Following the announcement, Monday, by the Joint Task Force, JTF, of the possible death of Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, after he sustained gunshot injuries in a clash with Nigerian troops, the United States Government has launched a probe to verify the claim.
No one had reasons to believe the announcement that “Shekau might have died between July 25 to 3 August” in Amitchide, Cameroun, after being “mortally wounded” in an encounter with JTF at the Sambisa Forest on June 30, as the task force did not produce any proof beyond relying on intelligence report to back up its claim.
US State Department Deputy spokesperson, Ms. Marie Harf, while responding to a question in Washington DC on Tuesday on whether US had any information about the possible death of Shekau, said: “We have seen these reports and (we) are working to ascertain the facts.”
Shekau and two other key figures in Boko Haram were last year labelled as “specially designated global terrorists” by the US, followed up in June by announcing a $23 million reward for anyone who could help track down five leaders of deadly militant groups spreading terror in West Africa with the highest sum of $7 million placed on Shekau’s head.
Commenting on his reported death, Harf described Shekau as the most visible leader of Boko Haram, adding, “if his death – it turns out to be true, the loss of such a central and well known figure would set back Boko Haram’s operations and remove a key voice from its efforts to mobilise violent extremists in Nigeria and around the world.”
She however added that that was not the first time the Boko Haram leader would be declared dead, adding, “as many of you know, he was also falsely reported dead in 2009.”
The US official however said her country will continue to support Nigeria in the fight against terrorism, recalling that as recent as August 15, Under-Secretary Wendy Sherman was in Nigeria where she held discussions about regional security, including how both countries could further partner to develop and implement effective counter-terrorism measures.
Meanwhile, the federal government yesterday pleaded with Nigerians to give the military the benefit of the doubt, following criticisms that had trailed the reported death of Shekau.
It explained that instead of the controversy over whether or not he might have been killed in a shootout, as revealed by the military, people should just believe the claim.
Making the plea while briefing journalists after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku said, the supposed killing of Shekau is a logical progression of events since the onslaught against the insurgents started with the proclamation of emergency rule in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States three months ago.
Maku reasoned that if the military was successfully prosecuting its operations against the Islamist militant group, then there should be no reason to doubt its claim on Shekau’s death.
“Relating to the story that we have read, I think it is better we leave it at that. These people are on the run and we will allow the military to tell the story,” he said.
The death claim, Maku said should give Nigerians more confidence in the military. “It should give us more confidence. What it means is that the security forces are closing up on some of the kingpins of this murderous group that has denied thousands of Nigerians their lives. Some of the key leaders have been pronounced dead. I think that rather than losing confidence, we should continue to pray for the military to hope that in the end they succeed and they are succeeding,” he said.
He therefore urged the media to support the military in the fight against terror, adding that the military should be given ample backing because that is “the most important thing we need in Nigeria because if there is no peace in the northern part of the country, there won’t be peace in Nigeria.”
“You will notice that since the president proclaimed the state of emergency three months ago, we have kept political comments out of it. We decided that it is better for the military to tell their story; that is why I have not spoken on it. We want to remove this security operation from any misunderstanding, especially from politicians. As a government, it is our operation, but the most important thing is to allow the military tell the story of what is happening,” he added.
Femi Otedola Reacts To Lekki Tollgate Shooting
Nigerian businessman, Femi Otedola has finally reacted to the shooting that took place at Lekki Tollgate, Lagos on Tuesday.
Information Nigeria recalls men dressed in military wears opened fire on unarmed #EndSARS protesters, who convened at the area.
Otedola took to his Instagram page on Sunday to commiserate with the families of those who lost their lives in the unfortunate incident.
Sharing a photo of the Nigerian flag, he wrote;
“The horrors that have been unfolding in our country have left me filled with sadness. I deeply commiserate with those who have lost their loved ones and as a father, I share the sentiment of my three daughters who protested in Lagos and London. As a young boy of 16, I participated in the ‘Ali Must Go Protest’ of 1978, so I understand the determination of our youths who rightly want our country to be better. We must all do our part to make Nigeria great! I will continue to do my own quota in providing for those who are most in need of support in our country in these tough times .…F.Ote💲”
See his post below:
“Oke Wasn’t Killed By Stray Bullet, He Was Stabbed By Thugs” – Brother Claims
Information Nigeria recalls a graphics designer identified as Oke, was killed hours after tweeting “Nigeria will not kill me” on Wednesday.
It was reported that the young man had passed away after he was hit by a stray bullet.
The deceased’s younger brother, Daniel has come out to clear the air regarding the circumstances leading to his death.
Daniel revealed his brother was stabbed on the neck by thugs who infiltrated and ransacked their home.
In his words;
“Good day, My name is Obi-Enadhuze Daniel younger brother of the now deceased Okechukwu Obi-Enadhuze @O_Okee . I, my brother and mother lived at makinde police barracks, mafoluku, Oshodi, Lagos State.
Today at about 11 o’clock in the morning the police station at makinde was attacked by thugs who wanted to destroy the station, I my mom and brother were holed up in our house.
The attack went on for hours before the thugs eventually breached the police and proceeded to set the station on fire, after accomplishing this they set their sights to the barracks and began the assault, they proceeded to destroy every car in the barracks, my mom’s 2 cars where destroyed and set on fire and then they infiltrated our house by breaking the door they then proceeded to ransack the house and carted away with everything we own.
my brother on trying to get them to take everything but spare us was pushed to my mom’s room and stabbed on the neck, the attacker then proceeded to attack me but missed my neck but got my chin instead, after this my mom and I carried my brothers body to the entrance of the station soliciting for help from the thugs still ravaging the barracks, we were finally able to put him in a wheelbarrow and took him to a hospital where he was rejected because “he was already dead” unfazed we moved him to another hospital where he met the same treatment this was where he bled his last drops of blood and died, his body has now been moved to a morgue
we have lost every single thing we own, as our house was completely ransacked and set on fire the only thing left is my brothers phone and at about 8 o’clock this evening the barracks was still on fire but Okechukwu has paid with the ultimate price
I and my mother are homeless with nothing now but we’re safe for now, we thank everyone that has been able to reach out to us, and were able to share consoling words with us in these trying times, God bless you
While we were holed up in the house the three of us said these words together and we say it again ” THREE OF US ARE HERE, THREE OF US ARE TOGETHER, THREE OF US ARE SAFE”
Let it be known that my brother @O_Okee was NOT killed by a police bullet but died a hero protecting my mother and I.
If you see this please retweet, let the world know how Okechukwu died. He was NOT killed by a police bullet but thugs in his home!”
See his post below:
Youths Burn Down Sanwo-Olu’s Mother’s House In Lagos (VIDEO)
Lagos youths have set the family house of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on fire.
This was after the Governor said that no nobody was killed during the shooting by soldiers at Lekki Toll Gate on Tuesday night.
Sanwo-Olu had debunked claims that the soldiers opened fire and killed some peaceful protesters.
Recall that men of the Nigerian Army reportedly opened fire on protesters following the declaration of 24 hours curfew by the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwolu.
Bullets fired by security operatives hit some persons and at least two persons have been confirmed killed by the police and many injured
Voices in viral footage blamed the shootings on soldiers.
However, the angry youth attacked several important places such as Nigeria Port Authority, TVC News, and the family house of the Governor where his mother resides.
After Governor @jidesanwoolu said the "soldiers shot in the air to disperse the peaceful protesters." And thar their's no fatalities
Lagos youths set Governor's Mother's House on FIRE!! #PRAYFORNIGERIA#EndSARS #Lekkitollgate #LekkiGenocide #EndPoliceBrutalityinNigeraNOW pic.twitter.com/QaOvSHwXdk
— Nwachukwu John Owen (@johnowen99) October 21, 2020
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