FG worried over MASSOB, IPOB agitations …Army warns groups

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…Army warns groups

The Federal Government yesterday said that it was worried by the security threat posed by the activities of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign Of Biafra (MASSOB) and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), two groups campaigning for self-determination in the Southeast of Nigeria.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation, David Babachir Lawal who expressed government’s concern at the opening of the 4th Eminent Persons and Experts Group Meeting in Abuja, however assured Nigerians that the Federal Government was prepared to resolve all security challenges confronting the country.

Lawal disclosed that the government was taking appropriate steps to engage stakeholders in the south east geo- political zone as a way of resolving the grievances if the two groups and dousing tension in the region.

He noted that security agents have engaged members of the National Assembly and traditional rulers from the south east with a view to creating a better understanding of the issues while governors from the region have been asked to initiate activities that would positively engage members of the groups agitating for a separate country.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army yesterday kicked off a security operation tagged ‘Exercise Python Dance’ in the five South- East states of the country as part of measures to ensure a hitch-free Yuletide season with a stern warning to groups that threaten peace in the area that they would be the target if they stir up any trouble within the period.

The one-month exercise, expected to end on December 27, 2016 is already gathering momentum as its step-up headquarters located at the Dora Akunyili Women Development Centre, Awka, was yesterday decorated appropriately with army camouflage.

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It was expected that at the end of the programme, the army would remain on ground to maintain peace in the various communities in the geo-political zone.

Addressing journalists on the programme, the Deputy Director, Army Public Relations of the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Colonel Sagir Musa, said prevalent security issues such as armed robbery, kidnapping, abduction, herdsmen-farmers clashes and violent secessionist attacks, among others, would be the major focus of the exercise.

Musa said for the purpose of the exercise, there would be increase in the number of soldiers in the state as well as check points in the zone, adding that troops would also be moving from one point to the other to maintain peace.

He said: “After the exercise, the army would continue to maintain internal security in line with the existing joint security taskforces in the states.”

-New Telegraph

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