24 January 2012
Ibrahim Shekau, leader of
’s Boko Haram sect appears to model his activities after the late Osama bin Laden, leader of Al Qaeda, the international terrorist organisation Nigeria
Ibrahim Shekau is a paradox. He was not just a student of Mohammed Yusuf, the late founder of the Boko Haram movement, killed in 2009; he was also one of the devout to his teachings. He believed in the utopian Islamic evangelism of Yusuf, who preached against the evils of the modern secular states of the world.
But unlike his late mentor, who believed an Islamic state was realisable through preaching and mobilisation of the people to reject secularism, Shekau believed the more realistic way was to take up arms, fight and conquer the “unbelievers.” While Yususf was said to be calm and even meek, Shekau is hotheaded and has a warrior’s heart. He was prepared to die for the cause and also willing to kill for it. He is also said to be quick-tempered. For his loyalty and bravery, he became the deputy leader of the group.