The Islamic State of West Africa (ISWAP) has appointed a new ‘Governor of the Lake Chad’ in the person of Amir Goni Maina. Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Specialist David Otto disclosed this in a document made available to News Express this Sunday morning, July 12, 2020.
The Lake Chad region comprises Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republic.
According to Otto, “Goni Maina replaced Amir Baba Kaka. Recall that Baba Kaka was recently sacked as the Governor in a massive jihadist Leadership shake-up after escaping an assassination attempt by his own commanders. The Shura council and AZWAJ advisors/sponsors from Mali and Libya accused Baba Kaka of failing to command and control unit commanders and also of severe leadership weakness to prevent ground and aerial coordinated onslaught against jihadist strongholds in the axis of the Lake Chad by the Nigerian Army, the Chadian Army and the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) troops.
Before his latest appointment, Amir Goni Maina was the Chief Judge of Boko Haram /ISWAP faction. He replaced Muhammad Shuwa, after he was eliminated in a Nigerian Army and Air-Force military bombardment.”
The UK-based Otto also disclosed “a new Chief Judge, known as Amir Malumma, was appointed to take over from Goni Maina. During the early ISWAP Leadership of Abu Musab Al Barnawi and veteran Mamman Nur, Amir Goni Maina held the position of the Governor of the Lake Chad but was a casualty when things hit the fan in Barnawi era which led to the ascension of Ba Idrissa (also killed by his commanders).”
The counter terrorism expert known for his extensive intelligence network noted that the rise of Ba Lawan as the new Wali of ISWAP has led to the ushering of Albarnawi influence within the ISWAP faction.”
He further said: “The recent appointment of a new ISWAP Wali – Amir Abubakar Lawan – has been marked by a massive power consolidation of bringing back former commanders loyal to the Albarnawi faction to lead in strategic position.
“As the fate of the notorious commander and ‘ex-governor of the Lake Chad’ is sealed, there is a higher possibility that Baba Kaka, may likely join the independent renegade jihadist groups of Bako Borgozo, Modu Sulum, Kannayi and Zainnami with no links to either Shekau JAS faction or ISWAP Ba Lawan faction.
“The rise of the Islamic State and its global influence on regional jihadist affiliates has destroyed the stability of local jihadist groups like Boko Haram into perpetual confusion. Jihadist groups in the Lake Chad and Northern Nigeria have lost any ideological credits with local communities and have been focused purely on power control by terror and criminal activities for survival. Even the current structure will not last as regional forces – Nigeria – Chad – Niger Republic – Cameroon and to some extend Benin Republic apply soft and hard measures in challenging circumstances — if you See something Say something.”