The Nigerian Army on Wednesday launched a military operation, codenamed Operation Golden Dawn III, to tackle security challenges in Abia.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Gov. Alex Otti launched the exercise at the 14 Brigade Step-Up Headquarters, Isuochi, in Umunneochi Local Government Area of the state.
Otti, represented by Mr Macdonald Uba, his Special Assistant on Security, expressed confidence that the exercise would assist greatly in flushing out criminal elements within the nooks and crannies of the state.
He said it would also add more impetus to the military and other security agencies to further reduce crimes and criminality in the entire state during this Yuletide.
The governor urged officers and men participating in the exercise to observe laid-down Rules of Engagement and Code of Conduct.
According to him, “this is to avoid any action that may infringe on the rights of the citizens and the host community.
“May I assure the Nigerian Army and other security agencies in Abia of our continued support within available resources, so as to enable them carry out their constitutional responsibilities.
“We are aware that no meaningful development can take place in an atmosphere devoid of peace.”
In his address of welcome, the Commander, 14 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Brig.-Gen. Nsikak Edet, said that Exercise Golden Dawn III is one of the exercises initiated by the Army in the South-East.
He said it was tailored towards enhancing the security of law-abiding citizens of the state during the Yuletide season.
Edet said the exercise is in collaboration with other security agencies that would be performing their statutory roles.
The brigade commander disclosed that other activities earmarked for the exercise included free medical outreach and education support to schools.
He said the activities were aimed at fostering the much-needed civil-military cooperation as well as a mark of appreciation to the government and the citizens for their support to the army.
“We want to reassure residents, passers-by and visitors to Abia of their safety during the conduct of Exercise Golden Dawn III.
“It should be well noted that the Exercise is not targeted at hurting innocent persons, but to protect them.
“We, therefore, call on the peace-loving people of Abia, community leaders and everyone to provide us with useful information regarding persons who constitute a threat to public safety and security,” Edet said. (NAN)