The Operation Lafiya Dole has made the factional leader of calamitous group Boko Haram its number one target, with fresh orders to hunt him down.
The elite military unit has been ordered to take down Abubakar Shekau in a “kill or capture mission”.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, directed Maj.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Maiduguri, to capture Abubakar Shekau, self-styled leader of the Boko Haram sect, “dead or alive”.
Buratai further directed the Theatre commander to do so within 40 days.
A statement issued by the Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Sani Usman, on Friday night, said that Attahiru should “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,” Usman said.
The government has falsely claimed on various occasions over more than a year that it has killed or injured the Boko Haram leader, but Shekau usually appears soon after denying the claims.
Last year, weeks after the Nigerian military announced it had killed Shekau, the militant leader surfaced in a video where he proclaimed he was in good health and mocked army leaders.
“Oh tyrants, I’m in a happy state, in good health and in safety,” Shekau says in the video released by Boko Harem. He laughed at the Nigerian army for claiming he was killed in an airstrike. “You have been spreading in the social media that you injured or killed me,” Shekau said during the 40-minute video uploaded to YouTube.
Boko Haram group is responsible for 20,000 deaths since 2009. Boko Haram has also displaced more than 2.6 million people, leaving them homeless.