The Joint Task Force (JTF) in Borno State has claimed it had killed Momodu Bama, second-in-command to the Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, during a recent confrontation in the state.
The task force also claimed that Bama’s father, Abatcha Flatari, a spiritual leader of the sect, was also killed during the confrontation.
The JTF claimed that Bama and his father were killed in a counter attack in Bama, when the sect attacked the riot police base in Bama, headquarters of Bama Local Government Area of the state on August 4, adding that the killing was contrary to report in some quarters that another Muhammad Bama, on whose head a bounty of N10 million was placed, was killed in Mubi, Adamawa State.
Spokesman of the JTF, Lt. Col. Sagir Musa, while confirming the killing said Momodu was killed along with his father during an attack on police base, adding that even before his killing, the JTF had placed N25 million bounty on his head and not N10 million as claimed by the report.
Defending why the JTF have not said anything about it since Bama’s killing, Musa said it took the JTF this long to break the news of the killing of Bama and his father to the media because they wanted to be sure they were actually the ones fell in the confrontation in order to guard against misinformation.
Musa, showing a flyer where Bama and his leader, Abubakar Shekau, were declared wanted with bounties of N25 million and N50 million respectively, said Bama was the second-in-command to Shekau and next in notoriety to the sect leader.
The JTF spokesman stated that Momodu was an indigene of Bama town and a member of the Boko Haram Shurra committee (decision-making or highest body of the sect), adding that he was a tall, slim and dark man, who spoke Kanuri, Hausa, Arabic and English languages well.
He added that Bama was one of the most vicious and heartless killers in the group with a penchant for slaughtering his victims.
The spokesman said the father of the slain Boko Haram sect leader, Abatcha Flatari, was one of the spiritual mentors of the Boko Haram terrorists in charge of indoctrinating child foot soldiers, who were in most cases abducted.
Musa, however, assured residents of the state that major roads and GSM lines would soon be opened, noting that the security situation was improving.
Also confirming the killing of Bama, the Director of Defence Information (DDI), Brig-Gen. Chris Olukolade, disclosed that Bama was killed during a shoot-out with the troops of JTF who were determined to dislodge the terrorists, who recently massacred about 60 people in some parts of Borno State.
“As troops intensify pursuit of terrorists who have been unleashing mayhem in Borno and Yobe communities, the death of Momodu Bama, said to be the second-in-command to the leader of Shekau, has been confirmed by other arrested terrorists.
“This followed encounters with the terrorists around the Bama corridor. Momodu Bama has been personally leading the attacks against troops and innocent citizens in the communities of Yobe and Adamawa,” Olukolade said.
The slain leader of the insurgents was said to have assumed his current duties, when the former second-in-command to Mohammed Marwana, broke ranks with Shekau into a rival Boko Haram sect that was alleged to be negotiating with Alhaji Taminu Turaki-led Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution on Security Challenges in the North (Amnesty Committee).