President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to officially declare open the Nigerian Army Small Arms Championship, NASAC 2017 which is scheduled to kick off on Monday at the Sambisa Forest, the former stronghold of the Boko Haram terrorists.
This was made known by the Army Chief of Training and Operations, David Amadu, a Major General, during a press briefing on Friday in Maiduguri which marks the beginning of NASAC 2017.
Amadu told newsmen that the championship which would close on Friday, March 31st has lined up a chain of activities including a medical outreach to Bama, Konduga, and Magumeri IDPs camps, educational training for Army Education Corps in Maiduguri, security awareness meetings with the traditional rulers and distribution of relief materials to IDPs within Maiduguri and surrounding towns.
He explained that the championship was designed to test and shape the intelligence and professional capacity of the Nigerian Army officers and soldiers as well as equipment.
President Buhari is expected to be accompanied to the event by the Minister of Defense, Mansur Ali, the Chief of Defense Staff, Abayomi Olanisakin, Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, Chief of Air Staff, Abubakar Sadique and Chief of Naval Staff, Ibok-Ete Ibas.
It would be recalled that at the peak of the insurgency, the Boko Haram sect used the Sambisa Forest as their enclave and strategic headquarters until they were pushed out by the military on Christmas Eve 2016.
COAS, Buratai subsequently declared the former game reserve as a proposed site for military institution, building roads into it and kick-starting the new status of Sambisa Forest with the hosting of the annual Small Arms Competition.