17 September 2017
By Justice Nwafor
As Operation Python Dance II continues with its dangerous dance steps in the Southeast, the authorities of Nigerian army are gearing up to launch Operation Crocodile smile II in the South-South zone and some parts of South-West.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Sani Usman, made this known in an interview with Signature TV on Saturday.
He said: “Look, this is the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The Nigerian military belongs to Nigeria and they have a duty to exercise in any part of the country. It is so sad that some people try to politicise these issues. They should have exercised patience and seen how this exercise would go.
“We had Operation Harbin Kunama II covering the North-West and parts of the North-Central this year. As soon as we are done with Egwu Eke II (Python Dance), we are also going on Crocodile Smile II that will cover the South-South and some parts of the South-West of the country.
The army spokesman continued: “Operation Python Dance II came about based on the encouraging feedback we received as a result of Python Dance I held last year. This is especially because of the crimes during the ‘ember’ period in the region. You know that the South-Easterners, who are enterprising and industrious people, have to return to their places at the end of the year.
“Unfortunately, some criminal elements take advantage of this period to perpetrate crimes. We have armed robberies, kidnappings, and communal clashes. But the Christmas of 2016 and New Year 2017 were the most peaceful in that part of the country, and that is attributed to the field training exercise, Python Dance I.”
He said the activities of a group of “vocal people, out of mischief or ignorance trying to create violence” should not be taken as the stand of the South- East region.