5 November 2012

Nigeria: Questions Over Shuwa Killing as Boko Haram Say They Didn't Do It

Maiduguri — A purported spokesman for the Boko Haram sect yesterday said they were not responsible for the killing of retired General Muhammadu Shuwa in Maiduguri on Friday, raising questions as to who might have done it.

The late Shuwa was shot dead by gunmen who were thought to be his guests, and the Joint Task Force said in a statement that the killing was carried out by "terrorists."

Abu Muhammad Ibn AbdulAzeez, who claimed to be a spokesman for the Jama'atu Ahlis Sunnah Lidda'wati Wal Jihad, also known as Boko Haram, spoke to journalists in Maiduguri in a teleconference yesterday saying the sect did not kill the retired general.

He said the group had no reason to eliminate General Shuwa as he had never said anything wrong about them.

AbdulAzeez said they have great respect for the deceased and wondered why they should be accused of killing him.

When contacted on what Boko Haram said regarding the killing of General Shuwa, spokesman for the JTF Lt-Colonel Sagir Musa said last night: "The Boko Haram said what they wanted to say. As far as I am concerned, there is no comment."

The killing of General Shuwa at his home in the volatile Gwange area has elicited questions, including whether his military guards were present or not when he was shot.

As a retired general, Shuwa was entitled to protection by military guards.

But security agencies in Borno State are yet to say anything specific on that.

Yesterday, the Boko Haram sect restated its readiness for dialogue.

Abu Abdulazeez said their choice of retired General Buhari, Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim and Shettima Ali Monguno as mediators is only for them to serve as "witnesses" in the proposed dialogue. He said the sect needed them to play such role because they were still doubtful about the Federal Government's commitment to dialogue.

"We have the capacity to continue fighting but we have resolved to lay down our arms as a result of increased call for ceasefire from well-meaning Nigerians," he said.

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