Monday, May 12, 2014

Bokoo Haram updates regarding abducted and still missing girls May 13 , 2014 ...... US in aerial search for Nigeria schoolgirls US flying "manned" missions over Nigeria to track down more than 200 girls abducted by Boko Haram, Pentagon says ....... Boko Haram video claims to show missing girls Video obtained by AFP news agency says girls will not be released until all Boko Haram prisoners in Nigeria are freed ....... Items and views of points of note from Nigeria !

US in aerial search for Nigeria schoolgirls

US flying "manned" missions over Nigeria to track down more than 200 girls abducted by Boko Haram, Pentagon says.

Last updated: 13 May 2014 00:58
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Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau offered to release the girls in exchange for prisoners [Reuters]
The United States has been flying "manned" missions over Nigeria to track down more than 200 abducted schoolgirls, the Pentagon said, as experts pored over a new video, seeking clues to where they are being held.
"We have shared commercial satellite imagery with the Nigerians and are flying manned ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) assets over Nigeria with the government's permission," a senior administration official told AFP news agency on Monday, asking not to be named.
It was not immediately clear what kinds of aircraft were being deployed, nor where they had come from.
new video released by the Boko Haram group purportedly showing about 130 of the girls was being carefully studied by US experts in the hope it might yield vital clues as to where they are being held.
"Our intelligence experts are combing through every detail of the video for clues that might help ongoing efforts to secure the release of the girls," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said earlier on Monday.
"We have no reason to question its authenticity," she added of the video.
In the video, the Islamic group's leader Abubakar Shekau said the girls may be released once Nigeria frees all the Boko Haram prisoners it has in custody.
But that proposal has been rejected by the Nigerian government, and Psaki recalled that the US policy is also "to deny kidnappers the benefits of their criminal acts, including ransoms or concessions”.
A 30-strong US team arrived on the ground last week in Nigeria to help growing efforts to find the girls aged between 16 to 18, snatched from their boarding school in the northeast of the country on April 14.
The White House said the team included five State Department officials, two strategic communications experts, a civilian security expert and a regional medical support officer.
Also on the manifest are 10 Defense Department planners already in Nigeria, seven extra military advisors from US Africa Command and four FBI officials expert in hostage negotiations.
"We are talking about helping the Nigerian government search an area that is roughly the size of New England," White House spokesman Jay Carney said, referring to the region in the US northeast.
"So this is no small task. But we are certainly bringing resources to bear in our effort to assist the government."
Psaki stressed the Nigerian authorities were "in the lead" during the investigation.
The girls' plight has triggered a storm of outrage across the US, and First Lady Michelle Obama on Saturday for the first time delivered her husband's weekly address to the nation to say they were both "outraged and heartbroken" by the kidnapping.
"This unconscionable act was committed by a terrorist group determined to keep these girls from getting an education - grown men attempting to snuff out the aspirations of young girls," she said.

Boko Haram video claims to show missing girls

Video obtained by AFP news agency says girls will not be released until all Boko Haram prisoners in Nigeria are freed.

Last updated: 12 May 2014 15:36
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Boko Haram has released a new video claiming to show the missing Nigerian schoolgirls who were abducted last month, alleging they had converted to Islam and would not be released until all of its prisoners held by Nigeria were freed.
In the video, obtained by the AFP news agency on Monday, Abubakar Shekau, the group's leader, is shown speaking for 17 minutes before showing what he said were about 130 of the girls, wearing full-length abayas and praying in an undisclosed rural location.
Nearly 300 girls were abducted on April 14 from the northeastern town of Chibok, in Borno state, which has a sizeable Christian community. Fifty-three girls managed to escape.
Three of the girls in Monday's video are interviewed in the recording. Two say they were Christian and had converted while one said she was Muslim.
The girls appeared calm and one said that they had not been harmed.
There was no indication of when the video was taken, although the quality is better than on previous Boko Haram videos and at one point an armed man is seen in shot with a hand-held video camera.
Boko Haram has been waging an increasingly deadly insurgency in Nigeria's mainly Muslim north since 2009, attacking schools teaching a "Western" curriculum, churches and government targets.
Civilians have borne the brunt of recent violence, with more than 1,500 killed this year alone, while tens of thousands have been displaced after their homes and businesses were razed.
International help
Nigeria's government has been criticised for its lack of immediate response to the kidnapping but has been forced to act after Shekau threatened to sell the girls as slaves.
President Goodluck Jonathan has accepted help from the United States, Britain, France, China and Israel, which have sent specialist teams to help in the search effort.
In the video, Shekau appears in front of a lime green canvas backdrop wearing combat fatigues and carrying an automatic weapon. He does not appear in the same shot as the girls at any point.
Speaking in Hausa and Arabic, he restates his claim of responsibility made in a video released last Monday and said the girls had converted to Islam.
The rebel leader said that Boko Haram's "brothers in arms" had been held in prison for up to five years and suggested that the girls would be released if the fighters were freed.
"We will never release them until after you release our brethren," he said.
Boko Haram has made prisoner exchange demands before without success and Nigeria's government again dismissed the request outright.
Asked if the government would reject Shekau's suggestion, Interior Minister Abba Moro told the AFP: "Of course."
"The issue in question is not about Boko Haram... giving conditions," he added.
Boko Haram has kidnapped women and young girls in the past and Shekau indicated that more were being held.
Eleven girls were abducted from the Gwoza area of Borno state on May 4.

Nigeria Abducted Girls 'Sighted', Says State Governor

Israel Offers to Help Nigeria Find Abducted Girls

News from Nigeria.......

The Advocate.....

The President of Women Arise Initiative, Dr Joe Odumakin, on Monday advised the Federal Government not to yield to negotiations that would involve exchanging the abducted Chibok girls with terrorists.
Odumakin gave the advice in Lagos while speaking with newsmen during a rally, organised by the group to voice their anger over the abducted girls.
The protests have continued to trail the abduction of over 200 girls from the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok in Borno on April 14 by the Islamic Boko Haram group.
Reacting to reports by Skynews that the Boko Haram sect had allegedly asked the Federal Government to free some of its detained members in exchange for 130 of the kidnapped girls, Odumakin said it was unacceptable if it were to be true.
“If the reports are true, we say no to any form of exchange with the girls.”
Odumakin, who led the protest to the governor’s office in Alausa, said that government should ensure that everyone of the kidnapped girls was rescued alive.
“The government must also ensure that masterminds of the act of terrorism in Nigeria were brought to book.
“Nigeria must also work to secure its borders and collaborate with the governments of Chad, Niger and Cameroon to arrest the influx of terrorists in Nigeria,” she said.
Also speaking, ace musician, Femi Anikulapo-Kuti, urged government to urgently convene an emergency meeting of all African heads of state on the way forward against terror.
He said that African heads of state must close ranks and declare war on the Boko Haram sect before its activities spilled over to other African countries.
“The terror in Nigeria today is a growing monster that will spill over to other African countries if not stopped now.
“The terror attack in Nigeria is not just an African problem but has become an international problem.
“Those who keep quiet now thinking it is just Nigeria’s problem will feel it too someday if they refuse to assist because it is a growing monster,” he said.
The musician lamented that Nigerians were yet to be availed with information on the 50 students of Yobo Polytechnic, allegedly slaughtered by the sect while asleep two months ago.
He urged government to embark on massive enlightenment of the people over the issues arising from the security situation in the country.
Also speaking, a former President of Nigeria Bar Association, Dame Priscilla Kuye, appealed to the Federal Government to ensure that the girls were returned alive.
In his speech, renowned Yoruba Actor, Mr Jide Kosoko, appealed to the sect to release the girls.
Responding to the protesters, Gov. Babatunde Fashola described the Chibok incident as a dark experience for Nigeria.
He said that the act of terror in Nigeria made it  a difficult time for the nation hence the need for a sense of brotherhood.
“We must go beyond ethnic and religious lines and see each other as brothers in arms against our common enemy,” he said.
Also at the event are Mrs Laide Bakare, wife of Pastor Tunde Bakare, musicians and actors as well as representatives of other civil rights groups. (NAN)

Abuja Voice......


On 4th May 2014, Abubakar Shekau, the leader Boko Haram, proclaimed:
“I am going to marry out any woman who is twelve years old, and if she is younger, I will marry her out at the age of nine. I am the one who captured all those girls and will sell all of them. Slavery is allowed in my religion and I shall capture people and make them slaves. We are on our way to Abuja and we shall also visit the South. I am going to kill all the Imams and other Islamic clerics in Nigeria because they are not Muslims since they follow democracy and constitution. It is Allah that instructed us, until we soak the ground of Nigeria with Christian blood, and so-called Muslims contradicting Islam. We will kill and wonder what to do with their smelling corpses. This is a war against Christians and democracy and their constitution’’.
It is self-evident that Mr. Shekau is not only a dangerous, barbaric, sadistic, bestial, delusional, homicidal, misogynistic, paedophilic, psycopathic and sociopathic vampire and cold-blooded murderer all rolled into one but his words adequately reflect the sheer ruthlessness and callousness that has seized the Haramite mind.
There is no doubt in my mind that he is possessed by the most vicious and cruel demons and that he has a bloodlust that is second to none. Even Al Qaeda have condemned the latest atrocity committed by Boko Haram in Chibok.
Yet despite their sheer depravity they appear to have a few friends at home who insist on speaking for them. Permit me to give just one example.
The Northern Elders have said that the Federal Government ”should pay billions as ransom to Shekau and release all detained Boko Haram members” and that there must be ”no foreign forces in Nigeria”. They have also demanded that ”force should not be used” in securing the freedom of the abducted girls.
These demands are repugnant. It is the same people that did not want troops to be deployed to the area in the first place.
It is the same people that did not want a state of emergency to be declared in the north. It is the same people that have been urging the government to negotiate with Boko Haram for the last three years.
It is the same people that have consistently asked that Boko Haram should be treated lightly and that they should be offered amnesty even though they have slaughtered no less than 10,000 innocent people in the last three years.
It is the same people that are suggesting that Boko Haram is actually a creation of the CIA, MOSSAD and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
It is one of these northern elders that referred to Boko Haram as ”freedom fighters” who are simply ‘’fighting for justice’’ only last year. It is another that said that members of Boko Haram ought to be treated ”in the same way as the Niger Delta militants” and that they should be rehabilitated, resettled and paid large sums of money only last year.
It is another that said that ‘’muslims should only vote for those that would protect their interests’’ and that he would see to it that ‘’sharia law is implemented and applied throughout the whole country’’ in 2001.
It is another that said that Nigeria was created by the British and granted independence by them in 1960 on the clear understanding that ”a northern muslim would always lead the country’’ in 1994. It is another that said that if the north does not have it’s way on the voting formula at the Constitutional Conference he would lead his people ”out of Nigeria and into the Camerouns’’ just over a month ago. It is another that said that they would make our country ‘’ungovernable’’ if a southerner was elected into power in 2011.
It is another that said, only a few weeks ago, that our country ‘’would burn’’ if Jonathan or any other southerner contests for the Presidential election in 2015. It is another that told us last year that ”poverty was the root cause of Boko Haram” and that the south was receiving too much money whilst the north was not receiving enough. How much more of this can we be expected to take?
Just three weeks after the Haramites have abducted almost 300 young school girls at Chibok, burnt down their school and kept them as sex slaves, just a few days after they abducted eight more at Warabe Village, Borno state, just two weeks after two bombs went off in Nyanya, Abuja killing a total of 150 people between them and just three days after no less than 350 innocent people were slaughtered by the terrorists in Gamborou Ngala, a border town with the Camerouns, these northern elders are saying that force must not be used against them. This is unacceptable and their suggestion must be treated with the contempt that it deserves.
I do not know what it will take for the Nigerian people to accept the fact that Boko Haram is the greatest evil that our country has ever had to contend with and that there can be no dialogue with such demons. I do not know what it will take for these northern elders to accept the fact that evil is evil, that you must never negotiate with terrorists and that their ”gentle way” simply cannot work.
The truth is that until every single one of the Haramites is hunted down, brought to justice and despatched to hell there will be no peace in our country. We must also eliminate those who secretly encourage, fund and protect them.
I have always viewed those that suggest that Boko Haram should be treated with kid gloves with the utmost suspicion. It is either that we live in a secular state where the rule of law prevails, where beasts have no place and where murderous animals are treated like the savages that they are or we shall have no country at all.
All this talk about ”not using force” must stop because it is nonsensical, it is counter-productive and it presents a very real threat to our desire to continue to live as one nation. Those that abduct, rape, kill and enslave children do not deserve to live.
Those that say that ”force should not be used” should give up them their own daughters in exchange for our missing girls. After they have done that they can be as gentle as they like with Boko Haram.
In all this President Goodluck Jonathan has much to learn and I would be the last person to endorse what I consider to be his inexplicable restraint and obvious weakness in the fight against Boko Haram. Mr. President has failed to protect the lives and property of the Nigerian people and no responsible, self-respecting and rational human being, including those that consider themselves to be his friends, should shy away from telling him so.
We expect far better from him and if he fails to deliver he would not only have betrayed his mandate, violated his oath of office and let down the Nigerian people but he would also play right into the hands of his critics. These include the American Senator John Mcain, who told the world that ”no government exists in Nigeria” and Senator Hilary Clinton, who said that the Federal Government of Nigeria had ”squandered their oil wealth, allowed corruption to fester and now they are losing control of parts of their country”.
These are timely admonitions from the Americans but they made their own fair share of blunders as well. For example one wonders why it took the Obama adminstration up until early this year to formally recognise Boko Haram as a terrorist organisation despite repeated calls to do so earlier by many prominent Nigerians including Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, the President of CAN. When Senator Clinton was Secretary of State, the State Department refused to label Boko Haram as a terrorist organisation even though they had butchered thousands of Nigerians. Perhaps if they had done so more lives would have been saved.
There is no doubt that our Government has handled this matter in an unacceptable manner but the Americans must carry their own fair share of the blame. For Jonathan, the words of Mr. Opeyemi Agbaje are instructive. On 9th May 2014 he wrote:
”we warned Jonathan. We called for action against Boko Haram and we screamed until our voices went hoarse. Now the people who advised him against taking strong action and called for dialogue, the very people that said it was caused by poverty, the very people that promised that traditional rulers would resolve the matter, the very people that encouraged him to vacillate and do nothing or little, are the ones mocking him. Well that is why leaders must exercise leadership. The buck stops at his table. The credit or the failure goes to him. I hope he learns!”
A word is enough for the wise.
By Femi Fani Kayode

Shettima Moves To Have Girls In Latest Boko Haram Video Identified
Following the Monday release of a new video by the Boko Haram showing dozens of girls believed to be the teenagers seized from Government Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State about three weeks ago, Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State has ordered that the YouTube video be downloaded into mobile devices and sent to the Chairman of Chibok Local Government Area, parents, teachers, management of the school as well as schoolmates “so that the girls in the video can be identified to ascertain if they are part of the abducted students or otherwise.
The latest Boko Haram footage showed the seized girls reciting verses of the Holy Koran.
Their seizure by the terrorist group has been greeted with global outrage with several powerful governments assuring Nigeria of assistance in securing their release.
Shettima had earlier told the BBC that the seized girls have not been taken outside Nigeria as previously speculated by the international media covering the incident. He said there have been sightings of the girls and that the information has been passed on to the military for analysis and verification.
A statement by the Special Adviser on Media to the Borno Governor, Isa Gusau on the directive said: “Governor Shettima has directed transfer of the video into mobile storage devices under the care of some officials, including the Chairman of Chibok local government area, who have been given an immediate task of showing the videos to parents, some of the freed students who know their abducted colleagues, teachers and management staff of Government Secondary School, Chibok.
So that the girls in the video can be identified to ascertain if they are part of the abducted students or otherwise.
He (the governor) is however optimistic about the video. Already, some concerned individuals in Maiduguri and Abuja are on the request of the Governor, making efforts to contact parents and relations of some of the abducted girls, who might be within reach to get feedback regarding the video.
Governor Shettima views the development as encouraging especially given the fact that some of the girls said they were not harmed. The Governor hopes that the girls did not speak under duress.
While awaiting the confirmation, Governor Shettima calls on citizens of Borno State, most of whom commenced another round of fasting today, to seek divine help, in response to appeal by the Governor, to intensify prayers for the safe release of the schoolgirls who are very precious not only to Borno but to the entire world.
“Shettima expresses appreciation to President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Dame Patience Jonathan for their concerns and concerted efforts towards the release of the schoolgirls. The Governor also expresses appreciation to other Nigerians, world leaders and citizens around the world, whose pressures have been of tremendous help so far. The Governor particularly thanks all security agencies and volunteers engaged in search and rescue efforts with an appeal that the efforts are intensified till all the girls safely return home.”
The Governor once again commiserate with families of the abducted girls and assures that the Federal and Borno State Governments with the support of the international community are collaborating towards the freedom of the girls who are also his daughters.
“Shettima also extends appreciation to media establishments and journalists, local and international for their efforts so far. He enjoins citizens with relevant information to forward such directly to security agencies using phone lines that have long been made public or should send the information through community leaders in their respective local government areas or to send to him directly through his phone numbers that are of public knowledge in Borno State.”