Boko Haram: US ignored Nigeria’s 2013 request—Report
THE United States of America ignored requests by Nigeria for intelligence information and aid to help fight the militant Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram last year, reports have revealed..
Two American newspapers, ABC News and the Daily Beast, weekend, accused the Obama administration of failing to reply to requests by lobbying firm Patton Boggs on behalf of the Nigerian government.
Last weekend, US Senator John McCain told CNN, “We should have utilized every asset that we have, satellite, drones, any capabilities that we had to go after them. We didn’t have to wait until a practically non-existent government of Nigeria gave us the go-ahead before mounting a humanitarian effort to rescue those 276 abducted girls.”
But the ABC and the Daily Beast noted that the “revelation comes as many in the administration have blamed the Nigerian government for their rationale behind why the United States government was tardy in designating Boko Haram a Foreign Terrorist Organization.” Add a comment
INEC: Why We Dumped Electronic Voting for 2015 General Elections
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has given reason why voting in the 2015 general elections in the country would not be conducted through the use of electronic voting machines.
According to the nation’s electoral umpire, the National Assembly has not given the green light for INEC to introduce electronic voting machines in the conduct of the 2015 elections.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Akwa Ibom State, Dr. Gabriel Ada, dropped the hint while briefing election stakeholders at the state and LGA levels ahead of the May 23 to 25, and May 28 to June 1 distribution of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) and the Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) respectively in the state.
Enumerating the advantages of the PVC, Ada explained that with the card reader device, the PVC would check various forms of fraud, including multiple thumb printing and snatching of materials, and keep the record of the actually number of voters at a particular unit. Add a comment
Chibok: Abducted Girls Located in Sambisa Forest by American Marines
There were indications yesterday that the 230 female students abducted by Boko Haram terrorists from the Government Girls’ Secondary School, GGSS, Chibok, Borno State, have been sited at the Sambisa Forest in Borno State, by the Special Forces of the United States Marines.
The girls who were abducted on April 14, were part of the 250 students boarded at the school for the West African School Certificate, WASC/ Senior Secondary School Certificate, SSSC, examinations, triggering world-wide condemnations.
This was even as more US military officials arrived Nigeria yesterday to join local officials in the search for nearly 300 school girls taken captives by the Islamist extremist group, Boko Haram, the US Secretary of State John Kerry, and the defence department, Pentagon, said.
The UK team had earlier arrived in Abuja to support Nigerian government in its response to the abduction of over 200 school girls.
The arrival of the foreign troops is coming on the heels of the appeal yesterday by the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar for Nigerians to unite and fight the insurgents to achieve success.
According to Kerry, “Our inter-agency team is hitting the ground in Nigeria now and they are going to be working with President Goodluck Jonathan’s government to do everything that we possibly can to return these girls.” Add a comment
Abubakar Shekau is Title, Not Identity, Says Military
Don't blame abduction on FG, Oronto Douglas tells Washington Post
Yemi Adebowale and Adebiyi Adedapo
The Director of Defence Information, Brigadier General Chris Olukolade has said that Abubakar Shekau, known as the leader of the terrorist Boko-Haram sect is more of a title than a name.
In a related development, President Goodluck Jonathan’s Special Adviser on Research, Strategy and Documentation, Oronto Douglas yesterday in an interview with The Washington Post said “it is not helpful to heap blames upon the Nigerian government as it struggles to rescue more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped in Borno State by the terrorist Boko Haram sect.”
Olukolade spoke on “Shekau” in Abuja, during the maiden press briefing of the newly constituted National Information Centre, comprising the information officers of the State Security Service, Mrs. Marylyn Ogar; the Nigerian Police Force, Mr. Frank Mba; the Directorate of Defence Information Olukolade and the Director General of the National orientation Agency (NOA) Mr. Mike Omeri.
He also said that many of the information provided to the military about the abduction of the schoolgirls were misleading, adding that many of the information were concocted to unsettle the populace.
"Talking about the personality that has been presenting himself as head of that group, besides knowing the fact that the term Shekau is more of a title than a name, there are many issues around it that makes it still fake. I don't want to get into the details of that," Olukolade said.
He added that several pictures being circulated on the Internet were recycled for mischievous purposes, as he said some of the pictures were activities of what took place in Central African Republic (CAR) and it is being presented as a recent event in Nigeria.
According to him, the terrorists want to unsettle the populace with concocted images, and do anything that will promote fear. The phase we are in with them now, is to engage in activities that will make the populace so scared to the extent of almost losing confidence in government and its institutions and also targeted at a situation whereby the institutions of state will be so stressed and warn out.
“We want to assure Nigerians that the institutions of state are still functioning and still capable of assuring them their security, regardless of the activities of the terrorists," he said.
Giving updates on the search for the kidnapped Chibok girls, Olukolade said efforts have been more concerted in conjunction with Multi-national Joint Task Force.
"A the moment, we have two divisions of the Nigerian army infantry devoted on looking for these girls, and they are all operating in the nethermost part of the federation contiguous to various borders. There are also other military and security agencies located close to border location in the north and south. All our border locations have been activated to operate at their optimum in looking out for these children.”
He added that The Nigerian Air Force has flown over 350 sorties with a view to ensuring that not just surveillance but air patrol is sustained on a near 24-hour basis over locations that information has indicated as likely position of these girls.
"The facilities of the Nigerian Army signals as well as all the communication facilities of the Nigerian Police and all the services have been devoted in coordinating this search and ensuring that information gets back to the control post where all the operations are being monitored and guided,” Olukolade said.
In the interview with Washington Post, Douglas called for greater international assistance in the country's struggle against terrorism.
"The Nigerian government is doing all it can - everything in its power - in collaboration with its allies to ensure that our daughters, the girls, are brought back home," said Douglas, who was on a visit to Washington.
The perceived slowness of Abuja's response to the mass abduction has sparked protests both inside and outside Nigeria. Douglas said such criticisms "are normal for democracies," though he did not say whether they were justified.
"This is not about politics; it is about the protection of human lives. In an attempt to rescue the girls, we must not also endanger their lives," Douglas says.
Douglas pointed to the transnational threat posed by Boko Haram, whose base of operations in Nigeria's northeast extends across borders into three other countries. "The days when nations act alone are over," he said. The United States and other Western countries have promised technical assistance in the hunt for the missing girls, and Douglas appealed for more help. "Terrorism is very new in Nigeria. You need international support," he said.
He finds it particularly galling that his government has come in for the sort of criticism it has faced since the disappearance of the Chibok schoolgirls. “When a terrorist bomb goes off in Afghanistan, they don't blame the Afghan government. So, why the reverse with Nigeria?" Don't see the Nigerian government as the problem. Don't blame Nigeria going forward. The blame game should be taken to the back burner," he insisted.Add a comment
North Protests Foreign Intervention To Fight Boko Haram
A coalition of civil society organisations in Katsina State yesterday staged a peaceful protest rejecting foreign intervention sought by Nigeria in addressing its security challenges.
During the protest which held in the state capital, spokesman for the coalition, Bashir Dauda, described the intervention as counterproductive.
“What is happening in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia are indications that foreign countries could not offer any remedy,” he said.
The protesters also registered their grievances over the state of insecurity in the country and urged President Goodluck Jonathan to improve his relationship with state governors from the Boko Haram-prone areas and also asked for tight security across the country’s borders. “It is a disgrace if the almighty federal government fails to rescue the abducted students and others who are in the captivity of Boko Haram as sex slaves,” Dauda said.Add a comment
CNN Exposed as Profiting From #BringBackOurGirls
It is an irresistible story line: An American mom hears of terrible wrongs done to poor girls the age of her own daughter in a faraway land, then galvanizes social media, prompting the U.S. to act.
Soon, first lady Michelle Obama is holding up a placard with the maternal cry for help: #BringBackOurGirls.
But the real tale of how a Twitter TWTR +4.24% hashtag grew into a rallying call for more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by the Boko Haram terrorist group is a more complex web.
In her online biography and in interviews on CNN and ABC, Ramaa Mosley has portrayed herself as a mother who until recently "didn't even know what a hashtag was." She said that two weeks ago, she was moved to tears by a brief radio broadcast about the mid-April abductions in Nigeria, and adapted the cries of the girls' mothers into the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls. Add a comment
Success of WEF, Blow on Terrorists, Says Jonathan
As the World Economic Forum (WEF) kicked off in earnest in Abuja, President Goodluck Jonathan Thursday said the coming to Nigeria and support by participants at the trying time the nation is facing terrorist attacks, was a blow on the terrorists.
The president made the remark at the opening plenary session of the forum.
He equally thanked all the countries that had expressed commitment to help in rescuing the abducted girls, such as Prime Minister David Cameron and President Francois Hollande and other world leaders who spoke with him.
He appreciated their commitment to help Nigeria put an end to the crisis.
Jonathan also thanked the organisers, especially the Nigerian Inter-Governmental Committee' as well as the World Economic Forum in Geneva – for all their hard work in convening the event.
"Looking around the room, I see my fellow Heads of State and Government, elder statesmen from around the world, heads of international organizations, and business leaders from across the globe”, he said.
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