Boko Haram Leader Denies Fall Of Sambisa, Says Members Safe



Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram, has surfaced in a new video on Thursday to refute claims by the Nigerian government that the sect has been decimated and flushed out of the Sambisa forest.

In the 25-minute video, Shekau, flanked by armed fighters and speaking in Arabic and Hausa said, “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.”

Referring to President Muhammadu Buhari’s speech on Christmas Eve that the insurgents has been defeated and driven away from Sambisa, Shakau said the President “should not be telling lies to the people.”

“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 could not be ascertained when or where new video was shot, but Shekau said it was filmed on Christmas Day.

He vowed that the sect would 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 declared.

On Wednesday, Lucky Irabor, the Theatre Commander of the counter insurgency operations in the North East, ‘Operation Lafiya Dole’, said that over one thousand suspected members of the Boko Haram sect, including women and children were arrested after the capture of Sambisa forest.

He added that many more of the insurgents had surrendered to troops of neighbouring Niger Republic as they could no longer withstand the firepower of the military.

Irabor also said that the troops recovered a Quran and a Boko Haram flag, which he said were abandoned by Shekau as he fled from troops of the Nigerian army.



    He added that the items would be presented to President Buhari as a sign that the Boko Haram insurgency has finally ended.

    However, despite the claims by the Military authorities, there has been criticism in various quarters over the rather hasty celebration of an end to insurgency in the North East by the Nigerian government.

    This is because President Buhari on numerous occasions had reiterated that the war against the Boko Haram terrorists will not be said to have been won if the abducted Chibok School Girls have not been rescued and returned to their various families.

    Critics wonder why the President and the military authorities are declaring victory when the leader of Boko Haram, Shekau, has not been captured, nor the Chibok Girls rescued.

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