Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, is dead,according to multiple reports reaching us.
Shekau is said to have died on Wednesday evening, May 19, 2021, when Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) fighters invaded the terror group’s stronghold in Sambisa forest and tried to capture him alive.
ISWAP, which had broken away from the Shekau-led Boko Haram faction in 2016 after pledging allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS), raided the group’s hideout using multiple gun trucks.
Shekau’s enclave was tracked down by ISWAP using its forces based in the Timbuktu Triangle. His fighters were killed in the process, followed by a long gunfire exchange between the invading group and Shekau’s bodyguards.
It was gathered that after his bodyguards were subdued, Shekau surrendered and engaged in an hours-long meeting with the ISWAP fighters. During the parley, he was asked to voluntarily relinquish power and order his fighters in other areas to declare bai’a (allegiance) to ISWAP’s authority.
They had expected Shekau to issue a statement. However, Shekau who secretly had a suicide vest on, eventually blew himself up alongside everyone present during the negotiations.
The military authorities are yet to comment on the news about Shekau’s death but top security sources are verifying the claim according to Daily Trust.
Both the Department of State Services (DSS) and the army authorities are said to be verifying the claim.
Although there have been reports of ISWAP and Boko Haram Commanders being killed in exchange of gunfire, this is the first time that Shekau will be reported to have been killed in a battle with terrorists.
Shekau had been reported dead on different occasions in the past but during encounters with the military.
However, he has subsequently embarrassed the military and government by debunking the claim of his death through videos or audios.
Shekau took over leadership of Boko Haram in 2009 following the death of Mohammed Yusuf, the group’s founder.