Boko Haram leader vows to disrupt Nigeria election

“This election will not be held even if we are dead. Even if we are not alive Allah will never allow you to do it,” Shekau said in the Hausa language, presumably referring to the polls scheduled for March 28 in a video released Tuesday.

The video appeared to be the first message released by the group on Twitter, a sign of its changing media tactics after previous messages were distributed to journalists on DVD.

Shekau was shown in unusual clarity in front of a solid blue background, dressed in black and with an automatic weapon resting to his right.

Claiming victory
He also claimed a weekend attack in the northeast Nigerian city of Gombe, which the military says was repelled. 

The Islamist leader, declared a global terrorist by the United States and sanctioned by the United Nations, disputed the military’s account of the Gombe clashes, claiming that his fighters overran troops and freed insurgents from prison. 


Nigeria’s general election had been scheduled for February 14 but was postponed by six weeks, with the security services saying they needed more time to contain the violence in the northeast, Boko Haram’s stronghold.

Despite Shekau’s threat, experts doubt that the Islamist rebels have the capacity to disrupt voting nationwide, although election officials have conceded that voting could prove impossible in parts of the northeast. – AFP

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Advertising
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday