The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, on Tuesday said the Nigerian armed forces had successfully suppressed Boko Haram insurgency.
Mr. Dan-Ali, a retired brigadier general, who had a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, also reassured Nigerians that the army would soon apprehend the sect’s leader, Abubakar Shekau.
“If you have had the opportunity to go to Sambisa (forest in Borno), you will know that Boko Haram has been defeated, go and see what is happening in Sambisa.
“We have dominated the whole stronghold where they used to be, there is where we call ‘camp zairo’ where their spiritual and their strong headquarters that they were using as communication base was destroyed and as at the same time occupied by our men of the armed forces.
“So, I believe it’s just a matter of time, it took America about seven to 10 years to get Bin Laden so we will get Shekau as soon as possible.
“I told you before now, the spiritual headquarters has been ransacked and vandalized. He (Shekau) is on the run, so he may be hiding in one of the enclaves of Sambisa forest that we are dominating.
“We have opened up the place; we are using it as a training area whereby the army engineers will open roads. We shall be patrolling and be ransacking that forest for the whereabouts of Shekau,’’ he said.
The Nigerian military has repeatedly claimed to have killed Shekau. Those claims were false, apparently.
On the outcome of the meeting with Mr. Buhari, the minister said the president was impressed with the operational successes of the armed force.
“Generally, we spoke about the security situation across the nation and I believe we had a fruitful discussion and he was impressed with the performance of the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Security situation is something that you cannot get 100 per cent and remember that Nigeria has been having these turbulences for a very long time.
‘’We are trying to manage it and we are trying to make it solvable whereby every Nigeria will have peace and tranquillity and do his normal business,’’ he said.
The minister said the President Buhari also directed all military establishments to redouble their efforts in consolidating the relative peace and stability achieved in the northeastern part of the country. (NAN)