A new audio message from Abubakar Shekau, the leader of African terror group Boko Haram, denied reports that he is dead, saying that he is still alive and running the Islamic extremist group.
Site Intelligence, a social media monitoring company, quoted another message recorded and released by Shekau refuting reports that he lacked the ability to serve as leader of the terrorist sect.
According to security sources, the military of Nigeria has made several claims that Shekau had been killed over the last few years.
However Shekau keeps resurfacing in new recordings, something that has kept people in the security forces wondering whether the “killed” people could be imposters using Shekau’s name.
Shekau’s last public video appearance was in February, when an individual claiming to be the Boko Haram leader – analysts maintain he may have been an impostor – made threats of disrupting Nigeria’s general elections held in March.
Boko Haram has publicized more than five visual recordings since that time, but Shekau has appeared in none of them.
According to a Reuters tally, since Buhari’s inauguration as the president of the country on May 29, suspected members of Boko Haram have caused the deaths of more than 600 people in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, in a series of shootings and bombings.
Attempts to come to an agreement to finish the spate of violent activities, including last year’s deal sponsored by neighboring Chad, have constantly failed during the six-year mutiny instigated by the terrorist group in its efforts to establish an independent state in the northeastern region strictly observing Islamic laws and guidelines.