Buhari, security chiefs meet as Operation Crocodile Smile II begins in Bayelsa on Friday
• MASSOB, BIM berate army over invasion of office in Ebonyi
• IPOB, community condemn raids, demand compensation
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday met with heads of the nation’s security agencies at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The Inspector-General of Police (IGP) was represented by a Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG).
However, none of the security chiefs obliged to speak with State House Correspondents at the end of the meeting, which lasted over three hours, as they took turns to drive out of the Villa one after the other. There was no official statement at press time but sources informed The Guardian that it was a regular security meeting where they updated the President on the general state of security across the country.
Meanwhile, the 16 Brigade of the Nigerian Army has commenced Operation Crocodile Smile II in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital, in line with the Nigerian Army Training Directive for the year 2017.The event, which began on October 7, 2017, is expected to last till October 28, 2017.
A statement by the Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, Danjuma Jonah Danjuma, urged the Bayelsans and the public not to panic on sighting movement of troops and heavy equipment on the streets.
Also, the Nigerian Army has said it will begin the flag-off of the exercise in the South-West and South-South on Friday, October 13, 2017.It said the exercise would cut across the three divisions of the Nigerian Army.
In another development, Ebonyi State chapter of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and Biafra Independent Movement (BIM) have condemned the invasion and destruction of their office at Onueke in Ezza South Local Council of the state by troops of Python Dance 11.
They described the action as barbaric and unacceptable.The Ebonyi Central MASSOB/BIM Leader, Gideon Iloke, who spoke with journalists, alleged that some soldiers numbering over 500 raided their Onueke office during the weekend and destroyed their flags, emblems and other Biafra items and carted away other valuables belonging to the group.Iloke called on the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo under the chairmanship of Chief Nnia Nwodo and other leaders from the zone to rise to their responsibilities of protecting the Igbo from the military.
Efforts to speak with army personnel proved abortive at the time of this report.However, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has raised the alarm over incessant raids on the home of His Royal Majesty, Eze Sir Israel, at Afaraukwu Umuahia community in Abia State by security operatives.
In a statement signed by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, IPOB said: “Those responsible for the vandalisation of Kanu’s home were initially not aware that they are being recorded until the footage started appearing online. On realising they were captured on camera, they returned to the palace to destroy the CCTV cameras and loot yet more property.
“It was at this point that the Nigerian army acknowledged for the first time that they have frequently conducted raids on the palace.” Also, the community in a statement signed by its President-General, Chief Ikechukwu Ndubueze; Secretary, Ikechukwu Chiabuotu, as well representatives of the component villages, has asked the Federal Government to pay compensation for the losses they suffered during the military operation.
It claimed that the military operation resulted in loss of lives, damages to property and environment, missing of people, including their traditional ruler, Eze Israel Kanu and his wife, Sally.
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