Friday 8 May 2015

Where on earth is Abubakar Shekau?

By his videos, we know him. But
nobody has heard from Abubakar
Shekau, leader of the Boko Haram sect,
in the last two months, fuelling
rumours that he may be… alive.

Perhaps only his recording studio and
camera have been destroyed in recent
military operations, and he is still
setting up shop and props somewhere
else before calling up AFP, his
preferred news agency, to pick his
latest DVD.

Nobody dare claim that Shekau is dead.
He has been reported dead on several
occasions and has always resurfaced
in his propaganda videos to denounce
the “infidels”.

Recent military victories in his
erstwhile strongholds have surprisingly
not elicited any video response from
the boastful leader of the insurgents,
but the authorities are cautious about
announcing his obituary again.

The Nigerian military breasted valour
by freeing two states — Yobe and
Adamawa — in northeast which were
previously the atrocity domains of the
Boko Haram insurgents.

The valiant military also bulldozed the
insurgents out of Baga, Bama and
Gworza in Borno state. In these places,
Boko Haram had held sway killing and
displacing many residents.

Trophy for efforts
Now, Sambisa forest, the last “frontier”
of the insurgents, is under righteous
bombardment and guided attacks from
Nigerian troops.

As a trophy for its efforts the military
has succeeded in rescuing at least 687
women, girls and children held in
horrendous Boko Haram captivity.

It has also made some arrests, but the
one singular in “notoriety” is the
capture of the insurgents’ “food-and-
fuel” human conduit.

As it is, the troops appear to be
pressing hard on Boko Haram, and
amazingly there has been no word
from the sect’s generalissimo despite
the pummelling.

Therefore, the million-dollar question
is: where on earth is Shekau?
Inter alia, a rustled-up study of Boko
Haram shows that the sect revels in
propaganda even in the face of
annihilation, but could it long-drawn
silence mean that Shekau has been cut

Could Shekau be ‘dead’ again?
In September, 2014, the Nigerian
military announced that one
Mohammed Bashir, who had been
posing as the “eccentric character”
Shekau, had been taken down.

maintained that the sect leader was
killed in 2013 during a military raid on
Sambisa forest.
But the murderous villain frantically
debunked the report of his death in
videos that emerged days after.

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