Tukur Buratai, the chief of the Nigerian Army, has said the main thrust now of the military operations in the North-East is to decapitate all the remaining Boko Haram factions.
“With this feat achieved, the relevance of Abubakar Shekau, leader of faction of Bok Haram, is no longer of any consequence,” Buratai said.
In a statement issued on Friday in Abuja, by Brig.-Gen. Sani Usman, the Director of Army Public Relations, Buratai commend the Theatre Commander, Operations Lafiya Dole and troops for neutralising five top commanders of the Boko Haram terrorists.
He expressed satisfaction with the zeal and determination of troops to capture the Boko Haram terrorists’ factional leader, Abubakar Shekau, dead or alive, in line with his directive which is yet to be achieved.
The army chief, on July 21, gave the Theatre Commander, Maj.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, 40 days deadline to capture the terrorists’ leader.
The deadline expired on Aug. 30.
He noted that the five key leaders of the insurgents recently eliminated by the troops “were the closest associates and right hand men of the terrorists’ group leader – Shekau.”
“Within the same period, 82 of the Boko Haram terrorists were eliminated.
“Therefore, the commander (of theatre command) was very close to achieving the directive.
“The theatre commander has asked for the extension of the deadline and it was granted.
“Given deadlines and extensions are strategic means of focusing troops’ efforts in the theatre,” Buratai said.
He urged the people of the North-East and indeed Nigerians to be more confident of the Nigerian troops and go about their normal activities.
Buhari Defeats Boko Haram?
Late December 2016, President Muhammadu Buhari declared victory over the Islamist terrorist group after Nigerian troops announced that they have recaptured Camp Zero in Sambisa forest, the base of the deadliest terrorist group in the world.
The Nigerian Army later presented the president with the flag belonging to the terrorist group in a “mission accomplished” ceremony.
Since the declaration a week ahead of Christmas Day 2016, Boko Haram has launched a number of deadly attacks in the North Eastern region of the country where the terrorists have murdered at least 50,000 since they began their campaign to establish an Islamic caliphate in the country.
Additional reports by News Agency of Nigeria.