The Nigerian Army has flagged-off a nationwide “Operation Python Dance’, which it says will commence on January 1 and will last until February 28 2019.
Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, who announced this at a news conference on Friday in Maiduguri, the Borno State Capital said the operation is to tackle to tackle already “observed upsurge” in security challenges as the 2019 general elections draw nearer.
The 2019 general elections are due to commence with the Presidential and National Assembly elections slated for February 16.
Represented by Maj.-Gen. Lamidi Adeosun, the Chief of Training and Operations, Buratai identified those threats as stockpiling of arms by criminal groups, formation of ethnic militia and violence induced by political activities.
“These challenges coupled with other security threats across the country such as terrorism, militancy, kidnapping and banditry, portend that dissident groups and criminal elements could cash in on the situation to perpetrate large scale violence before, during and after the 2019 general elections,” he said.
He stated further that the Exercise is also a reassurance of the resolve of the Nigerian Army, the entire Armed Forces of Nigeria as well as other security agencies to ensure that law and order in the country.
Buratai recalled that the exercise EGWU EKE I and II took place in 2016 and 2017 respectively in the South Eastern Region of the country and it yielded positive results in checkmating the security challenges witnessed in the region then.
He assured Nigerians that the Nigerian Army will continue to conduct Internal Security operations in combating criminality and other security challenges in the country, in line with its constitutional mandate of Military Aid to Civil Authority.