Chuks Onuoha, Umuahia
The Nigerian Army has flagged off an operation in the south-eastern part of the country it tagged Exercise Atilogwu Udo 1, which it says replace its former operation Python Dance.
According to Major General Enobong Udoh, of the Training and Operations of the Nigerian Army Headquarters, who represented the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General TY Buratai, the exercise is aimed at flushing out all criminals and criminality in the South East.
Flagging off the exercise at Nsulu Games Village, General Udoh charged the joint military operators, which include the Army, Police, Civil Defense corps, Immigration, Navy, Air Force and other sister security agencies to ensure that all criminals are flushed out of their hidings and dealt with decisively.
He explained that the exercise is a field training that will last from November 1 – December 23, 2019.
He said that the exercise will be conducted simultaneously in South East to mitigate threats posed by criminal elements in the zone.
He charged then to ensure that all lives are protected, while calling on all law- abiding citizens go about their businesses without any disturbance from kidnappers and armed robbers.
“You are to ensure that no law-abiding citizen is harassed, intimidated, or in any way stopped from going about their normal businesses, and that no kidnapper armed robber or hoodlums is allowed to disturb the peace of the people. As you conduct this exercise, the people are our concern as they prepare to celebrate the Yuletide season,” he said.
Reacting, the state governor who was represented by the deputy governor, Sir Ude Oko Chukwu, said that the essence of the event is to reduce criminality, and appealed to the military that Abians are peace-loving people and should not be unduly molested.
“As you carry out your exercise, Abians should not be subjected to unnecessary molestation, because they are ready to cooperate with you. I appeal to you that while you fight crime and criminality, you should understand that you are here to protect lives and property, and most importantly, to protect law-abiding citizens of this state.”