The Nigerian Army on Monday launched ‘Operation Python Dance’ in the South East and warned secessionist groups against acts capable of threatening the nation’s sovereignty.
It said it would not hesitate to apply the Rule of Engagement to deploy troops and deal with secessionists as appropriate. Other targets in the one month exercise are armed robbery, kidnapping, abduction, herdsmen-farmers clash, communal clashes, among others.
It said the exercise had become necessary in anticipation of rise in violent crimes during the Yuletide.
In statement made available to newsmen in Awka, the Anambra State capital, the Deputy Director of Army Public Relations, Col. Sagir Musa, said the operation would last from November 27 to December 27.
“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 27 November to 27 December, 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 agency are expected to synergise and collaborate extensively.”
The statement said that within the period under review, an elaborate civil-military cooperation line of operation had been planned.
“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”, the statement added.