A captured Boko Haram fighter says Abubakar Shekau, leader of the sect, can no longer walk effectively.
Mohammed Adam, a teenage fighter, who is currently in custody of troops of 195 battalion of the Nigerian army, said Shekau got injured during an air bombardment on an insurgents’ camp in Tumbuktu, Sambisa forest, a Boko Haram stronghold in Borno state.
In a video seen by TheCable, Adam was heard saying Shekau can no longer lead any operation physically. Shekau, known for taunting the military in videos, has not been seen on his feet lately as he has released video where he is seen sitting or in some cases, using audio to pass across his message.
Adam was abducted by Boko Harma at the age of 10. He was working on the farm in Firgi, Gwoza local government area of Borno, when Boko Haram fighters took him away forcefully.
The teenage fighter, who spent five years in captivity, claimed he knows Shekau personally and participated in several operations under the command of the factional Boko Haram leader.
He also claimed to be among the Boko Haram fighters who escorted the kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls to a camp in Tumbuktu.
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In a bid to confirm his claims of being a fighter, Adam demonstrated combat skills he acquired during training on weapons handling, marksmanship and improvised explosive device (IED) planting.
“I am a well-trained insurgents war front soldier who specialised in weapons handling including AK-47 riffles and GPMG as well as planting IED’s along troops patrol route,” he said in Hausa.We are also given training on other unconventional techniques to inflict heavy casualties on troops.”
Adam claimed he participated in several Boko Haram operations, including elimination of some army engineers in the south of Borno.
He said he escaped from one of the camps in Sambisa forest due to hardship and hunger, resulting from cholera outbreak, which left over 500 militants and their families in critical condition.
“I escaped with the intention of being rescued by the troops of the Nigerian army which will in turn afford me the opportunity of fulfilling my dreams of going to school to acquire knowledge,” he said.
He said that other escapees, mostly minors, were in Banki in Bama local government area of the state.The militant group has continued to recruit children who are trained to become field soldiers.