Government breaks silence over Shekau ‘death’

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The Federal Government has defended its refusal to make an official statement on the claims by the Military Joint Task Force that Boko Haram sect leader, Abubakar Shekau, had been killed.

Breaking government’s silence on the issue, Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, said the government position was to allow the military carry out its operations and manage information emanating from the operations without interference.

Maku said it was the government’s view that the military should be allowed to operate without “undue political comments” by government officials.

“One will notice that since the President proclaimed the state of emergency three months ago but we kept political comments out of it. We decided that it was better for the military to tell their story and that is why I have not spoken on it,” he said.

“We want to remove this security operation from any misunderstanding, especially from politicians. As a government, it is our operation but the most important thing is to allow the military tell its story of what is happening.”

The minister however said the information released by security agencies on the possible death of the sect leader was a morale booster for Nigerians and the military.

“From the story you and I have read, it is very clear that this state of emergency has achieved a lot of results for which all Nigerians are proud of the performance of our military and security services.”

The JTF spokesman, Lt Col Sagir Musa, had said in a statement that Shekau sustained serious gunshot wounds in an encounter with the troops in one of their camps at Sambisa Forest on June 30.

It was believed that he was dead.

Nigerians have expressed their doubts over the news and demanded concrete proof from the military.

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