Tuesday, December 3, 2013

24-hour curfew imposed after Boko Haram attacks Maiduguri  print

Published on December 2, 2013 by Boko Haram militants have staged dare-devil attacks overnight in Maiduguri, the north eastern Nigerian city, prompting military authorities Monday to impose a total ban on movement.
The ban also affected flights: no air traffic is allowed in or out of embattled Borno state.
The extent of the attacks was unknown with communication hampered by the restrictions imposed by the military authorities.
But a military spokesman told the French news agency, AFP, that one of the attacks was staged near the airport. He did not confirm whether the airforce base was hit, as being speculated.
•Nigerian soldiers  on  patrol in north east Nigeria
•Nigerian soldiers on patrol in north east Nigeria
Governor Kashim Shettima: 24 hour curfew slammed
Governor Kashim Shettima: 24 hour curfew slammed
“The Borno state government in consultation with (the military) has decided to impose a 24-hour curfew on Maiduguri,” Borno’s capital, said state government secretary Baba Ahmed Jidda.
“The imposition of the curfew is necessitated by an attack in Maiduguri by people suspected to be Boko Haram members in the early hours of today. Borno state government pleads with all citizens to remain calm and law abiding until the situation is put under control.”
The suspectedly large attack in a major urban centre will cast further doubt on military claims that the Islamist insurgents have been pushed into remote, more rural parts of the northeast.
The military on Saturday said they would tighten security in communities near Nigeria’s northern and eastern borders with Chad, Niger and Cameroon due to fears about Boko Haram strikes over the Christmas and New Year period.
Army spokesman Ibrahim Attahiru said on Monday that one of the attacks struck near the city’s airport but he was not able to provide further details.
The phone network has been down in Borno state since mid-May, when a state of emergency was declared in the area.
The military said the shutdown would help block militants from coordinating attacks but with no working mobile phone service, details of the conflict in the area have been difficult to verify.
The latest violence began at around 3:00 am (0200 GMT) and included bomb and gun attacks, an AFP correspondent in the city said.
Boko Haram was founded in Maiduguri more than 10 years ago and has attacked the city repeatedly.

elestine Babayaror optimistic Nigeria will shine at Brazil

on   /   in Sports 7:36 pm   /   Comments
Lagos – A former Super Eagles player, Celestine Babayaro, on Tuesday in Lagos said he was hopeful the senior men’s football team would perform creditably at the Brazil 2014 World Cup finals.
Babayaro ahead of Friday’s draws in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil said that the Eagles would excel irrespective of the group they would find themselves.
He said he was optimistic about the Eagles because it had been encouraging that the team had re-discovered its form.
The former Chelsea FC defender, however, called for adequate preparations to correct a few lapses in the team before the competition.
“Nigeria has shown the world that we are back in the world of football. We went to South Africa and won the (African) Nations Cup.
“Now, it is for us to go to the World Cup. The draw is going to be on Friday and it does not really matter what group we find ourselves in.
“Yes, we want to avoid the world powers —- the Spanish side and the rest. But, I tell you, the way the boys are going, I think they are going to do a great job.’’
Babayaro, who was a member of Nigeria’s Atlanta Olympic Games gold medal-winning football team nicknamed “the Dream Team’’, said he was also confident that the team had matured well.
He said the players now know that in a World Cup game, there is always no room for mistakes.(NAN)
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