AKURE – GOVERNOR Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, yesterday, flagged off a military operation tagged Exercise Egwu Eke III in the state.
The exercise holds from January 3rd to February 24, 2019.
The flagged off event, which was held in Owo, Owo local government area of the state, was attended by the General Officer Commanding, 2 Division, Maj. Gen. Okwudili Azinta and the Bridgade Commander of 32 Artillery, Brigadier General James Ataguba, Heads of other security agencies in the state, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Chief Gbenga Ale and other members of the state executive Council.
Governor Akeredolu pledged to continue to support the security agencies within the available resources in carrying out their constitutional responsibilities, adding that his administration was aware that no meaningful development can take place in an atmosphere devoid of peace.
While explaining that his administration had earlier donated some vehicles to the state command of the Nigeria Police, Governor Akeredolu said more efforts are being made to procure more patrol vehicles and necessary equipment for the security agencies in the state as part of the contributions to effective and efficient security coverage of the state.
The Governor who appreciated the Military and other security agencies in the state for their cooperation and efforts so far, urged the officers and men of the Nigeria Army that will be participating in the exercise to observe the rules of engagement and code of conduct to avoid any action that may infringe on the rights of the public especially the hosting communities.
He expressed hope that the exercise will assist greatly in flushing out all criminal elements within the nooks and crannies of the State from their hideouts to give it the deserved peace and tranquility required for social and economic development.
Akeredolu said: “It is my pleasure again today to witness another important effort of the Nigerian Army in ensuring the security of lives and property in Ondo State with the Flag off ceremony of Exercise Egwu Eke III.
“I am made to understand that this is an internal security exercise that will be conducted on both land and water with a view to checkmating the diverse security challenges prevalent in the Southern region of the country including militancy, vandalism of oil and gas infrastructure, piracy, Kidnapping, Armed Robbery, Cultism and illegal Bunkering, among others.
“I am convinced beyond reasonable doubt that the Nigerian Army is capable of flushing out the criminal elements among us, with the recent achievement in the ongoing internal security operations in the State embarked upon by
the officers and men of the 32 Artillery Brigade, Akure.
“We, therefore, attach a great importance to the issue of security in all parts of the State. We have of recent, witnessed an upsurge in criminalities especially kidnapping, cultism and army robbery. However, I am happy to state that with the combined efforts of all the security agencies in the state, substantial arrests have been made.
All those found culpable will be charged to court and prosecuted accordingly to serve as deterrent to others. We are not going to relent until the state is rid of people with criminal tendencies. ”
Earlier in his speech, the General Officer Commanding, Azinta said there is no hiding place for kidnappers and criminals in Ondo State.
He said the choice of Ondo State for the exercise was to assure the good people of the state that there will be no hiding place for criminals and kidnappers who have threatened the peace of the state recently.