New Boko Haram videos urge ‘brethren’ to attack all over Nigeria

On March 14 fighting broke out in the northeasternNigerian city of Maiduguri, including at the Giwa Barracks – the main military headquarters in Borno.

 “Boko Haram” claims it secured the release of two thousand detainees during the siege on the barracks. Abubakar Shekau has now released two new videos to claim responsibility for the attack. 

Mr. Shekau, the successor to Mohammed Yusuf, who was killed by the police in 2009, is a leader of “Boko Haram,” the Islamist insurgency in northern Nigeria. As reports of the videos makes their way into the Nigerian press, they raise many questions.

The Daily Trust, a leading newspaper published in the north, reports that the attackers had camera men who captured the Giwa Barracks raid on film in great detail.

The video apparently shows no resistance from the Nigerian security forces, but it also notes some 500 dead bodies were found in the aftermath of the fighting, though no casualties are shown in the video itself.

Whether the dead were killed by the security services, Boko Haram, or by both is an open question.

Leadership, an Abuja-based newspaper, quotes passages from Shekau’s video. In them he reiterates that Western education is forbidden, all universities should be closed, and he calls for girls to return to their homes. He says that in Islam “infidel” women may be enslaved, and that Boko Haram will begin selling infidel women in the market “in due course.” He repeats that Boko Haram will kill all Muslim clerics who oppose it.

But, Shekau reserves his most blood-curdling language for the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), the civilian vigilante groups that oppose Boko Haram: “I cannot be happy if I don’t personally put my knife on your necks and slit your throats.”

In what may be a new departure, Shekau calls on his “brethren” throughout the country to take up arms and attack. He specifically mentions Abuja, Lagos, and the South: “Even as an individual, take up your swords and slaughter anyone you come across in his sleep…take up knives and start slaughtering people. Just pick up your knife and break into homes and kill.”

What are we to make of this? The fighting at Giwa Barracks hardly appears to be the government victory that the security services have claimed. The video seems to indicate that Boko Haram fighters were able to penetrate and destroy much of Maiduguri’s most important military installation. An unknown number of detainees escaped, though how many were Boko Haram and how many were innocents remains unknown.

As for Shekau, Leadership’s evaluation is that: “Shekau’s video portrays him as a true lunatic.”

Perhaps, but Boko Haram seems to be remarkably successful. Perhaps most disturbing is Shekau’s call for Boko Haram to attack all over the country. Though, it remains to be seen whether Boko Haram has the influence and reach to operate outside parts of the north.

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of Africa bloggers. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers’ own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact about a blogger


Police officer arrested for allegedly defiling 4-year-old

The police officer has been accused of rape in the past.
A police officer, Damudu Bzigu, on Tuesday in Plateau State allegedly raped a four-year-old girl.
Mr. Bzigu, attached to the Special Task Force on Jos crisis, STF, sector seven headquarters, serving in Barkinladi, committed the crime in his apartment, the victim told her parents.
The victim’s father told journalists on Wednesday that on Tuesday “at about 8 p.m., we uncovered blood stains on the clothes of our daughter, and upon interrogations she revealed that a police officer raped her.
“This morning, we reported that matter to the sector commander, he assembled all the members of the sector within the area and our daughter identified the culprit, and it was somebody well known to us as a family, my wife sometimes cooks and offers him.”
The victim was treated at the Barkinladi General Hospital.
A medical personnel, Bapigaan Audu, who carried out the test said the victim had serious injuries and was, therefore, exposed to sexually transmitted diseases.
“On arrival, she was bleeding; but we have done everything possible to restore her health,” he said.
According to Mr. Audu, such cases are on the increase in the locality.
“Between August (2013) and March this year, we have treated 10 cases. The most unfortunate thing is that all of these cases are minors”.
Journalists who were at Barkinladi to hear from the sector commander were denied access to the headquarters of sector seven in Barkinladi. Some of them were harassed.
Reacting to this development, the Barkinladi council chairman, Emmanuel Loman, in an interview with journalists in his office, said he visited the commander of sector seven and discussed the situation with him.
“I contacted the Sector Commander here in Barkinladi. He told me the person in question has been arrested and transferred to the state headquarters for further interrogation.”
Mr. Loman claimed that such cases among STF members have become a recurring act.
“This is not the first time this kind of thing is happen among STF posted to our local government, I witnessed a case of this sort last year, but it seems to have been swept under the carpet,” he said.
The council chairman said “this time, I must follow this case to a logical conclusion, he must be brought to book to serve as a deterrent.”
Mr. Loman said the members of the STF have abandoned their duties.
“In spite of their presence in the state, insecurity challenges have remained with us,” he said.
The situation generated tension in Barkinladi, as youth in the area were threatening to mob members of the STF.
Mr. Bzigu has been accused of rape three times since his deployment to the state STF.
Members of the taskforce have also been accused of molesting women.

Ibadan forest of horror: Tears, joy in hospital

Victim, family reunite
Rescued woman, 72, disappears again

THERE was some sunny side to the dark, gloomy Ibadan “forest of horror” story yesterday.
A couple found their relation among the victims at the State Hospital, Yemetu in the Oyo State capital.
“Yes. This is our son. He was born with this deformed hand,” Mr. Adewale Atoyebi screamed after seeing his niece, Adewale Atoyebi, who had been missing for three years.
For Mr. Atoyebi’s wife, it was a mixture of joy and sadness. She burst into tears.
The victim is among the eight brought to the hospital Saturday evening after the discovery of a forest in Soka where human parts and dying people were found.
Mr Atoyebi and his wife said they heard through the media that Adewale Atoyebi was among the rescued victims. He said they (his own nuclear family) were not aware of his disappearance until their relatives in Ada, Osun State, called to instruct him to go to the hospital to confirm if Adewale was their child.
“I live in Ibadan here with my family. I did not know that Adewale was missing because it has been long we last visited our home town, Ada in Osun State. My people back home just called us yesterday that I should go and find out if the rescued Adewale is our son. Here we are,” Mr Atoyebi said.
On seeing Adewale, he became excited. “Yes, this is our son. He was born with this deformed hand. Here he is,” Atoyebi said.
But the victim did not pay attention to him immediately. He went back to his bed after visiting the toilet.
For Mrs Atoyebi, it was a mixed feeling. The joy of recovering her in-law was palpable. Yet she was disturbed by the state of his health. She sobbed.
Adewale recalled how he was kidnapped on a journey he undertook from Ada to Osogbo. He said he was a commercial load carrier (alabaru) for yam flower sellers at Ada market.
He said: “I boarded a vehicle to Osogbo. That is the only thing I remember.”
Mr Atoyebi said Adewale was never insane.
Another victim, Ola Michael, 28, recalled that he was going from Oyo to Owode/Egbado in Ogun State when he was kidnapped on Iwo Road in Ibadan.
“I am a native of Oyo town. I was going to Owode/Egbado. I boarded a bus to Ibadan. They dropped me off under the bridge on Iwo Road. That is the last thing I know,” he said.
One of the female victims whose name could not be ascertained was said to have blood on her body. She, apparently, had a baby, but none was seen with her.
Other missing persons being sought by their relatives include a student of the University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (UNAAB), Odunola Olosunde, 22 (as at the time of her disappearance); Olanrewaju Musa, 30, Nneka Peter, nine; Ramota Nimota, 45, and Odunayo, 22 (as at the time of his disappearance).
Mr Olosunde said Odunola got missing during the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike in 2009. He said his daughter, who was studying Agricultural Engineering, went to do a decoration job at a church on Iwo Road in Ibadan. She never returned. The family lives in Apata in the Oyo State capital city.
Families searching for their missing relations besieged the hospital.
But, for most of them, it was like seeking the dead among the living as their hopes were dashed – their relations were not among the rescued victims.
The hospital’s Chief Consultant, Dr Osamor Jonathan, said no fewer than 30 families had visited in search for their missing relations since Sunday morning.
As early as 8:00 am, security guards manning the gate of the hospital as well as members of the staff had begun the battle to control the crowd.
Many came just to catch a glimpse of the rescued victims; others came searching for their loved ones. They were armed with photos of the missing relations, pleading with nurses and other health workers to allow them see the victims being treated at the Emergency Unit.
They were asked to produce police reports, showing details of the missing persons and the dates of their disappearance before being given access to the victims.
Some of them burst into tears on learning that their relations were not among the victims. The situation forced a recall of the memory of their missing relations on them as some visibly fought back tears.
Just like the forest, the hospital became a Mecca of sort, hosting all manner of people eager to satisfy their curiosity.
Jonathan said the victims were responding well to treatment, adding that they may be discharged within 48 hours.
“Among them, two women and a man can respond to conversations appropriately now. We are able to identify their family compounds in Osogbo and Ibadan. Some are still weak and unconscious, but they are being revived through treatment. They are coming out of their stopour and the trauma they went through.
“Five gave their names. Those talking are coherent. They described how they were abducted. Some of them were kidnapped in the course of seeking daily bread.”
The doctor confirmed that one female victim had put to bed twice while in the “forest of horror”.
On caring for the victims, Jonathan said: “Initially, there was some aggressiveness on the part of the victims as they felt threatened. They felt we were part of the kidnap team. But, gradually, we counselled them. We served them food and they later calmed down. They started seeing the humane feeling that they were in a different environment. They are disoriented, in traumatic shock. Some are delusional.”
But, the doctor does not feel comfortable that the victims have taken over the Casualty Unit of the hospital, denying other patients of space.
The hospital invited policemen who stormed the premises in three vans to dislodge the crowds. The crowds have been insulting the nurses continuously, Jonathan said.
He went on: “Some of them were agitated, emotional and curious. But this won’t let the service go on; we have to work. Their presence has disrupted our services and placed much pressure on our resources. We bathed them, brushed for them Monday morning, but they are better now. They did all of that by themselves this morning.”


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Police hunt kidnappers of wife, daughter of transporter

The Nigerian Police Command in Edo state on Wednesday confirmed the abduction of the wife and daughter of a transport magnate, Abel Omoruyi, in Benin. Omoruyi is the Chief Executive Officer of Iyare Motors.
Spokesman of the police command DSP. Moses Eguavoen, who confirmed the incident in Benin, said that the victims were kidnapped by gunmen. They were identified as Mrs. Esohe Abel, and her daughter, Miss Osarunmwese Abel.
Eguavoen said that the police had received the complaint and had swung into action to release the victims.
“We are doing everything to rescue the victims unhurt and to arrest the perpetrators.”
He said that all black spots have been put under surveillance to block possible escape routes.
The woman and her daughter were said to have been kidnapped on Monday in the Ugbor area of Benin on their way home after business.
A source who spoke on condition of anonymity,said the abductors were armed with sophisticated weapons and were yet to make contact with the family of the victims.

UNIOSUN engages OPC to protect students from rapists

Vice-Chancellor, Osun State University, Prof. Bashiru Okesina

The Vice Chancellor of the Osun State University, Prof. Bashir Okesina, says the university has engaged the services of members of the Oodua People’s Congress to protect its students from rapists and hoodlums.

Okesina said this while addressing a press conference in Osogbo on Monday as part of activities marking the third convocation of the university.

It was learnt that the university took the step because of the reported cases of rape of some female students of the university at their private hostel.

Although the VC debunked the claim that some female students of the university were raped, he said the management was merely taking steps to prevent such.

The vice chancellor also said the university management was partnering with the police to increase their patrol at places where students of the institution resided.

He explained that students were living at private hostels outside the campus because the university, which started academic activities in 2007, was originally designed to be non-residential.

He said, “We want to transform from non-residential institution to a residential one to be able to protect our students among other advantages.

“When the issue of rape was reported – although no student came to report such and the report was not substantiated – we contacted the OPC and the police on the security of the area where our students are living.

“We also talked with the police to find out what to do to assist them step up patrol around the university campus especially where the majority of our students reside.

“We met with the leaders of the community on the same issue. Whether the report of rape is true or not, it is dangerous and we don’t want it to happen. The OPC and the police are involved in security arrangement in the areas and we are all tackling the problem together.”

The vice chancellor added that 20 students among the 1,200 who will be awarded their degrees on Saturday made first class degree in various fields.

According to him, 328 students made second class upper division, while 658 will be awarded with second class, lower division.

Okesina stated that the university was currently running 44 programmes duly accredited by the National Universities Commission, saying the body had also given the varsity the approval to begin to run higher degrees.

Responding to a question on the efforts being made by the university to make its product job creators rather than job seekers, the vice chancellor said that the university mandated its students to acquire some skills as part of its entrepreneurial studies.

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School proprietor arraigned for raping pupil in Abia


A 53-year-old school proprietor, Lemmy Amachi Chukwu, was on Monday arraigned before the Ukwa East Chief Magistrate Court sitting at Akwete, Abia State for allegedly raping a 12-year-old primary five pupil of his school.
Police prosecutor, Chris Kpatuma, who is also the divisional police officer (DPO) for Ukwa East Police Division, told the court that Chukwu, proprietor of a private nursery and primary school, Uhuru in Ukwa East Local Government Area committed the offence on February 20.
It was gathered that immediately the accused committed the offence, he went into hiding and police had to launch a manhunt for him. It was when he thought the matter had died down and came out from hiding that police arrested him.
The prosecution also told the court that the accused, who also works for the Abia State Government as a school teacher in the same local government had on the said date, invited the pupil to his office where he allegedly forcibly had carnal knowledge of her.
Kpatuma prayed the court not to grant the accused bail since it took the police time to arrest him, saying he could jump bail.
The accused pleaded not guilty to the charge and the trial chief magistrate remanded him in Aba prisons while the case was adjourned to Friday, March 28, 2014.

Court sentences man to death for robbing N5,000

By Austin Ogwuda, Asaba

A motor loader, otherwise known as “Agbero” has been sentenced to death by hanging having been found guilty of robbing his victims of total sum of N5,520, two handsets while armed with cutlass when his gang broke into their apparments.
The 31-year-old convict, Emeka Nweke said to be the only son of the parent was Wednesday sentenced to death by an Asaba high court, which agreed that prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.
Prosecution had told the court that the convicted armed robber with others now at large “robbed one Izuchukwu Okeke and other residents of various sums of cash totaling N5,520 while armed with dangerous weapons at Oduke within the Asaba judicial division on or about the 30th day of September 2012.
….. Okadaman to die too.
Also, another high court in Asaba has sentenced a commercial motorcyclist otherwise known as okada rider, one Ndubuisi Obiora, 26 years to death by hanging for robbery.
The convicted armed robber wept profusely in the open court and threw himself on the ground rolling immediately the judge handed down the death sentence, thus creating a scene.
He was found guilty of robbing passengers travelling on Benin-Asaba highway at gun point.
He was caught red handed at Oko junction area of the highway by the police anti robbery squad on the 18th July 2012.