The leader of the radical Islamist sect has challenged President Goodluck Jonathan in a new video released Tuesday, warning that the group will kill anyone who challenges it.
In the video posted on the internet, Abubakar Shekau, wearing a red and white turban, a bulletproof vest and speaking in Hausa in front of two Kalashnikov rifles, criticized Mr. Jonathan for imposing emergency rule in some northern states, and the president of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Ayo Oritsejafor, who called on Christians to defend themselves against the sect.
Mr. Shekau warned that Nigeria’s security forces would not be able to defeat the group, amid escalated attacks by the sect’s members on Christians, churches and gatherings.
Recent attacks have led to reprisals in some southern parts of the country, and the group has clashed more often with security forces. Thousands have fled their homes, with many southerners leaving the north and vice versa.
On Tuesday night, gunmen opened fire on a bar in Yobe state, killing eight people, including police officers.
The House of Representatives warned on Tuesday that the killings have reached “frightening” levels, reminiscent to the prelude of Nigeria’s bloody civil war.
The lawmakers passed a resolution urging all leaders, to rise and speak against the group’s deadly acts that have claimed more than 500 lives. They also called for an end to “panicky” migrations.