The Nigerian Army has said the military exercise in the south-east, ‘Operation Python Dance 2’ is not targeted at leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu and denied reports that soldiers surrounded the house of the IPOB leader or placed him under arrest.
Deputy Director, Public Relations, 82 Division of the army, Sagir Musa said this in Enugu while briefing reporters at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) secretariat in Umuahia, Abia state capital.
The deployment of troops to Abia State, especially the local government of Kanu had sparked tension.
He said in a statement, “The exercise is not targeted at any individual or group but meant to prevent security challenges identified in the south-east and parts of Cross River,”
“It is not meant to molest or victimise anybody.”
“The main objective of the exercise was to reduce kidnapping, armed robbery, cultism and violent agitations in the areas.
“The exercise, slated to fully take off on September 15 and end on October 14, would be conducted simultaneously in the affected states”.
“During the period, heavy presence of military troops would be felt in major cities and towns of the states involved”.
He also apologised to NUJ over the invasion of the Union secretariat, which led to the assault of soldiers.
He said the soldiers who were involved in the incident acted alone and not on the orders of the military.
He assured the union that such an unhealthy incident would not repeat itself, adding that the perpetrators would be fished out and appropriate sanctions meted out to them.