The leadership of the Nigerian Army has refuted claims that it will begin a gradual withdrawal of troops from the South-eastern part of Nigeria.
The Nigerian Army has clarified that the soldiers to be withdrawn from the streets of Aba and Umuahia, Abia State, are not troops meant for Operation Python Dance, also known as Egwu Eke.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig Gen Sani Usman, in a release late on Thursday, said the military operation, Egwu Eke, would therefore commence from today (Friday) as scheduled.
He said, “The Abia State Governor in his speech stated that “there will be gradual withdrawal of soldiers on the streets of Aba and Umuahia from tomorrow”. This should not be misconstrued as withdrawing of troops earmarked for Exercise Egwu Eke II. The General Officer Commanding in the 82 Division has not said such thing.
“Consequently, we wish to state that Exercise Egwu is commencing on Friday (today) as scheduled. Commanders have been instructed to ensure that all hands are on deck to commence the exercise to its logical completion.
“We wish to also state that we would not allow any individual or group to jeopardize the conduct of the field training exercise through unlawful or criminal activities. Hoodlums and criminal elements are once again warned to be law abiding and not cause any breach of peace.
“We hereby reiterate that our troops would conduct themselves in the best professional manner, abide by the Rules of Engagement and Code of Conduct in line with requirements of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Any act of indiscipline by any of our personnel would be decisively dealt with.”