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Boko Haram membership reducing, says Buhari 



Shekau disguises in female attire to evade arrest, army declares

President Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed that Boko Haram terrorism is gradually coming to an end.His Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said this yesterday in a statement.He spoke at the State House, when he received a Letter of Credence from the Apostolic Nuncio of the Holy See to Nigeria, Most Rev. Archbishop Antonio Guido Filipazzi.

He said the position of the terrorists, followed the narrowing of their recruitment base, and the renewed onslaught by the Nigerian Army.Buhari said the terrorist group had lost appeal in its initial strongholds, necessitating a steady retreat that would eventually culminate in ending the insurgency.He said: “You can’t indoctrinate people who are below the age of 14 years and blow up churches, mosques and markets, and you keep shouting God is great.

“It is either they don’t know what they are saying, or simply don’t care or believe what they say.“The Nigerian Army is also not making it easy for them to grow, with more intelligence, orientation and regular, measured onslaught on their camps.”

Buhari described the Catholic Church as a strong partner in the development of Nigeria.Archbishop Filipazzi said the Holy Father, Pope Francis, had taken a keen interest in the fight against terrorism, corruption and reviving of the Nigerian economy.He said he had travelled to the North East and was pleased with the efforts of the Nigerian Army in tackling the insurgents, and recovering some of the earlier lost grounds.

Meanwhile, troops of Operation Lafiya Dole yesterday disclosed that the Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, had evaded arrest by dressing as a woman.A statement by the Director, Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen Sani Usman in Abuja, said he dresses in different hijab attires.He said: “We reliably gathered that to avoid detection, Shekau alternates between blue and black coloured hijabs. He was last seen in black hijab. 

“The troops have successfully been clearing Boko Haram camps in Sambisa forest, including Camp Zero. The Deputy Director Public Relations of Theatre Command, Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, also disclosed in another statement that the troops rescued 46 women and children from the terrorists’ hideouts in Sabi Huda.

Also yesterday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, urged the media and other stakeholders to collaborate in the efforts to completely dismantle Boko Haram extremist ideologies in the country. He made the appeal at a public presentation of policy framework forum organised by the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) in Abuja.

The NSA Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno, explained that violent extremists, riding on misconceptions of religion, had prolonged the unresolved conflicts. The Coordinator, Counter-terrorism ‎Centre, Commodore Yem Musa, added that the policy framework was presented after wide consultations.

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