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B’Haram: Some Borno residents sabotaging our efforts, says DHQ

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Coordinator of Defence Media Operations, Maj-Gen. John Enenche, has accused some residents of Borno State of sabotaging efforts of the military by providing information on its movement and activities to Boko Haram.

He spoke on Monday while answering questions on the killing of 45 farmers at Zabarmari in Jere Local Government Area of Borno State by the insurgents when he featured on a Channels Television programme Sunrise Daily.

He said information gathered from the attack showed that some of the insurgents were already cohabiting with the villagers before they struck.

Asked how the military had no prior intelligence on the attack, Gen. Enenche said the army needs information from locals to aid its operation.

He said, “That has been our worry. It’s a concern to us. You need a guide, you need information. Will they tell us? That’s a question that we have to ask. Yes, sometimes. And most times, no. And that was one of the issues we have been ensuring to overcome, with civil-military cooperation activities, reaching out to them, even sending people by proxy to talk to them.

“Those are the things that have been one of the banes of the final success in the whole of this operation. Our patrols will pass through a route, in a village.

“By the time you are going, some people are looking at you. When you are coming back, the next thing is that you meet an IED planted on the road. And people saw them, they won’t tell you. So, that’s the area I think we are all working together as stakeholders.

“And it is not possible to force information out of people. It’s not possible, just like they say you force a horse to the river, but not to drink water. So, all we are trying to do is to build up their confidence in the system and encourage them that look, this is not good for you. Now they do not expect that this will happen, even those ones that they deceived, that they are preaching to them.”

On the actual number of casualties from the attack, Enenche said contrary to the UN’s statement that over 100 people were killed, the military has so far identified 43 corpses.

According to him, the field commandants “gave me a synopsis of what happened. When the governor was to go and after they had recovered the dead, the troops had to move in there and they counted 43.

“Probably, we may count up to the figure he (Kallon) gave in the future but as it is now, what we have counted with the locals is still 43 and we are hoping that we don’t get beyond that.

“This is the real situation. I did not sleep. We had to follow it because this is very relevant coming from the United Nations.”

Speaking on how to enhance the military’s performance and the role the service chiefs play in that regard, Gen. Enenche said though the military is in need of new ideas, it is better they are from lower-ranking officers.

“Of course, we need fresh ideas. Like I was at the graduation of Army War College on Friday last week, incidentally, I was the commandant there before and what we do in from time we now play; there is what we call exercise star ride, we have the similar one at the National Defence College even at the armed forces command and staff college, we now play real lifetime exercise to the participants and students. They see where there are areas that they could improve upon and they bring out their reports. Those are fresh ideas because it is dynamic.

“So, we get input from the war colleges and then the NDC and also we have planning teams and those are the people that come up with these ideas. I can assure you that the things we do progressively are never in the past. So, fresh ideas, that is how we generate them from the various components that I have mentioned.

“My training is bottom-up approach. That is the intercontinental system. It comes from the bottom-up then you will now look at it at the top. I have been a commander and I have been a commandant so that is the way it works.

“You don’t look down on your subordinates and junior commandants. Those are the people on the field. You’ll get it better with the bottom-up approach. That is better from my experience because if you now go and bear on them, that means you are lording it over your subordinates. They bring up their ideas then you now look at it.”

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Former Ondo deputy governor agrees to return vehicles

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Former Ondo Deputy Governor Agboola Ajayi has finally agreed to return the two vehicles in his possession to the Ondo State Government.

The state government last week said it would embarrass Agboola if he failed to return the four vehicles.

But Agboola, who said he had only two vehicles, insisted they were part of his benefits.

The state government also petitioned the Ondo State Police Command to help recover the vehicles.

In a statement on Sunday, the former deputy governor said he was not the problem of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu’s administration.

Agboola stated it was in the interest of everybody that Governor Akeredolu demonstrated good governance, transparent policy making and effective change.

He said it was unfortunate some members of the inner circle of Akeredolu have prioritised harassing him on a number of issues most especially the return of vehicles

Agboola said he hoped “these petty interactions would have ceased after the recent inauguration.

“To be clear – if the return of these two vehicles will make the administration focus more on the avalanche of pressing needs, challenges and predicaments facing the state most especially insecurity, the absence of governance and unpaid salaries across the entirety the Ondo public sector – then I’m ready to make the sacrifice and return the two vehicles which they so desperately need.

“I am not the problem of the present administration. I have moved on.”

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Pensioners demand payment of N35bn arrears

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Nigeria pensioners who retired from the electricity sector have urged President Muhammadu Buhari, to come to their aide in order to resolve the lingering issue of their owed N35billion pension arrears.

The pensioners under the aegis of Electricity Sector Retiree Welfare Association (ESREWA), led by its  President, Elder Benjamin Amako, asked President Buhari to save countless dying pensioners whose fate are tied to the delayed payment of their pension arrears.

Rising from its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja, Amako said every Nigerian, including President Buhari, knows the pathetic situation of pensioners in the country.

Amako said: “First we thank God that Mr President returned from his medical trip healthier, stronger and successfully. The news of his return gave us pensioners so much joy because we know  he will not sit quiet and watch more pensioners lose their lives because of humanly inaction. So far, his administration has ensured that pensioners gets their rights and this arrears we are asking for is our right.

“Interestingly, President Buhari had already directed that this same arrears (N35billion) be paid to us, but for over five years ago he issued the directive, the relevant authorities who it is their responsibilities to ensure we get this arrears for our dying members seems to be working contrarily.

“So for the past five years, these arrears have always been part of the National Budget under Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Company (NELMCO) budget and accordingly transferred to Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD). But sadly, we have not been paid a dime even as I speak, for reasons that are totally and obviously human making.

“So we are pleading with President Buhari, the SGF, Minister of Finance, Chairman Senate Committee on Power, Accountant General of the Federation, PTAD and other relevant authorities to save our lives by paying us this money without further delay.”

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We’ll make South-East hot for governors if…, IPOB warns

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The Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB, has raised the alarm that South East governors in collaboration with Ohanaeze Ndigbo and some “treacherous’ tradinonal rulers, and President Generals of some communities, are compiling names of suspected operatives of the Eastern Security Network, ESN as well as IPOB members and supporters for persecution.

The group stated that if the governors don’t rescind their plan, “IPOB will make the zone too hot for them.” IPOB in a statement by its Media and Publicity Secretary Emma Powerful, claimed that its intelligence unit uncovered “a secret file” containing the list of the suspected ESN and IPOB members.

The list according to the statement is to be handed over to the security agencies for torture and elimination. IPOB which said the idea was suggested to South East Leaders by the federal government to weaken ESN regretted that efforts of the security outfit for flush out killer herdsmen from the zone were being sabotaged by the selfish political elite. It noted that since the establishment of ESN, efforts to rid the zone of bandits and killer herdsmen had intensified, a development that has making the masterminds uncomfortable.

The statement read in part: “The South-Eastern Governors in collaboration with Traditional Rulers in the Zone and some PGs of communities are compiling names of suspected IPOB members in their respective communities to hand over to Nigeria security agencies for possible executions. “The arrangement has been perfected to help Nigeria Police and Army to quickly pick anybody suspected to be IPOB member and ESN operatives in the zone. “Our intelligence further revealed that they took this decision to launch this joint military operation to quench and permanently silence what they termed as IPOB and ESN menace in the zone. “IPOB intelligence unit gathered that these enemies within and without have perfected arrangements to abduct our people and put them incommunicado in the security dungeons in unknown locations. “It is unfortunate that our so called leaders could not see or observe how Fulani terrorist herdsmen are raping and murdering our mothers, wives and sisters in the farms across the Biafra territory but they see us as their problem.” IPOB denied any link with the unknown gunmen suspected to the behind the wave of bloody attacks against security formations in the zone and wondered why its members would be marked for elimination. “We have severally explained that ESN has nothing to do with the unknown gunmen responsible for the attacks in South East. The unknown gunmen are not ESN or IPOB.

We wonder why Government will continue to associate us with that group without investigations.” IPOB argued that a government that treats bandits and killer herdsmen with kid gloves cannot claim to be unaware of the said unknown gunmen.

The pro-Biafra movement warned South East Leaders to retrace their steps or brace up for the grave consequences of their action. “If South East Governors do not stop this plan against their people, IPOB will make the zone too hot for them. “We expect all tradinonal rulers and PGs in the South East communities to retrace their steps before it gets too late. The land will also rise against them if they allow this to happen! “Any IPOB member or ESN operative killed shall be avenged! The statement also advised the federal government to jettison any plans to persecute pro-Biafra groups as doing so would come with some price. “We advise Nigeria government and her partners in crime in the zone to desist from this evil agenda because it will backfire. We are aware of their secret file, but we are not going back until Biafra is finally achieved.”

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