The death of ISWAP leader Abu Musab Al’Barnawi has sparked controversy

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File Photo: Al-Barnawi

Citizens of northeastern Nigeria continue to speak out over reports that ISWAP leader Abu Mus'ab Al-Barnawi was killed in an ambush on his delegation at border Borno, Yobe State border.

While some have expressed doubts about his death, there are many who see Al-Barnawi's death as a victory for the war on terror in the Lake Chad region.

Al-Barnawi, who's real was given as Habib Yusuf, was a Nigerian Islamic militant who served as the leader of the Islamic State's branch in West Africa between August 2016 and March 2019, and again around May 2021. He also served in various other capacities within ISWAP such the group leader until his death.

Al-Barnawi was a teenager when his father, Mohammed Yusuf, was killed by Nigerian security forces in 2009. The death of the founding Boko Haram leader has fueled a more than decade-long insurgency against the Nigerian government, ultimately expanding to neighboring Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

Although ISWAP has not given any confirmation of Al-Barnawi’s death and Nigeria’s army has claimed before to have killed jihadist commanders only for him to reappear.

“I can authoritatively confirm to you that Al-Barnawi is dead. As simple as that. He is dead and remains dead,” Chief of Defence Staff General Lucky Irabor told reporters.

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