Army dismisses ‘Shekau’s’ claims in new video
Shekau, who was said to have been killed in Konduga last month by Nigerian military, had announced in a recent video that he was alive.
In the 36-minute video obtained and reported by AFP, Shekau did not only debunk reports by the military that he was dead but said members of his sect were running a Caliphate in the captured towns in north east of Nigeria.
The heavily bearded Shekau, who was said to have appeared to be the same as in previous video clips, said report of his death was propaganda by the military.
Apparently reading from a script, Shekau said: “Here I am, alive. I will only die the day Allah takes my breath. Nothing will kill me until my days are over. I’m still alive. Some people asked you if Shekau has two souls. No, I have one soul, by Allah.
“It is propaganda that is prevalent. I have one soul. I’m an Islamic student.
I’m the Islamic student whose seminary you burnt… I’m not dead.” He spoke in apparent referrence to the destruction of the group’s mosque in the Borno Sstate capital, Maiduguri, in 2009.
“We are running our caliphate, our Islamic caliphate. We follow the Koran… We now practise the injunctions of the Koran in the land of Allah.”
But the Acting Director, Army Public Relations (Ag. DAPR), Col. Sani Usman, in his reaction to the report told The Guardian yesterday in Abuja that it is only those that are not in tune with the reality on ground that would believe the barefaced lies contained in the message, supposedly relayed by the leader of the Hoko Haram sect.
According to him, “it is also an insult on the institution of the Nigerian Army for anyone to think that its trained and well motivated troops will run from the insurgents. Running from where to where and when? It is an insult for anybody to believe that.
“It is the reaction of a drowning man. My advice to the terrorists is that they should lay down their arms and surrender. It would be in their interest to do that.”
According to a statement released on Saturday evening by Col. Usman, “the military offensive against the Boko Haram terrorists is becoming more unbearable on them as they flee their camps, abandoning vehicles, flags and foodstuffs at Kotambe Kote and Jere axis” in Borno State.
He said in another statement, also on Saturday, that “the military is pushing for the final defeat of the Boko Haram terrorists, the fight against the terrorists in the north east is gaining successful momentum with most of the camps falling to the federal might.
“The advancing troops have captured the villages of Jerre and Dipchari and have destroyed the terrorists camps located in those areas”, rescuing more than 90 men, women and children as they go.