News RendezvousThe member Representing Gombi constituency in the Adamawa state house of Assembly, Kefas Japheth, has criticised federal government’s neglect of his community to be attacked repeatedly by suspected Boko Haram insurgents.Kefas said, incessant attacks on Garkida has left the entire Gombi local government in distress and members of the community hopeless over governnents failure to halt repeated attacks on their community.Kefas made this known in a chat with News Rendezvous, in Yola, Adamawa state.Kefas said, the recent killing of six members of his community in a Christmas eve attacks and the kidnapping of five members of the community who were subsequently killed in cold blood has left the entire community in shock at the failure collapse of security in the country.Japheth Kefas speaking with Rendezvous on the details of the horror experience of the Christmas Eve attacks and effect of the incessant attacks on Garkida, said, the unabated attacks has created an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty not only in Garkida but in the entire local government because no one feels safe or has confidence in the military to defend them.Kefas said, “This consistent and unrelenting attacks has created an atmosphere of great fear in all our communities in Gombi LGA not only in Garkida town alone.”We feel that the federal government is not doing its job or performing up to expectations in terms of security and defending our people.”The sole responsibility of government is to protect lives and properties of its citizens but in the case of Garkida town reverse is the case.”These so-called unknown gun men suspected to be Boko haram insurgents succeeded in killing six gentlemen on the day of the attack, abducted five youths and subsequently three days later, we saw in a viral video clip how they were executed in cold blood, shot to death in the eyes of the world.”Speaking on whether his community has confidence in military protection and the impact of the attacks on locals he said, “We have lost hope as to whether this year our people will go to farm because it seems as if the insurgents can abduct us and kill us and there is nothing anyone can do about it.”This is the the fourth time this ugly situation has happened to my people.”Our greatest worry is that in all these attack in Garkida, we always have information about it and the information were always passed to the relevant law enforcement agents, a day or two before it happens, we always report Boko haram sightings close to Garkida area but no effort seems to be made to stop them and the attacks still happen anyway.”Its sad and we are disappointed and our federal government has to do better.”Kefas added that, “The level at which the insurgents target the community is alarming and an embarrassment to the nation.“I am sad as a person and disappointed that these attacks happen again and again.”Our people are bitter because of the suffering inflicted on them as a result of the losses from the incessant attacks.”Some travelled from far and wide to celebrate Christmas with their families but spent it in the bushes, hiding.””We reliably gathered from our local intelligence, that as at boxing day, about nine (9) trucks carrying the insurgents were sighted hovering around and we might be attacked again.”We have however, resorted to self help and we are mobilising vigilante groups to Garkida, the logistics is quite challenging but that is our best option for now.”We need help, and we cannot be the subject of attacks without end, our people have lost everything.”A local, who spoke to Rendezvous from Garkida said, “We are had to run into the bushes, with my our family members, young and old, all the preparations we were making for Christmas, we have left behind and ran away for our dear lives.“We were just informed that they were on their way to our town again in several trucks, like it happened in February this year, no military was on the ground to help us, so we ran away to the nearby bushes and trees and rocks, hoping they would not follow us there, both the old and young, men and women.”Again, we were forced out of the comfort of our homes, and right now, no one can tell you the scale of destruction they are wrecking on our community because we are all hiding, hoping for the best.”Another residents told Rendezvous, “I am just returning from a journey now, from what I can see, they have burnt down living faith church, about 19 vehicles belonging to a construction company, working on some road projects in the area, shops, homes, and personal properties have been set ablaze.”I don’t think we are part of Nigeria, because these people just come to our community anytime they want, take whatever they want and leave however they want unchallenged, whenever, there are military in this town, there are no Boko Haram and whenever Boko Haram come, there would not be military, I think we are on our own, if you build a house, they will destroy it, if you rebuild it, they will destroy it again, so, what us the point?” he lamented.Garkida Community, a home to the current chairman of the North East Development Commission (NEDC) General Paul Tarfa and to the former Governorship candidate of the SDP in the 2019 general elections, Emmanuel Bello, has become the epicenter for recurring Boko Haram incursions and consistent attacks in Adamawa.The attacks has continued to leave members of the community despondent and perplexed as members cry out to government for intervention as the attacks happen again and again without military intervention.Gombi local government, one of the seven local governments in northern Adamawa that was occupied by the Boko Haram insurgents during Boko Haram invasion of the state in 2014, Garkida, a community under Gombi local government was one of the places worst hit by the attacks, now six years later, no one wondered that it would again become a place for regular attacks and invasion in 2020.In early 2020, February 21st to be precise, Boko Haram insurgents, The Sun reported, invaded the town hours after federal military forces left the community and held the community ransom for about three hours, killed several, looted shops, homes, burnt down churches and left the community members devasted, mulling over their loss as they were working hard to rebuild their lives from the losses of 2014.Just on the eve of Christmas 2020, again, Boko Haram struck Garkida, as community members left everything behind, spent their Christmas Eve in the bushes, watching and waiting, while the insurgents ransack their homes, burn down churches, and killed at least six people, community members told Daily Sun, without any government intervention.So, it was a Christmas, Garkida would never want to remember as residents recount the horror details of their ordeals.
The Department of States Services has warned Nigerians that there are plans by some elements in the country working with external forces to incite religious uprising in the country.
The statement warned that some states including Sokoto, Kano, Kaduna, Lagos, Rivers, Oyo, Plateau and other south east states have been targeted as flash points for the planned mayhem.
This is contained in a statement issued by the Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria’s Department of State Services (DSS), Peter Afunaya, and made available to Newsmen in Abuja.
The statement reads, “The Department of State Services (DSS) wishes to alert the public about plans by some elements working with external forces to incite religious violence across the country.
“Targeted states include Sokoto, Kano, Kaduna, Plateau, Rivers, Oyo, Lagos and those in the South East.
“Part of the plans is to cause inter-religious conflicts, as well as, use their foot soldiers to attack some worship centres, religious leaders, personalities, key and vulnerable points.”
It added that, “Consequently, Nigerians are advised to be wary of these antics and shun all divisive tendencies aimed at inciting or setting them against one another.
“While the Service pledges to collaborate with sister agencies to ensure that public order is maintained, those hatching these plots are warned to desist from such in the interest of peace, security and development of the country.
“However, law abiding citizens (and residents) are encouraged to report suspected breaches of peace around them to the nearest security agencies.”
A teenage girl has killed at least three people when she blew herself up in a crowd in Borno State, militia and humanitarian sources confirmed.
“We evacuated three dead bodies and two people who were seriously injured from the scene,” said aid worker Abubakar Mohammed.
The attack happened in the town of Konduga, about 38 kilometres (24 miles) from the state capital Maiduguri.
The attacker set off her explosives among a group of men at a hangout next the local chief’s home, said Ibrahim Liman, an anti-jihadist militia leader who gave the same toll.
Konduga and surrounding villages have been repeatedly targeted by suicide bombers from Boko Haram, which typically attacks soft civilian targets such as mosques, markets and bus stations, often using young women as bombers.
At least 30 people were killed last year in Konduga when three bombers detonated their explosives outside a hall where football fans were watching a match on TV.
Boko Haram and a splinter group, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), have killed 36,000 people and displaced around two million since 2009.
The jihadist conflict has spread into neighbouring Chad, Niger and Cameroon, prompting a regional military coalition to end the violence
The United Nations has expressed serious concerns over growing violent attacks on civilians by non-state armed groups in north east Nigeria.
It said, the recent attack killed at least two people including a five year old boy and the attack also targeted a UN helicopter causing the air craft a considerable damage although no humanitarian staff was injured in the attack.
This is contained in a statement issued to Newsmen, over the weekend.
The UN humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon said, “I am gravely concerned by reports of another violent attack by non-state armed groups in Damasak, Borno State, on 2 July, in which at least two innocent civilians lost their lives, including a five-year old child. Several others were injured, and a humanitarian helicopter was hit, sustaining serious damage.
“I extend my sincere condolences to the families of the civilians who lost their lives in the attack and wish a prompt recovery to those injured.
“I welcome the Government commitment to investigate the attack and swiftly bring to justice the perpetrators.“
Kallon said, “I deplore that a UN Humanitarian Air Service helicopter was hit by bullets during the attack. No aid workers were on board at the time and crew members are all safe. My thoughts are also with the crew and I commend them for piloting the chopper back to safety during this critical situation.
“The attack and damage to the helicopter severely affects the ability of aid actors to provide urgently needed assistance to vulnerable people in remote areas across Borno State.
“The UN Humanitarian Air Service is essential to evacuate wounded civilians and remains the backbone to facilitating humanitarian access, thereby enabling UN agencies and non-governmental organizations to safely and securely reach the most vulnerable populations. In 2019, UNHAS transported 66,271 passengers and 147 megatons of humanitarian assistance, as well as conducted 30 medical and 70 security evacuations.“
He said, “I strongly condemn any attack against civilians, humanitarian assets or aid workers and call on all armed parties to respect international humanitarian law and international human rights law, and ensure the protection of civilians, humanitarian property and personnel. “I furthermore call on all parties to allow and facilitate safe and unimpeded access for humanitarians to deliver life-saving assistance to the most vulnerable people in the north-east.
“I furthermore call on all parties to allow and facilitate safe and unimpeded access for humanitarians to deliver life-saving assistance to the most vulnerable people in the north-east.
“Insecurity and violent attacks continue to hamper the ability of people to access basic services or livelihoods and recover from the protracted crisis in north-east Nigeria. “The United Nations and NGO partners are working to bring life-saving assistance to 7.8 million people in the crisis-affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states, many of them in remote areas.
“The United Nations and NGO partners are working to bring life-saving assistance to 7.8 million people in the crisis-affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states, many of them in remote areas.
“I call on the Nigerian authorities to reinforce the safety and security of all humanitarian workers.“
Incessant Attacks Threatens Humanitarian Assistance to over 10 million people in need in the north Eastern States of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe
The Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon, vehemently condemns the violent attacks by non-state armed groups in Monguno and Nganzai LGAs yesterday, in which many civilians were killed, including a four-year old girl. At least 37 other civilians were injured and a major humanitarian facility was damaged.
At least 37 other civilians were injured and a major humanitarian facility was damaged.
“I am deeply saddened by the news that many civilians, including an innocent child, lost their lives in these horrific attacks. “My deepest condolences go to their family. Those who were injured are also in my thoughts and I wish them a speedy recovery,” said Mr Kallon.
“My deepest condolences go to their family. Those who were injured are also in my thoughts and I wish them a speedy recovery,” said Mr Kallon.
“I am appalled by the continued violent attacks launched by non-state armed groups in civilian areas in Borno State.”
On 13 June, non-state armed group operatives aboard light trucks mounted with heavy artillery raided Goni Usmanti community in Nganzai LGA before penetrating the town of Monguno around 11.45 a.m. from two different entry points, resulting in clashes with the military which lasted for about two hours. The armed assailants reached the humanitarian hub, where over 50 aid workers were present at the time of the attack.
The armed assailants reached the humanitarian hub, where over 50 aid workers were present at the time of the attack.
Though the facility only sustained light damage, initial reports indicate it was directly targeted and an unexploded projectile was found at the gate. All UN and INGO vehicles in front of the humanitarian hub, which includes humanitarian offices and accommodation, were set ablaze. Protective security measures deployed at the hub prevented any harm to the staff inside.
“I am relieved all staff are safe and secure, but I am shocked by the intensity of this attack. It is the latest of too many clashes affecting civilians, humanitarian actors and the assistance we provide,” stressed the Humanitarian Coordinator. “Civilians and aid workers, their facilities and assets should never be a target and must be protected and respected at all times. “I continue to call on all parties to respect and protect civilians and humanitarian personnel in accordance with international humanitarian law.”
“I continue to call on all parties to respect and protect civilians and humanitarian personnel in accordance with international humanitarian law.”
On 18 January, another humanitarian hub in the town of Ngala, near the border to Cameroon, was the target of a complex assault by non-state armed groups. An entire section of the facility was burned down as well as one of the few vehicles UN agencies rely on for the delivery of aid. Humanitarian hubs, managed by IOM for the humanitarian community, are critical to reaching the most vulnerable in insecure areas in Borno State. They enable aid workers to deliver assistance and carry out life-saving activities in remote locations amid challenging operational environments.
They enable aid workers to deliver assistance and carry out life-saving activities in remote locations amid challenging operational environments.
Such incidents impede the ability for aid workers to stay and deliver assistance to the people most in need in these remote areas. Twenty-five aid organisations are providing assistance to more than 150,000 internally displaced persons in the town of Monguno, in the north-eastern part of Borno State.
Twenty-five aid organisations are providing assistance to more than 150,000 internally displaced persons in the town of Monguno, in the north-eastern part of Borno State.
The United Nations and NGO partners in Nigeria are working to bring urgent aid and curtail the spread of COVID-19 in the north-eastern states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe where 10.6 million people are in need of assistance.
The governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the 2019 general election in Adamawa state and former member for the house of representative for Gombi and Song, Emmanuel Bello, has frowned at Nigeria’s army’s conduct during boko haram attack on Garkida town in Adamawa demanding that both the Federal and state government investigate the easy passage of Boko Haram into Garkida town without security without security intervention.
Bello lamented that the Boko Haram elements attacked the town for three hours unchallenged, a development he said, “Brought Garkida town under a barrage of unprovoked violent attacks by the bloodletting gang that left in their trail many homes destroyed or burnt and many lives painfully destroyed”
The governorship candidate of the SDP in the 2019 general elections stated this in a press released made available to journalist in Yola.
Emmanuel Bello said, ” The news of the recent violent attack on lives and property of the people of Garkida, February 21, 2020 by gang of militia believed to be boko haram, in Gombi local government of Adamawa state is another incident that exposes the underbelly of the porous security architecture in the state and many other states in the country.”
He decried that, “Since 2014, the situation in Adamawa has grown from worse to worst, stressing that the local security arrangements that once served as a buffer and safety belt to the people of the state have become non existent.”
While calling on the federal government to investigate the alleged withdrawal of security personal stationed in Garkida just before the attack started and the failure to act when the insurgents held the town for over three hours, the former lawmaker described the inability to send reenforcement when the sons of the land put calls to security agencies to repel the insurgents “as untenable and should be investigated by the state and federal government”
While expressing his grief and sadness on the attack on his brothers and sisters who lost love ones, properties and investments during the attack, he said, “The latest attack is a confirmation of a rising wave of insurgency in the Northeast and especially in Adamawa ”
“I call on both the Adamawa state government and the federal government to consider appropriate compensation to the affected residents ”
Emmanuel Bello’s house was among the properties that was destroyed in the February, 21st attack.
It could be recalled that NR earlier reported that on the 21st of February, 2020, boko haram fighters had invaded Garkida, a town in Gombi local government area of Adamawa state and held the town under sieged for several hours.
NR also reported that a source within Garkida confirmed that the community was informed of the impending attack and that they had reported same to the relevant security operatives within the town around 6 pm that evening.
The source added that the security operatives were said to have withdrew from the area and failed to return until the insurgents had done damage.
Grikida was one of the towns occupied boko haram insurgents in the height of their onslaught in 2014.