The Nigerian government on Thursday dismissed a report that the Boko Haram sect has a new leader, saying it was a mere “propaganda” by the “defeated terrorist organization”.
“The Nigerian Government has described as cheap propaganda the report that ISIS has appointed a new leader for Boko Haram, saying it is too late to employ such tactics to revive the defeated Nigerian terrorist organization”, a statement released by the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said.
The statement was signed by Segun Adeyemi, the minister’s spokesperson.
A report in the 41st edition of ISIS’ Al-Naba magazine, published Tuesday, made reference to Abu Musab al-Barnawi, as Boko Haram’s “governor” for West Africa.
The report made no mention of Abubakar Shekau, who was previously known as the leader of the sect.
Mr. Shekau was last seen in a Boko Haram propaganda video in 2015, while Mr. al-Barnawi had been cited in a January 2015 video as a Boko Haram spokesman.
The reference to the former terrorist organization’s spokesman as new leader of Boko Haram, has however, been rejected by the elusive Shekau in a new audio message released Wednesday, which suggests division in the ranks of the deadly extremist group.
But the statement by the ministry of information called on Nigerians to ignore the ISIS report.
“Don’t believe the cheap propaganda by the global terrorist group ISIS, which has reportedly named a new leader for Boko Haram. Our gallant military has put Boko Haram on the run and nothing will bring back the terrorists, not even the wishful thinking by ISIS”, the statement said.