Boko Haram Leader Shekau Flees Nigeria..We LL Capture Him..Nigerian Military

As the military deploys its special force units to track the fleeing lead¬er of the Boko Haram sect, Abuba¬kar Shekau, there are strong indi¬cations that the terror kingpin may have fled Nigeria through the help of Islamic State (ISIS) groups operating in East and North Africa.
It was gathered that with the recent loss of his group’s caliphate headquarters, Gwoza to the Nigerian troops and the invasion of Sambisa forest by a detachment of the na¬tion’s special force units deployed from their base in Makurdi, Benue State, the Boko Haram leader saw his capture as imminent.
According to dependable military intelligence sources, Shekau had to send emissaries to ISIS affiliates with strongholds in East and North Africa to pave the way for his escape to their region from where he intends to coordi¬nate his group’s activities or ultimately relocate to ISIS headquarters in the Middle East.
One of the sources revealed that “having discovered that he was being tracked through his Thuraya satellite phone, Shekau recently dropped the line and handset totally to evade capture. But the last satellite image of him and other intelligence pieced together by forces on the battle frontline show his desperation to es¬cape from the country to parts of East Africa or North Africa where ISIS is having some foot¬holds.”
The source, a red neck military chief further said that “as part of moves being made by Shekau, he now relocates with few¬er guards and limited number of lieutenants knowing his movement schedule. This is to frustrate intelligence gathering efforts by se¬curity forces and avoid attracting the focus of satellite image capturing technology deployed by some foreign super powers and shared with the Nigerian security forces.”
It was gathered that as part of his bid to es¬cape the heat of ongoing military operations in the Northeast Nigeria, Shekau has in the last few weeks changed his look and physical ap¬pearance dramatically. “A recent intelligence from one of our foreign partners shows the Boko Haram leader clean shaven which total¬ly alters his look. That heightens our curiosity about his motive, before we got other evidence that pointed to the fact that he was trying to cross the border”, the source added.
The militant group had on March 7 pledged allegiance to the leadership of ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The pledge, which was made by Shekau, who addressed himself as the Imam of Ja¬maátu Ahlus Sunnah Lidda’awati Wal Jihad (Boko Haram) and was addressed to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi al-Husseini al-Qurashi, the lead¬er of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
“From your brother in Allah, Abu Mohamed Abu Bakr bin Mohammed Shekau, the Imam of Jamaátu Ahlus Sunnah Lidda Awaati Wal Jihad to the Caliph of Muslims Abubakar Abu Bakr Ibrahim ibn Awad ibn Ibrahim al-Husseini al-Qurashi.
“We are sending you this message, following what Allah said in his Quran (And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allah and be not divided among yourselves) and what the Proph¬et, Peace be upon him said (Whoever died and he had not Imam, died by death of ignorance).
“In submission to the order of Allah “Azza wa Jal”, and submission to the order of the prophet, peace be upon him to not separate from each other and to stay united as Ummah as Jammaaáh, We announce our allegiance to the Caliph of the Muslims Ibrahim ibn Awad ibn Ibrahim al-Husseini al-Qurashi and will hear and obey in times of difficulty and prosperity, in hardship and ease, and to endure being dis¬criminated against and not to dispute about rule with those in power, except in case of evident infidelity,” read an English-language translation of the video broadcast in Arabic.
ISIS has a few foreign groups from which it has accepted pledges, including Ansar Bayt al-Maqdisi in the Egyptian Sinai and groups of fighters in strategic areas of Libya. ISIS has a shura council that dictates the group’s strategic direction but takes a devolved, hands-off approach on tactical matters.
A week after the pledge of allegiance by Boko Haram, ISIS leadership in a statement accepted the militant group into its fold, with a promise to work with it to establish an ISIS cell in West Africa. In an audio message, a man who claimed to be the spokesperson for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, ISIS, said the group’s aim of establishing a caliphate has now been expanded to West Africa.
Shekau had stayed in crisis-ridden Northern Mali to coordinate the training and opera¬tions of the militant group before they were flushed out of there by a joint French and Af-rican forces, including Nigerian troops. He thereafter crossed the porous borders to join his foot soldiers in Borno State.
“He may not find it easy to return to Mali this time round but we suspect he may be targeting East Africa or parts of North Africa such as Libya and Egypt where some islamist groups are causing instability now”, a senior military chief involved in the prosecution of the war against the militant group told Satur¬day Sun, adding that he cannot categorically say whether Shekau had indeed escaped or still in the country.
“On whether he has successfully escaped from Nigeria, I have no such information but at the same time I cannot rule that out because of his level of desperation to flee and his links with some other groups with¬in the region and even beyond”, the source stressed, adding: “What we strongly believe at this moment is that he is still within our reach or that of our neighbours; especially Niger and Chad. He may find it difficult to move beyond these borders and may end up returning to one of our remote villages in the North-East to hide.”
The source also stated that Shekau had told some of his close lieutenants that he would rather die from gunshot from his guards than being killed by the Nigerian troops whom he regards as “infidels.”
“One of his captured commanders once disclosed that Shekau had given instructions to his personal guards to shoot him dead in the face of a confrontation with our troops who he calls infidels. He believes that makes him a martyr”, the source added.
When contacted on the information that Shekau had fled the country between the last week of March and the first two weeks of April, the acting Director of Public Rela¬tions, Nigeria Army, Colonel Sani Usman said, “We have an ongoing war against ter¬rorists in this country and we are determined by all means and what it takes to eliminate, capture all terrorists and destroy all their known camps.
“If in the process, any of their leaders is captured, so be it because the whole war is not about an individual. We are also deter¬mined to arrest all of them dead or alive.”


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria


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