Nigeria: Boko Haram Leader, Shekau, Ready to Surrender, Says Military

Military authorities said yesterday that with the grand offensive mounted by the Armed Forces of Nigeria against Boko Haram and the Islamic State for West African Province (ISWAP), the body language of terror leader, Abubakar Shekau, is that of surrender.

They also confirmed the killing of key Boko Haram commanders during airstrikes on Durbarda, Borno State.

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) also said it had produced 18,000 hand sanitisers and ventilator machine, “Dicovent” in support of government’s effort to contain COVID-19 pandemic.

It called on federal and state governments to patronise the products produced by Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) to enable mass production.

Speaking at a briefing in Abuja attended by the leadership of DICON, led by Major General Victor Ezugwu, the Coordinator of the Directorate of Defence Media Operations (DDMO), Major General John Enenche, said while there was no official contact with the terror leader, his body language showed that he was ready to surrender.

He added that Boko Haram has been degraded by the ongoing pounding of its forces and structures.

“If you talk about body language, the body language is there. If he makes any move in that regard, you will know but from the onslaught from troops, they can’t hide anymore”, he said.

He stated that more airstrikes conducted by the Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole killed key Boko Haram commanders.

“Several key Boko Haram terrorists, Boko Haram/ISWAP leaders, have been killed and their structures destroyed in airstrikes conducted by the Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole at Durbada in Borno State.

“The operation was executed on the heels of credible Human Intelligence (HUMINT) reports, which were confirmed by a series of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions, indicating that the settlement was one of the locations where some of the terrorists’ hierarchy often hibernate”, he said.

He explained that fighter jets dispatched by the Air Task Force took turns in attacking the location scoring accurate hits within the target area, which resulted in the death of many terrorists.

“Others, who were seen attempting to flee the area, were taken out in follow-on attacks.

“The Armed Forces of Nigeria, in furtherance of the objective of restoring peace and security in the North-east will sustain the offensive against the enemies of our nation”, he said.

On COVID-19, Enenche stated that in response to the directive of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin, to the armed forces to articulate strategic intervention to support the federal government’s fight against the COVID 19 pandemic, DICON had taken the lead to address the shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

“Additional to its primary responsibility to produce defence equipment, DICON has succeeded in diversifying its human, equipment, machinery as well as research and development capacity, to support a much-needed strategic intervention to cushion the effects of the highly dreaded COVID 19 in the country.

“Consequently, DICON, under the visionary leadership and result-oriented leadership of Maj. Gen. Victor Ezugwu, has mobilised its management and staff to research, develop, produce and produce several COVID-19 and life-savessentialing equipment”, he said. Enenche stated that DICON embarked on the production of over 1,500 dozens of DICSanz, a high-quality hand sanitiser for supply to troops.

He said the product was at the last stage of NAFDAC registration in line with extant due diligence provisions.

“In addition to these, DICON engineers, consultants and medical teams have successfully produced a digital mechanical ventilator known as DICOVENT. The newly designed low-cost machine is a simple mechanical ventilator that can deliver positive pressured ventilation using a volume-controlled ventilation (VCV) system.

“The ventilator has undergone thorough scrutiny and assessment by specialists from top ranging hospitals and experts in the country, including Cedar crest Hospital Abuja, 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital Kaduna amongst others.

“While DICOVENT may not be able to meet the high demands of critical patients, it could be used for Continuous Mandatory Ventilation (CMV) and Intermittent Positive Pressure Ventilation ( IPPV), it can also be used for invasive ventilation and non-invasive ventilation using an end tracheal tube and mask respectively. “