Nigerian terror group Boko Haram have appointed a new leader, according to Chad President Idriss Deby. Deby made the comment as he addressed reporters during the celebration of the 55th anniversary of Chad's independence from France. The revelation comes weeks after the Islamist group's leader Abubakar Shekau failed to appear in the group's latest video, triggering speculations on his fate.
"There is someone apparently called Mahamat Daoud who is said to have replaced Abubakar Shekau and he wants to negotiate with the Nigerian government," Deby was quoted by AFP as saying. The leader added that the Islamist outfit has been "decapitated" in an ongoing regional fight to curb terrorism.
"Boko Haram is decapitated. There are little groups [of Boko Haram members] scattered throughout east Nigeria, on the border with Cameroon. It is within our power to definitively overcome Boko Haram," he said. "The war will be short, with the setting up of the regional force, it will be over by the end of the year."
"At the moment we don't have fresh information. We can say it is possible that Boko Haram appointed a new leader, but we cannot confirm it yet," government spokesperson Mike Omeri told IBTimes UK. "The position of the Nigerian government is clear: whatever it takes to get our citizens from captivity and stops violence, abductions and killings, we will do. The government is ready to invoke international best practices. If it [negotiating] is part of best practices, why not?"