SWITZERLAND, JANUARY 29 – Abubakar Shekau, Boko Haram’s factional leader, on Wednesday released new audio in which he spoke about Nigeria’s new Service Chiefs, saying they can’t do as their predecessors have done in the war against insurgency in the Northeast.
In the nine minutes, 56 seconds-long video, obtained by HumAngle, Shekau said he heard about the retirement of the previous service chiefs and their replacement with new ones but he said his message was to call them to Islam.
President Muhammadu Buhari announced the replacement of the military chiefs on Tuesday saying he accepted their immediate resignation and retirement although he gave no reason for that.
Major-General Leo Irabor has taken over as the new Chief of Defence Staff and head of the military while Major-General Ibrahim Attahiru is the new Chief of Army Staff, Rear Admiral A.Z. Gambo became the Chief of Naval Staff, and Air-Vice Marshal I.O. Amao is the new Chief of Air Staff.
In the new audio, Shekau mentioned the names and the roles of the new service chiefs and called them to repent because they can’t do anything to destroy his terror gang.
“Leo Irabor, the head of the military, you should have sympathy for yourself, repent and convert to Islam. There is nothing you can do,” Shekau said.
He said Maj-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru should not deceive himself because he has a Muslim background.
“Even if you are Muslim but you conduct polytheistic practices, you are no longer a Muslim,” Shekau said.
A source familiar with the activities of Boko Haram told HumAngle that members of the group are likely to conduct major operations to send a message to the new service chiefs that they are ready to fight.