The Nigerian troops began attacks on the suspected hideouts of Boko Haram insurgents last night. There is no hiding place for the terrorists as the operation involved air and ground attacks.
Although the support promised by the foreign countries such as China, UK, USA and France has not come, the military said they began the operations while waiting for the support because they had resolved to end the menace of terrorism within the next few days.
“We have begun the attacks on the suspected hideouts of the terrorists. We have been trying to isolate the suspected areas where the abducted girls might be kept and, once we smoke them out, those who surrender will be arrested while those who resist the arrest will be wiped out,” a military source disclosed last night. “We want to ensure we free those innocent girls and then move against them in an unprecedented manner. Fortunately for us, we have done it before and, unlike then, our neighbours like Cameroun, Chad, Niger and Benin Republic will not allow those criminals to hide in their lands.”
The source, who plays a prominent role in the counter-insurgency, explained that the military will ensure the safety of every abducted girl in the course of the operation.
A serving general urged the elite and the media not to destroy the military.
Boko Haram: Jonathan, Security Chiefs In Emergency Meeting
President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday urged service chiefs and heads of security agencies in the country to expedite action in ongoing effort at rescuing the schoolgirls abducted from the Government Girls Secondary school (GGSC) Chibok, Borno State.
The emergency security meeting, LEADERSHIP also gathered, was quickly convened by the president, as immediate response to an explosion by a suicide bomber in Sabon Gari area of Kano in which about ten people were reportedly killed.
Immediately after the meeting, Special Adviser to the president on media and publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati twitted on his twitter handle that Jonathan ordered the security chiefs to act fast in investigating the explosion.
The meeting, it was also learnt, was also meant review the security situation in the country, as it borders on last Saturday’s Regional Security meeting on Boko haram hosted by French President Francois Hollande at Elysee Palace, Paris, France.
Although details of the meeting were not disclosed, it was gathered that the meeting was put in place to review the security situation in the country as well as the decision reached at the regional security meeting in Paris.
Present at yesterday’s security meeting include Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Sabundu Badeh; Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant- General Kenneth Minimah; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Usman Jibrin and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Ademola Amosu. The Inspector General of Police, Muhammed Abubakar, the Director-General of State Security Service, (SSS) Ita Ekpeyong were also at the meeting which lasted for some hours.
Senate Set to Approve Emergency Rule Extension in 3 States
There are strong indications that the Senate would today give a unanimous approval to the six months’ extension of the one-year-old state of emergency in the three troubled north-east states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa.
A leader of the Senate confirmed that the president will sign the 2014 budget sometime this week, having trashed out the grey areas with the leadership of the National Assembly.
The Senate had last Thursday deferred decision on the thorny issue till today to allow for wider consultation.
The House of Representatives had expressly approved the request, which was tabled before both chambers by President Jonathan last Tuesday via a letter.
Sources disclosed that the Senate would discuss the matter at an executive session this morning before open plenary where they would merely announce the approval devoid of voting.
The senators had been in a gridlock owing to the insistence of some senators to allow for further consultation that could lead to an interface between President Goodluck Jonathan and the three governors.
The development led the Senate to mandate its leadership to meet with both the three governors and the president on the way forward.
However, a source told LEADERSHIP last night that the Senate will definitely approve the emergency request irrespective of whether the Senate leadership met with the president or not.
“The Senate will approve the request for one simple reason, which is that there is no way the Senate would go contrary to what the House of Representatives has done in the circumstance, though there was never a time we thought that the Senate would not approve the emergency,” said the source.
China Reaffirms Support For Nigeria In Anti-Terror War
The Chinese consul-general to Nigeria, Mr Liu Kan, on Monday reaffirmed his country’s commitment to supporting Nigeria in fighting terror.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 10 Chinese workers were recently abducted by insurgents in Cameroon and brought to Nigeria.
Liu told NAN in Lagos that the Chinese government was prepared to support the federal government’s effort in promoting national and regional security.
The consul-general said that China had recorded successes in intelligence information exchange, monitoring terrorists’ funding, extradition and deportation of terror suspects in other countries.
“China strongly condemns and firmly opposes all forms of terrorism. We are deeply shocked and distressed by activities of terrorists in Nigeria.
“China shares common and long-term interests with all countries, including Nigeria in fighting terrorism.
“China is a responsible power, who loves, cherishes as well dedicates herself to the maintenance of peace and stability across the world.
“The Chinese Government will therefore continue to support Nigeria in fighting terrorists.’’
The envoy said that his country would support Nigeria with its experience in international anti-terror know-how.
Liu described Nigeria as China’s strategic partner that urgently needed international support in fighting terror.
“China is involved in majority of anti-terrorism conventions and has conducted fruitful bilateral cooperation against terrorism,’’ he said. (NAN)
Chibok: US Finally Agrees To Share Intelligence Analysis With Nigeria
Shifting its earlier ground, the United States government has finalized an agreement with the federal government to share U.S. intelligence analysis relating to the more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped last month by the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram, the Defense Department announced Monday.
Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren, who made this known to reporters, said the agreement covered analysis specifically related to finding these kidnapped girls, but not raw intelligence.
The Pentagon official also said that the shared intelligence would include analysis of images and other data, stressing that the agreement, reached over the weekend, represented a formal, if temporary, broadening of security cooperation between the two governments.
Last week, a Defense Department official told lawmakers that the Pentagon has to be “exceedingly cautious” about what information it shares with Nigeria’s leaders due to their forces’ history of human rights abuses.
Alice Friend, the Pentagon’s principal director for Africa Affairs, told a Senate foreign relations subcommittee last week that the abuses have been a “persistent and very troubling limitation on our assistance,” and that the Pentagon has “struggled” in the past to find Nigerian units it can coordinate with.
Chibok: Ghana Vows To Assist Nigeria With Troops
The Ghanaian government has pledged to send its military to join other foreign allies in the search for the abducted schoolgirls of Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State.
A Ghanaian lawmaker, Onarable Kwamna, told the Hausa service of the BBC that Ghana will support the Nigerian Army through the ECOWAS.
He said that the ECOWAS community was discussing the spate of security in Nigeria, and once the ECOWAS has concluded its talks, Ghana would push her army to Nigeria. He did not reveal the number of troops the country was planning to send to Nigeria.
The ECOWAS president and president of Ghana, John Mahama, is the first president to take a pledge to send troops to join other foreign allies to search for the abducted Chibok schoolgirls.
Already, countries like the U.S. and the UK team of professional and spy planes began search for the schoolgirls.[Leadership]