THE All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Organisation (APCPCO) has raised the alarm over reports of a fake leader of Boko Haram, Ibrahim Shekau, being presented before Nigerians by the government, in order to claim winning the war on terrorism.
Beyond this, credible sources have alerted the APC that the fake Shekau might become a tool to blackmail members of the opposition, by coaching the phantom terror chief to say he was working for its presidential candidate, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari, in order to link him to terrorism.
A statement issued by the director of media and publicity of the APCOPC, signed by Malam Garba Shehu, the party wondered where the “new Shekau” would come from, after government, at several times in the past, announced that troops had killed the insurgent leader.
“The charge to the military that they should catch Shekau alive by the president in the last 24 hours lends credence to the report that indeed, a fake Shekau is about being created,” the statement read.
The statement went on to assert that the profile of the leader of the insurgents, Shekau, of a dedicated ideologue presupposed that the man was not likely to allow himself to be caught alive.
“It is both contradictory to the ideology he preaches and the psychological profile that the world has of him that Shekau would allow himself to be caught alive,” the statement asserted.
The APCPCO recalled that the attack back in Kaduna on Buhari was seen and believed by most Nigerians that it was perpetrated by the Boko Haram.
“The police that is constitutionally empowered to investigate and report on such incidents have not contradicted the widespread belief that this was a Boko Haram attack.
“The view of the APC is that it does not make sense for Buhari to be in league with, or be associated in any way with people who have set out to kill him,” the statement added.
In the view of this, the APCPCO said the government needed to listen to the various counsel from international bodies and lately by religious leaders that campaign must be about issues and not maligning people.
“Unfounded allegations linking the opposition to insurgency amounts to leaving the issues to pursue personal attacks as warned against, barely 24 hours ago, by leaders of the Catholic community in the country, through ArchBishop John Cardinal Onaiyekan,” it added.
The APC presidential campaign said it was no less shocked, as other Nigerians, by the president’s admission in a weekend newspaper interview that he had underestimated the Boko Haram challenge, arguing that any leader in that circumstance should not consider himself fit to seek re-election.[Tribune]