A Nigerian Air Force Mi-24 Hind attack helicopter

A Nigerian Air Force Mi-24D Hind (aka Mi-25) attack helicopter showing a nose-mounted quad-barreled 12.7mm HMG

25 July, 2014

In a determined effort to eliminate terrorism by routing insurgents from their hideouts in parts of the North East and North West once and for all, the Federal Government has placed purchase orders for 40 helicopters for attack and transportation from the United States and Russia, DailyPost can report.

Reliable security sources confided in PRNigeria that some of the helicopters will arrive the country as early as next month, while the remaining will be received certainly before the end of the year to boost the Nigerian Airforce.

Some military and other security forces are currently frustrated about their inability to storm the notorious Sambisa Forest where Boko Haram militants are keeping the abducted Chibok secondary school girls and also serving as operational headquarters of the

The reason, according to PRNIgeria findings is that security operatives are not only aware of the locations of the girls but are also closely monitoring the way that the girls are being moved around, hence they are afraid of the backlash should any harm befall the girls in the course of a forced rescue.

Past cases of attempts to rescue British and Italian nationals in Sokoto and SETRACO workers which boomerang are the reasons that the security forces have been reluctant in storming the forest and rescuing the girls.

“Oh, I wish we could have a consensus of opinion from Nigerians that we should storm the forest and rescue the girls. The day Nigerians decide that enough is enough in one voice, to clear the forest will take less than one week,” a top security source bemoaned.

Already, security forces have succeeded in ridding Zamfara, Kaduna, Jigawa and part of Bauchi states of Fulani cattle rustlers. “These have been completely eliminated”, the source declared.

The officers gave the assurance that although, terrorism like any asymmetric wars have proven to be difficult to combat anywhere in the world, the Nigerian security forces would have found it easier to deal with, had there not been politicisation of the issue.

Nonetheless, it was gathered that Damboa will soon be rescued from terrorists who recently took over the town after killing scores of residents. A special unit of terrorism forces have just been trained
under an international agreement and are ready to be fully deployed to volatile and prone areas of terrorism activities.

“Let me tell you that some communities are peculiar in the war on terror as some of their residents supported Boko Haram in the ambush and attacks on our troops. In the past, they gathered at a square to cheer the insurgents whenever a military personnel was captured and was being murdered.Young ones in the town even play with severed heads of victims.

“That is why we always warn Nigerians to report activities of these devils because giving them support is like dining with the devil or simply riding on the back of the tiger as they now turn against them. That was why some soldiers were reluctant to lay down their lives in some communities where innocent troops who were out to protect them were being misled for ambush. The situation is changing now as community leaders and youths are supporting the military
offensives.” the source declared.

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8 May, 2014

In what promises to be the biggest retooling exercise of the Nigerian Armed Forces since the glorious 1980-83 epoch, President Goodluck Jonathan has approved the release of the princely sum of US$1 billion for the procurement of military hardware in a modernisation and capacity-building drive for the Nigerian Armed Forces.

President Jonathan made this detail known while addressing delegates to the World Economic Summit taking place at Abuja. He indicated that this is an initial effort in direct intervention funding which is inadequate and it portends the release of additional funds going forward.

Gentlemen, we are finally on the same page as our Federal Government after so many years of yelling about the need to have the military retooled.

Before we lose our bearing and knowing fully well that this blog is firmly on the radar of Nigeria’s entire DEFSEC establishment right up to the topmost leadership, how do you think that this boon should be spent? Please note that your views will be assessed and if swayed by the superiority of your argument, the decision makers shall take in board your suggestions.

So given the available sum, how do you think our military can gain the most mileage and put the spring back in its traditionally fighting-fit steps? No rambling or inoperable wishlists please. Just a triservice shopping list which takes care of requirements for asymmetric and conventional warfare alike.

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Nigerian Army soldiers in a Toyota Landcruiser troop carrier on patrol in the far northeast.

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NIMASA Amaseikumor, NIMASA Oglakirigha and NIMASA Oweikenigban were inducted in October 2013.

Commanded by a Captain of the Nigerian Navy, the MGC is a quasi-Coast Guard which is joint staffed by personnel on secondment from the Nigerian Navy and by NIMASA staff.

24 July, 2014

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has assured that with the launching of its Satellite Surveillance Centre, it is now able to respond to any distress call on Nigerian waters and beyond.

The agency has however lamented that presently it does not have enough security officers assigned to its Maritime Guard Command to be able to efficiently complement the findings of the surveillance system. Director General of NIMASA, Mr Patrick Akpobolokemi stated this in Lagos yesterday at a press conference organised by the agency.

Akpobolokemi, who was represented by the agency’s Executive Director of Maritime Safety and Shipping Development, Capt Ezekiel Bala Agaba, said that the new 24 hours satellite surveillance equipment has the capability to detect boats, ships and objects of predefined cross-section floating on water.

According to Akpobolokemi, the centre which was launched in June 2014 was instrumental to the rescue of a Ghanaian-flagged vessel that was hijacked by pirates off the coast of Ghana.

Also speaking at the press conference, NIMASA’s Director of Shipping Development, Capt. Waredi Eniosuoh said that about six vessels have also been arrested for operating illegally on Nigerian waters through the use of the surveillance system.Waredi added that the satellite surveillance is capable of detecting vessels that entered Nigerian waters even with falsified IMO number, and other ships of interest.

He however lamented that presently, NIMASA has run out of security personnel in its Maritime Guard Command to follow up on the day-to- day implementation of the printout of the new system.

“I can tell you that as we speak, the satellite prints out on a daily basis for us,every vessel that does not meet the requirement. I don’t want to name the vessels that are out there now that have been arrested, but I can tell you we have five and another one has just joined the list”, he disclosed.

Raising an alarm about the shortage, he said: “I am so scared now with the result,the reason I am scared with the result is because we have a limited amount of military personnel with us and the rate we are going since this satellite system started, very soon we will run out of the number of military personnel assigned to us, we are about to apply for more”.

The agency has also said that the upgrading of its Global Maritime Distress Safety System (GMDSS) in Lagos, Bonny and Oron and the radar installation in Escravos, Bonny and Takwa Bay in Lagos will complement the satellite facility and further boost our domain awareness response capability when fully operational.

The facility can equally be used to see beyond the territorial waters of Nigeria, identify ship positions in real time which can greatly enhance search and rescue, plot search and rescue patterns, detect vessels that switch off their automatic identification system (AIS) as well as interrogate the satellite image for information.

“We have successfully reversed the trend as we now have complete control of our maritime domain with considerable capability to respond to marine emergencies within a reasonable timeframe”, he added.

In addition to this, NIMASA says it has embarked on another Verification Inspection Exercise (VIE) of port facilities to enforce compliance with the International Ships and Ports Facility (ISPS) Code. According to the agency, 22 port facilities in Nigeria are now compliant with the ISPS Code as confirmed by the US Coast Guard.

The agency however expressed hope that this figure will rise when the report of the ISPS Code Compliance team which visited the country last April is released.

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Men of the Police Mobile Force(MOPOL) on counterterrorism operations in Kano

Battle-weary men of the Police Mobile Force(MOPOL) on counterterrorism operations in Kano await the arrival of Mr President following a 3-day crunch period 20-22 January 2012 during which Boko Haram mounted their biggest-ever urban attack that claimed 185 lives and left hundreds more wounded in large-scale gun, IED and suicide attacks

July 27, 2014
Kano (Nigeria) (AFP)

At least five people were killed and eight were injured Sunday in a bomb attack on a Catholic church in a mainly Christian area of Kano, the largest city in Nigeria’s north, police said. The attack came shortly after the end of mass at the Saint Charles Catholic Church, police spokesman Frank Mba told AFP.

“We suspect an IED (improvised explosive device) that was thrown from across the road” at the church in Kano’s Sabon Gari district, which has suffered previous attacks by the Islamist group Boko Haram, he added.

Also in Kano on Sunday, a woman suicide bomber blew herself up outside a university after police prevented her from carrying out an attack, injuring five officers, Mba said.”A female suicide bomber was isolated as she was walking towards the gate of the university,” Mba said, adding that she had hidden the bomb under her “long black hijab”.

“Police on duty isolated her” because she was behaving strangely, Mba said. They were about to ask a female colleague to frisk the woman when she detonated the bomb, killing herself and injuring the five police officers, he said.

Police also said they had made safe a remote-controlled car bomb near a mosque and the home of a prominent Kano sheikh on Saturday. “The police were alerted by some vigilant residents last night,” said Kano police spokesman Musa Magaji Majia. “Our bomb disposal personnel succeeded in defusing the IED.”

While Boko Haram, which is seeking to install an extremist Islamic state in Nigeria, has killed dozens during a recent spate of strikes in the far northeast, Kano has also seen two attacks in recent months.

On June 23, a bomb blast at a public health college in the city killed at least eight, while on May 19, a suicide car bomb attack in Sabon Gari killed at least four people, including a young girl.

At least four strong explosions rocked the same area on July 29 last year, killing 12. Blame has been attributed to the Islamist militants, whose violent insurgency began in the mainly Muslim north in 2009.

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Cameroonian troops deployed on counterinsurgency operations.


Sun, Jul 27 2014
By Tansa Musa
YAOUNDE (Reuters)

The wife of Cameroon’s vice prime minister was kidnapped and at least three people were killed in an attack by Boko Haram militants in the northern town of Kolofata on Sunday, Cameroon officials said.

A local religious leader, or lamido, named Seini Boukar Lamine, who is also the town’s mayor, was kidnapped as well, in a separate attack on his home. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Boko Haram, the Nigerian Islamist militant group, has stepped up cross-border attacks into Cameroon in recent weeks as Cameroon has deployed troops to the region, joining international efforts to combat the militants.

“I can confirm that the home of Vice Prime Minister Amadou Ali in Kolofata came under a savage attack from Boko Haram militants,” Issa Tchiroma told Reuters by telephone. “They unfortunately took away his wife. They also attacked the lamido’s residence and he was also kidnapped,” he said, and at least three people were killed in the attack.

A Cameroon military commander in the region told Reuters that the vice prime minister, who was at home to celebrate the Muslim feast of Ramadan with his family,was taken to a neighboring town by security officials.

“The situation is very critical here now, and as I am talking to you the Boko Haram elements are still in Kolofata town in a clash with our soldiers,” said Colonel Felix Nji Formekong, the second commander of Cameroon’s third inter-army military region, based in the regional headquarters Maroua.

The Sunday attack is the third Boko Haram attack into Cameroon since Friday. At least four soldiers were killed in the previous attacks.

Meanwhile, some 22 suspected Boko Haram militants, who have been held in Maroua since March, were on Friday sentenced to prison sentences ranging from 10 to 20 years. It was unclear whether the events are related.

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Lt General KTJ Minimah, Chief of Army Staff

25 July, 2014

The Army personnel in Nigeria have been advised to stop using the social media platform wrongly.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Kenneth Minimah cautioned those using the new technology to spread falsehood about the service, particularly the prosecution of the ongoing war against insurgents in parts of the country. He equally warned those exposing the strength and weaknesses of the service to desist from such act.

General Minimah gave the advice while addressing soldiers of the 149 Battalion, Ojo Cantonment, Lagos State, in continuation of his familiarisation tour of Army formations in the 81 Division Area.

“One trend that is also dangerous to the service we all cherish is the misuse of the social media. I urge you to be careful of social media. Those of you that like to use Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms to report the Army as if you are not part of the system, stop it.What you do not know is that you have been undoing the system that you are part of.

“You can tweet on social issues. Do not tweet about our locations, equipment, weapons and ammunition. What has that got to do with you? I urge you to desist from reporting the Army,” he stated.

His appeal came following the activities of some disgruntled and
unpatriotic elements in the service that use the social media to spread misinformation to those outside the system.

Payment of Allowance

The Army Chief also used the occasion to dispel insinuations that soldiers allowances were not paid. “Under my administration, the Army has paid operational allowances upfront even before the normal time of payment. “We have been trying to pay allowances on time. Everybody who is entitled to any form of allowance is being paid promptly. In Zaman Lafia, OP Restore Peace, Pulo Shield, Task Force in Jos, everybody is being paid upfront. We are still in July, and we have been paying operational allowances upfront. There is nowhere this is practiced all over the world; where you are paid upfront,” General Minimah explained.

War causalities

On the issue of war casualties, the Army Chief told the soldiers that about 7 casualties whose situation could not be handled back home were currently being treated in India and Germany. He assured the soldiers of their welfare.

Also assuring soldiers of support of the service for the education of their wards, General Minimah informed them that upon assumption in office, he annulled the increment in school fees for Army schools across the country.

“Upon my assumption as the Chief of Army Staff, there was a proposal on my table about the increase in school fees for all army schools across the country. But I looked at it and considered that soldiers would be stressed with this increment and so I dropped the idea,” he added.

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An operative of the Police Counter Terrorist Unit stands in front of a Landcruiser truck

24 July, 2014

At least one person was killed and eight other people injured when a blast ripped through a crowded bus station in Kano,northern Nigeria, police and witnesses said on Thursday. The explosion happened at about 3:00pm (1400 GMT) at the New Motor Park in the predominantly Christian Sabon Gari neighbourhood, which has previously been targeted by Boko Haram militants.

“It was an IED (improvised explosive device). The explosive was concealed in a water dispenser and brought into the motor park by unknown people,” Kano state police commissioner Adelere Shinaba told reporters at the scene.

“A woman was killed and eight other people were injured and have been taken to hospital… Our forensics experts are combing the scene for clues. We have already commenced (an) investigation.”
Shinaba said there was no immediate claim of responsibility and no arrests had been made but Kano –Nigeria’s second city — has been hit before by explosions.

On June 23, a bomb blast at a public health college in the city killed at least eight while on May 19, a suicide car bomb attack in Sabon Gari killed at least four people, including a young girl.

At least four strong explosions rocked the same area on July 29 last year, killing 12.Blame has been attributed to the Islamist militants, who have been waging a violent insurgency in the country’s north since 2009.

- Backdrop of violence -

In the latest blast, a man who gave his name as Obi and works at a local garage, said: “A young cart pusher (porter) wheeled a water dispenser into the (motor) park and kept it near other luggage waiting to be uploaded into a bus heading to the east. “The dispenser was given to him by two people at the gates who disguised (themselves) as travellers and asked him to bring it in for them but lagged behind him.”The (water) dispenser exploded with a huge bang at the time passengers were disembarking from the bus close to the dispenser.” The cart pusher — a common sight in and around bustling transport hubs in Nigeria — had his hands and legs blown off while a woman was decapitated, he added.

Another witness, market trader Suleiman Bala, said the device was left among rows of buses and the two suspects disappeared shortly before the blast.

The latest violence came after two bombings in the northern city of Kaduna on Wednesday left at least 42 people dead and prompted the authorities to introduce a round-the-clock curfew to prevent lawlessness.

According to local police, the first attack — a suicide bomb –targeted the convoy of Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi, a cleric who has fiercely criticised Boko Haram’s deadly five-year uprising, and left at least 25 dead.

The second attack some two hours later that killed 17 people targeted Muhammadu Buhari, one of Nigeria’s most prominent opposition leaders who also ruled the country as a military dictator from 1983 to 1985.

Both bombings are in line with previous attacks on prominent Islamic clerics, whom Boko Haram accuse of co-operating with Nigeria’s secular government, but also come as part of an increasing number of bloody attacks outside the group’s northeastern heartland.

The capital, Abuja, has been hit three times in as many months by car bomb attacks, while there was a twin car bombing on a crowded market in the central city of Jos in May and a similar attack outside a fuel depot in the financial capital, Lagos in June.

But civilians have borne the brunt of attacks this year,leaving hundreds dead and tens of thousands more displaced in a relentless series of attacks in Nigeria’s remote northeast.

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