Deputy Director of Army Public Relations of 82 Division, Enugu, Colonel Sagir Musa and the Commandant of the 302 Artillery Regiment, Onitsha, Colonel Isa Abdullahi, have commenced inspection of activities at different check points of the ‘Exercise Python Dance’.
This is to further strengthen the commitment of the Nigerian Army to the mandate of the latest security operations in the five Southeast states.
It is also aimed at ensuring the various teams are operating within the premise of mandate, as well as ensuring that the exercise yields the desired results.
According to Mr Musa, the effect of the exercise was already manifesting, especially in the area of traffic congestion, as it had been minimized greatly at the Bridge Head axis as well as other border points where the check points of the exercise were planted.
At the boundary between Anambra and Enugu state at Amansea community on the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway, vehicular movement was equally said to be smooth and uninterrupted.
The check points were well manned by vigilant eyed soldiers who passed the vehicles as they came and at the same time maintained security in the area.
On the arrival of Mr Musa and Mr Abdullahi, to inspect the mode of operation at the point, they expressed satisfaction with the level of compliance of road users.
The mandate of the exercise included but was not limited to checkmating rising waves of crime usually prevalent during the yuletide period, traffic decongestion of major highways, patrol raids, cordon and search, planting of check point and road blocks, show of force and anti-kidnapping drills among other serious violent crimes including herdsmen-farmers clashes.
At the second boundary between Anambra and Enugu state, the soldiers, properly positioned, were seen passing vehicles calmly, while motorists complied with the new set up maximally.
Moving out of the area, the next port of call was the Bridge Head axis where initially complaints were laid over sudden traffic congestion occasioned by the new check points.
Reacting to that, the Deputy Director of Army Public Relations, maintained that the interest of the Nigerian Army was the peace and stability of the country, and in the present exercise, it would be to ensure that the targeted challenges were reduced to barest minimum.
Musa said, “the Nigerian Army has no other interest except one – to ensure peace, security and stability in all parts of Nigeria.
“Here like we have explained, issues of kidnapping, abduction, herdsmen-farmers clashes, cultism, and even traffic gridlock are the issues and our interest here is to ensure that these security challenges are reduced to the barest minimum.
“You can see vehicles moving left and right, so there is no congestion. In any case, there is not much stop and search operation on the road.
“Soldiers are just by the side of the road watching in case of any need for them to act. They will act professionally and decisively,” he said.
While many commended the efforts of the Nigerian army in the area of security and maintenance of orderliness on the highways brought about by their presence, others still complained of traffic congestion.
In the words of some of the citizens, “police and army are doing well, there is no problem.”
Another commuter said, “it is a welcome development because when the military men are on the road, it makes people feel safe that no thieves will attack them.
“So for me, I think it is a welcome development but I will also want to advise them to be courteous of not causing hold up.”
Musa however noted the complaints and assured citizens of necessary intervention.
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police (CP), Fatai Owoseni, said on Monday that the person suspected to be responsible for a recent trailer accident that occurred at Ojuelegba, in Lagos State, has been arrested and charged.
The CP said that the owner of the truck was also in Police custody.
According to him, the suspect is said to be charged for contravention of traffic laws and manslaughter.
Speaking to Channels Television, Mr Owoseni stated that one of the best ways to prevent such occurrences was to twist-lock the container on the truck.
He also said that other measures would be to ensure that containers that are not twist-locked do not leave the port.
“We won’t even allow those trucks that are carrying containers that are not twist-locked to get out of the port”.
The Police Commissioner further said that plans were on to establish a collaboration with the Ports Authority and other stakeholders, to check the tonnage of the trucks before they carry equipment.
The arrival of the security personnel deployed to Osun State for the August 9 governorship election has triggered an apprehensive mood, as residents and motorists are obviously not having the best of time.
Channels television’s correspondent in the state reports that motorists were stuck in traffic for hours on Friday, just as residents berate the dressing and action of the men of the Department of State Services.
Governor Rauf Aregbesola also called on security agencies to call the deployed men to order or they will be forced to take appropriate actions.
The Gbongan-Akoda -Olaiya dual carriage way is one major entrant to Osogbo the state capital and other towns in Osun State. It is usually devoid of traffic in spite of the busy movement of vehicles.
However, many residents on their way to the state secretariat along the road and those travelling got stuck in the traffic for hours.
Shortly after, security men began to move on one side of the road with display of their artillery, even accosting anyone seen receiving a call.
Motorists expressed their displeasure, as there had earlier been reports of shooting in the air sporadically, causing panic for the people, a development the Governor Aregbesola said he would not let lie low.
At the commissioning of the Emergency Call Centre built to enhance security in the state, he condemned the act describing it as “undue Intimidation”.
The Governor promised to protect the lives and property of the citizens under his care.
This, for him, was the essence of the establishment of the Emergency Call Centre that is capable of immediate alert of security operatives at the dial of a distress call line that could take 24 calls at a time and 100 hundred calls when upgraded.
Protesters in Port-Harcourt, the Rivers State capital held a public demonstration on Tuesday, causing a massive traffic gridlock along the busy Aba Road.
The demonstrators who referred to themselves as the Ikwerre People’s Assembly carried placards and chanted slogans accusing Governor Chibuike Amaechi of high handedness and deliberate provocation of law enforcement officers.
Some of the protest leaders said that the Ikwerres had lost confidence in the Governor’s leadership and accused him of mismanagement of funds.
In a swift reaction, the Rivers State Government described the demonstration as an assembly masterminded by opponents of Governor Rotimi Amaechi.
In an interview with Channels Television, Chief of Staff to Rivers State Governor, Mr. Tony Okocha, explained that the group, Ikwerre People’s Assembly does not exist and was merely an expression coined to give the gathering an identity.
He said that the attacks against the Governor were unjustified and that calling Governor Amaechi a despot because he was firm about doing the right thing was a misunderstanding of the whole issue.