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‘Operation Python Dance III will boost voters’ confidence during general elections’

The Middle-Belt Conscience Guard has reacted to the proposed nationwide exercise tagged Operation Python Dance III by the Nigerian Army. Recall that Chief of Army…

The Middle-Belt Conscience Guard has reacted to the proposed nationwide exercise tagged Operation Python Dance III by the Nigerian Army.

Recall that Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, had announced that the military exercise would commence from January 1, 2019 and last till February 28.

He said the exercise was in preparation against security challenges anticipated before, during and after the 2019 general election.

Sunday Onoja, the BoT chairman of the group, while addressing a press conference in Abuja, expressed optimism that the exercise would address areas in the Middle-Belt where the terrorists were once known to have sleeper cells.

His words, “Our geo-political zone, the North-Central sits between the north (North East and North West geo-political zones) and the South (South-West, South-South and South-East geo-political zones). Whatever happens in any of these other geo-political zones therefore automatically affects the Middle-Belt. This makes us default stakeholders in whatever happens in these sister geo-political zones.

“We can validly assert that a resurgence of Boko Haram will affect us because under the previous administration, Niger, Kogi, Plateau and Nasarawa states with the FCT were hotbeds of terrorists’ activities until the present administration came into office and appointed military service chiefs that secured the geo-political zone from terrorists. With the desperate push that Boko Haram is making to prove that it remains relevant, the Middle-Belt has no interest in seeing the group move southwards again as this will place them in our geo-political zone to the detriment of our people.

“Our geo-political zone has had its share of ethno-religious crises. Plateau is a case we can refer to at any time, while Benue state has also had more than its fair share of ethnic strife that have been given different colouration that made tracking such conflicts difficult. Kogi state is not spared as well. Experience have shown that such crises have the tendency to flare up whenever there are elections or in their immediate aftermath. This credible threat must be taken in consonance with the threats from some politicians to make the polls do or die affairs”

 

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