The Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP) has confirmed that Abubakar Shekau, former Boko Haram leader, blew himself up after refusing to surrender to the authority of the factional group.
HumanAngle reports that the confirmation of Shekau’s death this was contained in an internal message from ISWAP leader, Abu Musab Albarnawi, which it obtained on Friday.
The publication said in his address, which was delivered in Hausa, Albarnawi described Shekau as “the leader of disobedience and corruption”, and said his fighters rejoiced over his death.
He said the former terrorist leader, who took over after the death of Boko Haram founder, Mohammed Yusuf, in 2009, was apprehended “in the most humiliating manner.”
“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],” he said.
ISWAP, which broke away from Shekau’s Boko Haram faction in 2016, disagreed with the late extremist leader over his excessive use of force, especially on Muslims in areas under his influence.
According to Albarnawi, the interim leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) ordered them to take action on Shekau for deviating and killing “believers.”
It was said that hundreds of ISWAP fighters travelled through the Sahara and invaded Sambisa Forest, which has been Shekau’s stronghold for many years on May 19.
The ISWAP fighters engaged Shekau’s fighters in a gun battle.
He initially escaped and roamed the bushes of Sambisa for five days, where he suffered seriously.
However, ISWAP fighters were able to locate him.
Albarnawi narrated that Shekau managed to run away a second time but was tracked down.
The rival fighters were said to have urged him and his followers to repent, assuring him that if the ISIS leader decided to make him their leader after he had surrendered, they would have no choice but to obey.
“Shekau preferred to be humiliated in the afterlife than getting humiliated on earth.”
He then reportedly killed himself instantly by detonating an explosive as speculated in the media days after the news of the incident broke.
Abu Musab urged ISWAP fighters in Lake Chad not to sit idly and watch a sub-faction of Boko Haram still loyal to Shekau.
He directed them to invade their homes, kill and abduct their wives and children, and turn them into slaves.
He urged the rival terror group to choose dialogue against fighting, saying their end will soon come if they choose war and terrorism.
“Haven’t you seen what happened to your leader who has more strength, more experience than you, yet he was defeated?”
The ISWAP leader’s internal message indicates that all is not yet clear in the path of ISWAP to completely dominate the region, as hundreds of loyal fighters to Shekau in the Lake Chad basin, led by one Bakoura, has not conceded to the ISIS affiliate.
Bakoura and his fighters were said to have launched resistance against ISWAP around the Republic of Niger Republic axis of the basin, killing some of them and abducting their family members.