West & Central Africa

President Buhari says Boko Haram defeated, Shakau says it is a lie

Nigerian soldiers show Boko Haram flag in a village they took back from Boko Haram

Abubakar Shekau, Boko Haram’s leader, released a video online on thursday, declaring that Boko Haram has not been defeated, contrary to the claims by President Muhammadu Buhari in a speech on Christmas eve.

In a 25-minutes-video, which Shekau claimed was recorded on Christmas day, he said, “We have not been cleared out of anywhere. And tactics and strategies cannot reveal our location except if Allah wills by his decree… We are safe.”

He called President Buhari a liar: “You should not be telling lies to the people… If it is true you have crushed us, how can you see me like this? How many times have you said killed us in your fake killings?”

In his usual rant, in both Hausa and Arabic, the terrorist group leader said, “Our aim is to establish an Islamic Caliphate and we have our own Caliphate, we are not part of Nigeria… “The war is not over yet. There is still more,” he said, calling on Muslims to jin the war to “fight and kill infidels.”

In a reaction, later Thursday, the Nigerian Army dismissed the video as “mere terrorist propaganda aimed at creating fear in the mind of people and to remain relevant.”

The Army still insists that it has “captured and occupied the last known stronghold of the terrorists group in the Sambisa forest…Therefore, there is no cause for alarm, more so as … Our gallant troops deployed in various parts of the north east have continued to intensify search for all persons associated with Boko Haram terrorist group with a view to bring them to justice.”

One of the questions that remains unanswered is the whereabouts of the remaining Chibok girls still in captivity. The army had claimed that the Boko Haram had used “women and children as human shields as they fled”.