Chief of Army Staff, LT General Tukur Buratai on Saturday revealed that various sophisticated training exercises embarked upon by the Nigerian Army in 2016 culminated in the fall of the once dreaded Sambisa forest as well as checkmating the spread of militancy in the Niger-Delta.
Buratai noted that because of the Army’s determination to ensure that Sambisa forest finally fell, the Army undertook various field training exercises such as Shirin Harbi, Harbin–Kunama; Python Dance and Crocodile Smile in 2016.
Speaking at the 2016 Army Headquarters Garrison, West African Social Activities (WASA) Celebration, held at Mogadishu Cantonment, in Abuja, Buratai said the successful conduct of the exercises in various part of the country, contributed significantly to curbing and reducing criminality and other nefarious activities nationwide.
He said, the climax of these exercises and operations was, “Operation rescue Finale” in the north east which lead to the fall of Sambisa forest and capture of camp zero at the end of 2016.
Explaining that WASA is among the rich traditions of the Army which promotes team spirit, espirit-de-corps and confidence within and outside the barracks community, the Army Chief urged officers and soldiers to remain committed in the discharge of their collective responsibilities of ensuring peace and stability across the country.
“We must remain focused, dedicated and resilient in order to consolidate on the achievements so far recorded”.
FCT minister Muhammed Musa Bello who was guest of honour at the occasion, noted that the Nigerian Army has remained one of the pillars which continues to give hope to the citizens in their collective aspirations to be stable, peaceful and developed country.
He expressed happiness that the Army has remained a highly professional Army under a civilian democratic control, adding that they have continued to discharge their constitutional role with great success.
Bello said it is to the credit of the army that despite the internal security challenges, the nation’s commitment to regional and international peace and stability remains unshaken.
He said, “I salute the courageous and gallantry exploits of the personnel of the Nigerian Army. I am highly impressed with the conduct of operations that flushed out the terrorists from their strongholds especially in Sambisa Forest”.
Earlier, the Commander Army Headquarters Garrison Major General J.S. Malu said that the event is another opportunity to be together with their families to celebrate and give thanks to the almighty God for a successful 2016 and to showcase their different cultures within the barracks and cantonments.
He noted that in 2016, Army Headquarters Garrison conducted series of training activities on behalf of Army Headquarters geared towards accomplishing the chief of Army Staff vision.
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