The Nigerian military said it was not considering the leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, or any other particular person in the terror group to be relevant in the ongoing onslaught against insurgency in the North East.
“Shekau or any of his cohorts would not deter the spate of the military operations to rid the country of criminals hiding under strange religious ideology to kill innocent Nigerians,” the military said in a statement Tuesday.
The statement came days after the release of an audio clip online dismissing recent gains by the military in the war against the insurgents. The speaker claimed to be Shekau, whom the Nigerian military claimed it killed months ago.
The military said it viewed the new audio as “irrelevant and fruitless”.
“The Armed Forces is using this medium to appeal to the good citizens of Nigeria not to lose sleep over the concocted audio rhetoric of the waning terrorist sect which is a usual antic of a drowning person struggling to hold on to anything to remain afloat,” the statement signed by spokesperson for the armed forces, Rabe Abubakar, a Colonel.
“The Armed Forces wishes to reiterate that it is a well-known fact that the terrorists have been seriously decimated and the tremendous effort and achievement recorded in the recent time by combined forces of the Nigerian Army and the Air Force is commendable.
“The Armed Forces did not lie about the successes recorded so far in its counterinsurgency operations and for avoidance of doubt, the liberated communities in the North East, which were hitherto under the throes of Boko Haram terrorists, are free for interested person or body to explore.
“The military does re-state that in the recent time a number of Boko Haram members have been surrendering and denouncing radicalization. Our candid advice to Shekau or his ghost; cohorts or impersonators is to toll the line of their fellow comrades and surrender now as no more hidden place for him or his criminal gang to operate freely any longer.
“It is also necessary to tell those that are still masquerading as leadership of Boko Haram in whatsoever guise to quickly come to term with the fact that era of cheap propaganda is over and in no distance time Nigerians and the whole world will know who is saying the truth.
“Therefore, while urging Nigerians and the nation’s well-wishers to disregard the audio clip purportedly released by Shekau in its entirely, the Armed Forces is calling on peace-loving people of our dear nation to go about their normal businesses as the military is working round the clock to rid the country of this devilish and anti-human group.
“Our compatriots too are called upon to report any suspicious person or object to law enforcement agencies for prompt action. It is in doing this that we would jointly restore the dignity of our dear country from the claw of terrorists,” the statement said.