The Nigerian Army says factional Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, is now on the run, dressed as a woman wearing either a black or blue hijab.
He is said to alternate between blue and black coloured hijab to avoid detection, the army said.
He was last seen in a black hijab, according to information gathered, said director of the Army public relations Brig-Gen Sani Usman in a statement.
"While concerted efforts are ongoing to track and apprehend the fugitive terrorist leader, we implore also members of the public, especially the residents of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States to be more vigilant, security conscious and be on the lookout of Abubakar Shekau and other terrorists that might disguise as women to escape.
The army says Shekau on the run is the result of concerted of troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE on the ongoing clearance of the Boko Haram terrorists through Operation DEEP PUNCH II.
According to him the exercise was yielding tremendous results as the troops have successfully been clearing Boko Haram camps in Sambisa forest including Camp Zairo.
He also called on the remaining Boko Haram terrorists to know that they are following a coward moving about in hijab disguised as a woman.
He then urged all the remaining Boko Haram members to come out from hiding and lay down their arms so that they may be treated humanely.
Speaking about Shekau, the army said, "He is desperately trying to escape the theatre disguised as a woman dressed in Hijab. We reliably gathered that to avoid detection Abubakar Shekau alternates between blue and black coloured hijabs. He was last seen in a black hijab.
In another development the troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE have continued their clearance operation against all known hideouts of Boko Haram terrorists within the large expanse of Sambisa forest as part of the ongoing Operation DEEP PUNCH II.
According to a statement signed by Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu, the deputy Director Public Relations of Theatre Command Operation LAFIYA DOLE, the troops dislodged Boko Haram terrorists from one of their highly fortified hide outs at around S-Shape part of the Sambisa forest.
He explained that the location was also believed to be one of their prized location.
He added that during a fierce offensive which was supported by Nigerian Air Force, against the terrorists on Monday 12th February 2018, the resilient troops neutralized quite a number of Boko Haram terrorists and captured major armaments, including 2 Spartan Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC), 1 Canter truck and 1 Laptop computer belonging to the insurgents.
The gallant troops also destroyed 8 Gun trucks, several makeshift accommodation and tents. Similarly, the troops rescued 19 women and 27 children from the erstwhile terrorists enclave. The highly motivated troops remain dauntless as the operation continues.