JTF declares Boko Haram leaders wanted, places over N240 million bounty on insurgents

Abubakar Shekau, Boko Haram leader
Abubakar Shekau, the Boko Haram leader and other insurgents are wanted for arson and destruction of properties worth millions of naira

The Nigerian military has declared 19 senior members of the terrorist Boko Haram group blamed for thousands of deaths in northern Nigeria wanted.

The army also placed a N50 million bounty on the suspected leader of the group, Abubakar Shekau and N10 million for various commanders of the sect.

A statement by the spokesman of the Joint Task Force, JTF, listed 19 alleged commanders of the sect.

“They are wanted in connection with terrorist activities particularly in the northeast zone of Nigeria that led to the killings, bombings and assassination of some civilians, religious leaders, traditional rulers, businessmen, politicians, civil servants and security personnel amongst others,” the statement said.

“They are also wanted for arson and destruction of properties worth millions of naira.”

Transformed sect

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Boko Haram set out seeking to impose a stricter form of Sharia or Islamic law in northern Nigeria and end corruption.

Violence by the group, which had only religious interest in the past, is traceable to the five days of clashes in July 2009 between the group and members of the security forces in Borno, Yobe, Bauchi, and Kano states that left several people dead, including police officers, soldiers and civilians.

The police summarily executed the captured Boko Haram leader, Mohammed Yusuf, along with several dozens of his followers in front of the police headquarters in Maiduguri.

Dozens of its members were also arrested.

Boko Haram frequently said its attacks on the government, especially the police, are in revenge for these killings and an attempt to set free members incarcerated by the police.

Political collaboration

Recently, the ideology behind Boko Haram attacks got more confusing with increasing attacks on schools, media houses and almost any soft target within its reach.

Former National Security Adviser, Andrew Owoye Azazi, recently said the group was a creation of the disgruntled members of the ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP.

He said members of the party, angered by the emergence of President Goodluck Jonathan, created the group to destabilize the government.

He also admitted the sect had members trained by more sophisticated international counterparts.

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