Newly appointed Chief of Army Staff, Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru was sacked as the Theatre Commander of operation Lafiya Dole, by the Nigerian Army High Command for failing to stop Boko Haram in 2017.
The BBC had reported in 2017 how the then Chief of Army Staff, Lt.Gen Tukur Buratai (retd), 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 Leo Irabor who is now the Chief of Defence Staff. However, suicide bombings and attacks on military formations increased drastically.
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.