|The Late Yusuf|
He is the leader of Boko Haram.
He is said to be a fearless loner, a complex, paradoxical man - part intellectual, part gangster.
Fondly called imam or leader by his followers, Abubakar Muhammad Shekau was born in Shekau village in Yobe State.
Some say he is 34 or 35, others that he may be 43 - the uncertainty adds to the myths surrounding Nigeria’s most wanted man.
Shekau was once thought to have been killed by security forces in 2009 - only for him to reappear in videos posted on the internet less than a year later as Boko Haram’s new leader. He has not been seen in public since. Instead, still images and video clips of him are released from time to time, mostly online, by the group’s faceless “public enlightenment department”.
He is said to have met his predecessor in Maiduguri, capital of Borno State through a mutual friend, Mamman Nur, who is said to have masterminded the August 2011 bombing of the UN office complex in Abuja.
Under Shekau, Boko Haram has become more radical and carried out more killings. He is fluent in his native Kanuri, Hausa and Arabic languages - he does not speak English.
He is said to have married one of Mohammed Yusuf’s four wives and adopted their children.
Shekau does not communicate directly with the group’s foot soldiers - he is said to wield his power through a few select cell leaders, but even then, contact is minimal.
He is nicknamed “Darul Tawheed”, which translates as a specialist in Tawheed. This is an orthodox doctrine of the uniqueness and oneness of Allah, which is the very cornerstone of Islam.
Kabiru Sokoto was arrested in February by the State Security Service (SSS). He was earlier arrested by the police, and ‘allowed’ to escape. His escape led to the dismissal of Deputy Commissioner of Police Zakari Biu. He was declared wanted, with a N5million ransom on his head before the SSS re-arrested him at Mutum in Gassol Local Government Area of Taraba State. He has been with the SSS. He is believed to be giving vital information which has been helping understand how the Boko Haram sect works.
His real name is Kabiru Abubakar Dikko. The 29-year-old was born to the family of Umaru Jabbi of Gagi village in Sokoto South Local Government Area on May 9, 1983.
After the death of his father, his uncle, Abubakar Dikko, adopted him and gave him his name. He completed his secondary education in 2003 and was admitted to the College of Nursing and Midwifery, Sokoto, where he was said to have been a truant with extremist tendencies.