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Thursday, 17 July 2014

Lead Us To Sambisa, Danjuma Tells Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan declared yesterday that there was no hiding place for members of the terrorist group Boko Haram that have unleashed untold mayhem on innocent Nigerians. The enemies of humanity, he said, must be fished out and brought to justice.

For those who take pleasure in seeing innocent human beings in pains, to see limbs being shattered and blood flowing in all directions after terror attacks, we say, you shall have no hiding place. Nigerians will expose you. The people of conscience around the world have rejected you, the president stated on Wednesday, while inaugurating the Boko Haram Victims Support Funds.
But the chairman of the committee, General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma (rtd) promptly rejected the presidents advice that they go everywhere including the dreaded Sambisa forest (where the Boko Haram sect are said to be holding the abducted Chibok schoolgirls captive) except President Jonathan who is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces chooses to take them there.
The president lamented that 2009 seemed to be the tragic turning point for the country, as it was the period when the assemblage of heartless individuals called Boko Haram took it upon itself to unleash terror on the country.
The devilish sect, Jonathan said, has turned women to widows. He said: They have killed and maimed and struck fear into law-abiding citizens. They have destroyed villages, attacked property and terminated peoples livelihoods without a care in the world.
They have engaged our security agencies in a meaningless warfare that has wasted unimaginable human and material resources.
The reality today is that we are confronted with individuals whose minds have been so twisted and tutored to believe they are doing God a service.
Noting that good will conquer evil, the president said those who capitalise on the vulnerability of Nigerians to spread extremist doctrines and recruit them for murderous errands are enemies of humanity.
He assured, however, that no efforts will be wasted in bringing the individuals responsible for crimes against humanity to justice, even as he said the duty of the Danjuma-led committee is to kick-start the process of providing succour to people who had been directly affected one way or the other by acts of terrorism in the country.
Jonathan said: As a developing nation with lofty dreams, I would rather be here inaugurating a committee on development initiatives. But this is the unfortunate situation where we have found ourselves because of the lawless acts of a few misguided individuals who are shedding the blood of innocent people in our nation.
It is very necessary for us to refresh our memory before we proceed. Nigeria has not always been like this. In the past, it is true, we had communal and sectarian clashes. There is no human society that has been insulated from conflicts. But as a people created by God, we have managed to live within the realities of our challenges and have worked hard to strengthen the bond of our togetherness.
In his remarks, chairman of the committee TY Danjuma stated that the Boko Haram sect seemed to be having the upper hand, recalling that he had earlier pointed out that what the country was facing was more deadly than the civil war.
The former defence minister said: One thing we will not do is to go to Sambisa forest. The commander-in-chief will lead and we will follow the commander-in-chief.
But, seriously, this war must be brought to an end. We must win this war immediately. It is taking too long. I called it civil war when it began, and people said its insurgency. The insurgents appear to be having the upper hand at this very moment. They pick and choose where to strike; they are even holding positions and displacing us.
We must win this war, Mr President; we must do so immediately. We will raise the funds, we will disburse it. I promise you we will do so diligently and transparently but we must win this war, Mr President. May God bless our country.
On his part, the national security adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), assured that the war against terrorism would be won.
Jonathan seeks additional $1bn (N165bn) foreign loan to fight insurgency
President Jonathan yesterday wrote the Senate seeking its approval for an external borrowing of not more than $1b (N165billion) to tackle the ongoing security challenges in the country.
The amount is in addition to the N968.127billion already appropriated for the defence sector for the same purpose in the 2014 budget.
In the letter addressed to Senate president David Mark and read on the Senate floor, President Jonathan premised his reason for the loan on the need to upgrade the equipment, training and logistics of the armed forces and security services to enable them more forcefully confront the serious threat of terrorism in Nigeria.
The letter reads in part: You are no doubt cognizant of the ongoing and serious security challenges which the nation is facing, as typified by the Boko Haram terrorist threat. This is an issue that we have discussed at various times.
For this reason, I seek the concurrence of the National Assembly for external borrowing of not more than $1b including government-to-government arrangement for this upgrade.
While counting on the steadfast support of the distinguished members of the Senate as always, please accept, distinguished Senate president, the assurances of my highest consideration.
The letter was however silent on the source of the loan.
Minister of finance Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had, while speaking on military funding in the 2014 budget, debunked claims that poor funding had posed an impediment to a successful military campaign against terror in some northern states, arguing that government had continued to provide the needed funds to prosecute the war.
Boko Haram abducts a German in Gombi
Unknown gunmen suspected to be members of the Boko Haram sect numbering about 10, on Wednesday morning, abducted a German in Gombi town, about 100km from Yola, the Adamawa State capital.
Residents of the area said the gunmen stormed the area on five motorcyles at about 6:45am local time at Anguwan Faransa area of the town.
The abducted German national was the principal of Government Technical Skill Acquisition Centre in Gombi town and was abducted while on his way to work, local sources said.
A resident of the town, Mr Joseph Gaanda, said that the abducted German, who was simply known as Mr Mr Fisch, is a very popular figure in the town due to his philanthropic disposition.
Our suspicion is that the abductors had slept near his house or came in the wee hours, because we saw their abandoned blankets near the house.
The gunmen suspected came on motorcycles. And as soon as the man came out and was about to get into his car, two persons on foot approached him and pointed a gun at him. They then called two others who carried him away on their motorcycle, Mr Gaanda said.
Almost everybody in this town knows him because he helps us a lot, especially in the area of repairing the towns water boreholes. Most of the time, he uses his own money to buy equipment and repair our boreholes, he added.
Another resident who did not want his name in print said at the time the incident took place the police escort attached to the German was not with him.
Efforts to get details from the TTS, the firm handling the training scheme in Adamawa, proved abortive during a visit to their office in Yola, as none of the senior staff was available for comments.
In the meantime, the German Embassy in Abuja, when contacted over the telephone, said it was not yet aware of the incident.
The spokesperson of the police in Adamawa State, DSP Othman Abubakar, confirmed the incident, saying the police had mounted a rescue mission to save the abducted German.
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