Friday, January 30, 2015

Video - Boko Haram victim Abba Mohammed Bashir Shuwa travels to U.S. to see reason for lack of international assistance

The victim of a recent attack by the radical group Boko Haram has flown to the United States to confront the U-S military commander in Africa about the international response in Nigeria. Last week, militants ransacked the home of Abba Mohammed Bashir Shuwa. He decided to fly to Washington to appeal directly to the top U-S general in Africa.

Military officers arrested for failure to prevent Baga attack in Northern Nigeria

A Brigadier General, Enitan Ransome-Kuti, his Chief of Staff, Lieutenant Colonel G.A. Suru and some other senior officers have been arrested by the authorities of the Nigerian military over their failure to repel the attack on the headquarters of the Multinational Joint Task Force [MNJTF] in Baga.

Mr. Ransome-Kuti, the Commander of the Multi-National Joint Task Force, MNJTF, his Chief of Staff and the other senior officers were detained shortly after they arrived Maiduguri from Monguno where they and their troops took refuge after they were dislodged from Baga.

The arrest of the officers was exclusively disclosed to PREMIUM TIMES Wednesday by reliable military insiders who requested not to be named as they were not authorised to speak on the matter.

Also arrested, our sources said, are the Commanding Officers of the 134 and 174 Battalions — a Lieutenant Colonel Haruna and a Major Aliyu. The two battalions are under the MNJTF but were also dislodged from their locations during the Boko Haram offensive of January 3.

These senior officers, now being held at the officers’ mess of the 21 Armoured Brigade, Maiduguri, were arrested over their inability to repel the Baga attack in spite of the weapons in their arsenal. They have also been asked to account for the weapons lost to the insurgents.

Mr. Aliyu is an acting commanding officer of the 134 battalion. PREMIUM TIMES learnt that the substantive commanding officer of the battalion, a Lieutenant Colonel Etang is already facing court-martial following a previous attack on his battalion on November 5, 2014.

Our sources said military authorities are disappointed that the attack on Baga was not repelled by troops of both battalions and the MNJTF headquarters despite all weapons made available to them.

The sources said the military authorities are especially angry with Mr. Ransome-Kuti for his inability to lead his troop to counter the Boko Haram onslaught despite the high calibre weapons and ammunition made available to his formation.

The Brigadier General is also send to have gone underground for four days after the MNJTF was dislodged.

“Nobody was able to reach him and nobody could tell where he was,” one of our sources said. “The suspicion is that he was roaming around Maiduguri in mufti while his troop were in disarray. He and his officers have to account for everything.”

Also, the Brigade Commander of the 5 Brigade, Monguno, a Brigadier General Yekini, who was injured in the Monguno attack on Sunday, is yet to be arrested because he is still receiving treatment for injuries sustained during the attack, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.

He has been placed under close watch on his hospital bed, and might be fully detained once he is discharged from hospital, our sources said.

However, Defence spokesperson, Chris Olukolade, declined to confirm or deny the arrests.

He however said it is not unusual for the military to hold officers accountable for the tasks assigned to them.

“Every officer who is given a mission must be made accountable for his performance, and that is not necessarily an indictment of the officer; at least until investigations are concluded,” Mr. Olukolade, a Major General, said.

Suspected members of the Boko Haram sect had on January 3 attacked the base of the Multi-National Joint Task Force, MNJTF, in Baga, Borno State, dislodging the soldiers.

A senior security official said the attack, which started at about 5 a.m., was one of the fiercest in recent times as soldiers battled to hold their grounds without much success.

The MNJTF was created by defence and military chiefs from the six countries that make up the Lake Chad Basin Commission to combat arms trafficking, terrorism and related cross-border attacks that have continued to rise in the region.

Boko Haram terrorists see the existence of the MNJTF as a major threat to their operations, hence their continued attack on the base and the town with a view to having full control of the area.

In the last two years, Baga town has suffered five major attacks with high casualty – the latest being that of November 2014 when Boko Haram terrorists ambushed fishermen returning from a night fishing expedition and slit the throats of 43 of them.

The terrorists also launched three different attacks on Borno’s three largest towns – Maiduguri, Konduga and Monguno on Sunday. While the attacks on Maiduguri and Konduga were repelled by the Nigerian military, Monguno fell to the the insurgents.

On Monday, PREMIUM TIMES had exclusively reported how, despite warning troops to remain on alert, the leadership of the 5 Brigade failed to take the necessary steps and make the right deployment of men and equipment to check the imminent attack.

The troops were indeed warned to be at alert following intelligence report that terrorists would strike between January 22 and 25.

Despite the warnings, when the terrorists arrived on Sunday, the troops were taken by surprise.

Military insiders said the insurgents arrived at about 2 am on Sunday, parking their Hilux vans deep into the bush, with their headlights on.

Soldiers of the Brigade, who saw the unusual lights, began to shoot in the direction of the vans without knowing that the insurgents had left the vans and advanced close to the Brigade headquarters.

Suddenly, the insurgents began to shoot sporadically. The troop of the Brigade, including those of the Multinational Joint Task Force [MJTF], who were camped at a school inside the barracks after they were dislodged from Baga, engaged the terrorists in a long exchange of gunfire.

The biggest fighting tank owned by the brigade, known as “shika,” killed several insurgents, and wounded several others.

It was such a long battle that the equipment, which provided cover for ground troops, suddenly ran out of ammunition and began to withdraw.

As it withdrew, the rifle men behind also retreated, as the insurgents followed in pursuit. In the process, Brigade Commander, Mr. Yekini and a few other soldiers were wounded. It is not clear the number of soldiers and while 53 insurgents were killed in the attacks.

“We could have overpowered the insurgents, but there was no enough ammunition,” an officer, who participated in the battle, had told PREMIUM TIMES.

Premium Times

Related story: Nigerian army were warned of Baga attack beforehand

Angry mob stones President Goodluck Jonathan's convoy

Angry mobs upset over the handling of militant group Boko Haram on Thursday pelted the motorcade of Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan.

The protesters hurled stones at the convoy as it left the palace of a traditional chief in Jalingo, the capital of the northeastern state of Taraba, where Jonathan had gone on a courtesy call before holding a rally as part of his re-election campaign.

Nigerians will vote for their next president February 14.

Several vehicles were damaged in the attack, according to witnesses.

"As soon the convoy left the palace of the emir of Muri, the crowd threw stones and broke the windscreens of several vehicles and dented others," said Jalingo resident Clement Moses.

The crowd, made up mostly of young men, was angry at the heavy military and police presence deployed for the presidential visit.

Armed soldiers and policemen blanketed the city and forced businesses to close.

"People were angry with the huge military deployment for the president, while Boko Haram continue(s) to run over towns and villages in neighboring Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states," said Bala Jika, another resident.

"They kept shouting that soldiers should deploy to Sambisa forest in Borno state and fight Boko Haram instead of coming to the city and harassing the people already traumatized by Boko Haram," Jika said.

Policemen fired tear gas to disperse the crowds. There were no immediate reports of injuries or arrests.

Jonathan has come under heavy criticism at home and abroad over his response to Boko Haram.

The group has terrorized northern Nigeria regularly since 2009, attacking police, schools, churches and civilians, and bombing government buildings.

The Islamist group has said its aim is to impose a stricter form of Sharia law across Nigeria, which is split between a majority Muslim north and a mostly Christian south.

It has sacked dozens of villages close to the border with Cameroon this month, slaughtering residents and abducting others.

Thursday was not the first time the president's convoy was attacked.

On January 20, his motorcade was stoned in the northern city of Katsina, where he was campaigning. Jonathan faces a formidable challenge from a opposition alliance.


Related story: Video - President Goodluck Jonathan visits Boko Haram hit North Eastern Nigeria

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Nigerian army were warned of Baga attack beforehand

Nigeria's army failed to protect Baga's civilians despite warnings that militants were going to attack, rights group Amnesty International has said.

Some reports say as many as 2,000 people died in Boko Haram's raids on the north-eastern town this month, but the government puts the toll at 150.

Amnesty quotes an unnamed senior army source as saying the Islamist militants told residents about the offensive.

But the defence spokesman told the BBC there had been continuous patrols.

"It is not true to say nothing was done," Maj Gen Chris Olukolade said in response to Amnesty International's allegations.

Boko Haram launched a full-scale insurgency in north-eastern Nigeria in 2009 to create an Islamic state.

But since the government declared a state of emergency 20 months ago in three north-eastern states to deal with it, Boko Haram has strengthened and now controls several towns, where it has declared a caliphate.

According to evidence gathered by Amnesty International, commanders at the military base in Baga, in the far north-east of Nigeria, regularly informed military headquarters in November and December 2014 of the threat of a Boko Haram attack and repeatedly requested reinforcements.

There were also warnings that the town of Monguno, about 140km (85 miles) north of Maiduguri city which was captured by Boko Haram on Sunday, would be attacked.

"Everyone was aware," a Monguno resident told Amnesty.

"Boko Haram came on Wednesday last week [21 January] and asked the villagers [in nearby Ngurno] to leave because they are coming to attack the barracks. The villagers told the soldiers."

Amnesty International's Africa director Netsanet Belay said the attacks were an "urgent wake-up call for the Nigerian leadership, the African Union and the international community".

Maj Gen Olukolade said in operational areas surveillance would have been continuous to ward off attacks.

Earlier this month, Chadian soldiers deployed to Cameroon's border with Nigeria to help secure the porous border.

African Union heads of state are going to include the conflict in north-eastern Nigeria on the agenda of their summit, due to begin on Friday.


Related stories: Boko Haram attacks the same town it kidnapped the schoolgirls from

Video - President Goodluck Jonathan visits Boko Haram hit North Eastern Nigeria

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Jumia is biggest e-commerce website in Nigeria

Alexa an company, the global pioneer in the world of analytical insight, ranks as the biggest e-commerce website in Nigeria, still ranking as the most visited local content website in the Nigeria. Looking at the exploits of Jumia over the past year, it is not hard to see why this widely trusted shopping website is visited by several millions month on month.While this is a big deal for any brand, the company however hasn’t rested on its laurels of providing quality retail services to its customers, always consistently and aggressively fighting to get the best deals for its customers. It still eludes many as to how this giant in 3 years has become one of the most influential brands in Nigerian business circles. is building organized retail in Nigeria and empowering Nigerians with great deals. Currently running its Fashion Super Clearance Sale with 80% off fashion products. The guys at Jumia with their knack for giving customers an exciting retail experience are also launching a Valentine’s campaign, with a special something on February 4th where Nigerians can log on to to ‘Vote for Love’.

On the eccentric shopping campaigns at amazing deals the retailer is known for; “Retail is a lifestyle. It’s what you see, what stirs your senses, what you feel, what makes you who you are…Retail is a day to day of each and every one of us, and as such a personal experience that should be close to home”, Dr. Jonathan Doerr, MD Marketing, Jumia Nigeria.

From becoming the first African retailer to bring home an award in the coveted World Retail Awards, pioneering and building organized retail in Nigeria, empowering Nigerians with quality retail information and the widest array of products anywhere in the country, keeps blazing the trail and breaking new frontiers.

Information Nigeria

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 How Nigerian students created Nigeria's biggest online-job search site Jobberman

Video - Entrepreneur Adeyoin Oshinbanjo talks about her successful venture Mile 12 Marketonline