Saturday, August 24, 2013
Exclusive: The last days of Shekau, Boko Haram Leader
death.That was the picture security forces painted at the weekend.
From the vast forests of Sambisa, Borno State, where he was reportedly
shot and sustained injuries in June during a raid on his hideout by
military forces, he was said to have been taken to Mali for treatment
by the Boko Haram top hierarchy.
In Mali, Sunday Vanguard learnt that Shekau's situation soon grew worse.
After consultations, the leadership of the Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna
Lidda'awati wal-Jihad, which in Arabic means, "People Committed to the
Propagation of the Prophet's Teachings and Jihad", decided to move
theirboss to Cameroun.
"It was in Cameroun that the situation got out of hand.
"There, all known medical support that could be provided within
acceptable underground limits was mustered. But that was where he
gaveup the ghost", one of the security sources said.
The source added that a recent video recording allegedly released by
the sect showing Shekau calling the bluff of the US, Britain and
France and claiming that nobody could stop the group was a
smokescreento paint the picture that he was still alive and in
Indeed, the spectre of hopelessness was initially discarded as news
which first filtered out of the sect's camp suggested that Shekau
could actually survive.
To buttress that air of invincibility, the publicized recording had to
be released to members of the public.
Sunday Vanguardwas told that "if the sect members had had access to
modern medical facilities, Shekau may have survived. But the
leadership of Boko Haram was also sure that the military was all out
to get Shekau and, therefore, could not risk even a disguised Shekau
being taken to an hospital", a source disclosed.
"In fact as I am talking to you now, we have it on good authority that
a close confidant of his (Shekau) who was mandated to follow him and
ensure he received proper treatment has been killed by members of the
group for allowing the information of his death to get out", the source said.
Aside killing the confidant (aide), Sunday Vanguard was made to
understand that there was an intelligence report indicating that his
followers hurriedly buried his remains, in an attempt to hide the
death andpaint a picture of invincibility around him so that they
would continue to use it to hoodwink sect members.
Sources said the death of Shekau and the likely response of Boko Haram
who may be mobilizing to hit back (revenge) through bombings,
kidnapping and killing of innocent citizens played a role in the
decision ofthe Federal Government to approve the establishment of a
new army division for the North-East, 7 Division, with headquarters in
Meanwhile, sustained attacks in some parts of the North-East, the
latest of which was the massacre of 44 persons in a village in Borno
State, on Friday, believed to have been carried out by Boko Haram,
lent credence to the claim that a new leader may be in command of the
Shekau's deputy in the Boko Haram hierachy, Momodu Bama, was
reportedly killed by the Joint Task Force, during an encounter with
troopsaround the Bama corridor on August 4.
Director of Defence Information, Brigadier General Chris Olukolade, in
a statement announcing the killing, penultimate week, said Bama had
been leading attacks against troops and civilians in the communities
of Yobe and Adamawa states.
According to him, Momodu, said to be a specialist in manning
anti-aircraft guns, was known to be vicious and heartless with a
penchant for personally executing his victims.
Bama was among the most wanted terrorists with a N25million bounty
placed on his head.
The defence spokesman said others that died in the operation include
Bama's father, Alhaji Abatcha Flatari, who was also said to be one of
thespiritual leaders of the Islamist group.
17 other insurgents reportedly lost their lives in the encounter,
while 24 were arrested.