I gathered that they were shooting sporadically, which led to the IPOB group wielding daggers, throwing broken bottles at them. “Unfortunately, a police man on guard duties going to work was macheted by the IPOB group, while a soldier and a civilian were equally injured. All are being treated in the Police Clinic for minor injuries sustained. Normalcy has since been restored.” The alleged invasion of Kanu’s home came barely two days after the Army announced a deployment of troops to the region on a special operation it called Operation Python Dance II. Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai, who disclosed this, last Friday, at a press conference, hinted also that the exercise, codenamed Python Dance II, would be in five South Eastern states of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo. According to the Army boss, who was represented on the occasion by the Chief of Training and Operations, Maj. Gen D.D Ahmadu, the exercise will be conducted in 82 Division area of responsibility of those five states and the exercise is scheduled to take place from September 15 to October 14, 2017. Buratai said the objective of the exercise was to effectively contain the reported cases of kidnapping and other vices prevalent in the South East every Yuletide season. “The need for troops to be exercised, refreshed and imbibe the requisite skills to cope with these emerging security challenges within the 82 Division area of responsibility in aid of civil authority necessitates this exercise, “he added. According to him, emphasis will be placed on raids, cordon and search operations, anti-kidnapping drills, road blocks, check points, patrols, humanitarian relief activities such as medical outreach and show of force to curb the rising threat to national security in the South Eastern part of the country.” “Exercise EGWU EKE II has become more expedient due to the mindless assassinations (even in religious places), attacks on security personnel and theft of weapons, kidnappings, armed banditry and violent agitations by secessionist groups, amongst other crimes that have recently bedevilled the region. “It is pertinent to mention that the security, safety and well-being of innocent and law-abiding citizens of the states mentioned above have been adequately factored into the planning of the exercise. Thus, the rights of individuals as enshrined in the constitution would be respected and safeguarded. “Additionally, EGWU EKE II is also conceptualized to transit into real time operations, thereby fulfilling both training and operational objectives of sharpening operational skills of personnel as well as providing an avenue to conduct operations against violent criminals and agitators when called upon. “As precursor to a peaceful ‘ember’ period and yuletide, provision has already been made for the smooth conduct of the exercise. EGWU EKE II will be unique with the establishment of Brigade Headquarters in each of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo States.“It is noteworthy to mention that EGWU EKE II is set to be another epoch making activity that would make the nation proud of the Nigerian Army’s determination at sustaining its constitutional role of defending the territorial integrity of the nation as well as its commitment to aid the civil authority to bring about peace and security in the south eastern part of our dear country in particular, and the entire nation in general,” he said. He, therefore, advised members of the public, especially residents of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo states not to panic as their safety and well-being was guaranteed at all times. A similar exercise was conducted between November 27 and December 27, 2016.