Soldiers cordon Zamfara community, kill many bandits, arrest others

Several armed bandits were reportedly killed on Sunday after Nigeria’s military launched an offensive in Tsanu community in Zurmi Local Government Area of Zamfara State.

Residents said the soldiers came around 1 p.m., heavily armed, and reportedly cordoned the entry and exit points of the community before they started the operation.

“While some soldiers were manned at the entry and exit point of the community, some entered the community’s market square, targeting armed bandits who were walking freely with arms. They killed many, while others threw their rifles and fled.

“I cannot say exactly the number of armed bandits killed, but many of them were killed and others fled with bullets wounds. When the soldiers came, the bandits were easily identifiable because they were walking around clutching weapons,” a resident of the community, who requested not to be named, said.

According to him, “We saw four armed bandits that were arrested. One of them is a chemist in the community who was allegedly providing medication for the armed bandits.

A spokesperson for the military in Zamfara, Clement Abiade, a major, confirmed the report. He, however, stated that the operation is still ongoing and information, for now, is sketchy. He said it will not be justifiable to make further comments, for now.

PREMIUM TIMES reported on Saturday how suspected armed bandits infiltrated Jaja, Rukudawa, Tsanu communities in Zurmi Local Government Area, walking freely, unchallenged.

The armed bandits were said to be on the run after the military began airstrikes in many of their hideouts in the bush. They were accommodated out of fear by some members of the communities.

Police kill nine armed robbery suspects along Abuja- Kaduna Highway

The Nigeria Police Force said it had killed nine suspected members of a notorious armed robbery gang at Akilbu forest, off Abuja-Kaduna Expressway.

A statement by the Force spokesman, Frank Mba, a Deputy Commissioner of Police, on Sunday in Abuja, said this followed an exchange of gunfire between the police and members of the gang on April 10.

Mba said that items recovered from the robbers include: six Ak47 Rifles; one Pump Action Gun; 1,206 rounds of Ak47 ammunition; seven Magazines; 28 Cartridges and 158 expended shells.

He said the items were recovered from them by police operatives attached to Operation Puff adder deployed to the

Mba said one policeman sustained gunshot wound and was presently receiving treatment in a hospital.

He said that efforts were being intensified to arrest two members of the gang who escaped with gunshot wounds.

The spokesman said the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has expressed satisfaction with the successes recorded so far in the fight against kidnapping and other heinous crimes across the country.

Adamu, who called for public support for the police and other sister security agencies, assured that the war against bandits would soon be won.

The inspector-general had on April 5 inaugurated “Operation Puff Adder ” to fight insecurity along the Abuja -Kaduna highway.

FRSC arrest and convict 41 motorist in anambra

A mobile court conducted by the Anambra Command of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has convicted 41 motorists for various traffic offenses in the state.

Mr Andrew Kumapayi, state Sector Commander of the corps in the state, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka on Sunday.
Kumapayi said the mobile court was part of traffic law enforcement geared toward raising road safety consciousness among motorists ahead of the Easter Special Patrol.
He said a total of 45 motorists were arrested and prosecuted during the exercise out of which four were acquitted.
He said failure to install speed limiting device, non-use of seatbelt, tyre violation and light sign violation were the most prevalent offenses observed during the exercise.
“In furtherance to our resolve to ensure safe traffic environment for all road users by ensuring that motorists comply strictly to traffic rules and regulations, a mobile court session was held.
“This was to prosecute arrested motorists on the spot and penalize those found guilty among them.
“During the session, 45 motorists were arrested and prosecuted, 41 were found guilty of various offenses and four were discharged and acquitted of any wrongdoing.
“The total number of offenses recorded was 109 and failure to install Speed Limiting Device, non-use of seatbelt, tyre violation and light sign violation were top on the list of the observed offenses,” the sector commander said.

He urged motorists in the state to endeavour to fix their vehicles reminding them that safety standard would not be lowered for anybody.
“We want to use this medium to encourage motorists to ensure their vehicles are in good condition before putting them on the road and to also warn that the violators of safety rules will be subjected to the law,” he said.

Buhari Renews Vow To Secure Release Of Leah Sharibu, Chibok Girls

President Muhammadu Buhari has renewed his vow to ensure the release of Leah Sharibu and the remaining Chibok girls in Boko Haram’s enclave. 

In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, the President promised the parents of the kidnapped girls that he would ensure their daughters are returned home.

The President’s statement was in commemoration of the fifth anniversary of the abduction of the Chibok girls.

He said he is aware that the promise to rescue the girls is the main reason the people of Chibok voted overwhelmingly for him in the February election.

President Buhari noted that although his government has so far succeeded in bringing back 107 of the girls, he will not rest until the remaining are reunited with their families.

He assured the parents that his administration is still on the matter.

READ ALSO: Buhari Seeks Regional Cooperation, Asks Leaders To Curb Illegal Flow Of Arms

“Diverse efforts are being intensified to secure the release of the Chibok Girls, along with all hostages in Boko Haram captivity, including Leah Sharibu who was kidnapped from her school, Science Secondary School, Dapchi, Yobe State, on February 19, 2018.

“On Leah Sharibu’s abduction, the interlocutors have reported encouraging progress so far.

“The report reaching us says her return to her family has unfortunately been hindered by the fear of the militants.

“They worry that heavy military presence in areas where they previously moved about freely could affect their safety after they return her to the government.

“At the same time, the military cannot jeopardise the security of the entire north-eastern region by halting their operations to accommodate Boko Haram’s fears.

“Leah Sharibu will be reunited with her family as soon as any conclusions are reached on a number of options being considered for her safe transportation.

“The success of the Nigerian military in subduing Boko Haram is evidenced by the large numbers of militants who have surrendered recently, especially in neighbouring Cameroon and Niger.

“A similar mass surrender of militants is expected to happen soon in Nigeria.

“While Nigerian military operations are ongoing, the government is also engaging with the militants but the talks have been affected by the factionalisation of Boko Haram – with one group adopting a hard-line attitude and intensifying attacks on Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad, and another group engaging with the government for peaceful resolution,” the statement read in parts.

President Buhari also used this opportunity of the commemoration of the Chibok tragedy to commend the girls, now women, who have triumphed over it all.

He sent special greetings to the 106 girls sponsored by the Nigerian government to continue their studies at the American University of Nigeria, Yola.

He encouraged them to stay focused on becoming women who will inspire girls in Nigeria and around the world to triumph over the daily battles they face in a world that is often unfair to the girl-child.

President Buhari also extended his best wishes to Chibok girls in other schools in Nigeria and around the world.

He sent special congratulations to Kauna Yaga Bitrus, who has excelled beyond expectations in her college in Maine, USA, and who is soon to receive a special ‘Against All Odds Award’ from her school

Under siege 144 die in nine days

Kidnappers, terrorists, thugs, killer herdsmen unleash mayhem on Nigerians

By Charles Kumolu, Deputy Features Editor

If you are living in the northern part of Nigeria, chances are that you may either be killed by kidnappers, terrorists, killer herdsmen or bandits.

Those in the South-East are faced with the dangers of either dying in the hands of kidnappers or killer herdsmen.

In the South-West, thugs, armed robbers and ritualists daily send people to their early graves.

The reign of robbers, kidnappers, cultists, and political thugs frequently result in untimely deaths in the South-South.

These are not alarming tales but the true picture of the current security situation across Nigeria’s 36 states.

Daily, people lose their lives to preventable deaths.

From the disorderly scenes in Lagos to the rustic communities in Anka local government area of Zamfara State, the stories are not different.

No matter whom you are and the level of your carefulness, the harbingers of death could strike anywhere.

Even places of worship are not revered by the perpetrators as witnessed in the killing of a Catholic priest in Enugu recently, and a similar incident in Benue State last year among others.

Fearlessness of perpetrators

Just the way the knights in T.S Elliot’s Murder in the Cathedral, who broke into the Cathedral and killed Archbishop Becket were unfazed, these angels of deaths abduct priests from churches who they eventually kill unchallenged.

Mosques are also easy targets for the daredevils. Nowhere and nobody are currently

Surprisingly, the incidents happen in manners that question the usefulness of the Federal Government, whose primary function is to provide security and welfare of the citizens.

At the same time, the scale of the violence could make anyone wonder if security agencies had abdicated their responsibilities.

In addition, the fearlessness of the perpetrators across the country calls to question the capacity of the security agencies at containing this spreading insecurity.

Saying that the situation is hopeless is, to say the least.

Government and its supporters may argue to the contrary but Nigerians are fast losing confidence in its ability to protect them as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

Last nine days

For instance, no one would consider last week’s killings in Zamfara, Kaduna, Anambra, Borno   Ebonyi, Lagos, Rivers, Katsina and Ondo, and feel comfortable about the security situation in Nigeria.

Perhaps, those who may dismiss this observation still reside in Nigeria of the past when human life was not worth one for a penny.

At the last count by Sunday Vanguard, 144 people were killed by herdsmen, cultists, kidnappers, Boko Haram, communal fighters and armed robbers in the last nine days.

The breakdown is as follows: Katsina, 33; Borno, five; Kaduna, 22; Anambra, six; Benue, 25; Taraba,10; Rivers,21; Ondo, seven; Ebonyi, eight, Abuja, one; Delta, three; and three in Lagos.

Painfully, the response to this reign of terror hardly extends beyond official condemnations and condolences, after which life goes on quickly.

It is common to hear assurances of finding perpetrators and holding them accountable but they are just mere expressions from high places.

Such pronouncements mean nothing to the killers, who return to strike harder after each operation in what has become a vicious cycle.

The incidents of the last nine days suggest the problem is now acute in Nigeria with prospects of continuing unabated.

Katsina: Reign of bandits

Between last Monday and Tuesday, no fewer than 33 persons died in three local government areas of Katsina State, 11 out of whom were armed bandits killed by villagers.

 

Information gathered by our correspondent from Sabuwa and Batsari local government areas of the state revealed that 18 were killed in a clash that ensued between members of a vigilante group and armed bandits while another four were killed by bandits.

Lagos: Hoodlums on the rampage

In Lagos where a medical doctor was recently killed by hoodlums on the day of his convocation, social miscreants, otherwise known as ‘Area Boys’, clashed, last Wednesday, at Fadeyi area, leaving two persons dead.

The Director, Lagos State Fire Service, Rasaki Musibau, and six others were also abducted by gunmen within the period under review. He was kidnapped at Iwoye bridge end of the Itoikin-Epe Road. It was learned that the axis had become the new den for kidnappers lately after abducting Ikosi-Ejirin council chairman, Mr. Ajijedidun Samson Adebisi, and Vice Chairman of Lekki LCDA, last month.

Kaduna: A killing field

In Kaduna, two policemen were killed when their station was attacked by bandits. The gunmen also attacked Kakangi village in Birnin Gwari. It was gathered that the bandits descended on the village and began shooting into the air before torching some houses. Scores were said to have been killed, although the exact figure could not be ascertained.

Last Monday, at least 20 people were killed in a fresh attack by suspected herdsmen in Anguwan Aku village, Kajuru local government area of Kaduna.

Several others were said to have sustained injuries in the attacks. The incident, according to a resident of the community, took place around 7am last Monday.

Ebonyi: Familiar crisis

Ebonyi State Police Command, last Sunday, confirmed the killing of eight persons, including a three months baby, in a renewed boundary dispute between two communities in the state.

While six of the victims, who were said to be from the same family, were burnt to death in a bus they were travelling in, two others were killed from bullet wounds they sustained from the attack.

The attack happened along the Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu Alike Road near the border between the two communities. Police spokesperson in the state, Loveth Odah, who confirmed the attack, said the incident happened on April 6, 2019.

Rivers: Cultists, thugs kill at will

Last Sunday in Rivers State, five persons were allegedly killed in a renewed cult clash in Rumuche and Rumuohia communities, Emohua LGA, and seven victims in Kaani Babbe community, Babbe District of Khana LGA of the state. Many others sustained bullet wounds when some cultists clashed in Mgbuodohia community, Rumuolumeni clan, Obio/Akpor local government area of the state. On Wednesday, in Choba community, Obio/Akpor local government area of the state, over 16 boys engaged policemen in a gun battle as one Shedrack was gunned down in the area by unknown persons, in the early hours of the day.

Just yesterday, seven persons were feared killed as cultists stroke again in different parts of the state.

It was reported that four persons were killed and beheaded in Omuoko, Aluu Community in Ikwerre Local Government Area – a source gave the names as Rhino, Justice Azubuike, Nwobueze Eric Woke, and one other victim.  It was learned that Azubuike, had just got admission into Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Iwofe, Port Harcourt, before the incident. The source said the bandits invaded the area with heavy gunfire, shooting sporadically without interference from security operatives.  Also in Rumuekini in Obio-Akpor LGA, of the state, an electrical and generator repairer was killed at his home at close of work. In a related development, gunmen trailed and killed the Community Development Committee Chairman of Rumuodogo 1, Community, Emohua LGA, Mr. Eze-otto Ishmael. He was killed in Rumuaghorlu Community, 7pm, by unknown gunmen. One of the children of the late CDC chairman, Ovundah Eze, narrated that his father has being receiving threat calls from some group of cultist in Emohua LGA, stressing his late father reported same to security agencies.

Also it was gathered that a middle aged man was killed around 9pm by unknown gunmen who ride on black Toyota  car around Okuru junction within Abuloma, Port Harcourt City LGA. The Public Relations Officer of Rivers State Police Command, DSP Nnamdi Omoni said: “I heard about the incident in Aluu (Ikwerre LGA), but I am yet to get the full details of the incident. That of Aluu is confirmed. I have not been told about that of Obio/Akpor.”

— Davies Iheamnachor

Ondo: Return of bank robbers

No fewer than seven persons, including a police inspector, were killed as dare-devil armed robbers stormed a new generation bank in ldo-Ani, Ose council area of Ondo State. Two bankers and four bank customers, who reportedly met at the Automated Teller Machine, ATM, section of the bank, were killed. –

Anambra: Killer herdsmen on the prowl

In Anambra State, suspected herdsmen, last weekend, stormed a farm settlement at Mmiata Anam, Anambra West local government area of the state, killing six persons and inflicting severe wounds on 30 others.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Mr. Mohammed Haruna, however, said, in a telephone interview, that only three people were killed during the attack.

One of the survivors said, “The herdsmen stormed the Agweopia Farm Settlement Camp and Iyinkolo Farm Settlement Camp respectively, around 5.40a.m on Friday, killed people and burnt houses and raped women and escaped before information reached the people in the community.”

Borno: No respite

The killings in Borno State have showed no respite, as no fewer than five persons were killed while 46 others sustained various degrees of injuries when Improvised Explosive Devices, IED, were triggered at popular Muna Park, Maiduguri.

Two female suicide bombers detonated IEDs vests strapped to their bodies in a crowded place at Muna-Dalti area of Maiduguri on penultimate Saturday night.

Taraba: Return of deadly clashes

In Taraba State, Chairman of Wukari local government area of the state, Mr Daniel Adi, confirmed, last Sunday, that 10 people were killed and several others injured in the ongoing clashes between Jukun and Tiv ethnic groups.

In an interview with newsmen in Wukari, Adi, who sued for calm, disclosed that more than nine communities had been razed and displaced from the Kente ward of the affected area.

Abuja: Land dispute claims 1

Tragedy struck last Thursday in the nation’s capital, following a fresh clash between soldiers and Abuja natives over land at Tungan-Maje on the outskirts of the Federal Capital Territory.

As a result of the incident, one person was confirmed dead while four others were injured.

It was gathered that the piece of land in contention was being occupied by the original indigenes of the area.

Delta: Herdsmen strike again

Three youths were killed by suspected herdsmen last Wednesday in Abraka, Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State.

25 persons were reportedly killed in a conflict between Tiv and Jukun communities in Benue and Taraba states

The crisis, which was started, last week, by a minor disagreement between two friends of Tiv and Jukun extraction, ignited a major communal conflict between the people of Atsenga in Ukum and Kente in Wukari local government areas of both states, leading to the death of the 25 persons and the razing of over 300 houses, cars, motorbikes and farmland.

Though government of both states were said to be making concerted efforts to have the matter resolved, the crisis crept into border communities including Vaase in Ukum local government which armed men in black clothing reportedly invaded killing scores.

BUHARI ON BANDITRY: Bandits have informants within some communities

He condoled with all those affected by the unfortunate events while reacting to the recent spike in incidents of banditry and kidnapping in some parts of the country.

The President, who spoke through his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity Malam Garba Shehu, said, “How can I be happy and indifferent to the senseless killings of my fellow citizens by bandits? I am human and I understand the pains of the victims and their families who have been traumatized and impoverished by constant ransom demands by bandits.

“The politicisation of tragedy reveals the darkest sides of our primitive politics. Almost every week, I summon my security chiefs to get an update on the strategies being devised to defeat these mass murderers.

“There is no issue that dominates my mind every 24 hours like security because, as an elected President, protecting the citizens of my country is one of the primary functions of my administration.

“I constantly listen to our security personnel in order to understand their problems and needs, and I have never hesitated to attend to those needs in terms of motivating and equipping them to respond effectively to our security challenges.

“It is therefore ridiculous to suggest that I am indifferent to these killings.

“I have ordered rapid and robust deployment of troops to all the areas currently under attack from bandits and we are determined to tackle this challenge ferociously until these remorseless killers are crushed and utterly defeated.”

Buhari called on communities where banditry is active to support and cooperate with the security agencies, particularly the recently launched Operation Puff Adder, to battle bandits and kidnappers.

According to him, it was regrettable that bandits have informants within some communities and utterly reprehensible that certain communities have signed protection deals with bandits at the expense of other communities, thereby creating complications and frustrating government’s intervention.

He appealed to communities to report suspicious movements of the bandits into their areas within the shortest available opportunity, especially considering the fact that   intelligence is critical to detecting, frustrating, neutralising and defeating the criminals.

‘Boko Haram degraded’

In a related development, the President said that the only way to defeat predatory and divisionary forces globally was cooperation among nations.

Buhari spoke at the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa held under the theme, ‘Building New Platforms of Cooperation’, in Jordan.

According to him, the global problems were compounded by the fact that physical borders no longer exist to protect even the most secured nations in the current digital age.

“In this digital age where physical borders no longer exist to protect even the most secured nations, the only way to overcome predatory and divisionary forces is for all well-meaning nations to work together for the greater good of mankind”, he said.

“Simply put, cooperation amongst sovereign nations is no longer a choice. It is an absolute necessity.”

He noted that the world in the last ten years has completely changed, adding, “We have seen and experienced significant shifts on many fronts. In Technology; Population and Migration; Trade and Geopolitics; Climate change; and many more”, Buhari stated.

“For some nations, these trends have had positive impacts. But of course, we have also seen the negative and destructive outcomes of these trends in other countries.

“It is my view, that no region of the world has felt the full impact of these dramatic shifts and shocks like the Middle East and Africa – North and Sub-Sahara.

“On one hand, our region is blessed with a very young, vibrant, enterprising and dynamic population. We also have valuable natural resources that are the envy of many nations.”

The President further stated that the assets and endowments have contributed to Nigeria’s region experiencing some of the highest economic growth rates in the world.

Deadliest conflicts

He, however, noted with regret that the region has also been host to some of the deadliest conflicts in recent history, stressing that lack of social and economic inclusion were mainly responsible for the problem.

His words, “The deaths, damage and destruction caused by terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda, ISIS and Boko Haram over the last ten years will take decades to repair.

“By the special grace of God, today, most of these terrorist organizations have been significantly degraded. The world came together to achieve this. Now, we are faced with the task of rebuilding.

“It is at this point that we must ask ourselves how we, as a region, got to this point. The answer, at least in the case of Nigeria, is the lack of social and economic inclusion.

“As Nigeria celebrated being the largest economy in Africa and one of the fastest growing economies in the world, Nigerians were migrating in droves through harsh desert conditions and across treacherous seas to seek what they believe would be a better life in Europe.

“I strongly believe that the lack of social and economic inclusion was the root cause of many challenges we are experiencing.”

He said that efforts must be put in place to start engaging the increasing population, productively.

“Today, our population is one hundred and ninety million people. By 2050, it is estimated that we hit three hundred and ninety million making us the third most populous country in the world. This means we must start working now to ensure this population is productively engaged,” he stated.

Buhari said Nigeria in the last four years had focused on security while implementing inclusive policies.

The President stressed, “On the security front, we made significant gains in fighting Boko Haram. We have recaptured all territories held by Boko Haram in 2014. We have liberated thousands of Nigerians held against their will.

“Today, I am pleased to say no territory in the Federal Republic of Nigeria is held or controlled by Boko Haram. We are extremely grateful to the many countries that have stood with Nigeria to confront this global scourge and in particular, the Kingdom of Jordan under the leadership of His Majesty, the King.

“Furthermore, our economic diversification and social inclusion policies are also yielding positive results. Our country has now returned to the path of growth. We are making gains in the ease of doing business indices.

“A key driver for growth is the agricultural sector where we aggressively pushed agricultural policies that empowered millions of our rural citizens.

“In the spirit of “Building New Platforms of Cooperation”, we partnered with the Kingdom of Morocco to domesticate fertilizer production in Nigeria and revive over two million tons of abandoned fertilizer blending plant capacity.

“The outcome is we created tens of thousands of jobs in agriculture, logistics, manufacturing and retail sectors. We are able to achieve moderate growth. But it was inclusive.

“Nigeria is now at a new dawn and embarking on a new development trajectory. We are determined to industrialise Nigeria leveraging our comparative advantage.

“We recognize the private sector as the engine of growth and a veritable partner in our economic agenda. The Middle East is a natural partner.”

Shared economic prosperity

Africa and the Middle East, he said, must therefore focus on policies that will deliver shared economic prosperity for the citizens.

“On trade and investments for example, we can do more. Africa represents only five percent of Jordan’s trade with the world. But we have the resources, the people and the markets to do more”, he said.

“Opportunities exist in key job creating sectors such as Agriculture, Health, Tourism, ICT, Infrastructure as well as Textile and garmenting to mention a few.

“Our new, inclusive and diversified Nigeria is definitely open for business. Our population, resources, policies and programs make it the most attractive investment destination in Africa.

“As friends and allies, we must therefore cooperate and leverage on our relative strengths. We must remain open to “Building New Platforms of Cooperation”.

Continuing, the Nigerian leader said, “As we deliberate over the next two days, I would ask all leaders present to reflect on our collective experiences. We must identify how we can work together.

“Today, we are living in a new world. In this new world without borders, my personal view is stability and sustainability can only be achieved through inclusive economic growth, and enhanced cooperation amongst nations.”

BBOG Marks 5th Anniversary Of Chibok Abduction, Demands Release Of Remaining Girls

Members of the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) group are marking the 5th anniversary of the abduction of over 100 girls by the Boko Haram terrorist group in the Chibok community, Borno State.

The group is demanding the release of the remaining girls still held in the captivity of the terrorist group and also asking the Federal Government to make schools in the northeast safe.

In a sit-out in Lagos to honour the Chibok schoolgirls, the faces and names have been posted at the Falomo roundabout in the Ikoyi area of the state as well as other parts of Nigeria.

President Muhammadu Buhari in a statement on Saturday renewed his vow to ensure the release of the remaining Chibok girls and  Leah Sharibu in Boko Haram’s enclave

He disclosed this in commemoration of the fifth anniversary of the abduction of the Chibok girls.

He said he is aware that the promise to rescue the girls is the main reason the people of Chibok voted overwhelmingly for him in the February election.

The President had promised the parents of the kidnapped girls when he met them at the beginning of his first term as President, that he would ensure their daughters returned home.

He said his government had so far succeeded in securing the release of 107 of the girls, he will not rest until the remaining girls are reunited with their families.

However, 112 girls are still in captivity.

On April 14, 2014, over 200 students were abducted from the Government Girls Secondary School.

The abduction of the schoolgirls triggered global condemnation including former President of the United State, Barrack Obama and his wife Michelle.

12,000 Boko Haram victims benefit from VSF medical programme

IDP school located in Sangere, Gerei local government./ AFP PHOTO / FLORIAN PLAUCHEUR

Dr Sunday Ochoche, the Executive Director, Victims Support Fund (VSF) said that no fewer than 12,000 victims of Boko Haram insurgency benefited from its medical support programme.

He disclosed this while featuring on News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) flagship programme NAN Forum in Abuja.

Ochoche said the agency was closely working with the hospitals where such programmes are offered by having VSF desk and capturing the data of beneficiaries.

The VSF boss said the devastating impact on victims arising from the Boko Haram attacks have reduced due to the intervention of the organisation.

“Every beneficiary of victims support fund is captured in our data including the education programme, the foster care programme, we have their biometrics, we have the number of everybody who is a beneficiary of Victims Support Fund is capured in our data.

“We are closely working with hospitals and they have victims support desk that captures all the data and things have improved significantly because the category of needs which we have set up the support has changed.

“You don’t have that number of people today suffering from suicide bombing or armed attack by Boko Haram civilians, that has significantly reduced but on the last count, we have about 12,000 people who have benefited from the medical checkups from Victims Support Fund,’’ he said.

He said the VSF has extended its medical intervention to other parts of Nigeria where victims of insurgency are receiving treatment.

“Benue was the first major state outside the northeast that we went deliberately or responded to but bear in mind that especially our health support programme, because at that critical time of Boko Haram crisis, a lot of the bombings, a lot of the suicide attacks were not limited to the northeast.

“Remember Abuja was under attack, Kaduna, Kano, Jos and some of the medical facilities that I referred to, we are supporting two hospitals in Kano, we are supporting two hospitals in Plateau.

“We supported the National Hospital here in Abuja. So, we have followed where some of these challenges are and even in our educational support, a number of children were taken from the northeast to a facility in Benin, Edo state we follow them there to support their education’’ he said.