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I’m Alive, Says Shekau in New Video

I’m alive, says Shekau in new video

The leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, has described as “propaganda,” the claim by the Defence Headquarters that he was killed early September in Kodunga, Borno State.

Shekau, in a new video obtained by AFP on Thursday, boasted that “nothing could kill him” until the day Allah stopped his breathing.

He also claimed in the 36-minute video that Boko Haram fighters shot down the Nigerian Air Force fighter jet which was reported missing three weeks ago by the Defence Headquarters.

Last week, the Director of Defence Information, Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade, told a news conference in Abuja that troops killed Shekau and that his corpse was identified by the people of Kodunga.

Olukolade illustrated his claim with pictures of the bullet-ridden corpse with Shekau’s semblance and a video of the battle in which he was killed.

He had also said that Shekau whose real name he gave as Mohammed Bashir had other names like Abacha Abdullahi Geidam and Damasack.

A day before the DHQ claim, a newspaper, quoting a military source, reported that Shekau was killed by Cameroonian soldiers during aerial bombardment of his hideout in Nigeria.

The Cameroonian newspaper also printed pictures of a bullet-ridden corpse of a man it said was the Boko Haram leader.

A former United States Ambassador to Nigeria, John Campbell, however questioned the credibility of the Nigerian military’s claim.

Campbell said, “Who knows whether Shekau is alive or dead? The question may not matter much. As Boko Haram’s resurrection after the killing of its genuinely charismatic leader, Mohammed Yusuf, shows, the movement is remarkably resilient, and not dependent on a single leader.

“If Shekau is alive, as I suspect he is, evidence is scant as to what his actual role in the movement’s leadership is. Boko Haram is more than Abubakar Shekau, alive or dead.”

In the new video, Shekau is seen standing in front of three camouflaged vans and flanked by four heavily armed and masked fighters.

He wore combat fatigues and black rubber boots and firing an anti-aircraft gun into the air, Shekau spoke for about 16 minutes in Arabic and Hausa languages widely spoken in most parts of northern Nigeria.

But there was no indication of where or when the video was shot.

Denouncing his killing by the military, the heavily bearded Boko Haram leader, who appeared to be the same as those in previous clips, said “I hereby put to lie the claim that I was killed.”

“Here I am alive. I will only die the day Allah takes my breath,” Shekau said amidst thunderous shout of Allahu Akbar “Allah is great” from his well-armed lieutenants.

He consequently taunted the military, saying it had nothing to prove its claim.

He said, “I challenge you(military), I challenge you. You even said I was killed. If you kill me, does that mean you kill (the) religion? You are not honest. You have no proof, you have nothing to say.”

The Boko Haram leader boasted that the wish of President Goodluck Jonathan; President Barack Obama of the United States; Prime Minister Francois Hollande of France; Queen Elizabeth and the United Nations Secretary General, Ban-ki Moon, for his death would not materialise.

He said, “The wish of Obama (United States President) will not kill me, the wish of Francois Hollande (of France) will not kill me, the wish of Benjamin Nattanyahu (of Israel) will not kill me, the wish of Ban-ki Moon(of the United Nations) will not kill me, the wish of Queen Elizabeth will not kill me, the wish of the infidels of the world will not kill me, much less of President (Goodluck Jonathan) , much less of Kashim (Shettima of Borno State ) , much less of Bra-Bra (Yobe State Governor Ibrahim Geidam).

“Nothing will kill me until my days are over. Do whatever you want to do. If you think what I’m doing is not the truth, even if you don’t fight me I will crumble.

“Nothing will kill me until my days are over… I’m still alive. Some people asked if Shekau has two souls. No, I have one soul, by Allah. It is propaganda that is prevalent. I have one soul.”

Shekau described himself as an Islamic student whose seminary was burnt in 2009.

He was apparently referring to the destruction of the group’s mosque in Maiduguri, Borno State that year.

Shekau also claimed that Boko Haram fighters shot down the NAF fighter jet which was on routine operational mission but did not return on September 12, 2014.

A man the sect leader claimed was one of the two pilots aboard the plane was shown in the latest video stating that the jet was brought down by “fighters of the Jama’atu Ahlis Sunnah.”

The ruin of an aircraft with the insignia of the NAF was also shown.

The pilot, who said he did not know the whereabouts of his colleague, was thereafter decapitated with an axe by an executioner who dressed in (military) fatigues.

In the video, Shekau said he had gone far in ensuring that Sharia was strictly observed in Boko Haram’s “Islamic Caliphate” and showed footages in which a man “convicted of adultery” was stoned to death.

The right hand of another man accused of “stealing” was chopped off while an unmarried young man and a young lady “convicted of fornication” were given 100 lashes each.

But the DHQ however said it was studying the claims made in the new video.

It said, “From immediate observation and what some online news outlets claimed to have seen, the video did not indicate when it was shot neither did it show any proof of life or currency such as screen time or date.

“The video also did not make any reference to anything that has happened since the impostor’s reported death.

“It is also noteworthy that the air plane said to be mentioned in the video had been missing before he was killed. It should not surprise anybody if the terrorists decided to manipulate pictures, clone another Shekau or upload a pre-recorded video all in a bid to prove invincible.

It further stated in a short statement on its official blog that as far as the military was concerned, the individual who appeared in the latest video was killed in the Konduga battle in September.

The DHQ argued that the resemblance of the corpse and that of the “eccentric character was incontrovertible.”

It said, “While waiting to see the new video before any further statement, our message to them (insurgents) is that justice will be served to whoever bears that name(Shekau) or designation(leader of Boko Haram).”

There had been two previous claims by Nigeria’s security forces that Shekau was dead. The first was in 2009 during unrest in Maiduguri and again in 2013.

Boko Haram had issued denials in video messages.

A united Arab Emirates-based Nigerian journalist, Ahmad Salkida, has said that it was “witless” for the military authorities “to ascribe cosmetic science to Boko Haram that cannot even develop arms and ammunition instead depend mainly on looting the Nigerian Army armouries.

“Most of you are educated and as a country, we can’t manufacture even toothpicks but some ‘Almajiris’ have suddenly become scientists before our watch.”

Tweeting on Thursday, Salkida, who is believed to have links with the insurgents, said, “If Boko Haram can perfect the art of cloning either through medical research or by way of photography then the entire world must be concerned. That means, they can perfectly mimic some leaders and have undue access? They can as well develop nuclear bombs and drones.”

Source: Punch

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