The Nigeria Army (NAN) on Tuesday inaugurated operation Python Dance III in Kaduna with a warning to criminals that they would have no hiding place.
The General Officer Commanding (GOC) 1 Division, Nigerian Army, Maj.-Gen. Mohammed Mohammed, made the remarks while inaugurating the operation at Rigasa in Kaduna on Tuesday.
Mohammed said the operation was holding simultaneously across the country to combat banditry, kidnapping and other criminal activities.
“Furthermore, it is also meant to ensure that law and order is maintained as we approach the upcoming 2019 general elections.
“To this end, this Division have put in place necessary security measures to ensure that these dissident groups are denied freedom of actions to carry out their nefarious activities, and to also ensure a hitch free 2019 general election,” he said.
The GOC said the Division has information “of plans by some of these groups to disrupt the upcoming 2019 General Elections. Hence, ExEGWU EKE III will give the Division the necessary platform to forestall the activities of these unscrupulous elements.”
The GOC recalled that the Division has engaged in several operations such as Karamin Goro, Idon Raini, Sharan Daji and Whirl Punch essentially to clear criminal elements in its area of responsibility.
“I want to also sincerely appreciate the efforts of the Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Tukur Buratai in his untiring attention and support to 1 Division which has continued to enable us to discharge our constitutional responsibilities,” he said.
Also speaking, Gov. Nasiru El Rufa’i of Kaduna State hailed the military for the sustained offensive against Boko Haram which has greatly degraded their capabilities abd compelled them to relocate to remote areas.
The Governor, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Security matters, Murtala Abbas, explained that as the general elections draws near, the need for security agencies to be on top of their duty against criminal groups in the state and country at large has become more expedient.
He implored the military to remain focused, determined and build on successes of previous operations and exercises, while urging them to remain apolitical, steadfast and professional in the discharge of their roles.