The Nigerian Military on Wednesday recounted a near encounter with the Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, who it said fled and left behind his ‘Holy Book’.
Shekau, had in the past, professed great love for his version of Quran, which he left behind in panic during the final mop up operation by troops in the Sambisa Forest last week.
Theatre Commander Operation Lafia Dole, Major General Lucky Irabor disclosed this today in Maiduguri during his weekly media briefing on the campaign agaist Boko Haram in the North-East zone.
Irabor said the Military have won the war against Boko Haram and all the same are now committed to winning peace back for the north-east zone.
He said within the past one week, troops had arrested not less than 1, 240 suspected Boko Haram members, while 30 of them had willingly surrendered to the Nigerien troops.
According to him, out of those who surrendered were 24 and six females.
The Theatre Commander told newsmen that troops of Operation Lafiya Dole had successfully cleared the last stronghold of Boko Haram in the Sambisa forest and in the process destroyed all the major camps they had built.
Irabor who deployed some visuals to buttress his point recounted how members of Boko Haram fled in different directions on sighting troops in their mop up operations as they moved towards the Ground Zero, main abode of the Boko Haram commanders.
He described Ground Zero as the real Headquarters of Boko Haram and a place playing host to Shekau and his commanders.
He said Shekau and his men fled and left behind the Boko Haram flag and a ‘holy book’, which troops took custody of and presented to their ranking officials.
According to the Theatre Commander, the last mop up operations in Sambisa forest by troops was facilitated with the help of Air fighter jets, which he said provided air cover for the ground troops to make deeper incursion into the core of Sambisa, stronghold of the Boko Haram.
Troops hot on the trail of fleeing insurgents
Troops of the Nigerian army are hot on the trail of fleeing Boko Haram insurgents, according to Major General Lucky Irabor.
Irabor said troops were hot in pursuit of fleeing Boko Haram members with the hope of having some of them apprehended at the end.
He said all the major routes and exit ports in the Sambisa forest are already being manned by troops, who he stressed would be on the look out for the insurgents.
Irabor, however disclosed that the Military Command in Nigeria had resolved to construct roads into critical areas in Sambisa forest as a ploy to gain fuller command of the forest.
He disclosed also that military exercises would henceforth be conducted in the forest to discourage the regrouping of insurgents in the area.
He appealed to public spirited groups and individuals not to relent in lending support to the military in their efforts towards to open up the roads to for human activities.