7th February, 2018
Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has released a new video pledging to continue attacks days after Nigerian army repeated that the group had been defeated.
The factional leader said in the video which was released on Tuesday said that a recent effort to clear out Boko Haram’s stronghold of Sambisa forest in Borno State had failed and vowed to keep fighting against Nigeria and western education.
“The person that believes in nationalism is the one we are at war with, the person who believes in disseminating western education, which is replete with unbelief, is the one we fight”, Shekau said in the 11-minute video.
In the video, delivered in Hausa Language, Shekau expressed frustration on the continued hostility and loss of his supporters to Nigerian army.
He pleaded with his non-combatant members across Nigeria to pick up arms and help him fight till he drops dead. He added that the latest claim by the military that the group had been sent packing from Sambisa forest was false.
He boasted that he is still in Sambisa forest and still controls the territory.
“You, the military chief in Maiduguri, have been boasting of taking over Sambisa because you rescued women, telling lies to people. Where are the policewomen? Why didn’t you rescue them if you have indeed defeated us since it is our brethren that is holding them in the same Sambisa?,” he questioned in the video.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said Boko Haram which means “Western education is forbidden” in the Hausa language was “technically defeated” in December 2015.
Boko Haram’s capacity has been weakened since 2014 when it controlled swathes of territory in northeast Nigeria but it still poses a threat.
Last Sunday, Boko Haram fighters stormed a village in northeast Nigeria, killing two people, while six people were killed in an attack in northern Cameroon.
At least 20,000 people have been killed in nearly nine years of violence and more than 2.6 million made homeless, triggering a humanitarian crisis across the Lake Chad region.