The mission was not achieved but the Army is counting the positives. Shekau is still out there but they claim he is of 'no consequence'.

Boko Haram has adopted new strategies including kidnapping and stabbing as the sect transforms gradually into an ideology.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has extended his 40-day deadline to the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Ibrahim Attahiru, to capture the leader of the Boko Haram terrorist group, Abubakar Shekau, dead or alive.

The deadline, which was earlier given by Buratai to the commander on July 21, 2017, expired on August 30, 2017.

The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Sani Usman, said in a statement on Friday that the commander requested for an extension of the order to capture Shekau, which was granted by Buratai.

However, the statement was silent on the duration of the extended deadline.

Usman said the troops eliminated 82 terrorists during the period and came close to achieving the directive issued by the COAS.

He said, “The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. T.Y. Buratai, has commended the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, his sector commanders and all troops of Operation Lafiya Dole for pursuing the COAS directive of capturing the purported Boko Haram terrorists’ leader, Abubakar Shekau, dead or alive, within 40 days beginning on July 21, 2017, which elapsed on August 30, 2017.

“Although the leader has not been captured, the COAS noted with satisfaction the zeal and determination with which the directive was pursued.

He congratulated the commander for eliminating five key leaders of the terrorist group that were the closest associates and right-hand men of the terrorist group leader.

“The Theatre Commander has asked for the extension of the deadline and it has been granted by the COAS.” Usman said with the killing of the 82 terrorists and the top five Boko Haram commanders, Shekau was no longer of any consequence.

He enjoined the people of the area to go about their business and have confidence in the capacity of the troops to protect them.