Friday, 28 July 2017

48 corpses of soldiers, NNPC staff, JTF killed in Boko Haram attacks taken to Maiduguri | Osinbajo orders Service Chiefs to relocate to Maiduguri

Corpses of 18 Soldiers, 15 Civilian JTF, 5 university staff and 4 NNPC drivers, killed by Boko Haram terrorists during an oil exploration to the Lake Chad Basin were transported to Maiduguri Teaching Hospital in Borno, on Thursday.

According to Punch, Sources at the UMTH and the Maimalari Army Barrack confirmed that the corpses were brought into Maiduguri from the scene of the attack.

The report also confirms that 6 persons who were wounded in the attack but escaped to somewhere in Yobe State were later found dead and brought to Maiduguri.

Apart from the wounded soldiers admitted to military hospital in the town, two members of the Civilian JTF were as at Thursday, on admission at the UMTH.

The Army, in a press statement on Wednesday by it’s spokesman, Brig. Gen. Sani Usman, had claimed that all the NNPC staff abducted in the Tuesday’s ambush had been rescued.

But investigations revealed that five lecturers from the University of Maiduguri in the exploration team were killed.

Names of three of those who were given as Dr. Joseph Millitus, Dr. Manaja Uba and Idris Njodi.

The Deputy Director Army Public Relations, Col. Kingsley Samuel, when contacted on the matter, said it was not within the purview of the 7 Division where he is the spokesman.

He asked that, “You have to get in contact with Abuja on this, as I have no available information. It is under the 8 division.”

Meanwhile, Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima has described the attack by Boko Haram insurgents on an oil exploration team as shocking.

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Communication and Strategy, Mallam Isa Gusau on Thursday, Shettima said the attack was a setback in the fight against the terrorist group.

He said, “I haven’t been my normal self since I received information of that attack. What happened in the first instance was a tragic setback in the fight against Boko Haram and in Nigeria’s effort to expand its economic fortunes.

“I am deeply pained by this incident especially coming at a time when we were beginning to pick up the pieces of our lives.”

He added, “Even though the attack should never have happened given the successes recorded by the military and the multi-national joint forces since 2015, I nonetheless still deem it necessary to commend the military for re-mobilising and countering the initial gains of the insurgents.

“On behalf of the government and people of Borno State, I mourn and salute the soldiers and our sons in the civilian JTF who paid the supreme price by giving their lives in this fight.”

Also, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has directed the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai and the Chief of Air Staff, Sadique Abubakar to relocate to Maiduguri, Borno state capital, with immediate effect.

This order came after an emergency meeting with some service chiefs on Thursday.

The acting president said there was a need for them to be at the military command control centre.

Apart from Buratai and Abubakar, those who attended the meeting were Mansur Dan-Ali, minister of defence; Gabriel Olonisakin, chief of defence staff and Ekwe Ite-Ibas, chief of naval staff.

Speaking with state house correspondents at the end of the meeting, Dan-Ali said, “We just finished a meeting with the acting president and the three service chiefs. We agreed that they should move back to the command centre again and see what are the things happening there.

“We have also agreed that we should get more surveillance devices, cameras that will be able to see distant attackers coming to the position of our troops.

“Also, the period of the raining season is a difficult moment for us. We cannot dominate the environment like what we do during the dry season but efforts are geared towards regaining our areas. All these ambushes that are happening would be stopped.”

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