Abuja: The Nigerian Army has denied that the newly launched operation Python Dance 2 in the Southeastern part of the country is targeted at IPOB members, insisting that the operation is part of efforts to combat criminality in the South Eastern States.
The Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai said this while addressing newsmen in Abuja on the launch of the second phase of its Operation “Egwu Eke 2” also known as Operation Python Dance 2.
Lt. Colonel Buratai, who was represented by the Chief of Training and Operations, Major General David Duwande Ahmed, noted that the operation became necessary following the high spate of kidnapping, assassinations and other crimes being recorded by sister security agencies.
“Exercise EGWU EKE II, (PYTHON DANCE II) will be conducted in 82 Division Area of Responsibility, covering (Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo states) from Friday 15 September to Saturday 14 October 2017.
“The Exercise has become more 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”.
He said “the operation which is aimed at sharpening the operational skills of military personnel shall consist of activities such as show of force, anti kidnapping drills and medical outreach among others.
He added that “the exercise shall also be used as a tool to checkmate the high level of crime that is always associated with festive periods”.
He noted also that the “operation will be conducted with the involvement of other security agencies such as the Department of State Services, the Nigeria Police and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.
The Army Chief further disclosed that “Operation EGWU EKE II will be unique with the establishment of Brigade Headquarters in Abia,Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo States. Emphasis will be placed on raids, cordon and search operations, anti-kidnapping drills, road blocks, check points and show of force, as well as humanitarian activities such as medical outreach”.
While assuring member of the public of their safety, he urged them to corporate with the Army by reporting any suspicion to any nearby military formation.