The Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP), a breakaway faction of Boko Haram, has confirmed the death of Abubakar Shekau, former leader of the terrorist group.
A police intelligence report shared with some section of the media had quoted top commanders of ISWAP as saying Shekau blew himself up on May 19 following a confrontation.
The Boko Haram leader was said to have killed himself with a bomb “when he observed that the ISWAP fighters wanted to capture him alive”.
In a message obtained by HumAngle, Abu Musab Albarnawi, ISWAP leader, confirmed the death of Shekau.
Albarnawi described Shekau as “the leader of disobedience and corruption”, saying his fighters rejoiced at the news of his death.
The ISWAP leader said Shekau committed “unimaginable terrorism”, adding that he was apprehended “in the most humiliating manner”.
He added that Shekau blew himself up, saying the former Boko Haram leader preferred to be “humiliated” in the afterlife than on earth.
“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),” Albarnawi was quoted to have said.
Albarnawi said the confrontation against Shekau was ordered by the interim leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), who accused the ex-Boko Haram leader of killing “believers”.
Shekau is said to have taken over leadership of the terrorist group after the death of Mohammed Yusuf, Boko Haram founder, in 2009.
NewMailNG has not independently verified Shekau’s death as the Boko Haram leader has been pronounced dead on at least four occasions, usually by the military.
The Nigerian Army had also said it cannot confirm if Shekau is dead.
Mohammed Yerima, army spokesperson, said the death claim is still being investigated. “We cannot confirm that he is dead. We’re still investigating. When we confirm, we will let you know,” he said.