The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.Gen.Tukur Buratai, on Tuesday, flagged off exercise ‘Egwu Eke’, popularly known as Operation Python Dance III in Kebbi.
Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai / AFP
Buratai said in Birnin Kebbi that the exercise was geared towards reassuring law-abiding citizens of Nigerian Army’s resolve to provide adequate security and safety as the nation approaches the 2019 General Elections.
“This significant event is also a reassurance of the resolve of the Nigerian Army to conduct joint operations in collaboration with other security and para-military agencies in aid of civil authority.
“It is also to reinvigorate all existing operations in the country with additional manpower, equipment and resources to address the lingering security problems in the country,” he said.
Buratai assured Nigerians that at the end of the exercise, the Python must have swallowed all the bandits, rustlers, terrorists, kidnappers, robbers and militants in the country.
“The Python will also swallow thugs and other miscreants that may raise their ugly heads,” he said.
He added that the operation was also meant to address the issue of fake news and unpatriotic elements that are impeding military operations and demoralizing forces at the expense of national security.
“The exercise is also a realistic training package in internal security and clearance operations, emergency management, rescue operation, road blocks, cordon and search as well as anti-kidnapping,” he said.
The chief of army staff advised well-meaning Nigerians to have at the back of their minds the importance of national security while reporting issues of defense and security.
“Defense and national security is not an all comer’s affair. No one is permitted to divulge any information that is injurious to national security.
“This is contained in the Official Secret Act 1962.
“Subject to “Section 1(3) of this Act, a person who transmits any classified matter to a person to whom it is not authorized on behalf of the government to transmit it; or obtains, reproduces or retains any classified matter which he is not authorized on behalf of the government to obtain, reproduce or retain, as the case may be, is guilty of an offence,” he said.
Buratai enjoined Nigerians to be mindful of the fact that,” this is the only country that we have and no effort should be spared to save it from the claws of unpatriotic elements fighting to pull the country down.
“Giving out official information or spreading fake news is inimical to national security.”
In his remarks, the Kebbi Governor, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu, commended the army for tackling the challenges of insecurity in the country, especially in the North- eastern part of the country.
He also thanked them for establishing the Command Science Secondary School (boys), Jega, which trains boys to be disciplined and good leaders of tomorrow.
The highlight of the event included a medical outreach to Zuguru community at the outskirts of Birnin Kebbi where the Nigerian Army in collaboration with the state government constructed roads and bridges as well as the commissioning of the Command Secondary school. (NAN).