The Nigerian Army on Wednesday removed the Theatre Commander of the Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj. Gen. Attahiru Ibrahim, and appointed a new Major General to head the military anti-insurgency operation in the North-East.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Sani Usman, confirmed the development to our correspondent on the telephone, noting that Maj. Gen. Rogers Nicholas has been named as his replacement.
Usman said, “It is true that a new commander has been appointed for Operation Lafiya Dole. I can confirm the appointment.”
Until his new appointment, Nicholas was the Chief of Logistics at the Army Headquarters, Abuja.
Our correspondent learnt that the army’s high command was not pleased with the prosecution of the war against insurgency in the North-East, which had lately led to attacks on military bases, the most recent being in the Magumeri Local Government Area of Borno State.
Ibrahim took over from Maj. Gen. Lucky Irabor, who is now the Commander of the Multi-National Joint Task Force in May 2017.
Among the perceived shortcomings of the outgoing commander was his inability to capture the Boko Haram terrorists’ leader, Abubakar Shekau.
It was reported in August 2017 that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai, issued a 40-day ultimatum to the Operation Lafiya Dole Theatre Command to capture Shekau, but that had not been done since the deadline expired in September.
It was learnt that Ibrahim has been redeployed to the army headquarters, Abuja.
Although the reason for the removal was not stated, it was learnt that the redeployment was connected with the most recent Boko Haram attacks in the Biu Local Government Area of Borno State, in which at least 18 persons were killed.
It was reported that two suicide bombers attacked Biu in southern Borno on Saturday and killed 18 persons in the town’s main market.
The police in Borno had said 53 others were injured and had been evacuated to the medical facility.