Nigeria welcomes U.S. bounty on Boko Haram leader, Shekau

Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau

The FG said a concerted effort is needed to defeat terrorism.

The federal government has said it welcomes the decision by the United states of America to place a $7million (N1.1 billion) reward for the capture of the leader of the Boko Haram sect.

Speaking to State House Correspondents, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, said the stand of the United States Government is a welcome development.

“It’s a positive development. we welcome any effort of the international to support Nigeria’s effort at waging war against terrorism and its perpetrators,” Mr. Abati said.

“What this proves is that terrorism is a global phenomenon that requires global effort at combating it. Nigeria believes that the international community need to come together to combat terrorism.”

The United States in an announcement on Monday officially declared the leader of the extremist Boko Haram sect, Abubakar Shekau, wanted and placed a $7m bounty on his head.

The U.S. Department of Justice’ Reward for Justice Programme said it would pay $7million to anyone with information that could lead to the arrest of the Boko Haram leader.

The Justice Department also declared four other alleged terrorists believed to be spreading terrorism in the West African sub-region wanted.

They include Mokhtar Belmokhtar, described as a one-eyed mastermind of the January deadly attack on a gas plant in Algeria, which left 37 foreigners dead. Authorities say anyone who could help facilitate his capture stands a chance of reaping $5 million (N775 million).

A $5million bounty was also placed on Yahya Abou Al-Hammam, an alleged terrorist believed to be behind the 2010 murder of an elderly French hostage in Niger.

Also being sought are Malik Abou Abdelkarim, described as a senior AQIM fighter; and Oumar Ould Hamaha, spokesman for Mali’s Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO). The U.S. said it will pay $3 million each to anyone who could help facilitate their arrests.

The U.S. had on June 21, 2012, designated Mr. Shekau, the Boko Haram leader, a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, under Executive Order 13224. His whereabouts have, however, remained unknown.

The Boko Haram leader has released several videos of the sect’s activities; the latest being the video released last week in which he claims the sect are achieving victory against Nigerian forces in Borno despite the State of Emergency declared there. He also called on other terrorists in countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq to support the struggle to enthrone an Islamic State in Nigeria.

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