By AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja
In preparation for conduct of series of military exercise within respective geo-political zones of the country to check mate the activities of criminals and bandits, the Nigerian Army will be rolling out show of force exercises.
Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai expressed this during a world press briefing at the Army Headquarters in Abuja on Tuesday.
“This is in line with the Nigerian Army Forecast of events 2019.
“These exercises which include Exercises CROCODILE SMILE IV, Exercise EGWU EKE IV and SW, SE as well as NC Zones respectively from 1 November -23 December 2019,” he stated.
Represented by Major E.O. Udoh, he said that this has become necessary owing to the myriad of emergent threats that are burgeoning in the aforementioned Zones.
“As part of it’s constitutional roles, the Nigeria Army, acting in aid of civil authority, is poised to combating these threats.
“Essentially, these exercises will be conducted to consolidate on the gains of Exercise AYEM AKPATUMA I, EGWU EKE III and CROCODILE SMILE III that were conducted last year at this same period.
“The exercises to be conducted are exercise AYEM AKPATUMA II in the North Central and Parts of North Western States of Benue, Nasarawa, Kogi, Taraba, Kaduna and Niger States in 1 and 3 Divisions as well as in head quarters command Army Records Guards Brigade and 707 special Forces Brigade Area of Responsibilities. Exercise EGWU AKE IV will be carried out in the South Eastern part of Nigeria comprising Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo State in 82 Division AOR,” he said.
Speaking further, he explained that the exercise CROCODILE SMILE IV will be held across some states in the South South and part of south Western States including Akwa Ibom ,Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Lagos, Ogun and Rivers states in 2, 6, 81 and 82 Division areas of responsibility.
“In addition to exercise AYEM AKPATUMA II ,EGWU EKE IV and CROCODILE SMILE IV, Operation POSITIVE IDENTIFICATION will run concurrently with these other routine Exercise during the period,” it added.
He said that in the same vein, the Nigeria Army Women Corps will be staging a robust show of force/confidence building patrols in some selected locations across the country to complement the efforts of troops and other security agencies as part of theses exercise.
“In order to consolidate on the existing Civil -Millitary Relations, the NA will also be involved in range of civil military cooperation activities in diverse areas through community outreaches such as free medical programs, educational support activities, rehabilitation of identified dilapidated roads, hospitals, schools and old people’s homes in various selected communities in all geo-political zones.
“Additionally, the Nigerian Army Officers wives Association will visit and items to motherless babies homes and other identified disadvantage groups selected communities across the nation as part of efforts to provide succor to the needy during the period.
“Furthermore, this Exercises as earlier stated will be conducted in conjunction with other security agencies to boost synergy and interagency cooperation among the services and security agencies.
“Therefore, in addition to our sister services and security agencies taking part in all the Exercises.
“This will further serve to cement the excellent interagency relations that is currently existing among security agencies.
“The theme of the training day is INTER AGENCY COOPERATION: IMPERATIVE FOR EFFICIENT JOINT OPERATION”
“These exercises will begin concurrently from 9th October to 23 December 2019 across the country,” he assured.
Consequently, he used the opportunity to enjoin all Nigerians not to panic on seeing and increase presence of military vehicles / Hardware.
“The NA wishes to reassure the the Nation of her commitment and determination to secure the country, protect lives and property while also ensuring it’s troops remain professional and love up to its constitutional responsibilities.
“Also I will like to use this medium to thank the Executive Governor’s for their immense support to the NA towards actualizing our constitutional mandate. It so our hope that this partnership would continue to straighten out joint resolve to rid the nation from criminals elements as well as enhance the safety and security of lives and property,” he concluded.