Who Is Who In Boko Haram

The Late Leader

Abubakar Shekau

He is the leader of  Boko Haram.

He is said to be a fearless loner, a complex, paradoxical man – part intellectual, part gangster.

Fondly called imam or leader by his followers, Abubakar Muhammad Shekau was born in Shekau village in Yobe State.

Some say he is 34 or 35, others that he may be 43 – the uncertainty adds to the myths surrounding Nigeria’s most wanted man.

Shekau was once thought to have been killed by security forces in 2009 – only  for him to reappear in videos posted on the internet less than a year  later as Boko Haram’s new leader. He has not been seen in public since.  Instead, still images and video clips of him are released from time to  time, mostly online, by the group’s faceless “public enlightenment  department”.

He is said to have met his predecessor in Maiduguri, capital of Borno  State through a mutual friend, Mamman Nur, who is said to have  masterminded the August 2011 bombing of the UN office complex in Abuja.

Under  Shekau, Boko Haram has become more radical and carried out more  killings. He is fluent in his native Kanuri, Hausa and Arabic languages – he does not speak English.

He is said to have married one of Mohammed Yusuf’s  four wives and adopted their children.

Shekau does not communicate directly with the group’s foot soldiers – he is  said to wield his power through a few select cell leaders, but even  then, contact is minimal.

He is nicknamed “Darul Tawheed”, which translates as a specialist in  Tawheed. This is an orthodox doctrine of the uniqueness and oneness of  Allah, which is the very cornerstone of Islam.

Kabiru Sokoto was arrested in February by the State Security Service (SSS). He was earlier arrested by the police, and ‘allowed’ to escape. His escape led to the dismissal of Deputy Commissioner of Police Zakari Biu. He  was declared wanted, with a N5million ransom on his head before the SSS  re-arrested him at Mutum in Gassol Local Government Area of Taraba   State. He has been with the SSS. He is believed to be giving vital  information which has been helping understand how the Boko Haram sect  works.

His real name is Kabiru Abubakar Dikko. The 29-year-old was born to the  family of Umaru Jabbi of Gagi village in Sokoto South Local Government  Area on May 9, 1983.

After the death of his father, his uncle, Abubakar Dikko, adopted him and  gave him his name. He completed his secondary education in 2003 and was  admitted to the College of Nursing and Midwifery, Sokoto, where he was  said to have been  a truant with extremist tendencies.

Abu Qaqa

The SSS is also holding a man it said was the spokesman of the sect, Abu  Qaqa. But Boko Haram has insisted that the man in the SSS custody is Abu Darda, its head of public enlightenment. He was arrested in February  and has been with the agency since then.

The sect said: “The person that was arrested was Abu Darda and not  Abu-Qaqa. I am Abul Qaqa, the spokesman for the Jama’atu Ahlis Sunnati  Lidda’awati Wal Jihad.  Abu Darda is the head of the Lagina (Dept) of  public enlightenment and not the spokesman.

“The arrest of Abu Darda is an outright deception and betrayal by the  Nigerian government and security agents. They proclaimed dialogue and  are doing the opposite. His arrest has proved to us that they were  waiting for us to avail ourselves so that they can arrest us.

“We purposely sent Abu Darda to Kaduna to discuss with some key government  functionaries on the issue of dialogue. Indeed, he had started talking  to them but unknown to him, they (had) directed some security agents to  trail him and arrest him.

“This is exactly what happened. He volunteered to present himself for the  dialogue but was betrayed. Everybody knows our capability and tactics of operation. It is evidently clear that none of our members could be  caught on a platter of gold and without confrontation.”

In May, his father was reported killed by the sect in Maiduguri because of his alleged revelations on the group to the SSS.

Suleiman Mohammed

He was arrested in May along with his wife and five children in the Farawa, Kano.

His arrest came hours after blasts and gunfire rocked Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

Mohammed has been described as Boko Haram’s head of operations in Kano under the group’s suspected leader, Abubakar Shekau.

Three pistols, a rifle, 1,000 rounds of ammunition and 10 Improvised Explosive Devices (IDEs) were recovered from his house.

Ayuba Usman

He was arrested in May at his shop in a market in Kano following  information from suspected Boko Haram members arrested in raids.

High profile suspects allegedly said Usman was providing combustible  chemicals used in the manufacture of IEDs (improvised explosive devices) for attacks on innocent people in the city.

Thirty-five  drums of chemicals of 240 litres each and a dozen bags of combustible  items were recovered during the raid on his shop in one of the markets  in Dala Local Government Area of the state.

Ibrahim Mohammed Ali

A prime suspect in the coordinated attacks on Christian worshippers at  the old campus of Bayero University, Kano in which 20 persons, including 2 professor, were killed. He was arrested in May.

Ali, a diploma holder from Ramat Polytechnic, Maiduguri, Borno State, was  nabbed by security operatives who had been on his trail.

The JTF arrested him after surrounding a house located at Bubugaje, Sharada Phase III Industrial Layout in Kumbotso Local Government Area, where he was hiding.


There was a three-hour shoot-out between the JTF and suspected members of the sect before he was arrested.

Source: The Nation



  1. Jonathan has lost sense of direction, he has been disillusioned.Da removal of Azazi and his replacement with Dasuki has finally crowned his failure in da fight against boko haram. We now have to look up to militant groups dat will engage boko haram in a tit-for- tat battle-da country looms towards anarchy.

    • Just to reply one called J. Pam. you should pls understand that Nigeria is not Barikin Ladi or Riyom or any partof Jos south. This is Nigeria. What do you mean by looking up to militant groups that can engage boko haram? Boko Haram is a menance that has bedevilled our country and Jonathan must be assisted in everyway possible to wrestle them tothe ground. That is how your Berom kinsmen deceived Jonah Jang into causing alot of hardship to his people. We know people like you will never want to see any moslem northerner occupying anywhere in this country. Pls allow Jonathan to handle this country as best as he can as a secular state


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