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…Captain Hashim Abdullahi 





Nigerian terrorist group, Boko Haram, recruited about 2,000 children in 2016 and used them as child soldiers, the UN Children’s Fund has said. UNICEF Executive Director, Anthony Lake, disclosed these as global leaders gather in Paris on the anniversary of the Paris Commitments to end the use of children in conflict, according to a UN report. Lake said estimates indicated that tens of thousands under the age of 18 were being used in conflicts worldwide. According to the UNICEF chief, exact data on the number of children used and recruited in armed conflict is difficult to ascertain because of the unlawful nature of child recruitment. “For instance, since 2013 an estimated 17,000 children have been recruited in South Sudan and up to 10,000 have been recruited in the Central African Republic. “Similarly, nearly 2,000 children were recruited by Boko Haram, in Nigeria and neighbouring countries, last year alone, and there have been nearly 1,500 cases of child recruitment in Yemen since the conflict escalated in March 2015. “We cannot give up the fight to end child recruitment,” the UNICEF chief said.





As part of efforts to curtail the numerous security challenges facing the nation such as insurgency, cattle rustling, ethnic crises in the north and kidnappings, militancy, and pipeline vandalism among others in the south, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the Nigerian army, Division 3 Jos, Major General Peter Dauke, has organised a special operational planning cadre course for soldiers drawn from about 10 army formations under the division. Speaking during the opening ceremony of the 2017 operational planning cadre held at the ‘Shadawanka’ army barracks, Bauchi Tuesday, Dauke represented by Brigadier General Mohammed Hauwa Magaji, who explained that the exercise was aimed at refreshing the memories of his officers as well as giving them an update as regards operational planning, said participants were selected from all army formations under him which included: 33 Artillery Brigade, Headquarters 3 Division Tactical, 23 Brigade Headquarters, 27 Task Force Brigade, 28 Task Force Brigade, 29 Task Force Brigade, 43 Division Engineer, 53 Division Signal, 301 Artillery Regiment and 3 Division Garrison.





Kogi Governor, Yahaya Bello, disclosed in Abuja, yesterday, how the military arrested four fleeing Boko Haram commanders in his state. Bello said following the technical defeat of the Boko Haram in the North East, fleeing members have now found a haven in Kogi. Bello made the disclosure in Abuja, when he spoke at the seventh edition of the National Security Seminar entitled: “Consolidating on the gains of counter-terrorism operations in Nigeria.” He, however, warned that the insurgents have chosen a wrong place to hide because he is ready to collaborate with the military to rout them out of the state. “Kogi is now a haven for Boko Haram, because many of them have relocated to my state. Just last night, four high profile Boko Haram members were arrested in Kogi by the military. “I want to assure them that they have chosen a wrong place to relocate, because we will never allow them. “We will work together with the armed forces to consolidate on the victory and gains recorded in the North East,’’ he said. Kogi is the gateway to the northern and southern parts of Nigeria, which makes it attractive to the insurgents, said Bello.  Also speaking at the event, yesterday, Sultan of Sokoto, Mohammed Sa’ad Abubakar III recommended more political willpower in the fight against insurgency and corruption. The monarch called on all elected public office holders to rise to the challenge and noted that numerous discussions on peace, security, stability and peaceful coexistence in the past were scarcely implemented due to lack of strength and political willpower. In his remarks, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed bemoaned the taking over of the social media by purveyors of fake news, describing it as his major challenge.





The Kaduna State government has announced that the Garrison Commander of the 1 Division of the Nigeria Army and the state’s Commissioner of Police has relocated to the southern part of the state. This is to enable Brigadier-General Ismaila Isa and CP Agyole Abeh coordinate a determined response to renewed attacks by armed bandits on communities in Kaura and Jema’a local government areas. The situation has been brought under control by this afternoon, but security operations continue. A government statement said that Governor Nasir el-Rufai has extended his condolence to the families of the victims of the renewed attacks which began last night, February 19. It was gathered that the governor assured them that the state government was fully committed to securing the area, with the active support of the army and the police. The statement added that the two battalions of the army and the 10 mobile police squadrons are engaging the bandits, as the duty state carries out its obligations to secure the area, protect lives and rout these armed bandits. The governor said that despite these difficulties and the pain of the attacks, this is not the time to give the bandits the pleasure of seeing victims turn on each other. He called for support for the army and the security agencies as they work to repel attacks and crush the bandits. Unknown gunmen in a coordinated attack invaded Bakin Kogi, Kaninkon Village in Jemaa Local Government Area in the State on Sunday 19th February, 2017 at about 5:30pm. They were repulsed by Operation Yaki Surveillance Patrol Teams and Operation Harmony Patrol Teams.





The General Officer Commanding, 2 Division Nigerian Army, Ibadan, Major General C.M Abraham, has advised Nigerian youths to look beyond oil and explore opportunities in other areas like agriculture. The GOS made this known in Koko to the youths,  elders and traditional rulers during his address at 19 Battalion Tactical Headquarters Nigerian  Army,  Koko. In warri North Local Government Area of Delta State, the army boss added that the people must be proactive to leave a better future for the incoming generation to see a prosperous Nigeria. He charged men of the 19 Battalion to always remain professional in defending the territorial integrity of our nation, and shun every activity that will bring down the image of the unit and professionalism of the military. While acknowledging the visit as historic and strategic, the Commanding Officer 19 Battalion Nigerian Army, Koko, Lt. Col. M.A Ma’aji, noted that the visit was significant to the unit because the GOC came when he just assumed office as the C O of 19 Battalion Koko. He thanked the GOC and his entourage for the visit in spite of their tight schedule and promised that the 19 Battalion under his Command will continue to crack down on activities of cultism, armed robbery, kidnapping, militancy, pipeline vandalism, Illegal oil bunkering and other social vices capable of causing breach to national security. The high point of the visit was the unveiling and commissioning of the unit Mascot constructed by Col. Ma’aji and mounted at the Battalion headquarters. The commissioning was attended by dignitaries from host Local Government Areas, communities and other security agencies. The GOC and his entourage visited the famous historic Nanna Museum in Koko. However, Hon. Chiefs Francis Maku chairman Warri North Local Government Area, was Rep. by Comr. Douglas Akambe, the Head of personnel Management, Koko.





The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, says the phenomenon of fake news, if left unchecked, poses more threat to the nation than insurgency and militancy. The minister reiterated this position on Tuesday in Abuja at the seventh edition of the National Security Seminar with the theme “Consolidating on the Gains of Counter Terrorism Operations in Nigeria’’. The seminar was jointly organised by the National Defence College of Nigeria, the Office of the National Security Adviser and the Alumni Association of National Defence College. Mohammed said that the phenomenon of fake news propagated majorly by the social media “is so serious that it threatened to break the country rapidly even more than insurgency’’. He noted that to consolidate on the defeat of the Boko Haram insurgent, the armed forces should give special attention to its communication and information dissemination strategy. “We must pay adequate attention to communication strategy and have our people who will be very active also on the social media. “It is a front that has been largely neglected which we must now.





The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), says about 310,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), from seven local governments areas of Borno have returned home following liberation of their communities and return of peace. Mr. Muhammad Kanar, the NEMA North-East Coordinator, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Tuesday in Maiduguri. Kanar said that as at Monday, only about 101,387 IDPs were still remaining in camps across Maiduguri, the Borno capital. He said that about 67,000 returned to Dikwa; 9,000 to Bama; 13,000, to Konduga; 5,000 to Lassa; 52,000 to Damboa; 52,000 to Banking; 71,000 to Gambrun Ngala, and 41,000 returned to Konduga. Kanar also gave statistics of the number of returnees to other communities, adding that many of the IDPs returned willingly. “In Konduga, for example, about 41,000 IDPs that returned to the area were those who returned willingly. You know is a few kilometres from the town, and all their houses had been rebuilt by the state government. ” We have a lot of IDPs in Mafa, which is just 100 kilometres from Maiduguri. Many farmers from Gamboru Ngala have gone back to farm.





Following the attacks on Jama’a and Kaura Local Government Areas in the southern part of Kaduna State on Sunday and Monday, the state government has imposed a 24-hour curfew on the two councils. The government, in a statement on Tuesday in Kaduna by Samuel Aruwan, spokesman of Governor Nasir el-Rufai, said: “The action became necessary to protect lives and property and avoid further breakdown of law and order in the two local government areas.” Twenty-two people were killed in the two councils following fresh attacks on four communities by suspected Fulani herdsmen on Sunday and Monday. Several houses were also reportedly burnt during the attacks.





The death toll from the invasion of three villages in Kaura and one in Jema’a Local Government areas in the southern part of Kaduna State by herdsmen has risen from 21 to 26 yesterday, after the Atakad Development Association, ADA, confirmed the recovery of four more corpses as well as the death of another victim. Also, the state Police Commissioner, Mr. Agyole Abeh, yesterday confirmed that he lost two of his men in the Sunday attack on Bakin Kogo village, in Jema’a council, saying he had relocated to Kafanchan to coordinate the police to ensure peace and security in the troubled areas. This came as Kaduna State government, through its Security Council, imposed a fresh 24-hour curfew on Jema’a and Kaura Local Government areas with immediate effect. However, Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, SOKAPU, faulted the 24-hour curfew imposed on the two councils, saying innocent natives had suffered both death and hunger than peace and security under such a total curfew in the past.





Barely 24 hours that farmers from Epe village, Lagos stormed the office of the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, in protest of incessant abduction of their members, suspected militants yesterday stormed the area, snatching four persons. The police, however, rose to the occasion, repelling the attackers and rescuing those abducted and others kidnapped earlier, who were found chained in the bush by the militants. A resident of Epe, Mutiu Olawole said: “This morning, kidnappers believed to be militants stormed our area and abducted four persons. I don’t know how the police got information and raced to the scene.  The police engaged the hoodlums in a fierce gun battle. I think three persons; including two policemen were shot dead. But, the four kidnapped victims and four others that were chained in the creek were rescued by the police.” The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, who confirmed the attack on the community said: “Yes, kidnappers stormed the area and abduct four persons, but they were repelled by my men. The good news is that the police were able to rescue the victims. The police, also, rescued four others who were initially abducted.



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