Meet Ibrahim Attahiru, The General Who Was ‘Sacked’ For His Inability To Defeat Boko Haram But Now Promoted As Nigeria’s New Chief of Army Staff

A former Commander of operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Ibrahim Attahiru, who was removed by the Nigerian Army High Command for failing to stop Boko Haram in 2017, has been elevated to the position of Chief of Army Staff by the President Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).


Nigeria’s military sacked Ibrahim Attahiru the former commander leading the fight against militant Islamist group Boko Haram.

Ibrahim Attahiru’s redeployment to an unspecified post follows a string of attacks by the insurgents, including the killing of at least 50 people in a mosque in November 2017.

No official reason was given for Maj Gen Ibrahim Attahiru’s removal.

It can be recalled that the then Army chief Gen Tukur Buratai gave him a deadline in July 2017 to deliver Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau dead or alive within 40 days.

The BBC reported the redeployment in 2017 and detailed how the then Chief of Army Staff, Lt.Gen Tukur Buratai, had given Attahiru 40 days to capture Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, dead or alive. Attahiru’s failure to live up to expectations saw him being removed without any posting.

READ ALSO: President Buhari Sacks Service Chiefs, Appoints New Service Chiefs

However, none of the officers who later took up Attahiru’s office have been able to capture Shekau till date. Attahiru’s tenure as theatre commander was characterised by several failures and a spike in terrorist attacks.

In May 2017, Attahiru took over the theatre command from Major General Lucky Irabor who is now the Chief of Defence Staff.

However, suicide bombings and attacks on military formations increased drastically.

In June, barely a month after he took over, Boko Haram insurgents attacked Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

The month after, a group of geologists and technologists from the University of Maiduguri were ambushed by Boko Haram insurgents at Magumeri area of Borno state. About 12 soldiers who escorted the academics were reportedly killed.

Some members of staff of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation on the team were also killed in the brutal ambush.

Boko Haram, using four female suicide bombers, attacked Muna Gari, a suburb of Maiduguri, killing about 14 persons.

Photo Credit: Getty

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