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.
LT Gen 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.
The coast disclosed these in Abuja in his keynote address at a seminar on regimentation and combating security challenges associated with forests and protected areas.
The seminar was organized by the army headquarters.
LT Gen Buratai named the forests as Kuyan Bana, Dan Saudau and Sububu (Zamfara); Pandogari and Kagara (Niger); Allargano, Sambisa and Chingurmi-Bugama (Borno).
The rest are Guljba (Yobe), Rugu (Katsina), as well as Lame Bura and Balmo (Bauchi) while the game reserves 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.