• Insists he was shot
•Turaki: My mandate is not to look for sect leader
Ike Abonyi, Chuks Okocha and Chiemelie Ezeobi
The last may not have been heard concerning the survival or otherwise of the leader of the outlawed Islamic sect, Boko Haram, Abubkar Shekau, as a security analysis conducted by the Department of the State Security (DSS), yesterday revealed that the recent video appearance of the sect’s leader was unreal.
The security analysis of the video sighted by THISDAY, noted that the amateur replica cloned everything wrongly but was not categorical on the death of the terrorist as it waited on time to determine.
This, however, came same day the Minister of Special Duties, Alhaji Kabiru Turaki, said it was not part of his duty or mandate as minister and chairman of the Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of the Conflicts in Northern Nigeria to locate Shekau’s whereabout.
But the expert analysis of the video of the sect’s leader in previous appearances showed that Shekau usually starts with the recitation of a full verse of the Quran, which sometimes could last up to five minutes, a sequence the stand-in Shekau did not observe.
According to a senior official of the agency, who spoke on conditions of anonymity, the amateur cloned replica of Shekau was wrong on several grounds including the fact that his former appearances in videos was patterned after a certain modus operandi.
It was also observed in the analysis, that unlike on previous occasions when Shekau spoke, he was never interrupted by any background praising quite unlike what happened in the latest video.
The video, which was sent in for analysis by experts showed that the movement of “Shekau’s lips” did not synchronise with the words as pronounced, apparently betraying a recorded message inefficiently manipulated to sustain a non-existent continuum in leadership, now in disarray.
The experts had stated that the cloned attempt to mimick Shekau voice during the opening stanza soon gave in, as the impostor reverted to his real voice, while the intonation was different as Shekau was not known to drawl while talking.
Other inconsistencies discovered by the experts were that: “This ‘Shekau’ even said a dead woman -Margaret Thatcher, and Oladipo Diya, rejoiced over his (Shekau’s) death.
A DSS source who spoke to THISDAY said, “How does these add up to strengthen his case? One is dead and the other had left government long before the advent of Boko Haram. The video was just to create unnecessary panic in the public.
“The fact is that Abubakar Shekau, was truly shot, critically injured and evacuated by his lieutenants to a conventional hospital outside Nigeria. It is only time that will tell if he survived but we know now that the video is as fake as it gets.”
Meanwhile, Turaki, while briefing journalists after giving a scorecard of his portfolio as minister to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Working Committee (NWC), said the report of the committee was almost 99 per cent completed.
He noted that the committee would soon notify President Goodluck Jonathan on a convenient date to submit the report, while also hinting that it cost the federal government about N100 billion to finance constituency projects of members of the National Assembly.
The minister, who put the number of the ongoing constituency projects at 2,399 projects, said: “I think I should also ask you, where is Shekau? With all sense of responsibility, we have been directed by Mr. President to identify key members of the sect and then engage them in dialogue. Mr. President didn’t ask us to look for Shekau and engage him in dialogue.”
According to him, “It is important for Nigerians to appreciate that in matters of this nature you don’t just wake up one day even as a dialogue committee established by government and say you are discussing with the leadership of the insurgents. Usually, what happens and that was what happened in our own case is that after we have been able to establish confidence.
However, Turaki said the committee had identified some key elements of the insurgent group and has made some useful recommendations in the report that would be soon be submitted to the president.
Noting that the insurgency should not be expected to come to an end suddenly, the minister said: “Necessarily, it has to take time to contain the insurgency and it is not what will be done today or tomorrow.”
He explained that it was as a result of this that some vulnerable members, including children, women and others with lesser offences have been released from detention.
On the constituency projects initiated by the members of the National Assembly, the minister said it cost the federal government a whooping N100 billion per year, though, he exonerated the lawmakers from the awards of contracts and nomination of the contractors for the constituency projects.