The leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, has released a new video, threatening former and present governors of Borno state, Kashim Shettima and Babagana Zulum, the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, human rights lawyer and analysts on violent extremist groups in Africa, Bulama Bukarti and a former minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalong.
in the 56-minute video clip watched by Daily Nigerian, Mr Shekau translated Nigeria’s national anthem, national pledge and the NYSC anthem into Arabic, Hausa and Kanuri to claim that Nigerian Muslims are disbelievers that should be killed.
He asserted that every Muslim that recites the anthems in school or elsewhere is a disbeliever even if they pray and fast.
In the Kanuri section of the video released Friday, Mr Shekau threatened the above persons, most of whom are Kanuris and are in different their ways at the forefront of fight against the group.
“You former governor Kashim [Shettima], you present governor [Babagana] Zulum, listen – do not be deceived by your walking without shoes – be careful! If you sing these things we mentioned [Nigeria’s national anthem, national pledge and the NYSC anthem], you are a disbeliever even if you recite them jokingly.”
Both Messrs Shettima and Zulum had consistently spoken and worked against Boko Haram, helped those displaced by the group and called on the federal government to do more in the fight against the group.
Mr Shekau also took a jab at the national security adviser, saying “Listen up, Monguno, they are deceiving you saying you are educated, right? Your knowledge is nothing.”
Mr Monguno has last Tuesday briefed the press on a meeting of the National Security Council in which President Muhammadu Buhari directed “an immediate re-engineering of the entire security apparatus” to make it more effective in the fight against Boko Haram and criminality.
Mr Monguno’s briefing might have caught Mr Shekau’s attention.
On Mr Bukarti, a Nigerian lawyer who is currently a PhD candidate and analyst at the Tony Blair Institute in London, the longest-lasting terrorist leader alive said:
“Bulama Bukarti, listen to me very well. Solomon Dalung, listen. Listen up all of you… It is over for you.”
While it is not clear why Shekau threatened Mr Dalung, he has recently been preoccupied with Mr Bukarti, whom he threatened five times from November 1, 2019, making him one of the group’s prime targets.
Mr Bukarti become a thorn in the flesh of Boko Haram apparently because of his frequent publications, speeches and media appearances on strategy, schemes and calling governments and their partners to do more.
Mr Shekau’s previous video released last month accused Mr Bukarti of undermining Boko Haram and threatened him for “refusing to keep quiet”.
The latest video comes as the United States warns that Boko Haram is expanding its tentacles from its epicentre in north-eastern Nigeria to north-western part of the country where a web of criminal gangs and cropland crisis has killed at least 8,000 Nigerians and displaced hundreds of thousands in the past ten years.