New video sparks controversy over ‘Shekau’s death

Abubakar-Shekau-New-Boko HaramBy Tobioas Lengnan Dapam with agency report.

The leader of the Jama’atu Ahlis Sunnah Lidda’awati Wal Jihad, better known as Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau has released a new video, claiming he is alive and active.

The new video is contrary to claims by both the Nigerian and Cameroonian military authorities that Shekau was killed in the battle front over two weeks ago.

However, it is not clear when the footages were recorded but the man that appeared in the 36 minutes video had all the features of the Shekau that appeared in most of the previous videos released by the sect, an AFP report said yesterday.

The looks include; beard pattern of dressing and speaking among others.

“I hereby put to lie the claim that I was killed,” Shekau said, amidst thunderous shout of Allahu Akbar “Allah is great” from his well-armed lieutenants.

The Boko Haram leader claimed that his fighters shot down the Alpha Jet (NAF 466) belonging to the Nigerian Air Force which was reported missing by the Defence Headquarters.

It would be recalled that the aircraft, with two pilots onboard, reportedly left Yola at about 10:45am on 12th September 2014 on a routine operational mission but did not return.

Meanwhile, the recorded video showed one of the purported pilots stating that their aircraft was brought down by “fighters of the Jama’atu Ahlis Sunnah.”

The damaged aircraft was also shown with the insignia of the Nigerian Air Force.

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

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

Also in the video, 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.

The Boko Haram kingpin boastfully said, “I challenge you, I challenge you. You said I was killed. If you killed me, does that mean you killed (the) religion? You are not honest. You have no proof, you have nothing to say.

“Here I’m, alive. I will only die the day Allah takes my breath. The wish of Obama will not kill me, the wish of Francois Hollande will not kill me, the wish of Benjamin Natanyahu will not kill me, the wish of Ban-ki Moon 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, not to talk of Jonathan the laggard, not to talk of Kashim (Shettima) the tiny one, not to talk 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,” he said.

Reacting to the video, the Nigerian military authorities insisted that Bashir Mohammed alias Abubakar Shekau was actually eliminated as corroborated by still photographs, video evidence of surrendering and captured terrorists.

The reaction was contained in a short statement posted on defence information blog.

The Defence Headquarters in dismissing the video said it is “studying the claims made in the video purportedly released by the terrorists showing their leader Abubakar Shekau as dismissing his death.

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.

“As far as we are concerned, the individual who was appearing in video and claiming to be the leader of the terrorist group was killed in the Kondunga battle in September. The resemblance of the corpse and that of the eccentric character was incontrovertible. His identity was equally corroborated by people who knew him before we announced his death,” the Defence said.

While still conducting thorough investigation into the new claims in the purported video, the military promised that justice will be served to whoever bears that name or designation and whoever engages in act,” the statement said.

 

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