Abubakar Shekau; When the Gorilla gets tired of fighting
|Screen Grab of Shekau's lasted video|
By (Blogger) Abdiulkareem Haruna
The recent stance of the Nigeria military prosecution the counterinsurgency war in the northeast has confirmed the maxim that fighting an asymmetric war, like Boko Haram’s, is a bit like “wrestling a gorilla; you don't quit fighting when you are tired; you only quit when the gorilla is tired”.
In the context of the counterinsurgency operation in northeast Nigeria, it seems the Boko Haram leader, Abubkar Shekau, is the head gorilla character.
I said this because of the enormous danger and vile that Mr Shekau possesses. And it would have been the greatest mistake ever made by the Nigerian military should they even by the tiniest strand of imagination decided to give up on Shekau.
Unstable, erratic, out of control, highly knowledgeable, fluid and almost invisible, Shekau is the soul and driving spur of the whole Boko Haram thing.
It was rather very frustrating for the military trying to root Shekau out.
So frustrating that his death was announced for more than five times. At a point the public was made to buy the argument that Shekau wasn't a name but a title of the Boko Haram leadership. At a point we were also made to believe that each character that assumed the ‘Shekauship’ was a cloned personality of a dead Abubakar Shekau.
But with the passage of time, when the chips began to drop its leaves of reality, when the Shekau’s crazy videos are no longer grainy but professional produced High Definition (almost 3D) clips, no one is in doubt that the spooky character wasn't any fake personality but the real Shekau himself.
Under Shekau, a seemingly imbalanced personality, Boko Haram fighters and suicide bombers became bestial in their bloodlet. Human life wasn't anything serious to them, just like their lives’ worth meant nothing to them.
No one was safe - children, women, aged persons, kings and soldiers - everyone was a piece of cake for their hostility.
A word from Shekau, a barely lettered but highly non compos mantic cleric who reels out verses of the holy Quran with the greatest ease to support every of his skewed ideology, was (is), to a brainwashed young man, like a pulled trigger that sends a cold but ever willing bullet through a rusty nozzle to wherever it is sent to hit.
Overtime, Shekau amassed one of the most formidable force of brainwashed foot soldiers backed with the most feared arsenal of warfare sourced largely from attacks on military barracks, posts and perhaps from God nowhere.
But the government troops held unto the fight, despite the challenges of lack of adequate munition, low morale, high wired politics and even shameless theft of fund meant to buy guns for soldiers in the volatile northeast.
The army later got shaken up and morales were jacked up, several coded operations yielded results, with soldier punching deeper into Sambisa and Lake Chad that degraded the ranks and and controlled territories of the Boko Haram fighters.
|General Buratai, Chief of Army Staff|
Still fighting back and releasing couples of video to boast about his invincibility and how he is backed by God to wage a war of slaughter or convert souls, Shekau resorts, mostly, to using under teen girls to carry out deadly suicide bombing attacks.
The chief of army staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai had in January said Boko Haram was as good as defeated.
His new Theatre Commander, Major General Rogers Nicholas responded with photos of troops’ victorious escapade at the Sambisa forest’s Camp Zeiro.
Then, on the 7th of February, 2018, Shekau released another video primarily to boast about his still being alive.
But in his usual unstable mien, Shekau could not hide his frustration. He practically begged his other sympathisers to pick up arms, and come join him fight. He inadvertently owned up that he has been overwhelmed by the new sustained storm of attacks by the government troops when he said he is tired of the calamity befalling him but he would rather die fighting so that he could go to heaven are get some rest!
In my report that was published on Nigeria’s foremost online investigative medium, PREMIUM TIMES, I had Shekau saying: “I am tired of this calamity; it is better I die and go to rest in paradise”.
In the ten minutes video which he delivered chiefly in Hausa, Shekau, couldn't hide his frustration on the continuing hostility and lost of his men he seemed to have suffered in the hands of government troops.
With a broken voice that clearly betrayed his emotion, Shekau pleaded for his non-combatant members from across Nigeria to pick up arms and help him fight till he drops dead.
Flanked by two hooded armed men, Shekau appeared in video with brick-wall background during which he boasted that the latest claims by the military about their defeat in Sambisa forest was false.
He also boasted that he is still in Sambisa forest and still commands the territory.
Shekau further said that his men would continue to fight regardless of the recent induction of Cameroonian soldiers into the Operation Lafiya Dole counter insurgency force.
Below is the full text of the translated message;
“I have no lengthy message to deliver except on the issue of worshiping God alone and serving Him without getting tired. Ours in not like that of the unbelievers whose worship is like the spider web. Just like one of the leaders of unbelievers, who is like an ape, was recently boasting that they have formed a joint force with Cameroonian forces to fight us.
“That they would not only chase us from Sambisa forest but also in all parts of Nigeria. So we too have declared that we do not want to see any Nigerian in Cameroon, in Chad, in Nigeria and even Benin Republic. So I call on our brethren in Abuja, in Lagos, in Benin, in Kaduna, where ever you find any Nigerian make sure you shoot him dead if he is deliberately against us; but if he is ignorant of our ways, teach him on how to understand our ways. This is our first message.
“It is not about approaching you, because that has already been done by our God.
|General Rogers Nicholas, Theater Commander OPLD|
“Our second message is to attack any one who pledge to Nigerian his country, to be faithful, loyal and honest, and serve Nigeria. Anyone who believes in protecting the interest of Nigeria is our target. The one whose creed is to develop western education where infidels are train is our enemy. Whoever that stands on any creed other than that of our prophet Muhammad brought to us; the one that his great disciples followed, should know that he is our avowed enemy and if he confronts us we will fight him.
“In this job that we embarked upon, we are not going to boast too much about, but we pray that God should take our lives while on this struggle and not on any other thing else. May God help us on this belief.
“So you Nigerians especially the youth vigilante, we are going to fight you and that thing that drives you to pick up arms against us; we don't care what they call you, be it civilian-JTF or any kind of force, just as you said you don't want us on the face of Nigeria, so shall we too declare you persona non grata in Sambisa. Let any one who has brains to think to avoid moving around Sambisa forest. Those you the leaders of the troops will no longer have peace just like the way you think you have made here uncomfortable for us.
“And you General Rogers that is currently leading the troops and boasting that that you have take-over Sambisa and have rescued some women, why have you not rescued the police women that we abducted. You liar, why couldn't you rescue them? You are busy deceiving with images of vehicles that we seized from you and abandoned for over three years and claiming that you have killed us. If you have killed us, why are we still alive.
“Oh you brethren of our holy creed, wherever you are, should rise up and fight for Allah. If you cannot do it there, then come over to our side and fight for the cause of Allah. You must know that whoever that fails to follow the teaching of the holy Quran and Hadith cannot enter paradise. (in broken voice) Because the pattern of life in the world today is not Islamic. Where ever you are even if you are in Saudi Arabia, and you have your gun, please stand up and fight, kill whoever you see that is not on our side.
Kidnap and bring them to us. Our course is to establish our caliphate and die doing that.
We may not be alive to see the caliphate but even if it comes to be after we have died, it is still a bonus on our side.
“This is the message I have for you all. My name is Abubakar Shekau, the one that is an invincible enemy that you are fighting.
“That is our stand. I am tired of this calamity; it is better I die and go to rest in paradise”.
Now the gorilla is tired, but the Nigeria military must not, even at this point, quit fighting. The Gorilla must be fully netted, reined and brought home for justice.