Army Insists Baga under Control, Launches Operation Python Dance Nationwide
The Nigerian Army has declared that it never lost control of Baga town in northern Borno, as against reports that Boko Haram insurgents overran the area.
Maj.-Gen. Lamidi Adeosun, the Chief of Training and Operations made the clarifications in Maiduguri while fielding questions shortly after unveiling new military operations nationwide known as Python Dance.
He spoke on behalf of Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff.
Adeosun said that the gallant troops successfully repelled the insurgents’ attack and secured Baga and its environs.
According to him, the insurgents had on Wednesday unleashed a coordinated attack on a military base in the town but the gallant troops repelled and pursued the insurgents.
“We have taken control of Baga. I am talking about the position of Baga as at yesterday when we stabilised the situation.
“Baga is not in the hands of the Boko Haram insurgents; I repeat Baga is not in the hands of the Boko Haram terrorists, they contested and lost.”
Speaking on the new military operation, Adeosun said the Nigerian Army will soon conduct “Egwu Eke III” also known as Operation Python Dance, across the nation.
He said the exercise will be conducted from January 1 to February 28, 2019.
The army said the military operation was needed to tackle already “observed upsurge’’ insecurity challenges in the buildup to the 2019 elections.
He said: “Exercise EGWU EKE I and II took place in year 2016 and 2017 respectively in the South Eastern Region of our country. It yielded positive results in checkmating the security challenges being witnessed in the region then.
“Exercise EGWU EKE III is significant because for the first time it will be conducted simultaneously across the country. It is also a reassurance of the resolve of the Nigerian Army and indeed the entire Armed Forces of Nigeria as well as other security agencies to ensure that law and order is maintained as we approach the forthcoming 2019 General Elections.
“The Nigerian Army will continue to conduct Internal Security operations in combating criminality and other security challenges in the country, in line with its constitutional mandate of Military Aid to Civil Authority. As the build up to the 2019 General Elections gathers momentum, an upsurge of security challenges such as stockpiling of arms by criminal groups, formation of ethnic militias and violence induced by political activities has been observed.
“These challenges coupled with other security threats across the country such as terrorism, militancy, kidnapping and banditry portend that dissident groups and criminal elements could cash in on the situation to perpetrate large scale violence before, during and after the 2019 General Elections. Drawing from the my vision
“‘To have a Professionally Responsive NA in the Discharge of its Constitutional Roles,’ the NA troops need to be prepared and equipped with requisite skills in order to professionally and effectively respond to these challenges and security threats in collaboration with Nigerian Police and other para-military organisation.
“The successes recorded so far in all conducted Nigerian Army level exercises is fulfilling both training and ops objectives of the Nigerian Army. I also believe Exercise EGWU EKE III with its mandate of combating the upsurge of security challenges as we approach the 2019 General Elections will be a success.
“Let me use this opportunity to call on the good people of our great nation Nigeria to provide our men and women in uniform adequate support especially timely information to enable them deliver on the mandate of Exercise EGWU EKE III. I want to also reaffirm the commitment of the Nigerian Army in the fight against terrorism and insurgency in our country,” he concluded.