The Nigerian military says it is studying the video released Friday by Abubakar Shekau, the Boko Haram leader supposedly killed by security forces, where he dismissed claims of a ceasefire deal with the government and dashed hopes of the return of school girls abducted by his group since April.
In a statement Saturday, the spokesperson of the Defence Headquarters, Chris Olukolade, a Major General, said the military would make its position on the video known after a thorough review.
“The content of the video purportedly released by terrorist on Friday is being studied. Further information on subsequent position on the issues involved will be released as appropriate in due course,” Mr. Olukolade said.
He added, “The military will continue to accord due recognition to any ongoing mediatory efforts towards bringing our girls home and terminating the insecurity in parts of the country.
“Citizens are assured that the military and security agencies remain committed and optimistic for positive outcome of ongoing operations.”
The Nigerian government had on October 17 announced that it was suspending military operations against the extremist group after both sides agreed a ceasefire.
Part of the deal was to see the return of the more than 200 girls abducted by Boko Haram insurgents from Chibok, Borno State, on April 14.
After Boko Haram launched fresh attacks on towns in Borno and Adamawa States, and the girls failed to return on expected dates, the government said more talks were being held and that new attacks were carried out by splinter groups of Boko Haram.
In the new video released Friday, Mr. Shekau denied any ceasefire deal with the government. He said his group will continue to fight the Nigerian state.
Mr. Shekau denied links to Danladi Adamu, the man named by the government as Boko Haram’s representative at the talks.
He said Chibok school girls in the group’s custody have all been “married off”, and will not return to their families.