For the first time in more than a year, leader of the Boko Haram sect, Abubakar Shekau on Thursday appeared on a new video recording devoid of the defiant bluster, taunts and denunciation of political leaders of previous videos.
In the seven-minute message where he looked subdued and spoke as if admitting defeat, the dejected-looking Shekau debunked rumours about his death but declared that “for me the end has come”.
Speaking in the Hausa language, he said: “This is a message of greeting and joy for you to see my face,” said Shekau, who in March 2015 pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group in an audio message.
“This is my desire: that whoever sees this will hear nothing but greetings between me and you. Only Allah knows the rest, as you believed (and) as you submitted. For me the end has come.”
“This is only the message I want to send to you for you to understand that this is certainly I. This is why I did this.”
“May Allah protect us so that no hypocrite stands between us. May Allah protect us from the devil so that he doesn’t achieve his evil among us.”
“May Allah protect us and may we stand firm on the path of Allah. I thank my creator.”
Meanwhile, unlike previous well-edited recordings from the Islamic sect released towards the end of 2014 and the start of 2015, the new video was poorly shot with a thin-looking Shekau spotting a military fatigue with a rifle resting on his left shoulder.
The Boko Haram leader spoke to his followers in the video posted on YouTube in front of a lime green background, with the sect’s black flag superimposed in crude graphics.
Following the video release however, the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has revealed that the Nigerian Armed Forces will continue with its offensive action against insurgents in the North-East in spite of the purported surrender by Shekau.
Although, the military is subjecting the purported new video to forensic examinations in order to ascertain its authenticity, it has cautioned that Nigerians be alert.
According to a statement issued in Abuja, on Thursday, by the Director of Defence Information, Brig.-Gen. Rabe Abubakar, the DHQ advised the public not to be carried away by the video clips but to be extra vigilant and security conscious at all times during the Easter celebrations and beyond.
“It has come to the notice of the Defence Headquarters about the online video clips purportedly released by the Boko Haram Terrorists Leader, Abubakar Shekau or his replica in Arabic and Hausa Languages showing remorse and asking for forgiveness,” the statement stated.
“The DHQ wishes to state emphatically that not minding the contents of the video clips, the Armed Forces of Nigeria would continue to fight in order to consolidate the successes recorded so far and assuring Nigerians that no inch of the Nigerian territory would be allowed to be bastardized by any force of darkness again.
“The DHQ is also reassuring the good citizens of our great country that all captives under the coffer of the Boko Haram Terrorists, would regain their freedom with the ongoing military’s final offensive against the terrorists.
“While the Nigerian Military would not rest until all the remnants of the terrorist group are completely wiped out of our blessed land, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, wishes to commend all officers and men of the Nigerian Armed Forces for their sacrifices, determination and courage to degrade the terrorists and task them to complete the good job they have started soonest in line with our rules of engagement.
“The said video clips should therefore be discountenanced as it could be another ploy or antics of the terrorists to keep our innocent citizen off their current security alertness to maximize casualties if attacked. The Nigerian Armed Forces are now determined more than ever before to end this ugly trend.
“Members of the public are also advised not to be carried away by the video clips, but to be extra vigilant and be security conscious at all times during Easter celebration and beyond. Public is also reminded to report any suspicious strange faces, movement and object to the nearest security agency so as to counter any unholy plans of the Godless terrorist group.”
Shekau was last heard from in March 2015, when an audio message attributed to him was released pledging Boko Haram’s allegiance to the Islamic State militant group (ISIS), after which it rebranded itself as the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP).
Source: THE WILL
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