Less than two weeks after the military authorities confirmed that the Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau’s impostor had died in battle against troops in Konduga, Borno State, the supposedly dead man has come out to claim that he is very much alive.
In spite of compelling evidence, corroboration by Australian negotiator, Dr. Stephen Davis and even claims by the Cameroonian military that its troops, not Nigerian security forces, had killed one of the world’s most wanted terrorists, Shekau (or his look-alike), has released a new video through the regular channels, showing his face to the world and vocally debunking the stories of his death.
The video, which was obtained by AFP, is 36-minutes long.
“Here I am, alive. I will only die the day Allah takes my breath”, Shekau cackled, adding that his administration was still “running…a Caliphate” and administering the requisite punishments according to Sharia law.
This is the second time the notorious Boko Haram leader has reportedly being killed but has somehow, miraculously ‘resurrected’ to continue his reign of terror.
In the wake of jubilations that Shekau had died in battle, a renowned Boko Haram negotiator and Nigerian journalist, Ahmad Salkida, had announced that he was still alive but his lone voice was drowned by the cacophony of voices that claimed otherwise.
In the new video, Shekau wore combat fatigues and black rubber boots, and he was standing on the back of a pickup truck, shooting into the air with his anti-aircraft gun.
As expected, the location where the video was shot is unclear but Shekau spoke in two languages – Arabic and Hausa.
The heavily bearded man, who does not look any different from the man who has been appearing in older videos released by the terrorist group, rubbished the military’s claim that he had been killed, calling it propaganda.
“Nothing will kill me until my days are over… I’m still alive. Some people asked you if Shekau has two souls. No, I have one soul, by Allah”, he said, apparently reading from a script.
“It is propaganda that is prevalent. I have one soul. I’m an Islamic student.
“I’m the Islamic student whose seminary you burnt… I’m not dead,” he added, apparently referring to the destruction of the group’s mosque in the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, in 2009.
“We are running our caliphate, our Islamic caliphate. We follow the Koran… We now practice the injunctions of the Koran in the land of Allah”, he boasted.
The group also claimed to have shot down a Nigerian Air Force Alpha jet that went missing over two weeks ago.
However, the spokesperson for the Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Dele Alonge, told AFP that “For any group to claim they shot it down, is mere propaganda and rubbish”.