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As FG seeks dialogue, Boko Haram gives conditions

From daring Boko Haram came a threat yesterday that the Islamic militants have listed the Presidential Villa, Abuja as target. Their spokesman, Mallam Abu Zaid, who spoke to journalists on phone in Maiduguri, Borno State yesterday, also called for the removal of troops of the Joint Task Force (JTF) troops from the state, maintaining that their presence was a sad tale for innocent people.

The group said that it knew its targets, adding that members of the sect may consider temporary ceasefire should all the soldiers on the streets of Maiduguri are withdrawn.

Zaid admitted that their men carried out attacks on some banks in the state, adding that they were compelled to attack the banks because they were not operating within the precepts of Islam. “They are not working for the cause of the masses and they are not operating within the Islamic system, and we attacked them because we believe it is our right to do so,” he maintained. He vowed that the scet would continue to attack the banks.
He assured that the Sharia system which the sect advocates for would not only guarantee the rights of non-Muslims, but also protect them. He stressed that the sect would determined to carry on with their agitation should those in government fail to accede to their conditions.

The group was reacting to a report that it planned to attack the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) in the Borno State capital. “We were surprised to hear the rumour that we are planning to attack the university. This to us is belittling and it is as if people are underrating us when we are aiming at the Aso Rock Villa,” he disclosed.
The spokesman also claimed that only 19 of its members have been killed since the sect began its serial attacks and bombings after the July 2009 insurgence.

He advised journalists to continue to be true mediators in the troubled state. His words: “Report whatever government says and report our own side too but if you take side and change from this way, you will no longer be a true mediator again and we won’t see you as such.”

The claim of attack had led to the closure of the institution amidst fears of further deadly confrontation between Boko Haram members and the troops even as five fleeing, residents of Maiduguri died in a road accident at Damaturu, Yobe State, yesterday.

Eight other travellers were seriously injured. They were trying to escape from the running battle between the soldiers and the Islamic fundamentalists.
Members of the Islamic sect had twice in two days during this week bombed JTF patrol vans in the Borno State capital.
In the encounter, there were claims of civilian casualties who died in the crossfire. The residents had no option than to embark on mass exodus from Maiduguri to save their lives. The state government had been appealing to residents to stay.

The Federal Government had on Tuesday waived the olive branch to the militants, saying it was prepared to parley with members of the sect if only to guarantee peace. The dialogue option is being rejected by groups which claimed it would lead to setting bad precedence and may not even achieve peace.
Bowing to pressure, the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) yesterday announced the immediate redeployment of members from Borno to other states in the country. The corps members had been rejecting their postings to the volatile Borno State.

In the Damaturu road crash, a Golf car conveying the fleeing residents was said to have collided with another car, leading to the death of five persons including a young boy while eight others were wounded.
Confirming the incident, the zonal Information Officer of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Ibrahim Farinloye, said the injured persons had been taken to the hospital by the personnel of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) in Damaturu.

Farinloye advised the people to desist from panic-travel to reduce the carnage being experienced along the routes. He observed that the roads were presently congested, adding that drivers could resort to over-speeding and overloading to make quick profit due to the influx of the people to the various motorparks in the metropolis.
He enjoined the people to rather move into primary and secondary schools which he said had been designated for the displaced persons in the metropolis, stressing that “NEMA and other international humanitarian agencies were ready to provide adequate provisions for their safety and necessary human support materials for the time that normal situation will be restored.”

He gave some telephone numbers for residents to call to confirm the designated schools for the affected people. These numbers are 08054913575 (Aliyu Baffale Sambo, NEMA Coordinator, Maiduguri) and 08067715203 (Asst Zonal Coordinator).

Meanwhile, NYSC Director-General, Brig. Gen Mahazu Tsiga has announced the immediately relocation of corps members currently undergoing their youth service in Borno State to other parts of the country.
Tsiga, who was at the Maiduguri NYSC Orientation Camp on Wednesday, announced to the 1250 Batch ‘B’ 2011 corps members that the directorate took the decision to relocate them and those already in the service following the worsening security situation in the state.

“As I have been telling my corps members and parents who are worried over the security situation in Borno, we are determined to ensure the safety of these children. I am a father and I can’t allow anything bad to happen to them. The leadership of the scheme is concerned about the welfare of the loyal young Nigerians and that is why we have to relocate them now,” he declared

He explained that the relocation would only affect corps members who wish to complete their service outside the troubled state, adding that married women and those who preferred to remain in the state would not be relocated against their wishes. “Definitely, we are not posting corps members to their states of origin, we are going to decide which side of the country we’re posting them to,” he added.

He said he came to the orientation camp to assess the welfare of the corps members as well as their security, noting that he was impressed by the dedication and high spirit of the corps members despite the precarious security situation. He described as untrue, a newspaper report (not Daily Sun) that claimed that an explosion occurred at the orientation camp. “As you can see, there is no sign of explosion and no corps member died as reported. The Press should help us to minimize violence, not creating it,” he urged.

Warning the Federal Government on dialogue with Boko Haram on dialogue, the Niger Delta Volunteer Peace Movement (NDVP) has said that the decision would give rise to other groups to also perpetrate evil in getting undue government attention.

The NDVP condemned wanton killings and maiming of innocent citizens through bomb attack’s to draw government’s attention. The group frowned at moves by the government to dialogue with the Islamic fundamentalists, saying, what the nation needed at this critical moment is a Sovereign National Conference (SNC) .
The NDVP said that conveying SNC is the only solution in addressing issues and problems bothering our co-existence as a nation and it was only a SNC that could address the teething problems bedeviling the Nation and not granting audience to fundamentalists that would solve our problems, the group said.

Richman Yinbiri, founder of the group, stated this yesterday at Patani, headquarters of Patani Council Area of Delta State, noting that the activities of the Boko Haram sect was not only a terrorists organization but has political undertone to destabilize the Jonathan’s administration.
He said the upsurge of violence and bomb explosions in the North was carefully orchestrated by some Northern elite to make the country ungovernable for President Jonathan who does not enjoy their blessing as the president.


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Posted by on Jul 14 2011. Filed under Boko Haram, National Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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