Army begins “Operation EGWU EKE II” to check insecurity in South East

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*Says citizens shouldn’t panic as their safety is guaranteed

*Appeals that fleeing criminals be reported to nearest military point

“It is noteworthy to mention that EX EGWU II is set to be another epoch making activity that would make the nation proud of the Nigerian Army’s determination at sustaining its constitutional role of defending the territorial integrity of the nation as well as its commitment to aid the civil authority to bring about peace and security in the south eastern part of our dear country in particular, and the entire nation in general.”

The Nigerian Army has concluded arrangements to begin an insecurity check operation which is a new exercise tagged “Operation EGWU EKE II (Phython Dance II)” to restore normalcy and safety of lives and property of law abiding citizens in the South East region of Nigeria.

This was disclosed in statement by Army’s Chief of Training and Operations (CTOP), Major General David Ahmadu, who briefed journalists on behalf of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, on Thursday.

General Ahmadu said operation had been planned to commence from Friday September 15 to Saturday October 14 just like it was done last year between November 27 and December 27, 2016, which the Army CTOP said lead to safer environment that citizens in the area enjoyed during the Christmas festivities during the time.

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“As you are all aware, a similar Exercise nicknamed EGWU EKE II (PYTHON DANCE I) was conducted from 27 Nov – 27 Dec 16 within 5 South Eastern states of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo.  The objective was to effectively contain the reported cases of kidnapping and other vices prevalent in the South East region every Yuletide season.  The effect of the exercise yielded tremendous results as law abiding citizens in the area celebrated the Christmas festivities of 2016 in safer environment than what it used to be.

Building on the achievement of the 2016 edition of the operation, the CTOP said, “Exercise EGWU EKE II had become more expedient due to the mindless assassinations (even in religious places), attacks on security personnel and theft of weapons, kidnappings, armed banditry and violent agitations by secessionist groups, amongst other crimes that have recently bedeviled the region.”

Briefing journalists in Abuja, the Army chief through the CTOP said that time was up for all the agitators and those perpetrating violent crimes in the South East.

The Army Chief said that the Operations is going to cover Abia, Anambra, Enugu, Imo and Ebonyi states, which constitute the five South East states.

The statement read at the briefing in full:

“Ladies and gentlemen of the press, on behalf of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, I welcome you to Army Headquarters Conference Room for the press briefing in preparation for the commencement of Exercise EGWU EKE II, (PYTHON DANCE II) to be conducted in 82 Division Area of Responsibility, covering Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo states.  The exercise is scheduled to take place from Friday 15 September to Saturday 14 October 2017.

“As you are all aware, a similar Exercise nicknamed EGWU EKE II (PYTHON DANCE I) was conducted from 27 Nov – 27 Dec 16 within 5 South Eastern states of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo.  The objective was to effectively contain the reported cases of kidnapping and other vices prevalent in the South East region every Yuletide season.  The effect of the exercise yielded tremendous results as law abiding citizens in the area celebrated the Christmas festivities of 2016 in safer environment than what it used to be.  Building on this achievement, Exercise EGWU EKE II has become more expedient due to the mindless assassinations (even in religious places), attacks on security personnel and theft of weapons, kidnappings, armed banditry and violent agitations by secessionist groups, amongst other crimes that have recently bedeviled the region.

“The need for troops to be exercised, refreshed and imbibe the requisite skills to cope with these emerging security challenges within the 82 Division Area of Responsibility in aid of civil authority necessitates this exercise.  Furthermore, in actualizing the COAS vision, of having a Professionally Responsive NA in the Discharge of its Constitutional Roles”, EX EGWU EKE II becomes highly desirable in conjunction with Sister Services and other security agencies to ensure success.

“During the Exercise, emphasis will be placed on raids, cordon and search operations, anti-kidnapping drills, road blocks, check points, patrols, humanitarian relief activities such as medical outreach and show of force to curb the rising threat to national security in the South Eastern part of the country.  It is pertinent to mention that the security, safety and well-being of innocent and law abiding citizens of the states mentions above have been adequately factored into the planning of the exercise.  Thus, the rights of individuals as enshrined in the constitution would be respected and safeguarded.

“Additionally, EXERCISE EGWU EKE II is also conceptualized to transit into real time operations thereby fulfilling both training and operational objectives of sharpening operational skills of personnel as well as providing an avenue to conduct operations against violent criminals and agitators when called upon.  As precursor to a peaceful ‘ember’ period and yuletide, provision has already been made for the smooth conduct of the exercise.  EX EGWU EKE II will be unique with the establishment of Brigade Headquarters in each of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo states.

“It is noteworthy to mention that EX EGWU II is set to be another epoch making activity that would make the nation proud of the Nigerian Army’s determination at sustaining its constitutional role of defending the territorial integrity of the nation as well as its commitment to aid the civil authority to bring about peace and security in the south eastern part of our dear country in particular, and the entire nation in general.

“In this regard, members of the public especially the residents of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo States are enjoyed not to panic as their safety and well-being is guaranteed at all times.  The general public is requested to remain vigilant and be security conscious, as suspected criminals may be fleeing from military operations in these areas and finding safe haven amidst our communities.

“The public is also reminded to report any suspicious activity or movement to the nearest military formation or other security agencies for prompt action.  In order to ensure cordial civil-military relations, we shall make contact telephone numbers of all Brigade Commanders public in addition to the Nigerian Army short code Information and Call Centre 193.

“Gentlemen of the press, you have always been partners in progress; hence we are using this opportunity to request you to give this operation the widest publicity in your respective media organizations,” Major General DD Ahmadu read.


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