Nigerian Army to stage Operation Python Dance II in Southeast

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The Nigerian Army has announced it will start another round of its “Operation Python Dance II (Exercise Egwueke II) in the Southeast.

The previous rounds of the exercise stirred controversy, but the army on Saturday announced it would soon stage a third edition of the exercise in the region.

The new General Officer Commanding 82 Division of Nigerian Army, Enugu, EB Kabuk, a major general, announced this in Umuahia, capital of Abia state.

He was on a familiarisation visit to the Umuahia Forward Operation Base (FOB) of 145 Battalion.

Egwueke II which held last in 2017 was marred by controversy amid allegations of killings by the military of pro-Biafran agitators.

Also, the Umuahia country home of the Indigenous People of Biafra’s leader, Nnamdi Kanu, was raided during the period of the exercise by soldiers.

Mr Kanu’s whereabout remains unknown till date.

Announcing that Egwueke III would be holding this year, Mr Kabuk said preparations had commenced towards a successful outing.

He urged the soldiers to be ever prepared for the exercise which he said would be carried out in line with the vision of the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai.

“Egwu Eke so is not just an operation, it is a training activity for Nigerian Army on how to handle internal security challenges,” he said.

“If in conducting those training and there are situations that need to be addressed in order for south east to have the best security and peace that we are talking about, the troops will embark on that.

“The issue of preparation is common because training in the Nigerian Army is continues. It is not just only for Egwu Eke, we have what is called on the job training it is a daily activity in the various units and formations of the Nigerian army.

“But this time around, it is focus training because it is an exercise that is at army level and we are the host. So we have to be prepared to make sure that we perform our responsibility consistent with the vision of the chief of army staff in other to achieve the set objectives for that exercise.”

The GOC who oversees army commands in the five southeastern states including 13 Brigade, Cross River State, assured states under his command of adequate security in the region throughout his stay in office.

He called for professionalism among the soldiers while discharging their duties and warned the troops against violation of citizen’s rights. He warned against extortion on motorists.

“As the General Officer Commanding 82 Division, I have to bring the troops to focus on what the vision of the chief of Army staff. In line with that vision, we shall give the south east the best security. It is only in a secure environment that economic activities can thrive.

“It is the only condition to ensure that law abiding Nigerians go about their activities undisturbed. Without security a society is nothing. So, the desire of the chief of army staff is for all parts of Nigeria to be secure, peaceful and suitable for law abiding Nigerians and we shall ensure that here,” he said.