The Nigerian Army has said its special operation code-named Operation Python Dance lll (Egwu Eke) would commence by January 2019.
Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai who announced this Friday in Maiduguri said the operation would last from January till February 28, 2019.
Buratai added that the Operation Python Dance lll would this time be conducted nation wide.
This was unlike Operation Python Dance l and ll which were limited to the South East zone alone.
According to the Army Chief, the special operation is to tackle “observed upsurge’’ in security challenges as the 2019 general elections draw nearer.
Wawa News Global reports that according to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC timetable, the 2019 elections would be held between February 16 and 28.
While the Presidential and National Assembly elections are scheduled for Feb. 16, the Governorship and state Houses of Assembly poll would be held seven days later.
The COAS who was represented by Maj.-Gen. Lamidi Adeosun, the Chief of Training and Operations, identified threats to the 2019 polls as “stockpiling of arms by criminal groups, formation of ethnic militia and violence induced by political activities”.
His words : “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 and after the 2019 general elections”.
Buratai said the Nigerian army troops needed to “be prepared and equipped with requisite skills in order to professionally and effectively respond to these challenges and security threats in collaboration with the Nigerian Police and other para-military oganisations.”
When newsmen wanted to be sure that the operation python dance known as “Egwu Eke ” in Igbo would still not be restricted to South East, Buratai said : “Even in the desert of Borno, don’t forget, the Lake Chad basin is there, python can also dance within the desert.”
“In fact, we have desert python, so python will dance all over the country this time around,’’ he said.