•Shekau on the run, disguises as woman to evade arrest –Army
Molly Kilete, Abuja; Chinelo Obogo
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said Sambisa has become too hot for Boko Haram to operate freely, as they are now escaping to neighbouring communities.
The minister also boasted that Boko Haram can no longer carry out organised attacks as they used to and that they no longer have a grip on any Nigerian territory.
He said that their flag, which they flew in Bama and other territories they used to occupy, has become a shroud.
Alhaji Mohammed made this known at the public presentation of the Policy Framework and National Action Plan for preventing and countering violent extremism, organised by the Office of the National Security Adviser, in Abuja, yesterday.
He disclosed that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has secured the release of 30,000 abductees, in less than three years of his assumption of office and that over 100 school girls abducted by the terrorists have since regained their freedom, through government’s intervention and that government is still working hard to ensure the release of the remaining girls.
He said the challenge left for government at the moment is to develop strategies to counter the dangerous ideologies and messages being peddled by the extremists and added that the “federal government is not unmindful of structural conditions that make an environment conducive to the growth of violent extremism, such as unemployment, poverty, lack of education, corruption, and other social-economic factors.
“Through various policies and programmes of this administration, these structural conditions are being addressed on a daily basis.
“The Anchors Borrowers Programme has created over 6.3 million jobs for farmers, through rice farming.”
Elsewhere, the Nigerian Army has said it has credible information that factional Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, now dresses as a woman, to escape from the ‘Theatre of Operation.’
Army Spokesman, Brig-Gen. Sani Usman, disclosed this in a statement, yesterday, and added that, “Shekau can no longer bear the heat and has abandoned his followers.
“He is running for dear life.
“He is desperately trying to escape while disguised as a woman dressed in a Hijab.
“We reliably gathered that to avoid detection, Shekau alternates between blue and black coloured Hijabs. He was last seen in a black Hijab”
Shekau recently released a 10-minute video where he said he was tired of the calamity befalling his group.
In the video which was delivered in the Hausa, he expressed frustration on the continued hostility and loss of his supporters to the government troops.
Reacting on his Twitter handle to the video, Ahmad Salkida, an expert, who reported Boko Haram activities for many years, said even though the Army has made significant progress in the fight against Boko Haram, activities of the terror group has moved beyond Nigeria.
Last week, Boko Haram released some “police women” and University of Maiduguri lecturers abducted last year, while on an oil exploration trip in the North East.