Maiduguri, March 25, 2017 (TNE): The Nigerian Army on Saturday gave reasons for choosing the notorious Sambisa Forest to stage this year’s Small Arms Championship: to assert its commanding domination over Boko Haram insurgency.
Lt.- Gen. Tukur Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) told newsmen in Maiduguri that the staging of the event in the forest was aimed at consolidating the army’s grip on the area.
”We have been in the North East fighting the Boko Haram terrorists and you know the significance of the Sambisa forest to them.
”It used to be one of their centres, in fact we suspect that their command and control centre was located there before its eventual capture,” he said.
Buratai explained: ”Following the eventual capture of Camp Zairo, we want to consolidate that aspect of our operations by ensuring that the place is secure.
”We also want the place to be dominated by our troops and also to get firm control, so that we will continue to dominate the area.”
He said that the championship was aimed at consolidating on the total defeat and routing out of Boko Haram terrorists from their operational headquarters in camp zairo, located in the forest.
”The Nigerian Army Small Arms Championship is part of the training activities scheduled for 2017.
”It is a championship among the formations of the Nigerian Army, the objective of the event is to sharpen the marksmanship skills of the army personnel,” Buratai said.
The Chief of Army Staff said that President Muhammadu Buhari who is Commander- In Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, will be represented at the opening of the event on Monday by the Minister of Defence, Alhaji Mannir Dan-Ali.
The Nigerian Expression reports that with a landmass of 60,000sq. km., the Sambisa forest is 18 times the size of Lagos State, and once a game reserve renowned for its wildlife. It was used for safaris. (TNE)