Why there will be no dialogue with Shekau on Chibok girls, by military
• Says he’s mentally unstable, dismisses latest video
• Troops kill 22 B’Haram members, four soldiers slain
Efforts by the Federal Government to hold talks with Boko Haram on release of the abducted Chibok girls might have hit a brick wall.
President Muhammadu Buhari had recently invited the United Nations to act as mediator in discussions with the sect’s leaders, to secure the girls’ freedom from 900 days of captivity.
The military, in a statement by Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Usman, however, said the Shekau-led faction could not be trusted on negotiations.
A prisoner swap July last year reportedly failed. The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, blamed the sect’s making of more demands, even after agreement had been reached.
“No nation or society would believe him or any Boko Haram terrorist, based on antecedents. He has shown over time that he is irrational and is, therefore, unreliable, especially when it comes to negotiations on release of the abducted girls. Therefore, he must release them unconditionally,” Usman said.
“It is public knowledge that the military has been making concerted efforts to clear the remnants of the terrorists and rescue all persons held hostage by them, especially the abducted Chibok Secondary School girls. This is a task that will be accomplished, no matter how long it takes. We are determined in these regards,” he added.
Meanwhile, Boko Haram insurgents yesterday killed four soldiers at Logomami in Borno State. Twenty-two of the attackers were also killed, according to a statement by Usman.
The group released a video clip online, yesterday, debunking claim by the military that Shekau had been hit in an August 23, 2016 air raid.
The Nigeria Army dismissed the video by the Abubakar Shekau-led faction, saying the embattled leader’s stance is reminiscent of a sinking ship.
The Army’s claim that it had killed Shekau gained a semblance of credibility when two weeks later a masked man appeared in a 40-minute video saying he was Shekau.
Colonel Usman said: “The (latest) video has shown beyond all reasonable doubt the earlier suspicion that the purported factional terrorists group leader is mentally sick and unstable. The ranting is also another sign that the end is near for him, which is part of the signs of all wicked people. The video has further shown that he has derailed and no longer believes and practices the Islam he professes, as he was absent at the last Eid prayers. It is equally reported that he could not even lead prayers.”
Usman said Shekau’s failed effort “to deny the air raid by the Nigerian Air Force in which he was wounded” is another indication that the man was unstable.
“We want to assure Nigerians, especially residents of Maiduguri, Kano, Kaduna and Zaria not to panic. We have more than it takes to defend them and deal decisively with remnants of the terrorists group,” said Usman, adding the Army was counting days “when the few remnants will be totally wiped out or brought to justice.”