• U.S. raises fears over attacks
• Reps suspend session to mourn slain students
• Task force captures wounded, fleeing terrorists
• Three policemen, others feared missing in ambush
DESPITE alleged unwillingness of some countries bordering Nigeria to collaborate in arresting Boko Haram insurgents, who reports say find safe haven in such countries, Nigeria is yet to formally protest to the African Union (AU), The Guardian learnt Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the United States (U.S.) Consular-General in Nigeria, Mr. Jeffrey Hawkins, yesterday expressed fears that the terrorist activities in the northern part of the country may affect the 2015 polls.
About 100,000 children, including Nigerians fleeing Boko Haram attacks, are among the refugees sheltering in hospitals and refugee camps in north Cameroon. Many are under five and suffering from acute malnutrition.
In a makeshift emergency ward in Meskine private hospital on the outskirts of Maroua, north Cameroon, medical staff are struggling to save the life of young Abdoulaye Bobo. Outside of the clinic, three-year-old Nana Haminatou is waiting desperately to see the doctor. Nana's mother is getting impatient.
The Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn-Garbai, has directed residents of the state to embark on a three-day fasting “for divine intervention over the Boko Haram insurgency in the state.’’
The directive is contained in a statement issued on Monday in Maiduguri.
The statement quoted the monarch as asking residents to start the fasting on Tuesday.
He said “I am appealing to all residents of the state to observe a three-day fasting to seek Allah’s mercy toward ending the crisis facing us.
There are mounting concerns in security circles over the issue of special arrangement for the security operatives deployed in the operational areas in the three states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa which are under emergency rule.
Saturday PUNCH learnt that low morale occasioned by lack of motivation and poor welfare package might be some of the factors working against the successful execution of the war against Boko Haram militants in the zone.
The Islamic sect had killed close to 200 people in the last one and half weeks including the massacre of 53 schoolchildren in Yobe State. Thirty five persons were also killed on Sunday during a fierce gunfight between the insurgents and soldiers in Mafa, a community that is 45 kilometres to the east of Maiduguri in Borno State.
The Mafa attack was the third within 24 hours in the troubled state. Last Saturday, a twin bomb attack left 52 people dead while another attack on Mainok village by the insurgents killed 39.
There are strong indications that Nigeria and Cameroon may clash over Boko Haram as the Federal Government accuses Cameroon of harbouring members of the militant Islamic sect.
Saturday PUNCH learnt on Thursday that the Federal Government was becoming increasingly frustrated by the refusal of Cameroon to cooperate with Nigeria in its efforts to combat the militant Islamic sect.
A top source in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who confided in one of our correspondents in Abuja, said that President Goodluck Jonathan would report Cameroon to relevant agencies in the United Nations.
Part of government’s strategy is to adopt the policy of hot pursuit, whereby Nigeria’s military will chase the insurgents into their hideouts and flush them out while those in the diplomatic circles will continue with diplomacy.
Nigeria’s government is seeking intelligence cooperation from neighboring countries and the international community to help defeat terrorist activities carried out by the Islamic militant group Boko Haram, following an upsurge in violence in parts of the country, according to Rueben Abati, an adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan.
“The President has made it clear that he looks forward to the collaboration with both Nigeria’s neighbors and the international community in general, in terms of the exchange of intelligence, in terms of partnership to address the challenge of terror. To the extent that terrorism is not a local problem it is a global problem, and it requires concerted action on the path of the international community to deal with it,” said Abati.
Gunmen suspected to be from the armed group Boko Haram have killed at least 32 people in three separate attacks in northeast Nigeria, including one at a theological college, a local government official and residents have said.
The coordinated attacks in the troubled Adamawa state late on Wednesday came just two days after armed fighters were blamed for killing 59 people, most of them children, as they slept at a boarding school in Yobe state.
School attacks have featured prominently in Boko Haram's most recent uprising, which has killed thousands of people. The group, declared a terrorist organization by Nigeria and the United States, has said it is fighting to create an Islamic state in Nigeria's mainly Muslim north.
United States Assistant Secretary of State, Linda Thomas-Greenfield
Says Boko Haram sponsors must be unmasked
The United States Assistant Secretary of State, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Thursday told an audience of the diplomatic community and Nigerians that US and indeed the world are expecting a free and fair election in 2015 from the Africa’s biggest economy.
Thomas-Greenfield who was a guest lecturer of the Ambassador Andrew Young Lecture Series initiated by the African Society of the National Summit on Africa held at the Nigerian embassy in Washington yesterday, said she was using the opportunity offered by the Chevron powered lecture to share her experiences in her recent visit to Nigeria, while espousing the Barrack Obama administration’s vision for Africa in general.
Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
on attacks in Yobe State, Nigeria
The Secretary-General strongly condemns the brutal slaying yesterday of dozens of students at the Federal Government College of Buni Yadi in Yobe State, northeastern Nigeria, by unidentified gunmen. He extends his sincere condolences to the bereaved families and hopes that the perpetrators will be swiftly brought to justice.
The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about the increasing frequency and brutality of attacks against educational institutions in the north of the country. He reiterates that no objective can justify such violence.
Gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram members has in early hour of today attacked and killed dozens students of Federal Government College Buni Yadi, Gujba Local Government Area of Yobe State. Yobe state Police Commissioner, Sanusi A Rufai confirmed that twenty nine male students were killed and twenty four structures that include the Administration block, students hostel and staff quarters were burnt down.
A resident in the area said he has counted 39 lifeless bodies within the premises. "The attackers started the operation around 12:15 unpertubed until after 4 am, the students were slaughtered and fired with guns.