By Paul Obi in Abuja
The General Officer Commanding (GOC), 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Adamu Baba Abubakar, representing the Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General TY Buratai, has saidÂ the Nigerian Army has formally declared the end of Operation Python Dance II in the South-east.
A statement by the spokesman of 82 Div., Col. Sagir Musa, said yesterday that the ceremony took place in Sector 1 Tactical Headquarters at Umuahia, Abia State, at about 1900 to 2000 hours on Saturday, with the traditional activation of a campfire to formally signify the successful completion of the exercise.
General Abubakar commended all the officers, soldiers and personnel of paramilitary organisations that collaborated and synergised, worked tirelessly and commendably throughout the one-month period during the exercise.
He remarked further that the achievements recorded during the exercise in the areas of attainment of the mission specific training objectives, improvement in peace and security, curtailing the menace of violent irredentist groups in the theatre of the exercise â€“ South-eastern part of Nigeria â€“ was remarkable.
On the part of the government and people of Abia State, the representative of the governor, Mr. Emmanuel Nwabuko expressed the appreciation of the government and people of the state for the numerous achievements of the exercise in terms of improvement of peace, security and stability in the state.
He remarked further that the collaborative relationship with the Nigerian Army could be traced to the time when in 2010-2011 kidnappers, armed robbers and other hoodlums paralysed economic and social activities in the state, â€œit was the army that rescued usâ€.
â€œSo we are ready to always leverage on this relationship whenever the need arises,â€ he added.
In attendance were the representative of the Chief of Training and Operations, Army Headquarters, Brigadier General Ndalolo, Defence Headquarters observer team led by Commodore Shammah, the Security Adviser to Abia State governor, Captain Idonsi Awa (rtd) and the Commanders of 14 and 34 Brigades, Brigadier-Generals AK Ibrahim and IH Bature.
Others were the Commanders of 44 Engineer Brigade, 82 Division Garrison, and Supply and Transport Brigadier-Generals Mark Mamman, LA Adegboye and EA Anaryu, respectively.
One interesting aspects of the campfire was the disposition of troops who surged, formed a ring and gyrated round the fire, shouting and praising the chief of army staff and the GOC for providing them the necessary logistics to successfully conduct one of the successful military exercises in the history of Nigerian Army operations, said the statement.