Despite the purported remorse demonstrated by Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, in an online video making the rounds, the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has vowed that the Nigerian Armed Forces will not relent in its operations against insurgency in North-East Nigeria.
This is contained in a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday by the Director of Defence Information, Rabe Abubakar.
While assuring that it will not lower its guard on terrorism, the Army urged Nigerians to remain vigilant despite the seeming conciliatory approach of Shekau in the video message.
Read excerpt of the press statement titled: ‘No Save Haven For Terrorists’ below.
“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 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
Defence Headquarters Nigeria
Shekau, the leader of the nefarious death society had on Thursday staged a return more than one year after his last appearance on video, hinting that his “end” as the sect’s leader “has come.
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“For me, the end has come”, he said in a video message without his usual defiance, taunts and denunciation of the country’s leaders.
Speaking on his rumoured death, Shekau said: “This is a message of greeting and joy for you to see my face. 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 to understand that this is certainly I. This is why I did this.”
Reacting swiftly to the eight minutes footage, the military said it was studying the video to determine its authenticity.
It will be recalled, Shekau had been reportedly killed several times since the start of the insurgency only for him to reappear in video messages.
The military believes several lookalikes have since stood in for him.