Enugu—The Army said yesterday that soldiers have been patrolling flashpoints in Ebonyi State, following “credible security reports of likely politically motivated violence” in the build-up to next month’s general elections in the state.
The Deputy Director of Public Relations, 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Col Sagir Musa, said in a statement that, “Based on credible intelligence reports of likely impending politically motivated violence in the build-up to elections and electioneering campaigns by contending parties, troops of Sector 4, in 24 Support Engineer Regiment AOR, Ebonyi State, have jointly been conducting robust patrols in major identified flashpoints across the state.
“Consequently, there is an increased presence of security agencies on patrols and snap checkpoints in some areas such as Afikpo, Ekpoamaka, Alike Achara and Nwankpa communities in Afikpo and Ikwo LGAs of the state. “Similarly, key areas like Ikwo junction, Enugu road, Presco Roundabout and Vanco Water Works, witnessed an increased presence of security personnel. “These efforts are aimed at providing a conducive environment for socio-economic and political activities by proactively checkmating anticipated crisis before, during and after the 2019 general elections in line with the directive of the Chief of Army Staff.” According to Musa, the deployment of soldiers on the Operation Python Dance 111 (Egwu Eke 111) to the troubled area was aimed at ensuring peace before, during and after the election period.
He further said that, “One major gain of Exercise Egwu-Eke III (Python Dance III), just like others before it, is in the maintenance of peace and security in the entire South East geo-political zone,” adding that “due to sustained mobile patrols, targeted raids, stop and search operations as well as aggresive intelligence drive across the zone, miscreants/hoodlums and criminals were denied freedom of action.”