The Nigerian Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, on Saturday gave a 40-day ultimatum to the Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole in the North-east, Maj-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, to capture the terror group leader, Abubakar Shekau, dead or alive.
Buratai in a statement by the Director of Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Sani Usman, directed Attahiru to execute the mandate before September 2017.
“The Theatre Commander has further been directed to do so within 40 days. He is to employ all arsenals at the disposal of the Theatre Command to smoke out Shekau wherever he is hiding in Nigeria,” he stated.
The Army Chief alsp urged the general public to assist by volunteering information that would lead to the accomplishment of this task.
This is the first time the military would be giving an ultimatum to its commanders for the capture or elimination of Shekau and it is believed that the capture or elimination of Shakau will be a turning point in the war against terror which the nation has been waging in the past six years.
Though Shekau’s location is currently unknown, he is believed to be hiding on the fringes of Sambisa Forest.
The military had, on more than two occasions claimed it killed Shekau, only for the Boko Haram leader to resurface on each of those instances in videos to debunk such claims. Even when the military announced the capture of Sambisa forest, it was evidently clear that Shekau had escaped their radar as there were no reports of his death or capture.
While it has been established that there are two factions of Boko Haram groups that the federal government has been waging war against, it is believed that the one, which released the Chibok school girls was not the Shekau faction.