The Nigerian Army has said it will commence a 30-day military exercise, named Operation Python Dance II, in the south-eastern states to tackle the “violent agitations, assassinations, banditry and other security challenges” in the region.
The Chief of Training and Operations, Major Gen. David Ahmadu, stated this on Friday at the army headquarters, Abuja, while declaring open the exercise, also known as Exercise Egwu Eke II.
Ahmadu, who said the military operation would cover Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo states from Friday, September 15 to Saturday, October 14, enjoined residents of the states not to panic, but cooperate with the army.
Our correspondent learnt that the five states are the 82 Division’s area of responsibility.
Ahmadu said, “The commencement of Exercise Egwu Eke II has become expedient due to the mindless assassinations (even in religious places), attack on security personnel, theft of weapons, armed banditry, kidnapping, cultism and violent agitations, as well as other security challenges that have recently become prevalent in the south-eastern part of the country.
The need for troops to be exercised to cope with these emerging challenges led to this exercise.
“The operation will be conducted with the involvement of other security agencies such as Department of State Services, the Nigeria Police and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps. The emphasis will be placed on raids, cordon and search operations, anti-kidnapping drills, roadblocks, checkpoints and show of force, as well as humanitarian activities such as medical outreach.”
The army chief noted that residents must remain vigilant, as criminals might be fleeing from military operation areas to find safe haven amidst communities.