Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, is dead – Report

May 20, 2021
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A file photo of Abubakar Shekau.

Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, has died after surrendering to Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) fighters, a report said on Thursday.

He was said to have blown himself up on Wednesday after his base in the Sambisa forest in Borno State was raided by ISWAP insurgents.

They were reported to have tracked Shekau to his stronghold and engaged his bodyguards in a gun battle before venturing to capture the Boko Haram leader.

After his bodyguards were subdued, Shekau surrendered and was asked to step down and order his group to declare their loyalty to ISWAP, online platform Humangle reported.

Apparently opposed to the idea, the Boko Haram leader was said to have blown himself up, killing some others around him in the process.

Shekau had taken over the leadership of Boko Haram following the death of its founder, Mohammed Yusuf, after which he launched a full-scale campaign against the Nigerian state.

In 2016, a faction of the terrorist group broke away from Boko Haram to form ISWAP after pledging allegiance to the Islamic State (IS).

The military had at several times claimed to have killed Shekau, but the terrorist leader had released videos after such claims to denounce it and insisted that he was alive.

The activities of the terrorist groups – both Boko Haram and ISWAP – have led to the death and injury of thousands and rendered millions of others homeless in the restive north-eastern region of the country.

Trouble in the region, spanning over a decade, has left Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa States as the worst-hit by the insurgency.

In the build-up to the 2015 general elections, the insurgents had taken over some communities in Borno but the terrorists were later displaced by the security forces.

Recently, the terrorists engaged in renewed attacks on some communities in the North East, especially in Yobe where they hoisted flags in some villages, forcing the locals to flee.

They also expanded their activities to the north-central where Governor Bello Abubakar of Niger State said the insurgents had taken over Kauri community in Shiroro Local Government Area of the state.

Despite the attacks by the insurgents, the Presidency has insisted that the terrorists had been technically defeated by the military.

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