The leader of Boko Haram’s main faction, Abubakar Shekau, has admitted killing the group’s purported spokesman over an apparent plot to oust him, he said in an audio recording obtained by AFP.
In the 50-minute tape of a meeting with the inner circle of his militant Islamist group, Shekau said he killed “Tasiu” — also known as Abu Zinnira — who appeared in several video messages.
“You should hear me: I killed Tasiu, hear me well,” he told the gathering in Hausa, which is widely spoken across northeast Nigeria.
Shekau states the date of the meeting — December 18 — and said it had been called to discuss “those elements grumbling over the killing of Tasiu”.
AFP received a copy of the recording earlier this month. The tape appears to have been meant for circulation only within the armed Islamist movement.
Shekau’s claim appears to lend weight to reports of infighting within Boko Haram, whose insurgency has killed at least 20,000 in northeast Nigeria since 2009 and left 2.6 million homeless.