Army: Insane Shekau Must Release Chibok Girls Unconditionally

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Says latest video mere propaganda, sign of desperation  Troops repel Boko Haram attack in Borno, kill 22 terrorists  Four soldiers killed, 2 others wounded

By Senator Iroegbu in Abuja

The Nigerian Army has described the controversial factional leader of Boko Haram terrorists, as mentally ill and unstable person whose end is near, despite issuing threats in the latest video.

The Director of Army Public Relations (DAPR), Col. Sani Usman, in a statement yesterday, said the video clip is a mere propaganda and sign of desperation for a man who was reported to have been “Fatally wounded” in military air strike. 

“The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to a video clip released by the so-called Abubakar Shekau faction of the remnants of the Boko Haram terrorists group this morning.

“In it, the purported leader of the group in his usual insane manner made all sorts of assertions to the point of threatening various towns, groups and individuals.

“He also tried albeit failingly to deny the air raid by the Nigerian Air Force in which he was wounded,” Usman stated.

He said: “The video has shown beyond all reasonable doubt the earlier suspicion that the purported factional terrorists group leader is mentally sick and unstable.”

According to him, “The ranting is also another sign that the end is near for him which is part of the signs of all wicked people.”

Usman urged members of the public not to be bothered by the contents of the video clip, saying “the facts on the ground speak for themselves.”

The army spokesman said the video had further shown that Shekau has derailed and no longer believes and practices the Islam he professes to follow;  as he was absent at the last Eid prayers video.

“It is equally reported that he could not even lead prayers. The public should not be fooled by this individual,” he advised.

Usman said no nation or society would believe him or any Boko Haram terrorist based on antecedents and as he has shown over times to be irrational and therefore unreliable especially when it comes to negotiations on the release of the abducted girls.

To this end, he said Shekau must release the Chibok girls unconditionally.

“We want to assure Nigerians especially the residents of Maiduguri, Kano, Kaduna and Zaria not to panic as we have more than what it takes to defend them and deal decisively with the remnants of the terrorists group,” he declared.

Usman further stated that Boko Haram terrorism as it was known, is gone for good.

According to him, the military is just counting down to the day when all the few remnants would be totally wiped out or brought to justice.

However, he said a window still existed for the repentant ones among them to lay down their arms and surrender to justice. 

Also, the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has said it is not interested in whether Shekau is alive or dead but to continue with elimination of all forms of terrorism in the country.

The Director of Defence Information (DDI), Brig-Gen. Rabe Abubakar, stated this in response to THISDAY inquiries about the latest Shekau video clip.

Abubakar said the military has made tremendous gains in the counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations in the North-east, and would not be distracted by the antics of the terrorists.

He said: “The DHQ’s position has always been clear that whether Shekau is alive or not doesn’t in anyway matter to us. What is important and pre-occupies mind is to consolidate on the unprecedented gains and successes recorded to terminate the remnants of the sect in order to free completely the North-east.

“Indeed, we are set to free our dear nation from their unholy activities and mindless propaganda and show of shame. They are very much aware that their end is near as our coordinated operations are continuing.”

The Defence spokesman said the Boko Haram terrorists have been defeated except the few remnants who are in disarray and using social media to stay afloat.

According to him, Boko Haram members are surrendering in droves to the military and warned those that have failed to do so to either surrender or be exterminated.

“We have been heating them hard and so the only soft ground for them is the non traditional media where all cock and bull stories can be fashioned to serve their evil and inglorious acts.

“They know what we have done to them and what we are up to. They are losing by the day and their members are surrendering on daily basis,” Abubakar said.

He urged: “The remnant terrorist groups and their followers to turn up yourself for your own good before it is late.”

In a related development, the Nigerian troops have repelled the renewed Boko Haram attacks in Logomani, Borno State, killing 22 terrorists and lost four soldiers in the gun battle.

Usman, in a statement said some suspected remnants of Boko Haram fighters at 10a.m. yesterday, attacked the troops location of at Logomani along Dikwa-Gambarou road.

Usman said the terrorists came in a three waves attack using 36 hand grenades and rocket propelled launchers.

“Our  troops fought gallantly and repelled the attack which lasted for about one hour. At the end of the fierce encounter,  the troops counted 22 dead bodies of Boko Haram fighter. They also recovered two AK-47 rifles,  FN rifle,   G3 rifle and some 36 Hand grenades,” he stated.

Unfortunately, he said, the troops lost four soldiers and their rifles as a result of the effect of Boko Haram use of Rocket Propelled Grenades, while two others were wounded in action.

The DAPR said the wounded in action have been evacuated for further medical management.

He also disclosed that the location has been reinforced and replenished,  while the troops have continued their clearance operations.