Army chief flags off ‘Exercise Still Water’ to curb oil theft in Niger Delta
The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant Gen. Farouk Yahaya, on Tuesday flagged off three joint military exercises to curb oil theft, banditry, cultism, kidnapping and other criminalities across the country.
The joint military exercises namely, Exercise Golden Dawn is expected to curb insecurity in the Southeast, Exercise Enduring Peace to handle insecurity in the North Central and Exercise Still Waters, is expected to tackle the security challenges in the Southsouth and Southwest.
Flagging off the three exercises simultaneously at the Six Division Step-up Headquarters in Ahoada, Rivers State, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant Gen. Farouk Yahaya, said the exercises were specifically designed to meet the unique security challenges across different states of the country.
Yahaya explained that the exercises involved a team operation with all security agencies, namely the Nigerian Army, Navy, Airforce, the Nigerian Police Force, Civil Defence, Department of State Services, etc
Describing the level of oil theft in the Niger Delta as worrisome, the Army boss said all structures associated with oil theft must be pulled down and those involved appropriately punished and warned that any Army personnel found conniving with saboteurs will face the full wrath of the military jurisprudence.
“Each exercise will address issues peculiar and unique to the areas of their responsibility. Exercise Still Waters here will among other things, address the issue of oil theft which has become an enigma here.
“I will be waiting seriously to hear what we have achieved in that regards. Other areas also have unique challenges like banditry, cultism and kidnapping.
“So, the exercises are carefully designed to address the unique challenges found in the areas where the troops operate. The troops have knowledge of the area, so they are better placed to address the issues.
“The ones here are better placed to know the creeks where oil theft takes place and deal with them, and by the end of these exercises we hope to have set conditions to a more peaceful atmosphere for the conduct of peaceful elections.
“All security agencies are involved so that there is no threat that we cannot defeat.”
Earlier, the Chief of Army Operations, Maj. Gen. Tunde Akinjobi, giving a breakdown of the exercises, said the exercise will require both kinetic and non-kinetic approach, and called for the cooperation of members of the public.
“Exercise Enduring Peace will be conducted in headquarters and command in Kogi, Benue, Nasarawa and the Federal Capital Territory.
“Exercise Golden Dawn under 82 Division will cover Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo States.
“Exercise Still Waters will be conducted within 2, 6 and 81 Divisions covering Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Edo, Delta, Lagos, Ogun and Rivers State.
“All participating formations have been involved in series of participatory activities which culminated in the tactical exercise with our troops.
“Troop commanders are encouraged to put into practice all observations learned during the tactical exercise with our troops, while leveraging intelligence in their respective areas of responsibility to ensure a successful conduct.
Also speaking, the GGeneral Officer Commanding, Six Division Port Harcourt, Maj. Gen. Olufemi Oluyede, said the exercises were in line with the COAS vision to have a professional Nigerian Army ready to accomplish assigned missions within the joint environment in the defence of the nation.