Senator Iroegbu in Abuja
The military authorities have expressed surprise at the sudden and unusual silence from the loquacious leader of Boko Haram terrorists or his impostor since the recent onslaught to flush them out of the North-East before the general elections and May 29 hand-over date.
The military sources wondered why eccentric Shekau who usually makes videos to denounce and debunk any military gain by Nigeria and the allied troops of the Mult-National Joint Task Force (MJTF) has not made any threat since the latest offensive that liberated all the towns in Adamawa, Yobe and over 90 per cent of Borno.
One of the sources told PRNigeria that since the declaration of the final push against the insurgents in the middle of February, and the directive to clear all terrorists’ camps before the May 29 handover date, the Nigerian troops have been on the lookout for Shekau and other commanders of Boko Haram.
With peace and quiet from the usually vociferous Abubakar Shekau, supreme head of the Boko Haram, in recent times, the source confirmed growing speculations within the security circles that the group may have been so disarrayed that it no longer has the luxury of issuing threats.
“The guy simply disappeared from the radar. Even his communications through Thuraya satellite phones that are usually monitored have disappeared and it is like the guy suddenly vanished. We wish we can catch him alive,” the source added.
The last that was heard of Shekau was the unverified broadcast pledging allegiance to Islamic State (IS) early in March which was posted on Boko Haram’s Twitter account. In that broadcast he also vowed to disrupt the rescheduled elections.
Shekau was quoted to have said in a statement made in Hausa language:“This election will not be held even if we are dead. Even if we are not alive, Allah will never allow you to do it”.
However, despite the threats, the group was unable to disrupt the 2015 general elections as polls were conducted reasonably peacefully throughout the country on March 28 and April 11.
Since asking for a six-week extension to the date of 2015 general elections in February, Nigerian troops have essentially flushed out Boko Haram terrorists from the 21 local government areas that they occupied in three states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.
The military has since then invaded the notorious Sambisa forest, which is noted as the terrorists’ hideout and is systematically combing them to clear the entire Nigerian territory of terrorist elements.
Also, on Wednesday, the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) issued a statement detailing the killing of a notorious top terrorists’ commander, Abu Mojahid among scores of others on the outskirts of Alagarno on Tuesday morning.
The Director of Defence Information (DDI), Maj-Gen. Chris Olukolade confirmed this in a statement, disclosed that the terrorist kingpin died while leading a comeback attack on the troops.
“A notorious top terrorists commander, Abu Mojahid was among the terrorists that died in their encounter with troops in the outskirt of Alagarno, Tuesday morning. The terrorists had staged a daring attack on troops who were on patrol of the area”, Olukolade said..
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