Youths in Gubio Local Government Area of Borno State have been organised by the Nigerian Army into 16 teams in a football competition in the Sambisa Forest area .
Our correspondent learnt the 8 Task Force Division put the competition together to prevent the radicalisation and recruitment of youths in the area by Boko Haram insurgents .
The Deputy Director , Army Public Relations , Colonel Timothy Antigha , who confirmed the football competition in Gubio , northern Borno , said the step was to enhance civil – military relations.
He said , “ It is part of our operations to meaningfully engage the youths in our area of responsibility . The division initiated a football competition tagged , Tukur Buratai Football Tournament . The tournament is aimed at fostering civil – military cooperation , as well as winning the hearts of youths who constitute a significant segment of the local population .
“Most importantly , the tournament seeks to make vulnerable youths in the communities unavailable for Boko Haram radicalisation and recruitment .
The tournament kicked off on September 16 , with 16 teams drawn from northern Borno .
“The preliminaries have been concluded. However , the competition is currently at the quarter – final stage. The final is expected to hold in December . “