Friday, September 8, 2017 1:50 pm
Nigerian Army said on Friday that it will carry out Exercise EGWU EKE II, (PYTHON DANCE II) in its 82 Division Area of Responsibility, covering (Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo states) from Friday 15 September to Saturday 14 October 2017. The new operation is coming against the background of growing agitation for secession of the South Eastern part of the country from Nigeria
The exercise is being launched against the background of growing agitations for secession in the South Eastern part of the country which make up the 82 division of the Nigerian Army.
The agitators who are demanding the carving out of the South East and the surronding areas into a separate state of Biafra. The most prominent of the Biafra secessionist groups led by Nnamdi Kanu recently launched a ” Biafra intelligence force.
The most prominent of the Biafra secessionist groups led by Nnamdi Kanu recently launched a ” Biafra intelligence force”.
Though the Army did not says the new exercise was targeted at the Biafra activists in its statement, it, however, noted that “OPERATION EGWU EKE II is also conceptualised to transit into real time operations and an avenue to conduct operations against violent criminals and agitators when called upon.”
Maj-Gen. David Ahmadu, the Chief of Training and Operations, announced this at a news conference on Friday in Abuja.
Operation Python Dance was launched between Nov. 27 and Dec. 27, 2016 in the zone to tackle kidnapping, armed banditry and other crimes, Ahmadu said.
He added that the second phase of operation would focus on raids, cordon and search, patrol road blocks, as well as “show of force’’ to deal with suspected criminals.
He recalled that the aim of the first phase of the operation was to effectively contain kidnapping and other vices common in the South East during Yuletide.
He added that “the effect of that exercise yielded tremendous results and law abiding citizens celebrated 2016 Christmas in safer environment than what it used to be.
“Building on this achievements, exercise Ogbu eke II has become more expedient due to spate of assassinations, even in religious places, attacks on security personnel and theft of weapons, kidnapping, armed banditry, violent agitations by secessionist groups, among other crimes that have recently bedevilled the region.
“The need for troops to be refreshed and imbibe the requisite skills, to cope with these emerging security challenges within the 82 Division area of responsibility in aid of civil authority necessitated this exercise,’’ Ahmadu said.
He said the exercise would be conducted in conjunction with other security organisations.
“During the operation, emphasis will be placed on raids, cordon and search, anti-kidnapping drills, road blocks, check points, patrols, humanitarian relief activities such as medical outreach and show of force to curb the rising threats to national security in the south eastern part of the country.’’
He explained that the safety and security of law abiding citizens in the area of the operation, comprising Enugu, Imo, Anambra, Abia and Ebonyi states was guaranteed as they were “adequately factored into the exercise.”
The chief of training also said that the fundamental human rights of the people as enshrined in the nation’s constitution would be protected during the exercise.
He added that “additionally, exercise ogbu eke II has been conceptualised to transit into real time operations, thereby fulfilling both training and operational objectives of sharpening operation skills of personnel, as well as provide avenue to conduct operations against violent criminals and agitators, when called upon.’’
He said a Brigade Headquarters would be established in each of five South East states and urged the people of the areas not to panic as their safety was guaranteed.