Boko Haram’s elusive leader Abubakar Shekau has appeared in a new video on Thursday to debunk a claim that the jihadist group had been crushed from its Sambisa Forest stronghold.
The Nigerian Army had announced that Boko Haram had been crushed and their camp in Sambisa was destroyed.
“I was told by the Chief of Army Staff that the Camp fell at about 1:35pm on Friday, December 22, and that the terrorists are on the run, and no longer have a place to hide,” President Muhammadu Buhari quoted the Army as saying.
However, the PUNCH reports that Shekau appeared in a new 25-minute video on Thursday, in which he said that Buhari was “telling lies to the people.”
“We are safe. We have not been flushed out of anywhere. And tactics and strategies cannot reveal our location except if Allah wills by his decree,” Shekau said, flanked by masked armed fighters.
“You should not be telling lies to the people,” he said, referring to Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who said on Christmas Eve that the extremist group had been defeated and driven from the forest, its last known bastion.
“If you indeed crushed us, how can you see me like this? How many times have you killed us in your bogus death?” he asked.
It was not immediately clear where the new video was shot, but Shekau, who spoke in both Hausa and Arabic, said it was filmed on Christmas Day.
He vowed to continue fighting on until an Islamic state was imposed in northern Nigeria.
“The war is not over yet. There is still more,” he said, vowing no “respite” for Nigerians.
He urged followers around the world to “fight and kill infidels.”
“Our aim is to establish an Islamic Caliphate and we have our own Caliphate, we are not part of Nigeria.”