​Teenage suicide bomber kills 3 in Borno ― Security sources

A teenage girl killed at least three people when she blew herself up in a crowd in Borno state, militia and humanitarian sources told AFP Saturday.

“We evacuated three dead bodies and two people who were seriously injured from the scene,” said aid worker Abubakar Mohammed.

The attack happened in the town of Konduga, about 38 kilometres (24 miles) from the regional capital Maiduguri.

The attacker set off her explosives among a group of men at a hangout next to the local chief’s home, said Ibrahim Liman, an anti-jihadist militia leader who gave the same toll.

Konduga and surrounding villages have been repeatedly targeted by suicide bombers from Boko Haram, which typically attacks soft civilian targets such as mosques, markets and bus stations, often using young women as bombers.

At least 30 people were killed last year in Konduga when three bombers detonated their explosives outside a hall where football fans were watching a match on TV.

Boko Haram and a splinter group, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), have killed 36,000 people and displaced around two million since 2009.

The jihadist conflict has spread into neighbouring Chad, Niger and Cameroon, prompting a regional military coalition to end the violence.


​Again, Boko Haram ambushes passengers along Maiduguri-Damaturu Road

Suspected members of dreaded Boko Haram sect on Friday evening laid ambush along 125km Maiduguri -Damaturu, which claimed 5 lives with an unspecified number of motorists and passengers abducted, after looting foodstuff and properties.

The incident according to one of the anonymous survivors who was shot in the leg and now receiving treatment at University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) said the incident took place at about 5pm on Friday.

“We were coming from Abuja to spend the Christmas with my family, unfortunately in between Jakana- Auno village near Maiduguri, we stormed into Boko Haram ambush who opened fire sporadically at different directions, targeting any vehicle which declined to stop.

“Although, in the commercial vehicle we were using, our driver manoeuvred to escape the scene, but the insurgents opened fire and killed two occupants, while I was lucky only to sustain a fracture in my leg due to stray bullets”. He said.

Our Correspondent reports that the security situation along Maiduguri-Damaturu road, especially around Auno which is about 10km drive from Maiduguri, Jakana, Mainok and other communities situated along the road is worrisome at this critical time when people travel for the yelutide.

All effort to get confirmation from the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Edet Okon proved abortive at press time, but a security source confirmed the incident, insisting that dozens of people were abducted with killing of five persons and injuring many others on Friday near Jakana village.

​Yuletide: NSCDC deploys 2,100 personnel in Plateau

The Plateau Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) said it had deployed 2,100 personnel to ensure peaceful and hitch-free Christmas and New Year celebrations in the state.

The command’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), Mr Obasa Tanimola, disclosed this in a statement made available to newsmen in Jos on Saturday.

According to Tanimola, some of the personnel will conduct routine patrols, while others will be stationed in flashpoints to curtail any situation that will breed violence.

He quoted the Commandant of the corps in the state, Mr Stephen Jiyason, as appealing to residents of the state to cooperate with the command in ensuring a peaceful Yuletide.

“The Commandant is assuring the public of the preparedness of the NSCDC and other security agencies to ensure a peaceful and hitch-free Christmas and New Year celebrations in Plateau.

“A lot of strategies have been put in place for the maintenance of peace and order in the state during the celebrations.

“That is why the command deployed 2,100 officers and men to ensure a violent-free Yuletide in the state,” he said.

The PRO advised residents of the state and the general public to be peaceful and desist from taking laws into their hands.

He also called on the people to report any suspicious movements by groups or individuals in their vicinity to security agencies for a prompt response.

He urged residents of the state to strictly adhere to the safety protocols put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19, during the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Remove terrorist label on IPOB, Ohaneze tells FG

Anambra State President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Damian Okeke-Ogene has called on the Federal Government to remove the terrorist label on the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB because, he argued, the organization does not threaten lives and property.

Addressing reporters in Awka, Okeke-Ogene urged security operatives to concentrate more in the Northeast to end the unwanted killings by those who, he said, hate the unity of Nigeria.

He described as unfortunate and unacceptable the declaration of IPOB as a terrorist organization, while other agitating groups, especially in the northern part of Nigeria that specialize in kidnapping and killing of innocent Nigerians on daily basis were moving freely without trial and prosecution.

Okeke-Ogene, who is aspiring for the position of national vice president of Ohanneze in the election slated for January, 2021, said it was unfortunate that a group that does not carry arms could be labeled terrorist.

He wondered why the federal government has refused to prosecute the Fulani herdsmen, bandits and other dangerous groups responsible for the kidnapping and killings going on in the northern part of Nigeria.

He said: “Have you ever heard that IPOB kidnapped or killed anybody unjustly? Why should the government go to court within 24hrs after a misunderstanding between Operation Python Dance II of the Nigerian Army and IPOB without a proper investigation and declared the group a terrorist organization, while those with intention of tarnishing the image of the country before the international community are operating freely in the society without any government action?

“The Federal Government was totally wrong in declaring IPOB a terrorist organisation.”

According to him, IPOB is a group of young men of Igbo extraction that do assemble when the need arises to deliberate on issues affecting their welfare and the region as enshrined in Nigeria Constitution.

“I think that what we should do as one people is for us to continue to pray and work together to ensure that the current security challenges tormenting the country come to an end and not to tag a particular group in a region that happens to be the safest region in Nigeria, as terrorist organization,” Okeke-Ogene said.

He, however, commended the effort of the Katsina State governor, Aminu Bello Masari and the security agencies on the safe rescue of theabducted school children of Government Science School, Kankara and urged the security agencies and other authorities to also checkmate the activities of Niger Republic and Lake Chad immigrants.