NIGERIAN Army commanders have revealed that they plan to re-introduce Operation Python Dance in southeast Nigeria along with several other military manoeuvres in other parts of the country early next month.
Widely condemned as an attack on Nigeria’s Igbos, Operation Python Dance led to indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob) leader Nnamdi Kanu fleeing his home near Umuahia and going into exile. He has since alleged that the military operation was just a ruse to assassinate him as part of a plan to end the ongoing agitation for the recreation of the independent state of Biafra.
In addition to Operation Python Dance, the Nigerian Army will also resume Operation Crocodile Smile and Operation Ayem Akpatuma in the southwest and north central geo-political zones. Army spokesman Col Sagir Musa, said the operations will start concurrently and run between 7 October 7 and December 24.
He explained that the operations were part of the army’s spirited efforts to combat insecurity across the nation. According to the Nigerian Army, these exercises are designed to ensure that the military is combat ready and prepared to deal with any eventuality that may arise as it carries out its constitutional duties.
Col Musa said: “The exercises are Exercise Ayem Akpatuma in the north central states of Benue, Nasarawa, Kogi and Taraba as well as Kaduna and Niger States, Exercise Egwu Eke, which will be carried out in the southeastern part of Nigeria comprising Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo States. Exercise Crocodile Smile will, as usual, take place in the south-south states of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Rivers and Edo states, as well as Lagos and Ogun states.
“Similarly, Operation Positive Identification will also be extended across the nation to check out for bandits, kidnappers, armed robbers, ethnic militia, cattle rustlers as well as other sundry crimes across the various regions of Nigeria. In the same vein, as part of programmes imbued in to the exercises, the Nigerian Army Women Corps, will stage a robust show of force/confidence building patrols in some selected locations in Nigeria.
“Accordingly, in order to consolidate on the existing cordial civil-military relations, an elaborate civil-military cooperation line of activities in the areas of community outreaches such as free medical outreach, educational outreach, rehabilitation of identified dilapidated roads, hospitals, schools and old people’s homes will be introduced in various selected communities in Nigeria. Additionally, the Nigerian Army Officers’ Wives Association, will as usual, visit and donate to motherless babies homes and other identified disadvantaged groups in selected communities across the nation.
“The Nigerian Army, once again, uses this opportunity to enjoin all Nigerians not to panic on seeing an increased presence of military personnel and other security agencies as well as the movement of military vehicles /hardware. The Nigerian Army wishes to reassure the nation of her commitment and determination to secure the country, protect lives and properties of all Nigerians, which in addition to training of her personnel, is one of the bases for the exercises.”