Nigeria’s army chief has disclosed that from next year they will begin training exercises in the fallen stronghold of Boko Haram terrorists, the Sambisa Forest, local media portal Premium Times reports.
President Buhari on Saturday announced that the Army had successfully dislodged Boko Haram insurgents from the last enclave in the Sambisa forest located in the formerly restive northeast – home to the seven year insurgency.
According to Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai, he had directed that the Army’s 2017 small arms championship be conducted in the forest. ‘‘We are also opening up roads to Sambisa and Alagarno forests, Sambisa forest is going to be one of our training grounds,’‘ he is quoted to have said.
‘‘We are going to use it to also test fire our fighting vehicles, other key equipments and weapons that require testing whenever we want to induct new weapon and equipment into the Nigerian army inventory,’‘ he added.
He said all that effort was aimed at making the recaptured forest robust so that ‘‘these criminals do not come back to that forest again.’‘
Mr Buratai was speaking in Damasak in Borno State while celebrating Christmas with troops who fought to oust the insurgents. He joined the state governor, Kashim Shetima to open roads that had been closed for three years as a result of the insurgency.