President Muhammadu Buhari, has on Tuesday, announced that the rag tag Boko Haram Leader, Abubakar Shekau, is still alive.
Buhari who made this declaration through the Defence Minister, Mansur Dan Ali, while briefing State House Correspondents at the State House, Abuja, revealed that Shekau now wears a mask to evade arrest.
Recall that before now, the military had consistently told Nigerians and the world, that the Boko Haram leader had been killed by troops.
However, while responding to questions on the unabated onslaught of the insurgents against Nigerians despite the alleged downfall of Sambisa forest, Ali said: “if you have been opportune to go to Sambisa, you will know that Boko Haram has been defeated. We have dominated the whole stronghold where they used to be.”
“Camp Zero, their spiritual headquarters which they were using as a communication base was destroyed, and at the same time occupied by our men of the Armed Forces.”
“I believe it’s just a matter of time. It took America about seven to 10 years to get Bin Laden, so we will get Shekau, as soon as possible. The spiritual headquarters has been ransacked and vandalized, he is on the run, so he may be hiding in one of the enclaves of Sambisa Forest, which we are dominating.”
“We have opened up the place, we are using the place as a training area where Army Engineers will open roads; we shall be patrolling and ransacking that forest for the whereabouts of Shekau.”
“These insurgents have a way of putting masks, there could be so many, but we are looking for the real one. He has been using masks to portray Shekau in one incident or the other, to give an impression that he has been killed, so that we will relax, but we will not relax, we are on him,” he said.
The Minister, also spoke of his discussion with the President, which centred on the security in the country, and described it as fruitful, adding that Buhari was impressed with the performance of the Armed Forces.
According to Ali, the President directed that: “we should do more; the more we put our efforts, the more Nigeria gets safer. We are doing our best, and we have also requested for more in terms of equipment, and I can categorically tell you that the Nigerian Armed Forces have turned to professional Armed Forces.”
“The small arms competition was done last almost 11 years ago, so also the sports. So, you can see we are joining the professionalism with the security challenges that is happening in the country.”