The leader of the Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, has released a new video, disputing the military’s claim that he was killed or wounded by soldiers.
The 39 minutes video posted on YouTube shows Shekau, flanked by two gun-wielding Boko Haram members, speaking on the group’s activities.
In the video, Shekau spoke extensively in Arabic and also Hausa, Kanuri, and English.
In August, the Islamic State, which Shekau had initially pledged allegiance to, announced it had removed him as leader and appointed Abu Musab al-Barnawi as his replacement; a move Shekau rejected.
Al-Barnawi is the son of the late Boko Haram founder, Muhammed Yusuf.
The recent video posted on Saturday, is the latest in a series of latest videos by Shekau’s faction of the terror group whose activities have caused the death of over 20,000 people, displaced over 1 million children and killed over 600 teachers, according to the United Nations.
Last month, the Boko Haram released a video indicating willingness for a prisoner swap with the federal government. The government would release their members held in detention across Nigeria in exchange for the abducted Chibok girls, the group said in the video.
The government has since confirmed its willingness to negotiate the swap but said it would only do so in negotiation with the real leaders of the group.
A similar prisoner swap in July of last year failed because the sect made more demands after an agreement had been reached, the Information Minister, Lai Mohammed, said.
Last week, President Muhammadu Buharí invited the United Nations as a mediator in any discussion with the sect.