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Boko Haram Kills 70 Soldiers In Borno …DHQ Confirms 47 Dead In Ambush

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At least, 70 Nigerian soldiers were killed in an ambush on their convoy by Boko Haram terrorists in the restive Borno State, military and security sources confirmed, yesterday.
They said that the insurgents fired rocket-propelled grenades at a lorry carrying troops as it travelled near Gorgi village in Borno State, last Monday.
“It was a huge loss, at least, 70 soldiers have perished in the ambush,” one of the officers said.
“The terrorists specifically targeted a truck loaded with soldiers with RPGs and incinerated the vehicle, killing all on board,” a second officer said.
“So far, 70 bodies have been recovered but the toll is certainly more than that as rescue operation is still underway.”
Several soldiers were injured and some others taken captive by the jihadists, the two officers said.
The convoy had left regional capital Maiduguri on its way to launch an offensive on a camp belonging to jihadists affiliated to the Islamic State group in the area, a member of a government-backed militia fighting the insurgents said.
The Islamic State in West Africa Province faction split from Boko Haram insurgents in 2016 and has focused on attacking troops, raiding bases and laying ambush on military convoys.
The group has been accused of increasing attacks on civilians and taking hostages at bogus checkpoints on main roads in the region.
The decade-long conflict has killed 36,000 people and displaced 1.8 million in the North-East of Nigeria.
Fighting has also spilt over the border into neighbouring countries, prompting the formation of a regional military coalition to fight the insurgents.
Reacting to the incident, the Defence Headquarters, yesterday, gave the figure of the soldiers killed in the Monday ambush as 47, contrary to reports that 70 soldiers were killed by the Boko Haram terrorists.
The DHQ also placed the figure of wounded soldiers at 15.
Giving details of the ambush that took place at Gorgi in Allargano forest in Borno State, the Coordinator of the Defence Media Operations, Major General Enenche, said the soldiers were not killed in direct combat with the terrorists.
According to him, the terrorists ambushed the military vehicle conveying logistics and artillery which included bombs and other weapons and shot at it, resulting in an explosion that killed the soldiers and the insurgents that mounted the ambush.
Enenche said, “We are in a fluid conflict situation between March 23 to 24, troops who were on a clearance and consolidation operation which was successful were ambushed and we suffered some casualties.
“After the successful operation, the troops were heading to Buk when the Boko Haram insurgents shot at the last vehicle conveying supplies and the bombs exploded in the process killing some of the soldiers and all the insurgents that mounted the ambush”.
He added that following the ambush, fighter jets were scrambled and the fleeing insurgents that survived the explosion were neutralised.
“Accordingly, air assets, including an Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platform and fighter jets, were immediately scrambled to provide Close Air Support to the troops. While the ISR platform provided situational awareness to the troops, the fighter jets engaged the BHTs, immobilizing a gun truck and neutralizing some of the terrorists. Some others, who attempted to beat a hasty retreat, were mopped up by the jets in follow-on attacks.
“The Armed Forces of Nigeria, in furtherance of the objective of restoring peace and security in the North-East, will continue to sustain the offensive against the enemies of our nation”.
Enenche stated further that the names and identities of the deceased soldiers were been collated, just as he said that the military sympathises with the families of the victims.
However, the Defence Headquarters has explained that the troops of ‘Operation Whirl Stroke’ deployed in Benue State have recovered a large cache of weapons from fleeing bandits in Odogoke and Odejo communities in Agatu Local Area of the state.
The Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brig.-Gen. Bernard Onyeuko made the disclosure in a statement, yesterday in Abuja.
Onyeuko said that the troops carried out cordon and search operation in the communities to apprehend bandits following deadly clashes in the area.
Items recovered, according to him, include one double-barrel gun, 19 locally made rifles, one pistol, four rounds of 7.62x54mm ammunition, three cartridges for pump-action rifle, among other accoutrements.
“Normalcy has returned to the communities and general security in the area remains calm. Troops have dominated the general area with fighting patrols to ensure peace and stability in the area.
“The Defence Headquarters hereby encourage the public in the general area to come up with credible information to enable the troops to be proactive,” he said.

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Governor Wike Releases N450M To 2019 Presidential Election Violence Victims In Abonnema

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The State Chief Executive Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has released the sum of Four hundred and fifty million naira to the victims of the 2019 Presidential election violence in Abonnema.
Speaking during  a meeting preparatory to giving out the cash, Governor Wike  said the gesture is in fulfilment of his promise to the people of Abonnema  at the Church service to honour those who lost their lives, the injured and those who lost properties during the crisis.
Represented by the Secretary to the State Government Dr. Tammy Wenike  Danagogo, Governor Wike said no amount of money could adequately compensate the people for the harrowing experience they suffered in the hands of the Nigerian Army, stating that he appreciates the support and commitment of the People of  Akuku Toru Local Government Area before, during and after the elections. He said he would continue to execute programmes that would positively impact on the lives of the people of the  Area.
He assured them that the second phase of the Abonnema ring road would be commissioned before the end of June, stressing that the contractor has been fully paid.
According to him in the face of the Covid 19 Pandemic he has continued to stand by the People of the State by taking practical steps not only to protect Rivers People but to also provide palliatives to bring succour to the vulnerable and less privileged unlike the   selfish politicians in other political  parties who only visit the people to solicit for votes during elections but do not have the interest of the people at heart.
In his remarks the Amayanabo of Abonnema King Disrael  Gbobo Bobmanuel thanked  Governor Wike for fulfilling his promise to the Abonnema People, noting that the Governor has proven over the years that his word is his bond.
According to him the Governor is a man worthy of trust and support because he has fulfilled all his promises to the Abonnema People. He Advised beneficiaries to make judicious use of the Money the Governor has graciously given to them.
Earlier the Chairman of Akuku Toru Local Government Area Hon. Roland Sekibo who said he is still traumatized by the events that took place during the Presidential election in 2019 expressed gratitude to Governor Wike for his kind gesture, stressing that the People of his Local Government Area would continue to support the Governor in his quest to improve the lives of Rivers People.
Also speaking one of the beneficiaries Mr  Minamiango Romeo  who sustained gunshot injuries  expressed gratitude to Governor Wike for not abandoning them in their time of need and promised to continue to support his Administration and the leaders of the Local Government Area.
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PROBE: EFCC Should Stop Media Trial – Rivers State Government

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The Rivers State Government says its attention has been drawn to a fresh wave of media trial by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against the officials of the state.

According  to a statement issued by the state Commissioner for information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, “the latest attempt contained in today’s edition( May 24,2020)of The Nation Newspaper alleged that the State Government has refused to release top officials for interrogation in connection to the withdrawal of N118 billion in cash between 2015 and 2018.

 

“We have repeatedly said that the State Government will not release its officials to the EFCC for investigations until the commission approaches the Court  to set aside Subsisting orders of perpetual  injunction granted by various courts of competent jurisdiction restraining the EFCC from investigating or inquiring into the financial transactions of the Rivers  State Government including its ministries, departments and  agencies.

 

“In view of these  Subsisting judgments, it would amount  to an act of brazen  illegality for the EFCC to  insist  on  interrogating  any official OF the Rivers State Government.
For the avoidance of doubt, no official of the Rivers State Government would appear before the EFCC until the subsisting judgments in favour of the Rivers State Government are set aside on appeal.

“Resorting to the Media can only be described as cheap blackmail and witch-hunt to turn away public attention from the development strides in the State.

“This media trial that they engage in all the time will not take the place of our extant laws no matter how hard they try.

“The EFCC should stop playing to the gallery and pursue its war against corruption within the ambits of the law.

 

“Rivers State Government is committed to the Rule of Law and cannot be intimidated by the EFCC.

“Those who want to use the EFCC to promote their political agenda in the State will fail because we know their antics.

“Targeting Rivers State for this occasional media trial should be seen by the public for what it is, “political witch-hunt,” the statement said.

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Rivers Records 27 New Coronavirus Cases …Manager Of Prodest Hotel Among The New Cases

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Rivers State has recorded 27 new positive coronavirus  cases.

A statement signed by the Rivers state Ministry of Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, disclosed that the Manager of Prodest Hotel, Eleme is among the new positive cases.

According to the statement, the latest development validates the State Government’s proactive approach towards the fight against COVID-19.

Recall that Prodest Hotel was demolished two weeks ago because the owners violated Executive Order 7 which banned the operation of hotels.

The COVID-19 Taskforce members from the Local Government who went to enforce the Executive Order were brutalized and dehumanised leading to the death of one of them.

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