Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has appeared in a new video to claim that his rag tag fighters are far from being crushed by Nigeria’s military.
Al Jazeera reported Shekau as claiming in the 25 minute video: “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,”the most wanted fugitive said.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, said on Christmas Eve that Boko Haram had been effectively defeated, after being driven away from its last known fortress at Sambisa Forest.
Shekau, like in the past, disputed the report given to President Buhari by Nigeria’s military leaders.
“If you indeed crushed us, how can you see me like this? How many times have you killed us in your bogus death?”
Shekau, who spoke in both Hausa and Arabic, said the video was filmed on Christmas Day, a day after the report of the commanders of Operation Lafiya Dole, that the insurgency had been contained.
Al Jazeera reported Shekau as vowing to continue fighting until an Islamic state was imposed in northern Nigeria.
“Our aim is to establish an Islamic Caliphate and we have our own Caliphate, we are not part of Nigeria,” he said.
After the liberation of Sambisa Forest and the capturing of Camp Zairo, said to have been the operational headquarters of the bloody insurgents, Nigeria’s military commanders expressed surprise that they did not see what they expected at the camp.
Some of their expectations include capturing the remaining of the seized Chibok schoolgirls and also arms and ammunitions kept there by the insurgents.
Except for Shekau’s Quran and flag recovered at the site, there was nothing else of significance that was recovered, leading to theories that the insurgents had escaped with some of the Chibok girls during the aerial bombardment by the Nigerian Air Force planes.
Nigeria’s military headquarters are yet to respond to the new Shekau video.
But Speaking to Al Jazeera on Tuesday, Brigadier-General Victor Ezugwu, a Nigerian army commander, said his soldiers had made significant gains against Boko Haram.
“We are on top of the situation, all hands are still on deck,” Ezugwu said.
“This defeat is final and it [Boko Haram] will not spread to other parts of West Africa.”
*Source of Shekau interview: Al Jazeera