Mother of most wanted Nigerian criminal, Abubakar Shekau, opens up

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau

A woman who claims to be the mother of Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, has for the first time opened up about her son who has led the militant group that has killed and displaced thousands of people in the country’s northeast.

Falmata Abubakar met with VOA reporters in a village called Shekau in the Nigerian state of Yobe where she claims the ruthless Boko Haram leader was born and raised.

“I don’t know if he’s alive or dead. I don’t know. It’s only God who knows. For 15 years, I haven’t seen him,” she said.
The mother also condemned the acts of her son whom she believes was brainwashed by the founder of Boko Haram, Mohammed Yusuf, who was killed by Nigerian forces in 2009.

“Since Shekau met with Mohammed Yusuf, I didn’t see him again. Yes, he’s my son and every mother loves her son, but we have different characters. He brought a lot of problems to many people,” she was quoted by the VOA.

“Where can I meet him to tell him that these things he is doing is very bad? He brought many problems to many people, but I am praying for God to show him the good way,” she added.

Abubakar Shekau took over the leadership of Boko Haram after the death of Yusuf and has since spread hate for the government and anyone who supported the government for backing Western education.

They have perpetrated a series of kidnappings of school children as well as attacking communities, churches, government officials, and buildings.

This article by Ismail Akwei was first published on

Published by Ismail Akwei

Ismail Akwei is an international journalist, digital media and communications professional, editor, writer, arts, culture and tourism advocate, human rights activist, pan-Africanist, tech enthusiast and history buff. He has worked with multinational media companies across Africa and has over a decade’s experience in journalism.

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