FG,DHQ Dismiss Appointment Of New Boko Haram Leader, As Sect Splits Over Choice Of Leader

The Federal Government yesterday dismissed as inconsequential the appointment of a new leader for Boko Haram by the Islamic State (IS).
The Defence Headquarters also spoke in the same vein.
Besides, Wednesday’s appointment of Abu Musab al-Barnawi has split the organisation, which appears to be struggling to return to relevance as Abubakar Shekau said he remains the group’s leader.
Minister of Information Lai Mohammed said nothing would bring back Boko Haram as its defeat is complete. He described the claim by the sect as “another cheap propaganda.”
Mohammed added that “it is too late to employ such tactics to revive the group
“By the way, 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 minister said.
The Director of Defence Information, (DHQ), Brig.-Gen. Rabe Abubakar, said in Abuja that the military remained focused on its operation in the Northeast.
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.’’
Shekau yesterday insisted he was “still around”.
He described his rival to power, Abu Musab al-Barnawi, as a “polytheist”, meaning one who worships many gods.
Shekau, who wears military uniform and waves an AK-47 assault rifle in propaganda videos posted online, said he sent letters to Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil), but its leaders had stopped replying.
“I was asked to send my ideology in writing to the caliph but it was manipulated by some people in order to achieve their own selfish interests,” he said in a 10-minute audio message.
“People should know we are still around.
“We will never cause any discord among the people, we will live by the Koran.”
Al-Barnawi’s appointment as the new “Wali of West Africa” was announced through an interview with him in the latest edition of Isil’s online weekly magazine al-Naba.
Boko Haram’s former spokesman, he is seen by the terrorist group as more moderate.
Despite the group’s substantial territorial losses at the hands of a multinational force comprising Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Chad, al-Barnawi said that Boko Haram was “still a force to be reckoned with” and vowed to end its practice of attacking mosques and killing Muslims.
Instead, he said, it would focus on attacking Christians, by “booby-trapping and blowing up every church that we are able to reach, and killing all of those who we find from the citizens of the cross”.
Analysts said the rift opened up a new and dangerous chapter of Nigerian-born terrorism as both factions could now compete to outdo each other.
Shekau’s faction may also team up with al-Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb, al-Qaeda’s official branch in North Africa which was behind hotel terror attacks in Mali and Burkina Faso.
Ryan Cummings, director of Signal Risk consultancy, said Shekhau had fallen foul of Isil leaders after attacks on cities like Baga, a north eastern town whose residents were all but wiped out in January 2015.
“Boko Haram’s wanton violence has always been a concern for Isil,” he said. “They are no angels but justify the deaths of civilians by applying the apostate label.
“To re-establish the group’s credentials and recruiting abilities in the Lake Chad region, Isil obviously realised a change in strategy and leadership was needed.”

Nigerian Military Raises Doubts Over Authenticity Of New Chibok Girls Video

The Defence Headquarters has raised the alarm over the new video released by Boko Haram containing some of the abducted Chibok girls.

Reacting, the Acting Director, Defence Information, Brig. Gen. Rabe Abubakar on Thursday said the video could have been doctored as the military was yet to authenticate it.

According to Abubakar, though the military is concerned about the whereabouts of the abducted girls who are in custody of the insurgents, the video had nothing to do with the ongoing military operation in the North-East.

Abubakar said, “The Nigeria Armed Forces would never give up for blackmail and mere media war. We remain focused in dealing with the matter at hand and would be steadfast in that course.

“The truth will come out in the nearest future; we are always hopeful through our unrelenting commitment to the protection of our country from any form of aggression. Our unified operations will go on and success is on our side.

“Terrorists by their nature rely on cheap publicity, using the social media to confuse those who don’t know their antics.

“In as much as we care for the rescue of the Chibok girls, which is our target, we are equally not closing our eyes to the rescue of any person or persons in Boko Haram custody, as we have been doing in recent times.

“Over 10,000 persons have so far been rescued since the new leadership came on board in the military. And we shall continue in that direction, no matter the media reports.

“All these things are campaigns. In as much as we saw the so-called concocted video, it has nothing to do with our own activities, even though we are sympathetic to the plight of our sisters and brothers with the ungodly group.”

WARNING: Suicide Bombers Now Dress Like Mad Men – DHQ

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) yesterday warned Nigerians about the new antics by Boko Haram in its killing spree.

It said suicide bombers of the terror sect now dress like mad men with a view to deceiving the people.

It therefore warned the public to  be on the lookout for such  suicide bombers.

The acting Director Defence Information, Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar, in a statement, said: “It has come to the notice of the Defence Headquarters that Boko Haram, in their desperation to cause colossal havoc, have now devised a new method where they dress like mad persons to gain unsuspecting access to public areas to detonate bombs.”

He said that the two male suicide bombers who carried out Friday’s attack in Gombi, Adamawa State, dressed like mad men.

Five people lost their lives in the incident and several others were wounded.

Abubakar said it has become imperative for Nigerians to be wary of mad persons approaching markets, public places or crowded areas so as to nip this ugly trend in the bud.

He added: “Nigerians are also enjoined to be security conscious at all times and should endeavour to report any suspicious person or object to security agencies for prompt action.”