Announcing the launch of Operation Python Dance on Monday, November 29, the Nigerian Army has warned secessionist groups against acts capable of threatening the sovereignty of Nigeria, adding that it would not waste time to apply the Rule of Engagement to deploy troops and deal with secessionists as is fit.
This was disclosed to newsmen in Awka, Anambra State, in a statement by the Deputy Director of Army Public Relations, Col. Sagir Musa, who explained that the operation would begin on November 27 and end on December 27, 2016. The military further stated that the exercise was necessary considering the usual increase in crimes during the Yuletide.
The statement read in part:
“It would be recalled that the Chief of Army Staff, having painstakingly appraised the myriad of security challenges and scenarios across the country, directed on the conduct of both command post and field training exercises as a way of enhancing troops’ preparedness across the spectrum of contemporary challenges.
“Similarly, Exercise Python Dance has been planned for the South East Region from 27 November to 27 December, 2016.
“The prevalent security issues such as armed robbery, kidnapping, abduction, herdsmen-farmers clashes, communal clashes and violent secessionist attacks, among others, would be targeted.
“In this wise, the exercise would be multi-agency in nature, whereby the Nigerian Army and other security agency are expected to synergise and collaborate extensively.”
According to the statement, an elaborate civil-military co-operation line of operation had been planned within the period under review.
“Nigerian Army Corps and Services would conduct activities such as medical outreach, repairs of roads, schools, and other infrastructure across the South East region.
“The Chief of Army Staff has therefore directed that a contingent of durable mechanism be imbued in the overall planning as well as the execution of the exercise to achieve a hitch-free Yuletide for the entire region.”