Abubakar Shekau says he is still in charge of Nigeria’s militant Islamist group Boko Haram despite a statement by so-called Islamic State that he had been replaced.
Shekau denounced the IS declaration of Abu Musab al-Barnawi as the leader in an audio message released on Wednesday, BBC reported.
Shekau accused al-Barnawi of trying to stage a coup against him.
Boko Haram is fighting to overthrow Nigeria’s government and establish an Islamic State in the north.
In the last 18 months it has lost most of the territory it had controlled after being pushed back by an offensive by the forces of Nigeria and its neighbours.
Below is excerpts of Shekau’s words translated from Hausa:
“All blessings be to Almighty Allah, and his His Prophet SAW. I am Imam Abubakar Shekau.
“This is the message to the world, to those who can understand Hausa and any other languages it can be translated for a clear understanding of the message, which is why we are sending this message to the world.
“The content of my message goes thus. We have heard news going round and attributed to people we had earlier pledge allegiance to. Even though we are not against them based on the message we heard in the world radio but we are still on our ideology.
“We know those we differ with, and I have written on this long ago. All we wrote have been documented with me, some eight pages and some nine pages stating their kind of ideology.
“Because I stated it clear that I am against the principle where someone will dwell in the society with the infidels without making public his opposition or anger against infidels publicly as it is stated in the Quran. Anyone doing such can’t be a real Muslim thick and thin. This is what our ideology proved. And that is where I am, to them, a Muslim can dwell in the society and do his marketing compromising core foundations.
“I want the world to know that we are still holding our ideology and tied with the Quran, we will not derail and will not revolt but will continue to remain in the cause of Allah. Following Prophet SAW is compulsory for us, and we will follow it to the end.
“This is our stand, and we are still in the cause of Jama’atu Ahl as-Sunnah li-Da’awati wal-Jihad and Allah will help us. May Allah strengthen us to remain in this cause.
“We are still members of Jama’atu Ahl as-Sunnah li-Da’awati wal-Jihad, no matter what they call us, we remain what we are. No matter what we have our basis in Quran. No matter what they call us, what we aspire is to justify our ideology in the Quran which is ultimate because we have not derailed. We are on and in the future, we will not accept any emissary except the one we can attest he is sincere and truthful for Allah and His cause.
“In the first place, we sat and I was deceived, they said I should write my ideology to be taken if there is a mistake they will point out and bring back. They now deceived me, and it is based on some authorities and today I found out that there is one who is following principles of the infidels which they want me to follow, and Prophet has stopped us against such. We are still in the cause of Allah and will never depart in the struggle to establish an Islamic caliphate and standing by Islam. We will continue to work for the cause of Allah no going back.
“Anyone that caused this, no problem, if it’s possible may Allah show him the correct path and if it is not so may Allah protect us from his mischief.”