The Nigerian Army has dismissed a new video released by Boko Haram as “mere terrorist propaganda”.
The video came Thursday, less than a week after President Muhammadu Buhari announced the “final crushing” of Boko Haram.
Mr. Buhari said in a Christmas Eve statement that the takeover of Sambisa Forest by Nigerian troops marked the country’s triumph over Boko Haram.
The military has celebrated the victory in subsequent statements since then.
But the leader of the sect, Abubakar Shekau, said the government “should not be telling lies to the people”.
“If you indeed crushed us, how can you see me like this? How many times have you killed us in your bogus death?” he asked.
“We are safe. We have not been flushed out of anywhere. And tactics and strategies cannot reveal our location except if Allah wills by his decree,” Mr. Shekau said in the 25-minute video seen by French newswire, AFP on Thursday.
The Army said while effort was on going to subject the video to “further forensic analysis”, its position remained that it “captured and occupied the last known stronghold of the terrorists group in the Sambisa forest”.
“We would like to reassure the public that this video is nothing but mere terrorists propaganda aimed at creating fear in the mind of people and to remain relevant,” the Army said in a statement Thursday.
“Therefore, there is no cause for alarm, more so as concerted effort in clearing the vestiges of Boko Haram terrorists wherever they might be hiding is still ongoing.
“Our gallant troops deployed in various parts of the north east have continued to intensify search for all persons associated with Boko Haram terrorist group with a view to bring them to justice.”