Explosions, gunfire rock Maiduguri as Boko Haram battles Nigerian soldiers; Dasukigate is blood money – Borno Gov. Shettima; Minister Suspends Airport Officials, Orders Investigation Into Turkish Airlines Fiasco; Soldiers arrest seven Boko Haram bomb experts . . .
Explosions, gunfire rock Maiduguri as Boko Haram battles Nigerian soldiers
Suspected members of the Boko Haram were on Sunday evening were involved in a shoot-out with soldiers in Aladuwari village – about 2 km away from Maiduguri the capital of Borno state in Northeastern Nigeria. The attackers arrived the area at about 6 p.m. local time, it was gathered.
Dasukigate is blood money – Borno Gov. Shettima
Kashim Shettima, governor of Borno state, says the money meant to buy arms to fight Boko Haram but which went into private pockets “is blood money”. Sambo Dasuki, former national security adviser (NSA), is undergoing trial for allegedly diverting security funds meant to equip the military to fight the insurgency in the north-east. The affair is now nicknamed “dasukigate” on the social media.
While playing host to Ladan Salihu, the director-general of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, in Maiduguri during the week, Shettima said the “arms scandal” is a crime against humanity. He said: “The revelations from dasukigate have shown that some sections of the northern political class and their children were all involved in this massive crime against humanity.
“This is blood money. What is the difference between all the revelations and the blood money (blood diamond) in Liberia and Sierra Leone and Congo? “The money meant to prosecute the war on terror was inhumanly diverted while thousands of civilians and soldiers were killed.”
Minister Suspends Airport Officials, Orders Investigation Into Turkish Airlines Fiasco
The Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, has ordered the suspension of three top officials of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, over the recent incident involving Turkish Airlines at the airport.
He added that the ministry had also ordered thorough investigation to ascertain the cause of the breach, as well as why the airline brought in passengers without their luggage.
The suspended officials, according to him, are the Airport Manager, Terminal Manager and Head of Airport Security, who were ordered to handover to their next in rank pending the conclusion of the investigation.
The minister said the explanation by the officials of the airport that the security personnel on duty were overpowered was not acceptable, ordering for thorough investigation into the incident.
He stated that the actions of the passengers by forcing their ways into the tarmac and blocked the aircraft from taking off was a security breach which must not be condoned.
“There has been an unfortunate incident where some agitated passengers of the Turkish Airlines arrived without their luggage making them to force their way into the tarmac which is a breach of security.
“The explanation given is not satisfactory because the primary purpose of the government is to ensure safety of lives and property of its citizens.
Soldiers arrest seven Boko Haram bomb experts
The Nigerian Army has arrested seven suspected Boko Haram bomb experts who specialised in the production of Improvised Explosive Devices. The Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman, said in a statement on Sunday that the terror suspects were arrested by the soldiers in Kaduna.
He said that the seven suspected insurgents were picked up ‘after painstaking surveillance and proactive intelligence operations over a period of time.’
Usman said that the members were in Kaduna to conduct suicide attacks and perpetrate mayhem in the city during the festive period.
He recalled that some suspected Boko Haram bombers were also picked up by the security agents while attempting to detonate bombs concealed in food containers in public places in Maiduguri.
Usman said that the arrest of the suspects would aid the ongoing campaign against the insurgency in the North East.
Nnewi Gas Explosion: Venezuelan President condoles with Nigeria
The Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (photo: below), on Saturday, expressed his solidarity with Nigeria after an explosion in a gas plant in Nnewi, Anambra state where more than 100 people were killed. According to a communiqué from the Foreign Ministry published in light of the accident, the Bolivarian government reaffirmed the ties of fraternity with the Nigerian people.
Preliminary reports show that Thursday’s explosion in the Inter Corp Oil Limited plant, a subsidiary of the Group Chikason, occurred when a truck was downloading liquefied gas without complying with safety measures regarding the cooling time.
Passersby and customers of the plant’s services were killed by the explosion, which destroyed some nearby buildings, and several people were seriously injured.
Rescue workers took the injured to the Nnamdi Azikiwe UniversityTeaching Hospital (NAUTH) and other local hospitals in the area.