Militant group, Islamic State of Syria and the Lavent, ISIL, has named a new leader for its West African affiliate, Boko Haram, the BBC is reporting.
According to the report, ISIL announced Abu Musa Albarnawi as Boko Haram leader in its new magazine without saying anything about the group’s known leader, Abubakar Shekau.
Shekau released a video in March this year in which he assured his followers that he was well and alive.
There was no immediate reaction from Nigerian authorities or Abubakar Shekau on the implication of the story.
Meanwhile, the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) says 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, who disclosed this in Abuja on Wednesday said 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.’’
In a related development, the Commandant, National Defence College, Rear Admiral Samuel Alade has expressed optimism that the country has developed the requisite manpower to address Nigeria’s contemporary security challenges.
Alade, who spoke at the 2016 graduation dinner of the college, said the participants’ conduct at the college had been satisfactory and encouraging hence his confidence on the participants.
“In view of the outcome of the individual performances of course 24 participants I am confident that we have among them a crop of strategic leaders that can be relied upon to address challenging issues in the nation.
“Despite this optimism, I want to say that it is also a moment of reflection for the graduands as much is expected of them to impact positively on society’s challenges.”
Alade noted that past fellows of the college had distinguished themselves in various fields of endeavour.
He said the NDC had and would continue to contribute to development of strategic policies that would help address security challenges affecting the country.
A foreign media reported on Wednesday that ISIS had announced Abu Musab al-Barnawi as the new leader of Boko Haram after Abubakar Shekau’s exit.
Al-Barnawi was the spokesperson of the group under Shekau.
ISIS, the report said, did not say what happened to Shekau who has been out of the picture since 2015.
Boko Haram had earlier in 2015 pledged its allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS) militant group.