A factional Boko Haram leader loyal to Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA), Mamman Nur, has been reportedly killed.
According to a report by Daily Trust, Nur was killed by his fighters who rebelled against him on August 21.
In 2014, he had rebelled against Abubakar Shekau, Boko Haram leader, leading a breakaway faction that was later known as Al-Baghdadi.
“Mamman Nur, who was killed on August 21, is the actual leader of the Boko Haram faction after they parted ways with Shekau,” a source was quoted as saying.
“He was meant to lead so that followers would remain committed to the cause championed by his late father but he (Nur) is the major link of the faction with the Islamic State; the chief strategist around Lake Chad, including their cells in Nigeria, Niger and Chad.”
The newspaper said Nur was killed by his close lieutenants following a prolonged disagreement with them.
He was said to be “not as rough as Shekau”.
“The commanders became disenchanted with Nur’s style of leadership; they saw him not as rough as Shekau,” another source reportedly said.
“They followed him in staging the revolt because the argument back in 2014 was that Shekau was a hardliner who killed almost everyone, both Muslims and Christians who disagreed with his brand of Islam.
“But according to some of the fighters, after establishing his base in Lake Chad, Mamman Nur too ‘deviated from the real course’ and compromised on so many occasions.”
The last straw in the strained relationship was said to be the release of the Dapchi schoolgirls.
The faction had kidnapped over 100 students from Government Girls Secondary School, Dapchi, and released all but one of them about a month later.
“The negotiation of the release of the girls did not go down well with some close associates of Mamman Nur who released the girls unconditionally, following a directive by Al-Baghdadi,” the paper quoted the source as saying.
“Nothing was paid before the girls were released and besides, Mamman Nur’s soft approach and close contact with governments and different levels angered his foot soldiers who rebelled against him and thereafter executed him.”
The group is now said to be under the leadership of a “former commander of the fighters who were directly under the control of Nur”.
The Department of State Service (DSS) in 2011 placed a N25 million bounty on Nur who was accused of masterminding the bombing of the UN building in Abuja.
In 2017, it was reported that his faction was among those willing to hold talks with the military to help facilitate the arrest of Shekau.