United States Department of State (USDS) has announced on Wednesday a $ 7 million (N2.54b) reward for any information which could lead to the arrest of Boko Haram’s leader, Abubakar Shekau.
The information was posted to the USDS anti-terrorist project, the French Twitter checker for the Reward for Justice Program @RFJ_Francais, on Tuesday night.
This would be the second time since 2013 that the US government has placed a bounty on Shekau and (ISIS), as well as al-Qaeda terrorists on the global watch list.
Shekau, a factional leader of the Boko Haram terrorist group that has wreaked havoc in northeastern Nigeria since 2010, proved to be a cat with nine lives.
Currently eighth on the US government’s wanted list, Shekau has been announced dead or fatally wounded by the Nigerian government forces on several occasions, only to resurface in arrogant YouTube videos that mock the government.
Sharing a photo of Shekau, the USDS said: “The United States Department of State offers a reward of up to $ 7 million for any information that leads to the arrest of the terrorist Abubakar Shekau, leader of Boko Haram.
“Stopping terrorists is a collaborative effort. We will work together and bring peace to our communities. If you have information about any of the leaders of Boko Haram, please contact us by Telegram (@RFJ_Francais_bot) and WhatsApp (+1 202 975 9195). ”
The Nation’s checks revealed that the US in 2013 offered rewards of up to $ 23 million for information that would help locate and capture major terrorist leaders in the Sahel and Maghreb regions, including Shekau.
President Barack Obama’s government offered $ 7 million for Shekau, $ 5 million for information about Yahya Abu and Mokhtar Belmokhtar el-Hammam, al-Qaeda leaders in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and the Blood Signature Battalion, respectively. It also offered $ 3 million each to AQIM leader Malik Abou Abdelkarim and the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West African leader Oumar Ould Hamaha.
A spokesman for General Nwachukwu Onyema, spokesman for Defense Headquarters (DHQ), said that the USDS offer is diplomatic and not military and that only he has reacted at the diplomatic level.
“This is a diplomatic action. It was not offered by the US military, so the military need not comment on it. But let me remind you that Shekau has long been declared wanted by the Nigerian military and he is still a wanted person. “