Boko Haram leadership have confirmed the death of its longserving leader, Abubakar Shekau.
Local media portals in Nigeria cited a video in which the Shekau faction spoke about the demise of the former leader.
The announcement made in Arabic was by one Bakura Sahalaba who was flanked by a dozen fighters most of them masked and wielding guns.
The speaker prayed for God’s mercy on Shekau and urged fellow fighters not be demoralised by what happened.
This is the second confirmation of Shekau’s demise after the rival group, Islamic State in the West Africa Province, ISWAP, announced weeks back that Shekau had resorted to suicide after he was surrounded by their fighters in his hideout in the Sambisa Forest located in northeastern Borno State.
Bulama Bukarti, an analyst who extensively covers the Boko Haram crisis wrote on Twitter: “He (speaker) condemned Abu Mus’ab al-Barnawi (ISWAP leader), comparing him and his father with Noah and his disbelieving son and comparing Shekau and al-Barnawi with Mosses & the Pharaoh respectively. Interestingly however, he expressed support for ISIS, which according to ISWAP ordered Shekau’s killing.”
It remains to be known who takes over from Shekau whiles the Nigeria army has yet to comment on the issue since Shekau’s death was reported last month.