Nigeria’s terror group, holed up in isolated parts of Borno state, in Nigeria’s north east claimed to have jettisoned Abubakar Shekau, the poster-boy of their terror campaign since 2009.
In his place, the group said it has appointed Abu Musab al-Barnawi, its former spokesperson as its new leader. The announcement was made by Islamic State, which Boko Haram pledged allegiance last year.
The replacement of Shekau comes after rumours spread that he had been killed or replaced. He himself in a video release in March this year appeared to have dismissed himself as the leader. ISIS was silent on the fate of Shekau.
The leadership change was promptly dismissed as irrelevant by Nigeria’s Defence Headquarters (DHQ).
In a statement, the DHQ said the announcement of a new Boko Haram leader is irrelevant and inconsequential to the military’s operation in the north east.
The Director of Defence Information, DHQ, Brig.-Gen. Rabe Abubakar, told NAN in Abuja on Wednesday that the military remained focused on its operation in the north east.
He said the announcement of a new leader for the group was only aimed at seeking attention and relevance.
“As far as we are concerned, what Boko Haram or their cohorts are doing is of no relevance to our operations against them.
“We are just focused on clearing the remnants of the insurgents that are scattered around.
“What they are doing is to seek relevance and to tell the world that they are still around whereas they have been decimated.
“Their latest move is the antics of a fading group and I believe that in the shortest time they will be history.’’
ISIS, the report said, did not say what happened to Shekau who has been out of the picture since 2015.