David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
The Nigerian Army monday launched Operation Python Dance in the South-east, warning armed robbers, kidnappers,members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) against criminal acts, and acts capable of causing disturbance of the peace.
The army specifically warned Biafran agitators to stay away from acts capable of undermining the country’s sovereignty, saying that it would not hesitate to apply the Rule of Engagement and deploy troops on internal security operations to deal with them.
The one-month operation which ends on December 27, the army said, will also target; 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 period.
The announcement of the launch of the military operation was contained in a press statement issued in Awka, the Anambra State capital by the Deputy Director of Army Public Relations, Colonel Sagir Musa.
The statement partly read, “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-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 synergize and collaborate extensively.
The statement said within the period under review, an elaborate civil-military cooperation line of operation had been planned.
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,” the statement maintained.