The United States Department of State has announced a $7 million reward to anyone that can provide credible information that will lead to the arrest of Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau.
The Rewards for Justice Program, which is the counterterrorism rewards program of the US Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service, said this in a tweet on its official Twitter handle on Tuesday.
The tweet reads:
The United States Department of State offers a #reward of up to $7 million for information leading to the arrest of #terrorist Abubakar #Shekau , leader of #Boko_Haram . #Whatsapp : +1 202 975 9195 #Telegram : @RFJ_Francais_bot
Le Département d’État des États-Unis offre une #récompense pouvant aller jusqu’à 7 millions de dollars pour des renseignements menant à l’arrestation du #terroriste Abubakar #Shekau, chef de #Boko_Haram.#Whatsapp: +1 202 975 9195#Telegram: @RFJ_Francais_bot pic.twitter.com/WPj00PPMsr— Récompenses pour la Justice (@RFJ_Francais) March 3, 2020
Abubakar Shekau is the leader of Jama’atu Ahl as-Sunnah il-Da’awati wal-Jihad, more commonly known as Boko Haram. Boko Haram, which means “Western education is forbidden,” is a Nigeria-based terrorist organization that seeks to overthrow the current Nigerian government and replace it with a regime based on Islamic law.
Shekau has been the leader of Boko Haram since the extrajudicial killing of its former leader, Mohammed Yusuf, in 2009.
Under Shekau’s leadership Boko Haram has continually targeted young children. On April 14, 2014, Boko Haram kidnapped close to 300 girls from their school in Borno state, northern Nigeria. In a video message released three weeks later, Shekau claimed responsibility for the kidnappings, calling the girls slaves and threatening to sell them in the market.
Two years ago, Boko Haram also abducted some schoolgirls from Dapchi in Yobe State, releasing all of them except Leah Sharibu who refused to deny her Christian faith.
The terrorist group has killed tens of thousands and displaced 2.3 million from their homes and was at one time the world’s deadliest terror group according to the Global Terrorism Index.
The Federal Government has since initiated a plan to give amnesty to repentant terrorists while the Senate is currently debating a bill to establish an agency that will cater for the repentant insurgents.
The government has on three separate occasions claimed to have killed Shekau but the Boko Haram leader has resurfaced on several videos to show that he is still alive.
On June 21, 2012, the U.S. Department of State designated Shekau a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order 13224, according to Rewards for Justice.
Shekau is currently number eight on the list of the most wanted terrorists by the US.
Some others include: Ayman al-Zawahiri, who is the current emir of Al Qaeda and former leader of Egyptian Islamic Jihad ($25m); Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is the leader of the Haqqani Network, based in Pakistan ($10m); Abu Muhammad Al-Julani $10m, Abdullah Abdullah ($10m) wanted for his role on behalf of Al Qaeda in the 1998 US embassy bombings
Saif al-Adel ($10MM) – Saif al-Adel is believed to be a high-ranking member of the al-Qaida organization and also wanted for the 1998 US Embassy twin bombing
Nigeria ranks as the 12th-worst country in the world when it comes to Christian persecution, according to Open Doors USA’s 2020 World Watch List.
Shekau must be taken alive so that we will know who his sponsors really are.