Sat, Apr 14, 2012 - Page 6 News List

Boko Haram promises to ‘devour’ Nigeria president

reuters, Kano, Nigeria

A screengrab taken from a video released on YouTube on Thursday apparently shows Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau, center, flanked by militants.

Photo: AFP / Youtube

Nigerian Islamist sect Boko Haram intends to bring down the government and “devour” Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan within three months, its purported leader said in his second al-Qaeda-style video posted on the Internet on Thursday.

The 14-minute video of Abubakar Shekau seen on YouTube, belittled Jonathan for saying two weeks ago that the security situation would be under control by the middle of this year.

“You, Jonathan, cannot stop us, instead we will devour you in the three months like you are boasting,” Shekau said in the video entitled “message to Goodluck Jonathan,” flanked by four masked men holding rifles.

“We are proud soldiers of Allah, we will never give up as we fight the infidels. We will emerge as winners ... we will finish you and end your government,” Shekau said, speaking in Arabic and in the Hausa-language spoken in northern Nigeria.

Shekau has now posted two videos and one audio recording on the Internet this year, suggesting he wants to solidify his position as the sect’s leader.

Boko Haram, which wants Shariah law applied across Africa’s biggest oil producer, has killed hundreds in bomb and gun attacks in northern Nigeria and around the capital Abuja this year.

Africa’s most populous country, consisting of more than 160 million, is split roughly equally between a mostly Muslim north and a largely Christian south.

There were brief efforts last month at dialogue using mediators between the government and the sect, but details were leaked to the press and talks collapsed.

A Boko Haram spokesman has since said they will never negotiate.

Although almost daily small scale shootings continue in the northeast, a military crackdown and some high profile sect arrests in recent weeks have seemingly prompted a pause in big coordinated attacks, since 186 people were killed in bomb and gun strikes in Nigeria’s second city of Kano in January.

It was hoped the sect had been weakened, but on Easter Sunday a car bomb killed at least 36 people after security officials prevented the vehicle entering a church compound in the northern town of Kaduna and another large car bomb was discovered undetonated in Kano.

No group has taken responsibility for the Kaduna, attack but security experts believe Boko Haram may want to distance itself from the strike, which appeared to fail to hit its target and killed many Muslims.

Shekau said in Thursday’s video that Boko Haram would continue to target anyone who killed its members or aided in their arrest, whether they be Christian or Muslim.

Most of Boko Haram’s attacks target the police, government officials and authority figures, rather than Christians.

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