The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, on Monday said the Sambisa Forest would serve as a training ground for personnel of the Nigerian Army as from 2017, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
Buratai said this in Damasak, Borno, while celebrating Christmas with troops of 145 Battalion after the road leading to the town was reopened by Governor Kashim Shettima, three years after closure.
He said, “We are also opening up roads to Sambisa and Alagarno forest. Sambisa Forest is going to be one of our training grounds. I have already directed that we should conduct Nigerian Army small arms championship in that forest next year.
“And we are going to use it also to test our fighting vehicles, other key equipment and weapons that require testing whenever we want to induct new weapon and equipment into the Nigerian Army inventory.
“It will afford us a very good ground for basic tactics and indeed advance tactics, including but not limited to tactics at the Platoon, company, battalion, brigade and even division levels. We are going to make it more robust to make sure that these criminals do not come back to that forest again.”
Meanwhile, the Northern Youth Leaders Forum has said that the fall of the Sambisa Forest and the defeat of Boko Haram terrorists would enhance the revival of the economy in the North-East.
The forum noted that with the new development, investors who had fled would return to the geopolitical zone.
The youths also commended the army for its resilience and sacrifices that led to the victory over the insurgents.
The National President of NYLF, Alhaji Adadu Adadu, told journalists that the defeat of the terror group had united Nigerians.
Adadu said, “The NYLF heartily commends the Nigerian Army, all the other military services, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, and other military chiefs for defeating the enemies of Nigeria.”