An audio recording believed to be of Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau is trending in Nigeria two days after his reported death.
“I want to reaffirm my earlier statement of yesterday in Barbaji. I have informed them that some people have deceived us with the connivance of some people within us after an oath of their belief for this struggle,” Shekau said on the recording which is 2 minutes and 19 seconds.
“Some people within us who are our trusted allies… They deceived us. We engaged them with the support of people within us. They killed and wounded several of our people.”
“I am to make this address in Hausa with the hope that the message will be channeled to the public. They connived with our trusted people and agreed to fight together. We engaged them in a war of connivance with the people within us. We saw hell during the war with them and no one can overcome it,” Shekau said.
Brigadier Gen. Muhammad Yerima, a spokesman for the Nigeria Army, said the military is studying the report of Shekau’s death, without giving further details.
Reports filtered on late Wednesday that Shekau was killed during a face-off with fighters of the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), around Sambisa Forest.
Despite resistance from countries in the Lake Chad region, the terrorists have continued their operation, severely clashing with the Multinational Joint Task Force comprising security operatives from neighboring countries.
ISWAP Commander Baana Duguri was reported to have said Shekau’s men and ISWAP fighters engaged in a fierce battle on Wednesday.
ISWAP fighters were said to have been on the trail of Shekau whom they wanted to capture alive but the Boko Haram leader reportedly committed suicide to avoid being caught.
“The ISWAP fighters surrounded the Boko Haram leader as the shooting ensued between the two sides but Shekau detonated a bomb and killed himself when he observed that the ISWAP fighters wanted to capture him alive,” an intelligence report said.