Command, DSP Ngozi Braide, made this known at a news conference yesterday, at Premier College Group of Schools, Palm Avenue, Mushin, where the sect members allegedly invaded.
“It is not true that there is any act of terrorism anywhere in Lagos State. It is a lie that the terrorists invaded Premier College to abduct students.
“Somebody just sat down somewhere and cooked up the lies to cause panic in the state.
“Premier College and other schools in the state are safe and secure; let the public discountenance the rumour,“ she said.
The Executive Director of the college, Mr Abraham Martins, spoke in the same vein, describing the rumour as ”false and baseless.”
There are indications that with the confirmation that the girls are still within Nigerian territory, contrary to widespread reports that the girls have been distributed and ferried out, the original plan to storm Sambisa forest which was put on hold, would now be activated.It is however not clear if and when the the rescue operation would begin.
Nigerian Girl Guides Association expresses worry
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Girl Guides Association,NGGA, has joined millions of Nigerians to express worry over the continued abduction of 234 female students and called on the Federal Government to ensure that the girls are rescued unhurt to re-unite with their families.
The association, in a statement signed by its Chief Commissioner, Dame (Dr) Christie Toby also challenged Nigerians to be security conscious and assist law enforcement agencies in fighting the enemies of the nation.
“The NGGA joins all well-meaning people all over the world to express shock over the abduction of 234 innocent school girls in Borno State.
“We are sad that up till this moment, these girls are still missing. The NGGA, being a female organisation, is specially concerned, and condemns such a heinous act.
“We declare our support for these girls and their families and pray God to strengthen them in these trying times. We appreciate the fact that government is fighting terrorism in Nigeria, but we are appealing to President Jonathan to ensure that these girls are returned safely to their families so that they can continue with their education.
“We also appeal to all security agencies and people of goodwill to support President Jonathan as they work to bring back our dear girls,” the statement added.
Source: Vanguard

Friday, May 2, 2014


Scene of 14 April Abuja bomb blast
Report reaching Abusidiqu indicates that a bomb explosion just occurred few minutes ago in the Nyanya axis of the Federal Capital Territory.
A resident of the area who spoke to Abusidiqu on the phone said latest blast occurred opposite the location of the last Motor park blast.
“Abusidiqu, you know the last blast occurred at the park where people board vehicle to Abuja city centre, this current blast occurred opposite that place where people coming from the city centre disembark,” the source said.
Even though the extent of the damage caused by the latest explosion cannot be immediately ascertained, the resident said the fear now is that a lot of people who are closing from work will be disembarking at that spot where the bomb exploded.
As at the time of this report, people were seen running helter skelter, the source said.
over 70 peoples were killed and scores of others injured when the April 14 when an early morning explosion occurred at a busy motor park where resident board vehicles to various locations in the FCT. Leader of the dreaded Boko Haram sect, Abubakar Shekau claimed responsibility for the attack and vow that more attacks are on the way. He stated this in a video released few days after the attack where he told President Jonathan that he is now in his city and dared him to get him if he can.
Source: Abusidiqu
UPDATE: Nyanya bomb victims
A loud explosion late Thursday evening rocked Nyanya, a suburb of Abuja, heightening fears of another bomb attack by Boko Haram terrorists.
Details of the explosion were sketchy at the time of this report, but residents scampered to safety as the bang reverberated across the town.
Witnesses said that they heard a single loud explosion about 8.15 pm, and that the explosion appeared to come from the same spot a bomb killed over 100 persons weeks ago.
Witnesses claimed scores may have died since the blast occurred in the heart of the regular evening traffic snarl.

Reports reaching us now is that an explosion has rocked Nyanya in Abuja, eye-witnesses via social media have shared that the bomb exploded close to where the previous explosion rocked. The first explosion happened at about 7.00 a.m on the 14th, April 2014. Casualties have been reported and Fredrick Nwabufo, TheCable’s Abuja Correspondent, immediately counted four dead person as at first count. See another photo below from the scene of the explosion.

Dead Bodies being identified

Live at the Asokoro hospital were victims were rushed.. Bomb blast in same area... Nyanya, Abuja
— Samuel Philip (@AwesomeBillsam) May 1, 2014
UPDATE: Over 16 bodies found
Apparently taking advantage of the porous security situation in Abuja, daring gunmen have hit the Federal Capital Territory this evening killing scores of people and injuring others.
As at 9:05 pm 16 corpses were counted at the Emergency Ward of the Asokoro Hospital while ambulances were still rushing to ferry in more of the dead and the wounded.
The bombers, whose identities were yet to be unmasked, struck at the same transit point they attacked on two weeks ago at Nyanya in the suburb of the FCT just as workers who went for the a May Day celebration were retuning to their bases.
Unlike the last blast, which was targeted at the major bus terminal, the latest attack was concentrated on the opposite side of the terminal, which is used by commuters.
Security men, who were taken unawares by the deadly attack, as usual, promptly mobilised and blocked all routes leading to an from the scene of the attack.
The development meant worsened the gridlock on the Nyanya-Abuja-Keffi Road and frustrated many commuters.
Source: Vanguard
UPDATE: What happened
Another bomb explosion has rocked Nyanya, a suburb of Abuja, scene of the 14 April bombing that left about 75 people dead.
A thick smoke billowed out from the scene of the explosion, which was close to the Nyanya bus terminus where the earlier bombing took place.
Some residents said they heard a loud sound from an explosion which sent jitters into them as many scampered for safety.
Soldiers and other security officials have taken over the scene, less than 500 metres away from a check point set up by soldiers after the initial blast.
Officials have not confirmed the casualty figures, but witnesses reported nine people dead.
Some of the dead are said to be those driving past on the busy road as the blast went off.
Two cylinders believed to be rigged with bombs were detonated at the scene of the blast by bomb experts from the military.
Witnesses claimed the bomb went off in a white Golf car which was parked just a few metres away from the Bus station. Three men, eyewitnesses claimed ran out of the car before the blast went off.
The injured and the dead have been taken to the Asokoro General Hospital and National Hospital for treatment.
Security has been tightened around Abuja since 14 April. Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau claimed responsibility for the bombing, saying that his men live in the city and they can’t be found.
Source: PM News
UPDATE: NEMA confirm casualties
The Nigerian police said 12 persons died following an explosion that rocked Nyanya, on the outskirt of Abuja, on Thursday. The Spokesman of the police, CSP Frank Mba, told newsmen at the scene of the incident that 19 others were injured and were now receiving treatment at the various hospitals in the city.
Mba, who described the number of the casualities as “provisional” said that investigation into the explosion had already commenced.
The National Emergency Management Agency and the Nigeria Civil Defence Security Corps however confirmed that nine lives were lost while 11 persons are unconscious in the fresh bomb blasts.
In a statement they jointly signed Emmanuel Okeh, the Head of Public Relations of the NCSDC, and Manzo Ezekiel, the Press Officer of NEMA said those injured are receiving treatment in different hospitals in Abuja.
The statement reads in full: “While security agencies have cordoned off the area of an explosion this evening in Nyanya Abuja, response agencies have moved injured victims to hospitals and at least eight (9) lifeless bodies have been deposited in the mortuary while 11 unconscious victims are receiving medical attention in different hospitals in Abuja. Other injured victims too are being attended to
“The public are urged to cooperate with security agencies and avoid rushing to the scene to guard against hampering the efforts of the various agencies working together to ensure public safety.”
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that top security officials visited the scene of the explosion to assess the situation.Among those who visited scene were the Commander-General of Nigeria Civil Defence Corps, Dr Olu Abolurin, the Police DIG Operations, Mike Zoukumor, Commander Guards Brigade and the FCT Director, State Security Service.
Eyewitnesses told NAN that the blast occurred from a Volkswagen golf car which drove from the Keffi end of the road and exploded just about 50 metres away from the scene of the April 14 blast.
Two additional security check-points have been set up between Marraba and Nyanya. Vehicles passing through the area are now being subjected to stop and search.
Meanwhile, authorities of the National Hospital have confirmed that six dead bodies, victims of the explosion, have been deposited at the hospital’s mortuary. The hospital’s spokesman, Dr Tayo Haastrup, told NAN that another nine were receiving treatment.
He said medical personnel have been mobilised to attend to the injured and many of them have been stabilised.
He, however, said the hospital was finding it difficult to cope with the number since it has still some victims of the last explosion on admission.
Haastrup said as a result two victims of the Thursday blast would be moved to Federal Staff Hospital, in Abuja.
Source: NAN