BOKO Haram leader Sheikh Abubakar Shekau has taunted the new Nigerian service chiefs just appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari saying that their assumption of office will not make any difference to the war raging across the northeast.
Earlier this week, President Buhari replaced all of his service chiefs, naming Major General Lucky Irabor as the new chief of defence staff to replace General Gabriel Olonisakin. Major General Ibrahim Attahiru was appointed as the new chief of army staff, Rear Admiral Awwal Gambo was named as the new chief of naval staff, while Air Vice Marshal Isiaka Amao is the new chief of air staff, replacing Lt General Tukur Buratai, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas and Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar respectively.
Of late, the service chiefs had come in for a lot of criticism over their failure to address the growing insecurity in the country. Apart from the Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast, heavily armed Fulani cattle herdsmen have been terrorising the countryside, while other violent crimes like kidnapping and banditry are on the rise.
Last year, the National Assembly called on President Buhari to replace the service chief in a bid to inject some new urgency into the fight against insecurity. Over the last two days, there has been jubilation among Nigeria’s soldiers following the appointment of new service chiefs, with troops believing that it will lead to a change in their fortunes in the northeast.
However, Sheikh Shekau scoffed at this saying that the new appointed cannot perform any better than their predecessors. In a new video just released, Sheikh Shekau called on the new service chiefs to repent because they cannot do anything to destroy his terror gang.
Sheikh Shekau said: “Leo Irabor, the head of the military, you should have sympathy for yourself, repent and convert to Islam. There is nothing you can do.
“Major General Ibrahim Attahiru should not deceive himself because he has a Muslim background. Even if you are Muslim you conduct polytheistic practices, you are no longer a Muslim.”
Since 2009, Boko Haram has been waging a war against the Nigerian state in the northeast as it seeks to build a pure Islamic caliphate. Although the Nigerian military has recovered a lot of territory from the terrorists, it has been unable to crush Boko Haram, who still carry out sporadic raids.