The new Chief of Army Staff, Major General Ibrahim Attahiru, who was elevated to the position today by President Buhari has been identified as the former Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, who was removed by the Nigerian Army High Command for failing to stop Boko Haram in 2017.
According to a report by BBC in 2017, the then Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai, gave Attahiru 40 days to capture Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, dead or alive, which he failed in the assignment and was subsequently removed by Buratai without any posting.
However, none of the officers who later took up Attahiru’s office have been able to capture Shekau to date.
Attahiru’s tenure as theatre commander was characterised by several failures and a spike in terrorist attacks.
In May 2017, Attahiru took over the theatre command from Major General Lucky Irabor who is now the Chief of Defence Staff. However, suicide bombings and attacks on military formations increased drastically.
In June, barely a month after he took over, Boko Haram insurgents attacked Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
The month after, a group of geologists and technologists from the University of Maiduguri were ambushed by Boko Haram insurgents at Magumeri area of Borno state. About 12 soldiers who escorted the academics were reportedly killed.
Some members of staff of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation on the team were also killed in the brutal ambush.
Boko Haram, using four female suicide bombers, attacked Muna Gari, a suburb of Maiduguri, killing about 14 persons.
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