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Scores feared killed as Boko Haram recaptures Borno LGA

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Suspected Boko Haram members on Tuesday evening wrecked havoc when they invaded Damasak, the headquarters of Mobbar Local Government Area, Borno State.

They reportedly set ablaze the Divisional Police Command, schools, shops and many houses, killing many people in the process.

The insurgents were also said to have hoisted their flags in strategic locations. This is the second time they would be attacking Damasak. Last Sunday, a group of insurgents had invaded place and killed three soldiers, while six civilians were killed by an airstrike during a naming ceremony. The insurgents also razed most humanitarian hubs and facilities as they looted medical items at the General Hospital Damasak.

Damasak is a border community with the Niger Republic in the North and about 180 km drive from Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

Chairman of Mobbar Local Government Area, Mustapha Bunu Kolo, told Vanguard that the latest attack was disturbing, as the remaining humanitarian hubs in the town were razed down, including police station, market, shops and residential houses.

“Yes, there was another devastating Boko Haram attack on Damasak right now. “Though I am not in Damasak, as I travelled out for official engagement, based on the information at my disposal, the insurgents invaded the town since 5pm and are still holding ground as of this time (10.40pm).

“The insurgents have succeeded in razing down remaining humanitarian hubs, market, shops and an unspecified number of residential houses, as they detonated their Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) without confrontation.

“I was also informed that many people lost their lives in the attack, but I don’t have the actual number of casualties as the insurgents are still much around to continue wreaking havoc on innocent civilians.”

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Abducted Tegina kids fall sick, bandits reduce ransom to N150m

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Some of the 136 abducted pupils of Tanko Salihu Islamiyya School, Tegina in the Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State have fallen sick in captivity.
The bandits disclosed the children’s ill health to headmaster of the Islamiyya School, Alhassan Garba Abubakar, who reported the situation to reporters.
The bandits, according to the headmaster, have reduced the demanded ransom for the release of the kids to N150m.
The bandits who had been demanding for N200m said they would accept N150m as ransom for the abducted children.
The children were abducted on May 30, 2021 and have been in captivity since then.
Parents of some of the children have turned public-spirited individuals and groups, visiting churches and mosques in a bid to raise the money for the ransom.
The headmaster said, “The amount raised so far has been a far cry from what the bandits are demanding before they release the pupils.
“I am not part of the committee of the parents going to churches and mosques to solicit for donations for the ransom money to be paid; so I cannot tell you the exact amount of money raised so far.”
Niger State Government has said it will not pay any ransom for the release of the children.
It however said that plans were underway to rescue the children.
Secretary to the Niger State Government, Alhaji Ahmed Matane, said the government would not pay any ransom to the bandits.
Responding to the ill health of the children, the SSG stated the bandits could use any kind of strategy to make the parents pay the ransom.

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Open grazing: Miyetti Allah denies giving Delta 72-hour ultimatum

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The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association Of Nigeria has denied giving a 72-hour ultimatum to Delta State Government to reverse its laws on open grazing.
Secretary-General of MACBAN, Usman Baba-Ngelzerma, said some faceless individuals and mischief makers were behind the ultimatum.
An unknown group on Sunday threatened to attack Asaba and Agbor in Delta State if the state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, failed to withdraw the resolution to ban open grazing within 72 hours.
The unsigned letter of threat was pasted in some locations across the state.
“We hereby demand the Governor of Delta State to immediately withdraw his earlier stand on the call to ban open grazing in 17 regions (referring to 17 southern states) in not less than 72 hours from the above date, and also withdraw his position as the leading voice for the governors,” the letter said.
The threat did not go down well with some socio-cultural groups such as the Southern and Middle Belt Elders Forum and Pan Niger Delta Forum who threatened to fight back.
Baba-Ngelzarma said such statements from an unknown group should not be given consideration.
He further described MACBAN as a responsible association with eminent personalities such as the Sultan of Sokoto as its patron, and as such would never do anything to jeopardise the peace of the country.
Baba-Ngelzerma who however insisted that the position of the group on open grazing still remained unchamged, urged northern governors to ensure the recovery of all grazing routes in the country as Fulani herders have equal rights with all Nigerians and could not be treated as second-class citizens.

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Boko Haram/ISWAP releases abducted UN worker, nine others

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A Senior Protection Assistant with the United Nation High Commission for Refugees, Abubakar Idris abducted over five months ago by the Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) has been released.
Idris popularly known as Alooma was abducted on Maiduguri/Damaturu highway.
The insurgents reportedly attacked a convoy of travellers close to Matari village between Mainok and Jakana along Maiduguri/Damaturu highway where Alooma was abducted at about 8.30am Saturday, January 2, 2021.
The insurgents alleged to have dressed in military uniforms mounted a roadblock on the highway with three Hilux vans and motorcycles.
It was revealed that Alooma got into trouble when he tried to throw away his identification card and was sighted by one of the insurgents.
He is said to be undergoing medical and military check with troops of Operation Hadin Kai in Maiduguri before he will be allowed to reunite with his family.
A businessman, Muazu Bawa, abducted on the same day with Alooma, was also released along with eight other captives.
Bawa was in his private vehicle and ran into the Boko Haram checkpoint but his car was shot from behind before the insurgents whisked him away.
Executive Director of Yobe State Network of Civil Society, Abubakar Baba Shehu, confirmed the release.
“I was together with someone who called a family member of Alooma and he confirmed the release of his brother. This is encouraging news and we pray that more captives should be released soon,” Shehu said.
Friends of the freed captives have taken to Facebook and other social media platforms to celebrate the release of their friends from Boko Haram captivity.

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