The Nigerian Army says it will soon conduct “Egwu Eke III” also known as Operation Python Dance, across the nation.

Tukur Buratai, chief of army staff, announced this at a news conference in Maiduguri, Borno state, on Friday.

Buratai, represented by Lamidi Adeosun, chief of training and operations, said the exercise will be conducted from January 1 to February 28, 2019.

The army said the military operation was needed to tackle already “observed upsurge’’ insecurity challenges in the buildup to the 2019 elections.

Several states in the country, especially the northern region, have been hit by series of attacks from the Boko Haran insurgent group and clashes between herders and farmers, as well as a spree of kidnapping activities.

“These challenges coupled with other security threats across the country such as terrorism, militancy, kidnapping and banditry portend that dissident group and criminal elements could cash in on the situation to perpetrate large scale violence before, during and after the 2019 general elections,’’ Adeosun said.

Asked why Egwu Eke III is being conducted nationwide and not restricted to the south-east in line with its code name, Adeosun said that there is python everywhere.

“Even in the desert of Borno, don’t forget, the Lake Chad basin is there, python can also dance within the desert,” he said.

“In fact, we have desert python, so python will dance all over the country this time around.”

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