Boko Haram Leader Shekau Shot, Flees To Mali

There were indications yesterday in Abuja, that the
leader of the Boko Haram Islamic sect, Imam Abubakar
Shekau was wounded during a gun battle with security
men recently.

Sources said in Abuja that security agencies traced the
whereabouts of Shekau, who succeeded late Mohammed
Yusuf as leader of the sect to Mali, where he escaped to
after sustaining injuries during a gun duel with soldiers of
the Joint Task Force, JTF, a.k.a Operation Restore Order.
Sources told Saturday Vanguard that the Federal
Government approved the deployment of 1,200 soldiers
apparently because of the need to arrest the wounded Boko
Haram leader.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Azubuike Ihejirika who
addressed officers and soldiers of the Nigerian army shortly
before they were airlifted to Mali Thursday in Kaduna, asked
them to be extra vigilant as there are indications that some
terrorists had sneaked into the country with the aim of
causing havoc.
Ihejirika however, pointed out that the Nigerian Army was
not resting on its oars as the war against terror was being
won.
Saturday Vanguard learnt that the battle between the JTF
and the sect members took place at Gao city, in the heart of
Northern Mali presently under the control of Tuareg
militants.
It was further learnt that Shekau, who is having N50million
ransom hanging on his head from the Federal Government,
was ferried to Mali through one of the porous routes in the
vast Nigerian border without Customs and Immigration
authorities getting wind of it.
Saturday Vanguard was told that while the Boko Haram
leader was being given medication in Gao, the foreign
sponsors of the sect’s activities in Nigeria, were busy, using
his name to indoctrinate, train and recruit more members for
the sect.
Shekau was said to have been shot at a checkpoint when he
reportedly attempted to deceive operatives of the JTF by
posing as a nomadic Fulani who was returning from a journey.
However, on approach of the vehicle conveying him and
members of his sect, ‘’a hot exchange of gunfire ensued as
the sect members started firing at the soldiers who equally
returned fire for fire.’’
During the crossfire, he and two other sect members with
him escaped with gunshot wounds while two members of the
sect were killed on the spot. Some AK 47 rifles were
recovered from the vehicle.
While stating that most of the weaponry including IEDS
recovered from Boko Haram members have been traced to
the weaponry used during the Libyan uprising against late
Libyan leader, Gaddafi, the source said Nigerian security
agencies believed that the more sophisticated and deadly
weaponry had gotten to the hands of sect members but they
are unable to operate them because they are not trained for
it.
The source cited the discovery of Shekau’s hideout and the
training base for Boko Haram sect members to unleash
terror on Nigerians as a further justification of the action
of the federal government to deploy 1, 200 troops as well as
Airforce fighter and transport aircraft to Mali to help flush
out the Tuareg militants and their sponsors.
Saturday Vanguard further gathered that security has been
beefed up along the Nigerian Army First Mechanized Division
and the Third Armoured Division’s areas of responsibilities
with the deployment of soldiers at the borders to
complement the work of other security agencies following the
escalation of the Mali crisis with a view to checkmating
infiltrations into the country by terrorists.
Last December, a total sum of N290 million ransom was
approved for anyone who could assist in locating Imam
Abubakar Shekau and 18 other leaders of Boko Haram.
A release by the JTF listed the wanted Boko Haram leaders
to include five members of the Shurra (the highest decision-
making body of the sect) Committee and 19 of their
commanders.
The five members of the Shurra Committee of the sect,
including Imam Abubakar Shekau whose ramsom was N50
million, and Habibu Yusuf (a.k.a Asalafi), Khalid Albarnawai,
Momodu Bama and Mohammed Zangina. Apart from Imam
Shekau whose ransom was put at N50 million, the other
Shurra members’ ransom was put at N25million each.
A ransom of N10 million each was put on the Boko Haram
Commanders including, Abu Saad, Abba Kaka, Abdulmalik
Bama, Umar Fulata, Alhaji Mustapha, (Massa) Ibrahim and
Abubakar Suleiman-Habu a.k.a Khalid.
Other commanders also included Hassan Jazair, Ali Jalingo,
Alhaji Musa Modu, Bashir Aketa, Abba Goroma, Ibrahim
Bashir, Abubakar Zakariya and Tukur Ahmed Mohammed.
The JTF statement on the N290 million ransom then, reads
in part; “They are wanted in connection with terrorist
activities, particularly in the North East zone of Nigeria that
led to the killings, bombings and assassination of some
civilians, religious leaders, traditional rulers, businessmen,
politicians, civil servants and security personnel, among
others.
They are also wanted for arson and destruction of properties
worth millions of naira.Therefore, anyone with information
that will lead to the arrest of any of the listed terrorists or
more will have the rewards (placed on them) as stated

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