Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Abubakar Shekau vows to fight on in new video

08 August 2016, 15:13

Abuja - Boko Haram’s shadowy leader Abubakar Shekau has appeared in a new video vowing to fight on, shrugging off an apparent split in the hardline jihadist group blamed for thousands of deaths since 2009.

“I… Abubakar Ash-Shakawy (Shekau), the leader of Jama’atu Ahlissunnah Lidda’awati Wal Jihad, made it a duty for myself (to fight) Nigeria and the whole world,” Shekau said in the video released on Sunday, using the group’s name since it declared allegiance to the so-called Islamic State.

Last week, Shekau said in an audio message he was still head of the group despite his purported replacement by Sheikh Abu Musab al-Barnawi, a former Boko Haram spokesman.

“We have no desire to fight our Muslim brethren,” Shekau, who last appeared in March, said in the 24-minute video.

Shekau ridiculed suggestions that he was dead, and looked more composed and energetic than in previous appearances.

“I’m alive by the permission of Allah,” he said in his speech in Arabic and Hausa, adding that he would only die when his time came.

In the video he is wearing camouflage gear and holding a machine gun, standing between two Islamist fighters in balaclavas armed with rocket-propelled grenade launchers.

Also read:Abubakar Shekau reacts negatively to new B'Haram leader

He taunted President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration and condemned Western countries including the United States, France, Germany and “the tyrants of the United Nonsense (UN)”.

At the end of his speech – apparently filmed in Boko Haram’s stronghold in the Sambisa forest of northeastern Nigeria – he fired off rounds of ammunition into the air.

His absence in recent months had sparked speculation about his fate and whether he had been deposed as Boko Haram’s chief.

Barnawi’s appointment was contained in a magazine issued by the Islamic State group, to which Boko Haram pledged allegiance in March last year.

Shekau dismissed Barnawi as an infidel who condoned living in an un-Islamic society without waging jihad.

Shekau became leader after Nigerian security forces killed the group’s founding chief Mohammed Yusuf in 2009.

Omar Mahmood, a security analyst with US-based Foreign Policy Research Institute who has spent the past five years researching Boko Haram, said Shekau was removed because of his highhandness and ruthlessness.

“One thing that has remained constant, however, is the focus on attacks against regional security forces, with Muslim civilian deaths still ignored. This aspect seems to be a key concern for IS propagandists,” Mahmood said.

“By contrast, Abu Musab al-Barnawi, the man announced as the new leader, clearly stated in his al-Naba interview that attacks against Muslim civilians, mosques and markets will not be a staple of his leadership.”

Sources close to Boko Haram said Barnawi, aged in his early twenties, is none other than Habib Yusuf, the eldest son of group founder Yusuf.

They said he was put under Shekau’s care following the death of his father, but the pair fell out over ideological and operational differences.

Boko Haram has been blamed for some 20,000 deaths and displacing more than 2.6 million people since it launched a brutal insurgency in Nigeria in 2009.

Nigerian forces, with the support of regional troops, have recaptured swathes of territory lost to the jihadists since they launched a military campaign in February 2014.



Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...