Boko Haram Threatens Nigeria’s Emir of Kano as 191 Abducted

The Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram threatened the Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II, the nation’s second-highest Muslim leader, after he urged followers to defend themselves against the militants.

The threat came as it emerged 31 people were killed and 191 abducted in the remote northeastern village of Gumsuri on Dec. 12, the insurgent’s single largest kidnapping since more than 200 schoolgirls were taken from Chibok in April.

“You Sanusi I am talking to you, it is too late for you the Emir of Kano and the Emir of bank,” a man dressed in combat fatigues and claiming to be the group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, said in an unverified 19-minute video posted on YouTube Inc. Sanusi, the former central bank governor, told Nigerians last month to fight back against Boko Haram.

The man purporting to be Shekau fired an AK-47 rifle into the air and was flanked by masked gunmen and Hilux trucks mounted with machine guns bearing the group’s trademark black flags showing Arabic slogans.

Gumsuri Attack

Sanusi, 53, was the central bank governor of Africa’s largest economy until February. He was suspended by President Goodluck Jonathan after saying as much as $20 billion in state oil revenue was unaccounted for. He was appointed to the royal post in June when Ado Bayero died after reigning more than half a century.

Boko Haram, whose name translates loosely as “Western education is a sin,” has been fighting in Africa’s biggest oil producer since 2009. In that time it has killed more than 13,000 people, according to the government.

During the Dec. 12 attack in Gumsuri, near Lake Chad, Boko Haram fighters “abducted a lot of able-bodied young men and women, including children,” Mamadou Bukar, a leader of a militia group in the region, said by phone from Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state. “Our people had been resisting Boko Haram but this time they overpowered our men.”

‘Gone Astray’

In the video, the man claiming to be Shekau said civilian militia fighting Boko Haram had deviated from Islam. The militias, also known as vigilantes and hunters, have helped take back territory and towns captured by the militant group.

“Vigilantes and hunters you have gone astray, you should repent and put hands together and work for God, even you Sanusi if you repent we can work together,” the man said in the footage. “Don’t you see that I am furious.”

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