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Filed under: Latest News — admin     3:08 pm June 29, 2011

By Okey Ndiribe, BEN AGANDE,Henry Umoru, , Samuel Oyadongha & INALEGWU SHAIBU
ABUJA—THE United States and European Union, yesterday, condemned the spate of bombings and assassinations particularly by Islamic sect, Boko Haram in Maiduguri, Borno State capital which have killed more than 150 people so far this year and tasked President Goodluck Jonathan to fish out the perpetrators.

This came just as Senate summoned the leadership of all the security agencies in the country for briefing on steps so far taken to stem the bombings .

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, also assured that operations to bring an end to the menace of the sect will begin soon.

Radical Islamist sect Boko Haram, has claimed responsibility for much of the violence, mostly perpetrated by gunmen on motorbikes or attackers using home_made explosives.

Bombs thrown at a drinking spot in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, killed about 25 people on Sunday in the single deadliest attack so far while three more people were killed in a similar strike in the town the following day.

Joint statement

The US and EU missions in a joint statement said: “The Heads of Mission of the European Union and the United States of America in Nigeria express deep concern over the  bombings and attacks in Borno State. The latest of these on Sunday 26 June,  reportedly resulted in at least 25 deaths. We condemn such acts, which are an affront to the rule of law and democratic principles.

There is no place in society for these horrific  acts of violence and there should be no impunity for the perpetrators. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the families and friends of those killed.”

In its reaction, Amnesty International in a statement said: “Boko Haram must stop its reign of terror in the country. No cause can justify the deliberate targeting of civilians. The Nigerian government can only ensure safety by investing heavily in reforming the criminal justice system, so that the perpetrators of these attacks and other human rights abuses can be properly investigated, arrested and prosecuted in fair trials without recourse to the death penalty.”

Meanwhile those who are expected to appear before the Senate are the National Security Adviser, the heads of the Army, Air Force and Navy, the Inspector general of Police, as well as Directors-General of the State Security Service and the National Intelligence Agency.

Adoption of motion

This followed the adoption of a motion brought under a matter of urgent national importance by Senator Ita Enang on the deteriorating security situation in the country especially the bombing of the police headquarters by the Boko Haram group.
Enang who prayed the Senate to suspend Order 52 of the Senate to allow for the matter to be heard yesterday argued that the bombing of the Police headquarters by Boko Haram represents the worst case of the deterioration of security in the country.
His prayer that an adhoc committee be set up to look into the Boko Haram scourge was, however, turned down as the Senate president, Senator David Mark, argued that setting up of a committee at this moment was premature, adding that issues of national security could not be discussed in the full glare of the public.
Yesterday’s motion ignited passions of senators who took turns to lament the deteriorating security situation in the country.
Senator Ayogu Eze who seconded the motion noted that the spate of bombings in the country was ‘becoming a national embarrassment’, noting that with the way the bombings were being carried out, visitors may be unwilling to visit the country for fear of the bomb attacks.
In his contribution, Senator Olusola Adeyeye said the incidents have not only embarrassed Nigeria as a country but should serve as a wake up call to all Nigerians to come together to take decisive steps to curb it
He said: “We must come to the realization that Nigeria is coming to the precipice because when a country comes under daily violence as it is now, the political leadership must wake up. What happened is an indication that the Inspector General of Police cannot boast of his own security and if he cannot boast of his security, then the Senate president too cannot boast of his security because his security is provided by the inspector general of Police. This is not a problem that we can leave to the executive arm of government alone because if they can solve it, then we will not be talking about it here. Thisis  not a time for prayer but a matter of action on our part.”
While the former Governor of Nasarawa State, Abdulahi Adamu, warned against falling into the temptation of treating symptoms, Senator Baba Ahmed in his contribution criticized the motion which according to him did not address the issues surrounding the incidence.
He urged his colleagues to ‘leave security matters for the experts’ adding that passing the motion would not add value to the resolution of the incidence.
Senator Nkechi Nwogwu expressed regret that members of the nation’s security agencies have been neglected by successive government and called for the ‘devolution of powers to the federating units while we purge ourselves of our fragmented minds of religion and ethnicity’.
Senator Maina Maajin Lawn from Borno state blamed the aggravation of Boko Haram crisis on the initial handling of the crisis by the security agencies, noting that ‘bullets and boots will never solve the problems we have to address the issue of poverty, injustice and unemployment in the country’

Operations to end menace of Boko Haram will begin soon, says Ihejirika

Chief of Army Staff, Lt.Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, has also said that operations to bring an end to the menace of Boko Haram will begin soon.
Ihejirika who was fielding questions from newsmen, after declaring open the second Quarter Chief of Army Staff Conference in abuja said the army was equal to the task of finding lasting solutions to the security challenges in some parts of the country.
He said: “The tactics Boko Haram employed are relatively new and having studied their method of operation, very soon the country will notice improvement in the new security agreements.”
Referring to the presence of soldiers everywhere in the FCT, he said that in an atmosphere of terrorism, the residents should be ready and able to bear a lot of inconveniences.
He said the army was being proactive by searching vehicles, and that Nigerians should be able to adopt to the temporary security measures.
The army chief said that one key agenda of the conference, which is being held behind closed doors, was how to improve on the security measures already taken. “General Officers Commanding (GOC) and commanders will receive briefing on how to confront the menace of Boko Haram once and for all. The purpose of the conference is to take stock of the first and second quarter activities, especially in the area of security as it concerns areas of responsibilities and as it affects various commands.”
Earlier in his address of welcome, the Chief of Policy and Plans, Maj.Gen.Olakunle Akinyemi, noted that the current security challenges needed to be immediately addressed.

FCTA bans street parking around Federal secretariat

Also, following the bomb explosion that took place at the Force Headquarters and threat by members of Boko Haram, the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA yesterday banned parking of vehicles on the street around the Federal Secretariat.
The administration has also ordered that all Parks and Garden that admit children must close at 6pm daily including weekends, just as Cinema/Film Centre and Disco/Night Clubs are to close at 10pm daily including weekends.
Also affected are Beer Parlours, Drinking Joints and Pool Centres that must also close at 10pm daily including weekends.

Niger Delta militants blame FG
In a related development, members of the  Niger Delta Liberation Force, NDLF, led by late General John Togo, yesterday, took a swipe at the Federal Government over its inability to stem the deteriorating security situation in the North and the activities of Boko Haram.
The NDLF noted that the refusal of the military to be deployed against the Boko Haram was a proof that the militarization of the Niger Delta region was a selective agenda to suppress the people of the region.
NDFL noted with concern that though a new task force with over 3,000 personnel was set up by the Federal Government for Borno State following the recent spate of bombing by Boko Haram, the action was a far cry from the open invasion and destruction of Ijaw communities by the Nigerian government through the Joint Task Force.
The NDFL in a statement issued through its spokesperson, ‘Capt.’ Mark Anthony, said the lackadaisical approach by the security forces on Boko Haram which kill innocent civilians and destroys properties has justified the claim by the group that it is intelligent and more sophisticated than Nigerian police.

and also made us to believe that some ethnic nationalities in Nigeria are above board while others are used as sacrificial lamb for the unity of the nation.

The group called on the Federal Government to move out the Joint Task Force in the Niger Delta and deploy them to towns and villages in the North, “as in the same measure for Niger Delta economic agitators where in each time Ijaw communities, front runners of the Niger Delta agitation were bombed and scores of innocent villagers are killed through aerial bombings.”
The statement reads “The Niger Delta Ijaw ethnic nationality had been victims of Nigerian army atrocities and had lost over 2000 innocent civilians who have been murdered extra_judicially, over 20 villages have been burnt down and women raped by Joint Task Force (JTF) in the name of peace keeping operation. In fact, Niger Delta territory was used as a conquered region.
“As it stands, we the youths in Niger Delta have rescinded violence and taken on the path of peace, therefore, we task the National Security Adviser, Gen. Andrew Aziza Owoye (rtd) and the Joint Task Force (JTF) to go and bomb towns of Boko Haram members in the North to prove before the world that the security force in Nigeria is not biased and are capable of securing people and properties in the nation.

Source : Vanguard

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