The Nigeria Army has hexpressed worry over the recent use of bomb and other explosive devices in some parts of the South East describing it as an emerging, disturbing and dangerous security issue that must be checked.
Deputy Director Army Public Relations, Nigeria Army, 82 Division Col. Sagir Musa was speaking in Owerri where he delivered a paper at the just concluded Media Summit held by the Imo State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ.
Reviewing the security situation in the zone Col. Musa listed the obvious security threats in the South-East to include kidnapping, cultism, armed robbery, communal conflict, farmers-herdsmen clashes, political violence and secessionist agitation.
He however identified an emerging dangerous trend of the use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) citing the recent explosion in the country home of the Ohanaeze President Chief Nnia Nwodo, another incident reported at a catholic church as well as that of a popular yam market all in the zone.
Musa expressed the need for members of the public especially the media to be more watchful, so as to sensitize the public on the disturbing trend and the necessity for partnership with the security agencies with the view to collectively and effectively containing these challenges.
He underlined the need for relevant security agencies to continue to seek new ways and means to consistently mitigate the new challenges and provide an effective deterrence.
“Consequently, the NA under Lt Gen TY Buratai pro actively and consistently appraise the numerous security threats across the nation, initiates and conducts several Field Training Exercises and Operations with the major aim of containing the threats.”
He recalled that some exercises were deliberately initiated and conducted with an overreaching aim of check mating identified security challenges in the regions where they were carried out.
“In the South Eastern, Exercise PYTHON DANCE was initially carried out from 27 November-27 December 2016.
The peculiar security challenges in the region such as kidnappings, armed robbery, cultism, farmers-herdsmen clashes, communal conflicts, traffic gridlock particularly at the Asaba-Onitsha Head Bridge and the violent secessionist agitation among others were the targets of the exercise.
“On the whole, these exercises, were successfully conducted as the objectives of the exercises/operations were greatly achieved. For that reason, all the exercises are now scheduled NA training exercises which are being conducted annually in the various regions of the nation.
He recalled that despite the initial disinformation, agitation and misplaced apprehension about Exercise PYTHON DANCE in 2016 and now Exercise EGWU EKE 11 in 2017, the record of achievements of the exercise are many and are acknowledged by well meaning Nigerians up to today.
“One major achievement is in the area of peace and security. Due to intensity of patrols, road blocks, raids and other activities in the Military Line of Operation, miscreants and criminals were denied freedom of action in the entire South Eastern States of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo.
The account of peace, law and order and secured environment in the entire South Eastern Region occasioned by the exercise was widely circulated by the media among others and is being enjoyed up to today.
“In the midst of all these security threats, it is obvious that the South East Zone is the most peaceful region in Nigeria. Major security challenges that could have dramatically disturbed the peace, security and stability of the region have been effectively silenced.
“Consequently, there is the need for the various tiers of government, security agencies, Civil Society Organizations, media and members of the public to collectively cooperate to sustain and improve on the current security situation.”