A power tussle is rocking Boko Haram.
One day after the Islamic State (IS) announced that a new leader had taken over the terrorist group, Abubakar Shekau has come out to say he was still in charge.
In an audio message, Shekau distanced Boko Haram from IS and accused IS-backed Abu Musab al-Barnawi of plotting a coup, in signs of rifts within the organisation and its alliance with ISIS.
Shekau has not shown his face publicly for almost a year, fuelling speculations that he had been injured. He last spoke in August to dispel the rumours.
The BBC speculated that the power struggle to announce the eventual collapse of the group, which has been losing territory and firepower over the past 18 months.
“Boko Haram has split before but this is the most serious division to date.
“Abubakar Shekau’s outburst clearly shows that there are deep disagreements, which could translate into clashes between the foot soldiers loyal to the two leaders.
“It is also a sign of the weakness of the group, possibly foreshadowing an eventual collapse.
“Military officials say the split is an indication that the group is breathing its last.
“But some security analysts caution that the internal wrangling could make it more deadly and unpredictable.”