Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Abubakar Shekau’s exit and the war on terror

After five previous announcements in which the leader of the murderous Islamist terrorist group, Boko Haram was pronounced dead, Nigerians and the international community had good reason to celebrate, understandably, the milestone reached in the war against terror, with the ignominious death of Abubakar Shekau; who died of injuries he sustained in a cross fire with rival breakaway Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists, at the Sambisa forest; 55 km southeast of the Borno state capital, Maiduguri. ISWAP, in a statement, appointed Abu-Musad Albarnawy to replace Shekau. The statement read: “Albarnawy immediately takes over all territories that were under Shekau. The immediate replacement of Shekau was a major revenge against Shekau who exhibited highhandedness and ruthlessness against humanity in the Northeast.” Whatever the case, this certainly is no comforting news, because supplanting Boko Haram with a more effective terror outfit creates a strategic opening for ISWAP to threaten Nigeria and the entire region. However, the death of Shekau should be the beginning of an intensified assault on terrorism, if the war must be won completely and Nigeria would be totally safe of terrorists.

Shekau’s death certainly may not mark the end of Boko Haram’s deadly assault on Nigeria as his supporters have already threatened reprisal actions. There is therefore an urgent need for increased vigilance by security forces and the regional anti-terrorism coalition. Deservedly, Shekau suffered an inglorious end for the atrocities of Boko Haram, once the world’s deadliest terrorist group that has killed over 30,000 people in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. Save for his diehard followers and colleagues, the general consensus is that Shekau died without a vestige of sympathy. Besides his replacement, ISWAP also arrested 30 top commanders that were loyal to Shekau who killed himself with a suicide vest bomb, during the bloody clash. The arrested commanders included the Commander of Parisu, Abdul Bash, Abu Mujaheed of Sabil Huda; Mala Ali of Farisu; Commander of Garin Dambe, Amir Hassana; Mallam Bako of the Hizba; the Commander of Njimiya Falluja, Amir Halid and two other commanders of Gwashke and Garin Abu Asmau, Abu Fatima and Kaka Bk, among others. Read More…


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