29 December 2013

Nigeria: Timeline On Nigeria's Security Challenges

Photo: Vanguard
Boko Haram

Nigeria records so many cases of insecurity of lives and property in the out-going year. There were so many cases of kidnapping, terrorism, armed robbery incidents, burglaries, oil theft, illegal bunkering, illegal refineries operations, hire killings, accidental discharges, extra-judicial killing and a host of others.

According to reports on kidnapping, Nigeria, in the first half of the year, was by far the highest placed with 26% of incidents, Mexico ranked second with 10%, and Yemen ranked third with 7%. Some high profile Nigerians like the Ejigbo local government chairman, Mr Kehinde Bamigbetan, and a lawyer, Mike Ozekhomen, SAN, were among those that were kidnapped.

The number also included some prominent clerics like Bishop Peter Akinola who regained their freedom after payment of some ransom or through divine intervention. On Christmas eve, gunmen suspected to be kidnappers abducted Onyedi Ezeife, one of the wives of first civilian governor of Anambra, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife.

Criminal activities have become the biggest threat to the economy and not a few have been critical of the menace of oil theft. But the Navy authorities are claiming the situation is under control. Since the insecurity of lives and property has taken a new dimension with the emergence of terrorism occasioned by the outlawed Islamic sect, Boko Haram, we would focus more on how the sect has made lives difficult for the common man especially in the North that led to the extension of the state f emergency in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States.

JAN 20: A group of gunmen attack the convoy of Alhaji Ado Bayero, the Emir of Kano, killing four and injuring 14 others, including two of his sons. In addition, militants from the Boko Haram breakaway group Ansaru ambush a Nigerian Army convoy in Kogi State, killing two officers and injuring eight others. The troops were heading to Mali to assist in the ECOWAS mission as part of the conflict against Jihadist groups.

JAN 21-23: Suspected Boko Haram militants murder 18 hunters selling bushmeat at a market in Damboa.

JAN 22: Suspected terrorists also shoot and kill five people who were playing board games in Kano in a fresh attack on the city.

FEB 7: The Islamist Ansaru group kidnap seven hostages from an oil facility in Bauchi. The victims include four Lebanese, a Briton, a Frenchman and a Greek

JAN 23: At least eight civilians were killed in Maiduguri by suspected Boko Haram members.

MAR 9: The Islamist Ansaru group shoots and kill seven hostages it had been holding captive.

MAR 18: A suicide bomber attacks a bus station in Sabon-Gari area of Kano, killing 41 passengers and injuring dozens more of those travelling down South.

MAR 22: Unidentified gunmen attack at least 13 locations in Ganye, a city in Nigeria's northeastern Adamawa State, including the local police station, a bank and several local bars. At least 25 people were killed in the two-hour assault, including the deputy chief of the local prison, where 127 inmates were freed.

APR 12: Militants ambush a police patrol boat in the Niger Delta region killing all 12 occupants. The MEND group claimed responsibility, saying it was in response to jail sentence given to their leader Henry Okah.

MAY 14: President Goodluck Jonathan imposes a three-month state of emergency on Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States to reduce activities of the Boko Haram sect.

JUN 7: A group of militants hiding automatic weapons inside a coffin prepared for burial ,attacks a government militia checkpoint in the northern city of Maiduguri, killing 13 people before being shot during an escape attempt.

JUN 16/19: A team of suspected Islamist militants attacks a school in Damaturu on June 16, killing 13 people, including students and teachers. Three days later a similar attack in the city of Maiduguri left nine students dead.

JULY 6: Gunmen attack the Government Secondary School boarding school, Mamudo, Yobe State, in a pre-dawn raid. Most of the victims were students, with the exception of a few staff members. More than 100 people were reported missing in the aftermath of the attack.

JULY 19: Two gasoline-laden trucks were attacked with threats of more action against the national downstream petroleum industry. The attacks happened using military-grade timed magnetic explosives on the trucks that queued outside a fuel depot operated by the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

JULY 29: Bombs go off in Sabon-Gari in Kano State. A mortuary attendant at Murtala Muhammed Specialist Hospital reported that at least 10 bodies were brought to the hospital. An eyewitness said that at least one explosion appeared to have come from a Mercedes Benz car parked beside a kiosk selling alcohol. At the same time there were hundreds of people in the Sabon- Gari neighbourhood, some of whom were playing snooker and others table tennis on Enugu Street which has many eateries and bars.

AUG 10-11: On Saturday night, Ngom village is raided by gunmen killing 12 people. In another raid, after dawn prayers on Sunday at a mosque in nearby Konduga, gunmen open fire and kill at least 44 worshippers with reports of the deaths emerging the next day.

AUG 14: In Mubi, Adamawa State, according to the Army, its troops were escorting detained Boko Haram members, Mohammad Bama and Abubakar Zakariya Yau, who also had bounties on their heads, to a hideout. But in the ensuing four-hour gun battle, the two died along with several others, as reported by Mubi Army Chief Beyidi Marcus Martins.

SEPT 20: There was a raid on an uncompleted building believed to be a hideout of Boko Haram members near the legislative quarters at Apo, Abuja, by the Department of State Service, DSS, which claimed 10 lives.

SEPT 29: At 1:00am on Sunday at Gujba, Yobe State, gunmen attack a college dormitory targeting students who were sleeping killing most of them and wounding several others.

OCT 2-3: In Gajiram village, 15 people are killed when suspected Boko Haram members raid a local market.

OCT 3: Early in the morning, suspected terrorists stage a highway attack at Bulabulin-Ngabura village, near Gajiram, killing nine people and kidnapping a family of five who were travelling to their country home in Biu.

OCT 20: Pirates attack a Nigerian security boat killing an unknown number of Joint Task Force personnel.

OCT 20: Bama Barracks in Borno State is in the early hours attacked by terrorists who came from cells located across Nigerian Border with Cameroun through Banki town. High caliber weapons such as anti-aircraft and rocket propelled guns were freely used in the attack that lasted several hours.

OCT 23: A U.S.-flagged oil platform's 200-feet supply ship, owned by the Louisiana-based Edison Chouest Offshore C-Retriever, is attacked by pirates early in the day. The captain and the chief engineer are said to have been kidnapped.

NOV 6: President Goodluck Jonathan extends the current state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States by six months, but Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State rejects the extension, describing it as unjustified and punitive.

Jonathan, in a letter dated November 5, 2013, to the Senate President, David Mark, seeking approval for the extension, explained that he took the decision because "some security challenges still exist in a few parts."

DEC 14: Nigeria's military says it killed scores of Islamic extremists in an air raid on a funeral in Borno State. Spokesman Col Muhammed Dole said that the Boko Haram terrorist network has been forcefully conscripting youths and abducting women but that security forces are in pursuit.

DEC 16: The United Nations reportedly claims attacks by the Boko Haram, have claimed over 1,200 lives since May when a state of emergency was declared in the region. Following waves of attack which claimed several lives, the Federal Government on May 14 placed the states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe under emergency rule.

DEC 20: The Nigerian army reportedly foils a planned attack on 202 Tank Battalion, by suspected Boko Haram sect members. It was gathered that the attack was foiled as the military acting on a tip-off ambushed the insurgents, killing several of them.

DEC 20: A group of gunmen, suspected to be Boko Haram members, storms military barracks in Borno in the early hours of Friday, December 20, 2013. The army and residents confirmed that the attackers sprayed spraying gunfire on the troops inside before torching the compound. The military has reportedly initiated pursuit of the insurgents.

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