The Nigerian Army has extended the 40-day deadline it gave to the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Ibrahim Attahiru, to capture the leader of the Boko Haram terrorist group, Abubakar Shekau, either dead or alive.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai also lauded the theatre commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, for “coming very close” to achieving the directive to capture the shadowy leader of the Islamic death cult.
The deadline, which was earlier given by Buratai to the commander on July 21, 2017, expired on August 30, 2017.
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.
Speaking on the this, the Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Sani Usman, in a statement on Friday, said that the commander requested for an extension of the order to capture Shekau, which was granted by Buratai.
He said, “The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. T.Y. Buratai, has commended the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, his sector commanders and all troops of Operation Lafiya Dole for pursuing the COAS directive of capturing the purported Boko Haram terrorists’ leader, Abubakar Shekau, dead or alive, within 40 days beginning on July 21, 2017, which elapsed on August 30, 2017.
“Although the leader has not been captured, the COAS noted with satisfaction the zeal and determination with which the directive was pursued. He congratulated the commander for eliminating five key leaders of the terrorist group that were the closest associates and right-hand men of the terrorist group leader.
“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.”
The Army spokesman however did not state how long the army chief gave his men to capture the elusive leader.