Civil rights activist Mallam Shehu Sani said yesterday in Kaduna that Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau may still be alive, contrary to the claim that he has been killed.
Sani said since the group is yet to announce a successor and the military yet to show Nigerians Shekau’s body, it is difficult to believe that the insurgent leader is dead.
Sani, who addressed reporters in Kaduna, described the five governors who are seeking democracy within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as patriots.
“Governors Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso (Kano), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Babangida Aliyu (Niger) and Murtala Nyako (Adamawa) are patriots who have the interest of the nation at heart,” he said.
The activist advised that they should be courted by the All Progressives Congress (APCa).
Sani was the first person to contact some members of the insurgent group, when he led former President Olusegun Obasanjo to visit top officials.
He said even if it was true that Shekau was killed, his death could not mean an end to the insurgency.
Sani accused the defunct Joint Task Force (JTF) and the Saminu Turaki-led Federal Government committee of lying to Nigerians on the actual situation of things.
He said: “If he (Shekau) was killed by the JTF, there would be an announcement by the Shura Council (the Boko Haram highest organ) that Shekau had been ‘martyred’ and they would have naturally appointed a successor.
“Nigerians should not believe that Shekau has been killed until the JTF or government or the dialogue committee presents Shekau’s body before Nigerians.
“We should not misinform ourselves. The killing of Shekau will not end insurgency in Nigeria as long as there are one or two persons who are aggrieved. We will still be having problems of this insurgency and violence.
“The only way out of this insurgency is for the government to dust the report which I brought to them through former President Obasabjo and the one that was brought to them through Dr Datti Ahmed, which was facilitated by a freelance journalist, Ahmed Serkida.
“The road map for peace is first and foremost, to get mediators that are accepted by Boko Haram and recognised by the government. The Dialogue Committee is recognised by the government and not accepted by Boko Haram, as it is now. When you have a mediating body, which has the stamp of approval from both sides, both sides will listen.
“Secondly, a ceasefire needs to be agreed upon. Such a ceasefire should be announced by Boko Haram and not by the government, because all the ceasefire that has been coming up for the past two to three years was announced by the government and dismissed by Boko Haram.”