By Precious Igbonwelundu and Damola Kola-Dare
A military operation, Exercise Still Water, to ward off insecurity in Lagos and Ogun states will take off today.
Two other exercises, Operation Golden Dawn and Enduring Peace will hold simultaneously in Southeast/Southsout and the Northcentral.
They will hold from today till December 23, Army Spokesman Brig-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, said yesterday.
According to him, the Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) will collaborate with the Army.
The spokesman said Chief of Army Staff Lt.-Gen Farouk Yahaya will today inaugurate the three exercises at Ovie-Emene in Enugu State local government, venue of Exercise Golden Dawn.
He described them as Field Training Exercises (FTEs) routinely conducted yearly by the army.
“The FTEs will equally provide a platform to sharpen the skills of participating troops on the conduct of Internal Security Operations.
“The exercises will run concurrently at 2, 6, 81 and 82 Divisions Areas of Responsibilities (AOR) in the Southwest, South-South and Southeast regions, respectively.
“They will also be conducted at Headquarters Command Army Records, 401 Special Forces Brigade and Guards Brigade Areas of Responsibilities (AOR) in the North-Central states of Kogi, Benue and the FCT, respectively,’’ he stated.
Gen. Nwachukwu said troops would be taken through operational rigours to effectively respond to security challenges, ranging from kidnapping, banditry, thuggery and brigandage,
Others are: Armed robbery, cultism, communal crises, violent secessionist agitations, farmers-herders clashes, insurgency, and other sundry crimes.
He added that the exercises would be complemented by the robust civilian-military relations activities in identified communities in the envisaged AORs.
He added: “this intervention calls for critical stakeholders to support the Nigerian army and other security agencies.
“This is to help in stemming the tide of crimes and criminality across the areas, particularly as the Yuletide approaches.
“Consequently, members of the general public are please enjoined not to panic on sighting the movement of troops and equipment.
“They are also urged to please continue to support the army and other security agencies with credible information on the activities of criminals in their vicinities.
“Nigerians are please, encouraged to take ownership of the exercise for a seamless celebration during the Yuletide,’’ he appealed.
The General Officer Commanding (GOC), 81 Division, Nigerian Army, Maj.-Gen. Lawrence Fejokwu, speaking on the ‘Still Water in Lagos and Ogun’ said in a statement signed by the division’s spokesperson, Maj. Olaniyi Osoba, that: “The exercise will dovetail into a real time operation aimed at enhancing troops’ level of professionalism and preparedness in curbing security challenges prevalent within their area of responsibility.
“Security challenges such as banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery, ritual killings, pipeline vandalism, among others will be addressed during the exercise.
“The exercise will involve movement of troops and military equipment within Lagos and Ogun States,” he said.
The statement urged residents not to panic during the exercise.
He also said that there would be free medical services for residents of the host communities during the programme.