The Defence Headquarters confirmed that self-acclaimed leader of the Boko Haram sect, Mohammed Bashir, alias “Abubakar Shekau’’ had died in an encounter with troops at Konduga in Borno.
The Director of Defence Information, Maj.-Gen. Chris Olukolade, confirmed the death of Shekau at news conference in Abuja on Wednesday.
“In course of encounters, one Mohammed Bashir, who has been acting or posing as the deceased Abubakar Shekau, the eccentric character known as the leader of the group died.
“Since the name Shekau has become a brand name for the terrorists’ leader, the Nigerian military remains resolute to serve justice to anyone who assumes that designation or title,’’ Olukolade said.
He said that the same fate await all terrorists who sought “to violate the freedom and territory of Nigeria’’.
The defence spokesman said that the deceased Shekau was also known as “Abacha Abdullahi Geidam’’ and “Damasack’’.
According to him, the recent devastation on the leadership of the insurgents is attributable to the renewed commitment to the mission of eradicating terrorism in our country.
He said that another 133 terrorists surrendered to troops on Tuesday, bringing the total number to 148
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalled that five insurgents had surrendered to troop in Konduga while 10 surrendered in Kawuri both in Borno recently.
Olukolade said of the 133 that surrendered on Tuesday, 88 gave up their arms at Mairiga and Buniyadi in Borno, while 45 surrendered at Mubi and Michika in Adamawa.
He commended the gallantry of the troops, assuring that the military would remain undaunted in prosecuting the campaign against terror in the country.
Olukolade said that between Sept. 12 and Sept. 17, the insurgents made four attempts to attack Konduga but were repelled by air and land forces deployed to handle the situation.
“The keen interest exhibited by our neighbours and allies is commendable and we appreciate them.
“All allies in the war against terrorism are hereby assured of the Nigerian military’s resolve to maintain the momentum in the efforts to decimate and defeat terrorists.
“It is nevertheless necessary to alert all citizens that there is still the need for even more vigilance and cooperation with the security forces.
“Everybody is required to remain alert to ensure that we are not taken unaware by terrorist elements, who might want to carry out isolated attacks in any part of our country,’’ he said. (NAN)