A former Theatre Commander of operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Ibrahim Attahiru, who was removed by the Nigerian Army High Command for failing to stop Boko Haram in 2017, has been elevated to the position of Chief of Army Staff by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
The BBC had reported in 2017 how the then Chief of Army Staff, Lt.Gen Tukur Buratai, had given Attahiru 40 days to capture Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, dead or alive. Attahiru’s failure to live up to expectations saw him being removed without any posting.
However, none of the officers who later took up Attahiru’s office have been able to capture Shekau till 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.