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Why FG Wants Shekau Captured Alive – Omeri
The coordinator of the National Information Centre, Mike Omeri, has cleared the air on the Presidency’s recent call for the live capture and arrest of the leader of the Boko Haram sect, Abubakar Shekau alive, stating that apprehending the elusive terrorist alive will help the government to address the controversy surrounding his identity.
Speaking with journalists during a briefing in Abuja on Thursday, Omeri, who is also director general of the National Orientation Agency, NOA, stated that it is necessary to get Shekau alive so that his real identity would be ascertained once and for all.
Omeri alleged that the group’s erstwhile spokesman, Abu Qaqa, had been elusive as well because “he was mutating until it got to a point that he could not mutate anymore; because if one is taken out, they bring another one who will introduce himself as Abu Qaqa”.
According to Omeri, Shekau emerged when the group could no longer sustain the Qaqa identity.
“Even when Qaqa was operating, Shekau was there; he now had to assume the role of commander of Boko Haram and spokesperson.
“From intelligence available and the conclusion of the military, the first Shekau was taken out and another one came. So the military say that they have taken out that one and they are going to take out this one; that there is a trend of a merger of their leadership,” he said.
Omeri expressed confidence in the military’s ability to capture Sheaku alive and shatter the myth of his invincibility, stating that he had no reason to disbelieve the reports provided by the security chiefs.
“I will believe that because I have not been there to see the two of them. They are the ones that have met the first one and they are the ones fighting to get this one this time around. So I will believe them until this war against terror finishes. So let’s get the man. That is why it is important to get him alive so that the full story would be told,” he said.
Omeri further expressed satisfaction with the recent successes recorded by Nigerian military forces in the war against terror, stating that several towns such as Gajigana, Gajiram, Gabchari, Abba Jabari, Damakar, Kumaliwa, Bosso, Karisungul, Wanti and Jeram which had been under the control of insurgents had been recaptured.
Calling on Nigerians to be patriotic and appreciate the efforts and sacrifice of the military and security personnel, he urged the public to eschew the cynic attitude of some unpatriotic citizens who have ascribed the recent successes in the anti-terror war to the efforts of foreign troops.
Omeri also charged operators of motor parks, gardens, schools, churches and mosques to be vigilant and watch out for fugitive terrorists whom he claimed had resorted to attacking soft targets as witnessed in Potiskum in Yobe and Kano recently.