Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari revealed that the Boko Haram leader has been wounded in an airstrike by the Nigerian armed forces.
The military first claimed on Tuesday that Abubakar Shekau, the groups leader was injured but released no further statement or evidence to confirm his condition.
In a statement released from Nairobi where President Buhari is currently attending a development conference, he said
”We learnt that in an air strike by the Nigeria Air Force he was wounded.”
”Indeed their top hierarchy and lower cadre have a problem, they are not holding any territory and have split to small groups attacking soft targets.”
Buhari also claimed that the wounded leader, Shekau, had been ousted as previously speculated.
Abu Musab al-Barnawi, who is believed to be the 22-year-old son of Boko Haram founder Mohammed Yusuf, is said to be the group’s new leader as announced by ISIS.
Signs of a power struggle in the jihadi group appeared earlier this month when Shekau released a video denying he had been ousted as Boko Haram leader.
The president added that he is prepared to talk to genuine leaders of Boko Haram to negotiate the release of the 218 Chibok girls captured by the militants in 2014.
Boko Haram have devastated the northeastern part of Nigeria in its quest to create a fundamentalist Islamic state, killing well over 20,000 people and displacing more than 2.6 million from their homes.
President Buhari also took time to comment on the sabotaging of oil infrastructure in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. He threatened military action if militant groups in the region specifically the Niger Delta Avengers refused dialogue with the government.
Militants in the region are demanding a greater share of oil revenues, political autonomy, and infrastructure development. Even with the massive oil wealth of the region, people still struggle to access basic health care and education.