Suspected members of the Boko Haram terrorist group have attacked Gamdu town in Yobe State, killing 11 residents and taking over Damaturu-Maiduguri highway.
Gamdu is a commercial and agricultural settlement along Damaturu-Maiduguri highway and is located 35 kilometres east of Damaturu, the capital of Yobe State.
A resident of Gamdu town, Mallam Bukar Gamdu, told newsmen yesterday that the militants came to town in the midnight of Friday and carried out some killings.
“The attackers came in the night and killed people of our community and as the day breaks, we counted eleven inhabitants killed in the dastard act,” Gamdu said.
Apart from the killings that were carried out on Friday night, Gamdu said the insurgents had formed the habit of mounting temporary road blocks on the busy Damaturu-Maiduguri highway to terrorise people travelling on the road.
Another traveller on the security-threaten road, who asked not to be mentioned, said “travellers often wait for each other to move in long convoy for fear of attack”, and called for more security patrol along the road.
He also confirmed that the insurgents had by noon on Saturday blocked the Damaturu-Maiduguri highway which lasted for several minutes, as several vehicles had to stop at nearby villages to avoid the attackers who were later chased away by security forces.
“We were travelling from Damaturu to Maiduguri in a long convoy and luckily security operatives on patrol were leading the convoy and suddenly we had a loud sound and the security men immediately had a stopover and run into the bush.
“We later heard that they sighted the insurgents who were strategising to mount a road block. We stayed there for over an hour and the security operatives later returned and we continue the journey but no one knows what really transpired between them and the insurgents deep in the bush,” he explained.
The traveller called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the relevant authorities to step up efforts towards ending the insurgency which had held back development in the two states and the north-east in general.
Some travellers from Maiduguri to Damaturu told newsmen in Damaturu on Saturday afternoon that several cars along the Damaturu-Maiduguri highway around Benesheiehk, the headquarters of Kaga Local Government Area, were set ablaze by the insurgents, as at the time they were plying the route.
Boko Haram attacks on innocent people in Borno and Yobe States are gradually on the rise, with wide spread cases of suicide bombings, attacks on communities, places of worship and areas believed to have crowds.
President Buhari had, during his inaugural address on the May 29, assured Nigerians that his “administration will fight and subdue the militants,” the Boko Haram.
Despite the assurance by the President, the terrorist group, which had lost some of the territories it had captured to heightened counter-terrorism operations by Nigerian Armed Forces, have intensified attacks, killing over 300 persons since May 29.
Meanwhile, a Boko Haram suicide bombing in a crowded market in Chad’s capital has killed 17 people on Saturday, just days after the militant group claimed a previous bombing in the city that left 38 people dead.
The attack in N’Djamena, by a man disguised as a woman in a full-face veil, came after a botched bombing in Maiduguri, Borno State, which killed two pedestrians.
The attacks underlined the threat still posed by the militants in the region, despite the authorities’ claims of recent military successes and with a new regional force set to deploy at the end of the month.
Police Director-General, Taher Erda said the N’Djamena bomber detonated his explosives belt when he was stopped for security checks at the entrance to the market.
Chad banned the full-face veil, ramped up security measures and bombed militant positions in Nigeria last month after the first ever Boko Haram attack in its capital.
The provisional toll on Saturday was 15 dead and 80 injured, four of them seriously, said police spokesman, Paul Manga.
Nine of the victims were female traders and one was a police officer, he added. An AFP correspondent there described a gruesome scene of carnage and pools of blood.
The area, in the heart of the capital, was cordoned off by security forces after the attack at about 8:45am (0745 GMT), and a police source said there was “no doubt it was Boko Haram”.
Prime Minister Kalzeube Pahimi Deubet called a crisis meeting to discuss the attack.
Foreign Minister of Chad’s former colonial masters France, Laurent Fabius, called the bombing “despicable”.
Experts said the latest bombing in Chad, following previous strikes in Niger and repeated targeting of northern Cameroon, showed the need for a joined-up solution involving Nigeria and its neighbours.
Declare Buhari’s Seat Vacant, Owuru Urges Court
The candidate of the Hope Democratic Party (HDP) in the last presidential election, Chief Ambrose Owuru, has approached the Federal High Court in Abuja, asking it to declare the seat of President Muhammadu Buhari vacant.
Owuru, who was among the four petitioners that went to tribunal to challenge Buhari’s re-election, in his fresh suit, sought for an order to restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), from “undertaking or planning any other election into the office of the President”, in 2023.
The Plaintiff, in his suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/480/2021, maintained that Buhari is “an unlawful President that is illegally occupying the Presidential seat”.
It would be recalled that Owuru and his party, HDP, had in an earlier appeal they litigated up to the Supreme Court, insisted that the Justice Mohammed Garba-led Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, erroneously dismissed a petition they lodged against the return of Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as winner of the presidential election that held on February 23, 2019.
They specifically prayed the apex court to sack Buhari on the premise that he emerged through an illegal process.
According to the Appellants, INEC, failed to follow condition precedents stipulated in the Electoral Act, when it unduly postponed the presidential election that was originally fixed for February 16.
The HDP claimed that its candidate, Owuru, secured over 50million votes in a referendum that was conducted by both electorates and observer networks that were dissatisfied with the unilateral postponement of the presidential election by INEC.
However, in a unanimous decision, a five-man panel of Justices of the Supreme Court led by Justice Mary Odili, struck out the appeal for constituting “a gross abuse of the judicial process”.
Meantime, in the fresh suit, Owuru and his party argued that their suit against Buhari at the Supreme Court was inconclusive.
The Plaintiffs argued that the case was fixed outside the 60 days period that was allowed by the law.
Owuru asked the court to declare him the authentic winner of the last presidential poll, as well as, to issue an order for his immediate inauguration to take over from Buhari.
He prayed the court to declare that he is entitled to serve out a tenure of 4 years after his formal inauguration.
More so, the HDP presidential candidate, aside from asking for Buhari’s immediate removal from office, equally prayed the court to compel him to refund all salaries, allowances and emoluments he collected while he unlawfully stayed in office as President.
Owuru also asked the court to give an order that salaries, allowances and emoluments be paid to him from May 29, 2019, when he ought to have been sworn in, till date.
The Plaintiff further applied for, “An order of interlocutory injunction restraining the Respondents by themselves and acting through their agents, servants, privies and or proxies howsoever from any further organizing, undertaking or planning of any other election into the office of the President of Nigeria or any such other Presidential Election interfering, harassing and or disturbing the Applicant adjudged acquired right as unopposed and unchallenged winner of the original scheduled and held the February 16 Presidential Election thereof until the 1st Applicant unserved constitutional four years term of office is served pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit by this honourable court”.
Cited as 1st to 3rd Respondents in the matter were Buhari, the Attorney General of the Federation, and INEC.
Meanwhile, no date has been fixed for the matter to be heard.
World Bank Report Exposes Buhari’s Lies, PDP Affirms
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said the report by World Bank that 7 million Nigerians have been pushed into poverty in the last year, has clinically belied the integrity posturing of President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The opposition party said the World Bank report came in the face of the recent claims by President Buhari that his administration has lifted over 10 million Nigerians out of poverty in the last two years.
The PDP asserted that the report by the World Bank has further vindicated its position that President Buhari runs an uncoordinated and clueless administration that thrives on lies, false performance claims, deceit, and perfidious propaganda.
The statement added that, “Nigerians can now clearly see why the APC and President Buhari’s handlers are always in a frenzy to attack our party and other well-meaning Nigerians whenever we point to the poor handling of the economy and on the need for President Buhari to always be factual on pertinent issues of governance in our country.
“Unfortunately, it indeed appears that Mr. President enjoys living in denial while watching millions of Nigerians go down in abject poverty, excruciating hunger, and starvation as our country now ranks 98th out of 107 in Global Hunger Index under his watch.
“Otherwise, why would Mr. President claim that his administration has lifted over 10.5 million Nigerians out of poverty while official figures even from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) show worsening poverty rate with 142.2% growth in food inflation and over 82.9 million Nigerians being unable to afford their daily meals due to the failure of the administration to take practical steps to grow and protect the food sector?
“Under President Buhari, Nigerians are now subjected to the worst form of poverty and hardship, with collapsed purchasing power, occasioned by a voodoo economy management that has wrecked our productive sectors and pummeled our naira from the about N167 to a US dollar in 2015 to the current over N500 per dollar.
“It is unfortunate that Mr. President will choose to always bandy fictitious figures and false performance claims, when he has, in a space of six years, destroyed our national productivity and reduced our country to a beggarly nation, a laughing stock and object of pity among the comity of nations.
“The PDP invites Nigerians to note President Buhari and APC’s similar false performance claims in other critical sectors, including power, transportation, road infrastructure, health, education, agriculture, security, aviation among others, where the Buhari administration has been bandying fictitious figures with no tangible project to point at.
“Our party counsels President Buhari, his handlers as well as their party, the APC, to note that Nigerians have seen through their deceitful clams.
“The PDP, once again, urges Mr. President to end his false performance claims and get more competent hands to manage the economy before every Nigerian is turned into a street beggar.”
Amnesty Kicks As FG Pushes Social Media Regulation
Amnesty International has strongly opposed the call by the Nigerian Government to regulate the use of social media and online broadcasters.
It would be recalled that the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had urged the House of Representatives to include regulation of Twitter in the National Broadcasting Commission Act.
The minister made the call at the public hearing on a bill to amend the NBC Act organised by the House Committee on Information.
“I will want to add, that specifically, internet broadcasting and all online media should be included in this because we have responsibility to monitor content— including Twitter,” he said.
Reacting, Amnesty International, in a tweet via its Twitter account, yesterday, kicked against the motion.
It noted that when social media is regulated, authorities can arbitrarily have powers to shut down the internet and limit access to social media.
It further noted that criticizing the government will be made punishable with penalties of up to three years in prison.
“When social media is regulated, authorities can arbitrarily have powers to shut down the Internet and limit access to social media.
“Criticizing the government will be made punishable with penalties of up to three years in prison.
“Regulating social media in Nigeria could be easily abused to punish critics of government policies and actions, and anyone who asks difficult questions could find themselves liable for ‘diminishing public confidence in the government.’
“Seeking a law to prohibit abusive, threatening and insulting behaviour is open to very wide interpretation. This section would pose a threat to critical opinion, satire, public dialogue and political commentary,” the statement added.
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