Though the fight against terrorism is far from over in Nigeria, some positive developments have been witnessed in the current year.
So far in 2021, at least 12 terrorists/bandits leaders have lost their lives even as the security forces continue to intensify the war against the criminal elements tormenting the nation.
Here is the list of terrorist leaders that so far died in the year 2021. The piece is based on a statement from the Nigerian military and reports from various news media.
1. Abubakar Shekau
After several years of declaring him dead while he surfaced later, it was reported that Abubakar Shekau, leader of the Boko Haram group, was finally killed in May.
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According to The Cable, a police intelligence report quoted top commanders of the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), a breakaway faction of Boko Haram, as saying Shekau killed himself with a bomb “when he observed that the ISWAP fighters wanted to capture him alive”.
2. Abu Mus’ab Albarnawi
On Thursday, October 14, the Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, General Lucky Irabor, confirmed the killing of the leader of ISWAP, Abu Musab Al-Barnawi.
Al-Barnawi was the son of Boko Haram founder, Mohammed Yusuf who was also killed in 2009 by the police in the formative days of the sect.
3. Yaya Ebraheem
PR Nigeria reported that Yaya Ebraheem was one of the ISWAP commanders who attempted to attack a military convoy on Wednesday, October 13, at Ngamdu axis in Borno. He was, however, reportedly eliminated by the soldiers.
4. Baba Chattimari
Baba Chattimari, also an ISWAP commander, was reportedly killed alongside Ebraheem.
5. Abu Adam Oubaida
Abu Adam Oubaida was the third ISWAP commander reportedly eliminated by the soldiers at the Ngamdu axis.
6. Auwalun Daudawa
Auwalun Daudawa was a notorious bandit leader who led the abduction of over 300 students of Government Science Secondary School Kankara, Katsina state, in December 2020.
Daudawa in February 2021 laid down his arms and accepted Zamfara governor Bello Matawalle’s peace initiative.
However, a few days after accepting the peace offer, Daudawa returned to the forest to continue his criminal acts.
The commissioner for security and home affairs in Zamfara state, Abubakar Dauran said Daudawa had reportedly told some people that he was going to attend one of his relatives’ wedding.
However, he rustled over 100 cows and killed the herdsman in charge, the Commissioner said. In retaliation, some people around the area organised and killed him too, Channels TV reported.
Another account by Daily Trust said Daudawa was shot dead during a gun duel with a rival gang at Dumburum forest, located between Zurmi local government in Zamfara state and Batsari local government in Katsina state.
7. Jauro Daji
Jauro Daji was another notorious bandits leader who was terrorising the people of the Niger state.
Police operatives, with the support of local vigilantes, killed Daji and several other bandits loyal to him in the Kontagora axis of the state on Monday, August 30.
8. Habu Nabayye
9. Isuhu Sadi
10. Murtala Danmaje
The trio of Nabayye, Sadi and Danmaje were also bandits’ leaders in Zamfara state. According to PR Nigeria, they were killed by the airstrikes of the Nigerian Air Force in Kuyanbana Forest.
11. Alhaji Karki Buzu
12. Yalo Nagoshi
PR Nigeria reported that Buzu and Nagoshi were killed in October in Niger state. They were said to be among 32 bandits fleeing from Zamfara state before they were engaged by the Nigerian joint security forces.
Nigerian Army partners Russia on anti-terrorism fight
Meanwhile, amid the battle against insurgency across the north, the Nigerian Army is collaborating with the Russian government for the acquisition of military equipment.
This was revealed on Friday, October 15, by Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lieutenant General Yahaya Faruk on Thursday, October 14, at the Army's Abuja headquarters during a courtesy visit of the Russian Ambassador to Nigeria, Alexey Shebarshin.
In a Facebook post shared by the spokesman of the Nigerian Army, Brigadier-General Onyema Nwachukwu, COAS Faruk solicited the support of the foreign government in the provision of sophisticated equipment to assist the fight against all forms of terrorism in the country.