The camouflaged-clad combatants of the Nigerian Army are yet to capture “dead or alive” the elusive leader of a notorious Islamic death cult Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, 40 days after it gave an ultimatum.
On July 21, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, had given the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Maiduguri, Maj.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, a 40-day ultimatum to capture Shekau “dead or alive”.
A statement issued by the Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Sani Usman, quoted Buratai as saying that Attahiru should “employ all arsenal at the disposal of the Theatre Command to smoke out Shekau wherever he is hiding in Nigeria.”
The statement read in full: “Today, Friday 21st July, 2017, the chief of army staff, Nigerian army, lieutenant general Tukur Yusufu Buratai, has directed the theatre commander, operation lafiya dole, major general Ibrahim Attahiru, to capture Abubakar Shekau, the so-called and self-styled leader of Boko Haram terrorists group, dead or alive.”
“The theatre commander has further been directed to do so within 40 days.
“He is to employ all arsenal at the disposal of the theatre command to smoke out Shekau wherever he is hiding in Nigeria.
“The general public is please requested to also assist and volunteer information that would lead to the accomplishment of this task.”
Reports that the elusive terrorists’ leader had been killed in different operations have been rebuffed as he continued to churn out audio and video clips on the activities of the sect.
As of today, August 30, the ultimatum has elapsed while Shekau is nowhere to be found.
Rather than capture the most wanted man in Nigeria, what followed the ultimatum were series of suicide attacks and bombings in the north-eastern region of the country.