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Surrender illegal arms or face serious consequences, army tells ‘unknown gunmen’

The Nigerian Army has called on ‘unknown gunmen’ attacking communities across the country to surrender or face serious consequences.

This call was made on Monday by the general officer commanding, 82 division of the army, Taoreed Lagbaja during the launch of three new security exercises.

The exercises are ‘Golden Dawn’ for the south-east; ‘Still Water’ for coastal areas and ‘Enduring Peace’ for some states in the north-central and federal capital territory (FCT).

Speaking in Enugu, Lagbaja said exercise ‘Golden Dawn’ will be used to improve civil-military cooperation through the provision of boreholes, free medical outreaches, and educational materials.

He said the exercise would also reduce criminality in the south-east to “the barest minimum”.

He urged residents of the division’s area to be law-abiding and support the military with necessary information to improve safety.

“The unknown gunmen are advised to surrender their illegal arms or face the brutal force of the exercise,” he said.

“I assure them that troops for the exercise will display discipline and carry out the exercise within the ambit of the rules of engagement for internal security duties.”

Also speaking during the inauguration, Faruk Yahaya, chief of army staff, said the exercises, which would involve joint operations between the military and other security agencies, were designed to check all forms of criminality.

He said the operations would help to promote greater security for free movement of persons, especially during the end-of-year activities.

According to him, the exercises, which will run from October 4 to December 24, will create an enabling environment for socio-economic activities to thrive in all regions in the country.

He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari “for his unwavering commitment and support to the Nigerian Army and other sister security agencies in the country”.

“We must be loyal and professional to justify the trust the president reposed in us all and the generous support from him to tackle all forms of criminality headlong with the dedication they deserve,” he said.

“I must commend the personnel of the Nigerian Army and other security agencies in the south-east for their sacrifice and gallantry disposition to ensure peace and progress in the region, notwithstanding obvious challenges.

“We are also grateful to the state governors, council chairmen and other leaders in the country for their support and encouragement.”

He appealed to residents to volunteer useful information on the activities of criminal elements in their neighbourhoods in order for the exercises to be successful.

He also urged the military and other security agencies to work as a team for the success of the operations.

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