Boko Haram leader Shekau is dead say Nigeria officials

May 13, 2014

By Heather Murdock

Abuja, Nigeria

On the same day that a man looking nearly identical to Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau released a video of 100 girls kidnapped by his group – the official Nigerian response in the nation’s capital was to claim that Mr. Shekau is dead.

Actually, the government’s position is that Shekau has been dead for some time – a position widely seen here as a form of counter-propaganda designed to dispirit Boko Haram members.

“Boko Haram is a franchise,” Nigerian security spokesperson Marilyn Ogar told a room of local and foreign reporters here for the kidnapping story and who sought details about the video and its call to trade the girls for Boko Haram prisoners. “Anybody can assume any name. The person that is the National Leader of Boko Haram has just adopted the name Abubakar Shekau.”

Nigerian authorities also said today that its security forces are “interacting with experts … all over the world” to find the girls. Yet they remained unable to say how many girls were missing: “The federal government is setting up a committee” to find out the number, said one official in Abuja, Mike Omeri.

Read more from CSMonitor, first published there on may 12:

The Press release:

“The Original Abubakar Shekau is Dead, Boko Haram Has Become A Franchise” – DSS


May 13, 2014

The Department of State Security Service (DSS) has stated that the man claiming to be tehe leader of the dreaded Boko Haram sect is not the original Abubakar Shekau that was known.

Spokesperson of the SSS, Marilyn Ogar, stated this while fielding questions from journalists who requested to know if truly Abubakar Shekau is dead or alive.”

According to Ogar, “Boko Haram has become a franchise, anybody can assume and lay claim to any name what I know is that the original Abubakar Shekau is dead. The person claiming to be the national leader now is not the original Abubakar Shekau.”

“Abu Qaga and Abubakar Shekau are all dead. Those bearing these names today are fake.”

“If security sources tell you that somebody is dead, you don’t have to come out and doubt that, “she added.government will not negotiate with the Boko haram sect. This position however differs a bit to an earlier statement by the Joint Coordinator of the National Briefing Centre and Director General of the National Orientation Agency, Mr. Mike Omeri.

Omeri while addressing a world press conference on Boko Haram insurgency and the abduction of about 300 girls from a Government Secondary School in Chibok, Borno state stated that all options were being put into consideration by the federal government to secure the release of the abducted girls alive, adding that government was consulting military intelligence experts across the world on the issue.

“All options are on the table and open, we are interacting with the military and intelligent experts who are already on surveillance in the North Eastern part of the country. We will adopt all available options to get the girls out, but we will not negotiate with the sect.”

At the briefing were the Director, Defence Information, Major General Chris Olukolade, spokespersons of the Department of State Security (DSS), Ms. Marilyn Ogar, the Nigerian Police Force (NPF)  Frank Mba and representatives of the Federal Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Information.the Director -General of the National Orientation Agency, Mike Omeri, also soke on the option of negotiation with members of the Boko Haram sect.

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