The Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, is alive but “is in a terrible state of health,” the Nigerian Army said on Monday.
The army has repeatedly made contradictory claims on Mr. Shekau. Statements like Shekau had been killed or does not really exist have been made by the army in the past putting doubts in the minds of Nigerians.
Monday’s stance on Mr. Shekau’s “terrible state of health” is however the latest by the army on the sect leader, whose group’s activities have caused about 100,000 deaths, according to the Borno State government.
In the Monday statement by its spokesperson, Sani Usman, the army also said the Boko Haram has devised a technique to evade detection of their homes by Air Force aircraft.
Mr. Usman, a brigadier general, also said a leader of another Boko Haram faction, Abu Mus’ab Albarnawy, will soon be captured by the military.
“There is no doubt that the main Boko Haram terrorists group factional leader, Abubakar Shekau, is in a terrible state of health and not much a threat as he is now a spent horse, waiting for his waterloo.
“However, Abu Mus’ab Albarnawy, who has been busy deceiving and recruiting gullible persons especially misguided youths into his fold will soon be captured. We reliably learnt that some misguided persons, particularly youths, are getting conscripted into the sect through enticements,” he said.
On the technique to evade air detection, Mr. Usman said the “insurgent’s deployed special roofing techniques in order to avoid air detection and bombardment from the Nigerian Air Force (NAF).
“They resort to roofing their living accommodation and hideouts with a mixture of coated sugar and mud so that the roof will not reflect when there is sun shine.”