The South East Governors’ Forum yesterday noted that it would resist any
attempt to use security agencies, especially the Nigerian Army to rig
the 2019 general election under the guise of Operation Python Dance III
the forum asked the Nigerian Army to be more professional in the
discharge of their duties as they embark on the Python Dance III “to win
the confidence of the people of the zone in the face of heightened
tension ahead of the 2019 general election.
The Chairman of the
forum and Ebonyi State Governor, Chef David Umahi made the comment at a
meeting with the General Officer Commanding, 82 Division of the Nigerian
Army, Maj.-Gen. Abubarka Maikobi at a meeting held at the Government
At the meeting, Umahi noted that Ebonyi Sate
and indeed the entire South East “will resist with every sense of vigour
any attempt to rig the general election using the security agencies as
The governor, equally, said the only way Nigeria would
exist beyond 2019 was to hold credible and transparent elections where
all security agencies were seen to be neutral and unbiased.
explained that the South East had been greatly troubled by the presence
of the army, especially because of the recent clash between the army
and members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
therefore, called on the army “to remain neutral and maintain high
level of professionalism in the discharge of their duties while the
He, also, challenged the army “to come up with
workable policies that will earn them the confidence of the people of
the zone. The army and other security agencies must remain neutral in
the coming general election in the state and by extension, the South
He said the zone “will not have any problem with the place
the army may deem fit to establish their operational headquarters as
long as they maintain their professional standard of protecting the
people of the zone instead of being seen or accused of killing them.
speaking at the meeting, Maikobi said he was in Ebonyi state to
familiarise himself with the government and people of the South East and
informed him about the plan of the Nigerian Army to commence Operation
Egwu Eke III.
“I am here to inform you that I have been mandated
by the Chief of Army Staff to formally inform you as the Chief Security
Officer of the State that exercise Egwu Eke III was flagged off in
Maiduguri, Borno State.
“The exercise is scheduled to take place
from January 1 to 28 February, 2019. We have selected Ebonyi under your
purposeful leadership as the location for the step-up headquarters for
He disclosed that the army “will remain neutral. I
assure you and good people of Ebonyi State that the Nigeria Army will
remain neutral, professional and totally apolitical. Nigerian army will
not compromise its constitutional roles under any guise”.