From: Madu Ezenoha, ENUGU
Army vows to defend Nigeria’s unity
The Nigerian military has stated that it will not shirk its responsibility of defending the unity of the country.
The military said it remains the last bastion holding the nation from disintegration following the socio-political challenges facing the nation.
The General Officer Commanding (GOC) 82 Division of Nigerian Army, Enugu, Maj. Gen. Adamu. B. Abubakar, spoke when the executives of Enugu state Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), led by its Chairman, Comrade Rex Arum paid him a courtesy visit on Monday.
The GOC vowed that the military will not fail to maintain peace and security, saying “This is our country and we will defend it to the end… the string that holds this country is the military.”
Abubakar dismissed misconceptions associated with code names for military exercises, which he said were sometimes misinterpreted as having been designed against a group or particular region.
He said such needles misconceptions such as the one associated with “Operation Python Dance”, a military exercise launched in the South East geopolitical zone in May last year to checkmate to rising cases of armed robbery, kidnapping and other violent crimes, only ended up generating unnecessary controversy and creating hostility in the minds of the people against the military.
He said, “Operation Python Dance generated a lot of controversy, so we have changed the name now to “Egwu Eke” which I guess means the same thing. There was a misconception at the initial stage. Military always have a code for any exercise. So that if you are talking of a particular exercise, you are not referring to the date and time, you are directly talking about that exercise. And we always look at the peculiarity of the environment.
“I will take the one we did in July last year, somewhere in Zamfara. We called it ‘Abincunama’, which in Hausa means scorpion sting, and it was because that place is so known, all soldiers should be aware that
there are scorpions there.”
He expressed gratitude to God, however for the success of “Operation Python Dance,” even as he praised the professionalism and maturity with which the military handled the issue of Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) especially when they declared a sit-at-home action on May 30.
The GOC lamented the negative influence of social media and “quack journalists” that spread fake news, noting for instance that the social media reported that 150 persons were killed in a recent communal crisis in Yalla local government area of Cross River state, whereas no single soul was lost.
Earlier, the chairman of NUJ in Enugu state, Comrade Arum commended the military for their detribalized and professional nature, saying that without the military there wouldn’t have been Nigeria today.
Arum said that the essence of the visit was to explore areas of cooperation, even as he lauded the GOC, for bringing about improved relationship between the military and the civil society.
The NUJ Enugu executives were accompanied to the courtesy call by the National Vice President of the Union in charge of Zone C (South East), Comrade Chris Isiguzo and the Zonal Secretary, Comrade Kenneth Ofoma.