Nigerian army orders troops to capture Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, within 40 days

Abubakar Shekau
Abubakar Shekau

The Nigerian Army has given its troops an ultimatum to capture Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the Boko Haram terrorist group.

The Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, handed down the order on Friday to the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Ibrahim Attahiru, according to a statement issued by the spokesperson of the army, Sani Usman.

Mr. Buratai, a lieutenant general, said the Boko Haram leader must be captured dead or alive within 40 days, the statement said, adding that Mr. Attahiru, a major general, was directed to employ every weapon available in his arsenal “to smoke out Shekau wherever he is hiding in Nigeria”.

“The general public is pleased requested to also assist and volunteer information that would lead to the accomplishment of this task,” the army spokesperson said in the statement.

The military had several times in the past claimed it had killed Mr. Shekau, only for the Boko Haram leader to later show up in videos mocking either the military or the nation’s top officials.

On August 23, 2016, Mr. Sani himself had issued a statement announcing that Mr. Shekau was inflicted with “fatal injury” in a major air strike on Boko Haram’s location in the dreaded Sambisa Forest.

Mr. Sani, a brigadier general, said at the time that the bombardment was carried out while Mr. Shekau was leading his group in performing the Friday prayers at a secret location called Tayye in the heart of the vast forest.

The military had by that time too repeatedly claimed credit for killing Mr. Shekau. But the sect denounced the claims each time saying its leader remained alive.

The military however insisted that the original Abubakar Shekau had long been killed, and that the so-called Abubakar Shekau said to be alive was a made-up character.

On March 28 this year, the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, had a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, after which he reassured Nigerians that the army would soon apprehend Mr. 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.


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  • Yego V

    Which Shekau again? Liar mo said boko haram have been defeated.

    • George

      They are preparing 2018 Budgets so more avenue must be created to increase their loots.

  • kayode Olufade

    How can the army be so naive? This was what they did some years ago and all the boko haram had to do was wait in hiding till the December deadline was passed and they reappeared. This makes the military seem naive and not up to the task of security provision. Obama made the same mistake with Afghanistan, by mentioning a deadline for military pullout. If they have to make a statement give it a general feel but not actuating it to specific individuals or timelines. God bless us all with wisdom!

  • Fadama

    Na today we begin hear such ultimatums?

  • AryLoyds

    Animals behaving badly in the ZOO!

    • James Ehiri


      The Nigerian military will win this war against ISLAMIST terror. All
      crazed Islamic Jihadists in northern Nigeria will lay dead at the end of the
      day. No weapon fashioned against the un-conquerable Nigerian Army shall
      prosper. The strong and courageous Nigerian soldiers have never been called upon
      to wage a nobler war than this one. Unlike previous foreign policy peace
      enforcement missions in Liberia and Sierra Leone, this war against Boko Haram
      inside Nigeria is the noblest of all wars.

      It is a war to save the homeland
      from infestation from mad Muslims in northern Nigeria who believe themselves to
      be fighting for ISLAMIST northern Nigeria by threatening genocide on southern
      Nigerian Christians. Never again will Nigerians see ISLAM as benign tumour on a
      body politic after Boko Haram is defeated since Nigerians now know better that
      there’s nothing more toxic and poisonous than Islam in the hands of poorish and
      illiterate Fulani and Kanuri proletariat.

  • George

    i SUGGEST that forest be given to Fulani to start their grazing businesses.


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  • Sara Marie Brown

    “…..Mr. Attahiru, a major general, was directed to employ every weapon available in his arsenal “to smoke out Shekau wherever he is hiding in Nigeria….”

    This falsely assumes he is hiding in Nigeria.