Nigeria cuts bounty on Boko Haram leader

Sunday February 18 2018

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau. FILE |

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 


The Nigerian Army has placed a cash reward of $10,000 for information on Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau.

The Nigerian Army said it would give out the cash for any credible information that leads to the arrest of Shekau, the fugitive factional Boko Haram terrorists’ group leader.

Army spokesman Sani Usman said anybody with information could either contact the Military Command and Control Centre, Operation LAFIYA DOLE, any military location, security agencies or the Nigerian Army Information and Call Centre 193.

A woman

$10,00o bounty was a big downgrade for a terrorist who once seized 21 local councils in Nigeria and reigned in Sambisa Forest. It could mean the military now considers the jihadist of limited value or danger as a terrorist.

The bounty contrasts sharply with the $7 million announced in 2013 by the US government.

The new bounty came just days after the Army said the elusive Boko Haram leader was on the run, dressed as a woman.

On Tuesday, the Army said months of military operations in Sambisa Forest had forced Shekau to flee, disguised as woman.

It based its claim on information from captured terrorists.

“Credible information from arrested and surrendered insurgents indicated that the purported Boko Haram terrorist group factional leader, Abubakar Shekau, could not bear the heat anymore as he has abandoned his followers, he is running for his dear life,” Brigadier-General Usman said in a statement.

Militant groups

“He is desperately trying to escape the theatre disguised as a woman dressed in Hijab. We reliably gathered that to avoid detection, Abubakar Shekau alternates between blue and black coloured hijabs. He was last seen in a black hijab.”

In an unprecedented move in June 2013, the US posted up to $23 million in rewards to help track down Shekau and four leaders of militant groups accused of spreading terror in West Africa.

The highest reward of $7 million was offered for the Boko Haram leader, who days before the bounty was announced, had called on Islamists in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq to join the bloody fight to create an Islamic state in Nigeria.