A security expert, Dr. Ona Ekhomu, has warned Nigerian government not to take the appointment of Abu Musab Al-Barnawi as the new Boko Haram leader by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria lightly.Ekhomu, who doubles as the President of the Association of Industrial Security and Safety Operators of Nigeria, described the appointment Al-Barnawi as a danger signal to the nation’s security.
DAILY POST reports that the ISIS reportedly declared Al-Barnawi as a replacement to Abubakar Shekau, after the latter failed to appear in any authentic video clip since 2015.
Reacting to the development, however, Ekhomu, in a statement on Thursday, asked the FG to place intelligence agencies, the military, law enforcement and citizens on the full alert to avert possible terrorist attacks in Lagos State.
“If ISIS gets to appoint senior leadership for Boko Haram then they are probably running the Nigerian terror group as a local franchise. Strategic decisions such as leadership appointments are made by the spiritual leader of a terrorist group. In other words, the appointment of Al-Barnawi might have been made by ISIS leader Sheik Abu Bakr El-Baghdadi himself,” he said.
Ekhomu recalled that under the leadership of Shekau, Boko Haram killed over 30,000 Nigerians in separate attacks.
The security expert also called on the Lagos State Government to create an intelligence fusion centre where all-source intelligence could be harmonised in order to disrupt terror attacks in the state.
“As a mega city, Lagos presented a tempting target for BH/ISIS and the state should be target-hardened in order to prevent any surprise attack,” he added.