The Nigeria Military has denied the claim by Boko Haram that the group take control of a northeastern town in which it intends to impose Shariah law.
The sect leader, Abubakar Shekau, said in a video the sect gave to reporters yesterday that it would enforce Islamic law in Gwoza, a town of about 250,000 people, in Borno State, about 850 kilometers to Abuja.
“The claim is empty,” Nigeria’s Defence Headquarters said on its Twitter account late yesterday. “The sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Nigerian state is still intact.”
Boko Haram, which has simply been waging serious war on the northern part of Nigeria since 2009, is intensifying its campaign of violence ahead of elections scheduled for next February. It killing over 2,000 in the first 6-months of the year, according to New York-Based human Right Watch, most of whom died in bomb and gun attacks on villages in the majority-Muslim north.
“Any group of terrorists laying claim to any portion of the country will not be allowed to get away with the expression of delusion and crime,” Defence Headquarters said. “Appropriate military operations to secure that area from the activities of the bandits is still ongoing.”
According to National Emergency Management Agency, said on 19th August, that fighting has displaced over 400,000 people in the northeast of Africa’s top oil producer, a nation of about 169 million.
“Allah has given us victory in Gwoza because we are doing Allah’s work,” Shekau said in the video, which also shows dozens of people described as captured vigilante fighters being executed. “Now Gwoza is caliphate under Shariah law.”
Abubakar Shekau claims in the video to have captured guns and ammunition from the Nigerian military.
Meanwhile Senator Muhammed Ali Ndume, who represents Southern Borno, said on August 22 that Gwoza was “under siege”
“Soldiers of the Nigerian army have been overstretched in both human and material capacity,” he said. “The federal government has to rise to the occasion to give these soldiers the needed support to work.”