Female suicide bomber kills self, eight others in Yobe
• Military hopes to contain insurgency soon
• Navy gets four new war ships
• UN condemns escalation of B’ Haram attacks
IT was still cruel disregard for human life, as a female suicide bomber who disguised as a passenger at the Damaturu Central Motor Park in Yobe State detonated a “veil hidden” Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Sunday, killing nine people.
The incident occurred yesterday as the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu, told newsmen in Lagos that the military has intensified efforts to ensure that within the next six weeks, the insurgency in the north east region would have been successfully contained.
The Yobe State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Toyin Gbadegesin, who confirmed the incident said 36 other people who were seriously injured by the female bomber have been evacuated to the General Sani Abacha Specialists Hospital, Damaturu for treatment.
Gbadegesin disclosed that the female suicide bomber targeted security personnel on patrol at the park, but because of the fear of being noticed, she pretended to be one of the passengers at the motor park.
He said the bomber later boarded a bus and shortly after she entered the vehicle, she detonated the IED, killing herself and eight others.
“The suicide bomber attempted to penetrate the security men on patrol but she was noticed and our men prevented her from coming close to them. As they were strategizing to confront her, she pretended to
board a bus and before anyone knew what was happening, she detonated the IED killing herself and eight others,” Gbadegesin explained yesterday.
A shop owner told Agence France Presse (AFP) that an angry mob prevented emergency workers from evacuating the remains of the bomber. “They gathered the pieces (body parts) and set them on fire,” he said.
While there was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, suspicion immediately fell on Boko Haram. The Islamists militants have been blamed for increasingly using women and girls as human bombs across northern Nigeria.
Boko Haram has also emerged as a growing regional threat. The group launched its first ever attacks inside neighbouring Chad and Niger this month, seen as a response to those two nations joining Nigeria and Cameroon in a military offensive designed to crush the uprising.
The Air Force boss, Amosu, spoke at the kick off of a military exercise aimed at adding more weapons and equipment into the operations of the armed forces in the northeast.
He said: “We are set to decimate the Boko Haram terrorists by first gaining air and ground intelligence to deny them the freedom of action and movement, to destroy their communication and supply lines and the possibilities of regeneration.
“We have done this sufficiently and their command and control are already disrupted. What we need to do now is an exercise to complete the project. It is so easy for people to say what you could not do in so many years, how come you are going to do in six weeks. It is an operation and it gets to a point where you can categorically say that within a period, you can complete the operation and this is where we are right now.”
Air Marshal Amosu said the exercise, which was jointly organized, will bring additional capabilities to fight against insurgency. “We are incorporating some new systems and some new ammunition have surfaced and we need to incorporate them into the platform we have.
“With this, we need to intensify the day and night operations. This operation is to recalibrate our weapon system and fine-tune our tactics. It is also another opportunity to look at our maritime environment; there are challenges equally in that area.
“We have challenges in the maritime sector, we equally contribute to operations Pulo Shield in the Niger Delta. We have new ammunition that we need to test and the range here in Lagos is the most ideal for this operation, we have to make use of facilities and everything that the nation has in terms of land space and equipment to fight insurgency, terrorism and the emerging threats on the country.”
Amosu urged Nigerians, particularly residents of Lagos, not to panic or exhibit any fear when they hear gunfire, insisting that the gunfire would be coming from some of the new equipment joining the platform to end the insurgency in the northeast.
Explaining why the Nigerian armed forces went into joint operations with other countries in other to conquer Boko Haram, the Air Force chief said it was to enable the military cross into the territory of other countries in a situation of hot pursuit.
Meanwhile, members of the United Nations (UN) Security Council have condemned in the strongest terms the continued escalation of attacks by Boko Haram terrorists, including the violence perpetrated on February 13, 2015 in Ngouboua, Chad, against civilians, which killed many persons including the local traditional leader and injured several others, as well as the February 8 attack in Kerawa, Cameroon and February 6 to 8 attacks in Diffa, Niger.
According to a statement by the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), the members of the Security Council extended their condolences to the families of the victims and their sympathy to all those injured in these heinous attacks, as well as to the people and the governments of the Republics of Chad, Cameroon and Niger.
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including the actions of Boko Haram, constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security, and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whosoever committed.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their determination to combat all forms of terrorism, in accordance with its responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations.
The members of the Security Council underlined the need to bring perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of acts of terrorism to justice and urged all States, in accordance with their obligations under international law and relevant Security Council resolutions, to cooperate with the relevant authorities in this regard.
The United States government has scheduled to hold a summit this week that will focus on efforts that will help to counter violent extremism which has been on the rise globally, hitting hard on the Middle East, Africa and now part of Europe from where thousands have reportedly travelled to fight on the terrorists’ side.
Participants will identify next steps to more effectively counter the violent extremism that is driving today’s threats, while exploring the factors that can drive such extremism in order to develop effective interventions against them.
Also yesterday, it was learnt that in a bid to further strengthen security around the Nigerian maritime space and reposition the Nigerian Navy (NN) for enhanced performance, four capital war ships have been procured and are to be commissioned for better operation.
The occasion which is to be graced by President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday is to “reposition the Nigerian Navy to meet contemporary security challenges” in the country. It will be the first time in the history of the country’s Naval force that they would take delivery of four warships at the same time.
A statement from the Naval Director of Information, Commodore Kabir Aliyu, indicates that “the ships named NNS Centenary, NNS Okpabana, NNS Prosperity and NNS Sagbama will be commissioned at the Naval Dockyard Victoria Island, Lagos.”
It states that “the acquisition is a landmark achievement for the Nigerian Navy and the Federal Government. The occasion is unique because this is the first time in the history of the Nigerian Navy that four capital warships will be commissioned at once.”