Sambisa forest hosts arms championship

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Nigeria Army engineers constructing roads in Sambisa forest in readiness for the championship.

The 2017 Nigeria Army Small Arms Championship (NASAC 2017) will hold in recently captured Boko Haram’s fortress, Sambisa Forest.

The Nigeria Army Engineers (NAE) Corps has mobilised to site and commenced access roads clearance and construction of range and other facilities, Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka Usman, Director Army Public Relations, has said.

He said that the military was actualising the directives of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai.

The dreaded forest was captured in December last year with many insurgents killed and a lot of people rescued.

President Muhammadu Buhari commended the troops for crushing Boko Haram terrorists in their last enclave in Sambisa forest.

In a goodwill message to troops of the Operation Lafiya Dole on the successful capture of the Boko Haram enclave in Sambisa forest, Buhari expressed delight, saying he was proud of the troops.

He said: “I am delighted at, and most proud of the gallant troops of the Nigerian Army, on receipt of the long-awaited and most gratifying news of the final crushing of Boko Haram terrorists in their last enclave in Sambisa forest.

“I want to use this opportunity to commend the determination, courage and resilience of troops of Operation Lafiya Dole at finally entering and crushing the remnants of the Boko Haram insurgents at Camp Zero, which is located deep within the heart of Sambisa forest.

“I was told by the Chief of Army Staff that the Camp fell at about 1:35 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 22, and that the terrorists are on the run, and no longer have a place to hide. I urge you to maintain the tempo by pursuing them and bringing them to justice.’’

The president, therefore, called on all Nigerians to cooperate and support the Nigerian Armed Forces and other security agencies by providing useful information that would expose all the terrorists hiding among the populace.

Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno had described the fall of Sambisa Forest which served as the headquarters of ‘Boko Haram’ insurgents as a “Christmas and New Year gift” to the people of the State.

Shettima made the description at the official re-opening of Major roads leading to Northern part of the state in Maiduguri.

The roads include Maiduguri to Gubio to Kareto to Damasak road and Maiduguri to Monguno to Baga.

“I would want to start by declaring that since I became the Governor of Borno State in over five years, this is the best Christmas season I have witnessed.

“This is the best December I have witnessed and the year, 2016, is my best year so far, as Governor of Borno State.

“The year 2016 is for me, Nigeria’s year of victory and Borno’s year of Hope and Resurrection,” he said.

Enumerating the historic events of the year in the fight against insurgents, Shettima said 2016 “is the year that we began to have access to major towns like Gwoza, Bama, Dikwa, Monguno and Damasak following their liberation by our gallant armed forces”.

“It is in the year 2016 that major highways began to be re-opened; it is in the year 2016 that we accelerated our major reconstruction of liberated communities; it is in the year 2016 that IDPS began to return to communities.

“It is in the year 2016 that we recovered some of our daughters abducted at Government Secondary School, Chibok in 2014; and fellow Nigerians, it is in the year 2016, that the Federal Republic of Nigeria established it’s supremacy over the Sambisa headquarters of the Boko Haram,” he added.

The Governor also said that two of the roads re-opened were of significant economic benefits to the people of his State as it was through them that trailers conveyed agricultural produce from farming communities.

He paid glowing tributes to President Muhammadu Buhari, Service Chiefs as well as officers and men of the Nigerian Armed Forces for their different roles in the fight against insurgency.

“Many persons made sacrifices, including giving up their lives for us to have peace and for these roads we are about re-opening, to be freed from the control of insurgents,” he said.

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