Militants linked to the Islamic State group (IS) used a donkey strapped with explosives to ambush the convoy of the governor of Borno State on Sunday, according to a BBC report.
Governor Babagana Zulum was returning to the state capital, Maiduguri, from Baga town when they were ambushed.
Sunday’s attack came two days after he had survived another attack while travelling to an area near Lake Chad.
At least 18 people were killed in that ambush.
Among them were 14 police officers and soldiers and four civilians.
Islamic State West Africa Province (Iswap) militants, who were behind the attack, split from Boko Haram, an Islamist group that launched its insurgency in north-eastern Nigeria a decade ago.
The group’s campaign of violence has spread to neighbouring countries, killing more than 30,000 people and forcing two million from their homes, according to the UN.
Governor Zulum was returning from Baga where he had accompanied hundreds of residents who returned to the town they fled in 2014 following deadly jihadist attacks.
When soldiers saw the donkey on the road, they shot at it. Explosives then went off and the militants immediately came out from their hide-out to open fire on the convoy, an official who was in one of the vehicles in Governor Zulum’s convoy told the BBC.
A number of insurgents were killed in the ensuing shootout. No-one in the convoy – including the governor – was injured but some vehicles were damaged by bullets, the official said.
Governor Zulum said last week that feeding people displaced by violence in the state was not financially sustainable, insisting that the only option was for them to return and rebuild their homes in order to live a “dignified” life, news agency AFP reports.
Aid agencies have, however, expressed worry about the people’s security.
Despite regional efforts to end Boko Haram’s campaign of violence, the group has stepped up in recent times.
Cancel gospel crusade in Abia — IPOB warns Kumuyi
The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has asked the General Superintendent of Deeper Christian Life Ministry, Pastor William Kumuyi, to take note of the ugly security in the South East zone and cancel the crusade he has scheduled to hold in Aba, Abia State.
Pastor Kumuyi is slated to hold a gospel crusade in Aba, from 24th to 29th May, 2022.
IPOB stated that it will not allow anybody to die because of this crusade as there are high chances of criminals operating as unknown gunmen to infiltrate the crusade and blame it on IPOB.
In a statement signed by the Media and Publicity Secretary, Comrade Emma Powerful, IPOB urged the cleric to pray for an end to the insecurity in Biafra land and tasked Christians to engage God in fervent prayers to expose all those behind the insecurity in the land.
“The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), ably led by our great leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu wish to advise Pastor Kumuyi of Deeper life Ministry to take note of the security situation in the South East as he comes to Aba for his gospel crusade. Let him and the organizers of the crusade make sure that nothing happens.
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“The security of this region is not good because of political and criminal activities. Therefore, we advise him to stop this crusade for security reasons. We equally want them to be united against the Islamic agenda against non Muslims in Nigeria. We had expected them to demand justice for the innocent Deborah Yakubu burnt alive by Muslim fanatics in Sokoto State. Her killers are walking freely today and 34 lawyers shamelessly volunteered to defend her killers but Christians are just watching them. The double faced Nigeria security agencies only managed to arrest two of her killers because they are Muslims. If it were to be in Biafra land, all the youths on the street will be in police cell by now while the unlucky ones would have been killed.
“How many Igbo or Christian lawyers came to defend our Leader fighting for the freedom of all Biafrans but 34 Muslim lawyers have come in defense of killers of Deborah Yakubu? Is it not time Christians and Men of God woke up to the realities in Nigeria? They should support Biafra and Oduduwa agitators in their bid to free Biafra and Oduduwa republics from the Islamic bondage in Nigeria so that they will enjoy freedom of worship in both republics.
“Leah Shuaibu is still in captivity today because she is a Christian but all the Muslims abducted along with her have since been freed. Christians must support IPOB to liberate them from bondage in Nigeria.”
The pro Biafra group further asked Kumuyi to pray against wicked leaders in Biafra land and Nigeria, stressing that they are the real problems of the people.
“Let him use the opportunity to pray against the powers holding people captive in Nigeria in his church in Lagos.”
I’ve no apology for being ‘mad’ about Nigeria ― Obasanjo
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says he has a “mad passion” for Nigeria.
Obasanjo, who stated this when he played host to a presidential aspirant under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mohammed Hayatu-Deen at his Penthouse residence in the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, said he had no apology for being mad about Nigeria “because I have no other country I can call my own and I have no other country I can go to and say yes, I have come to live here.”
According to him, Nigeria needs a leader who is ‘mad’ and passionate about the country to address its myriad problems and put it on the right path.
He said, “Passion means being mad about Nigeria; having a touch of madness and I look at you (Hayatu-Deen) and say yes, you are mad about Nigeria too.”
Obasanjo lamented the deteriorating security situation in the country and insisted that Nigeria could overcome its security challenges within two years with the willingness to make tough decisions.
He said, “Some people say the human memories are short, maybe they are right because if human memories are not short, some of the mistakes that we are making, we will not be making them.
“I believe like you (Hayatu-Deen) have rightly said, that this period is not like any other period in the history of Nigeria and you used two words – decomposing and dissolving. I can’t find any better words to describe the situation we have found ourselves.
“It is an agonising situation for you obviously and also for me. I want to emphasise the point that the Nigerian situation, bad as it is, will only be put right by Nigerians at the forefront of our situation. So, Nigerians have to brace themselves to do what needs to be done to put Nigeria back on the right path.”
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Hayatu-Deen who came in the company with his team at 12.30pm went into a closed-door meeting with Obasanjo which lasted for about an hour before speaking with journalists.
The former Managing Director of FSB International Bank, described Obasanjo as a father of modern Nigeria whose administration recorded tremendous achievements.
Speaking at the state PDP secretariat, Hayatu-Deen said he possessed the capacity, experience and knowledge to govern Nigeria.
The aspirant, who said he had been to several parts of Nigeria, including South-West, stressed that he is a passionate and complete Nigerian.
He said, “My blood is Nigerian blood. I had seen Nigeria with the eyes of a Nigerian and not from the perspective of a tribal man. I am prepared to govern Nigeria from the first day of inauguration on May 29, 2023.
“We are suffering from self-inflicted wounds. As an economist, I know how to fix the economy. I will provide social security, I will provide Energy Security, I will deal with the issue of national insecurity.”
Just in: No bail for Nnamdi Kanu, says court
A federal high in Abuja has refused to grant bail to Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Kanu was re-arraigned on an amended 15-count charge bordering on treasonable felony.
However, on April 8, Binta Nyako, the judge, struck out eight out of the 15-count charge.
While counts 6,7,9,10,11,12,13 and 14 were struck out, the defendant is to stand trial on counts 1,2,3,4,5,8 and 15.
Kanu’s lead counsel, Mike Ozekhome, moved an application for bail.
Ozekhome said, “Until a person is tried and convicted, he should be allowed to walk free.”
He reminded the court that a defendant ought to enjoy the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.
He begged the court to consider the deteriorating health condition of the defendant.
Ruling on the bail application on Wednesday, the judge held that “the application is premature and refused with liberty to refile and reapply.”
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