Boko Haram’s Controversial Leader Abubakar Shekau Resurfaces

Since 2002, Boko Haram (people committed to the propagation of the Prophet’s teachings and Jihad) have carried out continual attacks on the civilians in Nigeria are of great debate by national and international agencies. The world is on high alert with regard to how this deadly Islamic group of militants could be curbed. Many attempts have been made so far, such as killing the groups’ founder Mohammed Yusuf. In 2009, Mohammed Yusuf was killed in a security crackdown, along with about 700 of his followers. The death of Mohammed Yusuf allowed for Abubakar Shekau to take over leadership of this militant group.

Abubakar Shekau is referred to as the face of terror, as he is a ruthless leader with a twisted ideology and sadistic architect of a campaign that includes mayhem and misery. He operates in the shadows, thereby leaving his underlings to orchestrate his repulsive mandates. He studied under a cleric and then attended Borno State College of Legal and Islamic Studies for higher studies on Islam. That is why he is also known as ‘Darul Tawheed,’ which means to be an expert in monotheism “the oneness of Allah.” He used his knowledge and skills to start convincing residents in the northeastern part of Nigeria, which is active, economically depressed, and lowly educated that the powers in Abuja are corrupt and a better system of government would be a strict enforcement of Islamic Sharia law across Nigeria. His promise, coupled with weapons and a license to plunder enticed hundreds of young men.

In May 2013, Abubakar announced in a video that, Boko Haram would start kidnapping girls. The kidnappings, he said, were in retaliation for Nigerian security forces nabbing the wives and children of group members. This was done immediately with the abduction of 276 girls from a girl’s school in Chibok. Abubaker is determined and confident in whatever he does or says. For example, in that video, which was released after abducting the girls, he was very happy and said, “I abducted your girls,” with a chilling smile. He added, “There is a market for selling humans, Allah says I should sell, He commands me to sell.”

Boko Haram claimed to be doing the will of Allah in order to make Nigeria a completely Islamic nation, of which this could not be the case because of various religious groups that had already been in place for over hundreds of years. Boko Haram’s black ideology of killings, which are based on Sharia law, which says that all non-Muslims are the enemy, hence they must be killed or sold as slaves. As a result, the militants continued to expand their territory through various attacks without any problems. The expansion of Boko Haram throughout northern Nigeria has led to a proliferation of militant cells in the region. The ruthless killings by Abubakar Shekau’s faction have alienated some of these cells.

As a result, there are now several breakaway factions, in addition to Boko Haram operating in northern Nigeria. Although Boko Haram and the breakaway factions may differ on issues, such as the assassination of Muslim leaders and methods like kidnapping, none of the factions have renounced violence, concluded a cease-fire agreement with the government, or wavered on the issue of imposing Sharia law in Nigeria. Despite all these, Boko Haram still continues to exist and operate smoothly in Nigeria.