The 82 Division, Nigeria Army, on Friday won the maiden First COAS Combat Platoon Cross Country Championship, organised for soldiers in all the army divisions across the country.
The division won the competition by garnering more points than six other divisions that participated in the five-day exercise.
No fewer than 224 officers and soldiers competed for the top prize in beam heaving, sit up, push up, vertical rope climbing, step bench test and 15 kilometre cross country race.
The 82 Division, Enugu, emerged overall winner, followed by 2 Division, Ibadan, while 6 Division, Port Harcourt, came third at the end of the championship.
Also, 3 Division, Jos, came fourth; Army Headquarters Garrison, Abuja, fifth; 81 Division, Lagos, sixth; while 1 Division, Kaduna, came last.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 7 Division, Maiduguri and 8 Division, Sokoto, did not participate in the competition due to the ongoing army operations in the North East and North West.
Addressing soldiers at the competition’s closing ceremony at Elele Military Cantonment, Rivers, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Farouk Yahaya, praised the participating divisions.
Farouk, who was represented by Maj.-Gen. Abiodun Owolabi, the Corps Commander, Nigerian Army Signal, said the training was organised to enhance the combat proficiency of troops.
“Also, the objectives of the championship are targeted to improve leadership skills, organisational ability, endurance and fitness, teamwork and espirit-de-corps, which are essential for tackling contemporary security challenges.
“The training is essential, considering that all hands must be on deck to uplift the Nigerian Army to greater heights.
“So, personnel must ensure that the knowledge and skills acquired during the exercise must be put to bear in their daily lives,” he said.
Yahaya said the training was necessary in view of the fact that it developed the requisite capacity among troops to function effectively.
The army chief told the divisions that did not perform well in the competition to prepare hard for other training activities this year.
Other senior officers at the ceremony included the General Officer Commanding, 6 Division, Maj.-Gen. Olufemi Oluyede, and Headquarters 6 Division Training Officer, Brig.-Gen. Ernest Orakwe.