•As NAF assures Nigerians of victory over insurgents
From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The Nigerian Army said it has killed two Boko Haram commanders and deputies of the Abubakar Shekau-led faction of the sect.
Army spokesman, Sani Usman, who disclosed this in a statement yesterday, said the commanders, Afdu Kawuri and Abubakar Benishek, were killed in a successful military operation in Alafa, Borno State.
“This is in addition to Ba’Abba Ibrahim and two other Boko Haram commanders that died after sustaining injuries during their last ambush at Magumeri Local Government Area of Borno State,” he said.
Usman said five other key leaders of the group and close associates of Shekau were neutralised in joint bombardment in August.
The Army spokesman described Shekau’s latest video, where he taunted the Army, as an act of desperation and lies by “remnants of the insurgents to instill unnecessary fear in law-abiding citizens.”
In the video, the group denied the killing of its five key commanders and claimed it had a wonderful Sallah celebration in Sambisa forest.
“We challenge the so-called terrorist leader to produce the five key commanders earlier killed or the video of those ameers he claimed (were) not dead and are still with him.
“It is also instructive to note that Shekau is scared and rattled by the 40-day ultimatum issued by the Chief of Army Staff to Operation Lafiya Dole to fish him out,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has said the military campaign against insurgency in the country has been yielding positive results as counter-insurgency operations in the North East have degraded the capacity of the terrorists and curtailed their movement.
He made the declaration at the inauguration of two new blocks of classrooms at the Air Force Comprehensive Secondary School, Iyaba-Offa, Ibadan, Oyo State, and the Joint Airmen Mess at 671 Nigerian Air Force Detachment, Ibadan.
Abubakar was represented at the event by the Air Officer Commanding, Logistics Command, Ikeja, Lagos, Air Vice Marshal Ibrahim Yahaya. The hosts were the Commander, 671 NAF Detachment, Air Commodore Olalekan Lawal, and the Commandant, AFCS, Wing Commander Peter Garba.
The CAS said: “We’ve largely degraded the capacity of the terrorists and curtailed their freedom of movement, while retaining credible capability project force in other parts of the country, like the South South and South West, against miscreants and pipeline vandals as well as the North Central and North West against cattle rustlers and other criminal elements.”