Faizel Patel – 21/05/2021
Professor and political analyst Damilola Olawuyi says sources indicate that Nigerian Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has been killed after trying to avoid capture during clashes with rival militants in the north of the country.
Olawuyi was speaking to Radio Islam on Thursday about the widespread reports of Shekau’s apparent death.
Shekau’s Boko Haram faction and fighters from the Islamic State West Africa Province had been battling in northeastern Borno state, where ISWAP militants have become the dominant force in Nigeria’s more than decade-long insurgency.
Shekau, who made international headlines when his men kidnapped nearly 300 schoolgirls in Chibok in 2014, has been reported dead several times since Boko Haram first began its insurgency in 2009.
Olawuyi says credible sources say Shekau was killed and not wounded.
“Shekau surrendered himself and engaged in an hours-long meeting with the ISWAP fighters. They made some demands on him to relinquish power and order his fighters to declare allegiance to ISWAP’s authority. During those negotiations they said he wore hid a suicide vest and he blew it up killing himself and the ISWAP fighters.”
Olawuyi says the information about Shekau’s death was not announced by the Nigerian government and security forces.
“This information actually came from activists and journalists who are on the ground, who are have credible connections with these groups.”
Shekau took over Boko Haram, formally known as the Jama’tu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad, after its founder Muhammad Yusuf was killed by police in 2009.
Listen to the interview with Professor Damilola Olawuyi