We will not concede any town to B’Haram again, says Jonathan
• ‘Terrorists attack Gamboru, kill eleven’
• UN may set up trust fund to tackle terrorism
• Islamic group’s leader escapes arrest in Kaduna
PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday said that the Federal Government would continue to resist any attempt by Boko Haram terrorist group to “capture and take over” any town or village within the country. Declaring this at the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential campaign rally in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, yesterday, the President said:
“The Federal Government is fully committed to ending this Boko Haram insurgency, as our troops have already freed this state from terrorists and their activities in the North-East sub-region of Nigeria. “As I speak, I am so happy to announce that Yobe has been freed of Boko Haram, as all territories originally under the control of the sect members have been recaptured by our able troops, and we will, henceforth, resist any attempt by the sect members or any group to take control of any territory.”
But, in its continued onslaught, Boko Haram militants yesterday killed 11 people in an attack on Gamboru, northeastern Nigeria, as hundreds of Islamists flooded the town following the withdrawal of Chadian troops, witnesses said yesterday. Three residents of Fotokol, a town in Cameroun that is attached to Gamboru, said the rebels’ onslaught began on Wednesday and there were indications that the insurgents intended to occupy Gamboru again.
Also, as global focus on the Boko Haram insurgency in northeastern part of Nigeria and its bordering nations persists, details of a comprehensive plan to support an international force to rid the region of the terrorists’ threats have now reached an advanced stage, according to United Nations (UN) sources. Once concluded at the UN Security Council, such a force would have the legal backing of the international community to do everything necessary to put down the Boko Haram group, may be financed through a special trust fund.
The UN deputy spokesperson, Farhan Haq, confirmed that the UN Under Secretary for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman and Special Envoy Mohamed Ibn Chambas are currently in Nigeria discussing details of how the UN can help in the war against terror, but he did not share details at the daily press briefing in New York. On his part, the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Umar Garbai El-Kanemi, yesterday declared that it was erroneous to trace the roots of the Boko Haram insurgency to Borno State, insisting that insurgency was “imported into this state” from one of the four neighbouring states in the North East sub-region of the country.
President Jonathan, who expressed sadness that Boko Haram members have been causing havoc to innocent people and destroying various communities, said: “It is unfortunate that our brothers and sisters have turned mad against us and have left us with these sad memories.” The Vice President, Namadi Sambo, who called on the people of the North-East sub-region to vote for PDP, gave assurance that as the war against Boko Haram insurgency is gradually getting over, it will be extended to Buni/Yadi in Yobe State and Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
He also commended the efforts of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration towards ending the insurgency as well as the establishment of the 132 and 130 KVA/ ITC power lines from Gombe through Potiskum, Damaturu and Maiduguri, covering a total distance of over 430 kilometres. The gubernatorial candidate of the party in the state, Alhaji Adamu Maina Waziri, while thanking the President and his entourage for the visit, assured the President that Yobe State would be delivered to PDP on March 28, 2015.
In another development, a top leader of the Boko Haram militant group yesterday escaped arrest by a combined security operatives from the Nigerian Army, Department of State Security (DSS) and policemen in Kaduna during a raid of the building suspected to be his hideout.
The building, The Guardian learnt, was said to have allegedly been leased out to the insurgent leader, who later moved into the premises with his wife. An eyewitness, who spoke with journalists, said: “I was in my house, which is in the next street, and was woken up by the gun-shot. Initially, I thought it was a robbery attack and I called the leader of the vigilante group in the area, who told me there was no cause for alarm.”