The governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodimma, has urged Imo citizens to cooperate with the Nigerian Army to ensure a peaceful Christmas celebration in the state.
The governor made the call during the launch of a military exercise code named Operation Golden Dawn 2 by the Nigerian Army 34 Artillery Brigade Obinze in Imo State ahead of the yuletide.
“This exercise is being flagged off today is a very welcomed development, the reason being that one, if we cooperate with the Nigerian Army as citizens, give them the necessary support, we will have a very peaceful Christmas, we will not have all these unknown gunmen, all the bandits causing mayhem here and there. Number two, it will encourage our brothers and sisters who live outside Imo State to come back home knowing fully well that Imo State is now secured,” Uzodimma said.
He commended security agencies for the continuous sacrifice and launching the exercise “at a time that we have gone into Ember months knowing fully well that majority of Imolites are Christians and Christians take Christmas very seriously”.
According to the Brigade Commander, Brigadier General Sani Suleiman, the exercises are aimed at checkmating activities of bandits, criminals and neutralize all forms of criminality in the state especially during the Yuletide season which is just around the corner.
Suleiman added, “The Nigerian Army has continued to conduct internal security operations and exercises to combat criminal activities bedeviling the country in recent past. The South East and Imo State in particular has experienced a rise in security challenges ranging from kidnapping, armed robbery, assassination, banditry, insurgency among others.
“The 82 Division of the Nigerian Army with Headquarters at Enugu in its bid to curtail this criminal activities disturbing peace in the South East particularly during the festive period flagged off Exercise Golden Dawn in line with Army Headquarters directive in furtherance of peace.”