Chairman of Senate Committee on Army Muhammed Ndume has raised the alarm that Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists were regrouping in Borno North Senatorial District.
Ndume said the killing of four soldiers, including Brig.-Gen. Dzarma Zirkusu, on Saturday, have made many residents of areas within the Chibok axis of the state to mull relocation to Mubi.
Zirkusu, Commander, 28 Task Force in Chibok, and three others lost their lives to ISWAP terrorists, who rammed a car laden with bombs into theirs along the Chibok Road in Askira.
Their death happened barely 24 hours after military airstrikes took out several top commanders of ISWAP during their meeting in Marte Local Government Area of the state.
Ndume told reporters in Abuja that the killing of the soldiers was a reprisal by ISWAP
He said ISWAP terrorists, backed by Libyan mercenaries, operated with 10 gun trucks on the day they killed the four soldiers.
His words: ”I want to express my condolences to the Nigerian Army over the death of the General, who died along Chibok Road. ISWAP terrorists attacked a town there.
“They laid an ambush and rammed a bomb-laden car into his vehicle.
“The death of the general has sent panic to people in that area. I am aware that some people around that Chibok area have started thinking of relocating.
“Some want to go to Mubi and other places.
”The ISWAP people came with more than 10 gun trucks. They are regrouping around Borno North. That’s the Lake Chad axis. The military is aware and the Air Force is providing surveillance in the area.”
Adamawa State Governor Ahmadu Fintiri,who also flayed the killing of the soldiers, commiserated with President Muhammadu Buhari, the military, and families of the departed.
He expressed “confidence that the day is coming when Nigerians will look back at this moment in history and say “thank God, there were courageous people willing to serve because they laid the foundation for peace for generations to come.”
The Federal Government has denounced a United States-based non-governmental organisation, Global Advocates for Terrorism Eradication (GATE), for accusing it of sponsoring terrorism in Nigeria.
It described GATE as an “irritant” group whose “disgusting” allegation is meant to weaken the ongoing fight against banditry and terrorism in the country.
Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed said in a statement that GATE should be ignored, especially because it is as confused as it is irresponsible.
Mohammed said no government in the country had creditably tackled home-grown terrorists with links to global terrorist organisations like the Buhari administration.
He said GATE relied on a piece of thoroughly-discredited fake news peddled by a former Nigerian Navy intelligence officer.
The statement reads in part: “This organisation called GATE is not even worth the ink with which its name is written. How can a serious organisation accuse a government that’s tackling the twin evil of terrorism and banditry with an uncommon determination of sponsoring terrorism?
“Is it not curious that this organisation has chosen this particular time, when terrorists are either surrendering in droves or running helter-skelter, as a result of a renewed offensive against them by the military, to orchestrate a distraction? What could be GATE’s motive if not to weaken the fight against terror and banditry?
“GATE and its sponsors should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves and should quit trying to distract our gallant troops who are doing everything possible, including making the supreme sacrifice, to keep our country safe.
”In the fight against terrorism, Nigeria has availed itself creditably by tackling home-grown terrorists with links to global terrorist organisations. We make bold to say that no administration in Nigeria has risen to the challenge of terrorism like the Buhari administration has done.”
The Commander Operation Safe Haven and General Officer Commanding 3 Division Nigerian Army, Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Ali has called on Nigerians to unite against enemies of peace in the country.
He made the call during the Unity and Peace Marathon Competition organised for youths of Wase and Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area of Plateau and Bauchi states.
Ali charged youths and religious leaders to champion the course of peace in their communities.
‘You must unite against criminals, to prevent them from uniting to destabilise our communities.’’ he stressed.