…to rename Operation Python Dance in South-East
By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA-To completely restore peace in the troubled Southern Kaduna, Nigerian Army has said it would launch Operation Kaunama 11 in the area.
It also stated that the military exercise in the South-East code-named “Operation Python Dance” would be renamed while still carrying out other undergoing engagements across the country.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen Yusuf Bruntai made the disclosure while fielding questions from State House correspondents at the end of the Security Council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential Villa, Abuja on Thursday.
He said that the exercise in Southern Kaduna would be extended to Plateau and Kano States.
He said: “Our troops are already in Southern Kaduna. We have our special forces operating there along with all other security agencies and we intend also to have an exercise very soon in Southern Kaduna to cover some part of Plateau and indeed part of Kano State. So, it is part of our strategy for this year to continue all the exercises we have had before.
“We will be having exercise Kunama 11 which will come into Southern Kaduna State and part of Plateau and Kano state.
“Croccodile smile in the Niger Delta and indeed the Python dance, but we are going to rename the Python Dance for the South East this year also.”
Speaking on the Sambisa forest, the Army chief stated that troops were still on the ground, combing the area according to their mandate.
“We are continuing our operations in that area, Lafiya Dole mandate and the troops are still moving all over the area.
“The directive is there. We are still pursuing it and it is a task we must accomplish at all cost”.
Also speaking on the outcome of the Security Council meeting earlier, Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali said that some resolutions were taken in the Niger Delta crisis.
He however did not state the resolutions.
“Major security issue were discussed and we were able to come to conclusion on almost all the crises that are going on across the country.
“The Southern Kaduna, the Niger Delta issues and other major crises areas were discussed and resolutions were passed.
“Like I said in the Southern Kaduna we have our troops being moved and they have already taken places. Negotiation is going on and I believe that very soon, it will come to an end.
On the Gambian crisis, the Minister added that the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS were working on the matter.
“That is not a national issue and I believe the ECOWAS are working on that. We have not reached any conclusion on that”, he said.
The meeting attracted the Chief of Defence State, three Service Chiefs, and the Inspector-General of Police and the Director-General of Department of State Service.