The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has extended the deadline given to troops of Operation Lafiya Dole in the Northeast to capture leader of the Boko Haram terrorists group, Abubakar Shekau.
The Guardian reports that Buratai’s action was at the instance of the new Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, who had appealed to the Army chief to extend the earlier deadline given them to capture the dreaded terrorists leader, dead or alive, within 40 days from 21 July.
A statement signed by Army spokesman, Brig-Gen. Sani Usman, said Attahiru’s request, which was granted by Buratai, followed the expiration of the deadline on August 31.
The statement reads: “Given deadlines and extensions are strategic means of focusing troops’ efforts in the theatre.
“Currently, the main thrust of the operations is the decapitation of all the remaining terrorists factions within the Nigerian territory. With this feat achieved, the relevance of Shekau is no longer of any consequence.”
The Nigerian Army boss, according to the statement, “enjoined the people of the Northeast and indeed all Nigerians to be more confident of the Nigerian troops and go about their normal activities.”
He commended Attahiru, his Sector Commanders and all troops of Operation Lafiya Dole for pursuing his directive of capturing Shekau, noting with satisfaction, the zeal and determination with which the directive was pursued, even though the terrorist leader has not been captured.
He congratulated Attahiru for eliminating five key leaders of the group that were Shekau’s closest associates and right-hand men.
“Within the same period, 82 of the Boko Haram terrorists were eliminated. Therefore, the commander was very close to achieving the directive,” he noted.
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