The Nigerian Army on Sunday said allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria by the wanted leader of the Boko Haram insurgents, Abubakar Shekau, could not safe him.
The Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman, in an interview on the Hausa service of the British Broadcasting Corporation monitored in Maiduguri, said the entire nation, especially citizens living in the troubled North-East zone, needed not to be afraid that Shekau’s allegiance to the ISIS terrorist group would mean a renewed reign of terror.
Usman said the military was in control of the situation in the North-East.
Shekau’s allegiance to ISIS was contained in an audio clip posted on his Twitter account on Saturday.
“With or without allegiance to ISIS, the days of Shekau has already been numbered, because all the insurgents’ training camps and hideouts in the affected North-East have been destroyed, while the terrorists have been routed from their camps and hideouts; and those who have escaped our “condone and search operations” in the Sambisa Forest and the Lake Chad Basin Areas, are on the run, abandoning their operational vehicles, arms and ammunitions,” Usman said.
He said that the Boko Haram’s allegiance to ISIS was meant to cause more “fears and terror” among Nigerian citizens, because the modus operandi of insurgents, are also similar to the Islamic fundamentalists in some Middle East countries.”
“Shekau’s public allegiance to ISIS clearly indicates that he may surrender or be killed in the ongoing joint military operations of Nigeria and three neighbouring countries of Chad, Cameroon and Niger,” Usman said.
Meanwhile, a security expert, Max Gbanite, has described the allegiance by Boko Haram to the ISIS as a sign of desperation and an indication that the deadly sect is in the throes of death.
Gbanite, in a telephone interview from the United States on Sunday, said that Boko Haram’s call to ISIS was an attempt to lure northern youths from affluent homes schooling in Malaysia and other places into its fold.
He noted that the deadly sect was seeking for recognition by ISIS because it had lost credibility with Al-Qaeda, which condemned it for abducting the Chibok schoolgirls in April, 2014.
Gbanite said, “Their (Boko Haram) pledge is a desperate attempt to be recognised by ISIS and to entice young northern Nigerians from affluent homes like Ibrahim Uwais and the young Abdulmutallab and others schooling in Malaysia into their fold.
“Already, they have foreign boots from Central African Republic, Chad, Niger and Mali. Federal Government must continue to pound and pound until they are annihilated.”