‘Operation Python Dance’ To Be Conducted Annually – Army

Channels Television  
Updated September 17, 2017
'Operation Python Dance' To Be Conducted Annually – Army
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The Nigerian Army says “Exercise Egwu Eke”, also known as “Operation Python Dance”, will be conducted annually in the South-East region.

Army noted that the exercise was not targeted at any individual or group and urged Nigerians in the region to go about their normal businesses without fear.

“Please note, Exercise Egwu Eke (Python Dance) II, is now a scheduled Nigerian Army exercise to be conducted annually in the South-East region,” the Deputy Director of Public Relations, 82 Division Nigerian Army, Colonel Sagir Musa, said in a statement on Sunday.

“Exercise Egwu Eke, which started fully on the 15 September to 14 October 2017, is a normal routine Nigerian Army Field Training Exercise meant to sharpen the skills of the participating troops in the conduct of Internal Security Operations.”

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The Army explained further that the exercise was aimed at combating the identified obvious security challenges in the South-East and to deal with the rising cases of insecurity such as kidnappings, farmers-herdsmen clashes, secessionist agitations and insurgency of any form among others.

“For emphasis, it is necessary to restate that the exercise and similar ones with different code names in some parts of the country were deliberately initiated and conducted with an overarching aim of checkmating identified security challenges prevalent in the regions where they were carried out.”

Colonel Sagir Musa

The Army explained further that the exercise was aimed at combating the identified obvious security challenges in the South-East, and to deal with the rising cases of insecurity such as kidnappings, farmers-herdsmen clashes, secessionist agitations and insurgency of any form among others.

“For emphasis, it is necessary to restate that the exercise and similar ones with different code names in some parts of the country were deliberately initiated and conducted with an overarching aim of checkmating identified security challenges prevalent in the regions where they were carried out.”

According to them, the first “Exercise Python Dance” was successfully and commendably conducted in the region from 27 November – 27 December 2016.

The Army noted that the exercise was fruitful then as its focus and targets – such as abductions, armed robbery and traffic gridlock at the Asaba-Onitsha Bridge among others – were successfully addressed.

They insisted that the concept of the current Exercise, like the previous one, was purely “Command Post, Field Training and Real-Time Exercise.”

“It is aimed to enhance troops’ agility and preparedness across the spectrum of contemporary and emerging security threats peculiar to South Eastern region.

“The Exercise is three in one, in that – it was – deliberately designed as a – Command Post Exercise that transmuted into Field Training Exercise and where necessary, it can dovetail into real-time mission or activities such as anti-kidnapping drills, Patrols, Raids, Cordon and Search, Check Points, Road Blocks and Show of Force,” the statement said.

The Army said “Exercise Python Dance” is multi agency in nature and execution, saying they are collaborating with Nigerian Police Force and the Federal Road Safety Commission among other agencies to ensure successful execution and attainment of outlined objectives.

“Also, the non-reliance on only Military Line of Operation to achieve the end states of the exercise was part of the texture of the strategy. For this season, an elaborate generous Civil Military Cooperation Line of Operation had been successfully planned and will be executed during this exercise.

“In this regard, some relevant Nigerian Army Corps and Services such as the Medical Corps and Engineers Corp will carry out free medical outreaches, roads and schools repairs across the South-East Region.

“On the whole, the Exercise has numerous objectives. Some of which are; to practice participating Units and Formations on planning, preparation and conduct of Internal Security Operations as well as to deter the activities of kidnappers, cultists, armed robbers and violent secessionist agitators.

“Others are – synergising with relevant paramilitary services to address the identified threats and sharpening the skills of troops towards current and emerging security challenges peculiar to the South-East region,” the statement read in part.

According to the Army, some of the exercises it has conducted successfully include Operation Awatse to tackle militants and oil installations vandals, illegal oil bunkering in the South West, especially in the creeks between Lagos and Ogun states.

They said “Exercise Shirin Harbi”, in addition to troops training, was also targeted at addressing restiveness, armed banditry and religious upheavals in the North-East, especially in Bauchi and Gombe states while the exercise was also aimed at containing the reign of killers, armed robbery/banditry in Southern Kaduna.

Others are “Exercise Harbin Kunama” launched in the North-East to combat cattle rustling, armed robbery, banditry, religious insurrection in Sokoto, Kaduna, Kano-Zamfara axis; as well as “Exercise Crocodile Smile” launched in the South-South to deal with criminal elements engaged in the vandalisation of oil pipelines and installations.