• Osinbajo unveils 5 fighter jets
• As insurgents faction predicts Shekau’s death
From Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri and Sola Ojo, Kaduna
No fewer than 31 fishermen were killed by Boko Haram around the Lake Chad area of Borno State last weekend, Governor Kashim Shettima confirmed.
“Boko Haram attacked and killed over 30 people in different villages of Borno,” Shettima said in a remark during a visit yesterday by the northern governors’ forum.
Daily Sun gathered that some fishermen were ambushed by Boko Haram on a lake at Guguri and Dabar Wanzam villages last weekend. “Boko Haram attacked the fishermen, killed over 30 of them in the two villages during a fishing expedition,” the source, a Civilian JTF told Daily Sun.
The insurgents reportedly decided to spare the life of one of the fishermen and ordered him to ferry the corpses of his slain colleagues to Baga town to show to the people what they (insurgents) have done. It was learnt that the survivor was forced to ferry the corpses of his colleagues so as to warn the people not to fish in the lake again. The attacks which occurred on Saturday was not reported in Maiduguri, the state capital until yesterday because telecommunication facilities had been cut off by the insurgents in the area since 2014.
It was the second time Boko Haram attacked fishermen at the lake. The insurgents had attacked some fishermen in the area in 2015, killing about 21. The incident was also not known until few days later.
Only yesterday, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo unveiled five brand new Super Mushshak aircraft to decisively deal with insecurity, including the dreaded Boko Haram fighters in the Northeastern part of the country.
Osinbajo also said the administration of President Mohammadu Buhari has been able to block corruption in the Military as promised during electioneering campaign.
The acting president, who was represented at Nigerian Air Force Base Kaduna by Minister of Defense, Mansur Mohammed Dan-Ali, during the induction of the aircraft and graduation ceremony of 16 student pilots described the procurement of the aircraft as timely, especially at the renewed ambushes by degraded Boko Haram elements in Maiduguri, Borno State.
He said: “This administration, as promised two years ago, is determined to protect everyone living in the country and their property. That is why it has taken the issue of insurgency/terrorism very seriously. “The federal government is also including training and capacity building to what we are doing, that is acquisition of more Air hard wear and training, so that our armed forces, especially, the Air Force personnel, can perform better in securing our national integrity.
“On corruption in the system and Boko Haram, we have restrategised, and all these attacks you see are just sign of weakness and we have been doing a lot to see that all these ambushes come to an end. We also want to train civil defence and police so they can join us and move forward, instead of remaining in one place.”
Osinbajo said the acquisition of the fighter jets would add impetus to the training efforts of 401 FTS.
Addressing newsmen shortly after the solo acrobatic display at 401 training command Kaduna, Chief of Air Staff, Air Mashal Sadique Baba Abubakar, hinted that the relocation of service Chiefs to Maiduguri has improved the intelligence gathering and final clean up of insurgents in that part of the country.
He said the NAF aircrafts rove the air for a minimum of nine hours daily to ensure security of lives and property as well as protection of air asset to guard against reoccurrence of what happened few years ago when insurgents attacked our base in Maiduguri and destroyed some air asset.
“We have 10 training aircraft now and we are expecting additional five by December. That shows the federal government is doing very well in providing both manpower and hardware for defence of our national integrity.
“We have relocated to Maiduguri in the wake of renewed Boko Haram attacks. We are on air for nine hours non stop, with cameras to see how to make the country safer. The Super Mushshak is not only for the training, it can be used to fight crime because it has a component where ammunition can be kept and applied. It can also be used for intelligence surveillance and as ambulance, among others,” he added.
On the graduation of 16 student pilots, the Air Chief said, “the training school here is where you prepare the pilots and give them all they require to perform well in the field.
“We’re excited because this training is happening for the first time in 30 years. When I was here as a cadet, I spent more than one year to acquire the training. But today, within four months, the training will be over and this is because we now have enough training facilities.
On maintenance he said: ‘’We have trained 19 personnel in Pakistan and Pakistan engineers are also here. The guys you just saw flying are Nigerians. They were trained by Pakistan which is a sister country.
Meanwhile, a factional leader of Boko Haram, Abu Musad Al-Barnawi, has said the Abubakar Shekau-led faction of the insurgent group will be defeated by the Nigerian military.
Al-Barnawi made the prediction in a video uploaded to YouTube. He said Shekau had gone against the objectives of the insurgent group.
“Muhammad Yusuf and the rest of the Mujahiddeen (Commanders) have sacrificed their lives leaving people like Shekau who violated quotes of the Holy Qur’an and refused to take advice or other people’s opinions,” he said in the video.
“How can you succeed against the Nigerian government (infidel), when you indiscriminately attack innocent people, ordinary Muslims without sufficient grounding. How can you succeed when you kill orphans?”
“Apart from the wanton killing and destruction of human lives, Abubakar Shakau also sees anyone who doesn’t agree with his ideology as Kufur which literary means an act of infidelity.”
He said Boko Haram was created by Muhammad Yusuf for the purpose of propagating good teachings and practice of Islam, but has now become an avenue for perpetrating all forms of criminality.
A year ago, the Islamic State (IS), an affiliate of Boko Haram, named him as the new leader of the terrorist sect.