The Nigerian Army says the activation of ‘Operation Egwu Eke 3’ in the 36 states of the country and the Federal Capital Territory has nothing to do with the 2019 general elections but primarily targeted at ensuring peace as well as security of lives and properties in the nation.
Chief of Training and Operations, Army Headquarters, Major General Lamidi Adeosun made the disclosure at the formal launch of the exercise in Abuja by Guards Brigade Nigerian Army at the Step 1 headquarters, Kuje.
The CTOP said, ‘Exercise Egwu Eke 3 is a field training exercise. It is not to prevent electioneering campaigns by politicians or to prevent people from voting for any candidate of their choice. It is solely aimed at ensuring peace and security.
“The Nigerian Army is for all Nigerians. The Nigerian Army does not belong to any political party. The Nigerian Army has no candidate. The Nigerian Army is not fielding any candidate. We are only concerned with the criminals who will prevent law abiding Nigerians from going about their daily lawful activities”.
“Please the media and traditional rulers should impact it on the citizenry to note that any other insinuation is out of it. It is our constitutional duty to ensure peace and security”.
Commander, Guards Brigade, Brigadier General Umar Tama Musa in his well come address, said, “As the build up to 2019 general elections gathers momentum, an upsurge of security challenges such as stockpiling of arms by criminal groups, formation of militias and violence induced by political activities is on the rise.
“These challenges coupled with other security threats across the country such as terrorism, militancy, kidnapping and banditry portend that dissident group and criminal elements could cash in on the situation to perpetrate large scale violence before, during or after the 2019 general elections.
“The Nigerian Army in line with its constitutional mandate of military assistance to civil authority, has scheduled this internal security operation based exercise from 28 December 2018 to 28 February 2019 throughout the federation in view of the forthcoming general elections”.
“This exercise is in preparation against any security challenge that may arise before, during or after the 2019 general elections. The Step-Up headquarters is established outside the normal routine set up to enable the exercise accommodate sister security agencies so as to have a joint setting where every agency will play his professional role in the discharge of the functions and responsibility during the exercise.
Continuing the Commander said, ”I want to reiterate that this exercise is aimed at ridding off the FCT and environs of criminal elements that would like to cause havoc to law abiding citizens. I want to assure all that our troops will discharge the tasks within the confines of the law and operate within the rules of engagement and code of military operations”.
He charged all law abiding citizens to go about their normal activities without any form of fear noting that “Officers and men of the Guards Brigade“ are ever ready to the responsibility of protecting the seat of government and the FCT in general, and are ready to make sacrifices needed in carrying out these tasks”.
FCT Minister, Mohammed Musa Bello expressed appreciation to Guards Brigade Nigerian Army and other security agencies responsible for ensuring peace and security in the federal capital for their tireless efforts noting that with the takeoff of Egwu Eke 3 in Abuja, “I can now sleep with my two eyes closed.
After listening to an operational brief of what the exercise was all about, including securing all entry and exit points of the capital city, the minister reiterated that the launching of the exercise has nothing to do with politics but the well-being of all Nigerians and foreigners living in Abuja, and adjourning areas.
He said, “I want to use this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to the Guards Bridge as well as the Nigerian Army and other security agencies for the good work they are doing to secure center of unity, the capital of Nigeria as well as other territories. We thank you for that.
As highlighted by the Commander, we are here on the occasion of the launching of ‘Egwu Eke 3’, by the Nigerian Army. The exercise is aimed at creating a secured environment against banditry in all forms, as manifested through kidnapping, armed robbery, human trafficking as well all other crimes
As indicated by our host the commander, 2019 general elections have arrived and already all stakeholders are gathering momentum and by extension our security challenges are increasing but I have no doubt that with what we are witnessing and Egwu Eke 3, in Abuja today and other parts of the country, by the grace of God, elections will come and go, peacefully and we will continue to operate as one nation united in the objective that brought us together.
I also note that this exercise is not targeted at any individual or group but to create a conducive atmosphere for conduct of the forth coming general elections were every law abiding citizen will go and exercise his or her democratic rights freely.
The ministry of the FCT will continue to partner with the Guards Brigade as well as all other military and Para-military agencies within the territory to ensure that we give you the needed support to be able to discharge your constitutional roles in the right way and manner. We will there for you always.
I, therefore wish to join the commander guards brigade to solicit for your total support and contribution, particularly the civilian populace as represented here by traditional rulers, we support them by accepting them in our communities by providing them needed information and intelligence because their been able to do their jobs to our benefit.