Nigerian military begins massive push to retake Boko Haram-held territories

Nigerian security forces on Saturday launched a huge military campaign to retake a swath of territory in the North East seized by the terror group, Boko Haram, security officials and government sources told PREMIUM TIMES.

Ground forces, backed by several fighter jets, deployed early Saturday, are advancing to recapture Monguno, the first in a list of at least 14 towns held by the insurgent group in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.

The operations kicked off February 14 as announced by the military a week ago – the major reason the security services gave for their demand that presidential and National Assembly elections, earlier billed for that day, be delayed.

Nigeria’s National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, and the military chiefs had warned that they could not guarantee security if the elections went ahead as planned.

According to details referred to by the Independent National Electoral Commission, the military was planning sweeping onslaught against Boko Haram starting February 14, and did not want a distraction.

It is not clear why the date of start of the campaign was publicised. Security experts believe that might have tipped off the insurgents who might be laying in ambush for the troops.

The military has assured that the six-week extension, which will allow time for the massive operations, will significantly turn the tide in the war against Boko Haram, a pledge re-affirmed by President Goodluck Jonathan during a televised media chat on Wednesday.

Security sources told PREMIUM TIMES of a massive deployment of troops and military assets, many of them newly-acquired, in the fight to re-take Monguno. Several fighter jets were also on hand for air cover, they said.

The operation, our sources said, is being personally led by L.O Adeosun, the General Officer Commanding of the Maiduguri-based 7th Battalion and the Commander of the 5 Brigade, Munguno, a Brigadier general Udoh, Mr. Adeosun, a Major General, was recently posted to Borno after the loss of Baga and Munguno to Boko Haram.

The Director of Defence Information, Chris Olukolade, a Major General, confirmed the commencement of the massive operation, but declined further details.

Monguno fell alongside Baga in early January after Boko Haram fighters overran the town and killed about 2,000 people, according to Amnesty International.

The start of the fighting Saturday coincided with a fresh Boko Haram attack in Gombe, in the heart of the North East, in what was the first direct attempt by the insurgents to take the city.

There had been gun and bomb attacks on the city, but fighting was concentrated mostly in the suburb but they were mostly bomb attacks and an attempt to seize Ashaka Cement plant, where insurgents seized explosives.

Military authorities say Saturday’s attack has now been repelled.


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  • Awarawa

    The janjaweeds would say “chai”, this GEJ has spoilt our campaign slogan o! Buhari would say;” Liar Mohammed, Bola, Amaechi, what do we do now. Bola, abeg, call Obama to assist with his campaign team again. We need some propaganda”

  • Tj

    Brainless

  • bib

    ‘It is not clear why the date of start of the campaign was publicised. Security experts believe that might have tipped off the insurgents who might be laying in ambush for the troops.’
    I pray the announcement is not deliberate for the operation to fail so that they will have another reason to scuttle the election.
    Indeed today’s Gombe attack throws doubts into people’s minds.

    • FortB

      How are you sure it is not fifth columnist who do not want the operations to succeed that are revealing what is supposed to be operational secret?

      • bib

        No the govt said it very clearly.

  • abc

    I guess you mean Nigerien Army.

  • Patriotic Nigerian

    ——————[IRAQ & SYRIA] ————-

    IRAQ — (Size = 437,072 km2 ) (Population = 36,004,552)
    SYRIA—(Size = 185,180 km2 ) (Population = 17,951,639)
    Total…………… = 622,252km2 ) (…………..= 53,956,191)

    ——————–[NIGERIA] ———————

    NIGERIA — (Size = 923,768 km2 ) (Population = 174,507,539)

    =COMMENT=

    1. So far, 37 countries of the world are in Iraq & Syria fighting with Jets, Cobra Helicopters, Drones, Rockets, Missiles, Tanks etc etc etc and ISIS is yet to be defeated…..
    2. Syria & Iraq put together is just 67% of the size of Nigeria in terms of PHYSICAL Land mass. …
    3. But the citizens of this 37 countries are in full support of their respective countries despite fighting ISIS unsuccessfully for yrs now.

    Why then do opposition leaders blame Nigerian Govt? If 37 countries including US & Co have not been able to defeat ISIS, why do you expect a swift win by Jonathan amidst the peculiar Nigerian situation where saboteurs are everywhere from Lagos to Sambissa?. The same soldiers acting in one accord, ended civil war in Sierra Leone (6m people) & Liberia (3m people) . But the North East alone is equal to the land mass of Britain.———-It still comes down to the inevitable – DIS-INTEGRATION is the only solution to Nigeria’s man made problem.

    • abc

      Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I see ur point.Why is d whole world not fightin d terrorists in nigeria?

  • IS.JESUS.CHRIST.A.CHRISTIAN

    BREAKING NEWS – POSTPONEMENT OF PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION WAS TO ENABLE PRINTING OF FAKE BALLOT PAPERS IN LONDON FOR RIGGING PURPOSES
    ON FEBRUARY 7, 2015, INEC CHAIRMAN, ATTAHIRU JEGA CONFIRMED THAT ALL THE BALLOT PAPERS FOR THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION WERE IN CBN VAULTS IN ABUJA. BUT SAHARA REPORTERS FOUND MILLIONS OF BALLOT PAPERS MEANT FOR ELECTIONS IN THE SOUTHWEST IN A LONDON PRINTING PRESS CALLED PANTHER PRINT. CEMOZ INTERNATIONAL LTD. WAS AWARDED THE CONTRAC…T FOR THE PRINTING OF THE BALLOT PAPERS AND IT THEN SUBCONTRACTED IT TO PANTHER PRINT BECAUSE OF ITS EXPERTISE IN SERIALIZING PRINTED MATERIAL. UNTIL THE INEC CHAIRMAN COMES OUT TO CONTRADICT HIS EARLIER STATEMENT IT IS SAFE TO CONCLUDE THAT THE PDP AND GEJ CONTRACTED THIS COMPANY TO PRINT BALLOT PAPERS FOR RIGGING PURPOSES. THIS IS THE REASON WHY THEY HAVE BEEN FIGHTING TOOTH AND NAIL TO GET INEC TO CANCEL THE PVC AND CARD READERS SO THEY CAN HAVE A FIELD DAY RIGGING GEJ BACK TO POWER.UI

    • terry

      Those papers were for the state elections.Jega said presidential election papers.

    • richkid

      Your not well, pdp doesn’t know how this year’s ballot paper looks like but apc who hacked into inec website does know everything about it. Noisemakers Apc. GEJ will flaw you guys

      • IS.JESUS.CHRIST.A.CHRISTIAN

        SHUT UP BIAFRAN ENEMY WITHIN.

        • richkid

          Whether biafran enemy or not. Instead of this buhari to win in this 21 century after been in the 19 century. Does it mean people don’t grow in Nigeria!? God forbid. If not GEJ let Nigeria separate!!

          • IS.JESUS.CHRIST.A.CHRISTIAN

            CRIMINAL BIAFRAN GET AWAY!!!!

      • IS.JESUS.CHRIST.A.CHRISTIAN

        LIAR!!

        • Diamond

          Na only you waka come? different people are commenting, but only you keep commenting to different people. do you know why? your people realize the fact but you do not want to realize the truth because you are an enemy of progress. all your propaganda can’t change people’s mind. A man that can get power with coup, he doesn’t care about Nigerians decision on Democracy is the one you want simply because you are bird of the same feather. he killed his and in command because he saw the leak of is coup. is it that man you want to come and rule us and the APC, the Ogboni fraternity party. God won’t allow such in Nigeria. APC are group of people that doesn’t human feelings. All they want is power, then they can force Nigerians out of the human right. well. i will advice you to sit down and think. study the leather’s around you and see there visions. i can see you can write so you must be able to speak. so, you should have articulate reasoning. reason the right way a human should reason. Good-luck man.

          • IS.JESUS.CHRIST.A.CHRISTIAN

            GOODLOCK JONOTHING IS DESTROYING NIGERIA FOR EASONS ONLY KNOWN TO HIM.

    • Shuaibu Buhari

      How long would you continue to parade fake information? Propaganda is not a gateway to election victory rather it will block all the chances of fair play and spirits of sportsmanship between the main contending parties. Well, keep trying your luck, but I know it cannot pay you.

      • IS.JESUS.CHRIST.A.CHRISTIAN

        I AM NOT A JONATHANIAN OR NTA OR AIT OR DOYIN OKUPE OR ABATI OR FANI KAYODE OR OVERALL GOODLOCK JONOTHING. THESE ARE THE NIGERIAN LIARS.

        • Shuaibu Buhari

          I have always noticed that you feel more aggrieved than the APC arrow heads. I must tell you that you cannot even make friends through that way not even on this platform.
          I do not want to believe that you are a leftist because I know that you will end up strangling yourself if Buhari fails. But what you should know is that power comes from God. It is not by individual’s power. So believe you me that God might choose to return Jonathan as the President of Nigeria come May 29, and haven will not lose.
          Again, simply look at your name, why would it be controversial name? It shows how Islamic bigotry you are. Hausa moslems cannot but a yoruba moslem. Your name and acidic words are great minus to you. Let just stop here. I hope you will understand me.

          • IS.JESUS.CHRIST.A.CHRISTIAN

            I HATE LIES.

          • Shuaibu Buhari

            There is nothing wrong with that, it is natural.

          • IS.JESUS.CHRIST.A.CHRISTIAN

            ON THIS CATEGORY JONOTHING, PDP, AIT, NTA, CRIMINAL IGBOS, BIAFRANS FALL ALL AFOREMENTIONED.

          • Shuaibu Buhari

            What you like most are abusing people and castigating another ethnic groups. It is very bad.

          • IS.JESUS.CHRIST.A.CHRISTIAN

            SHUT UP! THOSE E-RATS MOSTLY IGBOS WHO MADE IT AS THEIR OBLIGATION AT ANY GIVEN SLIGHTEST CHANCE THEY ABUSE ALLAH, PROPHET MUHAMMAD PBUH, ISLAM AND MUSLIMS AND NORTHERN NIGERIA. SO IF ANY ADVICE YOU MUST MAKE IT TO THOSE CRIMINALS, SLAVES AND BASTARRDS WHICH YOU ARE ALSO AMONG THEM. CRIMINAL BABY FACTORY SON. GAY WIFE OF JESUS.

          • Shuaibu Buhari

            You have mental problem. Sorry for telling you this at this material time. Check yourself well.

          • IS.JESUS.CHRIST.A.CHRISTIAN

            LIAR!! CRIMINAL IGBO.

    • FortB

      Stupidity dey smell. Sahara Reporters who posted the photos reported that The ballot papers were reported to be for INEC, so why are you trying to be mischievous here? Mumu

      • IS.JESUS.CHRIST.A.CHRISTIAN

        A new group named “Nigerian United for Democracy”(NUD) today organized a protest in Lagos mobolizing Nigerians to resist any further attempt by President Goodluck Jonathan to postpone elections scheduled for March 28th and April 2015. The groups led by Barrister Femi Falana urged Nigerians to prepare for a long struggle to drive President Jonathan from power. The group insisted that President Jonathan and his service chiefs had no right to advise Prof. Attahiru Jega to postpone the elections. KL

  • Umar Dendi

    Gen Adeosun, this is the time. Eternal acclaim or fanned infamy!
    Lets make history!

  • Sword of Damocles

    All the peoples of Nigeria are with our gallant men and women fighting today for the Honor of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, today we are Nigerians FIRST, before anything else. Godspeed, Strength & Honor ALWAYS!

    • Ekerete Etukudo

      That’s more like it! And I applaud you for your smart comment!!

  • richkid

    After participating in the 19 century in the military, your here again in the 21 century killing people to get into power again, sabotaging incumbent government. Doesn’t people grow up in Nigeria for it to still be you!! God forbid. If not GEJ let NIGERIA separate. !!

  • richkid

    It must be Apc that hacked into the site of INEC that will know the details of what that voters card will look like. But thank God PDP caught them. GEJ all the way

  • taewo

    How did it get to this stage of BH capturing territories? Because our President, Jonothing Gridluck lacks vision and strategy and he and his military commanders are corrupt to high heavens.

    • Ekerete Etukudo

      monkey see, monkey do… do like your masters in APC! How can a Nigerian not applaud Nigerian army’s advancements against book haram?!

      • Would you like to buy some used Nigerian Army weapons? Never been fired and only dropped once!

        • BankyMons

          Go fire it on your own country! We are peaceful and family loving people. Go away with your advice you troll.

  • Shuaibu Buhari

    The major problem with power greeds is refusal to give credit when the rival achieves a fit. There is no way Nigeria will grow if opposition political parties believe that the only way to enthrone better society is only when they are able to hijack power. No! The beauty of democracy is opposition but not acrimonious opposition political party. Ofcourse one day power will change hand but not by fire by force under democratic setting. It is never possible. Most times power can change hand based on negotiations.
    Ok, look at the major breakthrough by the Military in Munguno, but some elements here have not seen anything good about it. Good help you.
    UP! GEJ!!!

    • Baba

      Credit for what? For loosing our territory to shekau who now has a caliphate? In sane countries, GEJ will be sent packing with dispatch for this shameless failure.

      • Shuaibu Buhari

        Terrorism is even in America but that has not sent Obama packing. Insurgents can be defeated and controlled. Nigeria has just acquired the necessary weapons to defeat Boko Haram. In no time, we believe that Boko Haram will be defeated by GEJ led Federal govt.

  • Guguru

    After 4 years, Jonathan and his thugs of liars are now ready to go after Boko Haram? So, why are they choosing election time to do this when they could have done so on many occasions last year? The world already knows the truth—-Jonathan and his PDP are behind the Boko Haram scourge for political purposes.

    • Ekerete Etukudo

      Monkey see, monkey do… so your greatest problem is that the Nigerian army is now taking the fight to boko haram eeh? And you’re as unhappy as your APC masters??

      • Guguru

        Your greatest problem is to be naive enough to accept that fighting Boko Haram during an election period rather than prior to this period, is a bright idea. The Nigerian Military had 4 years to take the fight to Boko Haram but they chose not to do so. Would you do us the honor of telling us why they never chose to take the fight to Boko Haram in the last 4 years? Everyone now knows the truth. Their game is up.

        • Ekerete Etukudo

          You ask yourself this question; if they weren’t fighting boko haram for the past 4 years, why are you still living freely in Nigeria? Why hasn’t the SW, SE, SS, Mid West, Middle Belt States, and most northern states been overrun by boko haram? Want to know why? Because the Nigerian army, though highly compromised by some boko haram sympathizers has made that possible — that’s why. That’s why you’re able to have an opinion. Always remember that!!

          • Guguru

            Ekerete,

            LOL. Unless you were kidnapped from reality, I don’t see any semblance of freedom in Nigeria. I believe police men routinely abuse and steal money from innocent citizens and the military has a terrible human rights record. This does not reflect freedom.

            Boko Haram has not overrun the regions you mention because Boko Haram is controlled by the Jonathan administration. Only a controlled group can maintain presence in the BAY states (Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe) so consistently. If Boko Haram was not controlled, then it would have spread as you suggested. This brings us back to my initial premise which you seem to have issues with. Unfortunately for you, the Nigerian military is also controlled by Jonathan who is their Commaner-in-Chief. The military is controlled to only go on the offensive during elections because it provides a political advantage for the Jonathan administration. if the military was not controlled, they would have defeated Boko Haram 4 years ago, So, there is nothing to remember. LOL.

      • Baba

        What we saw is boko haram trying to take over Gombe instead of the military recovering our land took over by shekau under the failed commander in chief.

  • Gran puba

    Gu gu ru or whatever, it’s taken the collaboration and cooperation of the neighboring countries and Boko haram havens like chad, Niger, Cameroon, 4yrs to agree to work together and operate under one theater of attack on Boko haram. Plus the AU and United Nations had to also agree to the accord the fight these killers. Please say what you know and keep facts as your basis.

    • Guguru

      4 years to agree with your neighbors? LOL. Are you aware that Cameroon has refused to share intelligence with the Nigerian Military because operational info was constantly being shared with Boko Haram? You worked with the colaition force to know that it took them 4 years to agree to work together, right? On what wall were you perched as a fly as they reached this suspicious agreement you rant about? The same Nigeria that refused and rejected AU and UN assiatnce but allowed over 12,000 Nigerians to be killed by Boko Haram, is actually trying to work with its neighbors? The same Nigeria that wants to work with its neighbors was busy insulting Niger Republic this past week? So, what facts are you really talking about?

  • burning spear

    Mumu it was only last week that the United Nations gave Nigeria the go ahead to DO EVERYTHING WITHIN ITS REACH crush Boko Haram—————————-the issue of human right abuses which most of the fulani elites have been hiding under as a cover to back boko haram–has been removed by the United NATIONS SEC GENERAL——————

    • Baba

      Which UN go ahead? Who told you a president need UN approval to defend the lives of his people and the territory of his nation? This attempt to cover GEJ failure won’t work. GEJ can’t offer what he doesn’t have (leadership)

      • burning spear

        mumu–this is how u go about lying—-the issue of human right abuse is over–now its all out war–according to the UN secretary general

  • burning spear

    SHEHU SHAGARI THROWS A BOMBSHELL AT BUHARI: QUIT NOW.

    Posted on February 12, 2015 by globalvillenews

    FULL TEXT OF LETTER FROM ALHAJI SHEHU SHAGARI TO BUHARI
    My brother, you have contested the Presidential elections 3 times in this country and in all these times,youhave never asked me or my people at Shagari village to support your bid. It is very obvious why you can’t do that. You don’t have the courage after what you did to me.
    You truncated democracy with a dastardly coup and took away power from me. You humiliated me and made me to suffer, and you took away my opportunity to RULE Nigeria. You said you do not want democracy in Nigeria.. The same democracy you truncated, you are fighting hard to get with desperation and diabolical power.
    You have entered into unholy alliance with some known elements of disunity in the south but let me warn you.
    You will suffer hard in the hands of Tinubu and his political merchants who will use and dump you as they did to Nuhu. In 2011, you cried publicly when you lost election, and you made provocative and inciting statements that plunged this country into untoward unrest. You provoked our hot-blooded youths with war cries which erupted into post election violence, that brought Boko Haram into existence, over 500 innocent Nigerians died instantly, most of them youth corpers deployed from one of the unifying agencies of this country. Personally, I do not have a problem with your ambition.
    It is your arrogance that bothers me. If you cannot summon the courage to ask me and my family to vote for you because you know we would not, why do you think Nigerians would look kindly on your past record of destroying a progressing democratic institutions painfully put in place by some respected fathers of this nations like Awolowo and Azikiwe. No my brother. It is time to wake up from your delusion and do the needful if you still have some conscience.
    I am not writing this to you with vengeance intention. I am a practicing Muslim and we leave matters of vengeance to Allah. I write to you as a Nigerian, your brother and a statesman who is deeply concerned. Quit the presidential race now and save this country from the dangling sword of Damocles being menacingly wield by the crooks who surround you. This elections is not about you or President Goodluck Jonathan. It is about the unity of Nigeria which can only be assured by being fair. By this I mean, being fair to the people of Niger Delta.
    We can only do this by either re-electing Goodluck or substitute him with any of his kinsmen from the South-south as that can only count fair for a people who are entitled to 8 years in the office of the President. For the elders council in the north, we have come to the conclusion to work towards realizing that fairness. 4 years more is not eternity. It is not too much of a concession for us to make to move Nigeria forward as one indivisible and united country under one God.
    May Allah open your mind to see reason.
    God bless Nigeria.

    Alhaji Shehu Shagari (GCFR)

    • Shuaibu Buhari

      Yes, The Council of Elders from the North have met and they are assiduously working for the unity of Nigeria. I wish voice of reason should prevail, so that Buhari(namesake) can do the needful. I said it always, power cannot be obtained by force except through peaceful way. Coup d’ etat is not possible under the current atmosphere in Nigeria. APC needs to learn the courtesy of political sportsmanship.

  • Otile

    Are we not entitled to have Buhari’s real certificate, or are we to rely
    on the oluwale his school made up for him? How can INEC waive certificate,
    and common sense for him? This is like a blind man leading a crowd in
    Birnin Kebbi.

    • Baba

      You should be more worried about a phd holder that doesnt act like one. At least, Buhari’s action is far above that of a certificate holder including your phd idol that failed in his responsibility as commander in chief.

  • ome

    I am not a military strategist, but it does make sense to me, why should the Army start their long over due offensive against boko haram from the north in monguno. The Armies of Chad, Cameroun & Niger are already stationed in the northern rim if the north east. Boko haram is to attack areas of least resistance. I expected the Nigerian army to start their offensive from the southern part of the north east either from Yobe or Adamawa State and move upwards and eventually join up with the other members of the multi national task force. Starting the offensive in monguno will force boko haram to move southwards into Bauchi, Gombe and Taraba states

    • Baba

      That tells you that the whole thing is a lie. The usual empty propaganda of a failed PDP govt who is just about losing gombe to boko haram

  • Shuaibu Buhari

    Whatever that has a beginning must surely have an end. As far as I know, Boko haram came into existence in 2010 and has since that time fighting the government of Goodluck led federal government, probably to discredit the achievements of GEJ and probably to make the government ungovernable to him. But God is a wonderful God. He is only God that you cannot deceive. He sees the beginning from the end.
    Needless to say, APC should rather seek for peace with GEJ or embrace the hands of peace which GEJ always offered to them. Nigeria is one, nobody gets to power in Nigeria through crass propaganda, rather you will make more enemies than friends.
    Democracy thrives under the atmosphere of peace but not rancour and nobody has monopoly of violence. Government can slightly be attributed with monopoly of power, never individuals. Individuals may try but bound to fail.

    GEJ till 2019.

    • Baba

      Gej has failed. All we can see is boko haram attacking Gombe instead of military attacking boko haram as claimed by this propaganda.

  • warry

    ‘An attack against Boko Haram is an attack against the North’.These were the words of Buhari,Lai Mohammed and APC,Arewa consultative Forum (ACF),thereby preventing the FG from dealing with this problem decisively from the on set.At least all Nigerians are no fools and can still remember.They scuttled every attempt by the FG to get the problem resolved by even blackmailing the Govt that they were committing human right abuses and not fighting terrorists.They even accused the president of sponsoring Boko Haram.This is how bad our situation is in this country.All these for the sake of power must return to the North now.Why you may ask?The only reason is that some lazy elites are not getting free money as they used to in times past with the reforms of this govt insisting on due process in govt procurement,fertilizer distribution,FG payroll, etc.They resort to blackmailing the Govt using boko Haram and endless tales of mind bogging missing dollars.God is going to put all of them to shame.Nigeria must move forward.

    • Baba

      No amount of excuse or blackmail against Buhari can save your Jonathan, the failed commander in chief

      • warry

        Is the above statement a lie? No amount of re packaging or propaganda can kill the truth. GEJ all the way. Your moron cannot deny the statement. Boko Haram will be defeated despite all the obstacles you placed on GEJ’s. way,including dividing the Army.

  • tayo

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  • “Nigerian security forces on Saturday launched a huge military campaign
    to retake a swath of territory in the North East seized by the terror
    group, Boko Haram, security officials and government sources told
    PREMIUM TIMES.”…………….. Wait a minute. Didn’t Nigerian government sources say just a few weeks ago that there was no part of Nigeria under the control of Boko Haram? Is the Nigerian President and his government capable of telling the truth even ONCE without it having to be pried out of them?

  • BJ Paninga

    Kenneth, I have also received the audio recording
    on WhatsApp of that brilliant presentation. I was wandering how I can get the
    hard copy, who that guy is and at what forum. I am above sixty and have not
    seen recklessness in government resources as we have witnessed since 1999. I
    hope all Nigerians will get to read your article. Msugh u gbeshi

  • Deji Mamudu

    I wish the whatsapp audio gets to me, somehow. I am for a better Nigeria any day. But there seems to be a tilt in this article aimed at absolving this present government from corrupt practices. The Fulani agenda and Islamization has been so easily downplayed by the writer. Attributing Nigeria’s woes to have started 1999 sounds myopic. We need a just leader right now, not a pool of rogues trying to convict other rogues. Peace they say is not the absence of war but the presence of justice.