Nigeria vows to recapture freed Boko Haram chief
The Nigerian army is vowing to recapture a Boko Haram commander freed last year in exchange for 82 girls who were kidnapped from a school in the town of Chibok nearly four years ago.
An army official told CNN that the Boko Haram commander, Shuibu Moni, would be apprehended again after he taunted the military in a new propaganda video from the militant Islamic group.
“He was captured before; he can be captured again,” army spokesman John Agim told CNN.
“The troops that captured him are still in the northeast, and they will get him.”
Boko Haram sparked international outrage when the militants captured 276 girls — between the ages of 16 and 18 — from a boarding school in Chibok in Borno state in April 2014. Eighty-two of the girls were freed in a May 2017 swap with Boko Haram that also saw Moni’s release. More than 100 of the girls remain in captivity, their whereabouts unknown.
Agim was responding to Moni’s assertions in the terror group’s video that insurgents still had a firm grip on Sambisa Forest, an enclave in northeast Nigeria.
The video refuted the Nigerian government’s claims that it had “technically defeated” Boko Haram and driven its members out of Sambisa Forest.
In the video, members of the terrorist organization fired live rounds of ammunition in a display of power while driving a beaten-down truck through a forest that Moni said was Sambisa.
“They are spreading fake news around that they collected Sambisa and instructed people in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states (that they) should watch out for us.
“It is a lie. Where is this place we are in? Is it not Sambisa Forest?” Moni asks in the video.
Speaking in native Hausa and Arabic, Moni warns that the group is planning something. “Just wait and see soon what will happen,” he says in in the video.
Boko Haram has wreaked carnage in northeast Nigeria in the last eight years, most recently kidnapping 110 schoolgirls from the town of Dapchi in Yobe state on February 19.
Moni did not say anything about the Dapchi girls in the video.