Boko Haram factional leader Abubakar Shekau may still be alive despite previous reports that he has been killed or fatally wounded by Nigerian security forces.
This follows remarks by Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai that Shekau has move to another location after the military recent massive onslaught on the dreaded Sambisa forest.
According to Lt. Gen Buratai, Shekau could not withstand the firepower of the Nigerian troops and had to move to another location, though the army is on his trail.
Speaking in an interview with Daily Trust Buratai said when asked about the whereabout of Shekau: “Your guess is as good as mine because as we are planning, he too was planning. He could not withstand the advancing troops into that location so he moved and we are still going after him.
“As for the items that were recovered in Camp Zero which we strongly believe belong to the terrorist, these were evidence to show that our troops have been there. These criminals that have been staying in that place are no more in that location.”
Buratai also said the troops had expected to capture the terrorists’ ring leaders when Camp Zero was captured but they were able to slip out of Camp zero and move to another location.
“It was the expectation when Camp Zero was captured. We even expected to see the Boko Haram terrorists’ key leaders. They were able to slip out of that place and move to another location. The forest is very large but we are still searching for them.
“The troops are continuously carrying out clearance operations in other suspected locations. But the most important thing is that Camp Zero was the stronghold of the Boko Haram terrorists; it was their main headquarters where we suspected the key leaders were hiding.”
Recall that Shekau appeared in a new video on Thursday, December 29, to deny claims that the insurgent group has been crushed and flushed out of its Sambisa forest stronghold.
This came five days after President Muhammadu Buhari announced that the Nigerian military had succeeded in liberating Sambisa forest, one of Boko Haram’s hideout.