Yuletide: Mbah assures maximum security as army flags off exercise

Enugu State governor, Dr Peter Mbah, has assured residents living across the state and those that would be travelling to Enugu from around the world for Christmas and New Year celebrations of adequate security of lives and property throughout the festive period.

This was even as the Nigerian Army, this week, while flagging off a military operation codenamed “Exercise Golden Dawn III” in the state designed to pre-empt security threats, guarantee the safety of the citizens across the state and reassure them of a hitch-free yuletide, said Enugu State remains the most peaceful state in the Southeast region as a result of the enormous support from the state government.

Governor Mbah gave this assurance at the Tactical Headquarters of the Nigerian Army in Udi Local Government Area of the state while addressing guests and military personnel at the flag-off ceremony.

The governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof Chidiebere Onyia, acknowledged that the yuletide period was often characterised with high level of criminal activities such as armed robbery, kidnapping, cultism, among other security challenges, stressing that the state was ready to address the challenges and ensure that crimes are not recorded during the celebrations.

He recalled the security successes his administration had recorded over the past few months such as the cancellation of the illegal sit-at-home orders, arrests and prosecution of kidnappers, armed robbers and cultists in the state, maintaining that the government would continue to collaborate with the military and other security agencies to safeguard lives and property of the citizens.

“Permit me, therefore, to extend to you, the support and warm wishes of the Government and people of Enugu State, as you flag off this exercise. I wish to enjoin that Enugu State Government has had a long tradition of mutual understanding, cooperation and assistance that we have maintained with the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army. It is our resolve to assist the security agencies in the state to facilitate enduring enabling environment for our people,” he added.

While commending the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, the General Officer Commanding, 82 Division, Major General Hassan Taiwo Dada, and their officers and men for their commitment to making sure insecurity was stamped out of the state, the governor stressed that the administration would continue its support for the division in the discharge of their duties.

“I wish to once again, thank the Chief of Army Staff, the GOC 82 Division and all the officers and men of the Division for the support and cooperation that you have continued to offer the State Government especially, in the areas of security, civil-military cooperation and peace advocacy. I want to assure you that your efforts at providing security are highly appreciated by the people of Enugu State and as a Government; we will certainly continue to offer you our necessary support and assistance towards the effective discharge of your duties,” he noted

Speaking earlier, the Garrison Commander, Enugu, Brigadier General Murtala Abu, said the exercise would be conducted in the entire parts of the state in collaboration with the Chief of Army Staff, stressing that the Nigerian Army would forge effective cooperation with other sister security agencies for maximum security and safety of the people.

He stated that the primary objective of the exercise, which is routinely conducted annually during festive periods, was to restore the confidence of the people and assure them of their safety as they go about their celebration.

“It is important to note that Exercise Golden Dawn III is designed to curb insecurity within Enugu State and assist to restore confidence in the hearts of the good people of the state. Thereby creating an enabling environment for them to pursue their legitimate business. We have been told to make sure this particular exercise is moved towards areas where there are threats. And we also picked Udi because of the requests by the citizens and the council that there are a lot of challenges along Eke Road,” he said.

Extolling the governor for the support the state has been giving the military, the Garrison Commander further vowed to dislodge all criminal hideouts in any part of the state, saying its operations include, patrols, assaults on unknown gunmen, kidnappers, road blocks, check points and show of force.

He also explained that the military exercise would also embark on medical outreach, educational outreach, environmental sanitation, among others, during the period of the operation.