The Nigerian military yesterday opened up on why the real Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, has not been captured despite the fall of his major hideout – Sambisa Forest.
According to the Director Defence Information (DDI), Major-Gen. John Eneche, while admitting that there was a mix-up regarding information about the capture or death of the Boko Haram leader because of the various faces Shekau uses.
The Defence spokesman also said even though the “real Shekau” has not been captured, the military is on the hunt for him and would soon capture him.
Eneche said: “There were so many Shekau faces. That was what was responsible for that. But we will get the real thing.
“We have now come to know that the real Shekau is yet to be apprehended. So, that is the truth.
“When Osama Bin Ladin was killed, they went further to do a DNA test. That was what happened.
“The truth is because of so many faces of Shekau that came up, that was what brought about the mix up. But it is true the real Shekau is yet to be apprehended, and we will get him.”
Eneche also gave an account of military operations in Nigeria, saying that the Nigerian Armed Forces have done well.
“The Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) has been able to decimate and degrade the Boko Haram terrorists (BHT) from their terrogensic activity to splinter acts of terrorism here and there, mostly within Borno State.
“Currently, clearance operation is ongoing jointly by the AFN to eliminate both active and passive acts of terrorism in the NE.
“It is worthy of note that some countries such as Britain, USA and France, among others, provided one form of assistance to the military in our effort so far in the North East,” he said.
General Eneche also said Operation Sharan Daji in the North-West has been able to curtail the activities of cattle rustlers with many of them embracing the amnesty offered by the government of Zamfara State.
He said: “Currently, the activities of the criminals have been checkmated tremendously.
“It is highly desirable to point out here, that a good number of criminals that were engaged in these activities embraced the amnesty offer by the Zamfara State Government.
“It is expected that other states in the North-West will emulate Zamfara State, so that this wickedness of criminality is eradicated from the zone in particular and Nigeria in general.”
He however dismissed the notion that the military is not doing anything to curtail the activities of herdsmen, saying it is a conflict “between brothers which will require a political solution.”
Eneche said: “It is not the one that you have an identified enemy, the issue of Fulani herdsmen and locals, it is an issue an African would put as brothers that have misunderstanding.
“It is an issue of two brothers. Even in our houses, children that follow almost immediately have this kind of argument, that is the issues of the herdsmen and the locals. At various fora, we have agreed that it needs more or less a political solution.”