Boko Haram: Defeated Shekau playing double games with his sponsors – CATE

The Coalition Against Terrorism and Extremism (CATE) believes the leader of Boko Haram terrorist group Abubakar Shekau is playing double games with his sponsors, knowing he is almost at the end of the road.

Led by Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, troops of Operation Lafiya Dole have surmounted the jihadists in recent weeks with both land and air offensives.

Scores of the insurgents lost their lives while few others that survived like Shekau were said to be on the verge of surrendering to the troops, staring defeat on the face.

However, the factional leader, in a viral audio clip, refuted the Army's onslaught despite overwhelming evidence.

And CATE believes this is just a coy to extort funds from his sponsors, bragging to satisfy them on one hand, retreating on the other.

In a statement signed by the National Coordinator, Gabriel Onoja, on Friday, the centre warned Shekau that he is engaged in an exercise in futility, one that will either end in his death or his eventual capture.

CATE, therefore, urged the Army not to keep the option of surrender on the table indefinitely, allowing troops to haul Shekau into custody with the speed of light.

Read full text below:

Coalition Against Terrorism and Extremism (CATE) has followed the released of an audio recording of Abubakar Shekau, who leads Boko Haram which he likes to call Jama'tu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati wal-Jihad, with interest considering the positive connotations the recording has for Nigeria's war on terrorism. In the recording, Shekau futilely attempted to shake off the decimation that has been visited on his band of terrorists by the Nigerian Army after they had taken a previousus beating from the military of Chad.

Contrary to what Boko Haram spin doctors like Ahmad Salkida want the world to believe, there are glaring facts to be gleaned from Shekau's audio recording, which points to the reality that this sick terrorist leader is staring defeat and possibly certain death in the face unless he pushes ahead with his reported plan to surrender.

First, it took Shekau this long to record an audio from his bolt hole and he cannot even do a good job of it as he was only able to record eight-minute 22 seconds of rant before he had to scurry off again, afraid that he would be bombarded into oblivion. We are aware that he had to wait until it is Ramadan, knowing that true believers in God must make time out to fulfil their religious obligations; while others were praying and breaking their fast became for Shekau the ideal time to record his short audio clip. An unbeaten Shekau would have recorded a lengthy diatribe.

Shekau's preference for audio over video that would have given him mileage for proof of life confirms how scared he has become since the military took the war to his hideouts. He is aware that a video shoot, irrespective of how well he attempts to disguise the background or strip the file of metadata would have resulted in his exact location receiving the deserving packages from our ever-ready military. The Nigerian Army has constricted the space around Shekau, and it is a matter of time before the serpent begins to feed on its own tail, the terrorists are narrowing their options to committing mass suicide like they did in Chadian prison or being killed in battles they are now poised to lose.

The period that Shekau and his fighters have been scrambling around in Sambisa Forest must have affected him to the extent that he is unable to appreciate how the world have moved on since he first manifested his mental illness. Democracy has taken root and its dividends is what has sealed Boko Haram's fate in areas from which the Army has expelled terrorists.

We will not worry about Shekau's glorification of his murderous group's disregard for social distancing needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. That they are disregarding social distancing is enough proof that they have a collective death wish and are ready to commit mass suicide via mass coronavirus infestation instead of falling from the bullets of the gallant troops of Nigerian Armed Forces. He is aware that exposure to COVID-19 will wipe out whatever is left of his terrorists' camps within three weeks hence the stall tactics to allow enough time for himself and his members to die off.

The Coalition Against Terrorism and Extremism (CATE) is advising Shekau to die alone if he is so desperate to kill himself and to desist from his current attempt to lure more unsuspecting youth to join his doomed cause. He should jettison his ongoing drive to recruit unsuspecting youth as a replacement for the hundreds of his terrorists' fighters that have been wasted by troops in recent weeks.

The overture that the Boko Haram leader made about surrendering is possibly the best decision he has even made in his lifetime. But, tragically for him, he allowed the allure of money to derail him into making the provocative audio recording that has shown him as a fraud, someone that will do anything to extort his sponsors.

Instead of accepting defeat quietly, he and his sponsors have decided to play a double game. He is bragging to satisfy the demands of his sponsors on one hand while they too are giving him the false hope that he would not be hunted down. He accepted to surrender at one end while promising his sponsors, particularly members of the Nigerian opposition at the other end that he will not surrender provided he is given more money to buy arms and ammunition to continue fighting.

CATE categorically warn Shekau that he is engaged in an exercise in futility, one that will either end in his death or his eventual capture that will amount to the height of ridicule for the persona he has built for himself with people's blood.

We want to appeal to the Military not to keep the option of surrender on the table indefinitely. They should allow troops to haul Shekau into custody with the speed of light so that the terrorist and his sponsors will know that the military is not to be dared.

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