Soldiers have taken over a farmland said to be owned by Abubakar Shekau, leader of the Boko Haram sect.
According to a viral video on social media, the land is situated in Sambisa forest, a stronghold of the sect in Borno State.
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Sounds of gunshots went into the air as the soldiers marched on the farmland, daring the insurgent leader to challenge them.
“Shekau where are you? See us on Shekau’s farm inside Sambisa. Shekau king of noise-making where are you? Come out now and see if we will not waste you.
“This is Shekau’s farm inside Sambisa. Villagers take as much of the produce as you can, after all it is yours.
“Shekau see us in your farm we are going to have our Juma’at prayers on your farm,” one of the troops said.
The date the viral video was released is still unknown, but it has been widely circulated and viewed online.
Embarrassing the authorities
On numerous occasions, the Boko Haram leader has embarrassed security authorities who have severally claimed to have killed him.
‘In 2014, the Nigerian Army had said Shekau was killed by the Cameroonian military during a Boko Haram attempt to capture Kodunga, a small village north of Maiduguri.
The Cameroonian military backed this claim by releasing a photo of Shekau’s supposed corpse on social media.
But shortly after, he appeared in a video, mocking those who claimed responsibility for his death.
In a video he released in October 2014, Shekau taunted the military saying he has “one soul”.
“Here I am, alive. I will only die the day Allah takes my breath. I am running our… Islamic caliphate and administering sharia punishments,” he had said.
“Nothing will kill me until my days are over… I’m still alive. Some people asked you if Shekau has two souls. No, I have one soul, by Allah. It is propaganda that is prevalent. I have one soul. I’m an Islamic student. I’m the Islamic student whose seminary you burnt… I’m not dead.”
During a press conference to mark Chad’s 55th independence anniversary, President Idriss Deby had said Shekau had been replaced with one Mahamat Daoud.
But five months after, Shekau resurfaced in a video where he described Deby as a “hypocrite”.
“It should be understood that this is false. This is indeed a lie. If it were true, my voice wouldn’t have been heard, now that I am speaking.
“There is someone apparently called Mahamat Daoud who is said to have replaced Abubakar Shekau and wants to negotiate with the Nigerian government,” he had said.
Weighing in on the controversy on Shekau’s death, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information, in 2017, said: “You know my understanding of Shekau? Shekau may not be a real name. If you kill one Shekau today, there are hundreds that come to that place.. For me, Shekau as a person is a symbol of insurgency. Now, whether he is dead or not, I think it is a mute point. What is important, are we wining insurgency or not? The answer is yes.”
Shekau took control of the group after its founder, Muhammad Yusuf, died in police custody in July 2009.
Under his leadership the group became more radical and carried out more killings.