The Nigerian Army has flagged off a military exercise in parts of the Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara State to flush out criminal elements and strengthen the security of lives and properties in the area.
Conducted by troops from the 22 Armoured Brigade, Sobi, Ilorin, the operation is codenamed Operation Still Water III and is held in Oro Ago and adjoining areas.
To ensure its success, the Kwara State Government has implored traditional rulers and stakeholders to cooperate with the Nigerian Army and other security agencies by giving them the timely information they require to achieve their constitutional responsibilities of safeguarding the citizens.
Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, who was represented by his deputy, Kayode Alabi, made the plea in Oro Ago at the flag-off ceremony of the exercise.
The governor said the Nigerian Army, working in synergy with sister services and other security agencies, is desirous of meeting the expectations of Nigerians in tackling the security challenges in the area and beyond.
Their success, he said, depends on the support given to them by different communities.
Governor AbdulRazaq said the military exercise is another effort to checkmate and ward off criminal elements from gaining a toehold in the state and Nigeria as a whole.
“It is a thing of joy that the Nigerian Army and other security agencies are synergizing to stamp out different violent crimes such as terrorism, insurgency, banditry, and kidnapping, among other violent crimes.
“We are succeeding, regardless of the mutation of these criminal elements in whatever form,” he added.
The governor specially commended the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Taoreed Abiodun Lagbaja, for his visionary leadership style and strategic thinking in conceiving the idea of organizing the exercise.
He applauded the General Officer Commanding, 2 Division Nigerian Army, Major General B. A. Alabi, for ensuring the conduct of the exercise.
He also appreciated the Commander 22 Brigade Ilorin, Brigadier General Adebayo Babalola, for his support in sustaining peace and stability in Kwara State.
The Brigade Commander of 22 Armoured Brigade Sobi, Brigadier General Adebayo Babalola, said the operation is to ensure a peaceful, stable and secure environment for the celebration of the festive seasons and ensure economic activities continue to thrive without fear and panic.
He warned criminals to stay away from Kwara State and sought the support of the people of the state by providing information that would be essential to clear criminals out of the state.