Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai (Chief of Army Staff) has 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.
Previous reports that the 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.
Shekau, a Kanuri man, assumed leadership of Boko Haram when the founding father of sect, Mohammed Yusuf was killed in 2009.
He was also first reported killed in 2009 but reappeared as the group leader less than a year later.
The army in mid-August 2013 stated that he was fatally wounded when soldiers raided a base of Boko Haram in Sambisa forest and had died between 25 July and 3 August.
However, a video in September 2013 was released in which a man purported to be Shekau claimed he had not been killed.
The military also stated to have killed him during the 2014 Battle of Kodunga that lasted from September 12 to 14th.
Nigerian government officials had also said that the original Shekau was long dead, but impostors keep popping up to perpetuate the myth that Shekau is unbeatable.