The reported death of Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau has been confirmed by the Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP).
The terrorist organisation also disclosed that it killed Shekau after taking a direct order from the leader of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to take him out for deviating and killing “believers.”
The group said Shekau blew himself up after refusing to surrender following the invasion of his hideout on May 19, 2021.
Abu Mus’ab al-Barnawi, leader of the terrorists reportedly disclosed this in a message on Friday.
In a report by HumAngle, al-Barnawi described Shekau as “the leader of disobedience and corruption.”
He said Shekau’s fighters rejoiced over his death, stressing that he was apprehended “in the most humiliating manner.”
Speaking in Hausa, al-Barnawi said: “This was someone who committed unimaginable terrorism. How many has he wasted? How many has he killed? How many has he terrorised? But Allah left him alone and prolonged his life. When it was time, Allah set out brave soldiers after receiving orders from Amirul Muminin [leader of the believers].”
Al-Barnawi explained that the interim leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) ordered them to take action on Shekau
“ISWAP fighters then took their arms, travelled through the Sahara, went into Shekau’s enclave, and engaged in a gun battle with his followers.
“Shekau preferred to be humiliated in the afterlife than getting humiliated on earth. He killed himself instantly by detonating an explosive,” he said.
ISWAP broke away from Shekau’s Boko Haram faction in 2016, after disagreement over the excessive use of force, especially on Muslims in areas under his influence.
The rivalry between Boko Haram and ISWAP has been mounting for a while, but it appears the latter has gained extensive control in Nigeria’s northeast.
Two weeks ago, the ISIS branch launched an operation on Boko Haram in the Sambisa forest, surrounding the house of BH leader Abubakar Shekau.
The Nigerian military claimed Shekau is either dead or seriously wounded after trying to kill himself to avoid capture.
Shekau had been declared dead multiple times only for him to reappear in videos to claim otherwise. But intelligence experts have said his death may be real this time following the takeover of large swathes of land around his sambisa enclave by ISWAP.
It has been reported that the Jihadist group ISWAP’s primary objective is the establishment of an Islamic state under Shariah law in Nigeria.
ISWAP has engaged in terrorist attacks and kidnappings against a wide range of targets in Nigeria and neighbouring countries.