The Defence Headquarters Monday unveiled photographs of 55 suspected Boko Haram terrorists it declared wanted.
The new list brings the total number of wanted terrorists to 257. It will be recalled that the army last year released a list that contained names of two hundred and two insurgents. On top of the list of the newly declared ”most wanted”, is Abubakar Shekau, the factional leader of the terror group who the army declared fatally injured two months ago.
Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin, who unveiled the photographs at the headquarters of the Theatre Command,in Maiduguri, Borno State, called on Nigerians to assist in the search for the ‘terrorists’.
The army General explained that counter-insurgency was a field operation, which required adequate awareness by stakeholders.
“With this launch of additional photographs of wanted Boko Haram terrorists, it is hoped that the public and other peace loving citizen will provide information that will aid in ridding the society of these terrorists and criminal elements,’’ he said.
Speaking earlier, the Chief of Staff, Nigeria Army, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai noted that many of the 202 terrorists declared wanted had either been killed or arrested during operations.
“We have earlier, in the course of our campaigns against the insurgents from late 2015, published two editions, comprising 202 individuals that have been identified as key members of the Boko Haram insurgents.
“In the course of our counter-insurgency operations, quite a significant number of these wanted terrorists have either been killed or arrested.
“Those arrested have been providing useful information that has assisted the Army undertake successful operations,’’ he said.
Gen. Buratai called on Nigerians and the media with information about the suspects to provide it, saying such information will be treated with “utmost confidentiality’’.
“No item of information is too little or should be ignored,’’ he said.
The Army Chief stated that the military had achieved significant progress in the fight against the terrorists by degrading their combat power as well as decimating their ranks while restating that 60 per cent of the remnants of the terrorists were not Nigerians.