5 Times Boko Haram Leader Shekau Was 'Pronounced Dead'
Leader of the dreaded terrorist group Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau is definitely a cat with more than nine lives.
Every time he is announced to have been killed by the Nigerian Army, he magically appears in a new video debunking the claims.
The shadowy leader released his first video message in months amid a surge in violence casting doubt on the Nigerian government’s claim that the jihadist group is defeated.
Here are the five times Nigerian Army announced Shekau's 'death'.
1. 2009: The Nigerian security forces said they killed Shekau alongside the founder of Boko Haram, Yusuf, and 1,000 other members of the dreaded group, but Shekau appeared in a video claiming leadership of the group.
2. 2011: The army suggested it killed Shekau at a Kano neighbourhood during an exchange of fire with security agents but Shekau appeared in a video debunking news of his death.
3. August 18, 2013: The Nigerian Army said “intelligence report” showed that Shekau may have died between July 25 and August, 2013.
An Army spokesperson at the time, Sagir Musa, then a lieutenant colonel, said the intelligence report suggested Shekau was shot on June 30 when soldiers raided a Boko Haram base at Sambisa Forest. But in September 2013, a video was released purportedly showing Shekau, saying the world “should know that he could not die except by the will of Allah.”
4. September 24, 2014: The Nigerian military issued an official confirmation to reports that Shekau had been killed by security forces.
It said the Boko Haram leader was killed in the Battle of Konduga which took place between September 12 and 14.
The Cameroonian military corroborated the Nigerian army’s claim.
The Nigerian army said the real Shekau was killed by soldiers more than a year ago in confrontation, but that his character had been assumed by another leader of the deadly group.
5. August 23, 2016: On this day, the military turned around to claim that Shekau had been “fatally wounded” and that three key commanders of the sect had been killed.
Army spokesperson, Sani Usman, said the Boko Haram leader suffered injury during a major air strike while leading his group in performing the Friday prayers at a secret location called Tayye in the heart of the Sambisa forest.
Whether the 'real' Shekau is alive or being cloned is a mystery waiting to be unravelled.