Lagos — Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, yesterday claimed responsibility for the bomb blasts at a shopping mall in Abuja on June 25 and a similar one at a petrochemical depot in Lagos, saying western powers do not have the capacity to tame him as he vowed to establish his own country within Nigeria.
In a 16-minute video, Shekau also said the "Bring Back Our Girls" campaigners are wasting their time because the captives would remain in his custody until his conditions are met.
"We are residing in a country they call Nigeria but as far as we are concerned, we don't know any country called Nigeria, we are living in the empire of Islam. Even the Prophet established the first Islamic empire with 70 people and therefore nothing will stop us from establishing our empire inside Nigeria with 5,000 or 10,000 or 20,000 or a million people," he said.
Following Shekau's claim, some Lagos residents are now worried about their safety. Some residents said the failure of government and security agencies to own up to the truth on the incident has exposed them insecurity as the government had earlier claimed that the blast resulted from a gas cylinder.
An importer of fairly used vehicles, Samuel Obi said whoever sees the blast venue would realise that it is more than a gas cylinder explosion.
"We were at the explosion venue that same day, and we know that the government and the police are being economical with the truth. We know it is nothing but a bomb explosion", he said.
Another person who works nearby but pleaded anonymity said: "May be they wanted to douse the tension the explosion might cause in Lagos".
Meanwhile, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) in Lagos has condemned Boko Haram's activities. In a press statement released by the ACF at weekend, it said it would not hide or aid any Boko Haram member.
The statement signed by its leader, Sanni Kabir, said the group has embarked on sensitization of northerners living in Lagos not to harbour strangers or allow anyone to sleep in mosques and other places of worship. The ACF also enjoined northerners residing in Lagos to go and register to enable government know residents of the state.