Tukur Buratai, chief of army staff, has given Ibrahim Attahiru, theatre commander of operation Lafiya Dole, a 40-day ultimatum to capture Abubakar Shekau, leader of the Boko Haram sect.
According to Sani Usman, army spokesman, Buratai directed Attahiru to use all arsenal at his disposal to find Shekau.
“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,” it read
“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.”
The military has declared Shekau dead on many occasions but the militant leader has always debunked the report.
In a video in June, Shekau showed how insurgents sacked a military post at the outskirts of Maiduguri, Borno state.
In the 33-minute video, Shekau displayed ammunition and camouflage among other items seized from fleeing soldiers.
“This is just the beginning,” Shekau had said.
While mocking the military for going after them in Sambisa forest, the leader of the insurgents claimed that they were somewhere within Maiduguri.
A month earlier, Shekau attacked President Muhammadu Buhari and Buratai, saying both men were shouldering a burden beyond their capacities.
“To Buhari, Buratai and lawmakers you are shouldering a burden beyond your capacity. Your imagination is more incredible than the tale of a hawk that lifts an elephant,” he had said.
“So I’m alive. But if God wills that you will kill me, it is not surprising because many prophets of Allah were killed by infidels. I will be happy to die in the cause of Allah.”