Nigeria’s minister of information, Lai Mohammed, says the name Shekau may be a fake name. Abubakar Shekau is the leader of the Nigerian-based jihadist organization known as Boko Haram. The jihadists have in the past established (short-lived) caliphates and Muslim empires in northeast Nigeria and embarrassed the Nigerian military severally on a number of occasions. Each time the army pronounced Shekau dead he resurfaced in another audio and/or video spewing hate and defiant messages to the Nigerian president and his military.
During an interview with The Nation, Lai Mohammed was asked to comment on the Boko Haram political and militant leader, Shekau, and the information minister said:
“You know my understanding of Shekau? Shekau may not be a real name. If you kill one Shekau today, there are hundreds that come to that place. For me, Shekau as a person is a symbol of insurgency. Now, whether he is dead or not, I think it is a mute point. What is important, are we wining insurgency or not? The answer is yes”
– Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information