NBC quotes Africa Center Director J. Peter Pham on Boko Haram declaring its own caliphate in Nigeria:
J. Peter Pham, the head of the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center, noted that Shekau also claims to have previously spoken with al-Baghdadi, though he said the communications between the two groups has apparently been mostly the sharing of “best practices” on military strategy and bomb-making over social media.
In many ways, ISIS and Boko Haram have followed similar paths. Like ISIS, Boko Haram has seized modern military equipment from the Nigerian army and sent government soldiers running for their lives after throwing down their arms. They’ve brutally killed thousands, beheading men who’ve refused to convert to Islam and forced their widows into marriage with Boko Haram soldiers, said Pham, acknowledging that some of the information is second-hand.
Pham said the situation has indeed worsened this week. Moreover, he said, the Nigerian government has lied about its successes and its failures, claiming erroneously that the army had reached Bama and was planning to liberate it.
“Despite claims that they’ve reached Bama, they have not,” he said. “… There is in fact a slapstick of video of Nigerian military literally fleeing Boko Haram in a comedic fashion. Meanwhile, we have the military claiming they’re in control.”
Pham, who regularly speaks with Nigerian security sources, said as many as 3,000 Nigerian soldiers recently dropped their weapons and fled over the border to Cameroon, where they remain.