CHIEF of Army Staff Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai yesterday emphasised that reporting of national security issues is not for “all comers”.
He warned that anyone found wanting will be guilty of breaching the Official Secrets Act, 1962.
The COAS spoke while inaugurating the Army 63 Division in Asaba, Delta State and kicking-off of Exercise Python Dance 111 (Egwe-Eke).
Buratai appealed to Nigerians to be mindful of the fact that “this is the only country that we have and no effort should be spared to save it from plans of unpatriotic elements fighting to pull the country down”.
The COAS warned that the unpatriotic elements’ activities were capable of impeding military operations and demoralising troops at the expense of national security.
Buratai, who was represented by the General Officer Commanding (G.O.C) 6 Division, Nigerian Army, Enugu, Maj.-Gen. Jamil Sarham, said at the end of Exercise Egwe-Eke111, “the python must have swallowed all bandits, rustlers, terrorists, kidnappers, robbers and militants in the country. The python will also have swallowed thugs and other miscreants that may raise their ugly heads”.
He stressed that the Operation Python Dance 111 is a realistic training package in internal security operations, clearance operations, emergency management, rescue operations, roadblock and cordon and search and anti-kidnapping.
According to the COAS, the inauguration of the 63 Division was a demonstration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s desire to have adequate and equitable establishment of Army formations and needs across the country.
He said the establishment of three brigades under the 6 Division was informed by the need to have a formidable response mechanism and checkmate the myriad of security challenges to national assets, interest in the Niger Delta and the Gulf of Guinea.
Buratai urged stakeholders “to look in the way of the brigade to fast-track its growth as the Federal Government makes budgetary provisions for the new Division”.
He said Python Dance 111 was geared towards assuring law-abiding citizens of the Army’s resolve to provide adequate security and safety as the nation approaches the 2019 general elections.
The COAS boasted that “Exercise Crocodile 111”, which was conducted in the Niger Delta region, has reduced illegal oil bunkering, pipeline vandalism, kidnapping and other criminal activities.
He urged the troops to sustain the momentum of the operations and maintain professionalism in the discharge of their constitutional mandate in aid of civil authority.
After the inauguration of the 63 Brigade at its temporary headquarters in Anwai, suburban Asaba, dignitaries, including Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, the leadership of the State House of Assembly, Asagba of Asaba Obi Prof. Chike Edozien, headed to its permanent headquarters for the flag-off of exercise Python Dance 111 at Kilometre 11, Okpanam on Asaba/Agbor expressway.
Okowa promised to provide support to the military formation while hailing the security forces for securing the peace and territorial integrity of the nation.
He said oil production boost in Delta State was largely due to the efforts of security agencies and enjoined them to sustain the momentum as the nation approaches general elections.
Chief Patrick Ndeli, who represented Prof. Edozien, expressed appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for establishing the military formation in Asaba.
Author: Okungbowa Aiwerie