By Victor Akaa, Abuja
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya has on Monday flagged off the Nigerian Army (NA) Field Training Exercises in Emene, Enugu state.
The flag off, symbolically activated the exercises in four geopolitical zones of the country, including the South East, South South, South West and North Central.
The COAS, whilst performing the flag off ceremony, called for a concerted and relentless effort among all the stakeholders to support the civil authorities in tackling the menace of diverse security challenges bedeviling the country.
In a statement relayed to Enugu Reporters by the Director Army Public Relations, Brig Gen Onyema Nwachukwu, noted that the Exercises would be conducted in conjunction of all security Agencies including Nigerian Air Force, Nigeria Police, Federal Fire Service, among others.
During his remarks, Lt Gen Yahaya identified the exercises as Exercise STILL WATER, ENDURING PEACE and Exercise GOLDEN DAWN, stating that they will be conducted simultaneously in all the aforementioned zones respectively.
According to him, its aim was to confront and curb the multifaceted as well as contemporary security challenges prevalent in different parts of the country.
He said the exercises would no doubt ‘restore law and order in the affected regions, as well as create enabling environment for socio-economic activities to thrive’.
The COAS further charged officers and soldiers to remain professional, steadfast and diligent in the discharge of their responsibilities in consonance with the objectives of the exercises.
He urged the troops to ensure respect and protection of the Fundamental Human Rights of the populace in conformity with the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as they discharge their responsibilities.
He however enjoined the citizenry to be law abiding and cooperate with security agencies in order to restore of law and order in the country.
He stated that the exercises, which would later metamorphose into real operations would witness collaboration with other security agencies in exchange of ideas and sharing of intelligence.
“It will be conducted in collaboration with sister security agencies, including the Nigeria Police, Department of State Services, Air Force, Immigration, National Drug and Law Enforcement Agency, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Federal Road Safety Corps, Federal Fire Service, as well as other stakeholders who will provide necessary support for the exercise,” he added.
Speaking also during the flag off, the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 82 Division, Nigerian Army, Major General Taoreed Lagbaja, in a welcome address, assured the COAS of the readiness of the Division in conjunction with sister security agencies to combat all security threats and crimes within the region to ensure law and order.
He warned all criminal elements to desist from their attrocious activities or face the wrath of the law.
In furtherance of the fulfilment of his pledge to empower Regimental Sergeant Majors ( RSMs) of the Nigerian Army, the Chief of Army Staff presented a Toyota Hilux vehicle to the 82 Division RSM.
“This empowerment scheme”, he noted, “will enable the RSMs to effectively carry out their duties as custodians of traditions and regimentation of the NA”.
The flag off was witnessed by Commanders, heads and representatives of sister security agencies domiciled in Enugu state.