Boko Haram has developed to become, not only a household name in Nigeria but also a nightmare for Nigerians, especially those living in the Northern part of the country. What started in 2002 as a movement of a few aggrieved youths led by an unassuming Yusuf Mohammed (or so the Nigerian government thought) has today metamorphosed into a terror group, recognized by the UN as such and with links to international terrorist organizations such as the Al-Qaeda, and more recently, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
They have been responsible for a great deal of bloodshed, kidnappings, bombings and deaths in the country since their violence began in 2009. About 15,000 deaths have been recorded through their activities.
Below are photos of its leaders who have been publicly known one way or the other:
Mohammed Yusuf, also known as Ustaz Mohammed Yusuf, was a Muslim sect leader. He was born in Girgir village, Yobe State. Yusuf was killed by Nigerian security forces after he tried to escape from the police station. He was then summarily executed in public view outside a police station.
Kabiru Sokoto was born to the family of Umaru Jabbi of Gagi village in Sokoto South Local Government Area on May 9, 1983 and is alleged mastermind of the Christmas Day bombing of St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Madalla, Niger State that killed about 44 persons and wounded 75 others. He has been sentenced to life imprisonment by an Abuja Federal High Court.
Abubakar Shekau is the leader of the Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram. He served as deputy leader to the group’s founder, Mohammed Yusuf, until Yusuf was killed in 2009. Nigerian authorities believed that Shekau was killed in 2009 during clashes between security forces and Boko Haram until July 2010, when Shekau appeared in a video claiming leadership of the group. He has subsequently been reported dead with regularity, and is thought to use body doubles. He is the Most wanted man in Nigeria.
Babuji Ya’ari is a businessman who heads terrorists’ intelligence cell and participated actively in the abduction of School Girls in Chibok. The man, Babuji Ya’ari, who is also a member of the Youth Vigilante Group popularly known as Civilian JTF which he uses as cover while remaining an active terrorist, also spearheaded the murder of the Emir of Gwoza. His main role in the group is to spy and gather information for the terrorist group.
Ali Sanda Umar Konduga
Ali Sanda Umar Konduga was sentenced to three years imprisonment following his offer to assist the Federal Government in bringing to an end violence perpetrated by Boko Haram.
He was apprehended by the Chad military for being a member of the Boko Haram sect. The Butcher is his nickname, his actual name was not disclosed.