17 September 2017
By Justice Nwafor
The Nigerian Army on Saturday reassured law abiding residents of the southeast zone that the ongoing Operation Python Dance was a field training exercise, and not targeted at anybody.
Deputy Director, Public Relations, 82 Division, Nigerian Army, Enugu, Col. Sagir Musa, made this known in Enugu via a statement which was made available to journalists. The statement is coming on the heels of wide spread belief in the south east that Python Dance is only targeted at Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB members.
“The 82 Division, Nigerian Army, is currently on a field training exercise code-named exercise EGWU EKE II (Python Dance).
“The exercise which started on 15th September and will last till 14th October 2017 is meant to sharpen the skills of 82 Division troops in the conduct of internal security operations.
“The exercise is also aimed at combating the security challenges in the South-East and is well equipped to deal with the rising cases of insecurity such as kidnappings, armed forces farmers-herdsmen clashes, cultism, violent secessionist agitations, insurgency among others.
“Please note, Exercise EGWU EKE II is not targeted at any individual or group, as law abiding citizens are advised to go about their normal businesses without fear”, the statement read.
Python Dance II turned fatal and highly chaotic in Abia state, where soldiers came into open confrontation with residents resulting in deaths, injuries and destruction of property. This led to far-reaching calls to the FG to halt the military operation in the south-east.