Army General leading Nigeria’s war against Boko Haram removed

Major-General-I-Attahiru
Major General Ibrahim Attahiru

The Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Attahiru Ibrahim, has been removed from that position.

Mr. Ibrahim’s redeployment comes three days after Boko Haram insurgents carried out one of the deadliest attacks on Biu town in Borno where at least 18 people were killed and 52 others seriously injured.

Mr. Ibrahim, a major general, took over the command of the ongoing counterinsurgency operations in the North-east in May 2017. The former occupant of that position was Lucky Irabor who was redeployed to coordinate the Multi-National Joint Task Force, MNJTF.

Boko Haram attacks appear to have increased since Mr. Ibrahim assumed duties with scores of suicide bombings, mostly by teenage girls, occurring between May and December.

The Chief of Army staff, Tukur Buratai, apparently unimpressed with the way the operation was going, had in August issued a rare ultimatum of ‘40 days’ for the theatre commander to arrest the Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, and put an end to the incessant Boko Haram attacks. Neither was achieved.

The insurgents continued to stage daring attacks including on military formations.

Though a large number of Boko Haram hideouts were raided and many terrorists including kingpins reportedly killed by soldiers during the period, well over 50 soldiers including officers were killed between May and now.

Some of the most recent cases were the ambush in Magumeri that caused the death of about 19 soldiers and kidnap of some oil explorers.

The military also suffered a major loss of some 15 soldiers including a commander in November when Boko Haram insurgents attacked troops’ location in Sassawa village near the Yobe State capital, Damaturu.

Also in November, Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, witnessed one of the worst suicide bombings in recent times when four female suicide bombers attacked Muna Gari, a suburb of the city, killing 14 persons.

About 45 persons were also killed and 47 critically injured in November after a suicide bombers detonated their explosives in a mosque in Yola, Adamawa State.

Another suicide bombing was witnessed on December 2 when two teenage suicide bombers attacked Biu market killing at least 18 persons and injuring 52 others.

About two weeks ago, the Chief of Defence Staff, Gabriel Olonisakin, paid a sudden visit to the Command and Control Centre in Maiduguri. Mr. Ibrahim had a closed door session with the defence chief. No reason was given for the CDS’ visit without other service chiefs.

Mr. Ibrahim has now been replaced by Rogers Nicholas, also a major general.

The new Theatre Commander was, until his appointment, the Chief of Logistics at Army headquarters in Abuja. Before that, he was Commander of the Special Security Task Force in Jos as well as Chief of Civil Military Affairs at Army headquarters.

Mr. Ibrahim is believed to have been redeployed to the Army headquarters as the Deputy Chief of Policy and Plans.

Although the army has not officially announced the new deployments to Nigerians, the military radio in Borno has already made the announcements.


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  • Timothy Oghenekioja Avele

    What’s urgently needed now is not the change of commanders but effective human intelligence and terrorist counter-networks clandestine operations

    • Sam

      The military service is non like other, the morale of the men is paramount, if there is too much downsides, you need to do something to change the narratives ,a new commander gives opportunities for more morale ..

      • Timothy Oghenekioja Avele

        You are correct Mr Sam, however as counterterrorism expert myself, the current stage in this war as even the president has acknowledged is actionable intelligence. This will boost troops morale better than change of commanders. Imagine how you will feel if you know in advance what is the strength and what your enemy is planning against you.

        • forestgee

          A few of the Muslim soldiers are known moles for BH; they replaced a Christian with Moslem and there is a sudden spike in BH actions…now they have brought another Christian!

          • Sam

            It will do us all good ,if you try to stay focused on this important discuss, bigotry is the reason why we are where we are today.

          • forestgee

            Forget bigotry when you see the truth….this government is about bigotry

          • Otile

            No Christian should lose his life fighting this senseless war. As soon as Buhari became President he should have called off the war and start rebuilding the nation. The troubling question is, is he going continue fighting this wasteful war until he leaves office?

          • emmanuel

            This is a fact. The first Major from Chibok area drafted to bring Boko Haram to an end, was a Roger or so. tactical and proved war front performer.
            The same evil foolani complicit fellows set him up and got killed. Boko Haram is a trade secret by the gangsters who have eventually found another source of taking from the World, so the sabotage and war must continue like Somalia.
            Thank God the last Government drove them from Nigeria mainland into the three states. Unfortunately, the indigenous people of those staes are the main victims.

        • Sam

          Can’t agree more , but in addition ,where it is observed that the commander is not fully engaged with the his lieutenants and so fails to boost their morale a change becomes strategic, the previous guy , Irabor did well and was promoted to lead the MNJTF . No doubt more intelligence focused strategy will best help the mission.

          • Timothy Oghenekioja Avele

            You’re absolutely correct sir.

          • Otile

            What mission? What are Nigerian soldiers fighting for in the North East? Time and again they dug but found no crude oil. What else are they fighting for?

        • Otile

          No amount of good morale can deter devout suicide bombers. You know these people are fighting for Allah and either way they have nothing to lose. If they kill you they get rewards in Aljinat if you kill them the get greater rewards. Man, it is hard to defeat such fighters.

          • Timothy Oghenekioja Avele

            It is true that it’s difficult to defeat suicide bombers terrorist campaign with high morale and change of commanders alone. However good intelligence will help to target and eliminate the bomb makers who are the terrorist most valued experts and are generally few more so, difficult to replace easily unlike the bomb carriers that can be replaced easily

          • Eluba Inas

            They are like you, internet trolls! You never see reason and your mindset and agenda have to be carried out devoid of common sense and logic.

    • Absolutely Sane

      That is always ongoing. They have their other reasons which may not be meant for public communication. This is a sign that military are more effective now than before.

    • M-olaniyi Odebode

      Besides what Sam has well said, are we sure that the military does not suspect him to be a boko haram apologist?

  • Tess

    I believe Iraboh did a good job. Since he left, it seems the morale of our soldiers have ebbed. How are we sure that this Attahiru was giving the troops their entitlements and not short-changing them?

    • Otile

      How is he supposed to make his own Dubai $millioniare if he gives away everything to the fighting soldiers? Don’t you know what this Islamic war is all about?

      • emmanuel

        After all, Lawal Daura is said to have blown or moved the balance of $21 million arms money (part of the $2.1 billion) Ekpeyong left of the DSS portion of the money to his pocket like Oke. Destination may also be Dubai or Saudi. No wonder some of them go for Hajj twice a year.
        It is part of the Islamic plunder from war that must be shared, in particular if you were at the war front – Nigeria ‘s Federal Institution

    • okenwa

      Nothing good will ever come out of Hausa Fulani.

  • Pluti

    since Iraboh was replaced, the losses have been higher than the gains

    • Olusola

      bros, until we leave this ethnicity we will be stuck on the same spot. Why fix what is not broken, or change a winning team? They disbanded Irabor’s team because of fears of a coup and put boko-haramist there. Buhari should better watch his back.

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  • JasV

    Remember it was late BENJAMIN ADEKUNLE that unfortunately made the biafrans to regret going to war in the first place. You need a desirable Nigerian Army Officer like that to make this islamic terrorists to regret the day they ever came out of their mothers’ wombs. ROGER NICHOLAS, I command you in the name of Jesus. Go forth and let them know that there is a wide difference between Khaki and Leather; between Tuwon masara and Tuwon shinkafa and indeed between a Homosexual and a Lesbian. Go after the mad wild dogs and wipe them off.

    • Riot50000

      IMBECILE, ADEKUNLE DIED WITH HIS GREATEST REGRET AS FIGHTING AGAINST BIAFRA.
      Educate yourself, MORON, before you shoot your IGNORANT mouth.
      Whew!
      DUMBFUCK NIGERIANS.

    • okenwa

      Must you mention Biafra before you get erection?

  • thusspokez

    More reorganisation will not bring long-term victory or boko haram demise– only the alleviation of poverty through education and jobs could.

  • MilitaryPolice01 [Joint Chief]

    PT I think ‘replaced’ will have sufficed.

  • Inieke Akpan Ekuma

    I agree in totality that guerilla warfare is not pencil business but my worries is that in Nigeria, there’s so much sabotage. People seems to maximise profit or game to discredit others.

  • emmanuel

    They will never have peace until they settle Maina. Boko Haram has a face. Shettima will not also be happy if any other person outside of Maina replaces him.
    This Boko Haram that has slaughtered several Army Generals since last year November when Buhari declared Boko Haram was over; may be different from the last one, which they said only attacked soft targets.
    My analysis and common sense tells me that Military formations, officers and men are the most daring targets any coward can assess.
    Liar Mohammed, please come to the Turf to see APC’s report card or Monumental failure and abuse of opportunity.

  • emmanuel

    By the way, i drove through Onitsha-Enugu highway last weekend in company of some friends and saw green slabs on some portion of that road reconstructed over a year ago, but closed to traffic bear Sukkuk.
    Those portions were constructed by RCC. Rather than the RCC Slabs on those spots in the past, Sukkuk slabs are now to the rescue
    Can someone explain this?
    Assume the Sukkuk N100 billion raised inOctober was used to pay outstanding bills, how come Euro Bond was not emblazoned on projects paid for with the last Euro 1 billion accross Nigeria?
    Where is this mischief coming from? Who is taking this religion thing beyond ‘political correctness’ minds of un discerning non-Islamists?

  • Riot50000

    The ” GENERAL” has been giving Boko Haram info about Nigeria’s military plans?
    Lol.

  • Yego V

    The hopeless man that needs to be dressed is the liar Lai Mohamed. This man kept lying about the true situation on boko haram. He cheapened human life for political praise May God judge him.

  • jakzon

    Where is the war against Boko Haram? Do they truly want to fight Boko Haram, when Borno State governor wants to convert the birth place of Boko Haram founder a museum? Do they really want to fight Boko Haram, when they are giving rehabilitation money to former Boko Haram fighters, instead of making them to face justice. Why can’t Nigerians see even a short movie clip of Nigerian soldiers fighting Boko Haram? Is the average Nigerian so gullible he can’t see the trick played by the northern leaders with this Boko Haram stuff? Firstly, they used it to regain control of government. And, secondly, using it to obtain hundreds of millions of dollars in aid from western governments.

    • newday

      i thought the war was won in 2015 by pmb

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