Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau dismissed Nigerian military claims of his death in a new video obtained by AFP yesterday and said the militants had implemented strict Islamic law in captured towns.
“Here I am, alive. I will only die the day Allah takes my breath,” Shekau said, adding that his group was “running our… Islamic caliphate” and administering strict Sharia punishments.
Nigeria’s military said last week that Shekau was dead and that a man who had been posing as the group’s leader in the videos had been killed after fighting with troops in the far northeast.
Security analysts and the United States questioned the credibility of the military’s claim.
The new 36-minute video showed Shekau, in combat fatigues and black rubber boots, standing on the back of a pick-up truck and firing an anti-aircraft gun into the air.
Standing in front of three camouflaged vans and flanked by four heavily armed, masked fighters, he then speaks for 16 minutes in Arabic and the Hausa language widely spoken in northern Nigeria.
There was no indication of where or when the video was shot.
The heavily bearded Shekau, who appeared to be the same as those in previous clips, said the military’s claim that he was dead was 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.
There have been two previous claims by Nigeria’s security forces that Shekau was dead — once in 2009 during unrest in Maiduguri — and again in 2013.
Following each previous claim Boko Haram has issued denials in video messages.
Elsewhere in the new video, the militant leader said the group had implemented strict Islamic law in the towns that it had captured in recent weeks.
“We are running our caliphate, our Islamic caliphate. We follow the Koran… We now practise the injunctions of the Koran in the land of Allah,” he said.
The group also claimed to have shot down a Nigerian air force jet that went missing nearly three weeks ago.
An Air Force spokesman said the jet was missing.
Meanwhile, the Defence Headquarters has insisted that the leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau is dead, saying that the leader of the terrorist group was killed in the Konduga battle in September.
This was made known in a statement published on the website of the Defence Headquarters at www.defenceinfo.mil.ng
The full statement reads: “The Defence Headquarters is studying the claims made in the video purportedly released by the terrorists showing their leader Abubakar Shekau as dismissing his death.
“From immediate observation and what some online news outlets claimed to have seen, the video did not indicate when it was shot neither did it show any proof of life or currency such as screen time or date. The video also did not make any reference to anything that has happened since the impostor’s reported death.
Similarly, aftermath of another heavy defeat of Boko Haram terrorists who launched another attack weekend on Konduga in a bid to reclaim the dead body of the impostor of Abubakar Shekau, (Mohammed Bashir), the military has arrested a foreign computer expert who is said to be behind the several video shots sent to online media organization and foreign media houses.
He was said to have been arrested with some sophisticated equipment and copies of some of the videos the terrorists had sent to online media houses on their escapades including that of the abducted Chibok girls, iy was leant.
Military sources disclosed that the computer analyst who is currently being interrogated was responsible for configuring computer images website and internet accesses that enables the group fight media and psychological operations.
Sources said he was arrested after a shootout when a group of the sect members mobilized and attacked Konduga with a view to recovering the body of the impostor for burial in a site they would later earmark as their shrine.
Our correspondent further gathered that the foreigner has made shocking confessional statements about the terrorist’s plans and modus operandi as well as their backers that would aid the troop’s fast track the routing of the Boko Haram insurgency.
“We have made a very big break through; the computer analyst is opening up and has made very big revelations on the modus operandi of the sect”.
“We also discovered that the ICT expert is the back bone of the signals and communication links of late impersonator, Mohammed Bashir who always poses as Abubakar Shekau, whenever he is talking on “U” tube”.
FG Alerts On Massive Flooding In Rivers, FCT, Others
The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), an agency of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, has predicted more devastating floods from the end of August to early October in some states of the federation, including Rivers and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Already, the agency said in line with its earlier predictions, Lagos, Nasarawa, Anambra, Abia, Kwara, Kaduna, Rivers, Enugu, Borno and Ondo states had witnessed severe flooding as a result of heavy local rainfalls compounded by poor drainage system.
The Director-General of the agency, Engr. Nze Clement Onyeaso, in an interaction with some journalists in Abuja, yesterday, said all areas earlier identified as flood prone this year as well as those along the Rivers Niger and Benue might likely begin to experience more devastating flooding from the end of August.
“Nigeria is located within the River Niger Basin which is occupied by nine countries namely Benin, Burkina- Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Cote d’Ivore, Guinea, Mali, Niger and Nigeria. Nigeria is located at the lowest position of the Basin and this means that once the upper catchment of the Basin gets flooded, Nigeria should be prepared to experience flooding. The period of flooding in these upstream countries is August and September of every year,’’ he said.
The DG said his agency was monitoring the development as we approach these critical months, adding that it will also continue to monitor Cameroonian authorities with regards to flood scenarios in the upper catchment of the sub-basin.
Nze warned Lagosians against the practice of dredging and sound filling the Atlantic Ocean, to build what they usually call model cities like those in Lekki and Banana Island, saying such may, in the future, pose serious threats.
As part of the preparation for the expected floods, the DG called on Nigerians, especially the state governments to be fully prepared by ensuring cleaning of blocked drainage system and canals remove refuse, weeds, water hyacinths and floats on water channels.
The agency had earlier predicted that 121 LGAs in 27 states and FCT might experience severe flooding this year.
Rivers Police Confirm Killing Of Disbanded OSPAC Leader In EMOLGA
The Rivers State Police Command has confirmed the killing of one Alex Uwazuruike Isaac, the leader of disbanded OSPAC in Umudioga community in Emohua local Government Area of the state, last Tuesday.
The spokesperson of Rivers State Police Command, SP Nnamdi Omoni, who confirmed this in a telephone interview with The Tide, said the dismembered body of the victim has also been recovered and deposited in the mortuary for preservation.
The police spokesperson further stated that the police has restored normalcy in the community while the Commissioner of Police, Eboka Friday, has ordered for full investigation into the incident.
It would be recalled that gunmen suspected to be cultists, last Tuesday, invaded Umudioga community, and killed Alex Uwazuruike Isaac, who was said to be the leader of the disbanded OSPAC, a local vigilante group in the area.
A native of the community, who pleaded anonymity for fear of the unknown, disclosed that the gunmen, who were armed with sophisticated assault rifles, stormed the community in the afternoon and went for their target.
The source further revealed that the gunmen shot Isaac dead before beheading and dismembering his body, and later paraded the head of their victim in the community while urging natives not to panic as they came for the deceased and not for the community.
The Tide gathered that some other members of the disbanded OSPAC have already fled the community as a result of the killing of their former leader and fear of being attacked by the cultists who are hunting members of the defunct OSPAC in the area.
It was learnt that many suspected cultists were arrested and killed in the community while others fled during the reign of the deceased OSPAC commander in the community in 2019.
The Tide further learnt that the killing comes barely three weeks after the Chairman of Emohua Local Government Council, Dr Chidi Lloyd pronounced the dissolution of all vigilante groups in the LGA, and asked communities that make up the council area to submit five names of natives who would be screened and admitted into a new security outfit to be established and funded by the council in no distant time.
By: Akujobi Amadi
JAMB Fixes Mop-Up UTME For 18,000 Candidates, Aug 6
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has rescheduled examination for more than 18,000 candidates who experienced biometric verification challenges and those who genuinely missed the just-concluded Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) as a result of a clash with this year’s National Business and Technical Examinations Board examination.
The mop-up UTME is scheduled for Friday, August 6, 2021, in some selected locations across the country.
JAMB Spokesperson, Fabian Benjamin, made this known in a statement, yesterday, titled, ‘Mop-Up UTME Holds Friday, 6th August, 2021…JAMB’.
The statement read, “Following detailed investigation and careful analysis of the highly-successful 2021 UTME, and with due consultation (resulting in gracious concession) with the National Examination Council (NECO) concerning the timetable of the council’s on-going SSCE, JAMB has scheduled a Mop-up UTME for Friday, August 6, 2021, in some selected locations across the nation.
“About 18,000 candidates slated for the examination are being notified through both text messages on their designated phone numbers and their JAMB profiles. In addition, the candidate can check using their registration number on http://www.jamb.gov.ng/2021mopup.
“For the avoidance of doubt, no candidate whose result has been duly released will be rescheduled for another examination.
“The rescheduled candidates are in the following categories:
“Candidates who could not be initially scheduled for examination owing to their inability to timely procure and supply their mandatory NINs or profile codes until after the close of the registration exercise and, therefore, had to purchase Bank Drafts (as against the usual vending of PINs) after the scheduled period for the examination and were later registered.
“Few candidates who encountered peculiar biometric verification problem, or who failed biometric verification on the examination date (and were recaptured) but were not allowed to partake in the examination. (Adequate screening arrangements have been made to re-verify such claims and any candidate found to be involved in any form of impersonation will be identified for prosecution).
“Candidates who were unable to sit for the UTME owing to the clash of timetables of the UTME and the then on-going NABTEB examinations and whose particulars have been verified and supplied directly to JAMB by NABTEB.
“Candidates who have been ascertained by JAMB to have experienced genuine rescheduling/technical problems as was the case in 30 of the 760 centres used for the examination.
“The rescheduled candidates are to print fresh examination notification slips containing the venue and time of the examination. The slips are to be printed from the JAMB website https://www.jamb.gov.ng using the candidates’ registration number from Sunday, August 1, 2021.
“The board strongly advises candidates to avoid supplying their vital information, including registration number to fraudsters who abound especially in cybercafe(s), tutorial centres springing up almost everywhere in the nation as a result of the illicit activities of examination syndicates. CBT centres approved by JAMB which are consistently monitored are relatively more secured for printing examination notification slips by candidates who cannot print such on their own.”
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