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I Won’t Witch-hunt Anybody – Lawal Daura, DSS Boss

dauraThe Director-general of Department of State Security (DSS), Lawal Musa Daura, has expressed his resolve to deal ruthlessly with saboteurs of the nation’s interests.

But he denied allegations in some quarters that the agency under his watch is witch-hunting perceived enemies of President Muhammadu Buhari in its recent arrests and investigations.

Daura, who stated this in an interview monitored on Al-Jazeera television, insisted that DSS will only act on valid petitions and not prejudiced information. He also disclosed that in the course of carrying out its responsibilities, the agency will be accountable to all Nigerians and will not go contrary to the dictates of the law.

“Whatever comes before us with facts and figures, it will be dealt with equally as required by the law,” he said.

Daura, who came under heavy criticism following his clampdown on alleged corrupt individuals and organisations, further stated that “Nigerians should closely watch and follow what we have started and what we will continue to do. I am sure they will not find us wanting.”

Assuring Nigerians of a more resolute and professional intelligence service that will be accountable to the Nigerian citizenry, the DSS boss affirmed that ongoing investigations and clampdown on corrupt persons and saboteurs of the nation’s interests would be sustained.

He asserted that the DSS under his watch was poised to restore the confidence of citizens in the Service, which, according to him, has an all-encompassing mandate to protect the interest of the nation.

How we stopped Shekau from disrupting 2015 polls — Dasuki

The former national security adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki (retd), penultimate Thursday shed light into what the Goodluck Jonathan administration, which he served, did to tackle Boko Haram and stop the insurgents and its leader, Abubakar Shekau, from disrupting the last general elections.Dasuki, in an interview with PRNigeria, an organisation that distributes statement for Nigerian security agencies, stated that under his guidance, steps were taken by the armed forces to ensure the insurgents never spoke again.

“We utilised some of these equipment to recover more than 22 local governments under Boko Haram terrorists and ensured that Shekau did not disrupt the 2015 election as he had threatened. Not only did we ensure that the elections were peaceful, Shekau has never spoken to threaten anyone again since then,” Dasuki asserted.

Commenting on the weapons acquired and achievements by the past government, Dasuki said the Jonathan administration facilitated the acquisition of massive weapons in the last one year and recovered many local governments occupied by Boko Haram.

Some of the weapons, he said, include Alpha jets, Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs), Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles, advanced artillery pieces, assorted arms and ammunition, highly sophisticated surveillance drones, T72, and modification of F7 supersonic jet fighters.

“The armoured tanks have comprehensive NBC protection system, just as we deployed MRAP vehicles – that we bought – and could withstand improvised explosive device (IED) attacks and ambushes. The vehicles protected our troops from land-mine threats,” he said.

He added that the acquisitions were made in the last one year following the antics of western powers who denied Nigeria equipment and sabotaged efforts made to acquire same from other sources, which he cited as reasons for some delays in delivery.

“We are glad that we also provided assorted APCs to transport troops to the battlefield. They are armed for self-defence and to provide protection from attacks from shrapnel and small arms fire,” he stated.

Dasuki was placed under house arrest by operatives of DSS for two days in July, an action he described as “attempt to rubbish individuals for whatever reasons, political or otherwise.”

He averred that it was unfortunate that some elements in Nigeria hide under the cover of anonymity in the media to rubbish some of the sacrifices made by him and some other individuals, stating that such elements should have the courage to come out publicly by identifying themselves with their baseless allegations.

The DSS, after the siege on the former NSA’s Abuja residence, released a statement saying it launched the operation after obtaining intelligence that the former NSA planned to commit treasonable felony against the Nigerian state.

Troops discover poles for IEDs in Dikwa

Nigerian troops have made startling discoveries while combing for and clearing terrorists in and around Dikwa, Borno State.

Troops at Jehu, near Jakana, arrested Mai Mustapha, a fuel supplier to Boko Haram terrorists, and Madu who coordinates buying of food items from neighbouring villages for the terrorists.

During the painstaking operation, the troops discovered a pile of street lamp poles cut into pieces by Boko Haram terrorists which they wanted to use in making improvised explosives devices (IEDs).

Similarly, during a cordon-and-search operation in Jakana village, the troops of 7 Division Garrison recovered 15 cows, 174 goats and a donkey from rustlers.

The animals have since been handed over to their legitimate owners while the rustlers are currently undergoing investigation.

According to a statement issued by the acting director, Army Public Relations, Col Sani Usman, Nigerian troops blocked the militants that had attacked Dumbuluwa village in Fika Local Government Area of Yobe State and, after a shootout, the soldiers killed eight terrorists. However, two vigilantes who fougth alongside the troops were wounded by explosives.

Principal Officers: Reps to re-examine whether composition of body breaches lawmakers’ privilege

The last may not have been heard about the resolution of the crisis in the House of Representatives occasioned by the selection of principal officers in the House.

A member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from Imo State, Hon. Austine Chukwukere, Thursday asked Speaker Yakubu Dogara to revisit the issue because, according to him, his privilege was breached by the outcome of the resolution of the crisis.

He alleged that the South East geo-political zone, where he comes from, was excluded from the leadership positions of the House in contravention of the Federal Character principle as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution.

Chukwukere, who raised the matter under a point of order, noted that, as a lawmaker, his privilege was breached by the manner in which the crisis was resolved.

“For the first time, Federal Character was neglected in the selection of principal officers. Our people want this issue revisited by the Speaker in the spirit of justice and equity,” he said.

The Speaker sustained the point of order, while ruling that a committee, comprising the leadership of the House, would examine the complaints to see if any lawmaker’s privilege was breached as regards the issue.

Also, the House has expressed its dissatisfaction with the impression that only the Senate has the power to screen and confirm the appointment of the newly appointed service chiefs, adding that it has the same constitutional power.

Chairman of the ad-hoc committee set up by the House to screen and confirm the appointment of service chiefs, as requested by President Muhammadu Buhari, Hon. Garba Datti, presenting the report of the committee on the floor Thursday, said Section 18 (1) of Armed Forces Act empowers the National Assembly – and not the Senate alone – to carry out that particular function.

According to him, the confirmation of the appointment of the military chiefs was not in the same category as the confirmation of ministers and others which is the exclusive preserve of the Senate.

The single resolution of the committee was approved at the Committee of the Whole House chaired by the deputy speaker, Lasun Yussuf.

In a related development, the Speaker also urged members to disregard messages doing the rounds concerning the activities of Selection Committee of the House.

The committee is responsible for the sharing and allocation of membership of Standing and Special Committees of the House.

He said contrary to messages received by members, the committee had not met, explaining that its inaugural meeting is scheduled for Tuesday next week.

We Have Curtailed Boko Haram ‑ Amosun

Former Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Adesola Amosun (rtd) has disclosed that the Nigerian military has reduced Boko Haram to a shadow of its former self and expressed optimism about its final destruction sooner.

Amosun who said this during the fly-out parade at Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Base, Abuja, held in his honour as he takes a bow out of the military after 35 years of service, warned against complacency, saying terrorism is real and must be fought with utmost ruthlessness.

According to him, the December 2015 deadline given by President Muhammadu Buhari for ending of the Boko Haram threat is more a military operation.

He said: “Don’t forget there are two aspects of fighting terrorism; one aspect is the counter- to be led by the military – must conclude by December. The other aspect – the anti-, is a continuous process with Custom and other paramilitary agencies involved, with the police leading the operation.”

Speaking further, he said: “The fight against terrorism is going to receive higher boost. I want to assure you that the people we have left behind are part of the team, and of course we know that the freedom of movement and actions of the Boko Haram terrorists have been substantially curtailed. What is left now is mop-up exercise and to make sure some of our borders are completely closed and secured.”

“The threat of terrorism is very real, and should the terrorist succeed no part of the nation will be spared, hence, it is absolutely critical that we match the determination of terrorist with an even more ruthless determination of our own to overcome the threats of terrorism.”

According to him, Nigeria needs its gallant armed forces to rise to the challenge of defending the country against the scourge of terrorism and restoring the peace and security necessary for sustained development.

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