Falmata Abubakar, the mother of the late vicious Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, has said she regretted giving birth to him because he was a tragedy to humanity.
Shekau died in May 2021 after waging a deadly war against the Nigerian state that led to the death of over 100,000 people; displacement of over three million people and destruction of towns, villages, schools, hospitals and other social amenities valued at over $9 billion, according to data released international organisations.
Shekau’s reign of terror did not spare his kinsmen in Borno and Yobe States except his village. He inflicted pain and agony on people in the North East, North West, and North Central parts of Nigeria.
Interview with Trust TV in her village of Shekau, Yobe State, Abubakar voiced out her reservations about her son.
According to Abubakar, since the time he left his ancestral village when he was young, Shekau visited only once during which he said he was there to revert the people to Islam even though they were all born and raised as Muslims for decades.
The village, located 50 kilometres from Babban Gida, Tarmuwa Local Government Area of Yobe State, is dominated by Kanuri, Fulani and Manga ethnic people who embraced modernity, including sending their children to formal schools which Shekau detested.
I gave birth to him and that is the only and last thing between us. Whether he is alive or not; we have parted ways. I never knew whether he had any offspring. He inflicted severe pain on me. God Almighty will judge between us in the hereafter,” Abubakar said.
The district head of Shekau, Malam Lawan Gana, described the late Boko Haram leader as ‘stubborn,” while his uncle, Zannah Sule, described him as a “disaster to us.”
Born in the 70s, Shekau took over from the founder of the group, Mohammed Yusuf in 2009 and was denounced by Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP). Before he was dethroned, Shekau had in March 2015 sworn allegiance to Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
His dislodgement in 2016 heralded the rise of the relatively young Abu Mus’ab Al-Barnawi (son of Yusuf) as ISWAP leader and at the same time the split of the terrorist group into two factions until when ISWAP fighters engaged Shekau in a fierce battle that led him to kill himself at one of his enclaves in Sambisa forest.
The US State Department’s Rewards for Justice Programme had placed a bounty of $7 million for information that would lead to Shekau’s capture.
The full interview will be aired while repeat broadcast will take place by 10pm on Star Times Channel 164.