Boko Haram insurgents have killed 13 people and sacked two villages overnight in the restive town of Konduga in Borno State while another eight were killed Wednesday in four other villages in Dolari.
The Acting General Officer Commanding 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Brig.-Gen. Bulama Biu, confirmed the attack, yesterday, in Maiduguri.
Biu said, however, that troops rose to the occasion and repelled the invaders, who had repeatedly attacked communities in the Konduga Local Government Area over the years.
He disclosed that he had visited the attacked communities, Bularin and Kofa, including camps in the communities, housing thousands of displaced people.
“I was there. We recovered one dead body and saw burnt houses. Troops have been following up on the attackers,” said Biu.
A member of a militia, known as Civilian Joint Task Force, Alfred Audu, who claimed he was on duty at the time of the attack, said the insurgents engaged troops in a bid to force their way into the communities.
Audu said the insurgents were pushed back when fighter planes were deployed to confront the invaders.
Another eye-witness, who gave his name simply as Alhaji Modu, said that hundreds of the insurgents on trucks with mounted guns and motorcycles attacked the communities at about 7:45 p.m.
Modu said the insurgents launched rocket attacks and forced their way into the IDP camps and also attacked homes with ferocious fire.
He said that nine people were killed at Bularin IDP Camp and three others in the Kofa IDP Camp.
“An Islamic cleric together with his wife and three children were burnt to death when the insurgents sacked their home at Bularin IDP Camp.
“They burnt down the village market, shops, houses, animals and vehicles. Many people died in the attack while others are still missing.
“Bularin village was razed and several tents in the camp destroyed. Many people were displaced in the attack,” Modu said.
Boko Haram, which also operates in Cameroon, Chad and Niger has persistently attacked communities in northern Nigeria, especially the country’s vast northeast.
The Federal Government has, however, said that the insurgents have been decimated, although the group has been pulling deadly punches over the years.
Boko Haram launched its deadly campaign in 2009, vowing to enthrone a strict Islamic code in Africa’s most populous nation.
Meanwhile, Boko Haram has killed eight persons in an attack on an internally displaced persons’ camp and four communities in the outskirts of Maiduguri, Borno State.
The terrorist group attacked the villages: Kofa, Mallumti, Ngomari and Gozari at about 8pm on Wednesday.
The villages are on Bama road and not far away from Sambisa, which was once occupied by the terrorist group.
Confirming the attack to journalists, yesterday, the North-East Zonal Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency, Bashir Garga, in a statement said: “Six people from Kofa village were killed as a result of suspected Boko Haram terrorists that attacked four villages in the outskirts of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.”
He said the attack occurred on Wednesday at about 8.00 pm.
He said the attack was launched by the terrorist group on Kofa, Mallumti, Ngomari, Gozari villages, all in the vicinity of Dalori internally displaced persons’ camp.
Garga said the attack led to many villagers fleeing to the Dalori IDP camp for safety.
He said the terrorists followed them up and killed two IDPs, which increased the number of people killed to eight.
He said: “Many villagers fled to the Dalori IDPs camp which led to an attack on the camp vicinity that claimed the lives of two IDPs making a total of eight people dead.”
Garga revealed that “the terrorists gained access to the area through a bush path behind the villages and came in four vehicles and some motorcycles. They ransacked the market in front of the IDP camp.”
He said the villagers who ran into the bush for safety have returned back to their homes while the Borno State Fire Service have contained the inferno.
He also said the injured have been treated in the camp clinic, with serious cases evacuated to hospitals in Maiduguri.
The NEMA boss said an assessment team is on site to provide relief assistance to those affected.
But the Nigerian Army claimed that it foiled the attack by the insurgents at Dalori IDP camp and Kofa.
The army said it was an attempted attack at about 10pm.
It said the attack was aborted by troops of 251 Task Force Battalion, a statement by the Army on a Facebook post claim.
“The terrorists gained access through a bush path behind the village in four vehicles and some motorcycles.
They ransacked the market in front of IDP camp.
“On sighting own troops that were mobilised to the area, they set some houses and market ablaze and fled along Maiduguri-Bama Road. However one civilian was found dead.
“Own troops are presently assisting the villagers who ran into the bush back to their homes while the Borno Fire Service have contained the inferno,” the statement concluded.
Dalori camp, located few kilometers outside Maiduguri, is considered one of the largest in the state.
Eye-witnesses who spoke to journalists in Maiduguri said they counted up to 12 corpses after the attack.
Solomon Adamu, an official of the Civilian-JTF deployed in the camp, said “a total of 12 persons were killed here and outside the camp.”
“At Gwazari-Kofa, one person was killed, at Dalori IDP Camp II, two persons were killed; and at Bulabulin a village near the camp, nine persons got killed,” he said.
He said the attackers came in seven pickup vans.
“They were about 100 in number and all of them were fully armed. We had to run for our lives.”
NEMA, however, in a statement confirming the attack, said only eight persons died.
An eyewitness informed our correspondence via a text message that six persons were killed and two got drowned in a river while trying to escape. Our correspondence could not verify the case of drowning.
“Last night from 7.30 till 9.30 our camp was attacked,” said the source who, for safety reasons, would not want to be named in the media.
“We were so scared during the attack; lots of houses were burned; one man was killed and two other men drowned when they escaped.
“Villages near our camp were all burned. They also killed a family of five outside our camp.”
The source said soldiers guarding the camp could not save the situation.
“Most of the soldiers fled alongside we the IDPs and those leaving outside the camp.
“The General officer Commanding 7 Division, General Bulama Biu, came to the camp at 10p.m after the attack was over,” said the source.
Zonal coordinator of NEMA for North east, Bashir Garga, said in a statement he signed that “six (6) people from Kofa village were killed as a result of suspected Boko Haram terrorists that attacked four villages in outskirts of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
“The attack occurred on Wednesday night at about 8.00 pm. Kofa, Mallumti, Ngomari, Gozari, villages which are close to Dalori IDP camp were affected.
“Many villagers fled to the Dalori IDP camp for safety which led to an attack on the camp vicinity which claimed the lives of two IDPs making a total of eight people dead.
“The terrorists gained access to the area through a bush path behind the villages and came in four vehicles and some motorcycles. They ransacked the market in front of the IDP camp.
The military has not issued any official statement concerning the attack. But the GOC informed journalists on phone that the soldiers guarding the camp repelled the attack.
The Borno State Deputy Governor, Usman Durkwa, visited the camp at about 3 p.m. to sympathise with the IDPs and residents.
Similarly, unknown gunmen yesterday abducted three officials of the Nasarawa State Primary Health Care Development Agency (NSPHCDA), along Nasarawa-Toto road.
Public Relations Officer of the Police Command in Nasarawa State, Mr Kennedy Idrisu who confirmed the incident, said that the three officials were travelling in a white Toyota Hilux van when the gunmen pounced on them at Bugan-Gwari village, at about noon,
“The abductors seized the workers and took them to an unknown destination,” he said, in Lafia.
He said that the victims were on an official assignment from Lafia to Gadabuke in Toto Local Government, when they were seized by the gunmen.
Idrisu said that a joint police and military team, in collaboration with the local vigilante, had been mobilized to the area with the view to rescue the victims and possibly arrest the abductors.
He said that the command was working assiduously to stem the tide of armed robbery and kidnapping in the state, and called for continuous support in that respect.
Contacted, Dr. Mohammed Adiz, the Executive Chairman of NSPHCDA, described the incident as unfortunate, but declined further comment.
Winners Emerge At JCI Poetry Competition
Teens For Teens Excellent Wisdom International Secondary School representative, Mr Nduka Chisom, has emerged tops at a Poetry Competition organised by the Junior Chambers International, Garden City in Port Harcourt.
The second position was clinched by Miss Honey Vera Essien of Goman International School, while the third position went to Mr Baridura Charles of Community Boys Secondary School, Elelenwo.
Speaking at the award presentation ceremony over the weekend in Port Harcourt, the 2021 local President of JCI Garden City, Uchechukwu Okorie, said the competition christened Philips Akpobiri Poetry Competition is a signature project of the body for this year and was in honoure of a JCI member who dedicated tremendously to the organisation and also doing much to strengthen service to humanity.
Okorie, explained that the theme of this year’s edition of the poetry competition, “Nigeria: A Giant Dwarf” captures the present socio-political reality in the country and that 12 schools drawn from public and private sectors participated in the contest.
“ We are not happy with what is happening and the best way is not to attack the authorities but to look inwards for solutions that would reposition the country to its pride of place in the globe.
“ We in JCI are out to promote good governance and civic actions that are sustainable. We are there to promote people who would emerge tommorow as leaders . Nigeria is bereft of leaders that are in tune with what we are presently going through”
“ The competition is a signature project for 2021 of JCI Garden City in partnership with MALT Foundation and ASA Foundation . They provided virtually everything from scholarship to the award money. We remain grateful to them”, he said.
Founder and chairman of Philips Akpobiri Poetry Competition, Ayoola Abiodun, expressed delight with the quality of works done by participants, stressing that they were able to prove that Nigeria is indeed a giant, but a dwarf.
He said that winner of the first prize will go home with a cash prize of N25,000.00 . The second position gets cash prize of N15,000.00 while the third best gets the sum of N10,000.00.
By: Chris Oluoh
Gov Bags Gombe Traditional Title
The Emir of Gombe, Alhaji Abubakar Shehu the 111, has honoured Governor Inuwa Yahaya with the traditional title of First Dan-Maje.
The newsmen reports that an eight-man delegation from the Emir‘s Palace, led by Alhaji Ahmed Mu’azu, a former Bauchi State Governor, conveyed the message to Yahaya yesterday.
Mu’azu said the emir was honouring the governor because of his excellent performance.
Presenting the letter conveying the award, the Emir’s Courier, Alhaji Usman Adamu, said “the emir is impressed the governor’s performance in the areas of healthcare, education, road construction and erosion control.
“We have witnessed a reduction in the destruction of houses by floods.
“Our coming to present this message is not political but traditional as a result of your numerous accomplishments,” he said.
In his response a senior member of the governor’s extended family, Alhaji Mohammed Umaru, thanked the emir for the honor done to the family.
He said the family had had a robust relationship with the palace over the years.
In his response, Gov. Yahaya said “ I thank God for this and for giving me a wonderful opportunity to get this honor from His royal Highness, the Emir of Gombe.
“The honour would inspire me to do more, it means more service, more dedication and more delivery of good service to the people of Gombe State.
“This is a mark of honor, I will not disappoint His Highness and the entire people of Gombe,” he said.
Contraception Averts 44% Female Deaths – RSPHCMB
The Rivers State Primary Health Care Management Board (RSPHCMB), says contraception intervention helps avert 44% of maternal deaths around the world by reducing the number of high-risk and unwanted pregnancies among citizens, thereby also preventing unsafe abortions, a leading cause of deaths among women and girls.
The Permanent Secretary, RSPHCMB, Dr Agariye Harry made this known at a press briefing to mark this year’s World Contraception Day, which is celebrated on September 26 every year.
Harry, who was represented by the Director, Community Health, RSPHCMB, Dr Joy Tonye Wihioka noted that World Contraception Day, which has the theme, “It’s Your Life, It’s Your Responsibility”, is a day set aside to commemorate a vision where every pregnancy is wanted and planned through the use of contraceptive also known as family planning that allows the family to either space or limit the number of pregnancies, thereby reducing the risk to life.
He said, “it is among the four pillars of safe motherhood initiative to reduce maternal deaths especially in developing countries and cities as ours,” stressing that according to World Health Organisation (WHO) findings, “contraceptive use has been found to have important implications for maternal health as well as adolescent health too”.
He restated the state government’s commitment to ensuring the reduction of maternal deaths to its barest minimum in the state.
He pointed out that there is no better time to celebrate the importance of family planning than now since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic with its attendant social and economic uncertainties and called for all hands to be on deck and support policies and practices that support the uptake of family planning services in the state.
Meanwhile, the Family Planning Desk Officer, RSPHCMB, Mrs Theresa Timothy, at a review meeting of Rivers State Media for Health and Family Planning in Port Harcourt at the weekend observed that family planning services could be accessed free of charge at all the Model Primary Health Centres and government hospitals in the 23 local government areas of the state.
By: Tonye Nria-Dappa
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