The National Security Adviser (NSA) to the President, Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd), confirmed this to State House correspondents on Thursday in Abuja.
He explained that Al-Barnawi’s successor, Malam Bako, was killed alongside a prominent member of ISWAP on Tuesday by soldiers fighting terrorists in the north-east region of the country.
“The fact again is that the armed forces – the land forces have done an excellent job because, in the span of one month, we have been able to take out the leadership of the Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) – that is Abu Musab Al-Barnawi,” Monguno said a week after the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, announced the death of Al-Barnawi.
“Two days ago, the man who succeeded him, one Malam Bako, one of the prominent leaders of the Shura Council of the Islamic State of West African Province, was also taken out. They (the terrorists) are also contending with a leadership crisis.
“You know these things are also accompanied with inherent issues of trust, conflicts, mutual suspicion, and other things. So, the operations being conducted by the armed forces in the Northern parts of the country put a lot of pressure on the Islamic State of West African Province, Boko Haram, and also the tangential group known as Islamic State in the Greatest Sahara.”
The NSA spoke with reporters at the end of a security meeting presided by President Muhammadu Buhari and attended by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari; Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd), and some other members of the President’s cabinet attended the meeting.
General Irabor led the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Farouk Yahaya; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, and other security chiefs to the meeting.