The Nigerian Army has announced the commencement of training exercises and operations across the six geo-political zones of Nigeria, as part of efforts to checkmate the activities of criminals and bandits.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, represented by the Chief of Training and Operations, Maj.-Gen. Enobong Udoh announced the exercises in a news conference on Tuesday in Abuja.
Buratai said the exercises include ‘Exercise Crocodile Smile 4 to be conducted in the South-South zone, Egwu Eke 4 in the South East and Ayem Akpatuma 2 in the North Central and parts of North West.
He said the exercises would be conducted concurrently in the geo-political zones from Nov. 1 to Dec. 23, to forestall the myriad of growing threats in the aforementioned zones.
According to him, these exercises will be conducted to consolidate on the gains of exercises AYEM AKPA TUMA 1, EGWU EKE 3 and CROCODILE SMILE 3, that were conducted last year at this same period.
“The exercise to be conducted are exercise AYEM AKPA TUMA / in the North Central and parts of North-West states of Benue, Nasarawa, Kogi, Taraba, Kaduna and Niger states in 1 and 3 Divisions as well as in Headquarters Command Army Records, Guards Brigade and 707 Special Forces Brigade Area of Responsibilities.
“Exercise EGWU EKE 1V will be carried out in the South-Eastern part of Nigeria comprising, Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo States in 82 Division AOR.
“Exercise CROCODILE SMILE IV will be held across some states in the South-South and part of Southwestern States including Akwa lbom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Lagos, Ogun and Rivers State in 2, 6, 81 and 82 Divisions’ Areas of Responsibility,” he said.
The army chief added that the recently launched ‘Operation Positive Identification in the North East theatre of operation would be extended to cover the entire nation.
He said that the operation would be directed at curtailing the movement of bandits, kidnappers, armed robbers, ethnic militia, cattle rustlers and other criminal elements to other relatively peaceful states to perpetrate their crimes.
According to him, the operation will run concurrently with these other routine exercises during the period.
“In the same vein, the Nigerian Army Women Corps will be staging robust show of force/confidence building patrols in some selected locations across the country, to complement the efforts of troops and other security agencies as part of these exercises.