Abubakar Shekau | US offers $7,000,000 Reward for Boko Haram Leader’s arrest

The United States Department of State has offered a juicy $7m reward, about N2.52 billion for information that can lead to the arrest of Abubakar Shekau, the Boko Haram leader menacing Nigeria and the neighbouring countries.

The bounty was the biggest placed on all the terrorists declared wanted by the United States government.

“Every government and every citizen has a stake in bringing terrorists to justice and in preventing acts of terrorism”, the US State Department said.

The offer was made on the French version of the official Twitter account of the US State Department Rewards for Justice Program.

The notice provides the contact details for anyone who is interested in collecting the bounty as #Whatsapp: +1 202 975 9195 and #Telegram: @RFJ_Francais_bot.

It was not clear why the Department of State chose to declare Shekau wanted in the French version of its Twitter accounts.

In the English version of the Twitter account, which was opened 27 February, the Reward for Justice Program also offered $5million reward for information on 3 ISIS leaders and another $6m on another terror group AQAP leaders.

Read This too | Shekau:–Boko Haram Leader Reappears in New video After a year Missing in Action

“Up to $5 million for information on ISIS key leaders Hajji ‘Abdallah, Hajji Hamid and Hajji Taysir. Justice never sleeps, and never stops looking for ISIS terrorists. If you have information ISIS, please submit a tip. 100% confidential. http://rewardsforjustice.net #RFJ”, the tweet said.

US case against Shekau:

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. The group has existed in various forms since the late 1990s.

There are reported communications, training, and weapons links between Boko Haram, al-Qaida in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), al-Shabaab, and al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, which may strengthen Boko Haram’s capacity to conduct terrorist attacks.

Shekau was previously the group’s second-in-command. In July 2010, Shekau publicly claimed leadership of Boko Haram and threatened to attack Western interests in Nigeria. Later that month, Shekau issued a second statement expressing solidarity with al-Qaida and threatening the United States. Under Shekau’s leadership, Boko Haram’s operational capabilities have grown.

Read this too | Shekau:–Boko Haram Leader Reappears in New video After a year Missing in Action

The group set off its first vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (IED) in June 2011, and has increasingly utilized IEDs in attacks against soft targets. Boko Haram’s August 26, 2011 vehicle-bomb attack on the United Nations headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria marked the group’s first lethal operation against Western interests. At least 23 people were killed, and 80 more were injured, in the attack.

A purported Boko Haram spokesman claimed responsibility for the attack and promised future targeting of U.S. and Nigerian government interests.

On May 1, 2012, less than one week after the group bombed a Nigerian newspaper building in Abuja, Boko Haram issued a video statement threatening more attacks on local and international news outlets, including the Voice of America and Sahara Reporters, a New York-based media service.

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 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.

On June 21, 2012, the U.S. Department of State designated Shekau a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order 13224.

Boko Haram | Army Corporal Went Insane kills 4 Colleagues & Commits Suicide in Borno

A Corporal of Nigerian Army serving at the Theatre Command Operation LAFIYA DOLE, Army Super Camp 15, Borno State, has killed four of his colleagues. He also injured two others before committing suicide.

The Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sagir Musa, disclosed this in a statement, adding that the incident took place on Wednesday morning.

Musa added that the wounded personnels are currently in stable condition at the Nigerian army hospital in Maiduguri, NAN reports.

He noted that efforts are ongoing to contact the families of the gallant colleagues who lost their lives.

“May their gentle souls rest In peace.

“Meanwhile, an investigation into the case has since been instituted to determine the circumstances that led to the unfortunate incident,” the statement added.

PREMIUM TIMES in 2018 reported how a Nigerian soldier committed suicide in Borno State after killing a colleague.

Also in 2018, PREMIUM TIMES received report of yet another soldier who opened fire at a military facility in Abuja, killing one colleague and injuring another before fatally ripping apart his own mouth with the rifle.

In November 2017, a soldier on deployment in Nigeria’s restive North-east opened fire on a captain, killing him before turning the gun on himself.

Many Dead, Houses burnt as Boko Haram Invades Adamawa town

Suspected members of the Boko Haram sect have killed many people in Garkida, a town in Gombi local government area of Adamawa state, according to residents.

A source told TheCable that the insurgents broke into the town around 7pm on Friday, shooting sporadically.

Soldiers who were said to have engaged them in a gun battle later pulled back for reinforcement.

After the security operatives beat a retreat, the insurgents were said to have moved into the town fully, setting many houses on fire.

“Garkida is currently on fire… many people have been killed and their houses covered with smoke,” he said.

Read this too | “To Defeat Boko Haram, We Need 100,000 More Soldiers” – Zulum

The source said having wreaked havoc on Garkida, the insurgents advanced to neighboring towns.

Another source corroborated his account but said the security operatives have returned to the town.

The source the insurgents hoisted their flag in the town but TheCable could not independently verify the claim.

“People ran to hide inside the mountains while they watched their houses being burnt by the insurgents,” another resident said.

A former chairman of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Adamawa, who is a native of Garkida, said he got the information that Boko Haram fighters overpowered soldiers in the town.

Sagir Musa, army spokesman, could not be reached for comments on the attack which happened hours after Tukur Buratai, chief of army staff, wrote a letter to the troops, expressing confidence in their ability to end the war against Boko Haram.

Tukur Buratai, chief of army staff, says he is confident that troops in the north-east will end Boko Haram insurgency soon.

In his letter, Buratai congratulated the theatre commander, sector commanders, super camps commanders, commanding officers, as well as the officers and soldiers serving in Operation Lafiya Dole for their gallantry.

He also asked them never to allow the insurgents any breathing space or freedom of action anywhere as they continue to discharge their legitimate duties.

Nigeria Law Maker Introduces Bill to Create Agency for Repentant Boko Haram Members

The Senate Thursday began deliberations on a bill that seeks to establish an agency that would see to the rehabilitation, deradicalisation and integration of repentant insurgents in the country.

A bill, sponsored by Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe East senatorial district, was read for the first time on the floor of the Senate Thursday.

Already a subject of fierce push back, the bill offers further concession to Boko Haram militants who choose to ceasefire.

Senator Ibrahim Gaidam

Last month, the Nigerian military said no fewer than 608 repentant Boko Haram insurgents were undergoing the De-radicalisation, Rehabilitation and Reintegration (DRR) programme under its Operation Safe Corridor in Malam-Sidi, Gombe State.

Clients, the military euphemism for the repentant insurgents, were said to have been exposed to formal literacy classes, skills acquisition and Islamic Religious Knowledge (IRK) as well as drug and psycho-therapists during their training.

Read This too | Boko Haram Have Made 59,311 Orphans and 59,213 Widows in Borno State Alone

A group of Borno elders, led by ex-governor Kashim Shettima, last year, had frowned at the initiative, saying the military’s operation was not well thought out.

They feared that releasing the purported repentant Boko Haram militants into civilian population could be counterproductive as hardened fighters would return to the terror group to commit more atrocities.

“The ongoing de-radicalization and reintegration of repentant Boko Haram insurgents under the “operation safe corridor” of the defense headquarters is a course for concern for members of the Civilian JTF and some stakeholders in the State,” the group wrote in a letter last year.

“(We) suspect that “Boko Haram members do not repent” hence the de-radicalization programme may be breeding spies and agents of recruitment for the Boko Haram,” they had said.

They urged the president to approve the suspension of the programme.

More Nigerians have also spoken against the policy.