AITEO Cup: Sunshine, Nasarawa Clash Headline Round Of 32 – Nigeria Latest News Headlines

As the AITEO Cup enters its 32-team stage today, the game between Nigeria Professional Football League sides Sunshine Stars and Nasarawa United at the Dipo Dina Stadium, Ijebu-Ode, has emerged the pick of the round.

In the women’s competition, in which the first ball would be kicked today, as well, the match between Nigeria Professional Women Football League (NPWFL) teams FC Robo Queens and Delta Queens of Asaba at the Legacy Pitch of the National Stadium, Lagos, would headline the Round of 32.

Yobe Desert Stars, who eliminated top NPFL side Kano Pillars in a rescheduled Round of 64 tie in Damaturu on Thursday, would square up against Akwa United in Uyo next week – the match rescheduled as a result of the Nigeria/Cameroon World Cup qualifier in the same city on Friday.

Lobi Stars, who kicked out fellow NPFL side Katsina United, would be away to Ngwa FC in Abakaliki, while Unicem Rovers would host Rangers International of Enugu and the Oshogbo Township Stadium would see the clash between Osun United and Kwara United.

In the women’s version, Adamawa Queens would take on Edo Queens in Fufore, Invincible Queens would be away to Confluence Queens in Lokoja and Rivers Angels would tackle Delta Babes in Port Harcourt.

NPFL side Niger Tornadoes will be up against FC Atete (the club that eliminated Rivers United) in Lokoja, Shooting Stars are away to Delta Warriors in Warri and Plateau United host Ede United in Jos.

Onukogu Kanayochuqu Jubal,
Num quam conficimus perfectas, sed semper melius (never perfect, but always better)

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25-year-old woman who escaped from Boko Haram recounts ordeal – Nigeria Latest News Headlines

A 25-year-old woman, Aisha Bukar, her kids and husband escaped from Boko Haram. Bukar escaped after three years in captivity .She recounts the ordeal of living in the infamous Sambisa forest, which was a former Boko Haram stronghold Aisha Bukar, a 25-year-old housewife and mother of five on Monday narrated their ordeal in the hands of Boko-Haram insurgents, saying she, her husband, mother-in-law and children, fed on “weeds” to survive.

Mrs Bukar, one of the captives of the insurgents, escaped from their enclave after the military bombed Boko Haram’s hideout in Sambisa Forest recently. Mrs Bukar told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that she escaped from the camp with her husband, mother in-law and the five children. Recounting her ordeal, she said members of her family were incarcerated for about three years by the insurgents in the Sambisa forest. She said the insurgents abducted them while working on a farm at Talala village in Damboa local government area of Borno. She said they were denied food and medicines, following the refusal of her husband to fight for their group. “We were working in the farm when the insurgents abducted me, my husband, children and mother in-law. They took us deep into Sambisa Forest, where we stayed for about three years.

“They asked my husband to take up arms and fight for them, a request he declined; they became infuriated and labeled him as stubborn; to break his will, they denied us food and medicine. “We barely survived on leaves and weeds; we also relied on herbs when sick; they distributed food only to their fighters and those who submit to their demands,” she said. Mrs. Bukar said the insurgents meted out inhuman treatments and abuses on women and children under their captivity. She revealed that the insurgents compelled captives, including women and children, to be attending preaching and lecture sessions. “My husband was flogged on many occasions over his persistent absenteeism at the lecture sessions. His back is covered with ugly scars of injuries sustained from merciless beating by the insurgents. “We suffered various ailments due to lack of food and medicine; my children are suffering from undernourishment and skin diseases. “My sick husband is now at a military facility but they promised to release him after investigations,” she said. Mrs. Bukar claimed that hundreds of women and children incarcerated in the camp were starved to death, while many others died of cruelty in the hands of the insurgents. She also revealed that hundreds of other captives escaped from the camp during the military air strike, as most of the insurgents were killed or wounded.

She explained that they trekked for about three days before they reached Buni-Gari village in Gujba local government area of Yobe State. She added that the military had assisted in re-uniting her family with their relatives in Maiduguri. Also commenting, Mustapha Bulin, the escapee’s father in-law, commended the military for the successes recorded in the counter-insurgency campaign. Mr. Bulin, who spoke in tears, said he had lost hope of reuniting with members of his family after they were abducted by the insurgents. “The insurgents abducted my elder sister together with her son, wife and children. “My sister is about 80-years- old; it is disheartening to see that the insurgents subjected the old lady and children to all sort of cruelty and inhuman treatments,” he said. Meanwhile, a top Boko Haram commander who co-led the operation that resulted in the abduction of about 276 girls in the town of Chibok on April 14, 2014.

The commander, Auwal Ismaeela, is currently helping the Nigerian Military with useful information on locations and hideouts of other top commanders of the sect. Ismaeela, who also led several Boko Haram operations in the northeast which resulted in the killings of innocent people and destruction of properties said he regretted his actions.

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Truth about US report on Boko Haram – Nigeria Latest News Headlines

The United States’ latest report on the state of the anti-terror war in Nigeria bears a strikingly true reflection of the current situation in the country, though the focus was on last year. It is a story of the resurgence of a deadly group that was once driven to the fringes, but is now bouncing back with a vengeance, especially in its well-known tactics of unconventional warfare.

Despite Nigeria’s claims of technically defeating Boko Haram, the terror group that has been waging Islamist insurgency against the government since 2009, the US Department of State report said the group’s killings, bombings and attacks on civilian and military targets have not relented. This worrying situation is reaffirmed by another report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, which in May expressed concerns about the alarming rate of deployment of Improvised Explosive Devices by the extremist group in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, and its environs.

Among other things, the US report accused the Nigerian authorities of failure to rescue all the kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls and inability to hold down territories recaptured from Boko Haram, which once controlled territories in the three most affected states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa. The territories were big enough for Boko Haram to declare a Caliphate, with Gwoza as the capital.

The reports could not have come at a better time, with Boko Haram reportedly back to the infamous Sambisa Forest, its operational headquarters before it was ousted last year. Although the military have tried to say that it is not their responsibility to hold down territories after terrorists have been flushed out, it makes little or no difference; when no structures are erected by the government to fortify the liberated areas, they become prone to more attacks.

Boko Haram has continued to make its presence felt in Nigeria and the neighbouring countries in a devastating manner through the effective use of suicide bombing and ambush. Figures from government agencies involved in the counterinsurgency operations indicate that the terror group deployed more than 145 girls in suicide bombing missions between January and July this year. The figure does not include the number of male bombers who are usually deployed in attacks on mosques. Quite bizarrely, some of the female suicide bombers had babies strapped to their backs.

With no fewer than 27 people reportedly killed and 82 others injured in a market attack two weeks ago in Konduga, near Maiduguri, attacks are becoming even more intensified. An Aljazeera report claims that about 143 people have been killed by bombing since June. Analysis by the Combating Terrorism Centre at West Point and Yale University, US, shows that 434 suicide attacks have been traced to Boko Haram since 2011. Of the 338 bombers whose gender could be identified, 244 were women.

Aside from suicide bombing, which is liberally employed when they have their backs to the wall, Boko Haram members have been laying siege to military convoys and killing soldiers and officers. In a recent pathetic case, the extremist group outgunned a unit of the Army and killed nine soldiers and a newly-promoted officer, M. Medawa, days to being decorated with the rank of a captain. Another very shocking and no doubt daring incident was the ambush on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation oil prospecting team that resulted in multiple deaths and the kidnap of 10 NNPC officials, and lecturers from the University of Maiduguri, who were part of the team. Reports indicate that between 50 and 80 people, including soldiers and members of the Civilian Joint Task Force, died in the July 25 ambush.

It is sad that while the Islamists have been able to vary their tactics and bounce back even when they are thought to have been degraded, the Nigerian authorities appear to be content with just chasing after them whenever they commit their atrocities. Why can’t the military be proactive enough to preempt the terrorists and checkmate them before they strike? Why should Boko Haram appear to have infiltrated the military and the latter have not been able to penetrate the group? What kind of intelligence are the military working with? Adaptability is the secret of success in an asymmetrical war.

This is not a war that should be fought for ever. The Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, has given a 40-day ultimatum for the capture of the Boko Haram chief, Ibrahim Shekau. Right from the beginning, the capture of Shekau and his top commanders should have been a priority. And if intelligence has been deployed effectively, there is no reason why he should not have been either captured or taken out by now.

Following the American model, taking out of terror leaders has been an integral part of their campaign. This made it possible to eliminate such al-Qaeda, Taliban and Islamic State leaders as Osama bin Laden in Pakistan; Anwar al-Alwaki in Yemen; Faruq Qatani in Afghanistan; Abu Muhammad Adnani in Syria; Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour in Afghanistan and Mohammed Emwazi, aka Jihadi John. It was possible to eliminate them because of intelligence efforts facilitated by the locals.

Nigeria must adopt a holistic strategy to fight ter­ror. The Nigerian military have to collaborate more with the neighbouring countries of Niger, Chad and Cameroon in operations and intelligence sharing. Security apparatus should be more professionally deployed to be able to drive deeply underground in dismantling terrorist cells. Above all, the intelligence community should be able to win the confidence of the international community to be able to share intelligence and provide the technology needed to degrade terrorism.

At another level, religious authorities should shut out radical proponents of political Islam and its destructive plague. As Morocco has successfully done, the Nigerian State must also protect its citizens from invasive, extreme forms of Islam. As it is in all wars, captured terrorists should be swiftly brought to justice.

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