GOVERNOR Willie Obiano of Anambra State has said that contrary to insinuations in the social media, the Operation Python Dance recently launched in the five South East states by the Nigerian Army was not an army of occupation, arguing that it was done with the good intention of wiping out crime in the zone.
Pro-Biafra agitators, including the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, and some human rights groups in the zone had condemned the operation, saying that it was targeted against the agitators.
They also argued that it would inflict hardship on the people of the zone, especially during the forthcoming Christmas and New Year celebrations.
But receiving the Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lt. General Tukur Buratai at the headquarters of the exercise located at the Dora Akunyili Women Development Center, Awka, Obiano said those condemning the exercise missed the point as the exercise was to assist the state in fighting crime.
He said: “They are not Army of occupation as being labeled on the internet. Two and half years ago, our people were not coming home because of security issues and we formed Operation Kpochapu, which cleared the state of crime, such that today, Anambra is the safest state in Nigeria.
“The Army had always assisted the Joint Task Force we set up and they have not disappointed us.” While urging the people to cooperate with the operators of the exercise to sustain the relative peace in the state, the governor observed that it was only criminals and criminally- minded people that would be afraid of the military presence.
In his speech, General Buratai said the exercise was part of the military training programme, which had been launched in other parts of the country.
Meantime, the medical team of the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army has delivered free medical services to select communities in the South East region. The team was under the leadership of the Acting Commander 82 Division Hospital Colonel Olufunke Kayode. The Garrison Commander 82 Division Brigadier General Olufemi Akinjobi was at the Nsukka Centre to supervise the event.
The generous medical outreach was conducted in Okposi, Nsukka and Obinze Communities of Anambra, Enugu and Imo States. Identified communities of Ohafia and Azia in Abia and Ebonyi States are also to benefit from the exercise slated for Thursday 8 December 2016.