US Probes Shekau’s Death, As Maku Urges Nigerians To Believe The JTF

Following the announcement, Monday, by the Joint Task Force, JTF, of the possible death of Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, after he sustained gunshot injuries in a clash with Nigerian troops, the United States Government has launched a probe to verify the claim. US State Department Deputy spokesperson, Ms. Marie Harf, while responding to a question in Washington DC on Tuesday on whether US had any information about the possible death of Shekau, said: “We have seen these reports and (we) are working to ascertain the facts.” Commenting on his reported death, Harf described Shekau as the most visible leader of Boko Haram, adding, “if his death – it turns out to be true, the loss of such a central and well known figure would set back Boko Haram’s operations and remove a key voice from its efforts to mobilise violent extremists in Nigeria and around the world.” She however added that that was not the first time the Boko Haram leader would be declared dead, adding, “as many of you know, he was also falsely reported dead in 2009.” The US official however said her country will continue to support Nigeria in the fight against terrorism, recalling that as recent as August 15, Under-Secretary Wendy Sherman was in Nigeria where she held discussions about regional security, including how both countries could further partner to develop and implement effective counter-terrorism measures. Meanwhile, the federal government yesterday pleaded with Nigerians to give the military the benefit of the doubt, following criticisms that had trailed the reported death of Shekau.
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