The military, on Thursday, dismissed as laughable and sheer propaganda a video making the rounds in which the leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau’s video purportedly claimed that Boko Haram group was yet to be crushed and still capable of wreaking havocs.
Defence Spokesman, Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar said the video was nothing but an attempt to deceive the public and create unnecessary panic in the polity.Abubakar advised Nigerians to ignore the video and insisted it was laughable.
He stressed that the Sambisa Forest, the operational headquarters of the terrorist group has been completely taken over by the military.
“On what ground would the so-called Shekau speak? We have total control of Sambisa.
Abubakar also insisted the military has overpowered the sect and seized the weapons used by the sect at Sambisa to wage the battle.
According to him, the military is not thinking about an “unfounded video,” but focused on the pro-insurgency project.
Also reacting, the Acting Director of Army/Public Relations, Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka Usman said the purported video by Shekau was mere propaganda.
Col. Usman said the army was not perturbed by the video and urged the public to disregard it.
In a statement issued on the matter, the Nigerian Army said: “The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to a video clip released by Boko Haram from an undisclosed location a while ago, showing its purported leader, making spurious claims.
“While efforts are on going to subject the video to further forensic analysis, the Nigerian Army wishes to reiterate that it has captured and occupied the last known stronghold of the terrorists group in Sambisa forest.
“We will like to reassure the public that, this video is nothing but mere terrorists propaganda aimed at creating fear in the minds of people and, to remain relevant.
“Therefore, there is no cause for alarm, more so, as concerted efforts in clearing the vestiges of Boko Haram wherever they might be hiding is still ongoing.
“Our gallant troops deployed in various parts of the north east have continued to intensify search for all persons associated with Boko Haram terrorist group with a view to bring them to justice.
“Consequently, the public are, hereby, enjoined to go about their normal, lawful business, remain vigilant and be security conscious.
“They should also report any suspicious person or group of persons to security agencies.”
Earlier, Shekau made a surprise appearance in a video, yesterday, according to the Agence France La Presse (AFP), where he bragged that his group have “not been flushed out of anywhere.”
Meanwhile, Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello has urged people in the state to be vigilant and wary of fleeing Boko Haram members who might want to seek refuge in the state.
He said “the capture of Sambisa poses a serious challenge to other states because they have no other hiding place other than to spread all over the country and regrettably mix with and disguise as good people.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Jibrin Baba Ndace, Bello urged the citizens to be watchful and not to harbour unknown strangers stressing that security is a collective responsibility of everyone.
“We are aware of reports that some of these fleeing miscreants have been arrested in some states therefore, it is our collective duty as citizens to keep our eyes open and report any suspicious character within our midst,” he said.