Defence Headquarters Keeps Sealed Lips Over Shekau’s Reported Death
Despite the claim by the Joint Task Force, JTF that leader of the Boko Haram sect Abubakar Shekau must have died of gunshot wounds, the Defence Headquarters has maintained sealed lips and has refused to either confirm or deny the claim.
The spokesman of JTF, Lt. Col. Sagir Musa, in an e-mail statement he made available to newsmen on Monday, claimed that Shekau had died from the mortal wounds he received during one of the recent clashes with the military and hurriedly rushed to a Cameroonian village where he eventually died.
“It is greatly believed that Shekau might have died between 25 July and 3 August, 2013. He was reported to have masterminded the kidnap of the seven French citizens and that of the elder statesman Alhaji (Dr) Shettima Ali Monguno in addition to many murders of Islamic clerics in Northern Nigeria. He was also responsible for bombings of many places of worship and public buildings including the Police and United Nations headquarters in Abuja. The JTF wishes to appeal to the sect members to lay down their arms and embrace the Federal Government’s offer for dialogue,” the officer stated.
Although, Sagir is supposed to be reporting to the Defence Headquarter on its operation in the Boko Haram troubled states, a security source confirmed that “Sagir issued the statement without any clarification or confirmation from Abuja and this is dangerous because if it is not true then he faces a stiff sanction.”
“Everything we heard about Abubakar Shekau was from the media; there is no official position yet. This is because the officer who issued the statement failed to carry us along and, by doing so, he is putting his career on the line.
“If you said Shekau is dead, where is his corpse? Has he been buried? Where was he buried? Who told you the man is dead? These are the questions we are looking for their answers before you could hear from us. We all want an end to come to the Boko Haram sect and we want those who are behind them to face the consequence, but the truth must be told if Shekau is dead. When we heard and confirmed the death of his deputy, we made it known officially, and, until that of Shekau is confirmed, mum remains the issue.”
The JTF spokesman however maintained that Shekau is dead. Speaking with a newspaper corrrespondent last night on the phone, Sagir said he stood by the statement that Shekau is dead. He said, “I am driving now, so I cannot grant any press interview or answer any question. A statement has been issued on Shekau, he is dead and I stand by the statement” and hung up
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