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Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau ‘resurrects’ in new video, dispels death claims

– Military insists they killed sect leader, say new Shekau is fake

A man claiming to be the leader of the out-lawed terrorist sect, Boko Haram – Abubakar Shekau – has appeared in a new video released to Agence France Presse (AFP) on Thursday (October 2), contradicting Nigerian military reports that he was killed in combat.

Still images of the footage, seen by Reuters, show the self-acclaimed Shekau dressed, as is his custom, in military fatigues and boots.

The man, who bears a striking resemblance to the Shekau seen in previous videos, boasted in Hausa language: “Here I am, alive. I will only die the day Allah takes my breath, nothing will kill me until my days are over… Some people asked you if Shekau has two souls. No, I have one soul, by Allah” the news agency, which normally receives Boko Haram tapes first, reports.

This latest development is in contradiction to claims made by the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) who had, last month (September 24), said that the man who had been posing as Shekau in the notorious group’s increasing number of videos had been killed in clashes over the town of Konduga, Borno State.

This is, however, not the first time the military is claiming to have killed the sect’s leader as they had also announced the death of Shekau himself a year ago, saying he had died in battle.

His repeated ‘resurrection’ give the impression that Shekau has nine lives.

MILITARY INSISTS THEY KILLED SECT LEADER, SAY NEW SHEKAU IS A FAKE

Reacting to the new video released by the sect, military authorities insist that Bashir Mohammed, alias Abubakar Shekau was actually eliminated as corroborated by still photographs, video evidence and surrendering of captured terrorists.

The reaction – contained in a short statement posted on defence headquarters information blog defenceinfo.mil.ng – read: “The Defence Headquarters is studying the claims made in the video purportedly released by the terrorists showing their leader Abubakar Shekau as dismissing his death. From immediate observation and what some online news outlets claimed to have seen, the video did not indicate when it was shot neither did it show any proof of life or currency such as screen time or date. The video also did not make any reference to anything that has happened since the impostor’s reported death.”

EXPERTS SPOT DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SHEKAU IN PREVIOUS VIDEOS AND HIS INCARNATE IN NEW VIDEO

Eagle-eyed analysts and experts have spotted telling facial differences between the man parading himself as Abubakar Shekau in Boko Haram’s latest video and the Shekau in previous videos, who was purportedly gunned down by the military.

Here are the most remarkable of them:

The ‘dead’ Shekau had thick lips and oblong head, while the Shekau in new video has thin lips and fat head. Old Shekau had arrow head nose, Shekau new, however, has blunt, flat nose.

Shekau new has wide, undefined eye bags, while the old Shekau had small, but defined under eye bags.

Shekau old had moustache, his incarnate, however, does not. Old Shekau had a higher upper nose bridge, Shekau new has none. Old Shekau had a mid brow scar, while his incarnate does not.

The new video Shekau has wide ears, previous-footages Shekau had flat ears.

-MICHAEL NWOKIKE

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