As expected the leader of the dreaded Boko Haram sect, Abubakar Shekau, who was named among the 100 Most Influential People in the world by Time Magazine, did not attend the Gala 100 held in New York. The event held at Lincoln Center, New York was put together to celebrate the 100 influential people in the world.
His selection drew criticism from Nigerians who felt that TIME magazine might be promoting the evil of the sect by naming him as one of the Most Influential People in the World for 2015.
Three other Nigerians, namely, the president-elect, Major Gen. Muhammadu Buahri(retd), award-winning novelist, Chimamanda Adichie and BringBackOurGirls campaigner, Oby Ezekwesili made the list.
“Most Americans do not yet recognize his name, but the citizens of Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, know Abubakar Shekau all too well: he is the most violent killer their country has ever seen. Shekau took over the terrorist organization Boko Haram in 2009 after the group had been weakened by Nigerian government forces.
Shekau, who is believed to be in his 30s, began to stage increasingly daring kidnapping and killing raids on schools, churches and mosques thought by Boko Haram to be violating their interpretation of Islam. The taking of over 200 schoolgirls in April 2014 brought Boko Haram into the international spotlight,” reads an honorary essay about the terrorist, written by General Carter Ham (U.S. Army, retired).
In June 2012 the United States Department of State designated Shekau as a terrorist and effectively froze his assets in the United States. Since June 2013, the Department has had a standing reward of US$7 million for information leading to Shekau’s capture through its Rewards for Justice program. In addition, the Nigerian army has offered a ₦50 million reward (approximately US$300,000) for Shekau.
Buhari also did not attend the event while Ezekwesili did and called on Barrack Obama to help rescue the missing Chibok girls.