President Muhammadu Buhari will on Monday visit the Sambisa Forest to declare open the Nigerian Army Small Arms Championship 2017. The forest was the stronghold and strategic headquarters of the Boko Haram sect until they were pushed out by the military in December 2016.
During the visit, President Buhari will be accompanied by the Minister of Defense, Alhaji Mansur Ali; Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olanisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Abubakar Sadique, and Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Obet Ebas.
Chief of Training and Operations, Army, Major General David Amadu, during a press briefing on Friday in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, said a number of activities had been lined up to mark the championship including medical outreach to Bama, Konduga, and Magumeri IDPs’ camps, educational training for Army Education Corps in Maiduguri, security awareness meetings with the traditional rulers and distribution of relief materials to IDPs within the capital and surrounding towns.
He explained that the championshipwas aimed at testing and shaping the intelligence and professional capacity of the Nigerian Army officers and soldiers. He said it was also to put the Sambisa Forest into proper use and turn it into Nigerian Army training ground as roads and bridges had been constructed and opened to enable them to test arms, ammunition and equipment.
He, however, appealed to members of the public to cooperate with the Nigerian Army during the championship, pointing out that adequate arrangements had been made to ensure the protection of lives and property within and around the defined range of the demonstration.