The leader of Nigerian-based militant group Boko Haram has denied a claim by the president of Chad that he has been replaced according to online publication of Leading Britain’s Conversation dab digital radio website.
Chad’s leader Idriss Deby said last week that Shekau had been replaced as the group’s boss by Mahamat Daoud who wants to negotiate with the government of Nigeria.
“It is a blatant lie that I have been replaced,” Abubakar Shekau said in an audio recording released on Sunday.
“I am alive and in charge, I will only die at the time Allah has assigned for me,” he added.
“It is indeed all over the global media of infidels that I am dead or that I am sick and incapacitated and have lost influence in the affairs of religion.
“It should be understood that this is false. This is indeed a lie. If it were true, my voice wouldn’t have been heard, now that I am speaking.”
In the clip he pledged allegiance to Islamic State, calling himself the governor of the “West African Islamic State Province”.
The clip lasts around eight minutes.
Chad has been battling the militants alongside the Nigerian army.
Boko Haram was founded in 2002 to oppose Western-style education. Shekau took over as leader after its founder Muhammad Yusuf died in July 2009.
The group’s actions have become more radical under his guidance – and recent violent acts include the abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls in April 2014.