The federal government has finally admitted that Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau is still alive.
The minister of defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, made the disclosure on Tuesday, March 28, shortly after briefing President Muhammadu Buhari of his ministry’s activities at the presidential villa, Abuja.
Dan-Ali explained that apprehending the sect leader has proved to be difficult for security forces because the insurgents normally wear masks to conceal their identities and divert attention, the Punch reports.
The minister however, expressed the confidence that the Shekau will soon be captured
He said anybody who has the opportunity of visiting Sambisa Forest would know that Boko Haram has been defeated.
Dan-Ali said the nation’s security forces will continue to ransack the Sambisa forest, the former strong hold of the insurgents, for the whereabouts of Shekau.
“I believe it is just a matter of time. It took America about seven to ten years to get Bin Laden. So. we will get Shekau as soon as possible.
“The sect’s spiritual headquarters has been ransacked and vandalised. He (Shekau) is on the run.
“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. The Army engineers will open up roads and we shall be patrolling and be ransacking that forest for the whereabouts of Shekau,” he said.
When asked why the government had at different times in the past claimed that Shekau had been killed, the minister attributed that error to disguise by the insurgents.
He said: These insurgents have a way of putting on mask. There could be so many but we are looking for the real one.
They have been using mask to portray Shekau in one incidents 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.”