shekau

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By Andah John with agency report

Abubakar Shekau has appeared in a new video to debunk a claim that Boko Haram has been routed from its Sambisa Forest fortress.

“We are safe. We have not been flushed out of anywhere. And tactics and strategies cannot reveal our location except if Allah wills by his decree,” Shekau said in the 25-minute video, flanked by masked armed fighters.

“You should not be telling lies to the people,” he said, referring to Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari who said on Christmas Eve that the extremist group had been defeated and driven away from the forest, its last known bastion.

“If you indeed crushed us, how can you see me like this? How many times have you killed us in your bogus death?” he asked.

Where the video was shot is not immediately clear, but the sect leader, speaking in both Hausa and Arabic, said it was filmed on Christmas Day.

Shekau last appeared in a video in September where he disputed a claim by the Nigerian military that he had been wounded in battle.

He vowed to continue with the fight until an Islamic state is imposed in northern Nigeria.

“Our aim is to establish an Islamic Caliphate and we have our own Caliphate, we are not part of Nigeria.”