Events have taken another twist as the disputed leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, has said he is still in charge of the dreaded group.
Shekau spoke in response to a statement by the Islamic State that he had been replaced by the spokesman of the group, Abu Musab al-Barnawi.
The position of the IS was contained in an edition of one of its magazines.
But Shekau denounced the IS declaration that al-Barnawi was now the leader of the group.
Shekau accused al-Barnawi of trying to stage a coup against him.
In a 10-minute audio message in both Arabic and Hausa, Shekau appeared to distance Boko Haram from IS, but still called its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, “caliph”.
He said some Boko Haram members had stopped him from communicating with al-Baghdadi.
He said: “I was asked to send my ideology in writing to the caliph but it was manipulated by some people in order to achieve their own selfish interests.”
Shekau said he had sent eight different letters to IS leaders but they did not act on them, only to hear the news that he had been replaced.
He described al-Barnawi and his followers as polytheist.