The death of Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, has been confirmed by the group, after a senior cleric, Bakura Sahalaba, verified it on Friday.
This was disclosed in a report by Reuters, which says the cleric confirmed the death in a recent video and urged Boko Haram group to “stay loyal in its fight against rival Islamic State militants.”
Sahalaba, a cleric with the Lake Chad operations of the terrorist group, said that Shekau had died after fights with ISWAP, and urged fighters to remain loyal to Boko Haram.
Nairametrics reported last month that Abubakar Shekau had allegedly committed suicide after events related to the faceoff between Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) at the Sambisa forest area. According to the report, Shekau, who had a suicide vest on, eventually blew himself up alongside everyone present during negotiations with ISWAP.
Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), broke out of Boko Haram in 2016, led by Abu Musab, son of Boko Haram founder, Mohammed Yusuf. The group later moved into the Alagarno and Lake Chad Basin, taking over Boko Haram assets in the areas and subsequently becoming the dominant terror group in the axis.
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Confidence MacHarry, Security Analyst at SBM Intelligence, said ISWAP is expected to give Shekau’s followers the same options of “bend the knee or die,” as the group looks to round up its battle with Boko Haram.
“Shekau is just a tiny piece of the larger pie, which is the influx of foreign money in the development of terror groups in Nigeria exemplified by ISWAP, an even much bigger problem as they are more focused on attacking the military unlike Boko Haram under Shekau, severely weakened and condemned to random attacks on hapless civilians,” MacHarry said.