5 Reasons Why Shekau’s Death Doesn't Really Matter

The Nigerian military recently confirmed that the leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau was killed during a military operation in Borno state.

The leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau has been confirmed dead by the Nigerian military after he was reportedly killed in Konduga, Borno state.

However, the news of his supposed death has been met with skepticism from some quarters especially since this is the second time that reports of his demise have arisen.

It is the hope of many that Shekau’s death would mean the end of Boko haram but here are 5 reasons why that might not necessarily be so:

"Shekau" is now a brand name

After Abubakar Shekau's alleged death last year, it is believed that another man took his place and assumed the same name. According to Reuters, Nigerian Defence Spokesperson, Major-General Chris Olukolade said:

"The name Shekau has become a brand name for the terrorists' leader,"

The first “Shekau” was subdued and had a slimmer face than the second one who was outspoken and laughed like a maniac.

Boko Haram is bigger than one man

According to Ben Payton, senior Africa analyst at UK-based risk consultancy Maplecroft:

"Even if Shekau has been killed ... Boko Haram is much bigger than one individual. It has multiple units that operate with a fair degree of autonomy,"

This position is emphasized by the fact that the death of the first “Shekau” didn’t stop the sect.

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Boko Haram members possess sophisticated weapons and indications show that the sect is heavily funded after being declared the 7th richest terrorist group in the world.

As long as the money doesn’t stop flowing, the death of Abubakar Shekau is not likely to stop the activities of the sect.

Different factions

There have been widespread beliefs that Boko Haram has split into different factions. If this is the case, then the death of one factional leader will not slow down the others.

According to one report, many experts think that the terrorist group is split off into as many as six separate factions.

The violence hasn’t stopped

Despite the news that Shekau has been killed, the violence being unleashed by Boko Haram in the north hasn’t stopped.

Residents of the troubled areas and military personnel alike have expressed fears that the last hasn’t been heard of Boko Haram.

A retired military officer told the Sun Newspaper:

It is not yet Uhuru,” “We may be jubilating now that the Boko Haram crisis is going but from their antecedents, they may prove to be deadlier in the next phase of their terror campaigns except our military and all Nigerians unite to fight this battle to the end,”

Rev. Father Gideon Osagie of the Directorate of Social Communication of the Catholic Church, Maiduguri Diocese, also said:

“I’m not a pessimist but I can say from past activities of Boko Haram, that there is yet no light in the dark tunnel. I suspect there may even be more Shekaus among the Boko Haram commanders.

The cleric also added that the last time it was alleged that Shekau had been killed, the sect responded with deadlier attacks.


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