Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has vowed that the group would defeat the regional coalition force fighting the terrorists in Nigeria’s northeast, Niger and Cameroon.
“Your alliance will not achieve anything. Amass all your weapons and face us. We welcome you,” he said in a 28-minute speech on one of three videos released by the extremists on Sunday, according to Daily Trust.
In the second of the latest videos, images of the leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, are shown along with archive footage and a voiceover recalling a battle between British colonial soldiers and fighters from the Sokoto Caliphate in northern Nigeria.
Shekau has namechecked al-Baghdadi before but appears to be positioning Boko Haram in a wider jihadi context by showing the Sokoto Caliphate, which was dismantled by the British in the early 20th century.
“We never rose up to fight Africa. We rose up to fight the world,” he said.
“We are going to fight the world on the principle that whoever doesn’t obey Allah and the Prophet to either obey or die or become a slave.”
Nigerian troops have recorded gains recently in an onslaught backed by Chadian and Nigerien troops, as part of the regional effort to dislodge the terrorists from Nigeria’s Northeast and the border towns in the neighbouring countries where the spillover effect is being felt.
On Saturday, Nigeria, Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Benin agreed to muster 8,700 troops, police and civilians to fight the group. But Shekau said the numbers do not worry Boko Haram, as they would be seized one by one.
“You send 7,000 troops? Why don’t you send 70 million? This is small. Only 7,000? By Allah, it is small. We can seize them one-by-one. We can seize them one-by-one,” he said in Arabic.
The leader of the terrorist group also threatened Chad’s President Idriss Deby, whose onslaught on Boko Haram was seriously felt in Gamboru and Malam Fatori in recent days.
Meanwhile, National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki has said “all known Boko Haram camps will be taken out” before Nigeria’s general elections rescheduled for March 28 and April 11.
“They won’t be there. They will be dismantled,” he told AFP in an interview when asked what gains could be made against the
Islamists before the new polling date of March 28.