An eight minute audio message has emerged of Nigerian-based Islamist militant group Boko Haram’s leader Abubakar Shekau, in which he denies he has been replaced.
In the message, addressed to the leader of the Islamic State militant group to whom Boko Haram has pledged allegiance, Mr Shekau said he was still in command.
He had not featured in the group’s recent videos, prompting speculation he had been killed or incapacitated.
Last week the Chadian president said Mr Shekau had been replaced.
Nigeria’s former National Security Adviser Sambo Dasuki also claimed that a 6-week pre-election military campaign had silenced the Boko Haram leader.
Mr Shekau described as “blatant lies” reports that he was no longer in charge.
“I am alive,” he said, adding: “I will only die when the time appointed by Allah comes.”
The eight-minute-long recording mocked a recent statement by the new Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari that Boko Haram would be eliminated within three months. – BBC
Our NewsRescue exclusive report describes the new faction leader, Muhammad Daud, who has broken off from Shekau and featured in his own video. Muhamad Daud hates Shekau and controls most of the sect’s arsenal.