by Benson Agoha | Fighting Terror
Abubakar Shekau, the notorious leader of dreaded terror group, Boko Haram, has reportedly been ousted as its leader, according to statement credited to Chadian President Idriss Deby.
|Abubarkar Shekau (centre) has reportedly been replaced by|
his Deputy who is open to negotiation.
In a report published by Nigeria Camera Thursday, Deby, whose forces have been fighting Boko Haram as part of Africa's multi-national force under the banner of the African Union, made the revelations during a press conference on Tuesday.
Reports said Deby claimed that Boko Haram would be finished “by the end of the year.”
The news is not entirely surprising because Boko Haram has been dealt a major blow from different fronts including Cameroon and Chad, the two neighbour closes neighbours to Nigeria on the east and north.
Abubar Shekau heartlessly murdered civilians, burnt houses in villages and towns and kidnapped both women and childrend, including over 275 school girls kidnapped from a school hostel in Chibok, which triggered international reaction with the hashtag #bringbackourgirls.
Shekaur then released a statement claiming that the girls had converted to Islam and were married off. "we are not the kind of group you can negotiate with", he had said after reports emerged that Nigerian Army had made a deal to have the girls released to their respective families.
In recent times, the group has suffered serious setbacks as Nigerian soldiers under President Buhari began a determined push through the swampy forest of Sambissa where Boko Haram resorted to for several years.
Many of the towns Boko Haram sacked as they pursued their aim to create a caliphate, with them as the rulers, have also been recovered from them and their remnants of rebels flushed out.
|Chadian President, Idris Deby spoke to Press men in N’Djamena,|
on the 55th anniversary of Chad’s independence from France
- advises against negotiation.
As their fortunes ran out, Abubarkau Shekau reportedly released a statement, pledging the allegiance of Boko Haram to the Islamic State.
Whether the allegiance was accepted or rejected is still not clear, even though a suspicious video emerged shortly afterwards, purported to have been issued by the ISIS leadership accepting Shekau's offer, and extending the coverage of the IS to Boko Haram's stronghold.
But according to the report by Nigeria Camera, Shekau has been replaced by Boko Haram’s deputy, who is said to be open to peace talks.
But according to a statement credited to the President Idriss Deby, the new is reaching out for negotiation.
“There is someone apparently called Mahamat Daoud, who is said to have replaced Abubakr Shekau and he wants to negotiate with the Nigerian government,” Deby said, adding: “For my part, I would advise not to negotiate with a terrorist.”
There has been no official comments from the Nigeria Army's Defence Headquarters.
* by Benson Agoha (with contribution from Nigeria Camera).