According to a report by the Nigerian Senate joint committee, the leader of the Boko Haram sect which has terrorised the northern part of Nigeria has been reported be from neighbouring Niger Republic. The man, identified as Abubakar Shekau, was initially thought to have been an indigene of Shekau village in Yobe state of Nigeria until the visit of the committee to the Borno state governor, Kashim Shettima who told them that Shekau hailed from Niger Republic.
The senate joint committeee stated this in its report investigating the violent attacks witnessed in Baga town, Borno state.
The report also noted that the Boko Haram sect was comprised of some Chadian and Cameroonian nationalities but was dominated as much as 80% by Kanuris from Niger Republic. The sect had terrorised the country from common armed robberies in Maiduguri to brazen terrorist methods of daring and brigandage holding the country to ransom with attacks on cities like Kano, Kaduna, and Abuja; all in the northern part of Nigeria Shekau who became leader of the group in 2009 after his predecessor, Mohammed Yusuf, died in 2009 in police custody regrouped the sect. It is noted that he has hardly made public or open appearances since then but he is known to have made recorded videos where he claims responsibility for attacks and mocks the efforts of the Nigerian government.
The Baga town incident, by the Senate report stated that “the death toll of 185 was exaggerated but there may be more than 37 deaths. This is possible as there is no documentary evidence from either the natives or the military to ascertain figure quoted.”