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Terrorism: Buhari to Open Army Small Arms Tournament in Sambisa Forest

Picture caption: President Mohammadu Buhari, Nigeria 

By Mustapha Abdul Salaam

BORNO, NIGERIA (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – President Muhammadu Buhari is billed to kick start the Nigerian Army Small Arms Championship (NASAC) 2017 Monday, March 27, 2017 inside the Sambisa Forest, Borno State.

The Army Chief of Training and Operations Major General David Amadu, made this disclosure at a press briefing Friday in Maiduguri the Borno State capital.

General Amadu explained that the championship which is scheduled to climax Friday, March 31  will feature medical outreach to Bama, Konduga, and Magumeri IDPs camps; educational training for Army Education Corps in Maiduguri; security awareness meetings with the traditional rulers as well as distribution of relief materials to IDPs within Maiduguri and its environs.

Speaking on the motive of the competition, Gen. Amadu said it was meant to test and shape the intelligence and professional capacities of the Nigerian Army officers and soldiers as well as equipment.

When coming for the formal opening, President Buhari is expected to be accompanied by the Minister of Defense, Mansur Ali and the Service Chiefs, including Chief of Defense Staff (CDS), General Gabriel Olanisakin, Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Abubakar Sadique and Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Obet Ebas.

Sambisa used to be one of the formidable havens of the dreaded Boko Haram terrorosits out of the three North East States which they wrecked havoc between 2009 and 2015.

The expansive Forest was finally re-captured by the troops last year December. Other towns and villages which were occupied by the terrorists in Adamawa, Yobe and Borno States have earlier been taken over by the troops.

Over 200 abducted Chibok School girls were initially harboured inside the Forest. Also, the negotiation between the Boko Haram leaders and officials of Department of State Services (DSS) which led to the release of 21 of the kidnapped girls also took place inside the Forest.   

Meanwhile, President Buhari has expressed appreciation to the British Government “for the very effective materials and logistical support to Nigeria” in the fight against Boko Haram.

The President according to a statement issued Friday in Abuja by his SA on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adeshina stated in spite of “isolated attacks against soft targets,” the British assistance helped in flushing “Boko Haram out of their hide-out base and severely degraded their capacity to mount a serious attack on Nigerian assets.”

Buhari’s appreciation Adeshina disclosed was contained in a formal letter he wrote to the British Prime Minister, Mrs. Theresa May, on behalf of the people of Nigeria to express his ”heartfelt condolences to the injured and families of the dead” in Wednesday’s terrorist attack in London.

He said the horrid incident “underscores the threat we all live under,” adding that, “terrorism has no borders and no season.”



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