The Muslim Public Affairs Centre (MPAC) on Saturday, 27th September, 2014 described the reported killing of Abubakar Shekau’s incarnate, Mohammed Bashir, a watershed and an important development in counter-terrorism not only in Nigeria but also globally.
On Wednesday, 24th September 2014, the Nigerian military defence spokesperson, Maj-Gen. Chris Olukolade, announced the killing of the leader of the cultist group during a shoot out between soldiers and Boko Haram insurgents which also claimed the lives of about 135 other cult members.
“Abubakar Shekau and his lieutenants were responsible for the gruesome killing of thousands of innocent Nigerians while also seizing hundreds of school girls from a boarding school in the north-eastern Borno state on the night of 14th/15th April 2014.
“More than 200 of these girls are still in captivity. Mohammed Bashir’s reported death therefore is an elimination of a national symbol of terrorism. While this development is a commendable achievement by the Nigerian military and other actors, capturing the leaders of this death cult group alive and bringing them before an international court of justice may have allowed Nigerian forces to gain valuable information on the extent of the Boko Haram infrastructure, its sponsors and supporters,” MPAC said in a statement signed by its Executive Chairman, Disu Kamor.
According to the organisation, “members of Boko Haram killed chose a path of destruction founded on violent ideology and distorted interpretation of Islam which ultimately led to their own destruction”.
MPAC praised the sacrifice and courage of “our armed services and the success of the Federal Government in unleashing this deadly blow against the terrorist group. This achievement is a major milestone in the triumph of good over evil. We use this occasion to renew call to the Federal Government to do everything in its power to bring our girls back home safely, reunite them with their families and friends and end the enduring trauma that the nation has been subjected to”.
MPAC also called on all Nigerian citizens to be vigilant in anticipation of any potential retaliation from Boko Haram in response to the death of its leader(s), and fully co-operate with the Nigerian forces executing counter-terrorism
The group urged the Nigerian forces to be aware that its execution of military and intelligence operations impact on the nation’s credibility if these result in harassment, witch-hunting or death of innocent citizens.
“We pray that the death of Mohammed Bashir, alias Abubakar Shekau, puts an end to a dark chapter in the history of Nigeria while heralding a new era for the establishment of a pious, free and prosperous society where all lives are valued equally and the sanctity of all human lives is respected,” the group said.
Finally, MPAC maintained that the source of the terror that Abubakar Shekau espoused and died for is definitely not from a divine religion, and that there is no room for terrorism in Islam.