The Nigerian Army says all is now set for the launch of Operation Atilogwu Udo 1 on November 1 as part of effort to checkmate crime and criminality in the South-East states of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, and Imo.
The Chief of Army Staff, COAS Lt. General Tukur Buratai made this known in Enugu on Thursday at a one day Civil- Media-Military Relationship Summit held at the 82Div.
Buratai who was represented by the Director Army Training and Operations, Maj. Gen Eneobong Udoh said:“The summit is being held in line with my desire to keep the public well informed about the activities of the Nigerian Army (NA) and above all, to fashion out better means of galvanizing media and indeed public awareness, support and appreciation of NA’s activities, exercises and operations that are being routinely conducted in our dear country especially in the South East Zone
“The Summit is also intended to serve as a means of improving civil-military-relations and further enriching the knowledge and understanding of Army Public Relations officers, members of the press and all other participants particularly as it relates to the theme of the Summit, which is “Galvanizing Citizens’ Support for Military Operations in Nigeria through the Media”. It is my hope that the media will continue to properly inform and educate the public on issues of National security interest without biases, devoid of parochial interests, subjectivity and sensationalism and in particular as it relates to our routine Exercises, namely; Exercise ATILOGWU UDO 1, Exercise AYEM AKPATUMA II and Exercise CROCODILEE SMILE IV which are currently going on simultaneously in all the states of North Central, North West, South South and South West Geopolitical zones.”
The Exercises according to the number one army officer, are part of the routine activities scheduled in the Nigerian Army Forecast of Events 2019 for this particular period of the year.
“Although these Exercises are primarily meant to sharpen the capacities of officers and soldiers in order to boost their operational efficiency, the period for their conduct is carefully chosen to coincide with the yuletide season when there is usually an upsurge in acts of criminality such kidnapping, hostage taking for ransom, armed robbery, sea piracy/robbery, etc.”
Earlier in an address, the General Officer Commanding 82Division area of responsibility, Brig. Gen. Adegboye said the summit intends to provide a platform for stakeholders to share ideas and innovative ways towards combating the contemporary security challenges faced by Nigerians.
“Furthermore, it seeks to galvanize media and public support as well as co-operation towards the forthcoming Nigerian Army Exercise ATILOGWU UDO 1 commencing on 1 Nov 19 throughout the South Eastern States of the Federation
“The summit is also geared towards providing an enabling environment for amiable inter-agency co–operation and collaboration. This will subsequently provide sister security agencies with the opportunity to productively interact with each other thereby creating the catalyst necessary to forge a synergy in tackling the myriads of security-related problems in the region.”
It is therefore noteworthy to state that EXERCISE ATILOGWU UDO 1 seeks to contain security challenges and place adequate security measures to curb the activities of the criminal elements during the yuletide. This is to guarantee public safety, continuity in socio-economic activities and foster harmonious and peaceful co-existence amongst the peace loving people of the South Eastern States.
To this end, the NA has trained and will practice its personnel at all levels on ways to combat the security challenges bedeviling the South East area in conjunction and close co-operation with sister security agencies.
ATILOGWU UDO 1 which means “Peaceful Dance” is primarily focused towards Civil Military Cooperation activities. These array of activities are outlined in order to foster good relationship between the Army and the communities where these operations are taking place.
Such activities include sanitation exercises, clearing of drainages in flood prone areas and the conduct of medical outreaches in different areas of the participating states. Others include educational support to schools and the rehabilitation of dilapidated orphanages amongst others.
Participants were drawn from the five states of the South East and Cross- River state while dignitaries that graced the occasion include traditional rulers, top government officials and other sister security agencies.