Some Boko Haram insurgents who have surrendered their arms to the Nigerian Army have made confessions that their leader, known as Abubakar Shekau, is currently on the run and is disguised as a woman.
This was disclosed in a statement signed on Tuesday by the Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka Usman.
The Nigerian Army had claimed to have defeated the insurgent group leader in previous clearance operations.
But a man who refers to himself as Shekau, has severally reappeared in videos posted by the group online, mocking the efforts of the Federal Government, as well as the claims that he had been killed.
The statement, however, confirms that Shekau “could no longer bear the heat and is currently on the run”.
“Credible information from arrested and surrendered insurgents indicated that the purported Boko Haram terrorist group factional leader, Abubakar Shekau could not bear the heat anymore as he has abandoned his followers, he is running for his dear life.
“He is desperately trying to escape the theatre disguised as a woman dressed in Hijab. We reliably gathered that to avoid detection Abubakar Shekau alternates between blue and black coloured hijabs.
“He was last seen in a black hijab,” the statement read in part.
The Army also noted that it has succeeded in rescuing more hostages camped in the forest and recovering arms and ammunition from the insurgents.
“The concerted efforts of troops of Operation Lafiya Dole on the ongoing clearance of the Boko Haram terrorists through Operation Deep Punch II has been yielding tremendous results.
“Troops have successfully been clearing Boko Haram camps in Sambisa forest including Camp Zairo.
“They have also rescued civilians being held by the terrorists, recovered arms, ammunition, Improvised Explosives Devices (IED) factories and making materials as well as other equipment.
“Consequently, the terrorists are in disarray and scampering for safety while others were surrendering”.
The Army, therefore, asked the insurgents who are still on the run to surrender their arms while being offered amnesty.
They also urged members of the public to be vigilant and ensure they report any suspicious moves.
“We, therefore, call on all those remaining Boko Haram terrorists to know that they are following a coward moving about in hijab disguised as a woman.
“We also request that all the remaining Boko Haram members come out from hiding and lay down their arms and be treated humanely.
“While concerted efforts are ongoing to track and apprehend the fugitive terrorist leader, we implore also members of the public, especially the residents of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States to be more vigilant, security conscious and be on the lookout for Abubakar Shekau and other terrorists that might disguise as women to escape”.