Minister of Defence Mansur Dan-Ali is optimistic that Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau who is on the run, will soon be arrested.
He spoke yesterday with State House correspondents after briefing President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said Boko Haram insurgents were defeated after their spiritual base and headquarters was captured by Nigerian troops.
On moves to capture Shekau, he said: “I believe it’s just a matter of time. It took America about seven to 10 years to get Osama bin Laden. So, we will get Shekau as soon as possible.
“I told you before now, the spiritual headquarters has been ransacked and vandalised. He (Shekau) is on the run. So, he may be hiding in one of the enclaves of Sambisa forest, which we are dominating.
“We have opened up the place. We are using the place as a training area, whereby army engineers will open roads. We shall be patrolling and ransacking that forest for Shekau.”
Reminded that several reports had claimed that Shekau had been killed, he said: “Let me tell you categorically. These insurgents, they have a way of putting masks. There could be so many, but we are looking for the real one.
“He has been using masks to portray Shekau in one incident or the other to give an impression that he has been killed so that we will relax, but we will not relax; we are on his trail.”