In an embarrassing twist to the purported ceasefire deal with Islamist sect Boko Haram, leader of the group, Abubakar Shekau yesterday dismissed claims of truce talks between his group and the government.
In a 44-minute video obtained by AFP yesterday, Shekau dismissed government claims and threatened to kill the impostor who has been negotiating on behalf of the sect.
Speaking in the video, Shekau boasted: “We have indeed established an Islamic caliphate. To everyone living in Islamic Caliphate, we convey our greetings,” he said, specifically mentioning “brethren” in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Shishan (an Islamist term for Chechnya), Yemen, Somalia and “The caliphate in Iraq and Syria.”
The picture of the leader of Islamic State (IS), Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was later shown in the video, with a portion of the message his group issued on July 1, proclaiming a caliphate in Iraq and Syria.
The federal government had on October 17 announced it had agreed a ceasefire with Boko Haram and had called on troops to withdraw. The announcement was followed by series of attacks by the sect that has now taken over several towns in Nigeriua’s northeast, renaming Gwoza in Borno as Darul Hikma (House of Wisdom) and Mubi in Adamawa as Madinatul Islam, which means City of Islam.
Despite earlier doubts raised by many, the government had insisted that the ceasefire deal was real and was on course. The situation now has become very embarrassing for the government, as it seems to be farther from finding a solution to the five-year insurgency than earlier thought.
An ‘operation no mercy’ embarked on by the military is however expected to help Nigeria reclaim its lost territory.