By Emeka Mamah
Enugu- The Nigerian Army said yesterday that soldiers have been patrolling flashpoints in Ebonyi State , following credible security reports of likely politically motivated violence in the buildups towards next month’s general elections in the state.
This was made known by the Deputy Director of Public Relations, 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Col Sagir Musa.
Musa said in a statement that, “Based on credible intelligence of likely impending politically motivated violence in the build up to elections/electioneering campaigns by contending parties/actors, troops of Sector 4, in 24 Support Engineer Regiment AOR, – Ebonyi State, have jointly been conducting robust patrols in major identified flashpoints across the state.
“Consequently, there is an increased presence of security agencies on patrols and snap checkpoints in some areas such as Afikpo, Ekpoamaka, Alike Achara and Nwankpa communities in Afikpo and Ikwo LGAs of the state.
“Similarly, key areas like Ikwo junction, Enugu road, Presco Roundabout and Vanco Water Works, witnessed an increased presence of security personnel.
“These efforts are aimed to provide a conducive environment for socio-economic and political activities by proactively checkmating anticipated crisis before, during and after the 2019 general elections in line with the directive of the Chief of Army Staff.”
According to Musa, the deployment of soldiers on the Operation Python Dance 111 (Egwu Eke 111) to the troubled area was aimed at ensuring peace before, during and after the election period.
CRIMINALS DENIED FREEDOM OF ACTION SO FAR
He further said that, “One major gains of Exercise EGWU-EKE 111, just like others before it, – is in the maintenance of peace and security in the entire South East geo-political zone,” adding that “due to sustained mobile patrols, targeted raids, stop and search operations as well as aggresive intelligence drive across the zone, miscreants/hoodlums and criminals were denied freedom of action.
“So far, criminal activities such as movement of arms and ammunition, armed robbery, farmers-herders clashes, kidnappings, cultism, political brigandage/gangsterism, illegal oil bunkering and pipeline vandalism among others have so far been checkmated.
“There has not been reported case of political violence or crisis in the region which is to the credit of the political leaders and security agencies.”