A Profile of Abubakar Shekau

This is the most detailed profile of the mysterious Shekau that I have seen. Key points:


  • Shekau was born in a remote village in Yobe State near Nigeria’s border with Niger

  • When he was a young boy he was taken by his father for Quranic studies by a Mallam. The Mallam’s son Baba Fanani described Shekau as “the most troublesome of all of his students” and that “He was arguing with the mallam all the time”.

  • After 11 years of study, the Mallam (Baba Fanani’s father told) Shekau to leave after Shekau’s aggressive disposition troubled the Mallam.

  • Shekau’s parents never visited him throughout his 11 years with the Mallam.

  • Shekau then became an itinerant street preacher. He preached hostile rhetoric against the government, telling his followers that the government was not doing anything for them.
  • He supported himself by selling perfume bottles in the market.
  • Stories of his aggression and anger are legion. One of his followers described him as “very harsh as a teacher” and recalled that “Nobody wanted to argue with him.” A nurse who treated his followers said Shekau was cold, unsmiling, and feared by his own followers: “I’ve seen him shouting and insulting his followers. He will shout at the top of his voice and insult people.”

One response

  1. Reblogged this on Satu Vox and commented:
    great article

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