The Nigerian Army, 4 Brigade, Benin on Monday inaugurated the “Exercise Still Waters” geared towards boosting security in Edo.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the exercise was began at Ehor, Council Headquarters of Uhumwonde Local Government Area.
In his remarks, Brig.-Gen. Sani Abdullahi, the Brigade Commander explained that the exercise was customarily conducted in the last quarter of every year under the auspices of the Army Headquarters.
Abdullahi also explained that the exercise which was hitherto known as ”Exercise Crocodile Smile,” was hinged on combating various security challenges like kidnapping and armed robbery.
Others include: Cultism, farmers/herders clash, child trafficking, communal clashes, drug peddling, as well as oil bunkering.
He added: “It is tailored towards enhancing the protection of lives and property, as well as building confidence among the residents of the state during the ember months heralding the yuletide season”.
The Brigade Commander also disclosed that the exercise would be conducted in collaboration with other security agencies that would also play their statutory roles.
According to him, “it is believed that the exercise will promote a conducive environment for businesses and other socio-economic activities for which the state is known for.
“In addition, it will foster the much desired civil-military relations between the military and the people of Edo.
“These three months long intensive programme is geared towards protecting the security of lives and property of Edo people.
” It will be conducted in collaboration with other security agencies in the state, while it will also include a medical outreach and sanitation exercise in select communities.”
Abdullahi disclosed that Ehor was chosen as the military base for the exercise,” after acareful thought through of insecurity flagship areas.”
He noted that Ehor was a major community with many economic activities and high density vehicular and human movements.
In his renarks, the Edo Deputy Governor, Phillip Shaibu, who was the Special Guest of Honour, said that the Edo state Government would continue to support the Army in line with the security architecture of the state.
He noted that Edo would be a trailblazer in tackling insecurity, adding that the government has a robust relationship with all military formations and other security agencies in the state.
He expressed optimism,” at the end of the exercise, Ehor as a community and the Ehor/Ekpoma/Auchi road would not be the same again.”
He called on traditional rulers, as well as residents in the state to always provide credible intelligence to security agencies to enable them tackle security challenges.
Earlier, the Enogie of Ehor, Mr David Igiehon, lauded the Army for siting the exercise Still Waters army base in the community.
Igiehon said:” There is no doubt that security breaches have been on the increase in the axis for quite some time.”
He stressed the need to engage the insecurity-prone communities in meaningful dialogues as the way out of the problem.
He said ” if a military formation is put in place in the community , I will release a large expanse of land to the military for its expansion to accommodate their equipments and facilities. ” (NAN)