The Chief of the Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, has said 14 forests and game reserves in the country have become “sanctuaries for kidnappers, bandits and terrorists”.
Give the half of the almost 500B Naira proposed by Nigerian Army to fight Boko Haram and others to vigilantes,you will see wonders
— Abubakar Mohd Kareto (@amkareto) April 5, 2019
But Buratai said the army had also commenced Exercise Harbin Kunama IV to flush bandits and insurgents out of forests in Sokoto, Katsina and Zamfara states.
#RT @NkirukaNistoran: Alert: The world should be careful of Nigerian soldiers coming into their countries Nigerian military have claimed to have graduated 152 Ex-Boko Haram terrorist In Gombe State and recruited them into Nigeria's Army. @realDonaldTrump… https://t.co/KX3ykg132W
— Emeka Chuks (@Omambala_Chuks) April 4, 2019
The COAS said these in Abuja in his keynote address at a seminar on regimentation and combating security challenges associated with forests and protected areas.
In a bid to #StopZamfaraKillings and end the bandits’ ungodly activities in Zamfara, Sokoto and Katsina States axis, the Nigerian Army’s Operation Harbin Kunama III was launched yesterday. The Operation is specifically to ruthlessly deal with the bandits. May God help our troops!
— Bashir Ahmad (@BashirAhmaad) April 3, 2019
The seminar was organised by the army headquarters.
Buratai named the forests as Kuyan Bana, Dan Saudau and Sububu (Zamfara); Pandogari and Kagara (Niger); Allargano, Sambisa and Chingurmi-Bugama (Borno).
You claim you care, but you rush to tweet when Boko Haram kill our Soldiers, but go quiet when our Soldiers record victory.
If not for the great effort of the Nigerian Army, Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt, Enugu would have all been overrun.
We will prevail. pic.twitter.com/q7YnTTfACd
— Onyebuchi (@onyebuchind) April 2, 2019
The rest are Guljba (Yobe), Rugu (Katsina), as well as Lame Bura and Balmo (Bauchi).
The game reverses are Allawa and Falgore in Kano State.
The army chief said he had directed that the Sambisa Forest be turned into an “Ecosystem Resort Centre where war relics of the past few years in the North-East will be maintained as historical sites for tourism.”
Buratai said, “National parks are designated protected areas that are defined to achieve the long-term conservation of nature with associated services and cultural values.
“These parks provide a safe haven for our animals and native plants. They also serve as places of tourism that could be a source of foreign exchange earnings.
“Unfortunately today, our forests and parks such as Kuyan Bana, Dan Saudau , Sububu, Allawa Games Reserve, Pandogari, Kagara, Falgore Games Reserve, Allargano, Sambisa, Chingurmi-Bugama, Guljba, Rugu, Lame Bura and Balmo are now sanctuaries for criminals, kidnappers, bandits, insurgents and terrorists.
“Forests and wildlife park managers have been sacked from their jobs.
“There is gradual deforestation which in itself constitutes danger for the ecosystem. As I speak, Exercise Harbin Kunama is being launched in Zamfara and it will involve large-scale employment of personnel and logistics movement.
“The aim is to flush out bandits and insurgents from some identified forest areas.”