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Drama As Rivers’ Most Wanted Kidnapper, Bobisky, Dies After Arrest

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There was jubilation on Saturday on Moscow Road, Port Harcourt, headquarters of the Rivers State Police Command, as officers arrested a most wanted kidnapper, Honest Digbara, popularly called Bobisky.

Bobisky was arrested alive in the early hours of Saturday (about 2am) in Korokoro, Tai Local Government Area of the state in a joint operation led by the Divisional Police Officer of Bori, Superintendent Bako Angbanshim.

Bobisky, a native of Nwenbiara, was said to be attending a funeral when policemen and operatives of a local vigilance group known as Tai Spac stormed the area.

But on sighting them, he opened fire leading to a gun battle during which his younger brother, said to be the driver, was killed on the spot.

The state Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mukan, paraded the remains of Bobisky and his younger brother before journalists at the command on Saturday.

Though he was nabbed alive and brought to the command, he reportedly died due to gunshot injuries he sustained during the crossfire.

Bobisky, terrorised the four local government areas that make up Ogoniland: Gokana, Khana, Tai and Eleme, making life unbearable for locals in the areas.

There was drama, however, at the police command where he was paraded. When journalists arrived at the command, policemen tried to get some information from him such as his real name which he gave as Honest Digbara in a low tone after several efforts by the operatives.

While he talked, he battled with the gunshot wounds and machete injuries on him. He also answered a question about his marital status that he had a wife who is pregnant.

Minutes later, he demanded water to drink and was obliged. But he was too weak to drink as he fell to a corner, saying, “I want to die.’’

He then briefly looked in the direction of his younger brother lying lifeless beside him. He then hugged his remains, rolled sideways with eyes upwards and breathed his last to the surprise of journalists and cops.

Soon afterwards, the state Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mukan, told journalists that the police had been on Bobisky’s trail since Governor Nyesom Wike placed a bounty of N30m on his head.

Mukan said, “The notorious gang leader who had been on the police watch list and declared wanted by the state government with a bounty of N30m was arrested at the early hours of today, September 12, 2020 in a sting operation of the command with the assistance of a local security outfit.

“He was arrested through credible information at Korokoro Community in Tai LGA, where he was hibernating with his gang of killers. On sighting the police, they engaged us and in a return fire, his driver was fatally wounded, while he was arrested alive.

“Among the dastardly acts carried out by the gang, include: the kidnap of Barrister Emelogu who was killed after collecting ransom; the kidnap and killing of the DCO (Divisional Crime Officer) in Afam, Oyigbo lga, SP Moses Egbede, after collecting ransom; the killing of a soldier and an official of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps at Gio pipeline, Ogoni, last year; the kidnap of Chief Mbu of Ogu/Bolo who they kidnapped and collected a ransom of N7m and the killing of two police officers attached to the Federal Highway. They were killed and their rifles taken at Botem, Khan LGA, Rivers State.”

The CP warned criminals to “repent or relocate from the state or face the full weight of the law,” saying the arrest of Bobisky was a milestone for the command and victory for the Ogoni people, Rivers and Nigeria at large.’’

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Metro/Crime

Nigerian Army Will Not Clampdown on Protesters – Kuanum

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Human Rights Activists and field researcher of the Global Amnesty Watch, Terrance Kuanum has stated that the Launch of Exercise Crocodile Smile by the Nigerian Army would not clamp down on peaceful protesters across the country.

He stated this during an interview with select news media on Sunday. Mr Terrance Kuanum believed that the Nigerian Army has evolved into a professional force with respect for human rights.

“The Nigerian Army of today is not what it used to be. This is what most Nigerians have not come to realize. I say this in my capacity as a field researcher that has traversed most parts of the country and where the Nigerian Army are in operation in North-East Nigeria, as well as other parts of the country. The conduct I must state has been exceptional.”

“This is not the first operation or exercise the Nigerian Army has conducted. Don’t forget that only recently, Operation Sahel Sanity was extended for a further three months and its scope expanded to include states in North Central. And I must add that they have conducted themselves most professionally that resulted in tremendous success.”

On the timing of the launch of Exercise Crocodile Smile to coincide with the protest across the country, the Human Rights activists rubbished the claims that it was intended to clamp down on peaceful protesters demanding reforms for the Nigerian Police Force.

“I disagree with such a position. I am not sure the Chief of Army Staff would sanction such a move owing to his track record in ensuring that the operations of the Nigerian Army conform to human rights tenets. We must not also forget in a hurry that indeed the Nigerian Army has a Human rights desk across all its units and formations to investigate complaints from individuals, organizations and institution on rights violation involving Nigerian Army personnel.”

“If this has been the norm, why on earth would one imagine that the Nigerian Army would clampdown on peaceful protesters before the full glare of the whole world. If not for anything they should know that this is the digital age and almost all the protesters have smartphones with which they use to capture proceedings. It would be indeed foolhardy for such to happen. I think Nigerians must be circumspect in their assumptions at the risk of heating an already tensed polity.”

Mr Terrance Kuanum also stated that the bulk of the misinformation making the rounds concerning the launch of Exercise Crocodile Smile might be the handiwork of those that intend to capitalize and hijack the peaceful protest to achieve their aim.
“As a field researcher, over the years, I have come to understand some of the dynamics inherent in the Nigerian society. We must realize that at every point in time, there are various interest struggling for relevance to the pursuit of their agenda. There are those whose stock in trade is to fan the embers of war so that their businesses can thrive. Some want to advance their political interest, and the only way they could get that done easily is to instigate conflict and spread mischief. Some are experts in causing distractions in the country so they can perpetuate their nefarious activities.”

“It is indeed a complicated chain we are dealing with, and I won’t be surprised that there are certain interests that have seen this peaceful protest by the youths as the perfect opportunity to discredit the government and the emphasis is to hijack it and cause mayhem of unquantifiable dimension. I think the launch of Exercise Crocodile Smile indeed rattled them and they have elected to spread misinformation across the country. Was the mandate of Exercise Crocodile Smile not explicit?

“The Nigerian Army has said its upcoming Exercise Crocodile Smile will tackle cyber warfare and insurgency in the country, particularly in the North-East, where Boko Haram insurgents have caused massive destruction. If this is the operational mandate, how does one then link it with an attempt to clampdown on peaceful protesters?”

He added that Nigerians must understand that there is a grand plot been hatched to cause violence in the country by some individuals and organizations.

“Without mincing words, I believe those that are afraid of Crocodile Smile are those with ulterior motives. Not the peaceful protesters because so far they have conducted themselves in an appreciable manner devoid of confrontation or provocation. They are only demanding for an end to police brutality and a reform of the Nigerian Police Force. I do not see a crime in that, and I also do not see a justification for the Nigerian Army to clampdown on the protesters.”

“It would indeed be a great disservice if the Nigerian Army does clamp down on the protesters, and not on the heels of the numerous initiatives that have been introduced by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen TY Buratai towards the entrenchment of respect for the rule of law and tenets of human rights.”

“I believe the Nigerian Army under Lt. Gen TY Buratai has set a very high standard in terms of human rights and the citizens have no reason to fear the troops at any point. But those that are planning to foment trouble by hijacking the protest to their advantage should have every reason to be afraid. This is my candid opinion.”

On the effectiveness of such operations when there is widespread protest across the country, Mr Terrance Kuanum stated that the exercise is timely and would go a long way to identify and track down terrorist operating in the cyber world.

“We must admit that Nigeria has been experiencing cyber-attacks in recent times that is capable of undermining our territorial integrity. And it is to the credit of the Nigerian Army that such an operation is launched, which is an indication of advancement in the operations of the Nigerian Army. I believe if the Nigerian Army does not have such capacity, it will not launch an operation.”

“It is my considered opinion that the operation is timely and it behoves on well-meaning Nigerians to extend their support to the Nigerian Army by refusing to be misled by those vested interests that have ulterior motives occasioned by the misinformation passing the rounds. It must also be realized that the threat to Nigeria’s sovereignty transcends beyond the physical, and that is the orientation that must change. This is indeed a proactive step by the Nigerian Army.”

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Army To Launch Crocodile Smile V1 Exercise Nation Wide

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As the year gradually comes to an end, the Nigerian Army has concluded plans to start its annual Exercise , code named “CROCODILE SMILE” which is traditionally conducted in the last quarter of the year.

With this year’s Exercise scheduled to commence from the 20th of October to the 31st of December 2020.

According to Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sagir Musa the Exercise is deliberately intended to be all encompassing to include cyber warfare exercises designed to identify, track and counter negative propaganda in the social media and across the cyberspace.

He said this is the first ever Cyber warfare exercise to be conducted in the history of the African Armed Forces.

Accordingly, the exercise will also include positive identification component aimed at identifying Boko Haram terrorists fleeing from the North East and other parts of the country as a result of the ongoing operations in the various theatres of operations especially in the Northeast, North Central and North Western parts of Nigeria.

” The Nigerian Army, once again, reassures all well meaning Nigerians of its commitment to the sustenance of peace and security in Nigeria and urges members of the public for their support and understanding throughout the period of the exercise” he added.

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We Remain Committed to Defending the Country And Her democracy at All Cost – Army

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The Nigerian Army has reaffirmed its unalloyed loyalty and commitment to the President, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari and the Constitution of the country.

It therefore warned subversive elements and trouble makers against ever giving it a thought that they can do anything to capable of causing disturbance of the peace of the land as remains committed to defend the country and her democracy at all cost.

It therefore directed its all its officers and men not to be distracted by anti democratic forces and agents of disunity fanning the embers of hatred and beating the drum of war in the country.

Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Colonel Sagir Musa, made this warning in a statement he issued Wednesday.

THE STATEMENT:

NIGERIAN ARMY REMAINS RESOLUTE TO THE PEACE AND STABILITY OF THE NATION

  1. The Nigerian Army (NA) wishes to reassure law abiding citizens that it is highly committed to the sustenance of peace, security and defence of democracy in Nigeria. As a responsible and law abiding organisation, the NA reaffirms its unalloyed loyalty and commitment to the President, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari and the Constitution of the Country.
  2. The NA hereby warns all subversive elements and trouble makers to desist from such acts as it remains highly committed to defend the country and her democracy at all cost. The NA is ready to fully support the civil authority in whatever capacity to maintain law and order and deal with any situation decisively. All officers and men are directed never to be distracted by anti democratic forces and agents of disunity.

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SAGIR MUSA
Colonel
Acting Director Army Public Relations
14 October 2020

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