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Again, Boko Haram kills soldiers

By Azimazi Momoh Jimoh and Nkechi Onyedika-Ugoeze, Abuja
06 May 2019   |   4:05 am
Five soldiers have been killed as troops of the Nigerian military clashed with Boko Haram fighters in Magumeri village, Borno State. The report is coming amid deterioration in the nation’s security as bandits unleash a wave of kidnappings and murders across states...

Silhouette of Islamists extremists, Boko Haram. PHOTO: Bloomberg News

Five soldiers have been killed as troops of the Nigerian military clashed with Boko Haram fighters in Magumeri village, Borno State.

The report is coming amid deterioration in the nation’s security as bandits unleash a wave of kidnappings and murders across states.

“During the encounter, the terrorists suffered heavy losses. Unfortunately, five soldiers paid the supreme price,” said a statement by Colonel Ezindu Idima, Deputy Director Army Public Relations, Sector 3 Operation Lafiya Dole, yesterday.

“Troops of Sector 3 Operation Lafiya Dole deployed at Forward Operation Base (FOB) Magumeri, Borno State, had a fierce encounter with Boko Haram terrorists on May 3, 2019. The criminals came in their numbers to infiltrate Magumeri village, to loot food items and other valuables. But the indefatigable troops effectively thwarted the terrorists’ plan through superior firepower.

“The gallant troops exterminated scores of the insurgents and many escaped with gunshot wounds. A pursuit and clearance operation has been sustained to deal with the remaining fleeing criminals. Recall that the Multi National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) launched Operation Yancin Tafki in February this year. The operation has denied the terrorists freedom of action and access to foodstuffs and other logistics, which forced them to resort to looting vulnerable communities and villages for food stuffs and other necessities,” Idima said.

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He added: “Troops have continued to intensify vigilance and high level of alertness to deny the bandits freedom of action.”

Decrying the state of insecurity, the Nigerian Baptist Convention (NBC) called on the Federal Government and security agencies to act quickly and checkmate the trend.

It regretted that law enforcement agencies seemed helpless, even as it claimed that areas once liberated from Boko Haram have begun to fall back into the hands of the terrorists.

In a statement issued at the end of its 106th Annual Session, the NBC stated: “It is an understatement to say that there are security challenges in Nigeria today. We observed with disappointment the unchecked attack on both Nigerians and foreigners due to terrorist and various criminal activities in the country. The news is filled on a daily basis with sad stories of terrorist and other criminal attacks carried out by Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen, bandits and other criminal groups, resulting in kidnappings, bloodshed, rape, ritual killings and destruction of property in all parts of Nigeria.”

The statement by the Chairman of the Resolution Committee Prof. S. Akinlolu Fagbemi, said: “It is unfortunate that despite various promises by government on the release of Leah Sharibu and other people in the custody of the Islamic terrorists, the lady is yet to be released. Premised on the foregoing, we implore the Federal Government to uphold the sanctity of life and protect the property of Nigerians.”

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) meanwhile has charged the army and other security agencies to track down political Soldiers, mercenaries and thugs allegedly smuggled into the country by the All Progressives Congress (APC) with which “the ruling party unleashed violence on the nation to facilitate its rigging of the 2019 general elections.”

In a statement by its national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP said it had in the past raised the alarm “when the APC, seeing that it could not win in a free, fair and credible election, compromised our territorial borders to bring in political mercenaries from other countries to participate in their campaign rallies, as well as assist them in perpetrating violence.

“Nigerians can also recall how APC agents unleashed unbridled violence on voters in Kano, Kaduna, Rivers, Kogi, Taraba, Adamawa and other states of the federation to muscle votes for its candidates, particularly in the presidential election; and how the APC leadership stood in staunch defence of the compromising of our territorial borders as well as the violence that characterised the elections.”

According to the PDP, “the APC has not been able to state the whereabouts of these thugs after the elections, a development that has raised fears that they filtered deeper into our national territory and population, given the escalation of banditry and associated acts of violence in many of our states, including Zamfara, Borno, Yobe, Taraba, Kaduna, Katsina, among others, after the elections.”

The party restated its demand for an investigation into the alleged link between the APC and the ugly security situation in the country.

“This is particularly as the APC is now overweighed by public disapproval and opprobrium for rigging the election. And being faced with huge legitimacy challenges ahead, it could resort to all manner of shenanigans just to divert public attention from its odious status,” the PDP said.