The United States Department of State has announced that it will give anyone with credible information that can lead to the arrest of Abubakar Shekau, leader of the Boko Haram insurgent group, $7 million (N2.5 billion)
The Rewards for Justice Program (RJP), the counterterrorism rewards program of the US Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service, made this known in a tweet on Wednesday.
“The United States Department of State offers a reward up to $7m for information leading to the arrest of the terrorist, Abubakar Shekau, leader of Boko Haram,” the tweet reads.
On June 21, 2012, the country designated Shekau a “specially designated global terrorist” under executive order 13224.
Shekau took over the leadership of the insurgent group in 2010 following the extra judicial killing of Mohammed Yusuf, its former leader, by police
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.
Boko Haram’s past targets have included suicide bombings of police buildings and the United Nations office in Abuja.
Of the 2.3 million people displaced by the conflict since May 2013, at least 250,000 have left Nigeria and fled into Cameroon, Chad or Niger.
The group has carried out mass abductions including the kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls from Chibok in April 2014 and two years ago, abducted some schoolgirls from Dapchi in Yobe State, releasing all of them except Leah Sharibu who refused to deny her Christian faith.
There had been several claims that Shekau has been killed, but he resurfaced in videos at every turn shooting down those claims.
In February 2018, the federal government also placed a N3m bounty on the insurgent leader.
His whereabouts have remained unknown for almost a decade.
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