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Army nabs Boko Haram top commander in Borno council boss’s home

By Terhemba Daka, Abuja and Njadvara Musa, Maiduguri   |   01 January 2017   |   5:20 am
Nigerian Army

Nigerian Army

Buhari Receives Boko Haram’s Flag After Terrorists’ Sack From Sambisa Forest 

Troops of Operation Lafiya Dole in the Northeast on Friday night arrested the Caretaker Chairman of Mafa Local Government Area of Borno State, Shettima Lawan Maina, for hiding a Boko Haram top Commander (name withheld) in his residence at1000 Housing Estate, Maiduguri.

Military sources, which disclosed this on Saturday, said the arrests followed a tip-off.Also, sources living within the housing estate as the chairman, said it did not come to them as a surprise.

It would be recalled that the capture of Sambisa Forest, a stronghold of Boko Haram terrorists by troops, led to the fleeing of many terrorists to Maiduguri and other safe havens. Mafa council area is 40 kilometres east of Maiduguri.

Residents and the council chairman’s neighbours disclosed that the military and other security operatives stormed the house after receiving intelligence that a top Boko Haram commander had sneaked into the house for safety.

A military source said: “Already, both the top Boko Haram Commander and the Chairman have been detained in a military facility to enable thorough investigation as to how a wanted terrorist will sneak into the house of a council chairman.

“This is, knowing fully well, that politicians of such caliber do not usually allow access to their house for abode or to hide.”The Police Public Relations Officer, Victor Isuku’s phone lines could not be reached, but a top security officer confirmed the incident in confidence.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday night received the Boko Haram flag, following the sack of the insurgents from their stronghold at “Camp Zero,” in Sambisa Forest, by troops of Operation Lafiya Dole.

The hand over of the flag to Buhari by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai, who received it from the Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj. Gen. Lucky Irabor, coincided with the 2016 end of year Regimental Dinner Night, organised by the Nigerian Army’s elite battalion, the Guards Brigade, in Abuja.

Shortly after the Nigerian military carried out a large-scale offensive in the Sambisa forest to smoke out the terrorists, Gen. Irabor, had disclosed that ‎about 1, 240 suspected members of the terrorists were arrested during the operation.

Buhari who expressed delight over the crushing of the insurgents had, in his Christmas message to the troops last week, urged them to maintain the tempo by pursuing the terrorists and bringing them to justice.

In the message, which he personally signed, Buhari hailed the courage and resilience of the gallant troops, and called on Nigerians to cooperate and support the Nigerian Armed Forces, and other security agencies by providing useful information that will expose terrorists’ hideouts.

While receiving the flag, Buhari challenged the armed forces on the need to continue to ensure the survival of Nigeria as a geo-political entity despite what he described as “political madness’’ being exhibited in some parts of the country.

“We must do our best to build national institutions in the country. Keeping Nigeria one is a task that must be done, and that task lies on the shoulders of the military.All this political madness in the North East, the Niger Delta or in the East should not be allowed to cause divisions, or any form of tension in the country,” the president said.

He continued, “There are 250 ethnic groups, so keeping Nigeria one is a task that must be done, even for your personal reason, you must make sure this country remains united and stronger.”

He recalled how his resistance to succumb to the whims and caprices of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Bank to facilitate the devaluation of the naira and increase prices of fuel and flour as a military Head of State, led to his removal from office.


“As a civilian president I will do my best and I’m telling you all these because you are part of the leadership of this great country and God willing, we will remain great.”

In his remarks, Buratai urged officers and men of the Guards Brigade to always maintain the courage and discipline the elite brigade is noted for in 2017 and beyond.

The highlight of the occasion was the official commissioning of the PMB (President Muhammadu Buhari) Gymnasium at the Scorpion Officers’ Mess located in the W.U. Bassey Cantonment by the President.




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