Nigerian military ignored advance warnings of Boko Haram attacks on Baga, Monguno – Amnesty International

FILE PHOTO: Survivors People fleeing from Baga after Boko Haram attacks.

The Nigerian military for several weeks ignored repeated warnings of impending attacks on Baga and Monguno by Boko Haram and failed to take action to protect civilians, said global human rights organisation, Amnesty International.

Amnesty’s claim corroborates PREMIUM TIMES exclusive report of January 26 which indicated the Nigerian military received reliable intelligence report indicating that the Boko Haram sect would launch a massive attack on Monguno, but that yet troops were taken by surprise when the insurgents struck early Sunday, suggesting the 5 Brigade stationed in the area failed to prepare adequately for the group’s onslaught.

Relying on the information obtained for a top military officer and evidence gathered from other sources, Amnesty said commanders at the military base in Baga consistently informed the military headquarters in Abuja of a looming threat of Boko Haram attack and in November and December 2014 and repeatedly requested foreinforcements but the military hierarchy paid no attention to their requests.

Hundreds of lives would have been saved if the military hierarchy had responded to these requests with adequate reinforcements.

On January 3, the terrorist group sacked the base of the Multinational Joint Task Force, MNJTF, in Baga and unleashed a devastating attack on the civilian population in the town. Media reports said over 2,000 people were killed in the attack.

Although the Nigerian army denied the casualty figure and said not more than 150 people, including insurgents, died in Baga but subsequent satellite feed by AI showed widespread destruction of properties in the town that suggests that the 2000 casualty figure might be closer to the truth.

Amnesty also said the military had advance warning that the insurgents were planning to attack the military base in Monguno before the January 25 attack.

Long before the attack, soldiers based at Baga had informed the military headquarters of Boko Haram patrols and build-ups in the area. They also reported large civilian movement from towns and villages in the area, which points to the threat of an attack.

“This attack was expected because Boko Haram warned the inhabitants of Baga and surrounding villages almost two months ago that they would be coming to attack the troops and the civilian JTF [Joint Task Force],” a military source told the human rights group.

The group also claimed the terrorist told inhabitants of Baga after the January 3 attack that their “next target is Monguno.”

“There was a warning. Everyone was aware. Boko Haram came on Wednesday last week [21 January] and asked the villagers [in nearby Ngurno] to leave because they are coming to attack the barracks. The villagers told the soldiers,” a resident of Monguno told AI.

“It is clear from this evidence that Nigeria’s military leadership woefully and repeatedly failed in their duty to protect civilians of Baga and Monguno despite repeated warnings about an impending threat posed by Boko Haram,” said Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International’s Africa director.

“These attacks are an urgent wake-up call for the Nigerian leadership, the African Union and the international community. It is essential to protect hundreds of thousands of civilians in north east Nigeria from Boko Haram’s continued onslaught,” he added.

“Nigerian authorities have a responsibility to take all feasible measures to protect the civilian population, including by assisting with an evacuation of those who wished to flee and transporting them to safer areas. They also have a responsibility to inform civilians of risks and dangers. According to witnesses, the local military did not make an effort to do this,” AI said in a statement.


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  • Debekeme

    Wait for PDP, I know what they will say:

    1/blame our enemies
    2//blame the opposition

    TAKE RESPONSIBILITY YOU BUNCH OF IRRESPONSIBLE MEN! God!

    • dave jacob

      The PDP is a damned set of social fools, their heads clogged by stones of rot.

  • Why should the government bother to prevent the attack? If they did they would not have anything to blame on the opposition. So it pays Jonathan to waste the precious lives of innocent Nigeria so that he could use that to campaign against the opposition to win election.

    • dave jacob

      But then, this election he has already lost. The PDP’s only option is to appeal to the madness of YOU-WILL-NOT-GET-THERE-IF-I-DO-NOT-GET-THERE. But, of course, God, in His mercy, will destroy its Mephistophelean plan in Jesus name AMEN!!!

  • dave jacob

    This GEJ regime is just a massive waste.

  • Chris1408

    Nobody expect anything good from GEJ administration. GEJ is a disgrace and worthless as a president. The military generals are equally worthless.

  • Ayodeji

    I think it is time to start to take the accusation of Steven Davis, the Australian negotiator serious……..Nigerian govt cannot be exonerated from these killings for whatever reasons.

  • Guguru

    So, it took these grave acts of negligence before we begin to see that the lethargic behavior of the military is deliberately orchestrated to cause mass murders and destruction? So, no one can see that the plan comes from high above up to Aso Rock?

    So, Boko Haram even has some ethics when they asked people to leave before striking the town, and the Nigerian military lacked the same ethics by using the intelligence provided to them to protect their soldiers and civilians? Something is terribly wrong here. Someone needs to go to jail for these concerns.

  • Mr. Abdin

    Clueless govt.

  • Wähala

    So, who will court marshal those Tombo Generals and their C-in-C for dereliction of duties?
    Na to sentence ill-equipped soldiers to death dem sabi, what is more callous than to ignore fore-warnings and allow the slaughter of over 2000 innocent civilians in cold blood? Dumbo and his Service Chiefs must end up at the ICC for crimes against humanity offenses. Tow along Gen. Ihejirika, Modu Sheriff and the NSA ati Defense Minister, and the criminals late Azazi warned us against would be caged and appropriately punished for their roles in the Anarchy Agenda for political dividends. Animals. No wonder the US recently blocked a backdoor purchase of Cobra Helicopters from Israel, because the Americans know it is Nigerian Govt. that is the greatest “impediment” in the war against the Boko Haram terrorists. It’s Dumbo’s war of attrition on Northerners and the reason he would rather handover to this same military than concede defeat at the polls… their lives and freedom are tied to the elections after which real truths will emerge on several fronts. Baztards!

  • BlackieUmukoro

    Amensty international will always give a sensational report after the event and not before the event. How much of these intelligence gathering did you do in Paris, Iraq, Kurd, Afganistan, Ukrain and how many damning reports have you issued against the military and governments of those countries. It is high time AI is thrown from Nigeria as they are seem solidly behind boko haram

    • PROF

      They are also paid by the northern oligarchs

  • Shahokaya

    The generals in Abuja are too busy trying to hide Buhari’s certificate such that they don’t have time to attend to the field commanders needs. For the C-in-C the campaign trauma caused by Bauchi pure water sarcet attack and the over dose of Kai Kai and Ogogoro has not allowed him to know what Shariff boys were upto.

  • the truth

    We should all support our government and the troops. This is no time to cast blames. Everything is under control, and God willing we will overcome. We have to be united in our quest for true continuity and ongoing transformation. Vote wisely for the youth with newer ideas. Say no to illiteracy, dictatorship and born to rule tendency.

    • LindaO

      I couldn’t agree more. It is appalling that some try to divide our nation in dire times. Hardship should have us stand together (against BH, against the poor economy because of the oil price drop). But unity is not quite compatible with slanderous campaign tactics and mindless ambition. Nigerians should not let themselves be divided by power hungry opportunists.

  • Ade

    Goodluck Jonathan generals are as careless and wicked as their commander-in-chief. What kind of negligence and incompetence is this? GEJ must be voted out come February. We cannot continue like this. Haba.

  • Observer

    FILE PHOTO: Survivors People fleeing from Baga after Boko Haram attacks.

    But the plate numbers when given a forensic view, are clearly not Nigerian plate numbers. Does anyone verify these arranged photos? The photo could well pass for some scene in Chad, Niger, or even Somali. …but this is continent Nigeria, its peoples so different in everything and all ways but pretend to want a common country that never existed before the foreigners told us we could live together. .. and 100yrs after, many Nigerians still believe in the lie.

    My Father was not born a Nigerian. There is nothing wrong therefore if anyone born a Nigerian today dies a Biafran or Bokostani tomorrow. Its all about change…the only ‘constant variable’.

  • Shuaibu Bola Victor

    UNLIKE A LEADER: WHAT A CHARACTER IS BUHARI?

    “God willing, by 2015, something will happen. They
    either conduct a free and fair election or they go a very disgraceful way. If what happened in 2011 (alleged rigging)
    should again happen in 2015, by the grace of God, the dog and the baboon would all be soaked
    in blood.’’……..General Muhammadu Buhari(May 15, 2012)

    BELOW IS A POLITICAL DEATH SENTENCE ON APC AND GMB

    “The grounds on which General Buhari is being promoted as the alternative choice are
    not only shaky, but pitifully naive. History matters. Records are not kept
    simply to assist the weakness of memory, but to operate as guides to the
    future. Of course, we know that human beings change. What the claims of
    personality change or transformation impose on us is a rigorous inspection of
    the evidence, not wishful speculation or behind-the- scenes assurances. Public
    offence, crimes against a polity, must be answered in the public space, not in
    caucuses of bargaining”.—–Prof Wole Soyinka

  • Preco01

    DEM WEY GET EYES AND EARS HEAR AND SEE WELL WELL!!

    The immediate past United States Secretary of State, Mrs. Hillary
    Clinton, in separate events in New York City said the Nigerian government under
    President Goodluck Jonathan, squandered its oil resources, and indirectly helps
    corruption to fester in the Boko Haram troubled country.

    Hillary Clinton, in her words accused President Jonathan for poor
    performance, corruption, mismanagement and insecurity; “The government of
    Nigeria has been, in my view, somewhat derelict in its responsibility toward
    protecting boys and girls, men and women in northern Nigeria over the last
    years.

    “The Nigerian government must accept help –

    particularly intelligence, surveillance and recognizance

    help – their troops have to be the ones that (are)

    necessary, but they could do a better job if they

    accept the offers that are being made.

    Nigeria has made bad choices, not hard choices,” Clinton said.

    “They have squandered their oil wealth; they have

    allowed corruption to fester, and now they are losing

    control of parts of their (own) territory because they

    would not make hard choices.”

    Mrs. Clinton spoke with ABC-TV’s Robin Roberts on

    American national television, and also at a public function

    organized by the International Crisis Group.

    Clinton stated the following position in the New York

    events she attended, challenging the credibility and quality of the country’s
    leadership under President Jonathan’s watch.

    “The seizure of these young women by this radical,

    extremist group, Boko Haram, is abominable, it’s criminal, it’s an act of
    terrorism, and it really merits the fullest

    response possible, first and foremost from the government of Nigeria

  • Shuaibu Bola Victor

    UNLIKE A LEADER: WHAT A CHARACTER IS BUHARI?

    “God willing, by 2015, something will happen. They
    either conduct a free and fair election or they go a very disgraceful way. If what happened in 2011 (alleged rigging)
    should again happen in 2015, by the grace of God, the dog and the baboon would all be soaked
    in blood.’’……..General Muhammadu Buhari(May 15, 2012)

    BELOW IS A POLITICAL DEATH SENTENCE ON APC AND GMB

    “The grounds on which General Buhari is being promoted as the alternative choice are
    not only shaky, but pitifully naive. History matters. Records are not kept
    simply to assist the weakness of memory, but to operate as guides to the
    future. Of course, we know that human beings change. What the claims of
    personality change or transformation impose on us is a rigorous inspection of
    the evidence, not wishful speculation or behind-the- scenes assurances. Public
    offence, crimes against a polity, must be answered in the public space, not in
    caucuses of bargaining”.—–Prof Wole Soyinka.

  • Hembe Hembe

    EX-MILITARY DICTATOR, MUHAMMED BUHARI SHOULD EXIT POLITICS: MY REASONS-
    No1.

    NIGERIAN STUDENTS. Remember the person who abolished feeding in
    tertiary institutions in 1984?. Buhari as a military Dictator then had
    no agenda for Nigerian Students, neither does he and his rag tag
    coalition this time.
    Vote to protect our Students.
    SAY NO TO BUHARI, SAY NO TO APC
    Nigeria First Project

    No2

    NIGERIAN WOMEN. How many Women were in Buhari’s Cabinet as Military
    Head of State? NONE. Buhari has no respect for the dignity of women and
    regards them as insignificant in national development. That is why he
    recklessly said recently that he will abolish the office of the First
    Lady if he is elected. Women, who today are at the commanding heights of
    Nigeria’s political economy will have no rallying point in a Buhari
    Government.
    Vote to protect our Women.
    SAY NO TO BUHARI, SAY NO TO APC
    Nigeria First Project

    No3

    THE NIGERIAN PRESS. Do we want to risk the freedom of Expression we
    currently enjoy?. Hear Gen Buhari’s vow in 1984 when asked about press
    freedom ” I will tamper with that”. To match words with Action (after
    all, Buhari claims to be a man of his words) he enacted Decree 20 and
    jailed Journalists Nduka Irabor and Tunde Thompson. Many Nigerians were
    detained without trial under his draconian Decree No 2. Can we afford
    to go back to the dark ages?

    SAY NO TO BUHARI, SAY NO TO APC
    Nigeria first Project

    No. 4

    The NIGERIAN POLITICAL CLASS. If you think that the current attempt to
    whitewash General Buhari and give him a human face will make him abandon
    his old habits, we will be in for a rude shock. To him, every
    politician is a thief except himself. This kind of messianic delusion
    has no place in contemporary Nigeria. Buhari looks at everyone with
    contempt and prejudice. His iron fisted misrule lead to the premature
    deaths of political leaders across the country. Let us save our emerging
    leaders and protect them from a rampaging despot.

    Say NO TO BUHARI, SAY NO TO APC
    Nigeria First Project

    No. 5

    CIVIL SOCIETY. Buhari’s Government enacted laws with retroactive
    effects. Nigerians were given punishments that were nonexistent in
    previous laws at the time the offences were committed! How else can we
    define gross violation of human rights? Buhari enacted and recklessly
    applied Decree 2 otherwise known as Detention of Persons without trial
    Decree.
    He never condones dialogue.
    SAY NO TO BUHARI, SAY NO TO APC
    Nigeria First Project

    No. 6

    CATTLE REARERS. To some Nigerians, General Buhari is a proud Fulani man
    who will protect them when he gets to power! How wrong! Under General
    Buhari, the obnoxious Jangali Tax system was introduced and this brought
    untold hardships to Fulani Cattle Rearers and frustrated most of them
    out of business. A good friend they say is better than a wicked brother.
    The current effort to create grazing reserves for cattle Rearers must
    be supported. Buhari will bring back Jangali.

    SAY NO TO BUHARI, SAY NO TO APC
    NIGERIA first project

    No. 7

    INVESTORS/ BUSINESS COMMUNITY. General Buhari does not believe in the
    principle of a private sector driven economy. He is still ensconced in
    the worn out and obsolete practices of a state monopoly control of the
    economy. All the gains of the current reforms which have made Nigeria
    the biggest investment destination in Africa will be reversed.
    Should we be led back to Egypt?
    SAY NO TO BUHARI, SAY NO TO APC
    Nigeria first Project

    No. 8

    TRADITIONAL INSTITUTIONS. General Buhari as Military Head of State
    undermined the revered and world famous Stools of the Emirate of Kano
    and the Ooni of Ife when he unilaterally suspended the Great Alhaji Ado
    Bayero and Oba Okunade Sijuwade from office for embarking on private
    visits to the State of Israel. At the time they visited Israel, they
    violated no laws. Let’s us preserve the dignity of our heritage.
    SAY NO TO BUHARI, SAY NO TO APC
    Nigeria first project

    No. 9

    THE LEGISLATURE AND THE JUDICIARY. General Buhari does not believe in
    the concept of Separation of Powers. Being from a dictatorial
    background, he lacks the temperament to engage in dialogue and tolerate
    opposing views. That is how he influenced the dispensation of justice in
    his regime. From his pronouncements and carriage, he has learnt nothing
    and will attempt to weaken the other arms of government. SAY NO TO
    BUHARI, SAY NO TO APC,
    Nigeria First Project

    No. 10
    THE
    NIGERIAN PEOPLE. General Buhari seems disconnected with the norms of
    politics in his actions and his words. His immensely divisive persona is
    manifest in his recent pronouncements. In an interview he granted to
    weekly Trust recently, he referred to Former Presidents Olusegun
    Obasanjo and Ibrahim Babangida as his “Enemies”. Nigerians deserve a
    President who is a unifier, not one who has a penchant for collecting
    enemies. A Nigeria President should NEVER HAVE AN ENEMY.
    SAY NO TO BUHARI, SAY NO TO APC
    Nigeria First Project

    No. 11

    NIGERIAN PEOPLE. Buhari and his APC image launders have continued to
    present themselves to Nigerians as people who are going to fight
    corruption when voted into power –
    Buhari whose ADC, Major Ojokolo
    escorted 53 suitcases into this Nigeria in 1984 even when he, Buhari had
    ordered the closure of the borders.
    SAY NO TO BUHARI, SAY NO TO APC,
    Nigeria First Project

    No. 12

    NIGERIAN PEOPLE. Toppling Shagari govt was the worst of Buhari sins.The
    worst civilian govt is better than any military junta. A man who
    truncated the Nigerian Second Republic and ushered Nigeria into 16 years
    of Military draconian administration cannot turn around to benefit from
    his own wrong. Buhari cannot eat his cake and have it.
    SAY NO TO BUHARI, SAY NO TO APC
    Nigeria First Project

  • Kola Adekola

    So Amnesty International has now become an expert in military manoeuvres?
    We need to kick these people out of our country.

    The soldiers at Baga had several Armoured Personnel Carriers (they left 4000 rounds of heavy calibre ammo for boko haram), they also left several heavy artillery pieces and other high quality ammo to boko haram.

    Naturally, they will be court marshalled. I wish the same could happen to Amnesty who seem to be their partners in this ugly plot.

  • evi

    This same amnesty international that was crying allover the place about human rights violation against boko haram terrorists have come again,now that they army is trying to reduce collateral damage as much as possible, you are still complaining? Amnesty international has brought it’s organisation to disrepute by supporting boko haram and lack of appreciation for the military that put their lives on the line daily to fight the insurgents,it is high time they are investigated .

  • Ayodele Ohakim

    How’s the army supposed to protect every civilian in the North-East when Boko Haram launches multiple attacks in multiple locations. Over the course of a week, the military hold up two sieges and inflicted several hundred casualties to these terrorists. Boko Haram isn’t trying to fight the soldiers, but to undermine the army and the Government by targeting civilians and looting villages.

  • Ezekiel Akpablo

    People are still failing to realize that our country is at war with these fanatics. Given the recent successes of the Nigerian Army, I don’t think putting the blame on us is the right thing to do.

    • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

      If towns and cities falling like domino pieces are signs of “the recent successes of the Nigerian Army”, I would hate to see the results of their failure!

  • James

    Has anybody noted a trend in the activities of Amnesty
    International? They only swing into action anytime the terrorists get a bloody
    nose from the effective action of our troops as it happened in Maiduguri and Konduga.
    Indeed, the remarks are mischievous. I agree with the Military that the aim is
    distractive and misleading. Ignore them and fight on.

  • Okwuchukwu

    Well, for their defense, would you trust a snake? When BH say they will attack a city it might as well be to divert your attention from their true objective.