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Boko Haram Leader, Shekau is Not Dead - Defence Minister Admits

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Claims by the Nigerian Army in September 2016 that it had killed Boko Haram leader, Shekau has been rubbished by the Minister of Defence who said that Shekau is not dead. The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, on Tuesday, admitted that the leader of the Boko Haram sect, Shekau, has not been killed after the government had earlier claimed he was killed by the army.



Revealing more details, the Minister said it has been difficult arresting the sect leader because the insurgents normally wear masks to conceal their identities and divert attention.

The Minister stated this while responding to questions by from newsmen shortly after briefing President Muhammadu Buhari of his ministry’s activities at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He however stated that Boko Haram has been defeated and stated that a visit to Sambisa forest will convince doubters.
According to him, the nation’s security forces have dominated the sect’s stronghold including Camp Zero that served as their spiritual headquarters and communication base.

The minister said, “I believe it is just a matter of time. It took America about seven to ten years to get Bin Laden. So. we will get Shekau as soon as possible.
“The sect’s spiritual headquarters has been ransacked and vandalised. He (Shekau) is on the run.
“He may be hiding in one of the enclaves of Sambisa Forest which we are dominating.
“We have opened up the place. We are using the place as a training area. The Army engineers will open up roads and we shall be patrolling and be ransacking that forest for the whereabouts of Shekau.”

But asked about the claim by the government in the past that it had killed Shekau, Dan-Ali said,. “These insurgents have a way of putting on mask. There could be so many but we are looking for the real one. They have been using mask to portray Shekau in one incidents or the other to give an impression that he has been killed so that we will relax. But we will not relax, we are on him.”
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