At least, four Nigerian soldiers and a militia fighter were killed in clashes with IS-aligned jihadists in Borno State, security sources said, yesterday.
Fighting erupted, late Saturday, when troops ambushed a convoy of the Islamic State West Africa Province near Jakana village, 42 kilometres (26 miles) from the state capital in Maiduguri.
“We lost four soldiers and a member of the vigilante group in the fighting,” a military officer said in reference to an anti-jihadist militia in the region.
“The terrorists came in large numbers and our troops fought gallantly but they were overwhelmed,” added the officer who asked not to be identified for fear of sanction.
Several troops were also injured and four trucks were lost to the militants, he said.
The jihadists were riding in pick-up trucks fitted with machine guns according to an anti-jihadist militiaman who confirmed the death toll.
In a statement issued Sunday, the Nigerian military said seven jihadists were killed and eight injured when their vehicle hit a landmine during a clash near Jakana on Friday.
The improvised explosive device had been planted by the jihadists, army spokesman Colonel Aminu Iliyasu was quoted as saying.
He called the blast a “tactical boomerang”.
Reacting to the incident, the Nigerian Army, yesterday, said seven Boko Haram militants were killed, while eight others were crippled when a Toyota Sam Sahara Model, belonging to the terrorists stepped on an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) laid by them against Nigerian Army troops at Lamba’a Forest along Jakana – Mainok Road in Borno State.
According to a statement by Nigerian Army Operations Media Coordinator, Col. Aminu Iliyasu, “The self-inflicted destruction consumed seven Boko Haram criminals while eight others suffered severe injuries. Consequently, troops have mobilised to the general area for route clearance and mop-up operation.”
The statement said, this was as a result of artillery bombardment and ground assault by troops of the Nigerian Army, which have been intensified across Operation Lafiya Dole Theatre, resulting in more Boko Haram casualties.
“This is a clear case that can be best described as a tactical boomerang. The incident happened on Friday, October 18, 2019, while some marauding Boko Haram criminal elements who were escaping the unbearable battle heat turned on them by NA troops,” the statement added.
In another development, a syndicate that specializes in the smuggling of smoked fish from the Lake Chad region for sale in some parts of Nigeria have been busted by the diligent troops of Operation Lafiya Dole.
The statement said, “Reliable information available revealed that Boko Haram criminals/Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) and their collaborators are using the fish business to finance and sustain their heinous activities.
“The proceeds from the sales are believed to be channelled into the procurement of food stuff, groceries, drugs, toiletries, vehicle spare parts and other items for the sustenance of their criminal activities.
“In a related development, troops of Sector 3 Operation Lafiya Dole, while acting on a reliable intelligence, raided the residence of some suspected illegal fish smugglers near Water Board Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Camp in Monguno LGA of Borno State.
“Four suspects were arrested and 16 sacks of smoked fish concealed in a room were recovered.
“In a similar operation conducted by troops of Sector 2 Operation Lafiya Dole on October 10, 2019, nine vehicles loaded with illegal smoked fish consignments were equally intercepted at Bukarti in Geidam LGA of Yobe State en-route Hadejia in Jigawa State. Consequently, 18 suspects including drivers, conductors, mechanics and agents were also apprehended.
“In another development, troops deployed at a check point along Baga Road in Borno State while on Operation Positive Identification arrested one Musa Ishaku, while in possession of a fake Nigeria Customs ID card which he has been using to deceive security agencies.
“Additionally, troops of 1 Division also rescued four kidnapped students from bandits at Gurmi Village in Chikun LGA of Kaduna State after a brief fire fight with criminals.
“In Rivers State, troops of 16 Brigade Garrison (Main) raided a suspected sea pirates’ camp at Tingibibi Ogu/Bolo LGA of Rivers State. The suspected sea pirates, who obviously could not withstand the overwhelming fire power of the troops, fled the enclave in disarray. Items recovered from the camp include one AK-47 rifle magazine, five rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, three cartridges, one binocular and three para-red rocket.
“In the same vein, troops neutralised one armed robber during an anti-robbery operation at Adipet Filling Station along Rukuba Road in Jos North LGA of Plateau State. Others were believed to have escaped with gunshot wounds.
“Similarly, following confessional statements made by an arrested notorious bandit/kidnap kingpin named Yellow, troops of 3 Brigade tracked and arrested one of his gang members, Dahiru Dogo in Falgore Forest in Kano State.
“The Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen Tukur Buratai wishes to reassure the general public on the resolve of the Nigerian Army to rid the society of criminal elements for a secured environment.”
Jakana lies on a 120-kilometre highway that links Maiduguri and Damaturu, the capital of Yobe State.
Jihadists have raided military bases and attacked troops and motorists along the highway in the past.
Shorts, Trousers Saga: CAN Kicks As NYSC Expels Corps Members
The Christian Association of Nigeria has criticised the National Youth Service Corps for expelling two corps members who refused to wear trousers or shorts for religious reasons.
Two female corps members – Okafor Love Obianuju, with call-up number EB/19C/0523; and Odji Oritsetsolaye, with call-up number EB/19C/0530 – were expelled from the 2019 Batch C Stream 1 in Ebonyi State camp over the weekend.
Speaking with newsmen yesterday, however, the Special Assistant on Media and Communications to the CAN President, Rev. Adebayo Oladeji, said the two ladies should not be victimised for holding on to their faith.
Oladeji noted that the Nigerian Law School denied Firdausa Al Jannah Amasa from being called to Bar in 2017 because she refused to remove her hijab, but the institution had since retraced its steps.
He said the NYSC also ought to be more tolerant.
The cleric said, “The fundamental rights of the people as regards religion must be respected.
“And that is why, a few months ago, when some Muslim women were protesting over the wearing of hijab at the Law School, we refused to speak against it because it is their right and thank God, they won it.
“We are appealing to the leadership of the NYSC to revisit the matter.
“In this country, religious right is an inalienable right that must be respected. They must allow the people to practise their religion.
“If our government agencies have no regard for the way people worship God, then it means they are satanic. Any system that does not respect religion is satanic.”
The CAN spokesman advised the affected corps members to go to court, citing the way the Muslims sued the Nigerian Law School over the hijab controversy.
“We advise the victims of that injustice to go to court and challenge their expulsion by the NYSC,” he added.
The two female corps members in the 2019 Batch C Stream 1 in Ebonyi camp were de-kitted.
The Batch C members of the corps are currently undergoing the three-week orientation exercise nationally.
According to the spokesperson of NYSC in Ebonyi State, Ngozi Ukwuoma, the two corpers were spotted by the Camp Director, Mrs. Isu Josephine, and her team during a routine morning inspection.
Ukwuoma said the two ladies were wearing their official white T-shirt upon white skirt.
Officially, white T-shirts are worn atop a pair of white shorts.
“When they were accosted and interrogated, they said they could not wear the white pair of shorts and the trousers issued to them by the NYSC because it was against their faith to wear them,” Ukwuoma said.
Continuing, the spokesperson said, “Efforts were made by the office of the CD to make them see reason why they must obey the rules and regulations guiding the orientation and NYSC, but all efforts to do that proved futile.
“The matter was officially reported and the proceedings for de-kitting were initiated.
“The corps members were queried and subsequently made to face the camp court, where they were found guilty, having stated categorically that they were ready to bear the consequences of their actions.
“The court recommendations were submitted to the camp management and the camp director was directed to de-kit them.
“They were de-kitted in the presence of security agents, who also escorted them to the gate as they left the camp.”
Bolivian President Resigns
Bolivian President Evo Morales announced his resignation yesterday, caving in following three weeks of sometimes-violent protests over his disputed re-election after the Army and police withdrew their backing.
“I resign my post as president,” Morales said in a televised address, capping a day of fast-moving events in which several ministers and senior officials quit as support for Latin America’s longest-serving president crumbled.
The streets of La Paz immediately exploded in celebration, as jubilant Bolivians set off firecrackers and waved the country’s red, yellow and green flag.
Morales, 60 and in power since 2006, was declared the winner of presidential voting on October 20 by a narrow margin. It gave him a controversial fourth term.
But the opposition said there was fraud in the vote count, and three weeks of street protests ensued, during which three people died and hundreds were injured.
The Organization of American States carried out an audit of the election and on Sunday reported irregularities in just about every aspect that it examined: the technology used, the chain of custody of ballots, the integrity of the count, and statistical projections.
As chanting Bolivians kept up demonstrations in the street, Morales called new elections, but this was apparently not enough to calm the uproar, and the commanders of the armed forces and the police joined the calls for the president’s resignation.
President Evo Morales had called for new elections yesterday but the commander of the armed forces asked him to resign “for the good of our Bolivia” after an OAS audit found serious irregularities in elections last month that gave the leftist leader a fourth term.
Morales, Bolivia’s first president of indigenous descent, promised new elections under the direction of a revamped Supreme Electoral Tribunal in a televised address but did not say whether he would run again.
With no sign of violent protests abating, the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, Williams Kaliman, told reporters he was asking Morales “to resign his presidential mandate to allow for pacification and the maintaining of stability, for the good of our Bolivia.”
Kaliman said the armed forces had ordered “military operations in the air and on land to neutralize armed groups that are acting outside the law” by attacking opposition demonstrators.
The commander of the police, General Vladimir Yuri Calderon, also called on Morales to step down.
There were signs of disarray among Morales supporters, with the head of the lower house of parliament and the ministers of mines and of hydrocarbons announcing their resignations.
Two of those resigning cited risks to their families after mobs attacked their respective houses in the city of Potosi.
Protests have flared across Bolivia since Morales was declared the winner of the October 20 election, beating his nearest rival, centrist Carlos Mesa, by just enough to avoid a second round.
An audit of the election by the Organization of American States, however, found “irregularities that range from serious to indicative,” in virtually every area reviewed — in the technology used, the chain of custody of ballots, the integrity of the count, and statistical projections.
“This leads the technical auditing team to question the integrity of the election results,” the report on their preliminary findings said.
OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro said the results giving the leftist leader a fourth term in office “must be annulled and the electoral process must begin again.”
OPC, Hausa’s Clash Claims One Life In Lagos
At least, one person was confirmed dead, while others sustained injuries in a communal clash that broke out yesterday at Okobaba, Ebute-Meta, Mainland Local Government Area of Lagos, where a fire incident had happened on Friday, November 8.
Violent clash was said to have broken out in the early hours yesterday between a group of truck pushers who specialise in scrap gathering, mainly Hausa youths, and some Odua Peoples Congress members.
However, personnel of the Denton Police Station, Lagos State Command, raced to the scene of the clash and restored peace and order to the area.
Narrating how the clash happened to the Lagos State Government team which visited the area on Sunday, leader of Hausa Youths in Okobaba, Mr. Hassan Ibrahim, said trouble started when some Hausa youths went to buy scraps from the burnt shanties.
He said on their way back, they were “intercepted and harassed” by some “OPC miscreants” who demanded money before they could go with the scrap materials.
“The youths resisted them,” Ibrahim told the government agents led by the Commissioner for Finance, Rabiu Olowo; and supported by that of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Idris Salako; Special Adviser to the Governor on Civic Engagement, Aderemi Adebowale-Owoeye.
They were accompanied by the Chairman, Lagos Mainland Local Government, Mrs. Omolola Essien.
“In the process, fight broke out. One person was shot in the head and others who sustained injuries are currently receiving treatment at the Ebute-Meta Health Centre.
The governor’s representatives pleaded for calm and cooperation among the warring parties and the fire victims, and urged them to maintain peaceful coexistence, shun conflict and violence.
The governor’s delegation also visited the Ebute-Meta Health Centre, where those injured during the fracas were being treated.
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