It is understood that a faction of the terror group, Boko Haram, has warned US president-elect Donald Trump that ‘the war has just begun‘.
The faction leader, Abubakar Shekau, made the comment in an audio recording posted on social media on Sunday (yesterday), according to reports.
Shekau was quoted to have said: “Do not be overwhelmed by people like Donald Trump and the global coalition fighting our brethren in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and everywhere. We remain steadfast on our faith and we will not stop. To us, the war has just begun.
“We’re done with Obama, now we’re going to start with Trump…We remain convinced by our faith and we will not stop. For us, the war is just beginning,“Shekau added.
Shekau is believed to have claimed responsibility for an attack that resulted in the death of some Nigerians soldiers, including Lt-Col. Muhammad Abu Ali, earlier in November.
The Islamist fighter made the remarks days after Republican Trump defeated Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in the race for the US presidency.
Boko Haram has waged a seven-year-long insurgency in north-eastern Nigeria, killing thousands of people. The conflict, which erupted in 2009, has spilled over into neighbouring countries, sparking a grave humanitarian crisis in the Lake Chad basin region, where 2.6 million people are currently displaced.
In addition to its own military operation tagged ‘Lafiya Dole‘, Nigeria is now leading a regional offensive – consisting of 8,700 troops from Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon and Benin – against the violent sect.
The offensive has brought about some successes, such as the recapture of key territories and the release of thousands of civilians held captive by the group.
Although Nigeria’s Pres. Muhammadu Buhari declared a technical victory over the fight against the insurgents in December 2105, Boko Haram still carries out attacks, with security experts warning that underlying issues such as disenfranchisement, poverty and strong links with the Islamic State (ISIS) would continue to pose major threats to stability in the region.
Earlier this year, the group split into two factions after Shekau was replaced with the IS-appointed Abu Musab Al-Barnawi, former Boko Haram spokesperson.
Shekau, however, denied he had been replaced and claimed Al-Barnawi was staging a coup against him.