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Monday News update on December 14th 2020

Benjamin Ukpabi

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Monday News update on December 14th 2020

today Monday, 14th December 2020

Here is the news update for today brought to you by flliqqa
1. COVID-19: SGF Boss Mustapha Goes Into Isolation As Family Members Test Positive
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha has gone into self-isolation after some of his family members tested positive for COVID-19.

According to the SGF in a personal statement on Sunday night, his family members tested positive on Saturday, are currently asymptomatic, and have started treatment in a government facility.

2. Shekau Now A Cripple, Can’t Lead Attack – Captured Boko Haram Fighter Reveals

A captured Boko Haram fighter has revealed that an attack by the Nigerian military has crippled the leader of the insurgence, Abubakar Shekau.

It was reported that the leader of the faction of Boko Haram has not been seen on his feet lately as he has released video where he is seen sitting or in some cases, using audio to pass across his message. (Monday News update)

3. Kankara Abduction: Masari Says 333 Students Are Still Missing
The Katsina state government has confirmed that 333 students went missing after gunmen attacked Government Science Secondary Kankara.

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The governor said a search was underway in the bush to find the students who were thought to have been abducted by gunmen.

4. Biafra: IPOB Leader, Nnamdi Kanu Launches New Security Outfit For The South
Leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has announced the launch of a regional security outfit named Eastern Security Network (ESN).

Kanu, in a statement on Sunday, 13th December signed by IPOB’s spokesman, Emma Powerful explained that the new security outfit was set up to protect the Eastern region and is modelled in the manner of the Amotekun in the Southwest and Miyetti Allah in the North. (Monday News update)

5. 18 Top Generals Of The Nigerian Army Test Positive For COVID-19
Not less than 18 military generals of the Nigerian Army have tested positive for COVID-19 following the breakout of the virus during the aborted 2020 Chief of Army Staff Annual Conference.

The top military officers are all confirmed to have participated in the annual conference which held in Abuja before it was shut down after an officer attending the meeting tested positive to the virus.

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6. Boko Haram Hit Borno Town In Fresh Attack
Suspected members of Boko Haram terrorist group on Saturday attacked a village a few kilometers away from Askira Uba town.

An eyewitness confirmed that the insurgents in a convoy carried assault rifles and gained access into the town ‘smoothly’ on Saturday evening. (Monday News update)

7. General Buratai Visits Kankara Over Abduction Of Students
Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff General Tukur Buratai has arrived in Kankara where a number of high school students were abducted.

The Katsina government says 333 students of the missing students remain unaccounted for.

Records say General Buratai met with the military to launch an investigation to find the abducted students on Friday.

8. Popular Prophet Reveals What God Told Him Will Happen If Buhari Doesn’t Sack Service Chiefs
Leader of the INRI Evangelical spiritual church, Primate Elijah Ayodele has warned President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the nation’s service chiefs or be ready for another round of protests that will shut down Nigeria.

The cleric also lamented that there is a lot of confusion in the country, Nigeria has lost focus under Buhari warning that urgent action must be taken. (Monday News update)

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He added that God told him if the President doesn’t sack the service chiefs latest by February 2021, and replace them with people that can act, Nigeria is at great risk of breaking up.

9. Boko Haram: ISWAP Appoints New ‘Governor Of The Lake Chad’
The Islamic State of West Africa (ISWAP) has reportedly replaced Goni Maina, the former commander who was killed on December 1 in an air raid jointly conducted by the Nigerian army and the air force.

ISWAP, a break-out faction of Boko Haram, has appointed Aliyu Chakkar as its new “governor of the Lake Chad”, sources have told TheCable.

Upon assuming his new position, Chakkar “vowed to launch attacks before the end of the month”.

10. General Irefin Did Not Die Of COVID-19 – Kinsmen Demand Investigation
The kinsmen of Major-General and the general officer commanding (GOC) of 6 Division of the Nigerian army, John Olu Irefin, has rejected reports that the military officer died from COVID-19 complications. (Monday News update)

Recall that Irefin was attending the ongoing Chief of Army Staff’s Annual Conference 2020 in Abuja before he took ill and died.

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Breaking: Gunmen raze police station in Abia

Wisdom Nwachukwu

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While details of the attack were still sketchy at the time of filing the report, it was gathered the gunmen overpowered the policemen on duty and released suspects in custody.

It was however not clear if they invaded the police armoury.

Gunmen have reportedly attacked and razed down a police station in Uzoakoli, Bende local government area of Abia State.

The incident occurred in the early hours of Monday.

details shortly…

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Before I Fled Boko Haram’s Den, Many Chibok Schoolgirls Were Pregnant

Wisdom Nwachukwu

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A student of the College of Business and Management Studies in Konduga, Juliana Christopher, who was kidnapped by Boko Haram, has said she saw many Chibok girls in the insurgents’ camp.

He added that many small girls were either pregnant or nursing children belonging to the insurgents.

Christopher, in an interview with The PUNCH, said he spent three weeks in Boko Haram camp after the insurgents, who were dressed in military uniforms, stormed her school in Borno State and abducted her.

She explained that after she and her colleagues were kidnapped by the insurgents, they took them into the forest, where she saw other victims who were pregnant and nursing babies of the Boko Haram insurgents.

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She said, “On reaching their camp, we met many young girls there and the whole place was in disarray. It was in 2014 and I was in the Boko Haram camp for three weeks. We met Chibok girls in the camp. While in the camp, I saw so many small girls, who were kidnapped. Some were being molested.

“Some were carrying children, while others were pregnant for the Boko Haram insurgents. It was a disgusting thing. Fortunately for me and some other girls, we escaped from the forest and found our way back to Chibok.”

My abduction led to my father’s death, now I can’t continue education –Konduga student, who escaped from Boko Haram captivity
She explained that her father took ill shortly after she was kidnapped, adding that efforts to rescue him proved abortive.

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She said, “On getting to Chibok, I found the whole community in a state of confusion; so, I asked after my parents and was told that my father took ill when he heard about my abduction and my mother took him to the hospital in Maiduguri. I set out to go and look for them in Maiduguri, but I could not go far because the road was blocked and no movement was allowed, except for military vehicles; in that process, my father died.

“When I heard about my father’s condition, I became worried and tried to locate my parents in the hospital, not knowing that he was already dead. When I eventually got to the hospital in Maiduguri, my mother had conveyed my father’s corpse to Chibok for burial, so my mother said I should stay back to avoid another kidnap.
“That was how I got to this camp. I couldn’t continue with my education, because my mother alone could not take care of my schooling and that of my other siblings.”

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Boko Haram terrorists are our Muslim brothers, shouldn’t be killed like pigs: Minister Pantami

Wisdom Nwachukwu

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President Muhammadu Buhari’s communications minister Isa Pantami once condemned Nigerian Army’s incursion into Boko Haram strongholds, describing the insurgents as “our Muslim” brothers who did not deserve to be killed like pigs.

“See what our fellow Muslim brothers’ blood has turned to? Even pig blood has more value than that of a fellow Muslim brother,” Mr Pantami lamented in a sermon issued a few years ago when former President Goodluck Jonathan ramped up military operations against the rampaging terror sect.

Peoples Gazette obtained the audio through an anonymous contact on Thursday night. The location of Mr Pantami’s sermon and those who attended could not be immediately obtained, but the words, nonetheless, contradicted his recent claims that he had long maintained a hardline posture against Boko Haram.

Mr Pantami’s media allies have also been on an image laundering blitz to cast him as a moderate preacher who has been widely celebrated for his longstanding contempt for Boko Haram. Mr Pantami also joined his supporters to amplify a threat issued against him by Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau, evoking it to dismiss insinuations of his sympathy towards terrorists as counter-intuitive.

But in the February 2020 video, Mr Shekau appeared more frustrated by what he saw as Mr Pantami’s betrayal in becoming a top government official after spending years preaching Salafi doctrine than he was about the minister’s purported condemnation of Boko Haram’s deadly exploits.

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Mr Pantami has long been famous across northern parts of Nigeria as a respected Islamic cleric. He used most of his preachings to rail against the government’s high-handedness, and Peoples Gazette published a video on Thursday that showed him promising never to go into public service. The sermon was delivered in the mid-2000s, years before Mr Buhari appointed him in 2016 as the head of NITDA and later in 2019 as a cabinet minister in charge of communications.

“We are praying to God to answer all our prayers. It’s our right and obligation before all Muslim leaders, politicians, government appointees, academics,” Mr Pantami said in his prayers. “All of us should not fold their arms and watch helplessly how they shed our Muslim brothers’ blood and cheat them in vain.”

Mr Pantami said Boko Haram elements should have been treated with dignity as against the deadly military campaign, saying extermination of insurgents amounted to extrajudicial killing.

 

“Even if the Boko Haram fighters commit a crime, but can we justify the way and manner they are being killed?”

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“Just look at how they are killing people as if they are shooting pigs even though they commit a crime, why the extrajudicial killing? Take them before the law for a fair trial.

“You caught someone sleeping and you killed him. If it’s not Muslims that undergo such treatments who else?” Mr Pantami said.

The minister also said the previous administration should have pampered Boko Haram insurgents in the same manner as the Niger-Delta militants. Unlike Boko Haram that has been on senseless bloodshed against Nigerians of every faith and creed, the militants were fighting for a better share of oil wealth explored and extracted from their parts of the country.

After about three years of their violent campaign, which largely involved frequent abduction of expatriate oil workers and exchange of fire with security forces, the militants acquiesced to economic solutions and relinquished their arms in a deal brokered by former President Umar Yar’Adua.

But Mr Pantami disregarded the context of both groups and instead took a parallel position on how the government should respond to them.

“The Niger Delta people did something similar to this. They massacre people, steal weapons, killed expatriates and kidnap some of them,” Mr Pantami said. “Yet, you still accept them back, open a ministry for them, gave them a minister and put them on a monthly salary pay without work.”

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“The militants did more harm compared to what Boko Haram boys did,” the minister said. “But why will they do something like this? Why selective justice?”

 

The audio was part of a series of controversial sermons which Mr Pantami delivered at several worship centres and learning institutions across the northern parts of the country between the mid and late 2000s. The Gazette obtained the audio this week, most of which had already been transcribed and contextualized by an academic journal published online since March 2019.

Calls have now intensified for Mr Pantami to either publicly renounce his statements or step down from office, with some activists arguing that his position as a federal minister in charge of citizens’ data and the country’s telecoms infrastructure had become untenable.

As part of our series, The Gazette reached out to Mr Pantami repeatedly to learn whether or not he had renounced his controversial views but he declined all requests.

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