Boko Haram Plans To Attack Abuja Targets – US Warns

The United States of America has warned of an imminent Boko haram attack in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory.

The US Embassy in Nigeria made this known in an emergency message, urging its citizens resident or doing business in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, to be security conscious.

The U.S. government said information at its disposal points in the direction of terror attacks by the Boko Haram sect.

According to the Embassy, the attackers have as likely targets hotels frequently visited by Westerners.

It, however, disclosed that there is no additional information about the exact timing of the planned attacks.

“We advise all U.S. citizens to review their personal security plans, remain aware of their surroundings, including local events, monitor local news stations for updates, and report specific incidences of targeted violence to the U.S. Embassy in Abuja or the U. S. Consulate General in Lagos…..Read Full Story Here

 

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Bomb Explosion In Zaria Kills 25, Injures 32

Insurgents believed to be members of the Islamic militant group, Boko Haram earlier today killed 25 persons, injuring 32 others at a government Secretariat in Sabon Gari area of Zaria in Kaduna State.

According to TheStreetReporters.com, an online news medium, the incident occurred while civil servants were undergoing biometric verification at the local council.

The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, while expressing sadness at the attack by Boko Haram jihadists, put the death toll at 20.

However, Red Cross officials and security agencies have evacuated 25 dead bodies while the 32 injured persons were taking to the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria and other hospitals in the city for treatment.

“I am sad that a terrorist bomb attack just killed 20 people in Sabon Gari Zaria,” El-Rufa’i said on his Twitter handle.

“We call on our citizens to be vigilant and avoid crowded places like markets, mosques, churches and motor parks in the next few weeks,” he added.

Jonathan’s Successor: My Advise To Northern Nigeria By Ahmadu Ali

The Director General of President Goodluck Jonathan’s Organisation, Ahmadu Ali says the Fulani socio-cultural group – Miyyetti Allah, the Yoruba socio cultural groups – Afenifere, and Odua Peoples Congress (OPC) have all endorsed the re-election bid of President Jonathan.

Ali said this at the campaign rally of the PDP on Saturday in Kaduna.

“We should tell ourselves the truth, Miyetti Allah, Afenifere and OPC have endorsed President Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election”.

He said the North should start grooming a non-dictatorial leader who is between the ages of 40-50 to take over from President Jonathan in 2019.

“I want to tell my fellow Northerners to start grooming a 40-50 year-old candidate that President Goodluck Jonathan will hand over power to in 2019 and not a dictatorial leader who attempted to kidnap my friend late Umaru Dikko. Is that the person you want to vote for? God forbid!” Ali said.

Ahmed Makarfi, a serving Senator, in his remarks said the PDP “will use our power of persuasion to ensure that, PDP is voted on the 14th and 28th of this month.

“I assure you that by this persuasion and consultations by the Vice President, the governor, many stakeholders and I will deliver Kaduna state to PDP,” he added.

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Presidential Debate: APC Shields Buhari’s Intellectual Laziness, Says Jonathan *Charges APC ‘Prove You’re a Party of Progressive Intellectuals At Debate’

The Presidential Campaign Organisation of President Goodluck Jonathan has accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of stopping its presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari from participating in a presidential debate being organised by the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON) as a means of shielding the intellectual laziness and inability of the former military dictator to constructively engage contemporary national issues in a live television and radio debate from Nigerians and the international audience.

Jonathan who spoke through the Director of Media and Publicity of his Campaign Organisation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, stated that the APC knows that General Buhari will flunk it if he is subjected to the rigours of debate on national issues relating to governance and development.

Jonathan’s Campaign body said it was aware that the APC had already expressed its concerns, when approached by an international news channel for a debate, about the intellectual acumen of General Buhari, and had assured the news channel that it was only comfortable with its vice presidential candidate, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, who has capacity to feature brilliantly on the programme.

“We have just read a report in the media credited to the APC Presidential Campaign Organisation that the party would not allow its candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari, to participate in the radio and television presidential debate organised by the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON).

“The APC accused the organisers of the debate of unhidden bias and campaign of calumny by some key organisers of the programme against the corporate political interest of the party and its candidates.

“Whilst we will not bother ourselves with the many reasons adduced by the APC, we wish to state that we see the APC decision as an attempt to shield its presidential candidate from displaying his intellectual laziness and inability to constructively engage contemporary national issues in a live television and radio debate.

“We had envisaged that the APC would be reluctant to expose General Buhari to the rigours of a live television debate because the opposition party knows that its candidate will flunk it.

“If the APC truly believes that it is ‘a party of progressive intellectuals’, as it claims it should allow General Buhari to prove that at the debate.

“Should the APC fail to participate in the debate, it would also show the disdain both the party and its candidate have for the Nigerian people, denying them the opportunity to make informed choices on the basis of what each candidate will articulate as propositions on issues that will be raised.

“We are convinced that General Buhari does not have what it takes to sustain a coherent argument on germane issues of governance and development.

“We challenge General Buhari to a debate on any national and international medium of mass communication and our candidate, President Goodluck Jonathan will be ready to participate.

“On the other hand, President Jonathan’s running mate, Vice President Namadi Sambo, is also ready to participate in the debate and any other debate.

“Our presidential candidate and his running mate will not raise flimsy and escapist excuses such as “unhidden bias” and the like, since we believe that they are well-rounded intellectuals who have been prepared by their experience in office to answer any question under the sun on the governance of our nation.”, Jonathan Campaign group noted.

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Boko Haram: Arrested General Ransome-Kuti, Other Officers May Be Court Martialed Over Baga Attack

Nigerian military authorities have come down heavily on suspected senior military officers sabotaging counter-terrorism operations in the country as over 10 senior officers, including a Brigadier-General, have been arrested and are currently telling the military hierarchy what they know about a recent attack carried out by the Islamic insurgent group, Boko Haram.

The officers may be charged before a military tribunal as soon as investigation into their complicity or otherwise is completed.

According to the Director of Defence Information, Major-General Chris Olukolade, the investigation of senior army officers follows alleged shirking their responsibilities during the attack by the militants on Baga.

Those arrested so far include Brigadier-General Enitan Ransome-Kuti, his Chief of Staff Lt. Colonel G.A Suru, the Commanding Officer of 134 and 174 battalions, Lt. Colonel Haruna and one Major aliyu.

The two Nigerian Army battalions are under the Multi-National Task Joint Task Force (MNJTF) in Baga, attacked by the insurgents.

Speaking on the arrest, General Olukolade said that the arrested officers were being investigated because at the time of the attack on the multinational headquarters in Baga, Brigadier-General Ransome-Kuti and his men were fully in charge of the military formation.

He said it was disappointing that the attack on Baga was not repelled by both battalions, despite having the necessary weapons to carry out the necessary operations.

On January 3, 2015, suspected members of Boko Haram attacked the base of the Multinational Task Force in Baga, Borno State, dislodging the soldiers there.

Reports say the troops were warned to be on alert following intelligence reports that terrorists would strike between January 22 and January 25.

Eyewitnesses, Channels Tv reports, said that the attack started around 5am when residents started hearing gunshots as the insurgents tried to gain entrance into the MNJTF premises.

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APC Candidate Says Ekiti Gov Abused Bible Verse, Insulted Muslims as Buhari Attacks Punch, SUN newspapers Over Fayose’s Frontpage Adverts

Sample Photo of The Advert
Sample Photo of The Advert
Governor Ayodele Fayose has come under fire from the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), over a front page advert the Ekiti State governor paid for in The Punch and Daily Sun newspapers on Monday morning.

Buhari, in a Facebook post, accused Mr. Fayose of abusing a Bible verse and insulting Muslims, especially Northerners.

*General Muhammadu Buhari, sick like late Yar'Adua?
*General Muhammadu Buhari, sick like late Yar’Adua?

The governor had paid for front page adverts in the national dailies, depicting three former Heads of State from the North, who are Muslims and died in office, together with the APC presidential candidate, suggesting that what happened to them may happen to Buhari.

Fayose, in the advert urging Nigerians to “vote wisely” by casting their votes for President Goodluck Jonathan, said “NIGERIA…‘I have set before thee LIFE & DEATH. Therefore, choose LIFE that both thee and thy seed may LIVE (emphasis not ours)’”.

The advert, which has attracted reactions of Nigerians on the social media, was described by Buhari as a breach of the peace pact signed last week by leading presidential candidates, including President Goodluck Jonathan.

“First, it is totally unprofessional and abusive to Ethical codes of Journalism for Punch and Sun Newspapers to publish such content. Punch and Sun Newspapers must revoke the advert immediately and apologize to the people of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari and the APC for such folly.

“Second, if till now, there is no denouncement of the post from PDP and GEJ (Goodluck Ebele Jonathan), it means that they support it because Fayose is a stakeholder of the party, and a front man for GEJ’s campaign.

“GEJ signed a peace pact last week against election violence and he, through the insensitivity of this advert, is the first to break that pact.

“The Jonathan administration is cruising on lies and propaganda. It is bent on amassing votes to siphon more public funds and has no interest of Nigerians at heart. It is bound to fail”.

The Facebook post reiterated Buhari’s commitment to peace and urged Nigerians to get their Permanent Voters Cards and “vote these bigots out of power come February 14”.

“Encourage your neighbors, let them know that GEJ has nothing to offer them but lies and empty promises”, it added.

#NigeriaDecides: Buhari is Clueless About How To Revive Economy, Can’t Remember His Phone Number, Says Jonathan

So Clueless? Can you imagine?

Pa Buhari can’t remember his phone number –Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday during a rally in Enugu said that the All Progressives Congress candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd), cannot remember his own mobile phone number.

Jonathan, whose unscripted address was mostly a response to previous statements made by Buhari, accused the APC presidential candidate of deceiving Nigerians by promising to revive the economy without explaining how he would achieve the feat.

The President wondered how Buhari would develop the country’s economy, a feat he could not achieve while he was in office as head of state between 1983 and 1985.

“Is it now that Buhari cannot even remember his own phone number that he can change the economy of the country.” Jonathan asked.

The Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate said that although he did not like to “go personal during campaigns,” “sometimes circumstances demand that certain things must be said.”

Jonathan said that Buhari belonged to the medieval age, adding that he (the APC candidate) intended to run the Federal Government as a medieval king.

He said, “We cannot run the government as if we are in the medieval age; we cannot run a government where somebody said he would throw people into jail.

“You are not a medieval king – a medieval king can throw you into jail but we have to follow the rule of law because we cannot go back to the old days.”

Jonathan, however, read the speech made by Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (rtd.) after overthrowing Buhari’s regime through a military coup on August 27, 1985 to justify his claim that the APC candidate does not keep his promises.

Babangida, in the portions of the address read by Jonathan, justified Buhari’s overthrow by pointing out that the latter did not live up to the promises he made to Nigerians when he ousted a democratically elected civilian government headed by Alhaji Shehu Shagari in a military coup.

Noting that Buhari “deceived Nigerians” from 1983 to 1985, Jonathan quoted Babangida as saying, “The initial objectives of Buhari’s intervention were betrayed as there was a general deterioration of standard of living in the country.”

The PDP candidate also pointed out that Babangida accused Buhari of being “too rigid in his attitude to national issues” and “became alienated from the people” in the course of his stay in power.

He, therefore, challenged Buhari to tell Nigerians how he intends to revive the economy.

Jonathan said, “They are telling young Nigerians that they are going to change the economy but they have not told us how they want to manage the economy more than us.

“If they say they want to change agriculture, they should tell us the weak links in the agriculture value chain and what they want to do about it.

“I said in Lagos that I want to work with young people, not to deceive people.

“I am not going to run the government based on my habits, I am going to run the government according to global best practices.”

Jonathan also insisted that he was committed to the campaign against corruption.

“There is no government that has fought corruption more than we do,” he said, noting that some previous administrations pretended to be fighting corruption while oppressing their enemies.

He recalled that Buhari jailed some prominent Igbo politicians while in office as head of state, including former Vice-President Alex Ekwueme and former governor of old Anambra State, Chief Jim Nwobodo.

Stressing that Buhari jailed politicians on trumped up charges, Jonathan said, “You can no longer carry people and put them in prison for 301 years.”

The President equally accused Buhari of having a wrong idea of corruption.

According to him, Buhari believes that every wealthy Nigerian is corrupt.

He said, “If a Nigerian businessman has a private jet, then you are corrupt but if a South African has a private jet then you commend him.

“If you have a good house, then you are corrupt, if you have a good car then you are corrupt – that is his definition of corruption.”

Jonathan accused his opponent of making spurious claims against him.

The President said, “They are saying that government is corrupt but they are not telling us what they are going to do to stop corruption. Let them go back to their consultants to coach them, then I will listen to them.

“They should tell us how they are going to manage the economy better than we do.

“They are saying we stole foreign reserves, nobody can steal foreign reserves – spurious allegations.”

He also reiterated his claim that Buhari did not equip the military while he was the head of state.

Jonathan said that he had done more than his predecessors to shore up the country’s defence.

“For 30 years, we had only one frigate, now we have four additional frigates,” he said.

In the same vein, he pointed out that Buhari did not find any woman worthy enough for appointment when he was the military head of state.

The President asked Nigerians to assess him and Buhari by looking at how they performed during their respective periods in office.

He said, “They have deceived us before and they want to deceive us again.

“Go and find out whether these people are deceiving you or are telling you the truth.

“People are assessing me because I have run this country for some years – they have run this country for two years.

“They came with promises but immediately they came in, what they did was to jail Jim Nwobodo for 201 years.”

PUNCH

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Al Jazeera Correspondent Killed in Syria

Al Jazeera Media Network’s Arabic correspondent in Syria, Mahran Al Deeri, has been killed while covering battles in the city of Al Sheikh Maskin in rural Daraa, Syria.
Mahran-Al_Jazeera
According to his family members, Mahran died on Wednesday while taking cover from government fire as his car hit the vehicle of rebel fighters after he turned off his headlights to avoid being targeted.

This is the same area where three other journalists from the Orient Network were targeted and killed three days ago.

Al Jazeera’s Acting Director General, Mostefa Souag said: “Our martyred colleague Mahran Al Deeri has worked with aljazeera.net for over a year and was known for his courage, bravery and professional coverage of the Syrian revolution in the area of Daraa and its suburbs.”

“Targeting journalists will not deter us from reporting the truth which we have been committed to for over 18 years,” Souag said, adding: “Throughout our years of coverage we have lost many colleagues on this mission but our brave journalists are committed to this despite the constant dangers and challenges.”

Mahran Al Deeri was from Al Sheikh Maskin in Daraa where he was born in 1983 and excelled in studies.

He studied media at Damascus University and graduated in 2008. After his studies he worked for SANA, the government news agency, which he left shortly after the start of the revolution.

He was married and had two children.

Because of the constant shelling of Daraa by government forces, he fled temporarily to Jordan, but he rejected the fate of a refugee and returned to Daraa shortly afterwards to do independent journalism.

Al Deeri came to aljazeera.net (Al Jazeera Arabic’s website) as a freelancer in October 2013 to report on the revolutionaries in the area of Houran.

“He was one of the most competent correspondents,” one of his colleagues at al.jazeera.net said.

My Candid Nasiha to General Buhari By Dr. Ahmad Abubakar Mahmud Gumi

MY CANDID NASIHA TO GEN. BUHARI.

Assalamu Alaikum

The Humble People’s General.

I know I have access to your privy but this is meant for others to learn also.
Sheik Gumi
The prophet -peace be upon him- told one of the most honest and truthful of his companions Abu Zar Algafary: “oh Abu Zar, I truly love for you what I love for myself. I indeed see that you are weak so never accept to lead even two people and never accept safekeeping of the orphans wealth’

An honest and candid advice from the prophet that is still valid today for any leader who’s weakness borders on leadership qualities.

The reason for Abu Zar’s weakness has nothing to do with his credibility or truthfulness. Never! The prophet was narrated as saying: “there is nobody under the shadows of trees or bare sun that is more honest in speech than Abu Zar”

Abu Zar – May Allah be pleased with him- is ascetic and inmaterialistic. Abu Zar is incorruptible. And yet he is not suitable for leadership.

I am not claiming to be even by an atom’s weight anything close to our noble prophet, yet I am encouraged to give you these same advice by the virtue that you are not also close to Abu Zar in piety. We are living in a time of great tribulations and fitnah especially for this Ummah because of our collective iniquities, ignorance of religious instructions and the love of Dunyah.

Sir, your weakness is not in your past impeccable record of accountability of public wealth and the fight against corruption and indispiline. Your weakness is in your inability to control men compounded further by your strict and obsessive rejection of corruption.

Don’t be surprised. You may need to understand that Islam being a pragmatic religion allows the use of Zakkat and public wealth as an instrument to pacify and lure influential people for the sake of rightouness, peace and stability. In modern governance today it translate into the security vote.

Thus men are also controlled by money. So if your policy of governance is obsessibly centered on sealing tight the use of money you will have great problem with men. An Arab poet said: “a fool cannot be the leader of his people but the true leader of the people must feign foolishness”.

It’s convenient for your ardent supporters to quote copiously from the annals of history your great achievements but when your failures and weaknesses were pointed out they say that was in the past. Is the lessons of past history only good for the positive achievements? Doesn’t that also explains our incessant failures?

Your Excellency, good intentions are never enough. In the past, because of your clean records and straightforwardness you were lured by men who want only the vanities Dunya to uproot a young democracy on the caprices of fighting corruption. Corruption is no doubt an evil but there is a more monstrous evil than corruption. That is turmoil and insecurity. Peace and stability are the most important part of governance that no price is to high for them.

The lack of peace, stability and security is the major predicament of this nation since independence. So when you were naively used by men to derail one, that is the greatest disservice you committed to the nation the ills of which we are yet to recover from. Do you truly believe Allah is still not in cognizance of that? You were lead to uproot a duly elected leader and incasserate him for close to two years knowing fully well that he has no charge of even the corruption that was labeled against him. Yes, Shagari was the leader and therefore he bears all the responsibility of misdeeds in his government, so also you were a leader and you should bear all the responsibility of derailing the peace and stability of governance in this country as a consequence of that putsch.

You weakness in control of men became evident when the very people that used you to revolt against a constituted authority came back to uproot you from the seat of power. Your own kinsmen without a gun cocked in your defense. Today the corruption you were deceived to fight against has reached unimaginable level coupled with the worst state of insecurity and peace in the nation. There was just recently an attempt on your life like many of us.

All this because you the honest people that are given the privilege of strengthening the Armed forces left it to meddle in politics. We thus lost everything. Neither the power nor the security.

A believer is not stung from the same hole twice. Men used your innocence before to get power and dump you. Please be sensible today. Some other men still want to use you to get power and surely they will dump you again. You don’t share the same philosophy at all. Even though as I explained later, your obsession and philosophy of fighting corruption is not the priority of Nigeria today. What Nigeria needs utmost now is peace and stability. This can only be achieved when the religious ethnic and regional divide is tamed. And you can only tame it with people without much precedence. People without much following. Yet people that are constructive and have the ability to control men.

If Sardauna today is alive in your situation he will never contest for the presidential seat because of his deep understanding of what the nation needs. He will step down for a more acceptable younger person. It’s on record that Sardauna even at the age of under 60 said he was not going to contest again preparing his only house in Rabah for retirement.

I’ll give you a similitude to buttress my point of priority. A person seriously injured and fractured from a road traffic accident when brought to the emergency room, the first priority of the doctors is to secure an intravenous line. Meaning get a drip set working into his veins to protect his vital organs like the heart and kidneys from the effects of shock and loss of blood. The fractures even though serious and the source of the blood loss may take days and weeks before they are even attended to beside the superficial dressings.

Nigeria now needs peace and stability first. Then we talk of good governance later even though it’s the source of the predicament we are facing.

The present government has already charged the situation and played the religious divide to it’s advantage. It’s in circulation now, a SW pastor calling on Christians and the church to vote Jonathan as their only Savior. This religious card will be used to cover for his deficiency in governance.

Your Excellency, you should understand too, that many if not most of your supporters are also looking up to you to protect them from the onslaught on their religion and region. This also the Christian will never believe the otherwise. Therefore the stage is set for religious confrontation which is the least the nation needs.

What we need as a priority is peace and stability.

From my view if APC can support as an example Ameachi or Okorocha/Kwankwaso or Elrufai or tambuwwal ticket and the PDC will have Ukpabio/Muazu or Ribadu or Shekaru, the next four years will. – insha Allah – witness stability both in the north and south. And the electoral body will get the necessary infrastructure that subsequently the next election will be free and fair and the true reflection of Nigerians.

If you may ask, why can’t this same peace be achieved with you and another Christian running mate?

Gen. you have antagonist, and they are many and also as ardent as your supporters. Your supporters have the biggest proportion of the underprivileged of the society which is the petrol that can be easily ignited by the slightest spark. The spark will be when you’re declared the loser. And you know you can very well lose if the Christians follow their church -and why not in this era of mediocrity.

On the other hand if Jonathan comes back. BH will be real not the political one we see. The turmoil will engulf the whole country not only the north. That is why I also call on PDP to present some other candidates.

My Brother in Islam, please listen to the words of wisdom. And don’t follow the whims of the riff raff. Before they used you the first time to disrupt the second republic, my father advised you against it. Today I am also advising you against contesting in the 2015 presidential elections because you will be used to ignite the nation -a dream well orchestered several years ago- and also be used by bad people as a ladder to grab regional and local powers.

I rest my case here.

My best regards and condolence to your recent loss.

May Allah guide you and protect you from the evil men and the jinn. Amin.

Jonathan Pledges to Implement National Conference Report

President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday thumped his chest for organising a successful national dialogue, saying he meant well for the country and promised to implement the recommendations of the 2014 National Conference, which officially closed Thursday.
Confab-report
The president made the pledge Thursday at the National Judicial Institute, NJI, ‎during the closing ceremony of the conference, where he also received the 21-volume report from the conference chairman, Idris Kutigi.

Mr. Jonathan also said the successful conclusion of the conference have proved cynics, who never gave the conference a chance, wrong.

He said some of the recommendations of the conference will be considered by the National Council of State, while the remaining ones will be sent to the National Assembly, the President said while formally receiving the 10,000 pages, conference report, with 600 resolutions.

Jonathan, however, took a swipe on the conference detractors, whom he described as prophet of doom who have been put to shame.

He also pledged that the report would be considered by the council of State before it’s passed to the National Assembly.

Abuja Bombing: How Nigeria Intelligence Agency Warning On Malls Attacks Was Ignored


Nigeria’s Intelligence Agency said it has been warning shopping complexes in Abuja for two weeks that Islamic extremists might attack them in the capital, where a blast at a mall killed 22 people this week.

The increased security may have prevented even more carnage, as witnesses said a security guard stopped a car bomber from entering the mall moments before the massive explosion on Wednesday.

Survivor Donald Chikason told ThisDay newspaper that a security guard argued with the driver of a car who wanted to enter Emab Plaza through the exit gate.

When the guard refused, the man bent down and moments later the car exploded, Friday’s edition of the newspaper quoted him as saying.

“The man started arguing, behaving as if he was drunk,” it quoted him as saying.

Chikason, who works at a bank in the mall, was knocked out by the blast and only regained consciousness in the hospital.

The explosion was heard miles (kilometers) away. It set 17 vehicles ablaze and shattered windows throughout the four-story complex.

Body parts lay around the exit gate, other witnesses told The Associated Press.

Dozens of wounded survivors were recovering in the hospitals Friday, most suffering burn wounds like Chikason, but at least one victim’s leg was amputated, doctors said.

Nigerian intelligence received information that Boko Haram extremists were planning such an attack, said spokeswoman Marilyn Ogar of the Department of State Security.

“About two weeks ago we heard information that they were planning an attack at a busy shopping mall or market … and so we had to go from one shopping complex to another trying to tell people to be more aware,” she told The Associated Press.

Emab Plaza is the biggest and busiest in Abuja, the nation’s capital Ccin central Nigeria. The explosion occurred around rush hour as many residents were hurrying to view Nigeria’s Super Eagles match against Argentina at the World Cup in Brazil. It was unclear if the bomb was tÇimed to coincide with that, although Boko Haram has bombed several football viewing venues this year, prompticng two northeastern states to ban public events to watch the football spectacular.

The state security department did not publish the intelligence about the threat to shopping malls, apparently to avoid a panic. Last week the government warned it had information that Boko Haram planned to hijack petrol tankers in the capital and booby trap them with explosives.

Also Friday, police said they defused a massive car bomb packed with 13 explosive devices outside the main mosque in Kano, Nigeria’s second city, in the north of the country.

“We detonated a dangerous device which could have pulled down buildings,” police commissioner Aderenle Shinaba told reporters.

“What happened in the Abuja explosion would have been child’s play if these discovered explosives had exploded at the mosque.”

He said it was timed to explode as people gathered for prayers on Friday, the main Muslim holy day.

Two separate bombs in Abuja in April killed about 120 people and wounded more than 200 at a busy bus station.

President Goodluck Jonathan visited the scene of the latest blast and victims in the hospital on Friday, after returning home hastily Thursday night and cutting short his participation at an African Union summit in Equatorial Guinea.

Speaking to reporters at the main hospital, he sympathised with victims and their families and called the 5-year-old Islamic uprising “one of the darkest phases in the history of our nation.”

Still he said he was confident “we shall surely pass through this” and promised the perpetrators would be brought to book.

Jonathan and his government are making efforts to improve his image following international condemnation of his slow and ineffective response to the April mass abductions of more than 200 schoolgirls who still are held captive by Boko Haram extremists. Boko Haram also is blamed for the kidnappings of another 90 people this week.

Jonathan sent an opinion piece published Thursday in the Washington Post newspaper with the headline: “Nothing is more important than bringing home Nigeria’s missing girls.”

Nigeria’s leader said his silence on the subject was needed to avoid compromising details of the investigation but unfortunately “is being misused by partisan critics to suggest inaction or even weakness …

“On my orders, our forces have aggressively sought these killers in the forests of northern Borno state, where they are based,” Jonathan wrote, indicating a belief the girls still are in the country.

There have been reports of sightings of groups of girls assumed to be those kidnapped in April in neighbouring countries.

Jonathan, a Christian, wrote that Boko Haram “seeks to overwhelm the country and impose its ideology on all Nigerians. My government is determined to make that impossible. We will not succumb to the will of terrorists.”

He came home to a capital is in mourning, with speedy burials for Muslims among the victims. They included artist Abba Kura. His friend, Muhammad Khalifa Garba wept at his funeral Thursday, where mourners carried his works. He said Kura told him earlier this week that he no longer wanted to paint on canvas and had started a new work, a landscape on paper.

A relative of another victim, Mohammed Maina Bissala, railed against Boko Haram’s indiscriminate tactics: “Allah says you should not take the life of a single person, so why should you claim that you are Boko Haram and you are killing everybody, both Muslims and Christians, everybody. What have they done? They have not done anything, these are innocent souls,” he told The Associated Press.

Boko Haram’s attacks have been concentrated in its stronghold in the northeast of the country but it has spread its attacks to the capital this year and increased the tempo and deadliness of attacks concentrated around bombings in cities and a scorched-earth policy in rural villages in the northeast.

(AP)

REVEALED: How Babangida Started Religious Crises In Nigeria – Confab Delegate

Former Head of State, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida has been accused of starting religious crises in Nigeria.

Gen. Ibrahim Babangida
Gen. Ibrahim Babangida
This accusation was made today by DR Maryam Abdullahi, a delegate representing Civil Society Organisation, CSO, while making her contribution to the debate on the report of the conference Committee on Religion, during plenary at the on-going National Conference in Abuja.

PUNCH online reports that Dr Abdullahi stated that the former military ruler pushed Nigeria into membership of the Organisation of Islamic Conference, OIC, without the consent of the people he was ruling.

According to Abdullahi, the move made by Babangida started religious crises in the country.

She also insisted that the relationship between Christians and Muslims deteriorated when Nigeria was admitted as a full member of Organisation of the Islamic Conference.

Abdullahi alleged that Babangida pushed for Nigeria’s full membership of OIC in order to perpetuate himself in office.

She insisted that this was the beginning of mistrust between adherents of the two faith because of mutual suspicion of possible Islamization of Nigeria.

It could be recalled that the Islamist militant group, Boko Haram, has killed thousands of innocent souls across Nigeria especially in the northestern part of Nigeria through terror attacks.

Some of their recent attacks include a twin bomb explosions in Jos, Plateau State, followed by another bomb blast that happened near a viewing centre in the same city few days later.

Prior to these attacks, the insurgent group had also killed hundreds of people in two separate attacks they carried out at a motor garage in Nyanya, Abuja.

On 14 April, the terror group kidnapped no fewer than 276 schoolgirls inside Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State.

More than six weeks after the abduction of the girls, the Nigeria government is yet to rescue the schoolgirls saying they are not ready to negotiate with the terrorists.

TEXT OF THE PRESS CONFERENCE HELD ON WEDNESDAY 28TH MAY, 2014 ON THE FAILED ATTEMPT TO IMPLICATE MUSLIMS IN A BOKO HARAM ‘ATTACK’ ON A CHURCH IN OSUN STATE

Distinguished Muslim Leaders,
Brothers and Sisters in Islam,
Gentlemen of the Press,
As-Salaam Alaykum,

I welcome you all to this World Press Conference. The need for this briefing is informed by a curious development in Osun State.

ATTEMPT BY A PASTOR IN OSUN STATE TO IMPLICATE MUSLIMS IN BOKO HARAM ‘ATTACK’:
You are all aware of the precarious security situation in the country today with particular reference to the Boko Haram insurgency. Let me remind you that the leadership of the Nigerian Muslim Ummah, His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’d Abubakar III, the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) has vehemently condemned the activities of Boko Haram. All Islamic organizations in the country have also rejected the group. Condemnation of Boko Haram and its satanic activities have also emanated from leading Islamic scholars in Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

It is however sad to note that in spite of this all-round rejection of the renegade group by Muslims, a large section of the Christian community, some sections of the Nigerian security agencies and a section of the Nigerian press still treat mainstream Muslims in the country either as active members of Boko Haram, sympathizers of the group or their accomplices.

This does not make sense because more Muslims than Christians have been killed since the emergence of this ugly phenomenon. More Islamic scholars have also been killed than Christian clerics, particularly Islamic scholars who speak out against Boko Haram. In addition, at least three Northern Emirs have been attacked by the rebellious group.

It is now becoming clear that in spite of all these glaring facts, while some good and level-headed Christians continue to interact peacefully with Muslims, some overzealous Christians use every means possible to link peace-loving Muslims with the activities of Boko Haram.

A good example of these fanatical Christians is the pastor of the Baptist Church, Ikonifin, Osun State, who attempted to launch false Boko Haram in the State. According to reports, Pastor Olatoke, who is also the CAN President of Ola Oluwa Local Government, conspired with three members of his church, Emmanuel Atanda, Peter Oyedepo and Ogunniyi Babatope to launch a false Boko Haram attack on his church with the aim of blaming Muslims for the attack.

They therefore dressed like Muslims, wrapped their heads in turbans and covered their faces to avoid being recognized by members of the church. They stormed the church during the church service held on Sunday 18th May, 2014. They threw banga which sounded like gunfire thus scaring all the worshippers who thought they were real Boko Haram insurgents. On seeing this, the worshippers took to their heels, running helter skelter to save their lives. Many of them were injured. They then jumped on their getaway motorcycles and sped off into the dark night.

Fortunately the ‘attackers’ were arrested by the youths of the community. The culprits later confessed that they were members of the same church which they came to ‘attack’. They also revealed that it was their pastor who planned the whole thing. When confronted, the pastor said it was just ‘drama’.

The case was reported at Bode Osi Police Station, near Iwo. MURIC is aware that some powerful Christians are now trying to bury the case. We are also amused by the paucity of reportage for the incident in spite of its serious implications and eye-opening value. Osun State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Oba of Ikonifin have been fingered as parties attempting to sweep the case under the carpet.

The implications of a Boko Haram ‘attack’ on a church in Yorubaland is better imagined than experienced. Muslims generally would have been the ones to suffer if this grand conspiracy had succeeded. Security agents would have picked up many Muslim leaders. Yoruba militant groups like the Odua Peoples Congress (OPC) would have pounced on the Hausa communities in the South-West for a pound of flesh. It has happened before. It can happen again. May Allah forbid evil speculations. Christians in Yorubaland would have started attacking their Muslim neighbours, burning mosques and properties of Muslims.

MURIC seizes this opportunity to alert the Federal Government, the Senate, the House of Representatives, delegates in the ongoing National Conference, the Inspector General of Police and the Director General of the State Security Services (SSS). The whole world must know that this is exactly how some Christians have been roping Muslims unjustly and labeling them as terrorists. There may be more of such plans.

CALL ON OSUN STATE COMMISSIONER OF POLICE:
In particular, we charge the Commissioner of Police in Osun State to do the needful. The law must be allowed to take its full course and quickly too. Justice delayed is justice denied. Pastor Olatoke has disturbed the peace of Osun State and if we want peace in the state, he and his fellow trouble-makers must be dealt with according to the law in order to serve as deterrent to others. False alarm is a criminal offence and this problem must be nipped in the bud because it is election year in Osun State.

APPEAL TO MUSLIMS:
We appeal to all Muslims to remain calm and law-abiding. We call on Muslims not to judge the rest of Nigerian Christians by the attitude of Pastor Olatoke. We implore you to continue to love and tolerate your neighbours. Allah created the world for love and peace and gave us Islam as the religion of peace. We urge you to intensify your prayers for peace to return to Nigeria. Pray that Allah should expose all those behind the Boko Haram saga in Northern Nigeria. Pray against the spread of this social cankerworm to other parts of Nigeria. Pray for a peaceful 2014 election in Osun State.

KIDNAPPED CHIBOK GIRLS:
MURIC appeals to the leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, to set the Chibok girls and all other captive females free. We call on the Federal Government to continue the process of negotiation for the kidnapped girls until their freedom is secured. We also understand the latest decision of the Nigerian military not to attempt to rescue the kidnapped girls in a daring raid. It is clear enough now that any attempt to forcefully free the girls may result in a national catastrophe. The number involved is too high. The possibility of high casualty among the girls in case of a raid is therefore very high. No responsible government will allow it.

APPEAL FOR PEACEFUL COEXISTENCE:
MURIC seizes this opportunity to appeal to Nigerians of different backgrounds and culture to rekindle their passion for peaceful coexistence, neighbourliness, forgiveness, love and tolerance. These are the golden values and true teachings of Christianity and Islam. We are prepared to live peacefully with our neighbours regardless of their faith. We therefore call on all Nigerians to reject any attempt by rabble-rousers like Pastor Olatoke to cause mayhem by demonizing Muslims.

SPECIAL APPEAL TO THE PRESS:
MURIC appreciates the sacrifices being made by the Fourth Estate of the Realm particularly in these difficult times. We regard the media as powerful partners whose role can make or mar the entire process. We therefore charge you to discharge your duties with utmost sense of patriotism and responsibility.

MURIC advocates that the press should create a level playing ground for all religious groups. A situation where the press catches pneumonia when the leaders of a certain religious group cough whereas a news blackout is placed on the leaders of another group is highly unethical. It does not portray our press as professional.

We advise against incitement of one religious group against the other as this is capable of igniting chaos in our society. We remind Nigerian journalists that they also belong to this same society and working towards its destruction is, to say the least, self-defeating.

Finally, we thank the press for its cooperation with MURIC over the years. We look forward to working together in the days ahead.

Gentlemen of the press, thank you for coming.

Alhaji Tijani Shehu
SECRETARY
Abdul Razaq Uthman
P. R. O.

Professor Ishaq Akintola
DIRECTOR

Chibok Abduction: Converting Our Girls to Islam War Against Christianity – CAN

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has described the purported conversion of the abducted schoolgirls of Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, to Islam as act of persecution and war against Christianity.

A statement by the National Director of Research, Elder Sunday Oibe, noted that the girls could not be used as an exchange for the release of any Boko Haram member.

“I have the consent of our national president (Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor) who is abroad to address you. First, these children are Christians and not Muslims and so they cannot be converted to a religion that is not theirs at gunpoint without conviction,” Oibe told journalists.

He added, “Is that how conversion is being carried out? All the children displayed are Christians and that is the motive behind the abduction.

“It is simple. Because they are Christians and they represent the Church in the eyes of their abductors.

“Secondly, it smacks of some form of religious persecution. If not, why are their captors converting them to another religion?

“And if they say they will use them as a condition to negotiate their men in detention, our daughters are not criminals and cannot be used in any way to free their criminal fighters.

“Show us where in Nigeria you have seen Christians fighting and throwing bombs in the name of God; we challenge any one to show us where Christians have abducted Muslim children in the name of Christianity.

“We challenge anyone to prove to us in Nigeria where Christians have taken arms in the name of protecting Christianity or even carry out acts of genocide on helpless and defenceless Nigerians.

“As far as we are concerned, it is a war against Christians and Christianity.

“We are not speaking for the Nigerian state. The state will speak for itself, but we cannot be forced by some people to define for us our predicament and persecution.

“It is a war against Christians and the Church. We are feeling it and deeply affected. No amount of propaganda can deter us from saying the truth.

“We have said ours. It is now left for the government to expedite action and return our children to us. They (abducted schoolgirls) are Christians, they are not slaves, they are not Muslims and it is unacceptable to us. Let the whole world see it now”, he lamented.

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Dokubo Asari Begins #AntiBringBackOurGirls Campaign, Insists Chibok Abduction is Fake

Asari's AntiBringBackOurGirls protest
Asari’s AntiBringBackOurGirls protest

Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, the founder of the militant Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force, which gave birth to era of armed struggle against the Nigerian state in the oil-rich South-southern region, has flagged off #AntiBringBackOurGirls Campaign.
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The acclaimed freedom fight has consistently maintained that the abduction of Government Girls Secondary School girls, Chibok in Borno State, is a scam.

According to him, no abduction took place and there are no girls to bring back since it was difficult for the Borno State Government, the owner of GGSS, Chibok, to produce a single picture of the over 200 girls allegedly taken hostage on April 14, 2014, by Boko Haram fighters.

Despite a video showing some of the the girls, Dokubo Asari insisted that it’s all a scam.
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Chibok Is A Scam
He wrote on his Facebook page, “it’s clear Shettima knows more than what he’s saying. How can a a sensible and reasonable governor…wave aside advise from WAEC to move the exam to a safer place, without making adequate security (arrangement) for the school?”, he queried.

Muslim rights group rejects forced conversion of Chibok schoolgirls

A Muslim rights group, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has rejected the conversion of kidnapped students of Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State, to Islam, urging the Federal Government to dismiss Shekau’s offer of exchange of Boko Haram prisoners for the abducted girls.

The group in a press statement signed by Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, described the development as ridiculous and a sacrilege.

“We reject the purported conversion of the kidnapped girls. It is cowardly, shameful, ridiculous and preposterous. It is sacrilege. We affirm authoritatively that such conversion does not hold water in Islam because a non-Muslim can only be converted on his or her own free will.

“We have no iota of doubt that the girls ‘converted’ under duress. Such ‘conversion’ is null and void under the Shari’ah. The Glorious Qur’an is very explicit in this regard as it says, “There is no compulsion in religion…” (Laa ikrahun fii ad-diin” (Qur’an 2:256)”, the group asserted.

According to them, “the so called conversion is therefore baseless, unfounded and of no validity whatsoever. It exists only in the hallucinated imageries in Shekau’s demented mind.”

The body therefore urged the Federal Government “to dismiss Shekau’s offer of exchange of Boko Haram prisoners for the kidnapped girls. A man who orders the invasion and kidnap of innocent young girls is honour-blind. Shame on Boko Haram!

“Shekau has no modicum of integrity left in his anatomy. He has no intention of honouring this deal. He is trying to buy time. He is digging in.

“MURIC calls on all churches and mosques to pray for the downfall of Boko Haram. This renegade group is out to defame and distort the true teachings of Islam. Members of Boko Haram are rebellious subjects and enemies of peace.

“We charge the Nigerian Army to go back to the drawing board and evolve more potent strategies for crushing this renegade group. To crush Boko Haram is a task that must be done”, the statement read.

Northern Elders Council Unites with Jonathan, Commends Military on Anti-terrorism Fight

The Northern Elders Council has declared support for President Goodluck Jonathan, the Armed Forces and other security agencies, in the fight against terrorism, especially efforts at rescuing the abducted girls.

Spokesman of the Council, Mr Yusuf Mamman, stated this at a news conference on Monday in Abuja.

Mamman urged Nigerians to stop politicising terrorism, especially the recent abduction of some school girls in Chibok, Borno, saying Nigerians should shun sentiments in the fight against terrorism.

“We declare total and unequivocal support to the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, the Nigerian Armed Forces as well as officers and men who are doing their best to rescue the abducted girls.

“We also want to commend our international partners who have lent support to Nigeria.

“We appreciate the fact that our international partners are keying in with the Nigerian security agencies to help solve this problem.

“We don’t want politics to be made out of the current situation. We should unite to fight this common enemy the same way Nigerians came together to fight for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Nigerian nation to have one Nigeria during the civil war.

“This is the same scenario with different circumstance,’’ he said.

He said instead of criticising security agencies, Nigerians should come up with ideas that would assist the agencies to do their duties effectively.

According to Mamman,“we need to support our military, the police and other security agencies’’.

“This is the major resolve of the Council. We do not believe that politics should be made out of the situation where the lives of our children are involved.

“The unity which this unfortunate tragedy has brought among Nigerians is devoid of politics, and we want to say, politics should take the back seat in the face of national tragedy.

“Whatever it takes to get these girls safe and alive is most paramount,” he said.

(NAN)

Nyanya Bombing: DSS Parades Five Suspects, Announces N25m for Information on Mastermind

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The Department of State Services (DSS), has declared one Rufai Tsiga, suspected mastermind of the bombing of Nyanya Motor Park on April 14, and an ex-soldier accomplice, Aminu Ogwuche, wanted.

The Deputy Director of Public Relations of DSS, Marilyn Ogar, announced the declaration at a joint news conference in Abuja on Monday.

Ogar, who announced N25 million rewards for anyone who could give information that could lead to the arrest of the duo, also paraded five suspects in connection with the bombing.

The bombing killed more than 70 people with over 120 others injured.

Ogar named the suspects as Ahmad Abubakar, 43, Muhammed Ishaq, 30, Yau Saidu, 28, Anas Isah, 22 and Adamu Yusuf, a cleric, 43.

“Rufai Abubakar Tsiga, a Boko Haram leader, is the mastermind of the bombing of April 14, 2014 at El-Rufai Motor Park, Abuja.

“Tsiga was actively aided by a co-mastermind, Aminu Sadiq Ogwuche, a student of Arabic Language at the International University of Africa, Sudan.

“The sum of N25 million is hereby announced as reward for anybody with useful information on their whereabouts’’, she said.

The director said that on the night of April 13, Tsiga and one Muhammed Ishaq, one of the arrested suspects, moved a vehicle laden with explosives to the Nyanya Park.

“In the morning of April 14, Tsiga, moved the explosives laden vehicle to the position from where he detonated the explosives’’, she said.

Ogar said Ogwuche, a UK-born Nigerian, was a soldier with service number SVC 95/104 but deserted the army in 2006.

“He served in the Intelligence Unit of the Nigerian Army at Child Avenue, Arakan Barracks, Lagos, between 2001 and 2006’’, she said.

She added that Ogwuche was arrested on Nov. 12, 2011 at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on arrival from the UK for a suspected involvement in terrorism-related activities.

Ogar said he was, however, released on bail to his father, retired Col. Agene Ogwuche on Oct. 15, 2012 following intense pressure from human rights activists, who alleged human rights violation.

The DSS spokesperson said that the arrested suspects claimed that they bombed the park to retaliate the killing of a Boko Haram member at the park a week before the incident.

She denounced the claim as a fabrication by the mastermind of the bombing to elicit other members used for the bombing.

Ogar urged the public to be wary as terrorist elements were disguising and taking up menial jobs and parading themselves as businessmen daily in Abuja and its environs.

“Therefore, security awareness of the public will continue to play pivotal role in the war on terror.

“We hereby enjoin fellow Nigerians to be very vigilant and collaborate with law enforcement agencies as we together strive to protect our nation from antics of criminals within and outside our shores’’, she said.

(NAN)

Nigeria Rejects Boko Haram Prisoner Swap For Abducted Schoolgirls

The federal government on Monday rejected conditions set out by Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau for the release of more than 200 schoolgirls held hostage by the Islamists.
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Asked if the government would reject the suggestion by Shekau in a new video that the girls may be released once Nigeria frees all militant prisoners, Interior Minister Abba Moro told AFP: “Of course.”

“The issue in question is not about Boko Haram… giving conditions,” he said.

Shekau made the claim in a video obtained by AFP on Monday claiming to show about 130 of the 276 girls abducted from their school in the remote northeastern town of Chibok, in Borno state, on April 14.

“We will never release them (the girls) until after you release our brethren,” he said.

The militant leader, who has made prisoner exchange demands before, said that some of the teenagers had converted from Christianity to Islam.

The International Crisis Group said in a report published last month that Boko Haram had written an open letter in 2011 to the governor of northern Kano state, demanding the release of detainees.

Shekau repeated the demand in a video released last week claiming responsibility for the mass kidnapping that has sparked global condemnation and calls for action.

Nigeria’s military has been accused of rounding up thousands of Boko Haram suspects, including women and children, and holding them in atrocious conditions that have been criticised by rights groups.

On March 14, Boko Haram fighters stormed the notorious Giwa military barracks in the state capital of Borno, Maiduguri, freeing hundreds of militants.

Amnesty International, however, said on March 31 that there was “credible evidence” that more than 600 people, most of them unarmed recaptured detainees, were summarily killed in the military response.

Boko Haram Offers to Swap Kidnapped Nigerian Girls for Prisoners

The leader of the Nigerian Islamist rebel group Boko Haram has offered to release more than 200 schoolgirls abducted by his fighters last month in exchange for prisoners, according to a video seen on YouTube.

About 100 girls wearing full veils and praying are shown in an undisclosed location in the 17-minute video in which Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau speaks.

Boko Haram militants, who are fighting for an Islamist state, stormed a secondary school in the northeastern village of Chibok on April 14 and seized 276 girls who were taking exams. Some managed to escape but about 200 remain missing.

The attack has provoked global outrage, and concern about the fate of the girls deepened when Shekau threatened in a video released earlier this month to sell the girls “in the market”.

Nigeria has deployed two army divisions to hunt for the girls while several nations including the United States, Britain, Israel and France have offered help or sent experts.

In a 1.25 minute clip of the video on YouTube, scores of girls in black and grey veils sit on the ground and chant, before Shekau, wearing military fatigues and holding an AK-47, addresses the camera. He appears confident and at one point laughs.

“All I am saying is that if you want us to release the girls that we have kidnapped, those who have not accepted Islam will be treated as the Prophet (Mohammed) treated infidels and they will stay with us,” he said, according to a translation of his words originally spoken in a Nigerian language.

“We will not release them while you detain our brothers,” he said, before naming a series of cities in Nigeria. It was not clear whether he was in the same location as the girls.

There was no immediate reaction from authorities to the new video but one senior official said the government was studying the situation.

Authorities are holding hundreds of suspected Boko Haram militants and there have been several jail break attempts. Suspected militants overpowered guards at a prison near the presidential villa in Abuja in March, triggering a gun battle that killed 21 people.

In another incident the same month, insurgents attempting to free captured comrades fought a two-hour battle in March at Giwa barracks in the northeastern city of Maiduguri.

Human rights groups have said previously that Giwa barracks has been used to illegally detain and torture suspects, something the military denies.

SUMMIT IN FRANCE

The Nigerian government has been criticized for its response to the abductions but President Goodluck Jonathan said on Sunday that international military and intelligence assistance made him optimistic about finding the girls.

A Nigerian military source told Reuters on Monday in Maiduguri that two foreign counter-terrorism units were already on the ground.

“They have visited Chibok on Sunday for preliminary investigation with our troops and experts before fully kick-starting the rescue mission,” the source said.

Jonathan will attend a summit in Paris on Saturday to discuss security in the region.

“The objective is to deepen the cooperation and partnership between Nigeria and her neighbors,” Jonathan’s spokesman Reuben Abati said.

Leaders from Chad, Benin, Cameroon and Niger are also due to attend along with representatives from the European Union, Britain and the United States, likely to be at foreign minister level.

The mass abduction of schoolgirls has touched a chord around the world, and triggered a support campaign using the Twitter hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.

Boko Haram has killed thousands since 2009 and destabilized parts of northeast Nigeria, the country with Africa’s largest population and biggest economy.

(Reuters)