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.


Boko Haram chief taunts 'African kings'

21 January 2015, 18:20

Yaounde - The head of Boko Haram, the enigmatic Abubakar Shekau, has openly taunted the countries being menaced by the armed group as they call for a united effort to crush it.

In a video claiming responsibility for the bloody attack on the Nigerian town of Baga in early January, Shekau poured contempt on the presidents of Chad, Cameroon and Niger, goading Chad's Idriss Deby Itno with the message: "African kings... I challenge you to attack me now. I am ready."

The Baga attack on January 3 in which hundreds are feared to have been killed has been called a crime against humanity by Washington and Paris.

In the video that has just emerged on YouTube, Shekau also accused Cameroon President Paul Biya of being too afraid to ask for help in the face of group's ever-increasing belligerence.

Cameroon has also seen repeated recent attacks, including the kidnapping of dozens of people, mostly women and children, during a deadly attack on Sunday.

To Niger's President Mahamadou Issoufou, who Shekau noted had commiserated with France after the recent Islamist attacks in Paris, he said: "Muhammad Yusuf (Mahamadou Issoufou), is that your job? Ah, ah, ah! Muhammad Yusuf, you will see. President of Niger, you will see," he said.

Shekau's provocative video, came as a regional summit opened in Nigeria on Tuesday aimed at stopping Boko Haram whose insurgency has left 13,000 dead and forced 1.5 million from their homes since 2009.

Leaders from Ghana and Chad have called for a unified effort in confronting the militants.

Chad sent a convoy of troops and 400 military vehicles on Saturday into neighbouring Cameroon to fight Boko Haram, as Nigeria's neighbours appeared to be losing patience with the Nigerian army's passivity.

We will not stop

Little is known of "Shekau", with some experts and Nigerian security officials insisting that he is in fact a composite character whose role is taken by a rotating cast of different militant fighters.

According to security services, the original Abubakar Shekau was the son of poor farmers who was radicalised while attending theological schools and took over Boko Haram in 2010.

The Nigerian military said last September that a man posing as Shekau in videos posted online had in fact been killed after fighting with troops in the far northeast.

The United States and other experts, however, have questioned the credibility of that claim while Shekau outright rejected it in a video obtained by AFP last October.

"Here I am, alive. I will only die the day Allah takes my breath," he said in that video.

The insurgent leader, sanctioned by the UN Security Council and declared a "global terrorist" by the United States, issued a similarly boastful denial in 2013 after the military claimed he may have died from a gunshot wound.

Boko Haram's claim of responsibility for the Baga attack,  in which large parts of the town were burnt to the ground and at least 16 surrounding settlements razed, was not unexpected given the testimony of survivors.

"We killed the people of Baga. We indeed killed them, as our Lord instructed us in His Book," Shekau said in the 35-minute message.

He added: "We will not stop. This is not much. You'll see."



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

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...