Citizens of Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, know Abubakar Shekau too well: he is the most violent killer their country has ever seen. Shekau took over the terrorist organization Boko Haram in 2009 after the group had been weakened by Nigerian government forces.
Shekau, who is believed to be in his 30s, began to stage increasingly daring kidnapping and killing raids on schools, churches and mosques thought by Boko Haram to be violating their interpretation of Islam. The taking of over 200 schoolgirls in April 2014 brought Boko Haram into the international spotlight.
By most accounts, Boko Haram has killed more than 10,000 people and is spreading into neighboring countries. Shekau’s latest action may finally summon a U.S. response: he has publicly aligned his group with ISIS, the terrorist group that holds territory in Syria and Iraq and has expanded its reach into Yemen and Libya.
TIME characterized the All Progressives Congress politician as “the first candidate to oust a sitting Nigerian President through the ballot box”.
The report made public on April 16, Thursday, adds that now the president-elect will have to “live up to voters’ expectations. From battling the Boko Haram insurgency to tackling endemic corruption, Buhari has many challenges ahead”.
It also contains that one of the major challenges the president-elect might face, is associated with his military past in the office.
#BringBackOurGirls chief campaigner Oby Ezekwesili, whose name has also been put on the website, is praised over her having raised the awareness about the abducted Chibok girls. But for the former minister’s intervention, it would have taken a long time to draw the attention to the issues, TIME concludes.
TIME reminds that she “writes of the complex aftermath of Nigeria’s colonial history and her nation’s rise to prominence in an era when immigration to the West no longer means a one-way ticket.”