Barely a week after the Amnesty International (AI) declared that the Nigerian Army killed 150 Biafra agitators and the army’s denial, the army, yesterday, in Awka launched “Operation Python Dance” in the South East and warned secessionist groups against threats to Nigeria’s sovereignty.
The army which also targets armed robbery, kidnapping, abduction, herdsmen-farmers clashes, communal clashes among others in the one month exercise said it would not hesitate to deploy troops on internal security operations and deal with secessionists and other trouble makers as appropriate.
The Deputy Director of Army Public Relations, Col. Sagir Musa, said the operation which would last from November 27 to December 27, 2016, had become necessary in anticipation of rise of violent crimes during the Yuletide period.
In a statement, the army said the operation would be multi-agency in nature as it would collaborate with other security agencies.
The statement read in part: “It would be recalled that the Chief of Army Staff, having painstakingly appraised the myriad of security challenges and scenarios across the country, directed on the conduct of both command post and field training exercises as a way of enhancing troops preparedness across the spectrum of contemporary challenges.
“Similarly, Exercise Python Dance has been planned for the South East Region from November 27 to December 27, 2016.
“The prevalent security issues such as armed robbery, kidnapping, abduction, herdsmen-farmers clashes, communal clashes and violent secessionist attacks among others would be targeted.
“In this wise, the exercise would be multi-agency in nature, whereby the Nigerian Army and other security agencies are expected to synergise and collaborate extensively.”
Furthermore, it disclosed that an elaborate civil-military cooperation line of operation had been planned for operation.
It said: “ Nigerian Army Corps and Services would conduct activities such as medical outreach, repairs of roads, schools, and other infrastructure across the South-East region.
“The Chief of Army Staff has, therefore, directed that a contingent of durable mechanism be imbued in the overall planning as well as execution of the exercise to achieve a hitch free Yuletide for the entire region.”