By Johnson Eyiangho
Sambisa (Borno) – President Muhammadu Buhari said on Friday that the attention of the Army would always be required to tackle numerous security challenges across the country.
Speaking at the closing of the 2017 Nigerian Army Small Arms Championship at Sambia, the president urged troops to use the skills they acquired in the competition to improve their performance.
Represented by Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin, the Chief of Defence of Staff,Buhari, said: “Remember security challenges abound in our country that will continue to require the attention of the Nigerian army and indeed the Armed Forces of Nigeria.
“I therefore urge you not to rest on your oars but harness the skills which you have used this competition to sharpen for improved performance,’’ he said.
The president said holding the exercise in Sambisa indicated that normalcy had returned to Borno, and indeed the North-East.
Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai has directed the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, to route remnants of Boko Haram terrorists from their hiding places in the “next few weeks.’’
“I want to give the final task to the Theatre Commander, Maj.-Gen. Lucky Irabor, to within the next few weeks flush out these criminals once and for all from their hiding places in this area and indeed in the whole North-East,’’ Buratai said.
“This is a task we much accomplish,’’ he said.
The chief of army staff said troops would continue to dominate the forest with the fall of Camp Zero, the last strong hold of the Boko Haram, and vowed that the terrorists would never be allowed to re-occupy the area.
Buratai said that to ensure this, exercises including training, would continue to be held in the forest.
He also directed the Commandant, Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA), to ensure that henceforth, final exercises of passing out cadets were held in the forest.
Nine Divisions of the Nigerian army, 1,2,3,6, 7, 8, 81, 82 and Army Headquarters Garrison participated in the exercise.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 7 Division, Maiduguri, emerged the winner of the championship, 82 Div., Enugu, came second, while Army headquarters Garrison took the third position.
Apart from trophies, they were rewarded by the chief of army with N2 million, N1.5 million and N1 million in that order.
Ten participants took part in the shooting competition including: AK47 riffle, FN riffle, pistol and female Ak47 shooting.
All the Service Chiefs, representative of the Inspector-General of Police and Defence Attaches of various countries in Nigeria attended the ceremony which also featured display of “fire power’’ by the army and Air Force.