Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, has reportedly killed himself after a violent clash with the Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP) fighters who overran Sambisa Forest in Borno State.
Military sources confirmed to SaharaReporters that Shekau blew up himself with an explosive when it was clear that the ISWAP fighters wanted him to relinquish power to them, after all his commanders were captured and killed in the forest.
The terror leader has been on top Twitter trends since Thursday morning as mixed reactions trailed the news of his death.
Shekau had surrendered and engaged in an hours-long meeting with the ISWAP fighters, where he was asked to voluntarily relinquish power. He refused and instead opted to blow himself up.https://t.co/qBAbKLZ3nz
— HumAngle_ (@HumAngle_) May 20, 2021
It was learnt that the incident took place on Wednesday evening following the invasion of the terror group’s stronghold in the Sambisa forest area by ISWAP fighters.
ISWAP, which had broken away from the Shekau-led Boko Haram faction in 2016 after pledging allegiance to the Islamic State, reportedly raided the group’s hideout using no fewer than 50 gun trucks.
According to HumAngle, 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.
Shekau had been the leader of Boko Haram since 2009 following the death of the group’s founder, Mohammed Yusuf.
He had been rumoured to have been killed by the Nigerian military at least four times between July 2009 and August 2015.
See some reactions we compiled below…
The Boko Haram leader Shekau lived by the Sword…
— Senator Shehu Sani (@ShehuSani) May 20, 2021
The joy of seeing Shekau go down has been splotched by the reminder that his death happened via ISWAP.
The terrorists are still with us, sadly. We probably have been tossed from frying pan to fire.
— 'Fisayo Soyombo (@fisayosoyombo) May 20, 2021
Shekau has died several times and so it’s hard to believe this latest report of his death without credible proof.
— Gimba Kakanda (@gimbakakanda) May 20, 2021
Army officers to Shekau later in the evening. pic.twitter.com/CP2udVJvfT
— Premier (@SodiqTade) May 20, 2021