BOKO HARAM: Abubakar Shekau Is Not Dead - Shehu Sani
The Coordinator of the Civil Society Coalition in the north and rights activist, Mallam Shehu Sani, believes that Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau is still alive and not dead as purportedly claimed by the Nigerian Military.
He stated this while dismissing claims that the Joint Task Force (JTF) may have killed the sect’s leader during a gun duel.
The activist in an interview with The Guardian also reacted to the comments by the chairman of the committee and Minister of Special Duties, Alhaji Kabiru Tanimu, who recently announced that progress had been made by the Federal Government to end the Boko Haram insurgency in the north.
He said: “First of all, I don’t believe Shekau was killed. If Shekau was killed, there would be a statement issued by the Shura Council of the Boko Haram announcing that their leader has been killed. They would have announced a new leader who will unveil his face.
“So, for the very fact that this statement is not coming from Boko Haram, the claim is not credible. I see it as more of a strategy by the JTF to provoke Shekau to speak so that they would know where he is and get at him.
“And if he keeps quiet, they will use that to destabilise his rank and file. I think the group is very conscious of this. And this strategy had been adopted in anti-terrorism measures in South western Pakistan whereby security forces would announce the death of the leader of insurgents with the aim of provoking him to bring himself out. Then, they would claim that they weren’t sure of what they said in the first instance. So, I don’t think anybody should take what they said seriously.”
He also doubted the committee’s ability to end the insurgency in the north.
While faulting Tanimu, Sani said the committee members were only trying to keep Nigerians hoping that the activities of Boko Haram would soon come to an end without really meeting the real leaders of the group for meaningful discussion.
Commenting on Tanimu’s statement that the Federal Government was having an upper hand against the insurgency, Sani said “Well it is good to have an upper hand. But, it should be an upper hand that is realistic. If the insurgents are defeated, that is good for the Nigerian state. “But, if you deceive Nigerians by saying that the insurgents have been crushed and later they re-appear, then you are simply deceiving yourself”.