Boko Haram leader, Shekau, threatens Pantami, journalists in new video

Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, Shekau, last week released a new video, threatening the minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Alhaji Isa Ali Pantami, and human rights lawyer and leading Boko Haram expert, Audu Bulama Bukarti.

In the 15 minutes, 26 seconds video, Shekau fiercely attacked Pantami who is well-known Islamic scholar.

The Boko Haram leader questioned Pantami’s authority to speak for Islam, asking “is it because you speak English? Islam is not in speaking English”, and accused him of working for infidels.

Shekau condemned Pantami’s ministry’s new policy to restrict the number of mobile SIM cards a subscriber can legally own to three.

It was gathered that the policy was intended to prevent terrorists and criminals’ exploitation of the technology.

Shekau drew Pantami’s attention to the fate of Sheikh Jaafar Adam, a renowned Salafi cleric, who was assassinated in his mosque in Kano, and called on terrorists across Africa to target the minister.

Shekau said: “My brothers in Africa, Nigeria or elsewhere, what happened to Jaafar is nothing. Take action on Isa Ali Pantami wherever you find him.”

Shekau also warned President Muhammadu Buhari, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, the BBC, DW, Radio France International and Dandal Kura Radio.

In the same video, Shekau reminded Bukarti, a sub-Saharan Africa analyst at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, about his previous threat against him, stating “Bulama Bukarti in England, you have heard my recent message [to you]. You are all just little insects. Even your bosses cannot fight us”.

On 1 November, Shekau issued a statement entitled “Shaykh Abubakar Shekau’s Response to Malignant Bulama Bukarti” in which he threatened Bukarti, a leading Boko Haram expert and Ph.D. candidate at SOAS, University of London.

In the 5-minute audio, Shekau declared that Bukarti was “in trouble” and would “never find peace”.

Bukarti became a target for Boko Haram because of his insightful analyses on Boko Haram and other violent extremist groups across the Africa and his use of Islamic text to counter-extremism.

He is a regular guest on the media and has published widely on Boko Haram in Nigeria, the United States and the United Kingdom.

With the latest threats, Alhaji Pantami and Bukarti have become prime targets on Boko Haram’s radar.

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