Abubakar Shekau Still In Charge? Boko Haram Divides Over Leadership

ISIS has named Abu Musab al-Barnawi as the new leader of the Nigerian terrorist sect, Boko Haram.

Report says that Abubakar Shekau has denounced the announcement and maintains that he is still in charge.

Abu Musab al-Barnawi is identified  as the long time spokesperson for the dangerous Islamist sect. According to Shekau, Abu Musab al-Barnawi is only trying to overthrow him.

It is ironical that while the sect’s objective is to set up an Islamist State in the north by way of overthrowing the government, Shekau frowns and accuses his co-militant of attempting to do the same to him.

See Also: Nigerian Army Frees 5000 Boko Haram Hostages

In a 10 minute audio message released by Abubakar Shekau on Wednesday, he stamped his authority as the leader of the terrorist group. He maintains that he is still in charge.

Shekau took up the mantle of leadership from Muhammad Yusuf who died in 2009 while in the custody of Nigerian police.

The audio message suggested that there is a division in the group. More than the previous breaking of the group into fractions, it is speculated that this could be more serious than it was before.

Abubakar Shekau also denied accusations of reckless killing and the hoarding of food and ammunition.

It appears that Shekau who has not been heard from in over a year is in opposition with the Islamic State. However he still pledges his allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi “caliph”.


“They deceived me.”

“And now I find myself being forced to follow another character who practices disbelief.”

“I was asked to send my ideology in writing to the caliph but it was manipulated by some people in order to achieve their own selfish interests.”

Boko Haram is the West African affiliate of ISIS. The terrorist group has been responsible for thousands of deaths and millions of displacements in Nigeria and beyond.

For 7 years the group has destroyed many lives and properties. In 2015, they were recognized by the Institute of Economics and Peace as the deadliest terrorist group in the world.

See Also: Hungry Boko Haram Members Surrender To Nigerian Army

It was once rumored that Shekau was captured and killed by the Nigerian Army. The sect rejected the claims. The newly released audio message  confirms that Nigeria’s most wanted man is still alive.

Shekau according to report was injured but was able to escape the Nigerian security force by the help of his co-militants.

At present the Nigerian security agencies have battled and defeated the group to a near zero. The current development over Boko Haram leadership could actually be to the advantage of Nigeria and West Africa as a whole.