Richard Ginika Izuora
A teenage fighter with Boko Haram has revealed that Abubakar Shekau, leader of the sect, can no longer walk effectively.
The teenage fighter, Mohammed Adam, who is currently in the custody of troops of 195 battalion of the Nigerian Army, stated this on Saturday, December 12.
According to Adam, Shekau got injured during an aerial bombardment; on an insurgents’ camp in Tumbuktu, Sambisa forest, a Boko Haram stronghold in Borno state.
Adam further revealed he was abducted by Boko Haram 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.
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 rifles 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.”
The teenage fighter also revealed his participation in several Boko Haram operations; including the 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 a 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.