•Buhari commiserates with victims
•NAF jets hit Sambisa forest
•Zamfara gov turns to Dubai for solution to banditry
Omololu Ogunmade and Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja with agency reports
The orgy of violence in Borno State persisted on Sunday night as Boko Haram killed 30 persons and injured 40 others in multiple suicide bomb attacks on a viewing center in Mandarari, Konduga Local Government Area of the state.
The attacks, which were confirmed yesterday by the Borno State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), drew a strong rebuke from President Muhammadu Buhari, who commiserated with the victims of the blasts and promised to bring the perpetrators to justice.
The SEMA Director of Search and Rescue Operations, Mr. Usman Kachala, who briefed journalists yesterday, said three suicide bombers detonated Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in Mandarari community around 8 p.m. on Sunday, explaining that the bombers, comprising two females and a male, perpetrated the act in a local tea joint and film centre in the community.
He said about 17 persons died instantly, adding that the death toll increased to 30 yesterday as a result of lack of immediate medical attention.
He said his staff could not reach the spot of the incident as the military had closed the road to traffic and the hospital in Konduga did not have enough facilities to handle the situation.
“When I and my team arrived Konduga early this morning, the military prevented us from gaining access to the community to assist the victims,” he said, adding: “They told us they were given order from above not to open the road until 9 am.”
It was gathered that the wounded victims were conveyed by their relations to hospitals in Maiduguri, the state capital, a distance of about 80 kilometres from the town.
Buhari Commiserates with Victims
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Abuja commiserated with families of the victims.
His former special adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, in a statement, said the president sent a message of condolence to the government and people of the state over the suicide attacks.
According to him, Buhari decried the heinous acts, saying judgment awaited perpetrators of evil acts, not only from man, through the long arms of the law, but also from God Almighty.
Adesina said Buhari also urged security agents to sustain surveillance in all flash points in the country, bearing in mind the unconventional methods deployed by terrorists to harm innocent and unsuspecting victims.
He added that the president commended the efforts of emergency response workers and humanitarian organisations, praying that God will grant the souls of the departed eternal rest and as well comfort their families.
NAF Jets Hit Sambisa Forest
Perhaps angered by the suicide attacks, the Nigerian Air Force yesterday rained bombs on the terrorists bases in Sambisa Forest, taking out their strategic military hardware and killing several of them.
The Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole said it conducted the air strikes as part of its determination to stamp out the terrorists.
It said in a statement: “In continuation of its sustained air strikes against terrorists’ targets in Borno State, the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation Lafiya Dole has severely degraded another Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs) hideout in the Sambisa Forest.
“The operation was executed after persistent Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions revealed heavy presence of BHTs at a new camp with several structures hidden under the thick foliage of the Forest.
“Accordingly, the ATF dispatched an Alpha Jet to attack the location. Its bombs hit the target area, with devastating effects on several of the camouflaged structures, neutralising their BHT occupants.”
The statement issued by NAF spokesman, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, said further: “The NAF, operating in concert with surface forces, will sustain the effort to completely degrade the terrorists in the North-east.”
Zamfara Gov Turns to Dubai for Solution to Banditry
Meanwhile, the worsening banditry in Zamfara State and the apparent inability of the security agencies to helm it has forced the governor, Alhaji Bello Matawalle, to seek help from security experts in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, the state government has said.
A statement by the Director-General, Press Affairs, in the Zamfara Government House, Alhaji Yusuf Idris, said the governor, who travelled on Sunday to perform the lesser Hajj in Saudi Arabia, would stop over in Dubai to meet with security experts to seek advice on the security crisis that had consumed so many souls in the state.
The security situation in the North-west state has assumed an epidemic proportion second only to the terrorists’ reign in the North-east of the country.
According to the state government’s statement, “The governor will meet with security experts in Dubai and share ideas on the best way to end the menace of armed banditry in the state.
“He is also expected to meet with the officials of Saudi Arabian government to discuss ways towards the release of the Zamfara-born Alaramma Ibrahim, who has been in detention for almost two years, over alleged drugs trafficking.
“From our findings, his arrest followed a frame-up initiated from the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano.
“While in Dubai, the governor will also meet with officials of African Development Bank and some investors interested in investing in Zamfara economy.”
Corruption Fuels Terrorism, Says ICPC
In another development the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission said corruption has snarled insurgency operations in the North-east, hampering military operations as a result of diversion of funds.
It said weak controls as regards importation of arms, left arms in the hands of criminals, fuelling more violence.
Speaking on the topic: “The benefits of Globalisation in the Fight against Corruption”, Chairman of ICPC, Professor Bolaji Owosanonye, said terrorism is funded through illegal transfer of funds acquired through corruption.
“When funds meant to equip the army to fight terrorism are diverted, they will be ill-equipped against insurgents. This sets back the fight against terrorism,” he said.
Owosanonye, who spoke during the visit of students of the Basic Intelligence Officers’ Course 12/2009 of the Defence Intelligence College, Abuja, said terrorism is funded through illegal transfer of funds.
“Terrorism is funded through illegal transfer of funds mostly acquired through corruption. So far as the flow of funding continues, it empowers terrorism to continue,” he said.
He also flayed the appointment of managers of the terror war based on considerations such as nepotism other than merit.
“When appointments to the highest positions of the fight against terror is based not on merit and ability but, favouritism, ethnic and religious considerations, it is bound to fail before it starts,” he said.
The ICPC chairman, who was represented by the Acting Chairman of the Commission, Hon Justice Adamu Bello (rtd), said weak controls in the importation and exportation of arms could make weapons end up in dangerous hands.
A presentation by Assistant Commissioner of ICPC, Azuka Ogugua, contended that bribery allow criminals to cross borders, acquire visas and other official documents and gain access to buildings.