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Redouble efforts to release Leah Sharibu, Chibok girls – Reps to Buhari Govt

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The House of Representatives, on Wednesday, called on the Federal Government to redouble its efforts toward securing the release of the Chibok schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram.

The lawmakers also urged the government to do everything within its power to free Leah Sharibu and others from their abductors.

This followed a motion under matters of urgent public importance by Rep. Asabe Vilita-Bashir (APC-Borno) at a plenary presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Yusuff Lasun, at the National Assembly, Abuja.

No fewer than 276 of the students of Government Secondary School, Chibok, were abducted by Boko Haram group on April 14, 2014.

Out of the number, 57 of the girls escaped before the insurgents could transport them to their base in Sambisa Forest, four others escaped after two years while a total of 103 were released after an agreement with the government.

Moving the motion, Vilita-Bashir, who represents Chibok/Gwoza/Damboa Federal Constituency, said it is disheartening that after five years of abduction about 112 of the girls were still in the custody of the terrorists, NAN reports.

‘‘The house notes that the April 14 marked the 5th anniversary of the kidnapping of 219 Chibok girls by Boko Haram insurgents.

‘‘The house further notes that over 100 Dapchi schoolgirls were also abducted by the same insurgents.

‘‘The house is concerned that in spite of the local and international cries, 112 of the Chibok girls, Leah Sharibu and Alice Ngaddah are still in captivity,’’ she said.

The lawmaker, who commended the federal government for its efforts so far, said there was the need to do more toward ensuring freedom for all the abductees.

Contributing, Rep. Diri Douye (PDP-Bayelsa), said it is unfortunate that the country is still being faced with the challenge of securing the release of the remaining girls five years after.

‘‘It is heart-bleeding for us to still be talking about the release of our sisters who have been in captivity for five years. This same thing goes for Leah Sharibu.

‘‘If efforts have been intensified, I know today, we would not be raising this motion. This is a wake up call on the federal government and all of us,’’ he said.

Rep. Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje, (PDP-Abia), said it is sad that some of the parents died while waiting for their daughters’ return.

The lawmaker, who commended the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) group, said the country has failed in its responsibility of securing the lives of its citizens.

‘‘Around the world, this has been the conversation, even in the U.S.,’’ she said.

Also speaking, Rep. Ken Chikere, who commended the federal government for its effort so far, noted that government still deserved some praises so that it could do more.

Rep. Sergius Ogun, (PDP-Edo), said there is the need for the federal government to tell the abducted girls’ parents and the nation on the current status of the girls.

On his part, Rep. Toby Okechukwu, (PDP-Enugu), who said it is unimaginable the way the girls were kidnapped by the terrorists, queried why it has taken such a long time to secure their release.

‘‘Until we begin to be accountable, we may not be able to find solutions to our problems.

‘‘People in government should begin to exercise their functions with some level of responsibility,’’ he said.

The Deputy Speaker, Mr Lasun, said it is painful that after the Chibok girls’ abduction, ‘‘we still have another set of girls being captured by the insurgents.

‘‘It is painful because in my area, my people say it is better for a child to be announced dead than to be declared missing.

‘‘We just need to improve on our security architecture,’’ he said.

Lasun, however, remarked that ‘‘with the knowledge or fact that some of the girls might have died in the hands of their abductors, coupled with some of the security personnel who might have lost their lives in the course of rescuing the girls,’’ the House should observe a minute silence for them.

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Boko Haram: Army opens up on attack in Jakana, says personnel died in gun battle

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Troops of 212 Battalion deployed at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Jakana, on Wednesday July 7, 2019 dealt with and neutralised unconfirmed number of Boko Haram/ISWAP Terrorists when they woefully attempted to infiltrate their base in dire need for logistics.

A statement from Col Ado Isa, Deputy Director Public Relations Operation LAFIYA DOLE on Friday said, the terrorists came at about 1845 hours in 7 Gun Trucks and fought fiercely to infiltrate the camp, but the attack was thwarted with heavy fire and bombardment by the gallant and patriotic troops who were vigilant and battle ready.

“The terrorists couldn’t bear the fire power any longer after loosing significant number of both equipment and personnel in an exchange of fire. They lost initiative and withdrew in disarray along the Benisheikh – Damaturu axis, – abandoning a damaged utility Gun truck which was earmarked to convey looted items.

“Troops immediately followed in hot pursuit and the following items were captured: 1 x Anti Aircraft Gun, 2 x Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) Tubes, 2 x AK 47 Rifles, 15 x Machine Gun rounds, 12 x AK 47 NATO rounds.

“Sadly, a Colonel and a Captain as well as 3 soldiers on transit from Maiduguri to Damaturu run into an ambush staged by the routed/fleeing terrorists from the Jakana axis which led to their unfortunate death.

“The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai while commiserating with the families of the fallen heroes reiterated that Personnel of the Nigerian Army will never be deterred in the ongoing noble and patriotic fight against terrorism and insurgency in the North East

“He further commended the efforts of the entire troops in the theatre and charged them to remain focus, highly committed and professional in the discharge of their constitutional roles.

“He said the sacrifices of the fallen heroes in the ongoing fight against terrorism and insurgency is no doubt painful to all, but that will further spur us to do more to ensure that our country remain secured, peaceful and free from terrorists activities for the overall interest of the nation,” the statement added

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Ashiru vs El-Rufai: PDP losses in court over Kaduna guber

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The 2019 Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governorship candidate in Kaduna State, Isa Ashiru lost his bid to get the Appeal Court in state to order a recount of votes of the last election in the state.

The appellate court on Thursday dismissed Ashiru and PDP’s appeal against the refusal of the State Governorship Petition Tribunal to order a recount of votes.

The tribunal had struck out Ashiru’s petition seeking for a recount of votes cast during the last election in the state for lack of merit.

Ruling on the motion on May 29, Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Ibrahim Bako had held that the tribunal has a time frame of only 180 days to complete its assignment.

Justice Bako also refused the application for amendment of the motion, seeking to narrow the votes recount to only 12 local government areas of Kaduna state.

Dissatisfied with the ruling, PDP and Ashiru appealed the ruling at the Court of Appeal.

However, Justice Hussaini Muktar, in his judgment affirmed the orders of the tribunal and consequently refused to order for a recount of votes.

Justice Muktar held that counting of votes and making it an exhibit in court was part of a trial, which is capable of disposing off the main claim in the matter.

He stated that the Supreme Court frowned at that which allows a matter to be disposed off at a pre-trial conference.

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Boko Haram Kills Aid Worker In Borno, Three Others Missing

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Boko Haram militants have killed a member of the Action Against Hunger, Grace Taku, as well as a driver while three health workers are missing.

The incident happened when a convoy of the aid agency was heading to Damasak in Borno State.

The attack is coming a day after an army commander, colonel and some soldiers were ambushed in Yobe State by Boko Haram terrorists.

A statement by Action Against Hunger reads, “One of the drivers was killed, while one Action Against Hunger staff member, two of the drivers and three health workers are missing.

“We are deeply saddened by this tragic incident as these are colleagues dedicated to providing life-saving assistance to individuals and families affected by the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the northeast of Nigeria. We are very concerned and want to ensure that they are safe and can be reunited with their families.

“Action Against Hunger strives to ensure that millions of people in need of humanitarian assistance in northeast Nigeria receive the essential services required for their survival, especially women and children.”

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