The Army will conduct more exercises in 2018 to assist civil authorities to deal with internal security challenges in parts of the country, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has said.
Speaking with newsmen on Friday after leading troops on a 15km Route March, Buratai said Exercises Harbin Kunama III, Crocodile Smile III and Egwu Eke Dance III would also be conducted in 2018.
Exercise Harbin Kunama I and II were conducted in 2016 and 2017, respectively, to deal with the menace of cattle rustling and herdsmen/farmers clashes in parts of North-West and North-Central.
While Crocodile Smile and Egwu Eke Dance were conducted in the Niger Delta and the South-East, respectively, in 2017 to tackle pipeline vandalism, oil theft and piracy, violent agitation and kidnapping.
Asked if there would be a special exercise to address recurring herdsmen/farmers clashes in Benue, Taraba and part of Nasawara State, Buratai said the military was not thinking of a particular situation.
“Well, we are not thinking of any particular situation, we are going to train on general areas which could include that aspect (Benue killings) as well.
“But our focus will be to ensure that security is provided across the country.
“So, definitely, expect Harbin Kunama III; Crocodile Smile III and Egwu Eke Dance III and probably another exercise coming which will be made known at the appropriately time.”
Earlier, Buratai charged the troops to be prepared as some of them may be deployed to any part of the country at short notice for operations to assist civil authorities to tackle internal security challenges.
He said he had approved funds for training in 2018 and therefore, they should expect a “robust training” during the period. “This is to enable us to accomplish the task assigned to us by the Commander-In-Chief,” he said.