By Samuel Ogundipe
The Boko Haram Islamic Sect has declared an Islamic caliphate in besieged town of Gwoza, Bornu State, its notorious leader, Abubakar Shekau, claimed in a new video posted online.
The sect unfurled a black flag as a symbol of its purported caliphate.
Gwoza, which is the seat of Gwoza Local Government Area, is situated on the Nigerian border with Cameroon and has been under the control of the dreaded sect since August 6.
In the video, which The Scoop has not independently verified but bears luminous resemblance with previously released video by Shekau, the group said, “We don’t believe in the name Nigeria. We are in Islamic caliphate. We have nothing to do with Nigeria.”
A defiant Shekau noted further that “All gratitude goes to Allah who has given victory to our brethren in Gwoza and made it part of the Islamic caliphate. Our towns are ruled by the Book of Allah. Our towns follow the tradition of our Prophet Muhammad.”
About 20 men believed to be members of the civilian JTF were also gruesomely executed in the video.
Besides Gwoza, Shekau said his group will annex more towns and villages across northeast. He appeared in the clip wearing military gear, flanked by two armed, hooded men, in an open vegetation. He hanged an AK47 assault rifle around his neck, and was holding a chewing stick in one hand and some papers in the other.
Reacting to the content of the video, Brigadier-General Chris Olukolade, spokesman for the Defense Headquarters wrote on Twitter that “The claim is empty. The sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Nigerian state is still intact,”
Shekau also accused the United States of attempting to limit the spread of Islam and warned that all local vigilante, civilian JTF, fighting in support of the military should back off.
Gwoza Local Government Area spans 2,883 square kilometres with a population of 276,312, according to the 2006 census.