By: SAYO AKINTOLA
The menace of Boko Haram took a new twist today (September 21,2015) when the Cameroon army in a rare show of bravado, released the photographs of the Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau to the public, claiming he was killed during a cross border raid deep inside Nigeria by the Cameroon military.
The Street Journal reliably gathered from a Cameroon military source late last night that Abubakar Shekau was killed following an aerial bombardment of his hideout inside Nigeria. The Cameroon army has ever since yesterday been in serious combat against thousands of Boko Haram fighters trying to enter Cameroon via Fotokol from Gambaral Ngala in Nigeria.
It was further gathered that the development has put the Boko Haram camp in disarray in Nigeria culminating in the devastating blow the insurgents experienced in Konduga, near Maiduguri on Friday. The Nigeria Army had on Sunday (September 21, 2014) announced the capture of a number of insurgents.
A week after soldiers stopped the Boko Haram insurgents from taking over Konduga, a town 35 kilometers from the Borno State capital, Maiduguri, the military has said five members of the insurgent group have surrendered in the town.
In a tweet on Sunday, the Defence Headquarters, DHQ, said five members of the Boko Haram on Saturday surrendered their weapons to soldiers
The military said the insurgents surrendered because they could not endure the massive onslaught by troops. It said the insurgents also pleaded for mercy.
The DHQ also said other captured insurgents are giving useful information on the group’s subsequent attack plans.
Several battles between the military and the Boko Haram in the past week in different Borno towns have left scores of people dead.
The latest of such occurred on Friday in Mainok, a village about 56 kilometres from Maiduguri. The insurgents had attacked the village on Friday afternoon killing about 20 people.
A senior security official in Maiduguri, on condition of anonymity, said at least 48 insurgents were killed by soldiers who chased them while the former returned to their base in Damboa Town.
The official blamed poor service by telecom networks for the late arrival of soldiers to prevent the Mainok attack.
“Due to the poor telecom network around Mainok town, troops (from 7 Division in Maiduguri) could not get the alert on time, until they (Boko Haram) had attacked and killed some of the traders – about 20 or so – and even stole money and food items from the poor traders”, the official told The Street Journal.
“But as soon as the message got to us, troops arrived Mainok and tracked them towards the direction and were able to intercept them as they were taking some rest or attending to a broken down vehicle.
“It was another tough battle but within hours, our gallant soldiers subdued them, as we counted 48 corpses and recovered several weapons and vehicle abandoned by some few others who fled.”
The handling of the Boko Haram menace had put to question the capability of the Nigeria military to contain insurgency in the country, leading to a big blow on the armed forces’ integrity. A top government official who spoke with The Street Journal on condition of anonymity said the alleged killing of Shekau by the Cameroon military would further erode whatever remains of the integrity of the Nigeria Army.
He noted with dismay the menace of Boko Haram had caused Nigeria, particularly, in the North Eastern region of the country thousands of lives with properties worth billions of naira destroyed while the military had exhibited helplessness in the fight against the insurgents.
The Goodluck Jonathan administration had requested for an approval of a foreign loan of $1 billion from the National Assembly for the procurement of arms and ammunition for the military to combat the insurgents.