Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has appeared in a new video to deny claims that the insurgent group has been crushed and flushed out of its Sambisa forest stronghold.
The Boko Haram leader, who was flanked in his usual style by armed fighters, denied defeat of the insurgent group.
“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 Guardian quoted Shekau as saying in the video which is said to last 25 minutes.
“You should not be telling lies to the people,” he added before querying “If you indeed crushed us, how can you see me like this? How many times have you killed us in your bogus death?”
Shekau’s denial comes just a day after the Nigerian Army briefed journalists in Maiduguri, Borno state capital about the way the military outfit led other armed forces to take over what is now known as Camp Zero, Boko Haram’s stronghold in Sambisa forest.
Commanding officer of Operation Lafiya Dole Lucky Irabor said at the conference that Shekau’s personal qu’ran and a flag were found at the camp, left behind as he made haste to abandon the camp which was besieged by Nigerian armed forces from all directions.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari announced the fall of Sambisa in a goodwill message to the military on Saturday, December 24.
In the statement, the president said the fall of Sambisa’s Camp Zero was achieved at around 1.35pm a day earlier.
Journalist Salkida, who is usually privy to such videos, reacted in a rather unusual manner on his Twitter handle to reports of the new video by Shekau.
The authenticity of the video cannot be immediately verified and may have been shot long before the destruction of Camp Zero by the Nigerian armed forces.
On its part, the Nigerian Army has said it is not aware of the existence of such a video.
Nigerian Army’s spokesperson Brigadier-General S.K. Usman, when called by VERGE24.COM for comments on the development on Thursday, December 29, said the military is yet to see the video of Shekau’s denial.