Factional leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, has resurfaced in a new video where he vowed to fight Nigeria and the world.
Speaking in the Hausa and Arabic languages, Shekau was quoted as saying that he had no intention of waging war against Muslims but threatened to carry out the “mother of all attacks” on Abuja, the capital of Nigeria.
Shekau also expressed loyalty to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of Boko Haram affiliate, ISIS, but insisted that he would never recognize Abu Musab Al-Barnawi as the leader of Boko Haram.
In the new video, Shekau said the Al-Barnawi group was only seeking to “create division” among Boko Haram.
He said, “I, Abubakar Ash-Shakawy (Shekau), the leader of Jama’atu Ahlissunnah Lidda’awati Wal Jihad, made it a duty for myself to fight Nigeria and the whole world. We have no desire to fight our Muslim brethren. I’m alive by the permission of Allah.
“Let the government of Nigeria and West Africa not celebrate or gloat over the division between us and our brothers….We will shock them with attacks never seen before, in no-distant time.
“They (the Abu Musab group) do nothing but to create division among our people without an iota of contribution to the jihad.
“This is time to fight; it is the time of jihad. We are not killing fellow Muslims. We are not calling Muslims non-believers. We fight and kill those who God has ordered to be fought, those we call non-believers are people so called by God.”
The video, which was released on Monday, marked Shekau’s first appearance since March 2016.
Responding, the Defence authorities have advised Nigerians to ignore the threats contained in the video released by Shekau.
The Acting Director, Defence Information, Brig. Gen. Rabe Abubakar, told one of our correspondents on the telephone on Monday that the military was not bothered by the new video in which Shekau reportedly taunted President Muhammadu Buhari, some security personnel and the international community.
He said it was the practice of the insurgent group that anybody could assume the title of Shekau as leader of the Boko Haram sect.
Abubakar said the military was determined to flush out the insurgents from the nation’s territory and would not engage in media war with them.
He said the military would remain focused and not allow itself to be distracted by the comments attributed to Shekau in the video.
Abubakar urged him and others with him to emulate those who had surrendered to the military by giving up their mission.
He said, “That’s rhetoric and that doesn’t bother us; which Shekau and where did you see him? Remember, anybody can replicate him. We know, they are dying elements and will die alone soon. We are not ready for a media war which they like us to engage in. Since they have failed forever in combat now, they want us to go to media space.
“The remnants of the Boko Haram terrorists should not be deceived by the non-existent person called Shekau.
“He is gone and we advise other few members with him to surrender now just like what the wise men among them did to save their lives to better themselves and their country. Otherwise, they will regret their continued defiance which will not save them.”
Meanwhile, a committee set up by the Federal Government has submitted its report on rule of engagement for security agencies as part of strategies to retool the nation’s internal security.
The Committee Chairman, Prof. Femi Odekunle, who handed over the report to the Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd.), on Monday in Abuja, said the report was premised on the over line policy frame, that internal security was a matrix that required cohesive approach.
This is contained in a statement by the Press Secretary to the minister, Osaigbovo Ehisienmen.
It said the committee took cognizance of its terms of reference which amongst others, entailed assigning of roles and responsibilities to stakeholders within the individual and community in matters pertaining to public safety.