We were close to nabbing Shekau, says army as it extends 40-day ultimatum

The Nigerian army says it came very close to achieving the directive by Tukur Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff, to capture Abubakar Shekau, Boko Haram leader, dead or alive within 40 days.

Buratai handed down the order to Ibrahim Attahiru, the Theatre Commander, ‘Operation Lafiya Dole, on July 21, and the deadline elapsed on Thursday, August 31.

In a statement issued on Friday by Sani Usman, Director of Army Public Relations, Buratai commended Attahiru for the successes recorded by the operation within the 40 days, and approved an extension of the deadline.

“Although the leader (of Boko Haram) has not been captured, the COAS noted with satisfaction the zeal and determination with which the directive was pursued,” the statement read.

“Within the same period, 82 of the Boko Haram terrorists were eliminated. Therefore, the Commander was very close to achieving the directive.

“The Theatre Commander has asked for the extension of the deadline and it has been granted by the COAS.

“Given deadlines and extensions are strategic means of focusing troops’ efforts in the theatre. Currently the main thrust of the operations is the decapitation of all the remaining terrorists’ factions within the Nigerian territory.

“With this feat achieved, the relevance of Shekau is no longer of any consequence. The people of the NE (North East) and indeed all Nigerians are enjoined to be more confident of the Nigerian troops and go about their normal activities.”



    Just days after Buratai announced the 40-day ultimatum to capture Shekau, Boko Haram fighters ambushed a team of NNPC workers who were exploring for oil in the Lake Chad Basin.

    About 50 members of the team, including lecturers from the University of Maiduguri and soldiers attached as escorts, were killed.

    Others were abducted by the terrorists and appeared in a propaganda video posted online few days later.

    The incident led to the suspension of further oil exploration exercises in the Lake Chad but Shekau remains invincible.

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