– The Nigerian government seems to have exhausted its patience over the constant clamour by secessionist groups in the south-east
– Thus, the government is set to rid the region of criminality, violence and other forms of protests by the agitators
The Nigerian Army has launched ‘Operation Python Dance’ to help quell agitations for secession in the south-eastern part of the country.
There have been agitations from groups like the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), the Movement for the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) leading to serious concerns from the government.
IPOB members during a recent protest
These groups have continued to clamour for a break-up of the country and the establishment of Biafra carved out from Nigeria.
The leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, has remained in detention after he was arrested by Nigerian security operatives over a year ago, but this has deterred his supporters who have overtime clashed with the military.
With the establishment of the new operation, the Army has warned all secessionist groups against acts capable of threatening the nation’s sovereignty.
Vanguard reports that the warning came through a statement from the deputy director of Army public relations, Col Sagir Musa, in Awka, Anambra state.
According to him, the operation would last from November 27 to December 27 during which it will not hesitate to deploy troops and deal with any group trying to cause chaos in the region.
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The one-month operation is in anticipation of rise in violent crimes during the Christmas and New Year celebrations.
“It would be recalled that the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), 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,” the statement read.
Col Musa further said the operation would be operational in the five states that make up the south-east and that any group that threatened the security of the nation in the zone would be disarmed.
He also said during the period, there would be increase in the number of soldiers and check points in the zone, adding that troops would also be moving from one point to the other.
“Exercise Python Dance has been planned for the South-East Region from November 27 to December 27.
“It will be multi-agency in nature: Nigerian Army and other security agencies are expected to synergise and collaborate extensively and an elaborate civil-military cooperation line of operation has been planned during the exercise.
“The 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 and execution of the exercise to achieve a hitch-free yuletide for the entire region,” he said.