The defence headquarters has said that the notorious Boko Haram commander, Shekau is inconsequential to ongoing military operations in the North Eastern region of Nigeria.
The defence headquarters coordinates major operations and battles against insurgency by the three armed forces – Nigerian air force, navy and army.
In an interview with defence spokesperson, Rabe Abubakar said irrespective of the rants made by Shekau in a newly released audio, the Nigerian military is capable of winning war against insurgents in the region.
“Our stand, the military stand is this: whether Shekau or no Shekau; whether it was him who released that audio or not, it is not anything to us,” Abubakar said.
Abubakar said while it is unfortunate that the military cannot sing its swan song, the armed forces will continue to develop on various strategies that would lead to the extermination of insurgency in Nigeria.
He said, “The Nigerian populace that we are serving would know the truth whether we are doing well in that campaign or not; not an individual who is inconsequential.”
“We are winning this war,” he said.
In the past month, Shekau in a previous video called President Muhammadu Buhari a liar.
Also, over the weekend, in a 25-minute video purportedly released by the group, the top terrorist’s commander mocked military successes against the sect.
Shekau said claims by the military that the group’s arms and enclaves have been confiscated and destroyed are all lies.
He said contrary to military claims, soldiers daring to fight insurgency in the North Eastern region run helter-skelter whenever they are face to face in battle with the group.
But the defence spokesperson called the terrorist’s threat empty; he said the military will not distracted in their fight against insurgency in the country.
“This kind of thing (Sheakau’s audio) is not the first time, it is an empty threat which has no relevance at all. This is the only way the group tries to show relevance in the ongoing defeat they are suffering,” he said.
He also said, “We want Nigerians and our friends abroad to this is one of the antics, a propaganda by the terrorists who are being destroyed, people should disregard this concocted lies about Shekau.”
His counterpart, the army spokesperson, Sani Usman had also said, it did not matter if the notorious terrorist leader is alive or dead.
Abubakar queried the authenticity of the audio by the group’s leader.
He said, “Ok, in recent time have you ever seen them, why bringing audio, why not video. As far as I am concerned, it is not something to reckon with.”
The military and the State Security Service on several occasions have come out to say that the top Boko Haram leader had been killed in battle with troops of Nigerian army.
They said that various appearances and claims by the group that Shekau is not dead are mere propaganda used to seek relevance and distract ongoing successes by security operatives.
The defence headquarters had also said that “Shekau” has become a household name revered by the group and as such used by any terrorist to seek importance.
Abubakar also said that neither Shekau or any member of the group can judge the capability of military’s operations in the North Eastern Nigeria.
He said, “It is the Nigerian populace because we are working for the Nigerian people, we are Nigerians and we are working for Nigeria’s cause.”
“And I believe Nigerians are behind us because of the enormous successes we are recording and they know what we can do; and in a matter of time, his time and all other members of his group will become a thing of the past.” he said.
The successes recorded so far, Abubakar said is a result of military coordination between armed forces. He assured that the Nigerian military will continue in improving its strategies until the terrorists are completely exterminated from the country.