By Peter Okolie
The Operation Python Dance inaugurated by the Nigerian Army in the South East geo-political zone to curb crime in the area during the yuletide will end on Dec. 27.
The Deputy Director, Public Relations, 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Col. Sagir Musa, made the disclosure in a telephone interview on Monday.
The operation was launched to span from Nov. 27 to Dec. 27.
“The Exercise will end on Dec. 27, as earlier indicated.
“However, troops will still be massively around in the whole of South-East to continue with patrols, road blocks and check points.
“Nigeria’s South-East has not recorded incidence of armed robbery, kidnapping, cultism and associated violence as well as inter-communal, herdsmen-farmers clashes during this Yuletide due to the on-going military exercise in the region tagged Operation Python Dance.
“These menaces are and have been the focus and targets of this exercise which has so far been successful,” Musa said.
The army spokesman said that the General Officer Commanding 82 Division, Maj.-Gen. Adamu Abubakar, visited Awka, Agulu, Nnobi, Ihiala and Okija communities in Anambra State on Dec. 25, to assess the conduct of troops.
He said the GOC was also at the Niger Bridge to assess the state of security and vehicular movements.
“It would be recalled that traffic gridlock has for many years, especially during the yuletide, been endemic on the Niger Bridge at both Asaba and Onitsha axis inflicting suffering and other inconveniences on road users.
“Hence, part of the target for the exercise is to check the usual gridlock, chaos and insecurity on the Bridge. This objective has so far been achieved.
“Since the start of Exercise Python Dance, there has not been any case of gridlock and associated insecurity on the Asaba-Onitsha Bridge.
“The orderliness, the disposition of combined security personnel and the manner the general public conducted themselves, especially the road users is commendable,” he emphasised.
Musa urged members of the public to remain security conscious and to report any suspicious movements and persons to security agencies nearest to them.