YAOUNDE -CAMEROON — Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has vowed to disrupt the upcoming general election in Nigeria, according to a video recording released on late Tuesday in which he rejects the principles of democracy and says the elections will “not happen in peace, even if that cost us our lives.”
The video, released about 1.5 week after Nigeria’s electoral commission decided to postpone this month’s general election due to security concerns, shows the group’s leader talking for just under 12 minutes. It was not clear from the video when it was recorded though it appeared to reference recent events.
“We say that these elections that you are planning to do, will not happen in peace, even if that cost us our lives,” Shekau said. “Allah will not leave you to proceed with these elections even after us, because you are saying that authority is from people to people, which means that people should rule each other, but Allah says that the authority is only to him, only his rule is the one who applies on this land.”
The group’s leader added: “We clearly see the disbelieve of those who believe in democracy, we have no doubt in that, and the one who have a doubt is a disbeliever himself. And so, this message is not a message of declaring a war, but a call for you to listen and obey Allah.”
On February 7, Nigeria’s electoral commission decided to postpone elections because security agencies had informed they would concentrate their attention to the conflict, and might not be able to provide security for the vote. As a result, the commission decided to move presidential, Senate, and House elections to March 28, while state and local elections were moved to April 11.
Incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan is seeking a second and final term and faces Muhammadu Buhari, who led the country in the early 1980s after a military coup. Buhari has been leading Jonathan in opinion polls.