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Nigeria: Shekau, the dreaded warlord who chose Jihad over family

By Jude Michael
Posted on Wednesday, 26 May 2021 17:12

A poster advertising for the search of Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau is pasted on a wall in Baga
A poster advertising for the search of Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau is pasted on a wall in Baga village on the outskirts of Maiduguri, in the north-eastern state of Borno, Nigeria May 13, 2013. REUTERS/Tim Cocks

Abubakar Shekau, leader of the militant Islamist group Boko Haram, once the world's deadliest terrorist organisation and which is known to have killed at least 30,000 people in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region, has been reported dead. Far from fixing things, this may well strengthen ISWAP, a more 'effective' terrorist outfit which split from Boko Haram. Experts say this spells danger for Nigeria and the region, where the war on terror has raged ineffectually for over a decade.

When news broke on Thursday 20 May that the irascible Shekau is (finally?) dead, many media outlets waited for some hours, some until the next day, to report the development which was the fourth time the Boko Haram leader has been reported dead.