Inter formation combat sports and swimming Championships, featuring 560 men and women from all the Nigerian Army Divisions across the country kicked off at the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) old site sporting arena yesterday.
Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Major General Taoreed Abiodun Lagbaja, who officially declared the.championship opened, said the Army is stepping up combat readiness of its officers and men through enhancement of their physical endurance to effectively confront the contemporary security challenges bedeviling Nigeria.
General Lagbaja who was represented by Commander Infantry Corps Nigerian Army, Maj-Gen Olufemi Oluyede said, physical fitness is one of the key areas of capacity building in any army, hence his reason for considering it imperative to ensure the promotion of physical fitness of all Nigerian Army personnel.
The COAS, while noting that the current operating environment is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous, said the Army has to enhance capacity for efficient employment of all hands to achieve desired results through group training.
According to him, “On my assumption of office as the Chief of Army Staff. I reflected on the myriads of security issues bedeviling our dear nation and the need to enhance NA’s capacity to combat the challenges.
“As we all know, physical fitness is one of the key areas of capacity building in any army, hence I considered it imperative to ensure the promotion of physical fitness of all Nigerian Army personnel.
“This informed the careful articulation of my command philosophy which is to Transform the Nigerian Army into well-trained, equipped and highly motivated force towards achieving our constitutional responsibilities within a joint environment.”
“I must emphasize that there is no gainsaying that the current operating environment is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. As such, we have to enhance capacity for efficient employment of all hands to achieve desired results through group training.
“We are therefore stepping up all aspects of our combat readiness in line with best practices to effectively confront contemporary adversaries. To this end, enhancing the physical endurance and operational readiness of troops will be accorded due priority across board.
“In line with my Command Philosophy, I therefore expect that this championship involving Boxing, Wrestling and Combat Swimming will go a long way in boosting our confidence, warrior ethos and survivability techniques.
“Let me at this juncture express my appreciation to the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his strategic direction and unflinching support to the Nigerian Army. I also commend the Comdt NDA, Chief of Training (Army), GOC 1 Div and members of organizing committee for their diligence in ensuring the successful preparation for the championship. My appreciation goes to all our invited guest for honouring our invitation.
“Finally, I urge all the competitors to make the best use of the Championship to display high level of fitness and the spirit of comradeship,” General Lagbaja said.
Earlier in his welcome address, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 1 Division Nigerian Army, and the Host, Major General Bamidele A Alabi, said the competition was designed to improve troops combat proficiency, physical fitness, enhance troops Picshitz traits, use of initiative and also promote esprit de corps.
“The Championship is also intended to prepare troops for battle in view of the current security challenges in the country,” he said.