Self-acclaimed leader of Boko Haram terrorists, Abubakar Shekau has resurfaced in a video 7 months after his last appearance, claiming that President Muhammadu Buhari has lied over successes the Nigerian Military has recorded so far against the terror group.
Nigerian Pilot recalls that Shekau has not been seen on video since February and until an audio message last month, and had not spoken since March, when he proclaimed Boko Haram’s allegiance to the so-called Islamic State group.
His absence sparked fresh rumours about whether he was still alive or had been deposed as leader, with other videos this year fronted by an unknown rebel under the name Islamic State in West Africa Province, ISWAP.
However, Shekau said in a 25-minute recording in Hausa and Arabic via social media: “They (the military) lied that they have confiscated our arms, that we have been chased out of our territories. That we are in disarray. We are alive, I am alive, this is my voice, more audible than it was before. This is Shekau.”
He added: “Buhari is a liar and has deceived you. The army spokesman is also lying. He and his foot soldiers always run helter-skelter whenever we come face to face with them. Buhari, you once claimed that you will crush us in three months. How can you crush us?”
Shekau directly refers to IS group leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, to whom he says he is “loyal and subservient”.
He also namesakes IS spokesman Abu-Mohammed al-Adnani and sends “greetings to the faithful in Yemen”, where there is also an IS “affiliate”.
There was no indication of where or when the recording was made but it appears to have been in recent days.
Shekau talks of Buhari’s “deal with Hollande”, referring to the Nigerian president’s three-day visit to Paris earlier this week, which included talks with his French counterpart Francois Hollande.
He also dismissed as untrue Buhari’s comments about “our brethren in prison”.
Buhari this week said the Nigerian authorities were talking to Boko Haram prisoners in their custody and could offer them amnesty if the group hands over more than 200 schoolgirls abducted last year.
Despite Shekau’s claims in the said video, the Nigerian Army at the weekend confirmed that its troops have dislodged Boko Haram terrorists from Dissa and Balazala villages in Gwoza local government area and rescued 23 men, 33 women and 34 children from the terrorists.
The Army also said the troops advancing from Bama have intercepted unspecified number of terrorists fleeing from Dara Jamel near Banki, the battle zone.
According to a statement issued in Abuja yesterday by the Acting Director Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Usman, the arrested suspected terrorists disguised as Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs.
Col. Usman said the suspects were being screened by troops of 21 Brigade for more information and confirmation of their true identity.
The statement also revealed that the military has reopened a mixed primary school in Gwoza in further assisting returnees and other IDPs have access to education of their children.
Part of the statement reads, “The military in conjunction with other security agencies and other security stakeholders have placed adequate security measures to ensure the pupils and teachers’ safety and security.
“Already, classes have commenced and the turnout was quite impressive. The reopening of the combined primary school in Gwoza is significant as the eradication of western education is part of the aims of Boko Haram in their murderous campaign of terror.
“Gradual restoration of normalcy by troops is therefore indicative of the continuous elimination of the terrorists from Nigerian territory.

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