Military Begins Search For Shekau’s Body

Defence Headquarters has maintained sealed lips over the claim by the Joint Task Force (JTF) that Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau is dead, but the military intelligence wing may have begun a search for his corpse to confirm the story and possibly exhume it if indeed he has died.

A top military source told LEADERSHIP last night that the search had begun for Shekau’s corpse. According to him, if indeed Shekau is dead and buried, his remains must be exhumed as an evidence that he is dead. “His corpse should be exhumed and presented to the whole world who are eagerly waiting for the good news. Everywhere would be combed especially the border towns and 
villagesincluding those hills that once served as their operational headquarters,” the source said.

The spokesman of JTF, Lt. Col. Sagir Musa, in an e-mail statement he made available to newsmen on Monday, claimed that Shekau had died from the mortal wounds he received during one of the recent clashes with the military and hurriedly rushed to a Cameroonian village where he eventually died.

“It is greatly believed that Shekau might have died between 25 July and 3 August, 2013. He was reported to have masterminded the kidnap of the seven French citizens and that of the elder statesman Alhaji (Dr) Shettima Ali Monguno in addition to many murders of Islamic clerics in Northern Nigeria. He was also responsible for bombings of many places of worship and public buildings including the Police and United Nations headquarters in Abuja. The JTF wishes to appeal to the sect members to lay down their arms and embrace the Federal Government’s offer for dialogue,” the officer stated.

Speaking with LEADERSHIP last night on the phone, Sagir said he stood  by the statement that Shekau is dead. He said, “I am driving now, so I cannot grant any press 
interview or answer any question. A statement has been issued on Shekau, he is dead and I stand by the statement” and hung up.

However, the Defence Headquarters that gave assignment to Sagir has not issued any statement either to confirm or deny the statement. All efforts made on Monday and Tuesday by the media to get a definite pronouncement proved abortive at press time.

A security source also confided in LEADERSHIP last night:  “Sagir issued the statement without any clarification or confirmation from Abuja and this is dangerous because if it is not true then he faces a stiff sanction.

 “Everything we heard about Abubakar Shekau was from the media; there is no official position yet. This is because the officer who issued the statement failed to carry us along and, by doing so, he is putting his career on the line.

“If you said Shekau is dead, where is his corpse? Has he been buried? Where was he buried? Who told you the man is dead? These are the questions we are looking for their answers before you could hear from us. We all want an end to come to the Boko Haram sect and 
we want those who are behind them to face the consequence, but the truth must be told if Shekau is dead. When we heard and confirmed the death of his deputy, we made it known officially, and, until that of Shekau is confirmed, mum remains the issue.”
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