, leader of Nigeria’s militant Islamic sect Boko Haram, has denied reports that he may have died from injuries he suffered in an encounter with the military, saying he is alive and claiming responsibility for the recent spate of attacks that left many dead in northern Nigeria.
“The world should know that I cannot die except by the will of Allah. I have told you that all that I do is prescribed by the Quran,’ he said in a video circulated to some journalists in Maiduguri, capital of northern Borno State, which is regarded as the spiritual base of the sect
‘Don’t bother yourselves stopping me because I cannot be stopped. The war is more grievous than you think, and it will consume you,’ the local media on Wednesday quoted him as saying in the local Hausa language spoken in the predominantly Muslim north.
Announcing the purported death of Shekau in a statement issued in Maiduguri 19 August, a spokesman for the military force fighting the sect, Lt.-Col. Sagir Musa, had said: ‘Intelligence report available to the Joint Task Force Operation RESTORE ORDER revealed that Abubakar Shekau, the most dreaded and wanted Boko Haram terrorists leader may have died.
‘He died of gunshot wound received in an encounter with the JTF troops in one of their camps at Sambisa Forest on 30 June 2013. Shekau was mortally wounded in the encounter and was sneaked into Amitchide – a border community in Cameroon for treatment which he never recovered.’
PANA quoted Musa as saying Shekau might have died between 25 July and 3 August 2013.
But in the video, Shekau, who is surrounded by armed militants, mocked the military, especially Musa.
“It was said that I was killed, but here I am. I deliberately refused to respond on time but here I am talking and laughing at Nigerian authorities who misled the world that I am dead. I believe by now Lt.-Col Sagir Musa, who issued the statement of my death, should bury his head in shame; (Nigeria’s) President (Goodluck) Jonathan should bury his head in shame; (US) President Barrack Obama should bury his head in shame, (French) President François Hollande should bury his head in shame.
“How shameful is it for the Nigerian military for a man they called inconsequential to defeat them and seize their (tanks) and arms. We have celebrated our victory in Monguno, Benisheikh and surrounding villages, and we shall not relent until total victory comes our way, by Allah’s will,’ Shekau said, vowing that the sect would not relent in its attacks until it had defeated democracy in Nigeria.
“I swear by Allah that there will be no democracy in Nigeria. We are going to rise against it and we shall soon defeat it…,’ he said. ‘The concept of government of the people by the people, for the people cannot continue to exist. It shall soon, very soon, be replaced by Government of Allah, by Allah for Allah.”
Though the Nigerian military claimed to have decimated Boko Haram, especially in the three states (Adamawa, Borno and Yobe) where President Jonathan declared a state of emergency in May, the sect has recently been carrying out spectacular attacks in Borno.
In one of such attacks last week, over 140 people were killed in Benisheikh and along the Maiduguri-Damaturu road.
Boko Haram (Western education is sacrilege) launched its violent campaign in 2009 to, among others, establish an Islamic republic in Nigeria.