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Abubakar Shekau

Boko Haram Leader, Abubakar Shekau Is Critically Ill

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Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the terror group Boko Haram, is said to be weakened by ill health, prompting questions about his ability to lead the militants, the AFP reported on Friday.

The sources said Shekau has a range of conditions that have left him “too weak to be in charge” of the jihadists, whose insurgency has killed at least 20,000 in Nigeria since 2009.

Abubakar Shekau

“He has high blood pressure and failing sight from diabetes-related complications,” said one source with close knowledge of the group’s activities.

A senior security source tracking the conflict, who also asked not to be identified because he was not authorised to speak to the media, described Shekau’s diabetes as “debilitating”.

A senior security source tracking the conflict, who also asked not to be identified because he was not authorised to speak to the media, described Shekau’s diabetes as “debilitating”.

“He suffers from diminished eyesight from cataracts or glaucoma as a result of diabetes,” he added.The source with knowledge of Boko Haram’s activities said Shekau and his lieutenants have been in talks this week about his “failing health” and whether he was well enough to lead.

The Nigerian authorities have claimed Shekau has died or been killed on at least three occasions, and that he has been replaced by a series of lookalikes. Shekau’s last appearance on camera was in a 14-minute video released on February 6 in which he claimed responsibility for attacks in Borno state capital, Maiduguri, and other towns.

Both sources said between February and April last year, Shekau was bed-ridden in Bulayaga, a village in the Konduga area of Borno, near his group’s Sambisa Forest stronghold.

“No-one thought he would survive because he was terribly sick from diabetes and malaria,” said the security source.

Shekau resurfaced in a video published on May 4, 2017, rejecting claims he had been injured in a Nigerian air strike the previous day at the nearby village of Balla.“I’m alive, I’m alive, I’m alive,” he said.

 

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