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Boko Haram occupies Damasak, residents flee to Niger

Boko Haram gunmen are now occupying the Borno town of Damasak, two days after
they staged a second attack in five days.

In the first attack on 10 April, the insurgents killed two soldiers and two civilians, while also destroying the facilities of global aid agencies.

They merely retreated and returned on Tuesday to the border town, to inflict more havoc.

They stormed the town at about 5pm, shooting sporadically and also armed with anti-aircraft guns mounted on vehicles.

Three soldiers speaking on condition of anonymity confirmed the attack.

According to Reuters, the insurgents killed at least ten people and caused hundreds to flee to neighbouring Niger, just some five kilometres away.

“Boko Haram men are still at Damasak”, said local government official Bukar Mustapha.

“Ten residents were killed in attacks on Tuesday. Our people have fled to villages in Niger while some are trapped in the bush,” he said.

Resident Mustapha Gashigar said eight people had been buried but other bodies had not been recovered, and 17 were seriously injured.

He said hundreds of people had fled Damasak.

Boko Haram and and its offshoot, Islamic State West Africa Province, have not claimed responsibility for the latest attack.

However, ISWAP claimed responsibility for the 10 April strike.

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Shame on you: Parents of Leah Sharibu to Buhari

The parents of Leah Sharibu, the teenage girl abducted by Boko Haram from Dapchi school in February 2018, have described as shameful, President Buhari’s inability to negotiate her release.

The parents spoke amid reports that Leah had delivered a second child in captivity.

In a statement issued on their behalf by Dr Gloria Puldu, the parents urged the Nigerian leader to accept the American offer of assistance to secure Leah’s release.

The statement read: “Morning of March 23 was another very difficult day as we woke up to the very sad and heartbreaking rumours that Leah Sharibu, who is still in captivity for three years, has given birth to a second baby in captivity.

“It is a very big shame on General Buhari and his entire government. He has abandoned this young child in captivity.

”Two weeks ago, Nathan and Rebecca called on him to use the current negotiators his government is using, who have successfully negotiated and secured the release of most if not all 300 Muslim Kankara boys from Katsina in December 2020 just six days after their abduction.

“In February 2021 they also negotiated and secured the release of about 27 schoolboys from Kagara in Niger State and 317 schoolgirls from Jangebe in Zamfara who all regained their freedom within few days of their abduction.

“Nigeria has woefully failed Leah Sharibu, what a very big shame. Nations all across the world value their citizens and will go to any length to rescue their adult citizens let alone their children, yet the Buhari administration has abandoned Leah Sharibu the lone Christian girl for over three years in captivity.

“This same administration has abandoned the remaining 112 Chibok girls for almost seven years.

“Nigerians recently saw how the American government came to rescue one of its citizens who was abducted in Niger Republic but transported into Nigeria (another sovereign state).

“Yet Leah, a minor, has been abandoned and forgotten by her government. We know that the American government has recently offered to assist Nigeria in its fight against insecurity if the Nigerian government requests its assistance.

“Leah’s parents are calling on General Buhari to please accept the American offer of assistance to secure the release of their daughter, especially if his current successful negotiators are not able to secure her release as they did with the recent school abductions”.

Leah Sharibu and 109 schoolgirls aged 11–19 years old were kidnapped by the Boko Haram terrorist group from the Government Girls’ Science and Technical College (GGSTC) on 19 February 2018.

Five of the girls died as the abductors herded them away.

On 21 March, 104 of the girls were released after the payment of ransom.

However, the abductors held on to Leah Sharibu, a Christian, who refused to renounce her faith.

She had since been forcefully married to one of the Boko Haram chiefs and given birth to two children, according to reports.

Dapchi is located in Bulabulin, Yunusari Local Government area of Yobe State, northeast part of Nigeria.

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Boko Haram Attack On UN Building Is Regrettable, Says Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has again condemned the attack on the office of the United Nations (UN) by Boko Haram terrorists in 2011.

Speaking on Monday in Abuja when he received a delegation led by the UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon, the President noted that the attack by the terrorists was regrettable.

He, however, said the reconstruction of the UN building by the government was in full appreciation of the work of the international organisation.

“Thank you for what you have been doing in the country, especially for women and children. I am glad you have put together a dedicated team to work with us,” the President was quoted as saying in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.

He also welcomed commendations by the UN on efforts to restore security, strengthen institutions against corruption, improve health facilities, and rebuilding of the multilateral institution’s office.

President Buhari commended the various programmes of the UN in Nigeria, saying, “I am very impressed with the number of programmes you are carrying out, and I hope that our ministers will continue to cooperate with you.”

On the reconstruction of the UN building and Boko Haram bombing incident, he said, “I assure that beyond the renovation of your headquarters after that incident, we will continue to make your job feasible and comfortable.

“If you need anything in the course of your assignments, talk to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama.”

In his remarks, the UN Resident Coordinator praised the administration for the rebuilding and modernisation of the UN House in Nigeria, describing it as commendable support to multilateralism.

“The reopening of the UN House in October 2019, after eight years, was a day of celebration and remembrance.

“It was also an act of defiance in the face of terror and attack on our core values of peace, freedom, prosperity, tolerance and justice,” he was quoted as saying.

Kallon also commended President Buhari for his leadership and guidance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the wisdom in establishing the Presidential Task Force (PTF) and adding his voice to the global call for a people’s vaccine for coronavirus.

He congratulated Nigeria on the successful eradication of polio virus and promised to partner with the country in building more primary healthcare centres capable of sustaining universal health coverage.

The UN envoy extolled the President and his administration for the establishment of the new Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, as well as the continuous support in advancing gender issues, the girl-child, and rights of the child in general.

According to him, President Buhari should be praised for “legacy investments in the administration’s fight against corruption, electoral reforms, and census.”

Kallon also commended the President’s “resolve to reform and return discipline in the public service, as well as the success in fighting corruption, including convictions and recovery of assets.”

Source: Channelstv.com